<p>Lil Wayne in 'Love Me'</p>

Lil Wayne in 'Love Me'


Watch Lil Wayne and Drake's kinky, gross 'Love Me' video with Future

A list of things you should never write inside of a valentine

Happy Valentine's Day! Here's a sentiment for the day, from the video "B*tches Love Me" by Lil Wayne, featuring Future and Drake: "She said 'I never want to make you mad / I just want to make you proud' / I said 'Baby just make me cum / Then don't make a sound.'"

If that mild form of female oppression doesn't get your heart a-racing, try writing this sentiment in a card: "These hoes got pussies like craters / Can't treat these hoes like ladies... Girl, I f*ck who I want and f*ck who I don't / Got that A1 credit, that's that filet mignon."

Delicious! Say yes to another date and there's a promise of another meal: "She wake up, eat this d*ck / Call that breakfast in bed, $69.96."

All from the delicate fountain pen of "I Am Not A Human Being" human being Lil Wayne, who just got shushed and shut down by his verse on a remix to Future's "Karate Chop." (The offending phrase referred to a brutal murder that helped to spark a civil rights movement: "Beat that pussy up like Emmett Till." Because haha vagina haha mauling and torture haha.)

Also, did you know that Lil Wayne skates? Because Lil Wayne wants you to know, for sure, that Lil Wayne skates.

All this to say that Lil Wayne used to spit some great verses, but with the completion of some recent tracks, fans can only count on him being gross and sloppy, returning to the blood red well (who's blood? what water?) of sex and violence.

For the rest of the clip -- with so much kink and death, you'd think Lady Gaga had a hand -- Drake just kinda throws his arms around being Drakey. Ballot's still out on Future because he can work that mumble around this beat, but neither he nor Drizzy even take a turn at bat for a verse.

But you can totally tell they're badasses because they keep their bitches animals in cages, mirite?

Were Aaliyah around to hear her song referenced, she's shake her head and shut this down, too. As gorgeous, tantalizing and controversy-courting as the "Love Me" video is, it can't save a bad track.

"My B*tches Love Me" -- or, buy its clean title "Love Me" -- has so many uses of the term "b*tch" blanked out, it might as well be instrumental. Suffice it to say it's a contestable third single from "I Am Not A Human Being II," the release of which has been continually delayed and currently sits at March 26.

Read Full Post
<p>Justin Timberlake</p>

Justin Timberlake


Watch: Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z's 'Suit & Tie' video directed by David Fincher

He'd like to show you a few things

David Fincher got back in the music video saddle specifically for his "Social Network" compadre Justin Timberlake and his new jam "Suit & Tie" featuring Jay-Z. The result is the two superstars all dressed up in black in white -- meaning, their clothes and the shades of the video -- in a gorgeous Old Hollywood setup.

Timberlake appears in scenes from his hotel bedroom to the big stage, with the best scenery taken from the latter as he's flanked by dancers and a horn orchestra.

Let him show you a few things:

Read Full Post
<p>The Weeknd</p>

The Weeknd

Watch The Weeknd's NSFW music video to 'Twenty Eight'

Happy Valentine's Day to all you broken-hearted, here's some self-loathing

The music video for the Weeknd's "Twenty Eight" is the next in a long series of clips that feature women dancing for the R&B singer, under the auspices that romances are apparitions that just happen to the Weeknd, and not relationships in which he plays an active part.

And again, the passivity of being either behind or in front of the camera: either way, he's not a participant. Truly, to be a sexual partner of the Weeknd, one must keep it on the "down low" as he suggests (though, do not mistake "secret" for "subtlety." This clip is all but subtle.). Lesson being that he's not exactly Loverman of the Year, but boy can he sing, right?

Fashion week in New York can transpire now. The hottest accessory of the season is topless, melancholy women.

"Twenty Eight" is part of "Trilogy," the re-released collection of mixtapes dropped late last year. The Weeknd said on Twitter that he's already hard at work for a new album in 2013.

Read Full Post
<p>The Strokes</p>

The Strokes

Listen: The Strokes release new radio single 'All the Time'

From 'Comedown Machine,' due in March

If the new Strokes song "One Way Trigger" didn't remind you much of the garage-snarl of the band's past, then the much safer, rock-friendly single "All the Time" may scratch that itch.

The track was farmed to radio today, and will be a free download on Feb. 19 to those who pre-order The Strokes' new album "Comedown Machine," which will be out on March 26.

Not sure how much traction they'll get with this, since it doesn't seem to have much bite, even compared to 2011's "Angles" single "Under Cover of Darkness." And while I love Albert Hammond, Jr.'s hand at a solo, this one made me forget I was listening to a song; I went and made a sandwich.

Read Full Post
<p>Yeah Yeah Yeahs</p>

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paramore, Flaming Lips added to SXSW lineup

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis also on tap

It's a big day for South By Southwest music announcements, as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Flaming Lips, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Paramore have signed on to the Austin-based fest.

YYYs will be joining Nick Cave & The Bads Seeds on the NPR stage on March 13, making that date and performance marquee yet again one of the strongest in the conference. The New York band also dropped another new album trailer, this one with a snippet of their new song "Always" from "Mosquito," out on April 16. It's their first album since 2009.

Read Full Post
<p>Jay-Z holds Watch the Throne's three new Grammys</p>

Jay-Z holds Watch the Throne's three new Grammys

Credit: AP Photo

'N****s' in Grammys: Watch The Throne and the 2013 Awards 'race'

Kanye West and Jay-Z's popular song may have struck a (wrong) chord for voters

LOS ANGELES -- Nothing elicited more self-conscious laughter from a live audience at the 2013 Grammy Awards than during the pre-telecast ceremony, when Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne won two honors for the song "Niggas in Paris." As is his custom at the Grammys, West was absent. But so was another element to this winner's circle: the full name of the song itself.

As it was announced, the term "Niggas" was bleeped out, as the censors would "f*ck" or "sh*t," and it sounded awkwardly funny, especially considering the accolade.

On Watch the Throne's release materials, like the tracklist, the title uses "Niggas." On the VEVO and YouTube video pages, "Ni**as." On the Grammy.com and to the night's attendees, "N*****."

To the Grammy voter, there may be more than just that term that remains unspoken.

As I mentioned in HitFix's Best and Worst tally, there's still residual racial underpinnings to the Grammys' top prizes. Song, Record and Album of the Year went to white artists (though Janelle Monae was the guest artist on fun.'s "We Are Young"); Best New Artist went to a white artist. Acts like Miguel and Frank Ocean were nominated for their turns at R&B crossover tracks and albums, but hip-hop went unrecognized in these lauded categories in 2013.

And despite earning nominations for these most-prestigious categories before, West has never won one, though he's collected 18 Grammys outside of Song/Record/Album Of The Year, mostly in the rap categories. To the producer, songwriter and rhymer, it's a matter of black and white (music), which is why in part he chose not to attend the ceremony this year.

"Eighteen Grammys, all in the black categories, though," West said during a solo concert in December. "I love Maroon 5, but when I lost Best New Artist to Maroon 5 … y'know what I mean? Or when 'Watch the Throne' and '[My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy],' neither of them got nominated for Album of the Year, y'know what I mean? Or when 'Niggas in Paris' didn't get nominated for Record of the Year, y'know what I mean? So don't expect to see me at the Grammys this year, you know what I mean?"

Kanye West doesn't bleep out the name of his own song when he says it aloud. And it's worth discussing that this is the first time in Grammys history that the term "n***a" has shown up for a nomination.

Of course, there were mountains of other hip-hop songs and albums worthy of top prizes, many of which don't use the term "n***a" in their title or otherwise. But the word is still popular and frequent in hip-hop vernacular with an implied "restricted usage." It's been adopted or "reclaimed" by some African-Americans, refused by others, and problematic overall within other races, classes and even between genders.

"Despite the false idea that we now live in a color blind society, racism still exists. And when Black rappers use the word they are like Beyoncé at the last Inauguration, lip syncing what many white folks in this country wish they could say out loud," wrote AllHipHop's TRUTH Minista Paul Scott last week on the term's Grammy appearance. "Perhaps most disturbing is that by rewarding such ignorance, it helps to legitimize the usage of the work in the eyes of White Americans."

Maya Angelou was publicly at-odds with Common a couple years ago over his use of the word "n***a" for the track "The Dreamer," on which the famed poet was featured. The rapper said the two agreed to disagree, that not only was the term “a part of me,” but that the song's accomplishment was generational. “I wanted young people to hear this and feel like they could really accomplish their dreams.”

The "acceptable usage" of "black" terminology and the hip-hop artform was the center of discussions this winter, as year-end lists were released and "violent rap" albums like Chief Keef's "Finally Rich" impressed "white" outlets like Pitchfork and Spin. Rap Radar's Brian "B.Dot" Miller shot back through Tweets like “please stop writing about MY culture,” and compared white critics' high marks of black music as promoting minstrelsy. He expounded further on his position during a recent New York Times popcast, which you should enjoy here.

The "otherness" of the term "n***a" and rap as a "black" artform is absolutely deserving of a similar conversation, as hip-hop's predominant influence on popular music for the last two decades obviously hasn't relieved the creative tensions in the ranks of informed voters at the Recording Academy.  The conflict of colorization is the reason why this website and others can't (and, to some, absolutely shouldn't) spell the complete term "Niggas" in a headline, nor allow the word spoken at the Grammy Awards by a professional announcer, or give greater pause to white journalists and music lovers like myself as I urge voters to reconsider any bias that puts a higher value on "white" music than black music.

The control and fear of a single word can sometimes overpower the clout of great artists like Jay-Z and West, and not just because of any over-intellectual hand-wringing. The subtle and (literally) unspoken lines of inclusion/exclusion are how the art from people of color is quietly, frequently and wrongly shuffled into the "safe" racial categories to stay. If the Grammys neuters power -- positive or negative -- from terms like "n****", then it's more than just a laughing matter.

Read Full Post


Kaskade on Grammys: Dance awards ready for primetime, Al Walser's 'forced' nom

Veteran EDM artist and Academy voter urges his colleagues to listen harder

LOS ANGELES -- Longtime dance artist and voting Recording Academy member Kaskade had some strong words for his colleagues at the Grammy Awards tonight. He was among the nominees (and presenters), but appealed to the show organizers: bring the Best Dance Recording and Dance/Electronica Album honors to the primetime telecast, and not continue to sequester it to the pre-telecast ceremony.

"We're selling more tickets than any other artists out there. And I feel like it's our time to move into the primetime now. It's a slow evolution," he told reporters backstage at the Grammys. The Academy "has really embraced us... There's a lot of us out there."

So it's time to for EDM artists to "move from Nokia to the big room."

And while he feels that the 2013 awards have represented dance artists and dance music "better than ever," Kaskade did address the disruptive inclusion of Al Walser among the Dance Recording nominees. Walser -- little-known to U.S. listeners outside of Grammy365 social network users -- nabbed a spot next to names like Skrillex and Calvin Harris due to his lobbying efforts directly to voters through the online program.

"The Grammys are putting in the necessary means that nothing like that ever happens again, that it really truly does reflect what's happening, that it's not somebody's friend that squeaked by," he said. "It felt very forced. No one was really aware of who [Walser] was and what was going on. It wasn't a representation of what was actually happening with the music and our world. It was kind of out of left field."

A representative from Walser's camp was present in the press area and tried defending Walser as deserving of the nod.

"No one's refuting that [Walser] works hard," Kaskade countered, adding a little dig: "The space suit was a good touch."

Kaskade, instead, encourages the listening habits of voters to influence their opinions. "They need to listen to the music. I'm a voting member myself. People who take it seriously should take the time out to listen to the music."

The producer and DJ has the credentials to back up his thoughts, and will be adding to his catalog with a new album this year. He is in the "final stages" with the set and will release it in late spring or early summer, with a new tour starting next month.

This year marked his first nomination for a Grammy Award, even with seven albums behind him. He said now, at least, there's a few EDM songs on the radio, even though dance music has been "picking up steam for 20 years."

"We're all in amazement that we're here. Dance music was big a decade ago and didn't have any [Grammy] categories."

Read Full Post
<p>From &quot;We Found Love&quot;</p>

From "We Found Love"

Grammy Awards: Mumford & Sons movie and Rihanna win video categories

'Big Easy Epress' amps Old Crow Medicine Show and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

LOS ANGELES --  In the first two awards issued today for the 55th annual Grammy Awards, two of the biggest nominees from the night already run away with wins. The clip for Rihanna's "We Found Love" featuring Calvin Harris won Best Short Form Music Video, while "Big Easy Express" -- featuring Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show -- earned Best Long Form Music Video.

The former was directed by Melina Matsoukas with Juliette Larth & Ben Sullivan as its producers. Rihanna, however, wasn't on hand to accept the award, which made its bow first at 1:10 p.m. PST. The pop superstar is probably busy getting ready for the big show tonight.

Director Emmett Malloy was around for his honors helming "Big Easy Express," which followed the Mumfords, Edward Sharpe and Old Crow around on their short stint touring from a locomotive around the South and Southwest United States.

"Thank you to the bands for letting us join a pretty remarkable trip that will be etched in my head forever," Mallow said in his acceptance. "The country we live in, I've never seen so beautifully than on a train."

Read Full Post
Listen: Fitz & The Tantrums release dance-happy 'Out of My League'

Listen: Fitz & The Tantrums release dance-happy 'Out of My League'

A different kind of retro

Fitz & The Tantrums earned a reputation for being a bit of a '70s soul-funk revival band as they grew in popularity in 2011 and 2012. For the recordings -- and for 2013 -- it looks like the sextet is bringing back a little of the '80s.

"Out of My League" is the first single from Fitz & The Tantrums' new album "More Than Just a Dream," and you can hear it below. The set will be out on May 7.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Paul's Not Home&quot;</p>

"Paul's Not Home"

Credit: Third Man

Jack White at work on new solo album and drops track with Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes

Label man an axe-wielder already 20 songs in to a 'Blunderbuss' follow-up

Surprising no one, Jack White says that he's already knees deep into making a new solo album, the follow-up to 2012's "Blunderbuss."

Talking to BBC 6 Music, the Third Man Records founder and current Grammy nominee said “I’m writing a lot of songs for another record… I have over 20 tracks I’m working on right now.”

America will be hearing a bit more from White this coming weekend, as he hits the stage for the 2013 Grammy Awards in support of his three nods at this year's ceremony, including Album of the Year.

White also revealed in his interview this week that 25,000 blues tracks originally released on Document Records are going to be remastered and reissued on Third Man Records. That's a lot of tracks, maybe even more than he's produced in the last two years. BAH-ZING.

Read Full Post