Lil Wayne and Drake

Lil Wayne and Drake are 'Grindin'' on Weezy's new single: Listen

There's a lot of information to take in here

As Lil Wayne and Drake head out on their co-headlining tour, Lil Wayne dropped a new single, “Grindin’,” featuring—Guess who?— Drake. Guess we know what they’ll be performing together on stage.

On the track from “Tha Carter V,” Lil Wayne is ranting about a lot of things here, but especially about guys who are stupid enough to think if they’re monogamous that means their lady is being similarly faithful. And he wants to let us know he’s never paid for sex. TMI

Toward the end, he talks about getting rid of all his cars and watches because he’s learned he doesn’t need them. And his final message to us is “I’m fucking every night up in my new house because bitch, I worked to hard for this new house.”

There’s a lot of boasting going on and precious little catchiness in the monotonous tune. Maybe all the catchiness is up in his new house.

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is trying to tell us something, we're just not sure what it is...

TSwift gives two more clues, but the picture is still murky

Taylor Swift continues to lead us on her own personal scavenger hunt as she drops two more clues, ostensibly about new music, in the past 24 hours.

Earlier this week, she posted a short video on Instagram that featured a finger hitting the button for the 18th floor on an elevator and labeled it Clue No. 1.

Yesterday, she added  an adorable photo of her Scottish fold cat— named Olivia Benson, by the way — and a Polaroid camera on a shelf, as well as a hand drawn and colored card on the upper shelf that is mainly decipherable, but includes the New York skyline and the words friends and delightful home. The time of the photo is 5:00.

For Clue No. 3, dropped a few hours ago, it gets even more cryptic: It’s simply a screen shot of the Yahoo logo with “this is clue # 3.”

So my guess is she’s premiering her new single on Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. on Yahoo.  Or Colonel Mustard did it in the library with the candlestick.

The one thing we know for sure, more clues will be forthcoming.

 

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Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan reunites on 'The Daily Show' and takes roll call

Watch their performance of 'Ron O'Neal'

With the obvious exception of dear departed Ol Dirty Bastard, the entire Wu-Tang Clan reunited on “The Daily Show” last night to celebrate their 20th anniversary and because nothing brings old band members back together like a new album to promote.

All nine surviving members, including RZA, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, GZA,  and longtime hold-out Raekwon, performed “Ron O’Neal” from the November release, “A Better Tomorrow,”  as well as Wu-Tang chestnut, “Triumph.” It’s worth watching the video just for the act’s intro and to meet a new surprise member.

Raekwon, who told Rolling Stone in April that he wouldn’t be part of the new project because of business differences (as opposed to the usual creative differences), explained his change of heart—kind of— to Jon Stewart by comparing himself to an athlete:

“I consider this a sport," Raekwon said. "I think it's important as an athlete of music to make sure that you've got your business together, make sure you feel happy in whatever you want to do. You just want to feel good about it and at the end of the day you've gotta have your i's dotted and your t's crossed in business, because we have families…so if I'm not gonna see my children and I'm out here doing a job, I think it's important for me to go out there and do what I say I'm going to do, get back home to them and then hit up Disneyland."

Ghostface Killah said any reservations he had about returning were alleviated by RZA . “As soon as [RZA] said we’re coming back to do a 'A Better Tomorrow,” I’m always with it,” he said. Despite having some concerns about making sure all the business affairs and logistics were in order {are you sensing  a theme?], he’s a team player once he’s on board. “I’ll take one for the team, I don’t have a problem with that.”

At the end of the day, RZA said the state of the Wu Tang union is solid. “Wu-Tang, we have something in common with each other — a brotherhood, a respect. And when we said 'a better tomorrow,' we're starting to make a better tomorrow for ourselves, but also to inspire a better tomorrow for the world."

While “A Better Tomorrow” will be available for the world to hear, as we previously reported, Wu-Tang has also been recording a double album, “The Wu —Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” that they will only press one copy of and sell to the highest bidder  (and also tour the album in its engraved gift box) to galleries and museums because they're givers.

 

 

 

 

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Beyonce

Beyonce set to perform at MTV VMAs and receive Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award

Bey is most nominated artist with eight noms

Beyonce knows she’ll go home with at least one award at Aug. 24’s MTV Video Music Awards.

The superstar will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which honors artists for their innovative body of visual work. Past recipients include Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Peter Gabriel, R.E.M. and the award’s namesake.

Beyonce will have to wait until the actual awards show, which will be held at the Forum in Los Angeles, to find out if she wins any of the other eight MoonMen for which she is nominated. She leads all nominees with nods in such categories at video of the year, best female, and best choreography.

Beyonce, who finished the North American leg of On The Run tour with husband, Jay Z, last night, will also perform on the VMAs. Other artists signed on to appear include Taylor Swift, Usher, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Ariana Grande.

MTV posted a series of Bey-GIFs related to today’s news, which is worth the 60 seconds it will take to scroll through them for the Tina Turner-like hair flip in the next to last  GIF alone.

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Magic!

Magic's 'Rude' makes it four weeks at the top, fending off Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me'

Jessie J, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande announce their presence with 'Bang Bang'

 

Magic’s “Rude” continues to cast a spell over the Billboard Hot 100 as the breakthrough song by the Canadian quartet spends its fourth week at No. 1.

With all due respect to Magic, the real news this week is that “Bang Bang,” from Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, zooms onto the chart at No. 6. Minaj is the hardest working woman in show business right now. She also has the “Flawless” remix with Beyonce (which could enter next week) and her own single, “Anaconda.”

It’s Ladies Week on the chart as the other new entry into the Top 10 is Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” which skyrockets 28-8.

Filling in the rest of the Top 10, Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” rises 3-2 and has a decent chance at dislodging “Rude,” next week, according to Billboard.  The tune trades places with former chart topper “Fancy,” by Iggy Azalea, featuring  Charli XCX.

Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz stay at No. 4 with “Am I Wrong,” and Ariana Grande’s “Problems,” featuring Azalea hangs out at No. 5 (meaning she’s got the No. 5 and 6 spots this week).

Maroon 5’s “Maps” notches downward, 6-7, while Sia hangs from her “Chandelier” for one more week at No. 9 and “Latch” by Disclosure, featuring Sam Smith,  falls 7-10.

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Mariah Carey

6 producers who should work with Mariah Carey now that Jermaine Dupri is out

What would it sound like if Rick Rubin produced Mariah Carey?

There’s more chaos in Mariah Carey Land as she and her manager Jermaine Dupri have parted  ways and veteran label executive Kevin Liles is now handling Team Mariah.

As you’ll recall, Dupri was only on board as her official manager since last fall, but he and Carey have a very long history as musical collaborators, going back to 1995’s “Daydream.” He served as executive producer on Carey’s latest set, “Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse," and co-produced five tracks on the album.

As you know, that album continues to circle the drain. It’s worst than if she’d never released an album because she now has this huge commercial failure around her neck. “Mariah” sold 58,000 in its first week of release in May, which was by far her poorest showing in her 25-year career.  It’s a shame because the album, as overstuffed and scattered as it was, had some strong cuts that got thrown out there, but didn't really get their due, like "You Don't Know What To Do," featuring Wale or "Make It Look Good."

But I would never, ever count Carey out. She has too much talent and too much determination. She can rise again. The question is who is the right partner to help her do so.

It’s unclear from today’s news if Dupri will continue working with Carey musically, despite his noting that it’s a possibility in his statement to Billboard about the management shift. It read, in part, “I put my all into every project. But when I’m not allowed to do what I do, then it’s time for me to move on. Mariah and I enjoy working together and will continue to make great music together in the future.” I'm not so sure the first part of that sentence doesn't overrule the second part. Regardless, they may need a break.

So if we take Dupri out of the picture, here are six potential producers for Carey’s next album and what they would bring to the table.

Pharrell: They’ve worked together before, including on 2005’s mega-successful “The Emancipation of Mimi,” when he co-wrote “Say Somethin’,” featuring Snoop Dogg, and co-produced the tune with Chad Hugo, his Neptunes partner-in-crime. Along with his newfound superstar status, Pharrell has become the most mainstream of producers: he makes songs that appeal to tweens and soccer moms and everyone inbetween. Carey’s known for her ballads and they could throw a few on here, but what if they just went for a sunny, upbeat, fun album that showed off her pipes, but also made it all seem effortless?

Don Was: Hey, if he’s good enough for the Rolling Stones, he’s good enough for Mariah, but we imagine him giving Carey the Bonnie Raitt treatment. His work with Raitt on 1989’s “Nick Of Time” catapulted her into stardom after she’d been dropped by Warner Bros. The album went on to sweep the Grammys. Was probably couldn’t get Carey back on the charts, but he could probably nab her some great taste-maker press and some Grammy noms if they made a record with stripped-down production and really confessional, heartfelt lyrics that reflected where she is in her mid-40s.

Dr. Luke: This is the most obvious choice if she wants to try to get back on Top 40 radio, but I don’t think it’s really a good fit. At this point, it would feel like a desperation play by Carey and she’s too good for that.

Dann Huff: Carey has a ragged determination to prove that she’s still street on every album and it’s hard to do that when you’re looking down from the penthouse. She also likes to pair with current hip hop or R&B acts to keep her credibility in those genres. What if she let all that go and just made a contemporary pop album that aimed for AC. Look at what Huff has done with acts like Faith Hill and Keith Urban…or even his work on Whitney Houston’s debut. He’s found a way to highlight their pop sensibilities without sacrificing their personalities. Carey would have to be willing to let go of her R&B side.

Walter Afanasieff: Yep. Take it back to the beginning. Afanasieff was there at the start and the songs the two created from “Vision Of Love” to “Love Takes Time,”  “Dreamlover” and “One Sweet Day,” remain among the best in her catalog. Afanaseiff also co-produced her most notable covers, including “Endless Love,” I’ll Be There,” and “Open Arms.” What if they put together a tasty album of covers? To be sure, the reality of this one is very slim since Carey's ex, Tommy Mottola, got Afanasieff in the divorce, but it's a thought.

Rick Rubin: This would probably be a clash of the titans and we’d never hear what they worked on before it all went down in flames, but Carey may need someone who totally takes the reins, does not let her co-produce and she just sings (and if she wants to, writes). Rubin would be completely in charge of the sound of the record. If we had our druthers, he even choose all the songs.  

Who did I leave out? Who would you like to see produce Carey?

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Stevie Nicks

Listen to Stevie Nicks' confessional new tune, 'The Dealer'

She doesn't play it close to the vest on love song

Stevie Nicks knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. In “The Dealer,” the first single from her new album “24 Karat Gold — Songs From The Vault,” Nicks fires a warning shot to her current lover as she details her wanton past:  “If I’d really known you then/You’d had to watch out.”

In the mid-tempo track, she compares her love life to a card game where she is fully in charge: “I was the mistress of my fate, I was the card shark,” as she looks back with wisdom she didn’t have at the time.

“24 Karat Gold,” out Oct. 7, contains previously unreleased songs written by Nicks between 1969 and 1995. “The Dealer” was written around 1979, according to Rolling Stone, initially for Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” album.

Each song is a love story,” Nicks said in a statement.  “They represent my life behind the scenes, the secrets, the broken hearts, the broken hearted and the survivors. These songs are the memories—the 24-karat gold rings in the blue box.”

She and Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham were over by the time she wrote "The Dealer,"  so any guesses to whom she’s talking in the song?

 

 

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WorldStarHipHop

Russell Simmons signs on to produce movie based on WorldStarHipHop

Popular website draws 30 million uniques per month. Will they head to theaters?


First there was “The Social Network,” which chronicled the birth of Facebook. Now get ready for another movie based on the internet… Ladies and Gentlemen:  prepare for a feature film about WorldStarHipHop.

Russell Simmons has signed on to co-produce  the Paramount Insurge production about the very popular urban culture site, according to Deadline. WSHH features a lot of music videos—it just premiered the new Jeezy “Me OK” clip— but also dedicates a lot of band width to videos of people fighting caught on tape or other “shock” clips. Highbrow, it ain’t, which is probably why it draws a staggering 30 million unique visitors per month.

Ian Edelman, who created former HBO series, “How To Make It In America,” will write the script, which Deadline says is “akin to ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ in tone.”

The movie will begin shooting this fall in New York.

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Disclosure

Disclosure and Sam Smith lock up their 'Latch' performance on 'Jimmy Kimmel'

Compare it with their previous appearance on 'Jimmy Fallon'

Disclosure and Sam Smith reunited last night to play their hit, “Latch” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Six months earlier, they performed the song on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” in their first US TV appearance and before Fallon took over the "Tonight Show" spot. It's  remarkable to see the difference in the ease with which Smith now appears before an audience.

Like the “Fallon” performance, the “Kimmel” performance includes projections of white outlined animated faces, like the ones on Disclosure’s “Settle” album cover and other promotional materials, sang the song along with Smith.

While the appearance is coming a bit late in “Latch’s” life span—the song has been on the Billboard Hot 100 for 19 weeks— the tune is still extremely popular: This week it returned to its previous peak, No. 7, on the Billboard Hot 100. Between Disclosure and Smith’s schedules, it probably took this long to get them in the same place at the same time again. Shame Smith couldn’t have thrown in a little bit of “Stay With Me” at the end. Would that have been so wrong?

Disclosure plays Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park this weekend. Smith recently released the video for new single, "I'm Not The Only One.”

Below are both “Jimmy” performances.


 

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The Civil Wars

The Civil Wars move from 'hiatus' to officially done and dusted

The duo leave us with one last song


Even though they separated more than a year ago, Joy Williams and John Paul White officially announced The Civil Wars’ divorce today. And they gave us all a little parting gift to remember them by to blunt the pain of realizing they are never, ever getting back together.

By the time the duo released its more recent album, “The Civil Wars,” in June 2013, they were already on “hiatus,” so this news comes as a surprise to no one. The Nashville-based duo burned brightly in its short time in the spotlight, winning Grammys for best country duo/group performance and best folk album in 2012 for 2011’s “Barton Hollow.” They also performed with Taylor Swift on "Safe & Sound," a T Bone Burnett-produced track on "The Hunger Games" soundtrack.

In a statement posted on their website, Williams commented, “I am saddened and disappointed by the ending of this duo, to say the very least. JP is a tremendous musician, and I will always be grateful for the music we were able to create together….Looking ahead, I’m excited to share the music that I am writing and recording in the midst of this difficult transition. I’ve loved being back in the studio, and have missed performing live. I look forward to seeing you soon.”

White added,  “I would like to express sincere thanks to all who were a part of the arc of The Civil Wars—from the beginning, to the end, and all points in between. My deep appreciation goes out to all who supported, disseminated, and enjoyed the music. Whatever shape or form the next chapter takes, thanks for being a large part of this one.”

Interesting that Williams threw White a bone there and he felt no need to do the same.

They leave us with their cover of the 1930s classic ditty, “You Are My Sunshine,” which the pair recorded in 2010. It was previously only available as the B-side to the limited edition “Barton Hollow” 7” vinyl release.

 

https://soundcloud.com/thecivilwars/the-one-that-got-away

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