Sabtu, 28 Agustus 2010

MTV News

MTV News

Taylor Swift's 'Mine' Video: The Other Teenage Dream

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 05:30 AM PDT

Taylor's fantasy of marriage and family offers a very different vision from Katy Perry's sexy romps.
By James Montgomery

Taylor Swift and Toby Hemingway in "Mine"
Photo: Big Machine Records

It's interesting that the premiere of Taylor Swift's "Mine" video comes less than three weeks after the grand unveiling of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" clip. For all their differences, they are essentially about the same thing: the fantasies of young, thoroughly modern women.

Of course, those fantasies are about as different as the women presenting them. Perry's "Teenage Dream" is very much about the immediacy of pleasure, of fun and sexy romps on the beach and uninhibited road-trip adventures. Swift's version is quite the opposite: Hers is a dream buoyed by the satisfaction of the long-term, of a doting husband and towheaded children and white picket fences. They are two wildly dissimilar sides of the same coin: Perry wants to be free; Taylor wants a husband. And the one you tend to identify with probably says a lot about you.

To be clear, these certainly aren't the only two avenues available to women (not by a long shot), but if you want to get professorial about things, "Teenage Dream" and "Mine" offer up a rather interesting dissection of feminism in the 21st century. This is not to suggest that Perry or Swift are paragons of the movement, but they are two of the hugest pop(ish) stars on the planet, adored and idolized by millions. And certainly, a portion of those millions are young girls. So, really, there's probably something at stake here.

To that end, while I don't want to wade too heavily into the field of gender politics (these are, after all, just a pair of pop videos), it's interesting — if not sort of disappointing — that neither Perry nor Swift are seen running Fortune 500 companies or piloting Black Hawk helicopters in their videos. Those, it would seem, are Teenage Dreams of a different sort.

Of course, neither option is necessarily bad. Perry is empowered because she is totally unchained, free to pursue whatever (or whomever) she desires. Swift goes the opposite route in the "Mine" video, investing fully in the idea of love and family and the future. There may be bumps along the way — as she sings, there are bills to pay and late-night shouting matches, and suddenly, the big house doesn't seem all that attainable — but she's committed. She's in it for the long haul. It's not a particularly sexy dream, but it's certainly an admirable on, especially in these times.

With "Mine," Swift has basically set herself up as the anti-Perry. And in doing so, she's created a rather interesting counter-proposal to KP's teenage dreams. No one is saying either is wrong, it's just interesting to see two of the biggest female stars with such wildly differing takes on feminism and the future. They are, in essence, presenting two possible paths. A girl's gotta have options, after all.

What did you think of Taylor's new video? Share your review in the comments!

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Ke$ha Does Her Own Stunts In VMA Promo

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 05:00 AM PDT

'I thought I was gonna fall on my head, but I didn't,' the singer says.
By Mawuse Ziegbe

Ke$ha at her 2010 VMA promo shoot
Photo: Kristian Dowling / PictureGroup

Breakout poptress Ke$ha is up for three MTV Video Music Awards and is slated to present an award when the festivities kick off Sunday, September 12, at 9 p.m. The "Tik Tok" singer is sure to fit right in amid the typical VMA rowdiness, and even the promo for her appearance is chock-full of high-flying stunts and other craziness.

"The concept ... is I wake up, like a pimp, and I hear some noise, and there's like a wind coming through my boudoir doors, and I run to see what it is, and I just get shoved out by this gust of wind that's supposedly 'fate,' " Ke$ha said, setting up the clip. "Then, I start falling and falling through ... all of my experiences that got me to this point, which is attending the VMAs."

Creating the illusion of a free fall for the spot required Ke$ha to swing about on a harness, an experience that apparently looks way more fun than it feels.

"I did do all my own stunts today, and my vag hurts," Ke$ha griped. "It was kind of scary, because ... I was flying around." Being suspended may have been a bit harsh on her lady bits, but the singer said she's no novice when it comes to hanging around for her videos. "I have used some harnesses before [on] my video for 'Blah Blah Blah.' ... I'm into it."

Ke$ha may have some experience getting strapped into harnesses, but she also admitted that dangling from the contraption was the hardest part of filming. "I think the harness was scarier, only because it was immensely painful as well, and I couldn't touch the ground," she said. "I thought I was gonna fall on my head, but I didn't."

Ultimately, the "Your Love Is My Drug" singer wasn't sweating any of the potential risks of shooting the promo.

"I was only, like, 12 feet high," Ke$ha said. "Worst-case scenario: I just would have, like, broke an arm."

What are you expecting from Ke$ha's appearance at the VMAs? Sound off in the comments below!

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET. Fans can go to (or text VMA to 97979 if they are Verizon subscribers) to vote for the winners from now through September 12.

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Kanye West Drops 'Monster' Single With Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 08:10 AM PDT

Rick Ross and Bon Iver also appear on the song from West's joint album with Jay, Watch the Throne.
By Mawuse Ziegbe

Jay-Z and Kanye West
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/ WireImage

Kanye West is making good on his word.

The outspoken MC announced Sunday that he'll be dropping a new track every Friday until Christmas with his "G.O.O.D. Friday" campaign. On Friday (August 27), West posted "Monster" on his blog, an eclectic all-star collaboration featuring contributions from Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj.

West collaborator Bon Iver also lends his folky vibe to the track. The Chi-Town lyricist tweeted that the track was the second offering from Watch the Throne, his newly-announced joint album with Jay-Z.

An ominous chorus of distorted vocals opens the track just before Ricky Rozay kicks off his verse over the beat, which is a meaty slice of choppy, drum-driven boom-bap. "Bitch, I'm a monster/ No good bloodsucker/ Fat mother----er/ Now look who's in trouble," Ross spits.

Then Kanye enters the fray: "Gossip, gossip/ N---a, just stop it/ Everybody know/ I'm a mother----in' monster." Yeezy rides the beat with several more hard-hitting, bravado-laden bars, unapologetically feeling himself as he wraps up with "My presence is a present/ Kiss my ass."

Hov abandons his typical crisp, cool lyricism and attacks his verse with a hungry, almost sinister flow. "Sasquatch, Godzilla, King Kong, Loch Ness/ Goblin, ghoul, a zombie with no conscience/ Question: What do these things all have in common?/ Everybody knows I'm a mother----in' monster," Jay rhymes.

Although the track surfaced the same day Minaj tweeted about supposedly marrying Drake, the Young Money Barbie shows no signs of possibly being mellowed by a relationship, delivering a collection of punch lines buoyed by her trademark energy. "Pull up in a monster/ Automobile gangsta/ With a bad bitch that came from Sri Lanka/ Yeah, I'm in that Tonka/ Color of Willie Wonka/ You can be the king but watch the queen conquer," Minaj rhymes.

What do you think of "Monster"? Let us know in the comments below!

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Drake And Nicki Minaj Tweet About Getting Married

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 05:48 AM PDT

'Please refer to @nickiminaj as Mrs. Aubrey Drake Graham,' Drizzy tweets.
By Mawuse Ziegbe

Photo: Michael Caulfield/ WireImage

It seems like two members of the Young Money family just got a lot closer. On Friday (August 27), Nicki Minaj and Drake seemingly announced on their Twitter pages that they are married.

"U scurred? @drakkardnoir u ready to make the announcement or wha?" Minaj tweeted Friday afternoon. Drizzy responded about an hour later with, "Baby I am never scared. PROUD is more the word I would use," before tweeting, "Please refer to @nickiminaj as Mrs. Aubrey Drake Graham and dont stare at her too long. She's finally mine. :)."

The hip-hip diva re-tweeted Drake's missive and added, "Yes, its true. Drake and I tied the knot."

A rep for their label had no comment when MTV News reached out Friday.

Hip-hop heads have speculated about Drake and Minaj's relationship before, and buzz spiked when fans heard a very eyebrow-raising line on Drizzy's "Miss Me" single.

"I love Nicki Minaj/ I told her I'd admit it/ I hope one day we get married just to say we f---ing did it/ And girl, I'm f---ing serious/ I'm with it if you with it/ 'Cause your verses turn me on, and your pants are mighty fitted," the Toronto MC spits.

In June, Drizzy told DJ Envy on MTV2's "Sucker Free Countdown" that he had genuine feelings for Minaj. "I've always really, actually, really had a crush on her, always really loved her, and she's always just looked at me as, like, her little brother," Drake said.

However, Minaj batted away any ideas that Drake is anything more than just her sometime partner-in-rhyme.

"Drake does not have a crush on me," Minaj assured Envy. "Drake knows how to get you guys' attention."

What do you think about Nicki Minaj and Drake tweeting that they are married? Let us know in the comments below!

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Taylor Swift's 'Mine' Recalls Pop-Culture Love Stories

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 05:59 AM PDT

Taylor's flash forward calls up images from 'The Notebook,' Guns N' Roses videos and more.
By Jocelyn Vena

Taylor Swift and Toby Hemingway in "Mine"
Photo: Big Machine Records

Taylor Swift's "Mine" video, directed by Roman White, travels forward in time as it tells a love story from beginning to end. But in its imagery, the clip also goes back in time, referencing some familiar moments in pop culture.

Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You": When Swift's character remembers the fights her parents used to have, her memories mirror Clarkson's attempts to exorcise the demons of her past to find love in her future.

"The Notebook": Granted, any time fans of chick flicks see two good-looking people very much in love, they think of "The Notebook." And like Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, Swift and her love interest, played by Toby Hemingway, spent some romantic time in a boat.

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind": "Mine" plays some head games with its viewers, and fantasy and reality are sometimes hard to distinguish from one another — much like the dreamlike ups and downs of the love affair between Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) and Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) in Michel Gondry's 2004 flick.

"November Rain": The fact that Taylor's wedding scene reminds us of that great scene in the Guns N' Roses video when Stephanie Seymour and Axl Rose emerge from the church is maybe a bit unsettling.

"Love the Way You Lie": Much like in the recent Eminem and Rihanna video, Taylor and Toby have an epic fight in a kitchen. At least they're less dysfunctional than Dominic and Megan.

Britney Spears' Fantasy: Brit's perfume ad features the same "flash into the future" structure after the pop star in question locks eyes with a would-be suitor.

Taylor Swift videos: Yeah, Swift even references herself in "Mine." The video's loose definition of time and space recalls her "Romeo and Juliet"-inspired clip for "Love Story" and her VMA-nominated "Fifteen." This time, however, Taylor's growing up, not looking back.

What pop-culture references have you spotted in Taylor Swift's "Mine"? Talk about it in the comments.

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Kanye West Announces Joint Album With Jay-Z

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 04:38 AM PDT

Chicago MC tweets about dropping a five-song record called Watch the Throne.
By Mawuse Ziegbe

Jay-Z and Kanye West
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/ WireImage

Last week, Kanye West tweeted that he's planning to drop a new song every Friday until Christmas. On the first "G.O.O.D. Friday" (August 27), the lyricist announced he has some other new music coming down the pike: 'Ye said he's teaming up with Jay-Z to release a collabo album.

"Me and jay bout to drop a 5 song album called Watch the Throne," West tweeted. A rep for West didn't respond to MTV News' request for comment by press time.

The announcement comes on the heels of a Jay-Z-assisted remix of 'Ye's "Power" hitting the airwaves. After West announced in an August 11 interview that a revamp of the percussion-heavy track featuring Hov would arrive just two days later, the MC got to work on the collabo.

"He definitely, definitely was focused," producer Swizz Beatz told MTV News about 'Ye's hustle to finish the record, which also boasts vocals from John Legend. " 'Cause when he made that announcement, we didn't have what we had. But you know when something feels right and it's time to let something to go."

Jigga and 'Ye's professional relationship goes back years to when the then-upstart producer furnished the Brooklyn MC with hit tracks like 2001's "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" before eventually signing to his Roc-A-Fella label. Now, both artists are regarded as two of the most high-profile and respected lyricists in the game.

"Jay-Z, Kanye West and Drake," Miami Heat baller Chris Bosh said when pressed by MTV News about his hip-hop dream team. "Easy! Well, just the fact of Jay-Z's longevity. And he can really rap. Some of his stuff from '01 and The Blueprint is stuff I'm just now getting. Like, 'Ohhhh, that's what he meant. OK, I get that line.' He was so far ahead in what he rapped about and what he did. I'm just now catching up. Kanye is super creative in what he can do with the beat machine. And his words, he's more a passionate type of guy."

Are you excited for a Jay-Z and Kanye West album? Let us know in the comments below!

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Lil Wayne's <i>Tha Carter IV</i> Drops The Day He's Released From Prison

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 12:09 AM PDT

Wayne will also headline a homecoming concert the same day, says Young Money's Mack Maine.
By Shaheem Reid

Lil Wayne
Photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

Lil Wayne's Young Money army is loading up and getting ready to unleash a wave of new music toward the end of this year and the beginning of next year. The youngest of the Young Money crew, Lil Twist and Lil Chuckee, are working the Net and the mixtape circuit, as are Jae Millz and Gudda Gudda. Tyga, who's performing shows in South Africa this week, just dropped a video for his Lil Wayne-featured "I'm On It," and of course, his Chris Brown collaboration "Deuces" is an undeniable people-propelled hit. The record was a mixtape song, but through requests and video play on MTV Jams and "106 & Park," it's become a number-one hit.

Young Money president Mack Maine says that Tyga has an official second single coming soon and is hoping the company releases his album before 2010 is over. If not, look for Tyga at the top of 2011.

The biggest Young Money releases this year, of course, are coming courtesy of the leader of the family, Lil Wayne. Weezy has a 10-song project called I Am Not a Human Being that will be released digitally on his birthday, September 27. YM has tentative plans to come right back with more Weezy on November 5. That album, of course, will be his über-anticipated Tha Carter IV, or C4 as it's been nicknamed.

"Tha Carter IV plans we had and still have are to put Tha Carter IV out the day he comes out [of prison]," Mack said Thursday in New York. "He had so many songs for Tha Carter IV, we said let's just put these 10 songs out [on I Am Not a Human Being] and double-back for Tha Carter IV. He has more songs for Tha Carter IV that are still strong."

Mack says that Wayne is deeply involved in Tha Carter IV's song selection process despite currently serving his yearlong sentence on Rikers Island.

"It's basically me, him, Baby and Cortez Bryant mapping it out," Mack explained. "We had a listening session out here. It was me, Baby and Cortez. I let [Wayne] know these are the ones we picked. He already picked six of them from back there. I let him hear it over the phone. I book him a studio session — kinda like I did for the 'Light Up' up remix with Drake. I book him a studio session and let him listen [to tracks] over the phone. 'Do you like this one?' 'Yeah?' "

While Wayne shot a slew of videos for guest spots on other artists' songs and for his Rebirth LP before he went to prison, Weezy did not get to film videos for I Am Not a Human Being or Carter IV, which by no means is stifling plans for the releases. "Right Above It" (originally a track for Carter IV) is the first single for ... Human Being and has been released to radio. Meanwhile, Mack says the camp is thinking about not putting any music from Carter IV out prior to the release. They're toying with the idea of letting the fans be surprised when they purchase the project.

"We might just drop the album that day," Mack said of C4. "Just hope it don't leak out and drop it that day. I think it would be crazy, the anticipation."

Right now, Wayne has a tentative release date from prison of November 5. Not only does Young Money want to drop Carter IV that day, they want to hold a welcome-home concert that night, which Wayne would headline.

"That's where we are aiming for now," Mack explained. "I think the [Madison Square] Garden would be perfect. I wanna keep it Young Money. I think we can hold our own. As far as his set, it would be nice to have features and cameos on his set. As far as who opens for him, it'll be a no-brainer, Young Money could hold it down. Just have the big features on Wayne's set. He's gonna have a show, then go to the studio. I just had a birthday recently. I had four parties for my birthday. For him, it's no telling how that week would go, how that month would go. Five months [would go]. We're gonna party like when Frank came home in 'King of New York.' We're gonna go crazy."

Also in November, the 23rd to be exact, comes Nicki Minaj's debut Pink Friday. Drake is already working on another album as well as a mixtape, and according to Mack, it's "real possible" that Drizzy's sophomore LP will come before next summer.

While Mack has been aggressively carrying out his duties as an executive, let's not forget he's still an artist. He has a new single out called "All in One Swipe" featuring the Birdman, Rick Ross and Chu. Mack's new mixtape and album are currently in production.

This Sunday, MTV Jams will debut Mack's new video "I'm From New Orleans," a collaboration with Lucci Lou and T@, which will be featured during a daylong celebration called "Louisiana Love." On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, MTV Jams is celebrating the life and the strength of the survivors of the hurricane.

What do you think about Carter IV possibly dropping right when Wayne gets out? Let us know in the comments!

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'Black August' Screening Draws Chris Rock, Talib Kweli, More

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 05:48 AM PDT

Veteran journalist Dream Hampton spotlights benefit concert for political prisoners.
By Jayson Rodriguez

Talib Kweli (file)
Photo: Al Pereira/WireImage

NEW YORK — Chris Rock, Talib Kweli and Dead Prez's M-1 were among the attendees of veteran journalist Dream Hampton's screening Thursday night for her documentary "Black August: A Hip-Hop Benefit Concert."

The event, held at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater, showcased the yearly tribute concert that has hosted performers such as Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Common, Dead Prez and David Banner in New York and South Africa.

In her film, Hampton features concert footage and interviews with a slew of activists.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in Brooklyn powers the concerts each year, and in her doc, Hampton seeks to spotlight issues like police brutality and racial injustice. The concert series and the film seek to address awareness about political prisoners, including Mutulu Shakur, the stepfather of late rap star Tupac Shakur.

"I think the cause of political prisoners in the hip-hop community wouldn't be as relevant in the hip-hop community as it is if it wasn't for [the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement]," Kweli says in the film. "And it certainly has a long way to go from 10 years ago, and I think it's more relevant. The bridges that we build in South Africa and Cuba are important. Every year, the show is bigger and better and grander."

Hampton, who has written about hip-hop and culture for The Source and Vibe magazines, among other publications, has labored over the project for years and is finally set to release the project by the end of the year.

The event was sponsored by ImageNation and hosted by M-1.

Are you looking forward to the Black August film? Let us know in the comments!

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DJ AM Remembered At Events Across The U.S., One Year Later

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 01:44 AM PDT

Leonardo DiCaprio, Samantha Ronson and more celebs pay tribute to late DJ at L.A. party.
By Gil Kaufman

Photo: Chris Weeks/ WireImage

As the one-year anniversary of DJ AM's death approaches, a number of celebrity fans gathered at the Trousdale nightclub in Los Angeles on Tuesday night to honor the DJ who was a beloved part of the city's nightlife scene. The party was the first of a number of celebrations in honor of AM (born Adam Goldstein), who died last August of a drug overdose.

According to the Los Angeles Times, among the celebs at the party were Leonardo DiCaprio, Rashida Jones, Samantha Ronson (who spun a bit on the turntables after reportedly visiting ex Lindsay Lohan on the actress' first night back from court-ordered rehab), Stephanie Pratt, actress Meagan Good and of the Black Eyed Peas.

Thursday night also brought a tribute to AM, this time at New York club Santos Party House, with scheduled sets from DJ Premier, DJ Stretch Armstrong, Mark Ronson and Eli Escobar.

On Saturday, the anniversary will be celebrated at the Fast Life in Los Angeles. The event is being sponsored by the retail store, owned by AM's musical partner, Blink-182's Travis Barker. The afternoon gathering will feature sets by DJ Morse Code, DJ Spider and Pase Rock. Attendees can buy a limited-edition DJ AM Mixer T-shirt that will benefit the DJ AM Memorial Fund.

"It's been one year since we lost our friend, so this Saturday we're meeting up at the Fast Life in Los Angeles to commemorate the life of DJ AM and make a contribution to his memorial fund," read a blog post at announcing the party.

Earlier this month, the memorial fund donated money to the Los Angeles branch of the Phoenix House, a residential addiction-treatment facility for young adults, according to TMZ. The cash was aimed at helping buy DJ equipment for the residents, in an effort to inspire them to try their hand at making music.

Goldstein was 36 when he was found dead in his New York apartment last summer of an accidental drug overdose. A recovering addict, AM had worked to help other young addicts overcome their addictions in the MTV series "Gone Too Far," which aired following his death.

AOL Radio is honoring AM by posting the final playlist the DJ created for his AOL Radio station, which includes tunes by Lady Gaga, MGMT, A Tribe Called Quest, Beyoncé, Daft Punk, Girl Talk, Hall & Oates, Jay-Z, Michael Jackson, M.I.A., Rick Ross and the Clash.

Another famous DJ who worked with AM, DJ Jazzy Jeff, was hired by Surrender Nightclub in Las Vegas to pay homage to his pal, but according to reports, promoters pulled the plug early on Jeff during his Wednesday night set. Jeff tweeted about the incident, writing, "Funny when people r having a good time but management isn't..can u say...The Right Party at the Wrong Place...F--- it...AM Lives."

How are you going to mark the anniversary of DJ AM's death? Tell us in the comments.

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Taylor Swift Is 'Growing Into Herself,' 'Mine' Director Says

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 01:26 AM PDT

'She's maturing. She's more confident,' Roman White says of the singer.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Matt Elias

Taylor Swift in her "You Belong With Me" music video
Photo: Big Machine Records

When Taylor Swift burst on the scene several years back as a doe-eyed, blond-haired country/pop ingénue, no one would guess that she would become the international sensation she is today. These days, she sells out shows in the blink of an eye, has an unmatched Billboard track record and wins awards just by showing up to the ceremony. But Swift certainly works hard for it all ,and she's also grown up before our eyes.

She released her first music video for "Tim McGraw" in 2006, and in her clips, she has managed to go from exploring high school romances to getting married and having kids, like in her latest one for "Mine." The video's director, Roman White, said "Mine" shows how much Swift has grown as an artist, a music-video star and a person.

"She's crazy talented. Just to think, to be 20 years old and do all the stuff she's done and write her own music and create these songs that connect with all these people is amazing," he said. "And I think she's growing into herself. She's maturing. She's more confident, although she's always been confident. I think she's growing into herself. She truly knows what she wants to write, what she wants to do, and she's putting it out there. I think the biggest thing is, she's stayed really true. She is exactly what you see. She's that sweet. She's that kind. She really is amazing."

He says that just because she's become an international star doesn't mean she's become a diva. "It's things behind the scenes that you see her do that she doesn't have to do. You see stuff like that, [and] you know she's just this genuinely great person," he explained. "She's just great. I know that sounds cheesy. She's amazing."

And with her new album, Speak Now, ready to drop in October, White thinks it will show fans she really is becoming a woman. "She wrote everything this time, so I know it's very personal to her, and I think it means a lot to her," he said. "It's a part of her journey, and I think she wants it to be out there so everyone else can see how she's evolving, and I can't imagine how stressful that is."

What do you think about Taylor's transition from teen singer to superstar? Let us know in the comments!

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Cee-Lo Reflects On Complex Career: 'I'm A Book, Not A Magazine'

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 03:35 AM PDT

'It is a continuation of the same revolution I have always talked about,' he tells MTV News of his many genres.
By Shaheem Reid

Photo: Gustavo Caballero/ Getty Images

The magical voice of Cee-Lo translates whether he's singing songs that make immediate impact on pop radio like his latest single, "F--- You," or records that capture the hearts of the hip-hop community like his feature on Rick Ross' "Tears of Joy." For the Atlanta legend, he said singing is a perfect way to release his pain and that he will continue to show his versatility.

"It's simple, man. Me and Ross got history. We holla," Lo said about the latter record. "On the few occasions that we've met, it's always love and admiration. To do the record, of course it would have to been the right record. Who would have known 'Tears of Joy' would have been so immediate and apparently urgent of a song? It reverberated immediately. I'm never too quick to say, 'This is a hit record.' I don't even know how to talk like that. Each artistic endeavor of mine has always been an act of faith. I don't really know. I'm only doing what my heart and gut tells me to do. But I already know what comes out my mouth is different. Then again, there's something so signature about the 'Tears of Joy' joint. It reminds you — especially my fellow Southerners — it reminds you of a Goodie Mob record."

When Lo ran into Ross earlier this year in L.A., the Miami kingpin told him about the song he wanted to collaborate on. Ross sent the song off, and in two weeks, it was completed.

"He had verses on it already," Cee-Lo said. "But [the words] 'Tears of Joy' is all I needed. Ross did Ross, which is great. [The song] represents the contrast/contradiction which is life."

Cee-Lo said "Tears of Joy" almost represents a "homecoming" for him in the eyes of some fans to his soulful roots, first introduced with Outkast and his group Goodie Mob. Cee-Lo also argued that he's actually never left those musical beginnings; he's just simply ventured out and experimented on such projects as Gnarls Barkley's two LPs to show his peers and the fans how far hip-hop could go and to express his different sides.

"It is a continuation of the same revolution I have always talked about," he insisted. "It's the fact that people don't know me completely. I'm just now telling you more about myself. I'm a book, not a magazine."

Lo's next album, Lady Killer, comes out later this year, and he's also working on the next album from the Mob.

"The solo album is something completely different," he revealed. "I got that mixtape out there, Stray Bullets, which is a prequel to the album Lady Killer. That's got nothing to do with what I do with Goodie, besides quality. But Goodie, man, that's what 'Tears of Joy' represents. I hope people can see the bigger picture. None of that is lost in me. I ain't got so rich and famous that I separated from the soul. That's me, that's what I'm about. It's on the tip of my tongue at all times. It's people wanting that and needing that, that's all the incentive I need. That's what makes my life worth living, especially when I remember there was time I ain't have nothing constructive to say. So any time I can do it, I feel like I'm further ensuring good favor in my rights of passage, being pleasing in the sight of my maker. It truly means that much to me. My pain runs deep. All of that is behind what I got to sing."

For anyone wondering when Cee-Lo will make a full-throttle return to rapping, he said it will be on the Goodie Mob reunion LP, which doesn't have a release date yet.

"When people be asking why I don't rap no more, it's not that. ... It's gotta come," he explained. "I'mma isolate that to the Goodie Mob. That's all I care to rap about. Rappin' is like a contact sport. It's an attitude. So the only thing I get angry about is the calls [about me not rapping]. That makes me wanna fight. As far as somebody stepping on my shoes, because we standing too close to each other, I don't have that problem. Nobody does what I do. I don't have no conflict. So I can do what eases my mind. I do believe that music is not meant to agitate; it's meant to soothe the savage beast. I'm one of them beasts. It soothes me. I'm impressed, because I can separate myself from it and give credit to a higher power. It ain't really me. To be able to sing is a blessing to me. But really, you hurt so bad, sometimes I can't even rap about it. I gotta sing. That's why it always hurts a little bit no matter what I'm singing. There's pain in it. As far as Goodie goes, I got that. That's all I'm trying to tell y'all."

Lady Killer has a tentative release date in December.

Do you prefer Cee-Lo the rapper or Cee-Lo the singer? Let us know in the comments!

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Taylor Swift Opens Up About 'Mine' Wedding Scene

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 02:42 AM PDT

On a special doc about making the video, Swift also explains why she picked co-star Toby Hemingway.
By Jocelyn Vena

Taylor Swift
Photo: CMT

When fans check out the video for Taylor Swift's "Mine," they will be quick to notice how fetching she looks in a wedding dress. And while she only donned the garment for the clip, directed by Roman White, that scene is what had everyone buzzing long before the video even premiered.

"The video is a story of a relationship," Swift told CMT in the half-hour special that airs Friday night (August 27) at 8 p.m. ET, before the video's premiere on MTV, CMT and VH1. "It really tells the story of these two people and the things that they go through and their life together.

"The wedding scene in the video is the thing that's been talked most about because someone got a picture of it when we were shooting it," she continued, "but I think you'll find there's a lot in the video. That may just be one part of it."

Swift also excitedly dished on her co-star, Toby Hemingway from the upcoming "Black Swan."

"I picked him because he's in one of my favorite movies, 'Feast of Love,' " Swift said.

"In another movie that he was in, he walks onscreen for the first time, and he had a '13' on his sweatshirt, and that's my lucky number," she revealed. "So it really wasn't me that cast him. It was my lucky number."

So far, fans have been eating up the single, causing it to spike to the top of the charts since its leak and subsequent release earlier this month.

"I got on a plane, I landed in Japan, and it was #1 on iTunes. And when I got on the plane, I had no intention of having a single out until two weeks from now," she said. "It just ended up so wonderful, and I'm really appreciative of the fans for jumping right on it."

Swift's fans will have more to be excited about come October, when she releases her album Speak Now.

"I put everything I had into this album for the last two years, so for it to have a great little start, it really makes me happy," she said. "Making this album has been such a wonderful experience, and I'm really excited to roll out the first single and the first video."

Are you looking forward to Taylor's new video? Let us know in the comments!

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Katy Perry Makes Fans 'Want To Jump' At 'Today' Show

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 01:01 AM PDT

Teens, tweens and grown-ups donned blue and green wigs to watch the 'California Gurl' at Roc Center.
By Chris MacAllister

Katy Perry performs on the "Today" show
Photo: Jemal Countess/ Getty Images

NEW YORK — Rockefeller Center was packed full of Katy Perry fans on Friday morning (August 27) to watch the peppy West Coast girl perform on the "Today" show for the latest installment of this summer's Toyota Concert Series. Many donned their colorful wigs to dance and sing along to "California Girls," "Teenage Dream" and a remix of "I Kissed a Girl." And their costumes matched the Candy Land-esque stage, which was populated by backup dancers and Gummi Bears.

"She was awesome, very creative and colorful," fan Amanda Nunnan said after the show.

Perry seemed to have a favorite fan in the crowd, Hayley Solomons, whom she seemed to recognize from an encounter the day before. "Katy Perry gave me this huge lollypop at the concert," the tween said, holding her prize. "She just gave it to me when she had a little break in between the songs!"

One girl in a green wig gushed that the best performance of the morning was "California Girls," and that sentiment was echoed by many of the girls who spoke to MTV News.

"It makes you want to jump!" said one fan.

Morgan Schnee, however, didn't want to discriminate. "I liked all of them equally," she decided.

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VV Brown Nabs 'Degrassi' Cast For Video

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 04:07 AM PDT

'To me, the live show is almost the most important component within my career,' she tells MTV News.
By Joel Hanek

VV Brown
Photo: MTV News

VV Brown has started her career by defying expectations. As a musician, the Brit has toured the world in support of her debut album, which she not only sang on, but also played instruments, produced and wrote. In addition to her music career, the Northampton native has dabbled in everything from modeling to writing comic books. Summarizing her personality, Brown said: "I'm a creative person."

Her eclectic musical background shows how she generated her sound. As a child, she was classically trained as a pianist and learned to sing in her church choir. Later, Brown began playing in bands, and at age 15, she toured Japan with a punk group. A few years ago, she was signed by the same team that brought Amy Winehouse to Island Records.

Although she's been described as everything from retro to indie to doo-wop, Brown said she doesn't want to be boxed in to any particular label and prefers the broader term "alternative pop."

"Whatever I do, there will always be an alternative edge," Brown explained.

Last year, the singer released her debut album, Travelling Like the Light, in the U.K. and is now promoting the U.S. release of the album. The effervescent LP bounces around from '50s swing ("L.O.V.E.") to orchestral-sounding rock anthems ("Back in Time"). One of the album's most popular singles, "Shark in the Water," has been featured on TV shows like "The City" and "Ugly Betty," but fans may have taken notice of her latest video for the song, which features the cast of the newest season of the hit teen show "Degrassi: The Next Generation."

Like many of the songs on Travelling Like the Light, "Shark in the Water" creates the juxtaposition of an upbeat melody providing the canvas for melancholic lyrics: "It's about a relationship when you're anxious about something and something's not quite right. A sense of paranoia," Brown said.

Brown has toured consistently this year, providing support for a diverse group of acts. Earlier this year, she toured the States with Swedish electronic-infused indie outfit Little Dragon then went on to support Pink on the U.K. leg of her Carnival tour. Currently, the singer is accompanying Maroon 5 on their trek to stadiums across the U.S. In her energetic live act, which features a full live band and spectacular hats and masks, Brown sometimes peppers in an unexpected cover, such as Drake's "Best I Ever Had" or Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody."

"To me, the live show is almost the most important component within my career," Brown said, "because it's the opportunity to actually do what this whole thing is about — and that's actually play live music."

After wrapping up her dates with Maroon 5, Brown will embark on her own headlining tour this fall in France.

What do you think about VV Brown? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Eminem's <i>Recovery</i>: What Is The Secret Of Its Success?

Posted: 26 Aug 2010 11:56 PM PDT

Experts point to radio hits and a starved fanbase as the main factors.
By Paul Cantor

Photo: Michael Caulfield/ WireImage

Eminem is dominating the charts like it's 2000 all over again, when his second album, The Marshall Mathers LP, spent eight weeks at the top spot on Billboard's top 200 and went on to sell 9 million copies in the United States alone. His latest LP, Recovery, isn't as big of a blockbuster just yet, but in the current music-industry climate, it's killing.

The album has spent seven non-consecutive weeks at #1, the first hip-hop act to do so since Outkast's double-LP Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in late 2003/ early 2004. A lot of Eminem's chart success can be attributed to a very old-school source: radio hits. His first two singles, "Not Afraid" and "Love the Way You Lie," have been staples on top 40 stations since they dropped.

"Radio still makes hits, and hits make artists relevant outside of their core consumer base," Complex Editor in Chief Noah Callahan-Bever told MTV News. "That's why you see that aberration in Em's sales on Recovery vs. Relapse. To a 16-year-old, Eminem was bordering on being their older brother/ sister's favorite artist, but 'Love the Way You Lie' has not only re-excited Em's existing fans — now mostly in their mid-20s to mid-40s — but reintroduced him to new generation of teenagers for whom Relapse didn't register."

New York Times music writer Jon Caramanica for thinks Em's fanbase has also been starved. In a sense, they've been waiting for something worth buying from him. "Eminem has been around for long enough to develop different pockets of fans: total loyalists, casual listeners, people who like only specific songs or sorts of songs," he explained. "That he's continuing to sell week after week is reflective of the fact that all of these groups don't get activated at the same time. There are still people out there who might buy an Eminem album but haven't, and each week, it seems, a few more do."

But can Em's reign at the top continue? "I believe Em has a couple more weeks on top of the charts, even if he gets knocked out of #1 a few times before October 1st," Vibe Editorial Director Datwon Thomas said. "He has two mega-concerts where he's headlining a hometown show with Jay-Z in Detroit and then opening for Jay-Z at Yankee Stadium in New York. The amount of media and fan fervor for these events alone will spur people to grab both artists' albums from their respective catalogs. [And] if Em can build on that momentum and release another smash of a hit from this album, he'll be OK well into the holiday season."

Working his album through Christmas seems like it might be an option, if only because his record label, Aftermath/Interscope, appears committed to going the whole 12 rounds with Recovery. "Nowadays, [labels] push [albums] until the first-week sales and then generally abandon ship," Callahan-Bever said. "With Recovery, it's clear that Interscope knew they had a record with legs and went out of their way to push it. 'Love the Way You Lie' just connects to people in that really special, emotive way that only one or two pop songs a year do, and that is just undeniable."

Will Eminem rule the charts until Christmas? Let us know in the comments!

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Mark Ronson Working On D'Angelo album

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 02:22 AM PDT

Producer says D'Angelo has been working 'nonstop' on new music.
By Mawuse Ziegbe

Mark Ronson
Photo: Frank Micelotta/ Getty Images

Mark Ronson might be the key to getting some of soul music's notoriously reclusive artists back in the studio. In addition to a June session with Amy Winehouse for her contribution to a Quincy Jones tribute album, Ronson said he's slated to work on new material with R&B artist D'Angelo.

The British producer told Billboard that he was "going into the studio ... to work a bit on his record, and I have equal parts intimidation and awe and excitement."

After releasing two acclaimed albums, 1995's Brown Sugar and Voodoo in 2000, D'Angelo has, for the most part, vanished from the scene, only occasionally dropping vocals on projects like Q-Tip's 2008 album The Renaissance and Raphael Saadiq's 2002 Instant Vintage LP. The singer may have shied away from the limelight in recent years, but Ronson said he's been staying busy. "I know he's been working nonstop. It's not like they've been sitting on their asses."

Ronson also revealed that D'Angelo has been keeping up on music during his hiatus. The singer and multi-instrumentalist, who covered Smokey Robinson on his debut and boasts a repertoire that often references throwback R&B sounds, said he's kept a pair of sonically retro albums in rotation.

"I was pretty much floored when D said that the only two records of the past five to six years that he really listened to a lot were St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley and [Amy Winehouse's] Back to Black,' " said Ronson, who crafted Winehouse's 2007 hit album. "I was like, 'I cannot believe I made something that this guy listened to over and over again and looked to for inspiration.' "

Are you looking forward to a new D'Angelo album? Sound off in the comments below!

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'The Last Exorcism': Four Secrets Revealed

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 02:09 AM PDT

We find out how the film managed to get a PG-13 rating, what special effects were used and more.
By Eric Ditzian

Ashley Bell in "The Last Exorcism"
Photo: Lionsgate

Aside from "The Crazies," a little horror flick in which I happened to have a juicy cameo, "The Last Exorcism" might be the most memorable fright fest of the year.

But that's coming from a person who doesn't really like horror, at least not when it comes to limb-shredding, blood-gushing terror. I want storytelling creativity in my horror, characters I truly want to see survive, some reason to keep watching other than the dull, dumb pleasure-pain of watching other people suffer. That's why I'm a "Last Exorcism" fan.

The film follows Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), a disillusioned preacher and exorcist who hired a documentary crew to expose those who purport to exorcize demons from troubled souls. They head to rural Louisiana, where a young girl (Ashley Bell) is said to be possessed, though Cotton hardly believes any of it. You can, however, bet that things soon turn freaky ... and that not everyone is going to live to see daylight.

I had a lot of questions about how director Daniel Stamm and his filmmaking team — including producer Eli Roth — pulled everything off, and Stamm, a German newcomer to the Hollywood scene, was happy to oblige in a recent conversation. Here are four "Last Exorcism" secrets revealed.

They Made No Cuts to Get a PG-13 Rating
After taking in a screening last week, I was shocked to realize the film wasn't rated R. It was just too scary to think otherwise. Yet it's actually PG-13, owing to a lack of foul language and very few bloody moments. But did Stamm have to cut anything out to get that rating? Turns out, they didn't have to make any changes.

"We never shot for any particular rating," Stamm explained. "I shot what I thought was scariest. To me, gore isn't necessarily scary. It's all about suspense and eeriness. It's almost like shaking a bottle of Coke and the pressure builds up, but you keep the lid on it for as long as possible. Once you go into gore, you release that pressure and have to start all over again.

"There wouldn't be any dirty language, because they're on a farm of this very religious guy," he added. " 'The Exorcist' is a brilliant movie, but to me a demon is this timeless entity, and if a demon suddenly says 'f---,' that destroys the agelessness. I had no interest in having our demon use dirty language. When we were putting it together in the editing room, we thought this might very well be a PG-13 movie."

There Is Only One Digital Effect
We live in an age of reliance — some might say over-reliance — on computer-generated special effects. But what's often sacrificed with CGI is a gritty realness, which is why top-flight directors like Christopher Nolan use practical effects whenever possible, despite the often added expense.

Though he was hardly working with a budget on the scale of "Inception," Stamm used only one visual effect in "The Last Exorcism": to ramp up an enormous fire. What's more, he barely used any special effects: one bloody cut, one bloody cow, one bloody cat, and one thing that will remain secret, lest we spoil the movie's twisty ending.

For the special effects, Stamm recruited makeup effects guru Gregory Nicotero, who's worked with nearly everyone in Hollywood, including Quentin Tarantino and Michael Bay.

"[Nicotero] sent the cow from Los Angeles in a huge box," laughed Stamm. "He had his guy on set with the blood pump, who was all prepared to go full-out gore. It's so tempting when you have a genius like that who can make anything look spectacular, but you always need to remind yourself to use restraint because that's not the story you want to tell. Also, you don't want to get into 'Exorcist' territory. We didn't want to use any gimmicks. Our whole movie is based on the idea of whether she's possessed or crazy, so we couldn't have her levitate or have her head spin."

She Did All Those Bends Herself
You can't walk into a subway station in New York City without seeing the "Last Exorcism" poster: a black-and-white photo of Bell bending over backwards as the purported demon contorts her body. When this happens in the movie, it's a shocking and scary moment. Turns out that this scene contained not a single visual effect and that Stamm didn't even know he'd be able to pull it off until days before they shot it.

"She's double-jointed," he said. "I had no idea. I just cast her because she was brilliant. Two days before we shot the actual scene, which was planned completely differently, we were in the hotel lobby and I asked her if there was anything she wanted to try during the exorcism. She got up and said, 'Why don't I do this?' and she bent over backwards in the hotel lobby. I ran back to my room and rewrote the scene and now it's become the core of the movie.

"I made sure Patrick didn't see that before the scene," Stamm continued. "The first time he ever saw it was that first take. A lot of the stuff in the finished scene is from that first take because he just couldn't believe what he was seeing."

They Studied Horror Movies to Avoid Imitation From "The Blair Witch Project" to "Cloverfield," the faux-documentary movie has been used a ton, as has the exorcism plotline: "The Exorcist," "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." Stamm and his team were so adamant that they not repeat anything that'd come before that they watched all of these films and excised any points that felt duplicative.

"We made sure we weren't doing anything in these other movies," Stamm explained. "And I also gained new understanding of these movies. 'Blair Witch,' when I re-watched it, I realized for the first time what a smart film it is, how it's so tense and smartly built."

They did, however, make one exception. The townspeople who talk about myth and superstition in "The Last Exorcism" were directly inspired by the townspeople recounting the legend of the Blair Witch.

"We learned a lot from that," Stamm said.

Check out everything we've got on "The Last Exorcism."

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit

T.I. Goes Hollywood: Will Movies Change His Rhymes?

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 02:34 AM PDT

Photo: MTV News

Jessica Alba 'Inspired' Robert Rodriguez's 'Spy Kids 4'

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 01:52 AM PDT

Writer/director recalls seeing the 'Machete' star change diapers on set.
By Kara Warner

Jessica Alba at the "Machete" premiere
Photo: Jason Merritt/ Getty Images

Let's face it, Jessica Alba is known for her sexy factor. No matter what role she's in, be it a superhero ("Fantastic Four"), a pharmaceutical sales rep (in the upcoming "Little Fockers") or an immigration officer (this week's "Machete"), Alba's addition to any cast turns up its heat.

Such is even the case with Robert Rodriguez's "Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World." When MTV News caught up with the actress and her director at the L.A. premiere of "Machete" earlier this week, we asked them how her casting came to be.

"I was so inspired, seeing her on [the 'Machete'] set trying to be beautiful for the camera and yet having to [run off] to change her baby's diaper," Rodriguez explained. "I thought, 'You know what, that would be great as a spy mom, I've got to write that in.' "

And since Rodriguez is the writer/director/creator of the "Spy Kids" franchise, he did just that. "I wrote that into the script, based on her," he said of what will be his third film with Alba.

The 28-year-old actress/mom said she's most looking forward to working with Rodriguez again — and to eating more of the director's specialty: homemade margherita pizza with jalapeños.

Moving forward, Rodriguez has yet to cast his new titular spy kids, the husband to Alba's spy wife/mom or the villain Time Keeper. Original "Spy Kids" Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara, as well as their onscreen dad, Antonio Banderas, are expected to play supporting roles. Production is set to begin next month.

Check out everything we've got on "Machete."

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit

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Raekwon Premieres Video Trailer For ODB Tribute 'Ason Jones'

Posted: 27 Aug 2010 01:03 AM PDT

'Yo, let's toast to the fallen, lost, forgotten,' Rae raps in the clip.
By Jayson Rodriguez

Ol' Dirty Bastard in 1992
Photo: Chi Modu/ diverseimages/ Getty Images

The Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon is set to release a video for "Ason Jones," his tribute number to fallen group member Ol' Dirty Bastard. The track is from Rae's critically acclaimed Only Built for Cuban Linx ... Pt. II album, released last year. On Thursday, Rae released a trailer for the forthcoming video on YouTube.

"Yo, let's toast to the fallen, lost, forgotten," Raekwon raps in the clip, over views of New York and images of ODB. "If n----s can hear me, then roll up some broccoli/ Ason, the heart of a lion, a purified mind/ The way he did it with a mic and some wine/ I would never forget the day we used to sit back/ Days I be all up in the crib, listening, holding, align him/ And yo, I just miss this n---a."

Earlier this month, Raekwon spoke to MTV News about ODB and what it would be like performing the Wu's seminal debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) without the animated and talented MC.

"Dirty had given us the energy booster that we need to believe that we are the best," Rae explained. "I still think about him. ... I think as I'm getting a little older, I'm getting a little more sensitive in certain places when it comes to my brother being gone.

"It's gonna be fun to get out here and represent and talk about him and see all them fans go crazy because they love Dirty," he added. "They love Dirty so much, I know for a fact that when them records come on, they're gonna go crazy."

There's no scheduled date for the video premiere as of press time.

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