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A$AP Rocky returns with 'Multiply'


Pop in your grills and give a pitch-dropped “unh,” because A$AP Rocky’s back.

Thursday at midnight, the Harlem rapper released “Multiply,” his first new recording in the nearly two years since his debut album LONG.LIVE.A$AP. Although Juicy J gets a feature credit, the former Three 6 Mafia member’s role is limited to a spoken-word intro and outro, and providing the inspiration for a brief reference to “Stay Fly.” Flacko spends the rest of the track big-upping Houston rap legend Pimp C, sh– talking over trendy streetwear labels, and revealing his interest in going all New Jack City by making Jeeps a thing again—all over a beat by emerging producer Curtis Heron, which takes Rocky’s signature icy, slow motion psychedelia to trippy new levels. READ FULL STORY

Watch A$AP Rocky hang out at Kathy Griffin's house in a NSFW scene from new Noisey doc here -- EXCLUSIVE


The upcoming A$AP Rocky documentary SVDDXNLY is not short on celebrity cameos: There be Snoop; there be Macklemore; there be Drake and Rihanna and Schoolboy Q and Big Sean and Bun B and Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa and Jeremy Scott and Glee‘s Naya Rivera looking like she took a real wrong left turn at the Glendale Galleria.

But the hour-long film’s maximum bonkers moment may be the footage of Rocky’s visit to the Los Angeles home of actress/comedian/Bravolebrity Kathy Griffin, in which two famous people arrive as strangers and leave as death-wish friends, and A$AP learns many new things about sex, secret handshakes, and how to light a very expensive fireplace from the future.

Click below to watch what happened when A$AP met Kathy –it’s just like when Harry Met Sally, but with 87% more hand job jokes. (Again, this clip is not NSFW): READ FULL STORY

'Divergent' soundtrack: Hear Ellie Goulding's brand-new 'Beating Heart' here -- EXCLUSIVE


When Divergent hits theaters on March 21, it is poised to become one of the biggest movie events of the spring. One of the key elements that carries the flick is the soundtrack, with features a score by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL as well as a series of songs that are weaved deep into the drama of the film.

Unlike many movie-accompanying soundtracks, the songs on Divergent: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (out March 11) are woven into the action of the film. The cornerstone star is Ellie Goulding, who has a handful of tunes on the soundtrack album and also provided the “musical voice” for lead character Tris Prior (played by Shailene Woodley). “For me, the movie is about a young woman finding herself, transforming herself and becoming powerful on a societal stage,” explains director Neil Burger. “It’s an intimate, personal portrait, but on a grand scale. Ellie’s music has that very intimate quality. You are in the heart of her characters, in their souls, in their minds. When she sings her voice resonates inside you. Her music was a perfect way to do all that for Tris—to feel what she was feeling inside.”

Indeed, Goulding’s voice has been integrated into the score of the film, making her a constant part of the on-screen action. “I got to jam, like you would jam on a guitar, but just with my voice,” says Goulding of the process. “I really enjoyed it.”

Goulding lent three songs to the film but also crafted a brand new tune called “Beating Heart” specifically for Divergent. “In the last scene of the movie, Tris has just experienced multiple tragedies, even as she triumphs (for the moment) over her enemies,” says Burger. “Ellie wrote ‘Beating Heart’ and we knew it’d be perfect for the end of the movie. Her lyrics almost merge with Tris’ voice-over and her music lets the movie soar above the tragedy. The sadness is still there but so is the transcendence. It’s a fantastic song.”

You’ll have to wait until March 21 to see how that scene plays out, but for now, give a listen to the exclusive premiere of Ellie Goulding’s “Beating Heart” below.  READ FULL STORY

A$AP Rocky apologizes for VMA weirdness with Jason Collins

With all the twerking and *NSYNC reuniting going on at the MTV Video Music Awards, it was easy to overlook one of the stranger moments of the night.

During the introduction of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of “Same Love,” A$AP Rocky took the stage with openly gay NBA player Jason Collins. Before throwing to Macklemore, Collins talked about his decision to come out, how it matched up with his grandmother’s work with the civil rights movement, and how stars like Macklemore were standing up for gay rights.

Once he was done, Rocky spoke up, and his delivery was… awkward. After plugging cohort A$AP Ferg’s new album Trap Lord, he stumbled through his introduction of Macklemore. “This next artist is a good friend of mine,” Rocky said. “He stands up for everything he believe in as far as everybody being equal—color, homosexuality.” After that, Rocky’s gestures and the look on his face seemed to say that he didn’t realize he was even in the shot, and the whole thing generally felt uncomfortable.

“I’m mad that my facial expressions was like that because I’m not homophobic at all, and that whole thing just came off real homophobic,” Rocky told The Stashed. “I didn’t really notice it until I got home and saw it. I apologize to Jason for that, because people was laughing and s—, and you know… I really don’t think that’s funny. I saw they were making all the memes and pictures and making fun of him. There’s people out there that think I was doing that to be funny, and truthfully I got gay people in my family.”

He also noted that he was unsure what MTV was going for with the pairing. “I don’t give a f— if you gay or you not, I just found it odd that MTV wanted to stand me next to this n—- when they are talking about gay people, that’s all. You know what I’m saying?” Presumably they wanted Macklemore’s biggest TV performance yet to get the endorsement of a New York-based chart-topping rapper, so Rocky should feel good about being the gatekeeper for hip-hop cred.

What did you think of A$AP Rocky’s moment with Jason Collins at the VMAs? Did it seem odd to you, or were you too traumatized by foam fingers to notice?

Macklemore dresses up as 'Mackle Jackson' for new 'White Walls' video: Watch it here

Go West — er, South — young duo!

The Seattle indie-rap twosome Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have trade in their Pacific Northwest home for the Wild West in their new video for “White Walls,” the Cadillac-loving Heist track featuring ScHoolboy Q and Hollis.

The (mostly) desert-set clip features not only the likes of A$AP Rocky, Trinidad James, Wiz Khalifa, Big Boi, DJ Drama, and fellow Seattleite Sir Mix-a-Lot, but also a matador-costumed Macklemore going under the handle ‘Mackle Jackson.’ Hint hint.

Take a look at the busy, Caddy-filled video below:


Before his world tour with Rihanna, A$AP Rocky goes small in Brooklyn

In just a couple of weeks, Harlem wunderkind A$AP Rocky will embark as the opener on Rihanna’s global Diamonds tour, but last night, he held down a markedly smaller affair for Scion’s Open Mic concert series, which went down at the small, 400-capacity Public Assembly in Brooklyn. (The show was part of an ongoing run that has also brought out the likes of Danny Brown, Action Bronson, and Trinidad James in the past year.)

Considering his career trajectory — the $3 million record contract, LongLiveA$AP opening at No. 1, the ascent of “F—-n’ Problems” — it was probably the smallest venue he’ll play in a while, and it showed in the long line that waited in near-freezing temperatures for his midnight appearance.

But anyone hoping for a preview of what Rocky’s planning for his big Diamonds gig probably didn’t find what they were looking for at Public Assembly. In the past year, Rocky’s become a festival mainstay, and his sets have ranged from rowdy throwdowns to solid but unexciting cameo-filled performances. Last night was somewhere in between those two points.

There was some friendly drink-throwing, and as usual, Rocky was there with a not-small crew — mainly his A$AP Mob buddies. (A$AP Ferg was one of the openers, and A$APs Twelvy, Nast and more made appearances throughout the night.) But a raucous, overcrowded room tends to work in the rapper’s favor: As charismatic as Rocky’s persona is, his stage presence tends to be on the weak side, with his slick flow often turning into a loud bark. The Public Assembly show was no exception. (Also not cooperating: the in-house spotlight tech, who did not respond to Rocky’s repeated mood-setting request for purple lights. Be more helpful, light guy!)

Ultimately, though, the audience — a packed collection of rapheads, lucky Instragrammers, and New Era enthusiasts — was more than willing to fill in the blanks, shouting along to Rocky’s impressive catalog of spacey jams (“Fashion Killa,” “Peso”) and radio bangers (“Goldie,” one-third of “F—-n’ Problems”). Rocky’s call-and-responses were met with enthusiasm levels ranging from Moderately High to Siberian Comet High, and he got pretty much everyone to move at some point in the night.

But a small gathering of streetwise superfans is one thing. How Rocky will be able to convert his show into a stadium-set, Rihanna-worthy experience remains to be seen. For a taste of last night’s show, check out the video below:

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Gwyneth Paltrow is having a hip-hop week: Hear GOOP's rap picks here

While we at EW like to live every week like it’s Shark Week, it looks like Gwyneth Paltrow’s on a whole other tip right now.

As Lady GOOP’s latest newsletter invaded inboxes across America Thursday, readers learned not only what Paltrow had for breakfast (crepes) and what TV show’s she been obsessing over (Homeland), but also that she’s been rap strong this week.

“It’s Hip Hop Week,” reads the newsletter, before delving into a trio of tracks that the actress has been jamming these days. Unsurprisingly, one of her pick is “Clique,” the Cruel Summer single featuring Big Sean, Jay-Z, and Kanye West. She’s also been getting into “F—ing Problem,” the A$AP Rocky song that counts Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and 2 Chainz as guests. Lastly — and rather oddly — is “Bad Ass Strippa,” the 2004 track from Romani-British rapper Jentina that was later mocked by Lady Sovereign in “Sad Ass Strippa.”

You can listen to all of GOOP’s hip-hop week picks with the videos below. But first, be sure to heed Gwyneth’s post-script warning: “Explicit lyrics. Do with that information what you will…” 


A$AP Rocky and Lana Del Rey star as J.F.K. and Jackie in 'National Anthem' video -- WATCH

It’s like a Brooks Brothers catalog, if Brooks Brothers catalogs included dreadlocked rappers from Harlem and blog-baiting reenactments of presidential assassinations.

As promised, Lana Del Rey’s official music video for “National Anthem” features herself as both Marilyn Monroe and as Jacqueline Kennedy (though she mostly looks like circa-1967 Priscilla Presley), while that pretty motherf—er A$AP Rocky plays none other than President John F. Kennedy himself.

The Anthony Mandler-directed clip has the two and their litter of adorable children carousing around their Hyannis Port-esque seaside estate, mashing up a version of Mad Men-era coastal elite with a present-day dice-game block party — with a dash of Grey Gardens thrown in because, you know, it’s the Kennedys.

But if you’re a student of history, then you know things simply can’t end well for A$AP’s J.F.K. character. Rocky himself might love Texas rap, but we don’t recommend he go to Dallas. Check out the absurdly epic eight-minute-long video for yourself below:


Master P: Is he secret godfather of modern hip-hop?

At the turn of the century, there were two clear kingpins in hip-hop –both self-made men with vast, far-reaching empires that stretched into film and fashion, a knack for finding top talent, clearly defined approaches to production, and senses of rhythm that could charitably be described as unique.

In one corner: Sean Combs, who was transitioning from being called Puff Daddy to just Diddy (his reasoning for that remains as unclear as ever). His New York-based Bad Boy Records spent the end of the century churning out huge albums by the likes of Notorious B.I.G., Lil’ Kim, Mase, the L.O.X., Junior M.A.F.I.A., and Faith Evans, all fueled by Combs’ pop-minded production sensibilities and a distinctly New York approach to rhyming.

In the opposite corner: Master P. The Oakland native launched No Limit Records as a way to distribute his own albums, but once he shifted his operation to New Orleans and recruited a stable of like-minded MCs (including C-Murder, Silkk the Shocker, Mystikal, Mr. Serv-On, and Mia X), P became the dominant voice in the rapidly growing hip-hop scene in the south. His label’s music was far more raw and rudimentary, built around basic bounce tracks continuously cranked out by No Limit’s wholesale production crew Beats By the Pound.

Several of the No Limit MCs (P included) were sort of terrible on the mic; compared to a polished performer like Snoop Dogg (who joined No Limit after fleeing the psych ward that was Death Row Records), P was competent at best and sometimes laughably inept. His voice was typically monotone and nasal, and the whole operation felt pretty lo-fi.

Still, while C-Murder and Silkk the Shocker weren’t necessarily household names, the No Limit name commanded an incredible amount of brand devotion. No Limit albums regularly went to the top of the Billboard chart and sold platinum based solely on the label’s tank logo and wonderfully garish album covers dreamed up by the surrealist minds at Pen & Pixel. The whole thing peaked with 1998’s MP Da Last Don, a double-album released by Master P that had a crazy 3D effect and sold an astonishing half million copies in its opening week on its way to going platinum four times over.

No Limit was bankrupt by 2003 and has only recently been reconstituted by P’s son Romeo Miller. But the No Limit sound has been way more influential on today’s batch of MCs than any other camp. READ FULL STORY

Ed Sheeran, A$AP Rocky bring two different types of hip-hop flavor to MTVU Woodies at SXSW

The mtvU Woodie Awards will always be the bridesmaid to its older, bigger sister, the VMAs.

But a few years ago, MTV got the brilliant idea to move their annual celebration of indie music down to Austin during South By Southwest — and this year, they went ahead and turned the thing into a day-long festival, with more than a dozen artists performing across two different stages and plenty of free barbecue, beer, and popsicles (the three key elements of any balanced diet).

While Thursday night’s proper awards show was clearly designed as a prime-time dance party (Santigold, Steve Aoki, and chart-topping rapper Mac Miller — filling in for Childish Gambino, who pulled out with a foot injury like he was playing in March Madness — make up that lineup), the afternoon sets explored various nooks and crannies of music on the fringe. And most of it could probably find its way onto that other MTV awards show some day.

British folk-hopper Ed Sheeran got the afternoon started with a charming set of tunes from his already-U.K.-famous debut album + (yes, that’s the title). Wearing shorts and looking so pale it’s a wonder he didn’t immolate under the Texas sun, Sheeran could easily get by as a sad-eyed singer-songwriter — a drunker, British Jack Johnson, perhaps — but he has a knack for manipulating samplers and voice loops, various strums, a handful of rhythmic pounds on his guitar’s body, and even the audience. It’s a pretty astounding gimmick that may actually eclipse some of his delicately-crafted songs, especially “The A Team,” an acute narrative written as a tribute to a homeless girl Sheeran once met.

Sheeran also has quite a lightning tongue, and he showed off his rapping skills during the set-closing “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” on which he segues into 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” (coincidentally, Fiddy will in fact perform Get Rich Or Die Tryin‘ in its entirety at the festival this weekend) and spitting so fast it brought back memories of Letters to Cleo’s “Here and Now.”

A$AP Rocky, meanwhile, was in no such rush. The Harlem-based mixtape rapper first came up late last year with his guttural, hallucinogenic giveaway LiveLoveA$SAP, and he continued to pick up fans with the performances he dealt on Thursday afternoon. Rocky played it super cool as he stalked across the stage, constantly demanding the crowd get its hands up and letting his crisp flow wallow in the sludgy, bottom-heavy hum spewed forth by his DJ.

“Pretty Flacko” was an early favorite, full of aggression and vigor, and both Rocky and cohort Schoolboy Q turned rags-to-riches anthem “Brand New Guy” into a churning shout-along anthem. Rocky’s natural charisma cannot be understated; it’s refreshingly effortless. Sheeran clearly appreciates hip-hop history, but A$AP Rocky is the future.

In between those two guys, Kimbra came out to do a far different set than the one she ran through on Wednesday night. Rather than the traditional rock set-up from a few hours prior, her band stuck mostly to electronic instruments (one guy even played a borrowed iPad—and we knew it was borrowed because Kimbra had to ask its owner what the passcode was in between songs) and did what was essentially live remixing of some of her more robo-centric tunes—especially set-opening “Settle Down,” which she admitted that she was a little sick of (a problem unique to international artists, since her album Vows doesn’t come out in the United States until May but has been out in Australia and her native New Zealand since last summer).

Under these new circumstances, she came off less like a stylistic rocker chick and more like slightly less whimsical Bjork, enamored with the sounds of things. And like Sheeran, she also looped her own voice—apparently, warbling into a sampler is the new guitar solo.

Read more:
Kimbra, Alabama Shakes, Sharon Von Etten highlight Wednesday night at SXSW

Fiona Apple returns to the stage with new songs at SXSW

SXSW: Crowd goes crazy for Lionel Richie, doesn’t know who The-Dream is

Cheezburger founder Ben Huh on SXSWi: Jumping the shark has jumped the shark

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