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Listen to a nostalgia-inducing Nelly-TLC-New Kids on the Block mashup

Ahead of their “The Main Event” summer tour with New Kids on the Block, TLC, and Nelly, DJ Earworm released a mix of the performers’ best hits.

The mix honors a few of their most recognizable songs including TLC’s “Waterfalls,” Nelly’s “Just a Dream,” and New Kids on the Block’s “You Got It (The Right Stuff).” READ FULL STORY

Ariana Grande drafted to perform at halftime at the NBA All-Star Game

It’s been a minute since Ariana Grande has conquered a huge media event the way she has done with the VMAs and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. But all that is about to change, as not only is she booked on the Grammys, but a week later she’ll take the stage at Madison Square Garden as the halftime entertainment at the NBA All-Star Game. READ FULL STORY

LL Cool J will host the Grammys again

LL Cool J will once again return to the Grammys as host, CBS has announced. This will be the fourth year in a row that the rapper and NCIS: Los Angeles star has occupied this role. LL Cool J began hosting in 2012, following a period in which the show had no offical host. READ FULL STORY

The Voyeurs share the glammy, color-saturated video for 'Train to Minsk' -- exclusive

In an era of increasingly high-concept strategies to keep rock ‘n’ roll relevant, London quintet The Voyeurs boast a bracingly back-to-basics formula. Much of their material hews to the deconstructionist rumble of Television and Richard Hell & the Voidoids, but on their single “Train to Minsk,” the group harnesses the swaggering, stomping sound of early UK glam, which itself was an alternative to the early ’70s hippie hangover (and provided more of a foundation for the subsequent punk movement than it’s often credited for). The song’s video is a color-saturated collage of manipulated found footage created by founding Jesus and Mary Chain bassist Douglas Hart.

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'Selma' star Keith Stanfield on why playing Snoop Dogg required an all-nighter

Moors

Keith Stanfield may have grown up in Victorville, a sleepy L.A. suburb, but these days he doesn’t have much free time. The 23-year-old’s starring role in Short Term 12 put him on the map, and now he’s scored roles in Selma, Rick Famuyiwa’s Sundance-bound Dope, and biopics about Miles Davis (Miles Ahead) and N.W.A. (Straight Outta Compton). He also started an alternative hip-hop project, Moors, with the enigmatic producer HH.

When he spoke to EW in Chelsea late last year, Stanfield talked about what sets his raps apart from 2 Chainz, how he met Selma director Ava DuVernay, and how the artwork for Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle influenced him at a young age. But before any of that, he saw the artwork for Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy on my iPhone—and had to get some talk about the iconic MC out of the way. READ FULL STORY

Chicago rapper Matty Rico shares 'Cheap Champagne' -- exclusive

Recently Chicago’s become a launching pad for smart but crossover-friendly rappers, and there’s currently a whole field of them looking to become the next Kanye, Lupe, or Chance. Matty Rico is still in the process of laying a foundation for his career, but he’s already moving toward the front of that pack. His latest single, “Cheap Champagne,” mixes harsh electronic sounds and party-friendly chanting. It’s like the friskier, more party-friendly cousin to Kanye’s “New Slaves,” and it persuasively suggests that Rico’s someone to keep an eye on.

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Iggy Azalea says she's changed hip-hop

In a recent interview with GQ, Iggy Azalea discusses her upcoming stadium tour, dealing with criticism, and her abiding love of chicken teriyaki—and as Time‘s Nolan Feeney points out, the most revealing quote comes during Azalea’s discussion of her future.

Some critics have pointed out that Azalea’s hugely successful 2014 might have to do with the lack of albums from bigger stars like Beyonce or Justin Timberlake. But Azalea isn’t worried: ““At the very worst, if I have a short-lived career, at least I could say I sparked a change—that I inspired some leniency in what people accept in hip-hop,” she says.

Feeney writes, “Azalea’s comments might be easy to dismiss at first. But even the Roots’ drummer Questlove told Time as much last summer when discussing her success and worldwide influence.”

Red Bull Music Academy drops free compilation featuring Flying Lotus, Dirty Projectors collaborators

The Red Bull Music Academy has convened in a new city every year since 1998 to host musicians of all stripes for recording sessions, lectures, and performances. On Wednesday, Red Bull released a free 35-song compilation culled from the Academy’s 2014 incarnation, which took place in Tokyo.

Various Assets — Not For Sale features contributions from Flying Lotus keyboardist Dorian Concept, emerging rapper Zebra Katz, former Dirty Projectors multi-instrumentalist Angel Deradoorian, and many others. “Listen carefully, and you might hear ricocheting echoes of 4 a.m. ramen bowls and games of table tennis,” explains Red Bull’s website.

Take a look at the track listing for Various Assets below, and head over to Red Bull Music Academy’s trippy online player to download or stream the compilation. READ FULL STORY

Hear two of Mark Ronson's 'Mortdecai' tracks -- exclusive

Mark Ronson is currently sitting at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for his straight-from-the-’70s “Uptown Funk,” but his collaboration with composer Geoff Zanelli for the Mortdecai soundtrack is more appropriate for a James Bond montage than a dance party—although both are heavy on the horns, a Mark Ronson signature.

While Ronson’s new to film scores, Zanelli’s a veteran: He won an Emmy in 2006 for his work on Steven Spielberg’s Into the West and has contributed to scores for movies including Disturbia and 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. READ FULL STORY

John Legend on 'Selma,' Ferguson, and singing his Oscar-nominated song to Common on the phone

John Legend was not expecting to be an Oscar nominee a few months ago. “I hadn’t planned to have a song in a major film,” he told EW. “I was on the road, I was focused on touring, and Common called me up with this really amazing opportunity.” Now, the song Legend wrote with Common for Selma, “Glory,” has made him a Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee. “Glory” also explicitly connects the movie, which chronicles Martin Luther King, Jr.’s activism in 1965, to present-day events.

EW spoke with Legend about his nomination and the relevance of the song last night before he performed at a launch event for AXE White Label. Legend is mentoring artists as part of a program called AXE White Label Collective. Artists can submit YouTube videos for the opportunity to work with Legend and be featured during an SXSW event.  READ FULL STORY

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