Yesterday, we brought you the first installment of our two-part VH1 Album-Versaries: The Low End Theory at 20, reflecting on A Tribe Called Quest’s ground-breaking second album, The Low End Theory. After assembling all four group-members in a joint-interview for the first time in almost fourteen years, we were able to share exclusive stories from their recording sessions at Battery Studios and, with help from hip hop expert Sway, cultural critic extraordinaire Nelson George, and international journalist Boss Lady, lauded the album’s effortless ability to resonate with the masses. In today’s Part II, we delve further into The Low End Theory’s sonic framework, the roles of MC Phife Dawg and Q-Tip, and come full circle to set the group’s highly-speculated relationship issues straight.
THE HIP HOP BEATLES
“Coming off the first album, the question was ‘well, what does HE do?’” recalls Phife, hyper-aware of what listeners thought of his seemingly-small contribution on the group’s debut project. Often referred to as his lyrical coming out party, The Low End Theory truly did give Phife the platform to hunker down and fully transition from (what Jarobi would describe as) being “young and crazy” to a focused, rhyme-writing, studio-attending MC. His high-pitched, witty lyrics complimented Q-Tip’s smooth vocal delivery, and Phife wound up on 9 of the album’s 14 tracks, a drastic and well-deserved upgrade from the four he appeared on with People’s Instinctive Travels’.
There’s more! Follow along to read the conclusion of VH1 Album-Versaries: The Low End Theory at 20.
50 Cent Changes His Movie’s Name After Chinua Achebe Protests
50 Cent‘s new movie just got a namechange thanks to a critically lauded Nigerian novelist. Chinua Achebe, author of 1958′s English-language riposte to Joseph Conrad, Things Fall Apart, threatened legal action against 50 Cent, whose new film has the same name, and turned down a $1 million settlement offer. Considering that the idiom comes from a Yeats poem, the novelist’s case isn’t necessarily that strong, but “Got sued by Chinua Achebe” is probably not something 50 Cent wants on his resume, so the movie is now titled All Things Fall Apart. (Sidenote: Does this mean Achebe is a Roots fan?) [The Guardian]
Kelly Clarkson, Florence And The Machine Album Details Surface
Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger has a tracklisting (and at Popdust, Katherine St. Asaph speculates which tracks might correspond with which leaked demos). Florence & The Machine also have an official tracklisting and album art for sophomore album Ceremonials, and second track “Shake It Out” has apparently leaked.
As the Red Hot Chili Peppers release their tenth studio album this week, we can’t help but
daydream ruminate about how much of a sex symbol frontman Anthony Kiedis was—who could forget the sock?!—and still is. Time has been kind to Mr. Suck My Kiss, and he is definitely not alone in that regard; there’s an entire legion of men in music whose good looks and sex appeal have fermented in the manner of a perfectly-mature wine.
Whether you grew up with one of their faces taped to your Trapper Keeper or you’re old enough to be their mom, there’s a hunk on this list for you. From rock to hip hop, songwriters to bass players, we’ve got Arena Gods, men who are Good With Their Hands, Smooth Operators, International Flavors, and like the Chili Peppers’ singer, Spicy Sex Symbols. Keeping it simple, we’re celebrating the 45 to 70-year-old vintages by exhibiting their physical evolution through their respective careers. You’ll be taking in images from when they got their start, their “middle years,” and how they look in the present. Take a moment to step into the wine cellar and relish in each man’s beauty of the past and, at the end,toast to their continued maturing in the future by weighing in on who you think has aged best. Apologies in advance for the ladyboners!
The Beatles‘ last public performance, on the roof of 3 Savile Row on January 30, 1969, has become iconic since being included in the Let It Be film, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are the latest to pay homage to the Beatles’ performance, in the Marc Klasfeld-helmed video for “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie.” It takes more than just a rooftop and a PA to make a truly iconic rooftop performance, and five have stood above the rest; we’ve listed them chronologically. Check them out, and let us know in the comments if you think Kiedis and co. measure up!
1987: U2, “Where The Streets Have No Name”
U2 were deep in Beatle-appreciation mode when they shot the video for “Where The Streets Have No Name” on a roof in Los Angeles, at the corner of Seventh and Main, which a radio announcer in the video describes as “not one of your more fun neighborhoods.” (Oh, 1987.) The video is a pretty direct homage, down to the shots of police trying to shut the performance down, though Bono looks less like a Lennon and more like an Eddie Vedder style icon. On U2′s tour that same year, the band covered “Helter Skelter,” which Bono introduced, (as heard on live album Rattle and Hum,) “This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. We’re stealing it back.”
Get More: Gym Class Heroes, Top 20 Countdown, Stereo Hearts, Music Videos
Currently creeping its way up the iTunes and pop radio charts, Gym Class Heroes’ debut single off of The Papercut Chronicles II now has a video! After a three-year hiatus, Travie, Disashi, Eric and Matt are back at it with “Stereo Hearts,” attempting to tug at our heartstrings via the alternative hip-hop sound that first met our ears on “Cupid’s Chokehold” in 2006, a video which included a then-unknown Katy Perry. In this Top 20 Video Countdownpremiere video, the band’s shadows come alive and help bring to life their sonic palate, ever-present while the clip incorporates imagery that spans breakdancing and The Beatles‘ Abbey Road references.
Front man Travie McCoy’s verses on “Stereo Hearts” sort of remind us of a 2011 take on 50 Cent’s “21 Questions,” gauging a lover’s loyalty, but doing so while feeding the stereo/love analogy that’s sweetly woven into the song. And even though we’re talking about boomboxes here, Maroon 5′s Adam Levine is transmitted through television screens in the window of a pawn shop in the vid, singing the chorus that will most assuredly get stuck in your head. With the sun shining brightly and leaves on the ground, this visual is seasonally appropriate and perfect for the transition from summer to autumn, the latter of which is precisely when their fifth studio LP drops.
Sorry, Michael! The doggone #1 spot is mine!
Following last May’s update to their list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” Rolling Stone will be issuing an update to the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,” originally published in two parts in separate issues of the magazine in 2004 and 2005.
UPDATE: The Beatles Shop is here! Pre-order ‘The Beatles: Rock Band’ and buy the entire digitally re-mastered Beatles CD catalogue one month before the worldwide release! CLICK HERE TO START SHOPPING!
The Fab Four sparked the British Invasion when they hit American shores in 1964 and nearly half a century later they’re taking over VH1 Classic in “The Beatles Shop On VH1 Classic,” set to air August 9 at 9PM EST and August 10 at 3AM and 5PM EST.
This on-air extravaganza will allow fans to pre-order what will surely be two of the year’s most coveted releases in music and gaming, including The Beatles: Rock Band and the entire digitally re-mastered Beatles CD catalogue. Both items will be released on Sept. 9 and will most likely fly off of store shelves.
Watch the trailer for the new Rock Band to find out why it’s being called “revolutionary,” become a fan of The Beatles: Rock Band on Facebook, follow The Beatles: Rock Band on Twitter, and read a list of all Beatles-related goodies that will be available for purchase after the jump.
Fans of the Fabs now know that the Beatles catalog is going to be digitally remastered and placed in stores this September, 9/9/09 to be exact. From “I Should Have Known Better” to “Carry That Weight,” all those jewels are going to gleam.
But 9/9/09 is big – make that massive – in the gaming world, too. The Beatles: Rock Band will be released that day. It’s the first time that rock’s most influential songbook has been applied to a game. The opportunity to grab an instrument and knock out everything from “I Feel Fine” to “Get Back” is going blow a lot of minds. Paul, Ringo, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison helped tell the world at the E3 confab last week. As you can see from above, VH1 News was there.
Perhaps the coolest part about the game is its authenticity. The instruments are superb replicas of the signature basses and guitars the band played. The “venues” that participants rock out in are the ones the Beatles actually played, from the Cavern Club to Shea Stadium.
We’ll deliver more Beatles: Rock Band news as it’s announced. CHECK A GAMEPLAY TRAILER
It’s Friday, which means it’s the perfect day to enjoy this video of a tiny baby holding a guitar and busting out The Beatles song “Hey Jude.” We have no idea how the kid, named Hero, has such a good grasp on the lyrics at such a young age, but it’s a pretty solid rendition coming from someone still in diapers. Most importantly, it’s straight up adorable. Enjoy.
You’ve got Dewey Cox tripping through all the rock ‘n’ roll eras, from the Elvis and Buddy Holly days to the Beatles and the Maharishi daze. You got Joy Division‘s Ian Curtis making some of the most gorgeous gloom ever concocted before offing himself. And you’ve got 18-20 versions of Bob Dylan bouncing around in Todd Haynes‘ I’m Not There. All sorts of music took over the screens last year. Romp through our flipbook and see if there’s a story you missed.