Perhaps you are on your way to the gym, listening to some hip-pop anthem to get the blood going. You think: yeah, that sounds good. "We are gonna run this town tonight." "I do want that cake cake cake cake."
There is a slight slippage of ego as you meld with the persona in the song—staring into the mirror to find you are mouthing out a rogue, “Westside!,” or whispering with a little too much conviction: "I am a god." A glittery EDM beat comes in, lifting you up, rollercoaster style, to the bridge of the track, where, adrenaline spiking, you become your true self—which is to say, [...]
This new Rihanna video is pretty great in an old, candy-painted, classic-days-of-MTV-surrealism way. Directed by Melina Matsoukas, it's like Busta Rhymes meets Tom Petty meets Cyndi Lauper meets Devo. With Perez Hilton bound and gagged and made to crawl around on all fours like a dog.
Huh. The new video for Eminem and Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie" (which, man is that chorus jarringly disjointed from the verse) is almost like a stay-at-home-version of the video for Cee-Lo's "No One's Gonna Love You More Than I Do." And it starts out just like the video for Cee-Lo's "What Part of Forever." The only difference, really, is that Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox burst into flames into flames in the Eminem and Rihanna video. Remember when MTV wouldn't let rappers show fire in their videos? Weird.
Last night singer Chris Brown-who recently received five years of probation after entering a guilty plea for assaulting his girlfriend Rihanna-appeared on "Larry King Live" in an attempt to rehabilitate his image and perhaps explain what caused such reprehensible acts. As someone who does not believe that domestic violence is any more glamorous or noteworthy when it is perpetrated by or on celebrities, I have only a cursory awareness of the story, and did not tune in. But Awl Director of Business Development/SEO Coordinator David Cho has been following the case since it began, and was eager to explain it to me. If you're also curious as to what [...]
It is fascinating to consider the gigantic omissions mainstream media makes in recapping the past year with delicious “Best of [insert year].” These are omissions of substance, but they are not often included in the discourse of popular culture. They are experiences about losing. Losing jobs, lovers, apartments. The losers’ agency—or lack thereof—is manifested in perhaps deciding a preference to “lose,” guesstimating the long-term result will be worth the sacrifice. Of course, other times exogenous factors create a shared reality where you—and this certainly includes me—have limited power in changing one’s conditions. These are the stories about getting broken up with, getting evicted from a home and—by far the worst [...]
Thank you for reading our general rules for appropriate attire for this year’s Grammys. The following items are addressed to particular individuals, but should you feel a flicker of recognition as you're reading, by all means pay attention to it even if you don't see your name here.
If you wear a hat it needs to actually be on your head. (If you want to know what a hat looks like on someone’s head, and not just in its general vicinity, Bruno Mars can probably help you.) It’s not that your whimsical askew-ness thing isn’t super adorable. It’s just that we know everyone's going to [...]
Well, thanks to a heads-up from CNN food writer Kat Kinsman, I was spared the annual confusion that lasts for a couple of city blocks as you walk past person after person who has apparently been very sloppy with their application of mascara, or has been hit in the forehead by a thrown lump of coal. Today is Ash Wednesday, when Catholics wear ash on their foreheads in commemoration of the forty days of fasting that preceded his crucification. It's an act of repentance.
But, man, reading through today's news, or looking elsewhere on the streets, people may be repenting, but they don't seem to be in [...]
Because nothing makes popular music more fun than typing alongside friends, it's time to do that "liveblogging" thing in honor of the 2010 American Music Awards, which celebrate the most popular of the most popular music that this country has to offer, complete with the sort of pomp that only the most craven enterprises can possess. Join me after the jump for the Black Eyed Peas, Christina Aguilera, Katy (sigh) Perry, the results of allowing 13-year-olds to vote (online) (for their favorite male pop stars), and OMG NEW KIDS AND BACKSTREET BOYS TOGETHER!!
Apart from sexual fetishes and dining choices, is there anything more subjective than humor? I, for instance, think this Rihanna/Andy Samberg bit from this weekend's "Saturday Night Live" is absolutely hysterical, and normally you need to hit me over the head with a shovel several times to even get me to sit on a couch in front of a TV where that show is playing. Choire, on the other hand, is less entranced. But whatever, you can decide yourself! Stick with it, it really builds. Meanwhile, for the kind of humor for which there is no dispuation-kidding, I know someone will be all, "They were NEVER funny"-there is excellent [...]
Live from, uh, MTV Germany: the new video for Jay-Z's "Run This Town." Despite the natural excitement accompanying molotov cocktails and a torch-bearing mob, the whole Mad Max thing-well, we've seen all that before. California was partying like that back 1995.
Two new videos came out this week for songs sung by women in their early 20s. One is the one above. And while it's blatantly banking on reminding people of last year's smash hit "I Love the Way You Lie," and it's always creepy, because of what we know about her real-life past, to watch Rihanna flirting with the notion of domestic violence as turn-on, I like it. It's certainly very titillating. Like Requiem for a Dream, from which it also borrows heavily. The song itself is great, too, which certainly helps. Big dumb disco done just right. I think I like it more than any song of [...]
Check out this video from former Tribe Called Quest affiliate Consequence and former Lil Kim affiliate Maino. It's beautiful and bucolic. They're in the woods. With deer and squirrels and birds. It's very weird, right, with Maino rhyming about shooting people with a chrome .45 and hollering "Brooklyn!" in a club? But as jarring as it is, the juxtaposition of sound and vision, I like it. It's like that awesome episode of "The Sopranos."
A deer makes an appearance in the new video from Yelawolf and Gucci Mane, too.
I've been thinking a bunch about what we'll remember 2009 for, besides rampant unemployment and two great flu panics. Mostly that is what I'll remember, but I'll also think of it as the year that the nation became obsessed with jerks and woman-beaters. That Levi Johnston, Jon Gosselin and Chris Brown were pretty much the three most popular "stories" of 2009 is amazing, particularly since those first two haven't ever done or said anything. That all have spent the year pushing new products in the midst of their tabloid scandals is pretty telling. I don't even know what Gosselin or Johnston are selling, besides their brand-but Chris Brown's new album [...]
Oh, here is the brand new Kanye West video! I have been interested in him again, since he became the first black Terminator. He came back into our future from the 80s. And he brought Rihanna with him, except she got some Sheena Easton mixed up in her. Okay dance party break!