Thursday, August 8, 2013

Drake Admits He Felt The Pressure Of Jay Z & Kanye West This Year

Young Money's Drake admits he initially felt the pressure to deliver with his upcoming Nothing Was The Same album in light of the stacked releases by rap's best in the new XXL Magazine.

"I remember coming into this year thinking, "How am I going to cut through all these people and shine?" I've never been part of a year when so many legends are dropping projects. How am I going to be seen? I'm going to be like the kid waving in the background in the photo with all of his tall relatives. And, I guess, those were my initial thoughts, and not to say that I haven't enjoyed some of the stuff that has come out this year, but it didn't pan out the way I thought it was going to. I think I am going for it, to really establish what are murmurs or things being said quietly, "Um, I think that Drake might actually..." On September 17th I want people to be like, "Oh, we were right."" (XXL Magazine)
He also speaks on the overall competition in hip-hop and how much respect fellow Jewish people give him.
"It's tough for me. That's a guy I can't pretend not to like. He's the guy to me, in a lot of ways. That's Kanye West. But I'm also here to be the best. I'm here to surpass. I'm here to outdo. I'm ready for whatever with anybody. ... I get Jewish people coming up to me proud like, "Mazel Tov, bro. Come to my house for Shabbat dinner."" (XXL Magazine)
During Drake's recent OVO Fest concert, Kanye West revealed Drizzy actually inspired his joint Jay Z Watch the Throne 2011 album.

"It's been a lot of rappers that came in the game that wasn't able to do something like this for their city," Kanye said during the concert. "Me and Hov would have never made Watch the Throne if this n*gga wasn't putting pressure on us like that." (OVO Fest)
Recently, G.O.O.D Music's Pusha T acknowledged an unexpected amount of new releases courtesy of Jay, Kanye and J. Cole for making him push his LP back a month this summer.
"Nah, nah, it's not gone drop on the 16th. We gone push it back a month," Pusha revealed in an interview. "It's been a lot of music coming out. You got the Ye album, you got the Cole, the Wale. I think Hov's dropping even on the 4th. We gonna push it back but at the end of the day, I still stand my ground. That's politics and logistics. My album is the best album of the year." (Power 88)

Jessie J - It's My Party

If we know one thing about Jessie J, it's that the British singer-songwriter does not pull any punches. From her explosive Freddie Mercury-meets-Katy Perry vocal styling to her extreme, eye-popping fashion statements, she always aims to make an impression. That's what we love about her, but apparently some people disagree -- maybe they think she's too loud or oddly made-up. (Remember, the world is brimming with big dumb jerkfaces.) This negativity clearly inspired her newest song and video, "It's My Party," Jessie's follow-up single to "WILD." That's right, you give those YouTube commenters The Business™. Haters make you famous, girl!

Watch Jessie J's "It's My Party" video after the jump.

The Emil Nava-directed clip opens on our boisterous heroine alone in a hallway, where she peeps through the keyholes into two very different party scenes: the first prim and proper, the second completely OOC. Obviously Jessie picks the fun party, where she bounces around with her newfound freak friends and breaks into the chorus: "It's my party/ I'll do what I want." There's a definite Miley Cyrus/"We Can't Stop" vibe to the lyrics, but since Jessie J's track is framed as a response to actual snarky comments (online and off), it's an anthem to self-determination that's entirely her own. Fave line: "You think my clothes are crazy?/ Well... maybe I'm crazy!" Jessie J? KEEP DOING YOU.

WillCall Raises $1.2 Million From Sean Parker, Coran Capshaw, Others

WillCall, a San Francisco-based developer of a mobile app for concerts, has raised $1.2 million in angel funding from Sean Paker, Coran Capshaw, Loeb & Loeb partner John Frankenheimer, Red Light Management’s Bruce Flohr and a number of other angel investors.

"There aren’t many people with visibility into the nuances of both the music and technology communities, and we’re thrilled to have access to the collective wisdom, insight, and perspective of this group of music industry titans," the company wrote in a blog post.

WillCall, currently available in San Francisco and New York, aims to make it easier to discover concerts and get deals on VIP offers. The app sells tickets to a handful of events at any given time. On Thursday morning the app listed 11 events in San Francisco -- two for Thursday evening, eight for Friday evening and one for August 24th.

If this sounds familiar it's because similarly named San Francisco-based startup Thrillcall basically does the same thing. Thrillcall offers daily deals, value-added items and tickets to sold-out events. Timbre, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also offers concert discovery and in-app ticket purchases but lacks specials deals and VIP packages.

But WillCall has a few unique wrinkles. One is the ability to order an artist's merch online rather than at the venue. Merchandise purchased via the WillCall app will be shipped to the buyer. Fans can show their support by using the app to directly tip an artist. The app also offers custom packages -- tickets, drinks, VIP packages -- that can be purchased directly from the app.

Scoring Summer Animation: 'Smurfs 2' Composer Talks Minions, Naughties, Working with Pharrell

Heitor Pereira scored both installments of the "Despicable Me" and "Smurfs" series.

Heitor Pereira has his name on two films in the summer’s spate of family animations -- Despicable Me 2 and The Smurfs 2, which opened this weekend and has earned $32.6 million. The composer’s approach to these kids’ franchises: “Why not animate the music too?" VISIT US @
The Brazilian music-maker isn't kidding. “Why not animate the instruments that are not supposed to be animated, things that are not supposed to be musical instruments?” he explains. “By doing that, I bring the animation factor into the music.”

He banged a tin can full of nails for Despicable Me and its sequel. He tapped the neck of a guitar as percussion for for The Smurfs 2. For 2008’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua, he had a choir bark the score’s melodies. “I said, let’s pay attention to what the dogs say,” Pereira recalls.

Pereira migrated to film from pop music -- a guitarist for hit British soul band Simply Red until 1996, he also won a Grammy in 2006 for his instrumental arrangement on Sting and Chris Botti’s “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" He is now part of Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions, which also includes composers Steve Jablonsky (Ender’s Game, Transformers) and Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones, Pacific Rim), and collaborated with Zimmer to score the 2009 romantic comedy It’s Complicated.
He names Jerry Goldsmith -- the legendary composer for the Star Trek and Rambo series -- as an inspiration behind his found-sound composing. “I feel that the more variety you can give to the movie in terms of my world of sound, I think the better is the experience for everybody,” he says. But although his instrumentation is sometimes unconventional, he notes that his compositions are not radically experimental. “I don’t reinvent the wheel. I just keep it going.”

His music for the Raja Gosnell-directed Smurfs sequel features a children’s choir, which Pereira had make “whooshing” sounds and other unconventional vocals, and incorporates sound effects from the film itself. The grunts and giggles of the Smurf-like Naughties and the mechanical sounds of the antagonistic wizard Gargamel’s machines became components of beats in Pereira’s score. 

“We have so many beautiful sound designers, special effects engineers. So to me, the more it’s a collaborative medium [the better],” he says. “I can take from the people that are using the universe of these movies.”

Despicable Me’s can of nails provided sound to accompany the Minions, whose antics Pereira says provided a fun but tricky musical challenge. “To me, for music, they are so surprising,” he says. “At every corner there is a Minion doing something.” Despicable Me 2 has several songs, including a version of “YMCA,” sung by the Minions -- their chirpy, unintelligible chatter voiced by director Pierre Coffin throughout the films. “It’s one guy’s little opera,” Pereira says. 

The Despicable Me films also teamed him with rapper/producer Pharrell Williams, whose recent collaborations with Robin Thicke and Daft Punk have yielded some of the summer’s biggest hit songs. Williams co-composed the first film’s score and wrote several original songs for the second, and the pair connected over their familiarity with Pereira’s native music. “He’s got some respect for Brazilian music,” the composer says. “It was so beautiful to know that in a way he knew me before he met me, just because he knew the music that I came from.”

Pereira praises Williams’ ability to respond to a film -- or artist or song -- in a way that contributes to but respects the original material. “He’s someone that reacts -- to a new artist, a new melody.” Pereira says. “His is a vision that’s ready to react.”
“He’s a kid at heart,” he adds.

Nicki Minaj Keeps Instagram Sizzlin' W/ New Topless Pic...

Young Money's Nicki Minaj sure knows how to draw a crowd and has shown no signs of slowing down with the release of a new topless Instagram photo.

Nicki Minaj gave her Barbz an eyeful of her assets--and almost caused some to pass out--by posting a racy selfie on Instagram. The Young Money superstar poses topless, with her long black hair strategically covering her nipples. Her fans flooded her comments with their reactions. "I just fainted," wrote one Barb, while another called the photo "ratchet." Nicki's Instagram has been on fire since she joined last month. A video of her twerking in a pool quickly made blog headlines. (Rap-Up)
A separate photo of Nicki and her fun bags started to circulate online around mid-June.
Man, oh man, do we love Nicki Minaj. The Queen of the Barbz is pictured backstage, topeless in a dress. On Wednesday, she retweeted the photo of herself, of course hiding away her goods. Not much to say, take a look above at the beauty that is Ms. Minaj, yes lawd. (XXL Mag)
Minaj even teased her Twitter followers with handfuls of breast-related tweets and clarified where the photo actually came from.
"lol, that was at my W cover shoot last year =) sit barbz! RT @NIKKIUKBARB I love how there's dresses that look like wedding dresses... Um," she tweeted.
"lol, its so not that serious. i hate the barbz for this RT ?@NickiBittyPiggy 1m *picks jaw up from the floor*"
"sure can barbz come on!!! :( > RT @CrazyKenBarb Ya Boobs Looks so TASTY!!! Can I have a Bite @NICKIMINAJ lol"
"one boob at a time barbz say ahhhhh!!!!"
"i only breast feed the barbz. U NOT A BARBIE ITS #NUNAYAFUCKINBEEZWAX" (Nicki Minaj's Twitter)
In early July, Nicki finally caved in and joined Instagram.
Since joining, Minaj has posted four photos, one featuring the singer in the classic "my babe caught me sleeping pose" (a.k.a. a closed-eye selfie), one that appears to be a reblogged professional shot with Nelly and Pharrell and a few artistic renderings of the singer. Since joining, Minaj has amassed more than 60,000 followers and several thousand comments and likes. (MTV)

Eminem Goes To 2000 And Back At Rare New York Show

Marshall Mathers runs through his catalog of hits at G-Shock's anniversary party. 

Eminem might be the next rapper to drop a monster album this year with only a few days' notice, but there was no mention of that Wednesday night when Shady took the stage for an extended set at G-Shock's "Shock The World" 30th anniversary party in New York.

The performance coincided with the brand announcing Eminem's own limited edition, Detroit-inspired G-Shock watch, which will be released in December.

After an opening set from Shady Records signee Yelawolf, who delivered singles like "Trunk Muzik," Marshall Mathers hit the stage in shorts, a baseball cap and a camo hoodie for his very rare performance.
D12 rapper and producer Mr. Porter played the role of hype man for Shady, and while fans were unsure whether to expect only songs from his most recent albums, or maybe even a preview from his upcoming project, Em took it back to some of his classics.

From Marshall Mathers' "Kill You" and "Stan" to Recovery's "No Love," Em rotated between albums, and finally stripped down to his usual white T-shirt after getting warmed up. "Criminal," "Cleanin' Out My Closet," "The Way I Am," "Sing For The Moment," "Like Toy Soldiers" and even his verse on "Airplanes" made the cut.

The Shady Records family was in the building to show their support — including Obie Trice, who watched from the VIP section — but Royce Da 5' 9'' was the only cameo of the night, joining Eminem for their Bad Meets Evil collaboration "Lighters."

Em followed up their radio hit with "Not Afraid" from his most recent album Recovery, before the lights dimmed and he disappeared from the stage, leaving the crowd chanting for one more. He did return for an encore, though, closing his unexpectedly robust set with "8 Mile's" lead single "Lose Yourself," complete with middle fingers up in the air.

There have been very few details on Em's upcoming 8th album, but last fall the Detroit rapper confirmed its existence when he released a Marshall Mathers baseball cap with inscriptions of the years that he dropped each of his solo albums on the side panel — including a notch for 2013.

Since then Dr. Dre has confirmed that his longtime collaborator was putting finishing touches on the album and Alchemist told MTV News that Em was taking a new direction on this LP.

"That's my boss. I DJ for him and I'm not at liberty to speak on much, but you know his caliber and what he does. He's clearly going to further territories," Alchemist said during a visit to "RapFix Live."

Eminem's limited edition G-Shock watch hits stores in December. The watch is engraved with his reverse "E" logo and an autograph that reads "Shady," while the band features an outline of the Detroit skyline.

Obama Protesters Sing 'Bye Bye Black Sheep,' Rail Against 'Half-White Muslim' In Arizona

A raucous crowd of supporters and protesters from both ends of the political spectrum showed up outside President Barack Obama's appearance in Phoenix, Ariz. on Tuesday, with some of his detractors turning to racially charged attacks to express their opposition.
From the Arizona Republic:
Obama foes at one point sang, "Bye Bye Black Sheep," a derogatory reference to the president's skin color, while protesters like Deanne Bartram raised a sign saying, "Impeach the Half-White Muslim!"
The Republic reported that hundreds of people gathered outside Desert Vista High School as Obama unveiled a plan to overhaul the nation's mortgage finance system. Some protesters came from Obama's left, urging him to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline and take other actions on climate change. But a prevailing theme among many in the protest appeared to be issues of race. Some even suggested that Obama himself was to blame for racial tensions.

“We have gone back so many years,” Judy Burris told the Republic, arguing Obama had taken the nation back to pre-Civil Rights era levels of racism. “He’s divided all the races. I hate him for that.”
Others carried signs calling for Obama to be impeached, Tucson News Now reported, though despite the negativity, the majority of those in attendance were Obama fans.

Inside, Obama's speech focused primarily on the housing market, though he did at one point attempt to link his proposal to immigration reform, arguing that Congress -- which is now in recess -- could help housing prices rebound by finalizing legislation that has already been passed by the Senate.