Aaliyah Dana Haughton would have turned 35 years old today had it not been for the tragic plane crash that took her life and eight others in 2001. It’s phenomenal how easy it still is to be swept up in imagining what could have been for the R&B singer, dancer, actress and model who burst onto the scene with her debut Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number as a high school freshman. After all, Aaliyah was only fully in the public eye for seven years before her death at 22. And yet, in just those few short years, the “Back & Forth” star truly embodied the title of that initial multi-platinum release.
Ludacris, one of the most successful rappers from the South, is the subject of our new episode of Behind The Music.
Tonight on Behind the Music we put the spotlight on the triumphs and tribulations of rapper, entrepreneur and actor, Ludacris. There’s no doubt you learned loads about this musical master from the show, but we have four special web extras for you that didn’t make the full episode.
Ludacris is one determined guy! After weeks of begging the front desk of a radio station for a job, he finally snagged a spot as an intern. This ultimately led to the explosion of an amazing music career. But what about that infamous “Ludacris” name of his? Well, he had to give it quits temporarily since early morning listeners weren’t quite ready for Ludacris behavior. Fortunately, Ludacris is making his own rules now and thriving. Watch the rest of the clips here.
Clad head to toe in black denim, named after their singer’s favorite drug, quite possibly the loudest band on Earth, England’s Motörhead are rock n’roll’s ultimate outlaw gang. Like AC/DC or The Ramones, they write basically one song and that one song is better than most bands entire discographies. Helmed since 1975 by legendary bassist-singer-rogue Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister, their high speed hymns of oblivion have been inspiring hard rockers, metalheads and punks for nearly 40 years and the band has no intentions of slowing down. These are the 10 Most Crucial Moments in Motörhead History.
Ten years have passed since 50 Cent encouraged us to party like it’s our birthday year-round. Can you do an upside down sit up yet? With impressive co-signs and a never-ending slew of public beefs, 50′s expanding resume has helped redefine the modern hip-hop era.
Are you on a mobile device? Click here to watch Behind The Song: Toni Braxton, “You’re Makin’ Me High.”
Despite having released two major label LPs —one solo, and one alongside her sisters as a member of The Braxtons— it wasn’t until Toni Braxton released “You’re Makin’ Me High” in the spring of 1996 that she became a household name. As she explains in the latest episode of Behind The Song, there were some fears at the time that recording a track like this would be perceived as a “buckwild” turn by the fans who got to know her while she was on the gospel circuit. While LaFace executives Babyface and L.A. Reid were completely comfortable with this career pivot, it turns out that those “buckwild” fears weren’t entirely unfounded.
“A week before [writing the song with Babyface and Bryce Wilson], I was introduced to marijuana, and I got high for the first time,” Braxton confesses in this VH1 exclusive clip. “In the bridge, I’m singing ‘I want to feel your heart and soul inside of me / Let’s make a deal you roll, I lick / And we can go flying into ecstasy’, I was talking about [smoking a joint].” The innuendo was innocent enough to confuse Toni’s sister Towanda, avoid major scrutiny at radio (the song eventually went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100), and, ultimately, score a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
Be sure to tune-in to Behind The Music: Toni Braxton on Monday, October 29 at 10 p.m. ET! Until then, how about (puff puff) passing some time watching some of our other episodes of Behind The Song, like Gym Class Heroes talking “Cupid’s Chokehold” or Ne-Yo breaking down the genesis of “Irreplaceable”?
Are you on a mobile device? Click here to watch Behind The Song: Gym Class Heroes, “Cupid’s Chokehold.”
Last Sunday, VH1′s Behind The Music put a spotlight on alternative/hip hop group Gym Class Heroes and their rapid rise to fame, their troubles with drugs and Travie McCoy‘s relationship with pop superstar Katy Perry all included; if you missed it, the full episode is now streaming here. For those of you who (like us!) who can’t get enough GCH in your lives, check out Behind The Song: “Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast In America,” the song that began the group on their ascent.
Gym Class Heroes’ breakout hit was inspired by a sample of 1979 Supertramp classic “Breakfast in America,” which was written by Roger Hodgson at the tender age of 18 as he dreamt of the California coast while living in his native home, England. As drummer Matt McGinley remembers it, “We were listening to ‘Breakfast in America’ and just sort of playing along to the chorus, and then when the chorus would finish, we would just jam. And that’s where we wrote our own verses.” Then, wanting to make sure it was good, Travie McCoy took the demo into the tattoo shop where he was working at the time and played it for the girls that came in. “I wanted to be that song that, upon first listen, every girl that hears it goes, ‘Aww, I wish my boyfriend would have done something like this for me.’” Needless to say, it worked. They called Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump in to re-record the hook, and then they sat back and watched as the song — and then their career — took off.