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Drake's forthcoming album 'Take Care': The producer spills details to EW

DrakeImage Credit: Lester Cohen/WireImage.comDrake and record producer Boi-1da have a lot in common: They’re both 24, Canucks, kinda big deals in the hip-hop scene, and have Grammy nominations under their belts. Now, they’re working on an album together for a second time—specifically, Drake’s second and forthcoming disc, Take Care. Last night on the Grammy Awards’ red carpet, EW snaked a few hints from producer Boi-1da, who shared his thoughts on his buddy’s forthcoming oeuvre.

“It is amazing stuff. A lot of rapping, more than on the last album,” Boi-1da told us. “He is trying to go in a slightly different direction, but stay consistent enough to give the fans what they want. He is more confident, and sure that what he is doing, he’s doing right. That opens artists up to trying new things and experimenting.”

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Nicki Minaj debuts 'Moment 4 Life' music video featuring Drake: Fairy tales do come true

Ever-buzzy raptress Nicki Minaj just debuted her latest music video, for single “Moment 4 Life,” which features some rapping from the equally as buzzy Drake. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Minaj production without a semi-solid theme of complete wackiness: “Moment 4 Life” depicts a Cinderella-esque Minaj enjoying the best night of her life because she’s found love—in the form of Drake. (They even smootch at the end!) It also wouldn’t be a Minaj production without several crazy outfits, wigs, and costume changes. In fact, the best part of the video is during the intro—before the music starts—when Minaj plays both the Cinderella character and her fairy godmother. “I don’t know,” the Cinderella Minaj says. “I just feel like tonight is going to be amazing. It’s going to be a dream.” Ding ding! Then her fairy godmother—oh yeah, she’s got Nicki’s patented British accent going on the whole time—grants Cinderella Nicki the ability to have this magical, special, too-good-to-handle “Moment 4 Life.” Get it? Clever. And totally crazy. But that’s why we love her. I will say the video tends to cast the song in a bit more of a romantic way than I had thought about it by just listening to it—this has the potential to be a wedding/love song even! That’s special. Now check out the video here:

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Rihanna gets love on Rick Ross and Drake's 'Made Men'

Rick-Ross-rihanna-drakeImage Credit: Janet Mayer/PR Photos; Bob Charlotte/PR Photos (2)This morning, Miami rhymer Rick Ross debuted the Drake-featuring “Made Men,” a track he held off of his new Ashes to Ashes holiday mixtape. (Ross explained to Power 105.1’s Breakfast Club that he “just wanted to put some finishing touches on it.”)

Over a menacing beat and a thumping bass fit for a hip-hop mafioso, Ross raps about the usual: coke, “bad” (meaning good-looking) women, stacks of cash, and the luxury cars he’s purchased with them. To that end, the Boss—being the lyrical wizard he is—likened his vintage automobile to a certain Island Def Jam label mate, one of pop’s biggest acts. READ FULL STORY

Q-Tip talks 2011 plans: A multilingual new album, collaborating with Drake, and more

Q-tip-musicianImage Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.comQ-Tip is making big plans for the coming year. The sometime A Tribe Called Quest rapper phoned the Music Mix earlier today to fill us in on all the projects he has on the way, including a new solo album recorded in English, Spanish, and French. He’s calling it The Last Zulu, and ideally he hopes to complete three separate versions of the set (one for each language).

“I feel like my fans have been so gracious over the years,” Q-Tip says. “They’re so smart that I want to extend the grace back to them and speak to them in their tongues.” One slight problem: The Abstract Poetic is fluent in neither French nor Spanish. “I’m going to have to brush up!”

He plans to start seriously focusing on The Last Zulu in February, with a tentative release target of late 2011/early 2012. Here’s hoping it doesn’t fall victim to the label shenanigans that delayed 2008’s The Renaissance for so long.

So far Q-Tip has a few rough ideas for songs and a general concept involving vintage rhythms. “It’s going to take us back to the days of when it was breakbeats, when [Grandmaster] Flash and [Afrika] Bambaataa was throwing on them hard beats. It’s going to have a lot of that energy, and it’s going to feel really big and anthemic. It’s going to be unlike anything I’ve done before.” READ FULL STORY

Jay Pharoah takes on Jay-Z, Drake, Biggie on 'Saturday Night Live' rap-off

In an evening of excellent impressions (Miley vs. Katie Holmes? Shello! Prutty kewl), new SNL cast member Jay Pharoah stood out for both who he took on in his Thanksgiving-themed Weekend Update segment—Jay-Z, Drake, Biggie Smalls—and how on-point his impersonations were.

Close your eyes and listen to the Hova celebrate turkey thighs and Beyonce’s badonk! Marvel as “Drake” nails his sing-songy Canadian cadences in honor of drunk uncles and fat cousins! Bounce along as the Notorious, posthumous B.I.G. lisps a loving tale of candied yams and “biscuits for days”! It’s all after the jump: READ FULL STORY

Rihanna and Drake's new 'What's My Name' video: Watch it here

Rihanna-and-DrakeA song that jumps 59 spots to no. 1 in a single week needs a video, and the brand-new Billboard-topper “What’s My Name” just got one.

Watch the Barbadian and the Canadian bring their flirtation internacional to Manhattan, sexing over spilled milk at the corner bodega, joining a late-night drum circle, and generally setting a next-level bar for fly-girl pantyhose. (Okay, impetus for that last one is mostly on Rihanna.) READ FULL STORY

Lil Wayne headed 'straight to the studio' after leaving prison, says label head

lil-wayne-babyImage Credit: Arnold Turner/WireImage.comLil Wayne is expected to finish his Rikers Island sentence next Thursday, Nov. 4. That very day, the rap megastar will likely make a bee-line for one of his favorite places on Earth: the recording studio.

“Me knowing Wayne, he’s going into the studio,” Cash Money label head Baby (a.k.a. Birdman) tells the Music Mix. “He hasn’t been able to rap for months. I think after seeing the family, popping a few bottles, it’s back to basics. Family first, that’s what we believe in, that’s what we’re loyal to. After that, I think the same day he comes home, he’s going to go straight to the studio.”

Wayne’s first priority when he enters the booth for the first time since March will be working on his long-promised project Tha Carter IV. Baby expects that album to arrive in the first quarter of 2011, though no release plans have been finalized.

Baby is also looking forward to working with Wayne on a sequel to Like Father, Like Son, the collaborative album that the mentor and protégé released in 2006. “We’re planning on putting that out Father’s Day weekend,” he says. So what should fans expect to hear next June? “Just me and Wayne being us, the father-son thing. [We're] bringing that Cash Money/Young Money sound, that traditional hard-body rap, the music that we do together — that gangsta s—, straight up.”

The next year is shaping up to be a busy one for the label. Along with Tha Carter IV and Like Father, Like Son 2, Baby anticipates new releases from Cash Money/Young Money artists including himself, Drake, Jay Sean, Bow Wow, DJ Khaled, Tyga, Lil Twist, and more. Drake’s sophomore full-length will likely drop next summer. “He’s in the lab right now,” says Baby. “You never know with Drizzy — [the album will be done] whenever he’s ready.”

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More on the Music Mix:
Lil Wayne sends fans a letter from solitary confinement
President Barack Obama listens to Miles Davis, the Rolling Stones, and Lil Wayne

Drake holds his own alongside Jay-Z and Trey Songz at NYC's Radio City Music Hall

drakeImage Credit: Roger Kisby/Getty ImagesIt’s hard being a rapper–even if you have songs that wow both peers and millions of fans like Drake, last night’s headliner at a sold-out Radio City Music Hall for the second night in a row–the question is why would more than 5,000 people want to see a rapper perform? They don’t posses the awing vocal prowess of a singer, dance, or even play an instrument. Outside of a select few, rappers just rap on stage.

Well, simply put, people love him. Drake, 23, is rap’s unlikely hero raised way North of hip-hop’s New York birthplace: Toronto, Canada. He’s Jewish, wears his heart on his sleeves, and a coat of confidence. This time last year he was riding high off the success of “Best I Ever Had,” the standout smash from his introspective 2009 So Far Gone mixtape, and performing to a third of the crowd he faced last night. This, his Light Dreams & Nightmares tour, is his first on a stage this big. We know his idol Jay-Z and his heap of hits put on an amazing show. But what of rap’s’ golden child?

Armed only with cuts from Gone and his debut album—this summer’s best rap set, Thank Me Later, Drake strolled onto the stage in cargo pants, black Air Jordans, black sunglasses, and a denim jacket. After coolly running through his “9AM in Dallas,” he ramped things up with “Up All Night” and “Show Me a Good Time.” His style is lively. He sprinted and leapt all over the stage during the choruses he didn’t rap along to. And even when he stood still, he rapped with intensity—as if the lyrics were erupting from his toes out of his mouth, hand viciously twitching like a concentrated jazz hand.

Though his remained high, the audience’s energy didn’t match for most of the night. Apparently unable to stay as excited about Drake’s words as he was to spit them, some just stood and stared while he rapped his verse to Young Jeezy’s “Lose My Mind”—as if waiting for the Atlanta native to step out himself. He didn’t. But spirits were lifted when Brooklyn rapper Fabolous, dipped in all black, came out for “Throw It in the Bag.” More seasoned artists stealing the show became the night’s recurring theme after that. R&B titan Trey Songz awkwardly joined Drake later. The two have several tracks together. Last year they hit hard with 1-2 punches like “Successful” and “Invented Sex.” Instead of performing those, Drake stood and watched Trey take his women, singing his new mid-tempo “Can’t Be Friends.” Then he was off.

But it wasn’t until 10:30pm that the roof was torn off the building. That feat was left to Jay-Z, whose Timberlands stomped in to their “Light Up” collaboration. He got about halfway through that before deciding to make this moment his with the frenetic “On to the Next One.” It was then that I realized what Drake could do with years of more experience on stage. The deafening screams Jay earned are surely what he aspires for. He didn’t own every moment like his guests did.

It was far from a bad show. But like the title of his earliest mixtape, there was clearly room for improvement.

Have you seen Drake perform before? What did you think of his show? Fuse will air the performance on Thanksgiving Eve at 9pm. Plan on watching?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine tell us why they believe in Beats headphones — and what’s up with Detox
Dr. Dre says he’d be open to working with American Idol contestants
What song is most likely to make men cry?

Jay-Z, Eminem, and their hip-hop super friends bring 'Home and Home' tour to Yankee Stadium

Jay-Z-Kanye-Nicki-MinajImage Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com“Let’s go, Yankees,” chanted fans last night in the Bronx, New York, home of Major League Baseball’s defending champions. But they weren’t there to see Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez smash it out of the park. The sold-out crowd filled the new Yankee Stadium to see two of hip-hop’s greatest and most accomplished talents, Eminem and native son Jay-Z, bring the young venue its first show.  Two weeks ago, the combo kicked off the first half of their Home and Home mini-tour at Detroit’s Comerica Park. There Em, was the night’s closer. But on Monday night, he set things off.

The chants flipped to cheers when Em’s spacey intro began on the jumbo screen. Like Star Wars movies begin–with a storyline text appearing as we travel across the galaxy–so did his, chronicling his heavily covered road from troubled drug addict to sobriety. “You are here to witness,” it concluded, “Eminem’s RECOVERY.”

In a black tee, shorts, and a matching hooded sweatshirt pulled over his head, Em crept on stage to “Won’t Back Down,” rapping with fierce intensity. As he spit on the track, “Shady’s got the mass appeal.” And was apparent. From jump, fans made the Motor City rhymer feel right at home, rapping along word-for-word.

“Politically correct” and Eminem don’t go together. Animations of a redneck with a mullet and his beat-up car were met with laughs when he performed “W.T.P. (White Trash Party).” His fans are a different kind of breed—a more twisted bunch who somehow relate to some of his most violent and mortifying lyrics like, “B—-, I’mma kill you” from the aptly titled “Kill You.” And they obeyed his command to raise their middle fingers and say, “F— you, momma!” before he launched into “Cleanin’ Out My Closet.”  After a brief set with his group D12, B.o.B, who opened the show, came back out to perform his “Airplanes” alongside Em, but that guest appearance was just a warm up for what was to come.

Find out who the other surprises were and how Jay-Z did after the jump.

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Inside the VMAs: What you didn't see on TV

Taylor-Swift-VMAsImage Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesThe crowd settling into the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday evening knew that anything could happen over the next two hours — primarily because anything did happen at the last MTV Video Music Awards. (Lil Mama, you are not forgotten.) I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in that auditorium wondering whether we were about to see any more jaw-dropping surprises when the lights went down at 6 P.M. West Coast time. But did we? Read on. READ FULL STORY

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