All Articles Tagged "Taylor Swift"
Don’t know if you noticed but the Oscars didn’t exactly have that much for Black people. With the exception of Common and John Legend performing and winning the Academy Award for their song “Glory,” the show was a sea of White faces. It’s the reason we didn’t live tweet the show like we usually do. Instead, we simply showed you what our faves were wearing on the carpet. So in honor of our disappointment and in anticipation for tonight’s BET Honors, we’re highlighting some of the Blackest moments from award shows in the past decade or so.
“The Voices In My Head Told Me To Go”: Kanye Clarifies Comments About Beck After Backlash; Says He’s Working With Taylor Swift
After all of his yapping about Beyoncé being more deserving of the “Album of the Year” award at the Grammys than Beck, Kanye West’s name has been in everyone’s mouth for the past few days.
He almost brought us back to the 2009 VMAs when he ran on stage while Beck picked up his award, only to smile and run back down. He said that he was just joking at that moment, but comments he made later were anything but light and comical. As he told the folks at E! News after the big show:
“The Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t finna play with them no more! And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé. And at this point, we tired of it. Because what happens is when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face, after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration.
And we, as musicians, have to inspire people who go to work every day. And they listen to that Beyoncé album and they feel like it takes them to another place. Then they do this whole promotional event…you know they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, the artist, because they want the commercial advertising. Like no, we’re not playing with them anymore.
And by the way I got my wife, my daughter and I got my clothing line. So I’m not finna to do nothing to put my daughter at risk but I am here to fight for creativity. That’s why I didn’t say nothing tonight. But y’all know what it meant when Ye walked on that stage.”
Well, people weren’t feeling what he had to say (especially since Beyoncé doesn’t need him to be her keeper), so in an interview with On Air With Ryan Seacrest, he was given the chance to explain himself. He made it clear that he does have the utmost respect for Beck, and that his issue was more so with the Grammys than the musician. He also revealed that he will soon be teaming up with the first person he stage crashed, Taylor Swift, to make music:
Working With Taylor Swift
Yeah, she wants to get in the studio and we’re definitely going to go in. Any artist with an amazing point of view, perspective, fan base, I’m down to get in the studio and work. I don’t discriminate, I don’t have an elitism of music because of like how many Grammys or you know, the amount of ratings you get on an album. I that think everyone loves music whether they love hip-hop, alternative, country, and if I could be involved in giving people any type of energy, advice in the studio, whether you’re Beyonce, whether you’re Taylor Swift, whether you’re Jay Z, whether you’re Beck, whoever, and they can be reciprocal with that, I’d like to be involved with that.
If He Wanted To Say Something When He Got Out Of His Seat At The Grammys
You know, I felt like just the whole Grammys, right when that happened, everybody was looking at me and then people started screaming, “Kanye! Kanye! Go do it!” Ok, that didn’t really happen, these were voices in my head. So the voices in my head told me go and then I just walked up like halfway up the stage. You know, what I really wanted to do is just joke around about what had happened before, but I just really didn’t want to take away from Beck’s moment or the time he’s having to talk because you know the Grammys, they play music really quick no matter who you are and everything. So I didn’t want anything to take away from his screen time. So I just walked back down because you know, it was kind of a joke like the Grammys themselves.
If He Thinks He Was Disrespectful To Beck
Well first of all, Beck is one of the nicest guys and one of the most respected musicians in the game. So, there’s nothing that I will want to do as a fellow musician to disrespect him in any way. And the weird thing is like, and I don’t feel like I have the right to take away from people’s moments, but the reality of it is — and case in point by who came up to me right afterwards — is it’s almost like a chiropractor. You know, you just get a little crook out like, “Wow, this crook has been there!” It’s just a little jolt of truth, right? And then you know, everyone feels better after the fact, or everyone is way more famous after the fact, or everyone sells way more albums after the fact, and then Kanye just goes on being an a**hole to everyone.
And when I said that thing about respect artistry, I think it came off the wrong way, and that was a mis-wording on my part because obviously Beck is one the most respected artists and respects artistry. But I felt — and this is my opinion and he’s his own man and he’s not wrong and we’ll still go play basketball and stuff [unless] he doesn’t want to do it — but I felt that even though the Grammys sometimes gives awards to people who you wouldn’t think should win in the category, as a respect to artists, we mention the other artist’s name in our speech. And that was the point I was making about it. There’s like many of times I gave other people my award, literally made them come up onstage. Maroon 5, when they won best new artist, [Adam Levine] mentioned me because it was the College Dropout and [it had] 10 nominations and all that.
Why He Decided To Deliver His Rant After The Show
Well you know what happened? It’s because I sat there and I kind of let that [smolder] and I was asked my opinion and I was given a platform. And when given a platform, it’s very hard as we know — and I’m going to talk in third person like I’m a crazy person — but it’s very hard for Kanye West to not be very true and vocal to what he feels. You know, it’s like people take the Grammys for granted in a way because of the commercials, because a lot of the musicians are very rich and everything, but this is our Super Bowl. You know, and someone’s got to be mad that [Marshawn Lynch] didn’t get the ball.
At the end of the day, you win some, you lose some, and considering that Beyoncé has the most Grammy nominations of any female artist, and won 20, she’s not hurting for yet another one–even if it is “Album of the Year.”
Who is your favorite artist of the year? Do you think they will earn a coveted Grammy award for their hard work? Time will have to tell as nominees of the 2015 Grammys are still waiting to hear their names called. The Recording Academy has decided to switch things up this year by announcing nominations throughout the entire day. While we’ll have to wait and see who’s in and out, here is what we know right now. Head over to Twitter for full Grammy nominee coverage.
I couldn’t have been the only person who saw the SNL skit “Swiftamine” a busted out laughing.
Oh, you didn’t see it?
Well, basically the skit was about taking a medication, the moment you realize you’re starting to like Taylor Swift. It was like SNL had been in my living room, listening to my conversations.
For weeks I had been talking about how much I loved her new single “Shake It Off” and was seriously contemplating adding it to my iPod.
“Shake It Off” is my ish!
And I’m no longer ashamed to tell anyone.
Apparently, I’m not the only one. The song struck such a chord (no pun intended) with violinists Charly and Margaux, collectively Chargaux, that they decided to create a cover of it…on the strings.
And they killed that thang.
Check these two flyy ladies playing Taylor’s song so well they had me searching iTunes for the available download.
Trust me, it’ll bless you.
Aretha Franklin Is Asked About Today’s “Divas,” Adele, Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift And Nicki Minaj, And She’s Not Impressed
Queen diva Aretha Franklin has been promoting her new hit album, Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics, and stopped to chat with The Wall Street Journal about it. During her conversation with Christopher John Farley, he asked her why she decided to take on the songs of others, including her decision to sing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”
“It was Mr. Davis, the chairman’s idea…he brought the list to me, the list of singers and so on. But it was great because I had already bought some of these records and enjoyed them so it was natural.”
“Rolling in the Deep, I liked it when I first heard it…I said, ‘you know what? I like that melody and I like that song.’ So when Clive presented it to me, I said ‘absolutely.'”
Farley also asked her about today’s singers, and how many choose to use auto-tune, something Franklin isn’t feeling: “Oh please. That’s ridiculous.” So when he asked her to tell him the first thoughts that come to her head when she thinks of today’s divas (she did laud the late Whitney Houston: “She had a gift”), she didn’t have that much to say. She gave a thumbs up to Adele and Alicia, but that was about it.
Adele : “Young singer. Good singer.”
Alicia: “Young performer. Good writer. Producer.”
Taylor Swift: “Okay…Great gowns. Beautiful gowns.”
Nicki Minaj: “Nicki Minaj…Hmmm…I’m going to pass on that one.”
Gotta love ‘retha! She keeps it all the way real. Check out her chat with the WSJ below. The conversation about divas starts at the 3:50 mark.
It’s Not That Serious…Is It? Why I Don’t See Taylor Swift’s Controversial “Shake It Off” Video As Cultural Misappropriation
Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj both took the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards to perform their latest singles (“Shake It Off” and “Anaconda”). Despite occupying two very different genres, both stars have one common detail in their recent visual productions that seem to be bringing in a fair share of controversy– twerking backsides.
One video is being well accepted, albeit a little controversial, and is cited as a return of the booty bounce days.
The other? Well, that artist is being shamed for apparently being misguided and being given two definitive thumbs down.
Twerking became the most prominent dance craze of the moment last year. While twerking isn’t anything new within hip-hop culture, pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Lily Allen have received an insurmountable wave of backlash for including the rump-shaking dance in their own music videos. It’s very easy to cross the thin line of appreciation and appropriation (just ask Katy Perry, who is often side-eyed for the latter), but in the case of Taylor Swift, if you ask me, it isn’t an open and shut case. How is it possible to celebrate Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” that features four minutes and 49 seconds of vibrating assets while Taylor Swift included fragmented segments of it in her four-minute production?
I understand rapper Earl Sweatshirt’s immediate response when he says that this video may be “inherently offensive and ultimately harmful.” But if this video montage of dance is harmful than what does that say about “Anaconda?” If Swift spent her entire video with only black dancers putting their hands on their knees while she rapped in her hoodie, fitted cap and boom box, then I would better understand how some view the video as wrong. But seeing as how she’s showcasing a medley of dance from ballet, cheerleading and even break dancing (all in a seemingly comical way), when does it really become offensive?
We’ve become so sensitive as a culture and throw darts at any artist that doesn’t have the same amount of melanin in their skin, deeming them to be culture vultures when they feature the same images in their videos that we do. There are moments of taking it too far, but sometimes we can take things a little too far.
There has to be some sense of balance. Every white girl who features twerking in her video is not racist. Things can be done in good taste and in good, clean fun. The storyline of the video is clear that it is poking fun at Swift’s two left feet. As director Mark Romanek put it: “If you look at it carefully, it’s a massively inclusive piece. It’s very, very innocently and positively intentioned. And — let’s remember — it’s a satirical piece. It’s playing with a whole range of music-video tropes and clichés and stereotypes.”
If we fault stars for including what is popular in their visual work – because let’s face it, white, black, purple and green people are all doing it – and even for questioning what seems to be popular, we’d all be stressed out.
Each video fits the genre it operates within. The head Barbie had every man, and maybe even some women, glued to the screen when “Anaconda” dropped, while the former country star has provided a cutesy, cookie cutter “be yourself” video for her fan base. Sometimes that’s all there is to it. So really, is this video really that bad?
Some stars have a reputation of being a tight wad when it comes to money even though they have more than enough of it. But these stars are quite to opposite and don’t mind sharing the wealth when it comes to leaving a tip. Check out this list of celebs who tip well… very well.
Jay Z has 99 problems but money certainly isn’t one. After the Brooklyn rapper teamed up with his mentee Kanye West for their collaborative “Watch The Throne” album, Hov went all out during the party thrown to celebrate its release. Jay Z ordered a quarter of a million dollars worth of champagne and when it came time to pay for the bill, he didn’t bat an eye dropping an extra $50,000 for the wait staff.
Sometimes it’s over just as quickly as it starts — it being these ridiculously short celebrity romances you might’ve missed if you blinked an eye.
Jennifer Lopez and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
When Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony tied the knot back in 2004, it seemed like a match made in heaven so fans were understandably shocked when they announced their split in 2011. J. Lo moved on to back-up dancer Cris Smart and they remained a couple until early June of 2014. While hot on the promo trail to get the word out about her upcoming album, Lopez started making different headlines. Reports leaked that Lopez had hooked up with “Dancing with the Stars” dancer and recent mirror ball champ Maksim Chmerkovskiy. But as quickly as it started, things have seemed to fizzle out. Reportedly, Chmerkovskiy was turned off by the media attention Lopez garnered and was looking for something a little more low-key.
Tags:Ashley Olsen, Ashton Kutcher, audrina patridge, beyonce, Bradley Cooper, celebrity romance, chris pine, eva longoria, fergie, geri halliwell, henry cavill, jake gyllenhaal, jay z, jennifer lopez, Justin Timberlake, kaley cuoco, kim kardashian, Kristen Bell, Lance Armstrong, Mark Sanchez, matthew morrison, mos def, nick lachey, Rihanna, Rosario Dawson, Russell Brand, sofia vergara, Taylor Swift, tom cruise
Is Music By Female Performers Filled With Just As Much Man-Hating As Hip-Hop Is Filled With Misogyny?
Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas has done a piece for Complex magazine’s website on the art of the male response song, particularly the many (and I do mean many) responses to Nicki Minaj’s “Lookin’ Ass Ni**a,” and how it all exudes extreme “butthurtness” as he calls it. Damon Young also writes that all the responses are redundant and comical, considering how those in hip-hop address women in their music.
Of course, the comment section is full of folks who weren’t trying to hear that “respect women” bull crap. As one commenter noted:
“I’m also very suspicious of men like you who (rightly) point out instances of misogyny in rap, while at the same time, try to excuse, or turn a blind eye to the slew of misandric/ female supremacist material filling the catalogues of artists like Beyonce & Taylor Swift.”
I have heard this reasoning before: Female singers and rappers have as many man-hating songs as rappers have their woman-hating hits. But is it true? A casual listen to the radio would say, hell no! But in the name of pseudo-science, I decided to find out if songs performed by women in music were equally “misandrist.” The answers will surprise you – but likely not.
For this research, I decided to focus on the two “urban” radio stations here in Philadelphia. WUSL, better known to listeners as “POWER 99FM,” is owned by Clear Channel Communications. As evident by its signature, “Bangin’ Hip Hop and R&B,” Power 99 caters to those who listen to hip-hop as well as those who listen to R&B music. And according to the station’s marketing material, its audience is 54 percent women and 44 percent men. Therefore, if I were to find misandrist music anywhere, it would likely be on a station, which appeals largely to women.
The other station is WPHI, which is known locally as Hot 107.9 FM. Like POWER 99FM, WPHI is known as an urban station. Although demographics on the station were hard to come by in the short amount of time I allotted for this study, judging by the similar musical format, I assumed that its audience is also reflective of that of 99FM – with slight variations.
Since radio today tends to be repetitious (which might have something to do with the fact that only six companies control 90 percent of mainstream media), I limited my research time to two hours. To be specific, I listened to 99FM on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. The playlist was as followed: YG, “My Hitta (My N-Word) Remix”; “NaNa” by Trey Songz; Drake feat. 2 Chainz and Big Sean, “All Me”; Young Thug, “Stoner”; Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown, “Show Me”; T-Pain feat. BoB, “Up Down”; Rick Ross feat. Jay Z, “The Devil is a Lie”; Rich Homie Quan, “Type of Way”; Miguel, “Adorn”; “All of Me” by John Legend; “Que” by OG Bobby Johnson; ScHoolboy Q, “Man of the Year”; Rico Love feat. Trey Songz, TI and Tiara Thomas, “They Don’t Know”; Beyoncé, feat. Jay Z, “Drunk in Love”; Mack Wilds, “Henny”; and finally, Sage the Gemini, “Gas Pedal.”
What struck me the most was in spite of 99FM’s listening audience being slightly more female, its playlist for those two hours was heavily dependent on male-performed content. Because of that, I decided to tune in again on Sunday, from 11 to 1 p.m. The only other differences were old school songs Like DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win” as well as the following: Mack Wilds, “Own It”; Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, “Part II (On the Run)”; Wale feat. NickiMinaj, “Clappers”; Chris Brown, “Loyal”; and French Montana, “Ain’t Worried About Nothin’.”
On 107.9FM, which I tuned in to from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, there was more of a gender balance in the playlist, but only slightly: Rico Love, “They Don’t Know”; Beyoncé, “Yoncé/Partition”; Janelle Monae, “Primetime”; Tamar Braxton, “All the Way Home”; Aaliyah, “Try Again” (throwback classic); Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, “Part II (On The Run)”; “Happy” by Pharrell; Ariana Grande feat. Mac Miller, “The Way”; Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown, “Show Me”; Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, “Drunk in Love”; Sevyn Streeter feat. Chris Brown, “It Won’t Stop”; Rick Ross, “Sanctified”; August Alsina feat. Chris Brown and Trey Songz, “I Luv This S**t”; John Legend, “All of Me”; Bruno Mars, “When I was Your Man”; Jay Z feat. Rick Ross, “F**kWithMeYouKnowIGotIt”; Jhene Aiko, “The Worst.”
In total, I heard 32 unique songs in a span of six radio hours. Despite the gender imbalance of both playlists, quick research showed that the playlists were more aligned with the national top 20 lists for popular urban music. Therefore, this was as good as it was going to get. In terms of misogyny, here are some of my observations as followed:
- Nineteen out of the 23 unique male-performed songs referred to women as either b**ches or hos or a combination of both.
- At least 10 of the male-performed songs had direct themes revolving around using money as economic power over women, particularly using it to lure a woman home or entice them to shake body parts. “Gas Pedal” gives you that much in the title without even having to cite a single lyric. Equally as direct was T-Pain, who reminds us that “she don’t even like girls but a stack will make her kiss her.” However, Trey Songz was a little more smooth in how he financially finessed himself closer to the “NaNa.”
- At least half of the male-performed songs were keen on establishing boundaries for women, and usually of lesser importance, even when the song itself had little to do with male-female relationships. For example, Chris Brown tells us directly about how he “done did everything but trust these hos” in “Loyal.” However, Young Thug, who focuses most of his lyrics in “Stoner” on his drug use, takes a bar or two to make clear that you can “can suck my banana, but I won’t eat your pudding.”
- At least 12 of the male-centered songs contained lyrics, which treated women as possessions, in particular, collectible items. For example, in “Devil Is A Lie”, Rick Ross brags about “switching old b**ches for new b**ches” and more. Whereas ScHoolboy Q couldn’t see women outside of disembodied body parts (“Titty, a**, hands in the air, it’s a party over here”) in “Man of the Year.”
- While not necessarily misogynistic, at least 10 of the male-centered songs had lyrics, which focused on non-committal relationships with the opposite sex. In “They Don’t Know,” Rico Love tells us about the very special yet secret relationship he has with a side jawn, who he is willing to wine and dine, just as long as she keeps her mouth shut.
- Only five of the male performed songs featured lyrics that were non-authoritative, combative and expressed healthier sentiment with the opposite sex. The majority of those songs were R&B, including Miguel’s “Adorn” and John Legend’s “All of Me” – or duets performed with a female performer. Even when the topic was about heartbreak, male-centered R&B songs were more likely to engage in self-reflection compared to their rap counterparts. The unique exceptions to that included R&B singer Chris Brown, who blames the cheating girls he willingly has relationships with in “Loyal” for his trust issues and rapper Big Sean, who seems willing to own up (slightly) to his paranoia in “All Me” with the following lines: “Like I got trust issues, I’m sorry for the people I’ve pushed out. I’m the type to have a bullet-proof condom and still gotta pull out. But that’s just me, and I ain’t perfect, I ain’t a saint but I am worth it…”
So the misogyny is well-documented, but what about the misandry? Well, according to my observations:
- Out of the nine female-performed songs on the radio, I found two examples, which could possibly be interpretative of misandry: the first is in Jhene Aiko’s “The Worst,” when she says of her deceiving significant other, “Please don’t take this personal, but you ain’t sh**t…” The second is Nicki Minaj’s verse on “Clappers” when she says,“Where your money? Let a b***h evaluate. If you ’bout big money, elaborate.” However, Minaj’s lyrics on “Clappers” seemed to be aligned with misogyny more than man-hating in that particular song.
- The vast majority (eight in total) of female-performed songs involved themes of love: how to get it and how to keep it. In “Drunk in Love,” Beyoncé told us sordid tales of all-night sex and drinking babies (as she also did in “Yoncé/Partition”). Tamar Braxton is so in love in her song she thinks about her man on her drive all the way home. Ariana Grande’s track was about being in love, as was Sevyn Streeter’s.
- All of the female-performed songs were more likely to focus on keeping and maintaining relationships with the opposite sex as opposed to their male-performing counterparts, whose songs were on varied topics (note: I included Janelle Monae in that number because “Primetime” was a duet with Miguel).
Again, this is not to sit in judgment of the artists and their individual songs, but rather, to smack down the silly notion that female-performed contemporary music is filled with just as much misandry as hip hop is filled with misogynistic lyrics. The most interesting side note to this experiment is that if you take the female-performed songs and put them between the male-centered songs, you get an interesting mix of mostly men saying, don’t trust these girls – unless you can pay them to dance and have sex with them – while female performers are begging these guys, who don’t seem to care about them at all, to stay. I guess it is true what Beyoncé says, “who wants that perfect love anyway – cliché, cliché…”
With a new year comes a whole new set of enviable Hollywood figures. While some of the lovely ladies on our list have become mainstays in the fashion, beauty and fitness worlds already, there are certainly a few new women the world should take notice of. And though staring at these gorgeous women might fill us with a little bit of jealousy, we’re also hoping it kicks us into high gear with our resolution to get it right, get it tight in 2014. So without further adieu, here’s a look at 2014’s hottest celebrity figures.