Rick Ross: Gentleman Rap Boss Devin Friedman admits that he’s “basically eating out of [Rick Ross's] hand” for the majority of his time with the rapper, but manages some good insights (e.g. “Rick Ross is always both inside and outside a joke he’s making about hip-hop music”) and many more entertaining observations about the kindly boss, whom he describes as “the fat black McConaughey,” in his profile for October’s GQ. [GQ]
Complex On Kreayshawn In Brief Ernest Baker‘s profile of Kreayshawn for Complex is less intriguing; luckily for us (and you), Katherine St. Asaph sums it up at Popdust. Key facts: she wants to slap The Game in the face, and she bought that Game Boy Color she always wanted after she got signed. [Popdust] Read more…
Unbroken, Demi Lovato‘s new album, is in stores today, and to celebrate and promote the record, this month’s Posted artist is back in New York City. She played the Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday night, and today she’ll be visiting our offices as today’s episode of The Ellen Show airs (featuring an interview and performance), before appearing on tonight’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. But thanks in part to an enthusiastic crowd of Lovatics outside the ABC studios, Lovato’s appearance on Good Morning America yesterday has made the biggest splash thus far. Nicole Jamesgushed about the appearance for MTV’s Buzzworthy blog this morning, and below the jump you can see the interview with Robin Roberts, and her performance of “Skyscraper,” for yourself. And don’t forget to stay tuned for our exclusive coverage of her visit to VH1 today, and her own missives via Posted. Read more…
Rihanna‘s work ethic of late is astonishing. The 23-year-old vocalist is currently preparing the release of her sixth studio album—her third in three years—and announced the title of its lead single, the Calvin Harris-produced “We Found Love,” yesterday evening on Twitter, prior to its radio premiere on Friday. Meanwhile she’s six singles deep into 2010′s eleven-track Loud—seven if you count “Raining Men,” released to radio in 2010 but lacking enough traction to even garner a music video—without the aid of a deluxe reissue (Beyoncé, we’re looking at you) nor a holdover EP (Lady Gaga‘s The Fame Monster, Ke$ha‘s Cannibal (which is actually better than Animal), both “halves” of Justin Bieber‘s debut “LP”). And she’s featured on Nicki Minaj‘s current single “Fly,” and “Princess of China” on Coldplay‘s upcoming Mylo Xyloto.
Certainly, this constant stream of productivity has allowed the Bajan singer to achieve the pop-cultural ubiquity that is apparently a competitive necessity of late without having to resort as often to the more annoying types of promotional tricks. (In this she can perhaps be matched only by her friend Katy Perry.) But her decision to release a full-fledged followup to Loud sets her apart in particular. Rihanna has used the stopgap approach before, reissuing 2007′s Good Girl Gone Bad after a year to extend its run of singles with “Take A Bow” and “Disturbia.” And 2009′s Rated R under-performed, so the decision to record a new LP (Loud) rather than a reissue was practically a foregone conclusion. Read more…
Selena Gomez and the Scene‘s second When The Sun Goes Down single “Love You Like a Love Song” may have been released over three months ago (appearing briefly on our Song Of The Summer charts in July), but Gomez and band proved it’s still got promotional legs yesterday on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. After the performed self-absorption that was Simon Cowell‘s guest interview (featuring a reiteration of his on-camera grievances with Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger for the benefit of the Tonight Show audience) the electro-pop throwback (a friend of mine likened it to a lost Olivia Newton-John single) was quite refreshing. Though the limitations of television make the song’s appeal feel more rooted in the talents of teenpop songwriters-of-the-moment Rock Mafia, Gomez nevertheless acquits herself well.
John Mayer Delays Album, Cancels Performances
This weekend John Mayer took to his Tumblr to announce that, as a result of a granuloma, he has been unable to sing, either to lay down the final vocal tracks for his upcoming album Born and Raised (thus delaying its release until 2012) or to perform at the iheartradio Music Festival in Las Vegas or with Tony Bennett in Los Angeles. We wish him a quick recovery. [Tumblr]
Best Coast: “Planet Rock is the best VH1 Rock Doc ever”
Straight from Best Coast‘s Twitter to your eyes. She’s not the only one raving, either. You’ve got at least one more chance to watch or DVR it: tomorrow at 11:00AM ET. And don’t miss the exclusive bonus interview clips. [Twitter] Read more…
If you thought the Foo Fighters didn’t hold onto the costumes they used for their goofy tour-launch video “Hot Buns,” you don’t know the Foo Fighters. The band discovered that the Westboro Baptist Church had added their St. Louis, MO show Friday night to the increasingly bizarre list of protest sites, and they reprised their gay-trucker roles in a flatbed performance of a song apparently called “Keep It Clean,” which after a brief (and tame) vignette about a homosexual encounter, broke into a chorus singing the praises of tolerance (and its inherent American-ness). Fred Phelps‘s church members didn’t exactly need the band’s help to look foolish and intolerant, but we’re always in favor of Pat Smear wearing a fake mustache.
As we all know, the Internet began as military research, spread to the academic world, and eventually reached hundreds of millions of users on its way to transcending technology and becoming an art form with its apotheosis, the animated gif. But what if one was to curate a series of animated gifs—not spacially, as with a gif wall, but temporally? Los Angeles-based house musician Magic Machines has answered this pressing question with the music video for “Hey Mister,” which features nearly four minutes of animated gifs, end to end, synchronized to the beat of his pounding, Deadmau5-y house single. We take exception to the claim that these are “the best GIFs ever” but that’s not going to stop this from totally blowing up the Coding Soundtrack room on turntable.fm.
Autumn weather may be in full swing, but this weekend, 70,000 music fans flocked to the musical (and actual) capitol of Texas for one last burst of summer: the 2011 Austin City Limits Festival. Over a hundred artists played on one of the festival’s eight stages, and VH1 photographer Julie Ruiz was on site, following the sounds and snapping pictures of Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, and seventeen others—including three of the can’t-miss sets we recommended. Before this weekend, we thought we were all festival-ed out, but looking at this gallery gives us all-too-fresh pangs of jealousy.
The long-awaited sixth studio album from No Doubt won’t be arriving in 2011 as planned. The band announced on Wednesday that despite their best efforts, their month in Jamaica—spent recording final versions of demos originally put to tape in Los Angeles, plus writing new songs—had not been enough time to complete the album. In their announcement, the band explained, “We don’t want to rush this album just to get it out. This collection of songs means everything to us and our only priority right now is to make sure that it’s the best album we can possibly make. There is still more work for us to do.”
The band didn’t announce a new timetable, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the album came out by April 2012. Just two days after the band’s news update, Hits Daily Double reported, at the end of a piece about the decline of new rock, that No Doubt was one of two top-billed rock bands already booked for 2012′s dual-weekend Coachella (the other was Radiohead). The band has not confirmed this news, but it would explain the timing of their delay announcement; an official delay is certainly more palatable with an upcoming festival appearance. The band is a good draw for Coachella thanks to their enduring fanbase—for proof, see the success of their headlining tour in 2009—which also means that they can afford to perfect their new album (their first since 2001′s Rock Steady). Whatever the case, we’ll likely be seeing plenty of No Doubt next year.
Labor Day may have come and gone, but the equinox isn’t until September 23, so this weekend Austin City Limits will just squeak by with the last festival of the summer. Normally before big festival weekends we try to narrow down the best option when multiple must-see bands play at the same time on different stages, but the ACL 2011 schedule is pretty well-spaced, besides which we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the big names based on their performances at other festivals this summer (like Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza). In short: be sure not to miss Arcade Fire, closing out Sunday night, and be sure to see at least one of the two headliners on Friday (Coldplay and Kanye West) and Saturday (Stevie Wonder and My Morning Jacket). All five sets promise to be thrilling. But let’s talk about some other acts that can’t be missed.