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Tag: Nas (11-20 of 21)

Nicki Minaj rolls with Chris Brown and Nas in 'Right By My Side' video


Considering how bipolar her latest album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is, it makes sense that Nicki Minaj’s singles would slingshot between hardcore (“Stupid Hoe,” “Beez in the Trap”) and super-slick pop (“Starships”).

“Right By My Side,” her latest single and video venture, falls squarely in the latter category, and the clip itself is a pretty bland love story between Nicki and guest star Nas (who does not actually rap on the song). There’s also plenty of refreshing Pepsi and a guest spot from hook singer Chris Brown, whose comeback was recently rejected by Liz Lemon.

Check out the video below, if only to get a look at Nas’ cool glasses. READ FULL STORY

Kid Cudi, J. Cole, Nas, Wiz Khalifa, Ice Cube, and more announced for Rock the Bells Festival

The Rock the Bells Festival has announced its ninth annual lineup, and the show is not slouching this year.

The talents on the 2012 roster include both the young and frisky (Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, J. Cole, 2 Chainz, Kendrik Lamar) and less young but still frisky (Missy Elliott, Nas, Timbaland, Big Daddy Kane, Ice Cube, Salt-N-Pepa, Slick Rick, Bone Thugz ‘n Harmony).

For the first time, the fest will stretch over two days, though it is still partial to coasts-only tour stops:  NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California (Aug. 18-Aug. 19), Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California (Aug. 25-Aug. 26) and PNC Bank Arts Center in Homdel, New Jersey (Sept. 1-Sept.2).

There will also be a final double-header at Miami’s Bay Front Amphitheater on a yet-to-be-announced date in December.

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Nas brings 'Illmatic,' New York City trash cans to SXSW

In her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Mindy Kaling of the American Office argues that “with the [British Office] character David Brent, Ricky Gervais guaranteed that he would live in the pantheon forever, even if he did years of terrible, mediocre stuff.”

Gervais should get a beer with Nas. While he hasn’t produced anything truly terrible yet, the 38-old rapper will likely never outdo his 1994 debut, Illmatic. He’s had some good albums (and some just-okay ones) since then, but that record — one of hip-hop’s finest, period — will always define him.

As such, the classic East Coast album was on everyone’s mind at the Queensbridge rapper’s SXSW show at ACL’s Moody Theater. The stage was expertly dressed to resemble a New York street corner, complete with graffiti, a subway entrance, and an authentic-looking NYC trash can. For the many traveling New Yorkers weary on the last night of the festival, it was a little tempting to pull out a Metrocard and ride the imaginary train all the way back home.

Nas was also looking to take a trip to another time and place. Much like Jay-Z’s recent Carnegie Hall debut (which featured a Nas cameo), this NYCentric show splashed the wall with large, postcard-ready images of Big Apple icons like the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. The decor cemented what many had hoped: Nas would be serving up llmatic, the album that helped shape the New York sound.


Listen to Amy Winehouse's unreleased Nas duet 'Like Smoke'

Amy Winhouse’s upcoming posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures won’t be released until December 5, but today, two tracks from the eagerly anticipated collection hit the net.

One is a reggae-ish cover of Ruby & The Romantics’ “Our Day Will Come.” The other (below) is an original neo-jazz collaboration with rapper Nas called “Like Smoke.”

For whatever reason, the track, which was recorded in 2008 with Winhouse’s longtime producer Salaam Remi, never got released — perhaps because it does feel as though a second Winehouse verse is missing. Still, it does serve as a sobering reminder of her irresistible signature sound.

Listen to the song over at, as YouTube versions are quickly getting flagged and removed. READ FULL STORY

Rock the Bells: Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu and more live at NYC's Governors Island

The most well-dressed folks on New York City’s Governors Island last Saturday looked the bummiest. On the balmy last Saturday of the summer, cutoff shorts, tank tops, dirty sneakers and worn-in sandals were among the best things to be wearing for the daylong hip-hop festival that is Rock the Bells.

Elaborate outfits highlighted by fresh tennis shoes, high heels (wedges, too) or anything that gave off a vibe of effort earned more laughs than sartorial appreciation at rap’s lone major fair.

I mean really, how can you appreciate grimy sets from Wu Tang Clan members, Slaughterhouse, and Mobb Deep when you look so, so clean?

Not I, Mixers. In beat up five-year-old Air Jordans, a star spangled tank top (it was Labor Day weekend!), and a pair of shorts, I came to sweat. And from 2pm to midnight, that’s exactly what I did.

My day began with Black Star. The duo featuring Brooklyn rhymers Talib Kweli and Mos Def performed cuts from their 1998 album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star. They also broke away to perform solo hits. Kweli did his uplifting “Get By.” While Mos, dressed like a substitute teacher in his tie and short sleeve white shirt tucked into his jeans, broke out “Umi Says.”

Things continued with Erykah Badu, who ran through 1997’s Baduizm. Eclectically clad in a fedora, blazer, and pants tucked into her knee-high gold boots, she killed with her mellow “On & On.” Between singing and crowd cruising, she even showed off her production chops by hopping on MPC drum pad for some quick beats.

Next up was Lauryn Hill. Surprisingly, she was bumped out of her headlining slot in favor of hometown favorite Nas. Still, she performed as if she was the night’s main draw. The theme of this year’s festival was that each act select one of their several albums to play. The decision was easy for Hill, who notoriously only has one solo studio album.


Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu and more set to hit Rock the Bells 2011 Festival stages

Last night the lineup for hip-hop’s premiere festival, Rock the Bells, hit the Internet. Once again, Lauryn Hill and Nas will hit the stage. And there’s a familiar twist: instead of performing a catalog-spanning slew of songs, they and several other icons will perform classic albums in their entirety.

Lauryn, of course, will perform The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. While Nas will drop gems from his debut set, Illmatic. Wu-Tang Clan members Raekwon and Ghostface will run through Only Built for Cuban Linx. And Mobb Deep plans to crank out The Infamous.

Tickets for the shows go on sale June 4. Read after the jump for a list of some of the headliners, dates, and venue locations.


Carlos Santana goes to 'Guitar Heaven' with help from Rob Thomas, Chris Daughtry, Nas, and more: Full tracklist revealed

Carlos-SantanaImage Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR PhotoSince 1999’s megasmash Supernatural, Carlos Santana has mostly stuck with that album’s eclectic, guest-heavy format for his subsequent releases. Now he’s taking the collaborative spirit one step further. On Sept. 21’s Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time, the famed guitarist enlisted at least one famous friend to perform on each of 13 covers.

The full line-up for Guitar Heaven was finalized via press release today. You can check it out after the jump. As you’ll see, Santana brought back his “Smooth” pal Rob Thomas for Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” Grungy growlers dominate the rest of the track list, including Chris Cornell on Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” Scott Weiland on the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’,” Gavin Rossdale on T. Rex’s “Bang a Gong,” Chris Daughtry on Def Leppard’s “Photograph,” and Scott Stapp on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son.” Then there’s Santana’s take on AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” which will feature rapping from Queensbridge’s own Nas.

Some of those pairings could work quite well. I’d definitely like to hear what Nas can do over those crunchy power chords. Gavin Rossdale going glam sounds intriguing. Anyone who’s heard a Stone Temple Pilots album knows Scott Weiland can do a solid Mick Jagger impression. And Joe Cocker gnashing his way through Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” should be well worth hearing. As for the turgid Scott Stapp attempting Creedence’s protest anthem? Yeah, that one’s an instant skip for me.

But what do you think? Take a look at the full track list for Carlos Santana’s Guitar Heaven after the jump and let us know which of these covers you’d like to hear.


Glee dances past the Rolling Stones to No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart

glee-stonesImage Credit: Micahel Yarish/Fox; Mark SeligerAfter earning their first No. 1 album with The Power of Madonna last month, Glee‘s latest installment, Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with 136,000 albums sold. The re-release of the Rolling Stones’ 1972 album Exile on Main Street debuts at No. 2 with 76,000 sold.

Four other albums also debut in the top 10 this week. The Black Keys’ Brothers comes in at No. 3, selling 73,000 copies. With 62,000 units sold, last week’s chart-topper Justin Bieber drops three spots to No. 4. Nas and Damian Marley’s rap-reggae hybrid Distant Relatives sold 57,000 units and debuts at No. 5.

Band of Horses’s Infinite Arms gallops to No. 7, selling 45,000 copies, and LCD Soundsystem’s This is Happening rounds out the chart at No. 10 with 31,000 copies sold.

Lady Antebellum‘s Need You Now continues its reign in the top 10 at No. 6 with 46,000 copies sold. Usher’s Raymond v. Raymond sits at No. 8. He sold 41,000 copies. AC/DC Iron Man 2 soundtrack lands at No. 9 with 32,000 albums bought.

Surprised team Glee beat the Stones’ classic album? Did you think Nas and Damien would sell more? Let us know.

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

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Nas and Damian Marley are SXSW's first surprise

nasImage Credit: Whitney Pastorek/EW.comRumors fly faster than pedicabs on the streets of Austin during South by Southwest, and the first one was a doozy: the Black Eyed Peas were doing a surprise set at the Levi’s/Fader Fort at sundown! No, wait — it’s Justin Timberlake! Hold on — my pedicab driver just told me it’s Radiohead! Run!

After booking it under I-35 to the sprawling Levi’s/Fader complex — an outpost of swag and corrugated metal where one can (and many people do) stay and play all day long, enjoying sets from bands, DJs, and what looked to be a nearly endless supply of Budweiser — I discovered our mystery guest was Nas, with new bestie Damian Marley, in town supporting Distant Relatives, their album-length collaboration (tentatively scheduled for a May 18 release, though it was also scheduled to come out last year). They’ve got great chemistry — Marley’s able to trill his classic reggae voice at the exact same speed Nas raps — and as they weave together hip-hop and the Marley family legacy (samples of “One Love” and “Exodus”), it’s more compelling than it reads on paper. “Made You Look” (with much crowd participation on the “Brave hearts!” chorus) bled into Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock” (“Out in the streets, they call it murrrrrrder!” the crowd called out). The backing band’s female dancers and joyous conga player bounced energy back to the fired-up fans. “This feels like a family reunion out here, Austin, Texas!” crowed Nas.

The short set wrapped up with two blazing collabos: New track “Strong Will Continue,” a passionate exhortation in which Marley asks, “Do ya have it in ya?”; and a lighter-and-cell-phone-fueled rip through “Road to Zion,” the song that sparked their partnership back in 2005. They killed both — but it wasn’t enough for the L/FF kids, who booed heartily when the lights came on and security kicked them out. Still, it was only 8pm on St. Patty’s Day in Austin on the first night of SXSW. There’s a lot of party left, rock kiddos. Don’t you fret.

New Beastie Boys featuring Nas, 'Too Many Rappers': Hear it here

It came as a shock to learn yesterday that Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys has cancer in his left salivary gland, forcing the trio to nix a summer tour and push back the release of their next album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 1. A reassuring statement from Yauch’s publicists said the cancer is “very treatable” — Yauch even drolly referred to his diagnosis as “a pain in the neck,” get it? Anyway, here’s hoping for a full and speedy recovery. We’re pulling for ya at the Music Mix, MCA.

Meanwhile, this news is no reason to stop being excited about that upcoming shipment of Hot Sauce, whenever it may end up arriving. New Beasties tune “Too Many Rappers,” a collaboration with Nas, hit the Web over the weekend, much to the delight of New York golden age hip-hop heads like yours truly. It’s an unapologetic throwback, all chop-shop beats and “on and on, to the crack of dawn” rhymes. This thing could have been recorded in, like, 1986, and I love it. Check out “Too Many Rappers” below (some NSFW language), and let us know how it sounds to your ears.

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New Moon soundtrack: Will Thom Yorke and Kings of Leon contribute? And who else should?
Summer ‘09 playlist: Refresh!

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