Two of the music world’s biggest stars, Kanye West and 50 Cent, went at it old school in a battle of words over whose new album – both of which dropped on September 11th – would sell more records. The guys threatened a televised debate over whose album was better, and 50 even claimed that he’d retire from making albums if Kanye beat him with a bestseller, saying “They would like to see Kanye West give me a problem, because I’ve worked myself into a space where I’ve become the favorite. Everybody roots [for] the underdog when he goes against the favorite.” In the end, Kanye kicked Fiddy’s ass, but not before a Rolling Stone cover of the two cemented their feud as a fan favorite. And even though 50 eventually called it out as a stunt, their battle brought some of the fun, the spunk and the street back to an industry saturated with songs about bling, boobs and Bentleys.
If you were too busy stuffing your face with junk to stuff your brain with gossip and entertainment news over the past few days, have no fear: we’ve rounded up the biggest pop-culture stories that happened over the long weekend. The following is all you need to know about what happened when you were on holiday or just too lazy to turn on the computer:
Jay-Z Quit Def Jam – Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Jay-Z came to day, “Beyoncé, with your nose so bright…” Kidding! But Jay really did announce on the 24th that he’s leaving his post as president of Def Jam. There wasn’t much by way of explanation: in the vague wording of his official statement, he’s looking to “take on new challenges.” Bizarrely, he plans to keep recording for the label. If his history with retiring is any indication, expect him back in that leather seat and chomping on a cigar within a year’s time. [E! News]
Katherine Heigl Married – Bland led the bland as the world’s most inexplicable movie star met her singing, songwriting beau Josh Kelley at the aisle Sunday in Park City, Utah. And when they get divorced it will be just as uninteresting! [People]
Lindsay Lohan Turned Out To Be a Sex Addict - I knew she was too good in I Know Who Killed Me to be acting! [News of the World]
Michelle Rodriguez Spent Christmas in Jail – At least someone would have her over. [Us Weekly]
A Woman Was Arrested for Taking a Picture of R. Kelly in Court - And then he peed on her. [Yahoo!]
Will Smith Maybe Said Something Questionable About Hitler…? – On the goodness of human nature, Will Smith reportedly told a Scottish paper: “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘Let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good’. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming.” So, maybe it was foolish of him to attempt to get into Hitler’s brain in the first place, but whatever — he didn’t say that Hitler was good, he said that Hitler was deluded. The distinction was, apparently, lost on the Jewish Defense League who said that Will’s words “spit on the memory of every person murdered by the Nazis.” O RLY? The outcry caused Will’s rep to proclaim the allegations “a lie.” “It speaks to the dangerous power of an ignorant person with a pen.” So, wait, he didn’t say that, then? Sorry, I can’t hear anything over the Christmas carols and rustling of wrapping paper. [TMZ.com]
Britney Spazzed at the Paparazzi – For some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For others, it’s just business as usual. [TMZ.com]
[Image credit: Getty]
Famous people say the darnedest things, and this year was no exception! We’re honoring the craziest sh*t to come out of their restylane-enhanced mouths this year, and bringing you our fifteen favorite celebrity quotes of 2007.
- “Big, fat, lesbian, loud Rosie attacks innocent, pure, Christian Elisabeth.” - Rosie O’Donnell, during her final fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck before quitting The View.
- “Dogfighting is a terrible thing…” - Michael Vick, reading a statement after pleading guilty to federal charges of dog fighting.
- “It was just crazy—one of the most terrifying moments of my life. I don’t know how to explain what happened. I don’t really know myself. I can’t remember what I looked like. I couldn’t recognise myself. It was terrifying—I was terrified. I was so out of control. It just happened. It shocked me. I’m sorry—I just don’t know what got into me.” - Amy Winehouse, describing her summer drug binge and overdose.
- “You’re a thoughtless little pig.” - Dad of the year Alec Baldwin to his 12-year old, in the venomous voicemail heard around the world.
- “They say when you reach a crossroad or a turning point in life, it really doesn’t matter how we got there, but it’s what we do next after we got there. Usually you arrive there by adversity, and then it is then and only then that we find out who we truly are and what we’re truly made of. It’s a process, a gift and a journey, and if we can travel it alone, although the road may be rough at the beginning, you find an ability to walk it. A way to start fresh again. It’s neither a downfall nor a failure, but a new beginning.” - Paris Hilton, reading some of the stunning prose she wrote while behind bars for three weeks.
No matter how many times Lindsay left rehab or how many tears Paris shed in prison, 2007 belonged to Britney Spears. And nothing – NOTHING – solidified her complete transition from teen star to train wreck more than her botched performance at the MTV VMAs in September. The sequined bikini, the dead look in her eyes, her stumbled dance moves and half-assed attempt at lipsyncing all sealed the deal. It was truly too much for most people to stomach. The whole world was rooting for a comeback, and well – we got one. After that five-minute mess, the world gave up on Britney because Britney gave up on Britney. And that, my friends, should be a used as a lyric in a song on her next album, permitting that she actually gets out of her Frappu-coma and heads back into the recording studio.
You were there through the bad driving, the head-shaving and the Criss Angel thing. It’s been a tough year for our girl. No one could have imagined a mere 12 months ago that she’d create such glorious new nonsense every week. Some of the craziness escapes you? Come back every day: We’re counting down the events that made up the Year in Britney.
October 3 – Loses Mind, Babies – After a three-hour hearing where both Brit and K-Fed were present, primary custody was awarded to Federline, while Spears received monitored visitation. In order to regain custody privileges, Spears would have to obtain a California driver’s license, attend parenting classes with Federline and submit to drug tests. The judge warned Spears to take his threats seriously. [MTV News]
October 5 – Nobody’s Home — Just two days after the custody hearing wherein Federline was awarded full custody, the singer’s erratic behavior – and a broken intercom – caused her to miss her initial visit with her sons Jayden James and Sean Preston. Spears had initially planned to have her sons visit her at the Beverly Wilshire, then changed the location to her Malibu manse so as to make them more comfortable. The kids returned to Federline after several attempts to reach Spears, who was said to be inconsolable. [DListed]
October 26 – “Snort it, eat it, lick it…” – At the follow-up custody hearing where Spears hoped to regain partial custody of her children, television correspondents inquired how the proceedings were going. Initially Spears responded that things were “great,” then burst into a Tourette’s-type rage and shouted, “Snort it, eat it, lick it, f*ck it.” [OK! Magazine]
October 29 – Blackout, Indeed – Without irony, Britney names her first studio album in four years Blackout. The name is intended as a message to ward off all the harm-wishers and haters who’d like to see the one-time Queen of Pop fail. The album, in addition to topping the charts, enrages the Catholic community, as it features shots of Ms. Spears seated on an attractive young priest’s lap. [NY Daily News]
October 30 – Everyday is Halloween, Even Halloween – In a bizarre turn of events, Britney ventures out for Halloween, just like unfit mothers around the globe. But they typically only have one costume. Apparently our girl spent over $1,000 on seven different get-ups. First up, Brit hit Winston’s as a slutty pirate wench, but quickly tired of the costume. Instead of leaving, she chatted up the bartender, stating “You have nice tits. Mine are all saggy!” before demanding the bartender switch outfits with her. The following evening Britney was spotted out in her magenta cat-suit. [OK! Magazine]
Late this summer Vanessa Hudgens taught all of young Hollywood an important, valuable lesson – don’t take photos of yourself naked when you’re the star of a show beloved by billions of five-year olds. But honestly, we’re REALLY glad she did, because she made our summers that much sexier and entertaining! The up and coming starlet took the pics for one of her teen boy toys (either Drake Bell or Zac Efron) and the incident almost got her booted from the cast of the upcoming High School Musical 3. But all it took was a statement through her rep to make it all go away. She said, “This was a photo which was taken privately. It is a personal matter and it is unfortunate that this has become public.”
No it’s not. It’s awesome, and it made 2007 infinitely better. In a year where Paris Hilton got licked up and Nicole Richie knocked up, it was a relief to discover which hot young thing was taking control of the Hollywood scandal scene.
NAKED PHOTOS! Vanessa Hudgens!
As 2007 dwindles down, we look back at our favorite tracks. For each of the past three Tuesdays, we’ve sung the praises of the 20 songs that made our year. See what made the cut, and let us know what you think of our choices.
Kanye West, “Stronger” from Graduation (ROC-A-FELLA)
Based around Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” West’s top-charting single from his third album is part dance, part Nietzschean manifesto. Slamming together beats and rhymes in a furious display of his pop-star prowess, the producer-cum-rapper explains in no uncertain terms why he is the best thing to ever happen to music in the history of everything. Yes, some of the references are awkward, but his savvy wit and deep knowledge of the news of the day serves him well; any song that manages to somehow fit Kate Moss, O.J. Simpson, Isotoner gloves, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, A Bathing Ape, Prince and Apollonia into even a loose rhyme scheme is impressive. The video, which stars actors wearing Daft Punk’s robot suits and West’s post-post-modern fashion sense (Jeremy Scott sunglasses, Akira apparel), is the true star here, though, since it manages to both produce a vaguely coherent narrative and look extremely cool. Blame West’s fascination with Japanese art: His love of underground Japanese cultural lodestone Nigo (an artist, musician, clothing designer and all-around cultural kingpin) and artist Takashi Murakami have added up to something new entirely. Where the Wu-Tang were once fascinated by Bruce Lee, West has updated hip-hop’s not-so-latent orientalism. He wears it well.
Spoon, “Finer Feelings,” from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (MERGE)
It seems Spoon saved the best for almost-last when they placed “Finer Feelings” as the penultimate track on Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. While the song traffics in many of the things the Austin quartet have been doing best for over a decade (bright, spiky indie pop with a dollop of barely concealed contempt from too-cool frontman Britt Daniel), it also comes with a few new features. Starting with a sample from Mikey Dread, a collaborator of known Spoon-influence the Clash, Daniel launches into what might be his most personal song to date, a portrait of the artist as a young man: “I was part-time at the Tasty Prawn/ That and moving furniture and cutting lawns/ Covered in newsprint, staying up real late/ Just holding out for some fate.” The band then devolves into a melodic cacophony, an interlude straight out of the “Day In The Life,” playbook, all ricocheting guitar, Motown bassline and what sounds like a moaning, slowed-down harmonica. Daniel resorts to a series of “do do do do,” so as not to detract from the symphony of detail he’s conjured.
Some gossip stories are too big to forget. We’re counting down the 20 biggest, baddest, and most ridiculous celeb scandals of the year. You’ll get a new one posted every day.
It’s always awkward when someone embraced for their humor goes and does something reallllllllly un-funny, so no one quite knew what to do when Owen Wilson attempted suicide in August. After all, this was the Butterscotch Stallion – that happy go lucky dude with the unsexy nose who had no problem banging Kate Hudson, even if it meant ending her marriage. Following his suicide attempt and a hospital stay, Owen requested privacy and release this statement: “I respectfully ask that the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time.” As rumors of drug addiction swirled, Wilson dropped out of some movies, traveled to South America with Woody Harrelson and currently seems to be healing alongside a bevy of hot blond models. Recovery always looks better when done in Hollywood.
It’s been a long, fascinating year filled with all sorts of pulchritudinous people. Now we want to know what you think: Who’s the hottest of them all? We’ve selected a few of your favorites to compete. First up, the ineffable New York. But what about Jes from Rock of Love? Think she can compete with Kim Kardashian? Or, for that matter, Chris Brown? And last but not least, there’s (unfortunately) nudie cutie, Vanessa Hudgens. Who’s the hottest?
NAKED PICS! Vanessa Hudgens
Rock of Love 2! Meet Bret’s New Girls!
Rock of Love Show Info
New York: Exclusive Interview
Tailor Made: Exclusive Interview
I Love New York 2 Show Info
Kim Kardashians Ass
Is Chris Brown Boning his Manager?
Chris Brown Artist Info
When we think back on 2007, we like to recall happy moments. And none were happier than some of the moments we spent with Tila Tequila. We’ll miss A Shot at Love, but we’ll always have the memories. In fact, we collected a few of those memories below (and after the jump). Finally, something to keep us warm on these long winter nights.