Before landing a flying scissor kick on two unsuspecting fans at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (May 19), Miguel hit up the pre-show blue carpet to talk about his next batch of Art Dealer Chic EPs. If you’ll recall, the singer first released three free EPs with that title in 2012 ahead of Kaleidoscope Dream, and earlier this year he promised he’d have three more installments. Speaking with Billboard, he confirmed that the next three volumes will be free, and that they should drop in July, August and September, respectively. More »
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T.I. and Lil Wayne take Miami by storm in the video for “Wit Me,” their new collaboration building buzz for their joint America’s Most Wanted tour. The video was directed by Philly FlyBoy, and finds the rappers cruising South Florida on land and on water in fast cars and fast boats, like a modern day Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice, except without all that distracting cop work.
Check it out up top. We know Weezy keeps saying he’s fine, but it’s good to see him bouncing around and yelping like a giddy child.
Pharrell dialed into smooth ’70s disco with Daft Punk on two Random Access Memories tracks, “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance.” But for his new solo track, “Happy,” Mr. Williams digs back a little bit further, to the ’60s. The result is a soulful, catchy little jaunt reminiscent of Cee Lo Green‘s recent work – all handclaps and singalongs and retro pop simplicity.
“Happy” is off the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, which Pharrell co-produced with composer Heitor Pereira (Pharrell also helmed the music for the first film). Coincidentally, the super-producer teams up with Cee Lo on another one of the movie’s tracks. But you can hear the peppy solo cut below. More »
Last week, Diplo posted a string of tweets offering up his unflattering thoughts on Daft Punk‘s Random Access Memories. We felt they were pretty entertaining, even though they were lightly jabbing an album which we enjoyed quite a lot. Daft Punk diehards didn’t find the comments so funny, though, and apparently stormed Diplo’s Twitter and Facebook to the point that the DJ-producer felt the need to respond.
Today (May 21), Diplo posted a letter clarifying his thoughts on RAM. ”My all time favorite daft punk song was ‘make love’ from the last album, not the bangers that you might expect but the subtlety of that record was amazing and i love the production on it[...] the new album i do like a lot as well.. my favorite song being doing it right with panda bear i think its my favorite tune of the year so far. i quite like the album .. my twitters were sarcastic.”
Diplo’s main issue with the album, then, was the cheesy, good vibin’ image of L.A. that it conjures. “I don’t want music that represents excessive blissed out easy listening. I grew up being forced to listen to hotel california[...] And Im also not into the white bearded rich malibu palm tree los angeles that it paints.. LA is great because its real and gritty so that just turned me off[...] this album was obviously for people that enjoy breazy walks with their pets and smoking cigarettes in malibu.. I do not.”
Head below to see more select quotes from the letter, and for Diplo’s subsequent tweet telling people not to read it. More »
We’re not gonna pretend like we know the difference between Miss USA and Miss America, but now we have a handy device to distinguish the two (for this year, at least): Miss USA is the one that will have a Jonas Brothers performance. The JoBros will try to get all the contestants at this year’s Miss USA pageant to put their pom poms down on June 16, and Nick Jonas is co-hosting the whole broadcast with Giuliana Rancic.
This performance comes about a month before the Bros head on a national tour, which should feature more new material from their forthcoming album. Head below to see their tweets with the Miss USA announcements. More »
Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban have joined the roster of country superstars performing at this year’s CMT Music Awards. Underwood adds this to her list of upcoming marquee TV appearances (The Sound of Music special and the Sunday Night Football theme song, both for NBC), while Lady Antebellum was recently seen performing on The Voice.
Darius Rucker, Florida Georgia Line, George Strait and Jason Aldean are confirmed to perform as well. In addition to his set, Aldean is sharing hosting duties with actress Kristen Bell. Previously announced performers for the Nashville ceremony include Taylor Swift, Hunter Hayes, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and the Pistol Annies. More »
Robin Thicke has dropped another Blurred Lines song, but unlike the bouncy, breezy title track or the buzzing “Give It to You,” this one is has no guest spots and no dance beats. “4 the Rest of My Life” is a blue-eyed soul ballad, the chorus riding along with a ’50s-style canned orchestra and eventually building to a guitar solo, as Thicke celebrates his (love) life sentence. So, yeah, time to break out those Justin Timberlake comparisons again.
It’s not as exciting as Thicke’s two prior cuts, but damn it’s a pretty listen. Hear it below. More »
Backtracking is our recurring look back at the pop music that shaped our lives. Our friends may come and go, but we’ll be spinning our favorite albums forever.
DMX ’s debut is a landmark hip-hop album, but it’s also a pop album (as in, popular), which is utterly hilarious. It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, released on May 19, 1998, went straight to No. 1 its opening week, and it went 4x Platinum in just over two years. That’s despite the fact that it was a sociopathic, off-putting collection of shouted rhymes about righteous vengeance and nihilistic violence paired with grimy, foreboding beats. So how did such a carnival of misery and carnage become such a mainstream hit?
Teenage boys, mainly. DMX’s debut may have been the product of a grizzled 27-year-old street hustler, but it was an album for kids half his age. Pubescent males know not about subtlety, and the album had a mindlessly overt potency. When my friends and I were 14, the album’s energy matched ours (the motherfucker was barking!), and the CD’s fury broke through our relentless clatter of imbecility.
But the album had appeal beyond the mallrats because DMX (real name Earl Simmons) and primary producer Dame Grease created a suffocatingly dark stomp that was a whisker shy of being a concept album, with hooks that were just as badass as the MC. And that’s how it became the bleakest of pop beasts. More »
Finally! Whether it’s to distract from the (apparently false) pregnancy reports, or just because Beyonce was sick of people harping about her ubiquity being paired with a dearth of new music, somebody has posted new Beyonce music. Yes, “Grown Woman” has hit the Web, and we can finally hear how it sounds in full, separated from Bey’s ultra-fierce Pepsi ad.
It’s a frenetic, globetrotting dance track with a tribal rhythm, chants and a descending bass line that sounds like a sped up version of the one in Justin Timberlake‘s “Pusher Love Girl.” A feisty Bey declares “I can do whatever I wawnt,” and that includes giving us a song that sounds nothing like what anyone was expecting. It’s almost like this track is destined to be the theme song to the next Women’s World Cup or something.
“Grown Woman” was reportedly co-written by The-Dream and produced by Timbaland. Hear it below, and then check out the song’s lyrics. More »
Remember when Kanye West was photographed in a Brazilian studio with Will Smith back in February? While we were giddy at the prospect of a collaboration between the two, we figured it was just some meaningless vacation jaunt. But it turns out the Fresh Prince and Yeezus really have hit the studio together to work on some new material.
“I’ve been messing around with Kanye, we went to the studio a couple times,” Smith revealed during a press junket for After Earth. “I might get the bug. I’m not gonna do it unless I’m truly inspired, but Ye’s been pushing me a little bit.” We’re not exactly sure how new, angry Kanye would combine with He of Gettin’ Jiggy, but we want to find out. Watch Smith in the interview snippet below. More »