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Tag: Jay-Z (91-100 of 183)

Blue Ivy Carter: Beyonce and Jay-Z's firstborn is already totally freaking out the internet

Just two days old, and Blue Ivy Carter is already at the center of wild-eyed internet speculation. (Lucifer’s daughter? Okay. Illuminati? Why not!)

Here, a helpful guide to the finer points of all things Baby Carter:

The first order of business is to get the name right; it’s Blue Ivy Carter — not Ivy Blue Carter, as E! initially reported. That’s half the battle right there.

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The 10 top music-video directors of 2011: Watch their best clips here

Looking back at the best music videos of 2011, one thing leaped out: All of the best clips were made by the same six or seven people.

So rather than call out individual entries for their greatness, we’re going to reward the directors who put together the best portfolios this year. Anybody can make one excellent video, but it takes serious jiujitsu to knock out three great ones. That left a lot of awesome videos on the table (all apologies to excellent entries like Foo Fighters’ “Walk,” Beyoncé’s “Countdown,” and Ke$ha’s “Blow”), but this is a pretty good sum-up of the year in music videos.

1) Spike Jonze
Jonze only stood behind the camera for two videos this year, but they were both game-changers. Beastie Boys’ “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” was a sandbox revelation that was way better than the actual feature film based on GI Joe, while Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Otis” turned that pair’s obsession with commercialism into a bombastic brand of Americana. Pour one out for the fallen Maybach, and raise your glass to Jonze, who proved that no amount of directing polarizing adaptations of beloved books for children can take away his four-minute spark. READ FULL STORY

Jay-Z named 'Man of the Year' in 'GQ,' talks fatherhood and working with Kanye West

Jay-Z has acquired plenty of titles, including “The Best Rapper Alive,” “The King of Hip-Hop,” and “A Guy Who Sometimes Doesn’t Get It.” He just added another one, as he has been declared one of a handful of “Men of the Year” by GQ magazine.

Jigga will appear on the cover of the publication’s December issue, which also features “Man of the Year” awards for the likes of Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon, and Michael Fassbender. This is actually Jay’s second GQ “Man of the Year” award; he last picked up the title in 2006 when he released his comeback album Kingdom Come. Oops.

The case for Jay-Z this year isn’t difficult. He got turned into a cartoon and finally put out that J.Cole album, but it really boils down to two things: He was one half of one of the biggest musical events of the year in Watch the Throne (and no matter what you think of the quality of that release, it’s hard to argue with its scope), and also had a pretty solid 12 months in his personal life.

The incoming Hova-Bey baby is a big focus of the accompanying interview. “Providing — that’s not love,” he told GQ of his take on parenthood, spoken from the shadow of his own father’s alcoholism and absence. “Being there — that’s more important. I mean, we see that. We see that with all these rich socialites. They’re crying out for attention; they’re hurting for love. I’m not being judgmental — I’m just making an observation. They’re crying out for the love that maybe they didn’t get at home, and they got everything. All the material things that they need and want. So we know that’s not the key.”

The rapper also insisted that he’ll be changing diapers (“Of course. One hundred percent,” he insisted) and joked about putting a carseat in a Maybach. “That would be a great picture,” he said.

These decisions are made for a variety of reasons, but just taken musically, shouldn’t Kanye West get the rub from Watch the Throne over Jay-Z? Still, it is refreshing to know that West even bothers his most elite collaborators sometimes. “I think he just can’t help himself,” he said of working with West. “He puts so much into everything, and he’s like, ‘You have to treat it like I treat it.’ It drives you crazy sometimes—like when you’ve put seventy-five versions of a snare on one song and he’s like, ‘No!’ and you’re like, ‘Come on, man.'”

What do you think, readers — did GQ choose the right man for 2011? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more on EW.com: 
Jay-Z’s Occupy Wall Street apparel no longer on Rocawear site
Jay-Z plays an animated version of himself in ‘Secret Millionaires Club': Watch a preview here!
Kanye West and Jay-Z face official lawsuit over ‘Watch the Throne’ sample
Review: Jay-Z & Kanye West, Watch the Throne

Jay-Z's Occupy Wall Street apparel no longer on Rocawear site

Jay-Z’s Occupy Wall Street (OWS) clothing may not be occupying your closets anytime soon. According to the Wall Street Journal, the rapper’s line of OWS-branded clothing — which was made available earlier in the week via Rocawear — has been removed from the clothing company’s website.

The rapper and Rocawear were met with controversy for their choice to sell the OWS shirts, with some claiming they were attempting to profit off of the movement that opposes the wealthy 1 percent. (The clothing company reportedly released a statement saying they would not be donating any proceeds to the OWS movement.) A rep for Jay-Z did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

Read more:
Kanye West and Jay-Z face official lawsuit over ‘Watch the Throne’ sample

'Big Bang Theory': Kunal Nayyar shares what's on his iPod!

Raj might be having trouble with love this season on The Big Bang Theory, but with a playlist like this, his portrayer Kunal Nayyer certainly has enough to cure whatetever heartache ails him.

EW recently spoke with actor to get a rundown of five songs/artists that are in heavy rotation right now. Take a look:

Mumford and Sons: “I love epic folk rock. I love Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the movie Once, and I feel like Mumford takes it to another level. When I hear it, I feel the music in my bones. I get chills when I hear it.”

Radiohead, “True Love Waits”: “I came from India in ’99 and I didn’t have access to a lot of good music. Well, I did, but it was Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, New Kids on the Block — generic pop music, which I still love to this day, though. I didn’t really get Radiohead at first, but when I really began listening to them, I became obsessed….Every single breakup I’ve had in my life, I’ve listened to that song. [Laughs] I’m an actor; we’re masochistic. It feels good to hurt.”  READ FULL STORY

Jay-Z plays an animated version of himself in 'Secret Millionaires Club': Watch a preview here!

Jay-Z and Kanye West are about to embark on their big Watch the Throne tour, but the next place you can see Jay-Z (well, outside of random parks in Brooklyn) is on Secret Millionaires Club, a new animated series making its debut on The Hub this Sunday, October 23.

Guided by the entrepreneurial wisdom of Warren Buffett, SMC aims to teach kids lessons from the business world, and Jigga lends his voice to encourage the club’s young members.

It’s a little surreal hearing Hova’s unmistakable voice coming out of a cartoon character, even one that looks exactly like him, but it’s a pretty excellent animated visage regardless.

Check out a preview of the episode below, featuring Iceberg Slim’s be-suited voice acting. READ FULL STORY

Kanye West and Jay-Z face official lawsuit over 'Watch the Throne' sample

The legal rumblings that began in August have now become a full-blown lawsuit: 75-year-old bluesman Syl Johnson is taking Jay-Z and Kanye West to court in Illinois over the uncleared usage — essentially, of a pronounced vocal “ungh!” — from his 1967 song “Different Strokes” on Watch the Throne‘s “The Joy.”

“The Joy” was originally intended to be included as a bonus track on Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, then left off when sample clearances were not obtained in time; when the song subsequently appeared on WTT, Johnson’s reissue label Numero Group said that the distressed singer was “nearly in tears.” “[Throne label] Island Def Jam seems to think that Syl doesn’t have any fight left in him,” they wrote on their website. “We’re betting otherwise.”

Johnson, a relatively obscure but beloved figure in soul and blues — EW gave his 2010 box set Complete Mythology an A — has been sampled countless times in hip-hop; “Different Strokes” alone has been used more than two dozen times by giants of the genre such as Erik B. and Rakim (1987’s “I Know You Got Soul”), Public Enemy (1987’s “Miuzi Weighs a Ton” and 1989’s “Fight the Power”), De La Soul (1988’s “The Magic Number” and the Beastie Boys (1988’s “Desperado”).

In August, according to hiphopdx.com, Johnson told NBC, “”Well, they didn’t pay me. They used my style, my sound, my likeness, without my permission … I think Kanye West, kind of, he blew it. He knows me, he knows my daughter, Syleena Johnson” — who sang the hook on West’s 2004 hit “All Falls Down” — “And hey, for a few, you know, a small amount – do it [up] front like Kid Rock, Wu-Tang Clan and all the people behind me.

“I hate to sue people. I’ve sued quite a few people. But, it ain’t my thing to sue them. But, this is the law. This is a country of laws.”

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On the scene at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, day one: Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, and Jay-Z

When you think about it, there’s really only one way to kick off a pop music festival: with the gyrating, electro, pulsing sounds of the Black Eyed Peas, of course.

The foursome opened the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last night with laser lights, a cadre of jailbird-themed backup dancers (in a word: divine), and one of their signature songs, “Boom Boom Pow.”

It’s almost needless to say, but the party-rocking vibe the show’s producers were no doubt hoping for coalesced perfectly, as the crowd spiraled into dancing through songs like “Just Can’t Get Enough,” “Don’t Stop the Party,” “The Time (Dirty Bit),” and the perfect set-ender: “I Gotta Feeling.” (Personally, I was hoping for “Shut Up,” but no one ever seems to be into that song as much as me.)

Of much interest — at least to me — was Fergie’s delightful getup, which included glittery knee-high boots and onesie, and fascinating, gold fingernail/cap things that contributed to her overall drag queen look. She was Vegas to a T! (Then again, she always kind of is.)

The tone was set from the first act: This show was definitely all about the hits, and the 12,000 fans in the audience at the MGM Grand Garden Arena seemed to get just what they wanted. From top to bottom, the show was quite the Vegas production with huge screens flanking the stage, more than one confetti blast (the first one came at the almost-still-daylight time of 8:01 p.m., no joke), and, yes, Ryan Seacrest as host.

He first appeared after the Black Eyed Peas left the stage to introduce the show: “This weekend,” he said, in a trademark way that’s both overly dramatic and overly bombastic, “all roads lead to Vegas.” Well, all roads carrying the biggest pop stars, at least. And it was during this interlude that he announced something that made the crowd go completely wild: Lady Gaga—already confirmed to be performing during the festival—would appear on Saturday night with Sting. In two words: Instant death!

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J. Cole drops new Jay-Z assisted single 'Mr. Nice Watch'

j-cole

Jay-Z has been tipping his hat to about-to-explode rapper J. Cole for quite a while — in fact, he was the first-ever artist signed to Jigga’s Roc Nation label back in 2009.

Now, he’s putting his money where his mouth is (or in this instance, his mouth where his money is), dropping in on Cole’s just-released new single “Mr. Nice Watch.”

Produced by Cole himself, “Mr. Nice Watch” is a twitchy, bass-heavy blast of computer funk that gives way to a weepy guitar line and seems cut from the same cloth as many of the tracks on Watch the Throne, which will probably lead to an excellent argument about who is influencing who in the Jay-Z camp. Give the song a spin below. READ FULL STORY

Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter IV' sells 964,000 copies, lands second-highest first-week numbers of the year: Is he really the 'best rapper alive'?

Okay, let’s answer the headline’s question first: No, Lil Wayne is not the best rapper out right now. In my mind, Eminem, Jay-Z, and Kanye West are duking it out for that crown. He is, however, the most popular.

Yesterday Billboard reported the final first-week tally for his new album Tha Carter IV. It sold 964,000 copies, making it the best selling hip-hop debut of the year and the second biggest opening week overall—second only to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, which moved 1.11 million copies.

Wayne’s no newbie to colossal numbers, either. The last edition of his Carter series scored big with 1.01 million records sold in its first seven days on shelves in 2008.

Wayne’s C-4 debut more than doubles the opening figures rap peers Kanye West and Jay-Z’s collab album Watch the Throne (436,000), causing the blogosphere to come to the rash conclusion that Wayne, as he’s said often before, is “the best rapper alive.”

Really? Sure, numbers mean plenty. But as I so eloquently wrote in under 140 characters on Twitter recently, “If I ate a doughnut for every bad album that’s been commercially successful, I’d be fatter than that fattest person you know.”

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