Producer Claude Kelly says that Jessie J‘s follow-up to Who You Are is “98 percent done.” While he refused to speak on specifics — yes, even those related to her next single “Wild” — Kelly did elaborate on Jessie J’s overall aspirations.
“All I’m saying is that Jessie’s doing something that, right now, is probably unheard of, in that she’s not apologizing for big vocals,” Kelly said. “A lot of pop right now is making things simpler, so that people can sing along, rather than inspiration so that we can try to become it.” He cited Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and Prince — fitting, since he’s worked with the former two.
Kelly was last seen in Jessie J’s first snippet of “Wild,” which he co-wrote. (“Feels like…” Jessie J says. “A nice reintroduction,” he adds.) See his chat with Rap-Up after the jump. More »
Houston police shut down a crowd who gathered to see Kanye West‘s encore projection of “New Slaves,” saying that everyone must leave or be arrested for trespassing. Two additional screenings were also shut down, albeit due to technical difficulties.
According to The Houston Chronicle, police pulled several cars up to “New Slaves” location Rothko Chapel and ordered the “upbeat, respectful” crowd to disperse. Houston wasn’t the only city to experience difficulties, either. A crowd gathered at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome also waited to see the Yeezus video, only to walk away disappointed. More »
On Friday, when Will and Jaden Smith said they never worked together in music, BBC late-night host Graham Norton sought to change that as he handed over two mics. Turns out, he got more than he bargained for: Jaden’s new single “Hello,” Will’s 2005 hit single “Switch” and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song, featuring Will’s former rap collaborator DJ Jazzy Jeff.
The Graham Norton Show audience chimed in to help Will finish his Fresh Prince rhymes — what seemed like enough excitement to Norton, before Will’s co-star Alfonso Ribeiro popped up to assist with the Sugarhill Gang‘s cover of “Apache” and yes, the Carlton. Watch up top. More »
To celebrate Daft Punk‘s new album Random Access Memories, Live with Kelly & Michael did their best impression of the iconic French duo, complete with their own helmets.
Its hosts, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, traded looks of disbelief as they presented the new issue of Rolling Stone, featuring Daft Punk on the cover. (Skip to 10:30.) Ripa fixated on the cover line. “I said to myself, ‘Return of?’ Where did they go?” she asked, while Strahan analyzed the duo’s helmets. (“Looks like they went to space in that outfit.”) More »
For kicks, BBC Radio 1′s Tim Westwood has revealed a 2005 Kanye West freestyle set to the Game‘s “Dreams,” Jay-Z‘s “Encore” and Common‘s “The Corner,” rap hits that West produced himself. West had just released his sophomore album Late Registration, but as his freestyle shows, he’s long known exactly what he wanted to achieve with his music.
Before “New Slaves,” West was rhyming of “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” — as in, how he was torn between gifting and protesting against them. He calls a woman a ho, only to apologize profusely. (He’s never been perfect.) And in a string of advice to rappers, he suggests enlisting singers for the hook — like Alicia Keys, or “light-skinned girls with braids, acting like they got it made.”(He did leap on a remix of “If I Ain’t Got You,” which kinda counts.) Speaking of advice: “As far as making your songs, you’re all wrong / doing everything that everybody else be on.” More »
The music industry was all kinds of crazy this week, from the unexpected moments at this year’s Billboard Music Awards to Paris Hilton announcing her musical comeback. (FINALLY!) Soul sisters Kelly Rowland and Beyonce both released new music, while Katy Perry found herself in a bizarre Twitter war with rapper Chief Keef.
The drama was heavy on Idolator, too: This week’s Ibrawlator was a Billboard Music Awards-themed battle of performances by Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez, while our favorite Pop Princesses — Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears — went head to head in the first installment of “Magazine Melee.” Speaking of, have you voted yet?
Check out some of this week’s best comments below! More »