Archive | July, 2012

Kanye West Collabo ‘An Adventure’ For Fat Joe

31 Jul

Fat Joe is a longtime Kanye West fan, so the fact that he is currently singing Yeezy’s praises has very little to do with the fact that they are working together for the first time.

West appears alongside Fat Joe and Busta Rhymes, DJ Khaled, Miguel, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Roscoe Dash and Jadakiss on Don Cartagena’s latest single, "Pride N Joy."

"In the world of Kanye West, it’s an adventure," Fat Joe told MTV News of their in-studio collaboration when we visited Joe Crack, Kanye and the rest of the gang on the set of the single’s Hype Williams-directed video.

"I got a phone call from Kanye West. He said, ‘Yo, Joe, it’s time, let’s do it,’ " the Terror Squad MC said of how the collaboration came about. "You know, he’s one of my favorite rappers of all time, one of my favorite producers, so when he gave me the call, I jumped on that plane immediately and I said, ‘Let’s go.’ "

While Yeezy loved the track Joe played for him, he ended up taking it apart and putting it back together to his specifications. "He was like, ‘Yeah, all right, engineer, erase everything … and now let’s start,’ " Fat Joe recalled of ‘Ye’s process. "I was like, ‘Wow, this guy’s crazy,’ but you know, it’s an adventure."

Whatever the process, Fat Joe walked away in awe of West’s creativity. "It was amazing, man. He’s a genius," he said. "To get in there with him is incredible, and he likes perfection, and that only means the record is going to be hot, so, you know I love it."

Whether the two will work together again anytime soon is anyone’s guess. "I really don’t know. You know, there’s some rumors," Joe said cryptically. "That’s all I can say. It’s a rumor until it happens, just put it like that."

Should Kanye West and Fat Joe work together more? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

  1. image?.Caption Kanye West

    Photo: Getty Images


Pharrell And Nick Jonas In Talks With ‘American Idol’

31 Jul

Given the plethora of "American Idol" news lately, one might think the season premiere is just around the corner. However, we still have a few months to wait. In the meantime, the "Idol" powers that be have kept our curiosity piqued with the announcement of new judge Mariah Carey, as well as a slew of other rumored potential judges.

The latest rumblings indicate that singer/Broadway star Nick Jonas and N.E.R.D. rapper/producer extraordinaire Pharrell Williams are in serious talks to join Carey at the judges’ table. According to Us Weekly, Jonas’ deal is all but signed.

"Nick is pretty close to signing to be the ‘Idol’ judge," an unnamed source told the magazine. "They flew him in to L.A. last week for final meetings."

The magazine’s insider also claimed that Williams is close to inking a deal: "Everything is looking good, but they’re still working out details."

Fox has not yet commented on the rumors, which also included talks of country stars Brad Paisley and Toby Keith being courted as potential judges. Keith reportedly turned down the offer due to his busy touring schedule, and Paisley has yet to confirm or deny the talks.

It is also still unclear what official role longtime judge Randy Jackson will have on the show next season, though most insiders report Jackson will be making a move from judge to mentor .

"American Idol" isn’t the only talent competition beefing up its roster of big names: "The Voice" recently announced that Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong will serve as a mentor for Christina Aguilera’s team, and "X Factor" made waves with its addition of pop princesses Britney Spears and Demi Lovato.

Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News’ "American Idol" page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.

  1. image?.Caption Pharrell and Nick Jonas

    Photo: Getty Images

The Killers’ Brandon Flowers Is Putting Out ‘Positive Vibrations’ On Battle Born

30 Jul

There have been triumphant comeback shows, spirit-conjuring music videos and even a tip of the cap to Bernie Taupin, but so far, there’s one thing that’s been notably absent from the run-up to the Killers’ new Battle Born album: frontman Brandon Flowers’ opinions on, well, anything.

Yes, unlike in years past, when Flowers spouted off on bands like the Bravery and dropped bon mots like "this is one of the best albums of the past 20 years," he’s so far refrained from making a single eyebrow-raising proclamation during the promo run for Born (due September 18) … which, for him, is rather amazing.

So has he gone soft? Or, has a decade of success finally loosened the sizeable chip on his shoulder? Turns out, the answer lies somewhere in between: Having spent 10 years running his mouth, Flowers said he’s now embracing the power of positivity; and though that may be bad news for salacious members of the media, it’s a change that’s done him — and his bandmates — a world of good.

"It’s easier on the band, [and] it’s so much nicer to put positive things out there, positive vibrations," Flowers told MTV News. "I just found myself regretting it … I still carry it with me; I’ll be brushing my teeth and I’ll think ‘God, I wish I wouldn’t have said that about whoever I said anything about.’ And then I’m trying to get my manager to get their phone numbers and sh–, so I can tell them I’m sorry.

"So I learned a big lesson, and now, I do kind of the opposite," he continued. "If I hear something I like, I try to get in touch with these people and tell them I like it. It’s a lot more rewarding."

And that mindset carried over to the songs he wrote for Battle Born as well. For the first time, Flowers doesn’t feel the need to take on the world; instead, he’s content to simply create the kinds of songs he wants to hear. Call it complacency or confidence (or even maturity), but finally comfortable with his standing and status, Flowers is helping usher in a brand-new era for the band: Welcome to the kinder, gentler Killers.

"This album is a celebration … now we’re beyond all that worry, and now it’s a celebration; this is what we are, we are from here, we’re proud of it, this is the music that we like, here you go," he said. "It’s a celebration of music, and the impact that it’s had on us, and that we get to do this. I mean, it’s a silly cliché to say, but it’s a dream come true. It’s a miracle to get to do this."

  1. image?.Caption The Killers’ Brandon Flowers

    Photo: MTV News

Pusha T’s Album Reminds Kanye West Of Hell

30 Jul

Pusha T has one hell of an album on his hands, but don’t take our word for it, just ask Kanye West. During a trip to London, Yeezy took a listen to the Virginia MC’s upcoming solo album and had a most interesting critique for Pusha.

"When it’s over, he says, ‘Yo, you know that if you die and hear your music, you know you ended up in hell, right?’ " Push told MTV News. "I don’t know how to take that. Is that a good thing to say or a bad thing to say?"

Ultimately, Pusha knew that his G.O.O.D. Music running mate meant it as a compliment, for he had grabbed album inspiration from a devilish horror flick. The Clipse spitter told us himself that while he was putting together his yet-untitled solo effort, he was heavily influenced by Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino’s 1997 film "The Devil’s Advocate."

" ‘Devil’s Advocate’ is a very dark movie, but at the same time, visually, it’s beautiful," he told us for our Hip-Hop Music Preview. "The album is based off of that because I speak about the harsh realities of street life but there’s a lot of glitz and glamour that comes along with that. If you just look at it at face value, you might think, ‘It sounds a bit like he’s glorifying [street life],’ but when you get tuned into the record, you realize that you get both sides of it."

‘Ye surely was impressed. "He was like, ‘Damn you painted some hell of a picture in this joint,’ " Pusha recalled. "I was like, ‘Well I guess the streets will be happy.’ "

What are your expectations for Pusha T’s upcoming solo LP? Let us know in the comments!

  1. image?.Caption Pusha T

    Photo: MTV News

R. Kelly ‘Huge Fan’ Of Jay-Z Despite Their Rocky History

30 Jul

When R. Kelly and Jay-Z‘s worlds collided, music fans got more than they bargained for.

Musically, 2002’s The Best of Both Worlds was the perfect mix of Hov’s brash Brooklyn delivery and Kellz’s R&B thug timbre, even if the two failed to get along personally.

No hard feelings, though. Kellz says that even after he and Jay’s public spat, heck, he still listens to Hov’s music, particularly his Best of Both Worlds-styled Watch the Throne LP with Kanye West. "Absolutely; huge fan," Kelly told MTV News of how he received last year’s regal Throne project.

When it comes to high-profile collaboration projects, Kelly and Jay were trendsetters. "We walked on the moon first, right?" he asked rhetorically.

In 2004 the pair went on the road to support their 2002 LP and its follow-up, Unfinished Business, but ever since Kelly pulled out of an October 2004 show at New York’s Madison Square Garden, he and Hov have been on a rocky road. Despite their differences, Kelly has no regrets. "I love a good marriage — I love love. Anything that works for me, anything that feels good to my soul, that feels like this is what I should do, I’m gonna do it," he said of his collaborations with Jay and others. "I don’t care what it is, who it’s with. As long as it’s positive and it works for both parties, I’m with it."

Simply put, the iconic R&B singer/songwriter just has a love for music. There are some artists who avoid outside influences when creating, but not Kelly, who admitted to listening to a bit of everything when putting together his recently released Write Me Back LP. "Lil Wayne, Drake, I still listen to Jay’s stuff," he said. "I listen to Trey Songz, I listen to some of everybody, man. Rihanna, Beyoncé. It’s so much talent out there."

What is your favorite R. Kelly collaboration of all time? Let us know in the comments!

  1. image?.Caption R. Kelly

    Photo: MTV News

Carly Rae Jepsen Expects Justin Bieber Tour To Be A ‘Whoa Moment’

30 Jul

With only a couple short months until Carly Rae Jepsen hits the road with her pal Justin Bieber, the singer is warming up with some summer tour dates. But, the scope of these shows is miniscule compared to playing to an arena filled with Beliebers.

"I don’t know what to expect," she told MTV News earlier this month before she took the stage in Chicago for the Pop-Tarts Crazy Good Summer Concert. While it gave pop-music lovers a taste of what the "Call Me Maybe" singer can do in concert, it didn’t look anything like the highly anticipated, sure-to-be-massive Believe tour kicking off in September.

However, Jepsen isn’t going into the experience completely blind. She did get an idea of what the tour will feel like when she played with Bieber abroad earlier this year. She added, "I did one or two shows with Justin. One in London and one in Mexico City, and all I can say is, like, ‘Wow.’ They were huge — 300,000 people in Mexico City. I was speechless."

Given just how overwhelming it can be to play in front of that many people, it’s just one of the many things about 2012 that has left the singer floored.

"[How do you] take it in? I don’t know that I totally do," she said. "I think that like in 10 years’ time I’m gonna sit back and look at everything that’s happening to me this year and actually have a ‘whoa’ kind of a moment. Right now everything’s so fast and the pace of it so quick that I’m just kind of keeping my head to the ground and trying to do the best at getting through it."

In addition to hitting the road with Bieber, the singers will both appear on her debut album, also dropping in September. So, what should fans expect from that collaboration? "The Justin song, I’m kind of sworn to secrecy on because I think we want to release it together at one moment," Jepsen said. "But the rest of the album, I’m really excited for."

Are you going to see Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Bieber on tour? Leave your comment below!

  1. image?.Caption Carly Rae Jepsen

    Photo: MTV News

One Direction, Carly Rae Jepsen Go For Pop Gold In MTV’s Summer Jam Games

30 Jul

As the competition in the 2012 Olympic Games across the pond in London heats up, MTV News is kicking off its own set of summer games, complete with sweaty brows and gold medals. Monday (July 30) is the official launch of our first-ever Summer Jam Games, a cheeky, feel-good take on those other games, featuring well-toned musicians instead of athletes. (We’re looking at you, Adam Levine.)

After all, there is glory to be had this summer for those not competing in stuff like handball or kayaking. So we want to show some love to that other time-honored tradition, the summer jam. Fans can begin to vote on tracks in five categories: Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B, EDM and Rock, with gold, silver and bronze medals being handed out next week. Wondering which song in the pop category should go all the way? Well, here’s a breakdown of the top contenders.

Vote for your favorites now in MTV’s Summer Jam Games!

Carly Rae Jepsen‘s "Call Me Maybe"
Sitting atop the charts for nearly two months, this song has launched countless parodies, making it the most viral thing to hit the Net in 2012, and launched Justin Bieber’s protégé, the blunt-bang-wearing pop songstress Carly Rae Jepsen into the pop mega-sphere. She’s also empowered shy girls everywhere and given them a perfectly fit pickup line.

Flo Rida‘s "Whistle" This cheeky, not-so-subtle track from the often-shirtless rapper has close to 50 million views on YouTube and has been gaining steady momentum on the charts, hovering in the top 10. And it seems that the warm reception the track has been receiving has opened the floodgates for creepy guys in clubs who think whistling is a charming way to flirt with girls.

Justin Bieber‘s "As Long as You Love Me" featuring Big Sean
Bieber needed a club jam, and with the assistance of the G.O.O.D. music MC, he can officially "swag, swag, swag" all day long. The song’s true summer-jam mark comes courtesy of its swoon-worthy lyrics and synthy Rodney Jerkins production. Plus, he sings "I’ll be your platinum, I’ll be your silver, I’ll be your gold" on the track … he obviously had the Summer Jam Games in mind when he recorded it.

Katy Perry‘s "Wide Awake"
A bit dreamier and more on the ballad side, Perry’s post-breakup anthem, off her Teenage Dream re-release, should have brokenhearted girls everywhere clamoring to dye their hair some unnatural shade of purple and pontificate about their exes. Or at the very least, give them something to shout along to very loudly on the way to the beach.

Maroon 5‘s "Payphone" featuring Wiz Khalifa
Who would think that a song about a relatively unused form of communication could rise to the occasion and become one of the most relatable breakup tracks of the summer? We guess Maroon 5 and Wiz did. Only bested by Carly Rae on the charts, the falsetto-filled Overexposed track once again makes us want to be the shoulder Levine cries on.

Nicki Minaj‘s "Starships"
The controversy surrounding Nicki Minaj and her place in the rap game may have momentarily made a few headlines, but that hasn’t affected her pop success. "Starships," thanks in part to its world-music vibe courtesy of producer RedOne, is perfect for the summer. Not only does she name-check some choice adult beverages on the track, but fans can get their groove on during the song’s searing dubstep breaks.

One Direction‘s "One Thing"
Sure, they told you all about "What Makes You Beautiful," but the guys are still pining for that girl-next-door on their latest Up All Night single. The sing-along chorus is as sugary sweet as a snow cone, even if you could spend an entire heat wave trying to figure out just what that "one thing" is that has them all hot and bothered.

Owl City‘s "Good Time" featuring Carly Rae Jepsen
Owl City enlisted Carly Rae for this track, which picks up where Katy Perry’s "T.G.I.F." left off. "Shenanigans for everyone" is the name of the game as OC’s Adam Young and Carly embark on a night on the town. And as the song continues to bob and weave on the charts, it’s clear that whatever that Prince song is they have stuck in their heads, we want in.

Pink‘s "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)"
Pink throws a one-two knockout punch with her latest pop track, produced by Greg Kurstin. Already in the top 10 after only three weeks on the market, the feisty song is certainly the perfect complement to any "sh– day." Or any day for that matter.

Rihanna‘s "Where Have You Been"
She’s been everywhere, man, and she still hasn’t found true love. The hit tune is the latest Calvin Harris-Ri collabo to take over dance floors everywhere. Will this be the summer that Ri not only finds her man but also takes home the gold in the Summer Jam Games? Man, it just might be.

  1. image?.Caption One Direction

    Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic