Mariah Carey Debuts Winning New Single ‘Triumphant’

3 Aug

Feeling down and looking for a bit of inspiration? Look no further than Mariah Carey‘s latest single, "Triumphant (Get ‘Em)," featuring Rick Ross and Meek Mill, which the pop diva premiered Thursday (August 2).

A midtempo ballad that mixes a soft R&B beat with piano accompaniment, "Triumphant" is all about rising above a tough situation. "Reach for the stars," Carey sings. "Be all that you are and make ’em all fall down."

The track opens with Mill, whose verse quickly sums up the theme of the track. "The only way to make it to the top is if you go and get it from the bottom … I remember they said that it ain’t my turn/ But it ain’t confirmed/ Then the tables turned," Mill raps. "Just look at me now/ Try to hold me down, but I ain’t gonna stop/ ‘Cause I’m gonna climb to the mountaintop."

"Meek adds an excitement, a newness to the record that is pretty rare right now," Carey said in a conference call with journalists Thursday just before releasing the song to radio. "Working with Ross and Meek on the same record was incredible. Obviously, Ross is a star and everybody loves him. I’m a fan of his music. I really, really wanted to work with him. I love the tone of his voice. I think the contrast of his voice and mine would be something special. I always like to do collaborations that people might think are different."

Carey is in peak form on her signature high notes, and the production comes courtesy of two of the pop legend’s most trusted collaborators: co-writers/co-producers Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox. Cox told MTV News that the track is very personal to Carey.

"This song is kind of inspirational. It’s close to her heart, and I think her fans are going to really, really be emotionally attached to this song," Cox tells MTV News. "I expect that this record’s going to be a huge record. I expect that this is going to be one of her bigger albums."

  1. image?.Caption Mariah Carey

    Photo: WireImage

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Snoop’s Reggae Album Still Has ‘West Coast Attitude’

3 Aug

Snoop Dogg’s transformation into reggae artist Snoop Lion is nothing short of remarkable. Fans have been coming to terms with the Cali rapper’s new persona, but even Diplo, who produced the upcoming LP Reincarnation, is amazed at Snoop’s new look and vibe.

"If you haven’t seen Snoop recently, he’s gone totally Rasta," Diplo told MTV News a few weeks ago, after watching the Doggfather evolve over the past few months. "He has Bob Marley and Haile Selassie pins — he’s mad Rasta."

After getting past the initial shock of Snoop’s new look, it’s time to move on to the music. Thus far, he’s debuted the album’s first single, "La La La," and Diplo said the full project, co-produced by Major Lazer, will not disappoint.

"It’s gonna surprise people, but it’s an amazing record," he said. "We have some almost rap stuff on the record, but there’s also a lot of singing, because he sings really well and there’s a lot of backing vocals.

"He was really studying Bob Marley," Diplo added, describing the recording process. "He likes to have the female backing vocals, and it’s a real Marley-esque vibe. We [also] have some West Coast attitude with the production, and I’m really excited about it. It sounds amazing."

Earlier this week, during a small press conference in New York, Snoop dropped a few other names of reggae legends who inspired him while crafting the album. "We was looking for the creators, some of the forefathers," he told MTV News. "Most definitely Bob Marley, off the top, and the Wailers, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Gregory Isaacs, Jimmy Cliff, Barres [Hammond], most definitely."

Before recording Reincarnated, Snoop got a nod of approval from Bob Marley’s son Rohan and then headed off to Jamaica where he became immersed in the Niyabinghi branch of the Rastafari movement. Looks like Snoop Lion is here to stay.

  1. image?.Caption Snoop Lion

    Photo: Getty Images

Earl Sweatshirt Scores RZA Verse For Solo Album

2 Aug

The members of Odd Future possess witty and unpredictable talent, much like the Wu-Tang Clan, whom they are at times compared to. So the fact that the RZA is dropping a guest verse on Earl Sweatshirt’s upcoming album shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, even if the subject matter is.

"Dude, RZA dropped an eight-minute, 32-second based freestyle the other day that started off with him talking about a purse. It was so tight," Earl revealed when he, Tyler, the Creator, Hodgy Beats and Jasper Dolphin swung through the MTV Newsroom on July 25. "And it was not just any purse; it was his purse."

The news even took Tyler by surprise. "RZA has a f—in’ purse?" he questioned while laughing.

"I am not playin’," Earl confirmed. "When the song comes out, I’m gonna do hashtag #RZAsPurse."

As Odd Future began their ascent into music’s collective consciousness, Earl was touted as one of the crew’s standouts thanks to his 2010 self-titled free Internet album. Just as OFWGKTA were breaking through, Earl was sent to school at the Coral Reef Academy in Samoa but rejoined his band of musical misfits earlier this year. "It’s been pretty crazy, watching them do them," Earl said when he appeared on "RapFix Live" in March. "It was difficult processing through all of it, ’cause it was a lot goin’ on with it."

Now Earl is back in the fold and working on his own solo LP. The nimble-tongued lyricist didn’t give too many details about the project but was confident the RZA would appear, even if he isn’t going to use the entire eight-minute verse. "I’m not gonna use the whole thing. I just chopped it up," he said.

  1. image?.Caption Earl Sweatshirt

    Photo: MTV News

Dr. Dre And Nelly ‘Came Up With A Few Thangs’ In the Studio

2 Aug

That Dr. Dre guy sure has an effect on folks. Just ask Nelly, who has been working on some music with the Doc.

"I never been starstruck on a rapper and I’ve met Dre several, several times, but we’ve never been together in that environment, creative, in the studio, with a Dre beat playing," the St. Lunatic told MTV News. "It was a different Dre than I was used to seeing, it was like, ‘Oh seesh.’"

At the turn of the millennium, Dre and Nelly had two of the biggest rap albums in the market — 1999’s 2001 and 2000’s Country Grammar, respectively, and now they are working together for the first time. Nelly is unclear on where the songs will appear. However, his seventh solo album, M.O., is scheduled to come out later this year, while Dre’s Detoxcurrently resides in release-date limbo. "It’s not about my album. It’s not about his album. We don’t know what we’re doing yet. The thing was we just wanted to hang out, vibe out, see what we could come up with," Nelly explained.

The "Pimp Juice" rapper made it clear that Dre is steering the ship. "We came up with a few thangs that he has, that he’s keepin’ under lock and key," he said, laughing. "We’ll see where that goes."

Nelly doesn’t feel any pressure when it comes to releasing his music with The Chronic super-producer, but when it comes to Dre dropping music, the stakes are much higher, he said. "It’s amazing how high he set the bar, and he’s such a perfectionist," he said. "So for him to feel comfortable, he might not never feel comfortable as far as him putting out music because when you’re such a perfectionist you just want it to be right."

I’m not saying he’s worried about that, I know he’s not. He’s Dre. He’s still gonna sell regardless, but he wants to win at all times. He deserves to win."

What are you expecting from Dr. Dre and Nelly’s collaboration? Let us know in the comments!

  1. image?.Caption Nelly

    Photo: MTV News

Goodie Mob Promise To Bring That Soul Food Back

2 Aug

Goodie Mob put the "dirty" in Dirty South and though it’s been well over a decade since Cee Lo Green, Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo dropped an album together, the Atlanta rap quartet is ready to pick up where they left off with their 1999 LP, World Party.

"We’re putting our heads back together and putting that soul food back on the tray," Big Gipp told MTV News when we hit the set of their upcoming video for "Fight to Win." "Goodie Mob has been in the studio working on our new album called Age Against the Machine.

As a bonus, the Mob will bring back the video for their new single with "Is That You God," a 2006 track that was featured in the movie "ATL," starring T.I. The song has seen a bit of resurgence after Barry Hankerson (uncle of the late Aaliyah) licensed it to be featured in "The Obama Effect," an upcoming comedy that he’s producing and that stars Charles S. Dutton and Katt Williams.

"It was perfect timing for us because we’re gearing up and campaigning Goodie Mob … so it really came at a very sacred time, if you will," Cee Lo explained.

Though they haven’t recorded as a group in quite a while, each member of Goodie has kept busy. Cee Lo has been the most visible thanks to his collaborations with producer Danger Mouse as the duo Gnarls Barkley, his chart-topping solo efforts and mentor role on NBC’s "The Voice. But Big Gipp, T-Mo and Khujo, who lost his right leg after a car accident in 2002, have never stopped making music. "We’re back where we left from, putting a message in the music, motivating and inspiring people just to keep going," Khujo said.

"We’re blessed that were able to manage to come back together through all adversity that was against us," T-Mo added.

What do you think of the Goodie Mob’s new "fight to Win" single? Let us know in the comments!

  1. image?.Caption Big Gipp

    Photo: MTV News

Did Michael Madsen Enjoy Punching Justin Bieber?

2 Aug

Of all the images that make up the video for Justin Bieber‘s "As Long As You Love Me," none are as memorable as the moment that Michael Madsen lands his first punch on the singer.

Madsen’s overprotective-father character may have enjoyed leaving Bieber bloody for wanting to date his daughter, but in real life, the actor said he didn’t take any pleasure in the one-two punch.

"I didn’t exactly enjoy slapping him around," he told MTV News on Thursday, one day after the video premiered. "Had he been a prick, had he been a brat, you know, I might have had fun with that. But he was actually, he was the opposite."

If fans are wondering if Bieber was nervous to take a beating for the Anthony Mandler-directed clip, Madsen explained that Bieber was more concerned about having it look real than scared to take the hit.

"He was very respectful, very respectful and decent to me," he said. "I think he wanted it to be well-done. I don’t think he was blowing it off. I think that I’ve been around enough to know I can tell if somebody isn’t really doing their job or taking what they do seriously. And I could tell from early on in the morning that he was. He wanted it to be right. He wanted it to be specific and had a good car, a ’68 Charger. That’s a pretty bitching car, you know? I saw that damn thing parked in front of the house and I went ‘Wow, I hope that’s mine.’ But they put me in a Rolls Royce; not too bad at all."

So, given that Bieber and Madsen trade physical barbs and verbal ones, does the actor think Bieber has a future in Hollywood? "He had good eye contact. He was focused. He didn’t have a double. I think he should leave the acting up to me," he laughed. "He can sing though. See I can’t do that. It goes both ways. He can sing his head off and he’s damn good at it, and I couldn’t get close to that. He does his thing, and I do mine."

Speaking of his music, Madsen approves of the track, giving it a four-star worthy review. "I hadn’t heard much of his music before. I wouldn’t be in exactly the age range to listen to Justin Bieber, ok?" he joked. "It’s not like I’m tuning in for it, but I did, I do like that song. I like that song a lot. It’s very pretty. It’s nice."

Do you think Madsen’s blow to Bieber was realistic? Let us know what you thought about the video in the comments!

  1. image?.Caption Justin Bieber and Michael Madsen in the "As Long as You Love Me" music video

    Photo: Island Def Jam Music Group

Mariah Carey’s ‘Triumphant’ Single Is ‘Close To Her Heart’

2 Aug

Mariah Carey‘s new single "Triumphant" featuring Rick Ross and Meek Mill hits radio Thursday (August 2), and fans are counting down the seconds until they get their first taste of what the legendary diva has in store for her 14th studio album.

MTV News talked to the song’s co-writer and co-producer, Grammy winner Bryan-Michael Cox, about what to expect from the hotly anticipated track and why Ross and Mill were the perfect fit for the inspiring single.

"This song is kind of inspirational. It’s close to her heart, and I think her fans are going to really, really be emotionally attached to this song," Cox tells MTV News. "I expect that this record’s going to be a huge record. I expect that this is going to be one of her bigger albums."

Cox is a longtime Carey collaborator who first worked with the superstar on her 1999 Rainbow album and has produced such hits as "Shake It Off" and "Don’t Forget About Us." His long-lasting relationships with the hottest artists in R&B have resulted in some of the genre’s biggest albums of the last decade, including Usher’s Confessions and Raymond v. Raymond, Mary J. Blige’s The Breakthrough and Chris Brown’s self-titled debut.

He says the diva has been working on the album since before she became pregnant with 1-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe and that things "picked up right where we left off" when she resumed work after the birth of her babies.

"She was committed to making it before she got pregnant. Then she got pregnant and she took the time off," he says. "Then after she came back, we started really vibing again and we picked up right where we left off. I just feel like between Jermaine [Dupri], myself and her, we came up with a few things that [are] really, really a solid body of work."

Rick Ross and Meek Mill appear on the track, and Cox says the two were perfect additions to "Triumphant" because of both their enormous talent and their personal closeness to the themes of the song.

"I think that Rick Ross is resilient, and Meek Mill [is] a new hot rapper, who’s really hot, one of my favorite new hip hop artists," Cox explained. "Rick Ross, who’s always been one of my favorites, he’s resilient. I think that, through the years, people try to count him out, and he always comes back, comes back harder, comes back with bigger and better records. So I think that the theme of ‘Triumphant,’ I think that he fits the theme of that whole concept the best, really, because through it all, Rick Ross always comes out on top."

  1. image?.Caption Bryan-Michael Cox and Mariah Carey

    Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage