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Tag: R&B (31-40 of 451)

R. Kelly drops another sex/food crossover single, 'Cookie': Hear it here

R. Kelly adores carnal pleasures. He also has a fondness for food. And he has never hesitated bringing the two together; look no further than classic tracks like “Sex In the Kitchen” (where he wanted to lay you down next to the buttered rolls) or “Sweet Tooth” (wherein he compared a part of the female anatomy to Skittles).

Now comes “Cookie,” the latest track from Kelly’s forthcoming Black Panties album. It contains a ton of shout-outs to Oreos (which, it should be noted, were not on his shopping list—hopefully his song about chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs will be coming soon), and he does in fact call himself “Cookie Monster” at one point (though the song somehow doesn’t sample this classic).

Give “Cookie” a spin below. And in case it’s unclear: This is not in any way about baked goods.

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Justin Bieber releases 'Heartbreaker,' his first #MusicMonday single: Hear it here

Last week, Justin Bieber announced Music Mondays –in which he’ll unveil a new single every Monday for the next ten weeks.

“Heartbreaker” premiered late last night, though versions of this song have been kicking around the dusty corners of the Internet for a while now. It’s an atmospheric slow jam that comes complete with a ’90s style spoken-word bit in the middle.

It really wouldn’t sound out of place on Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience, which bodes well for Bieber or says terrible things about Timberlake, depending on who you are.

The release of “Heartbreaker”  — and the nine more Mondays to come — will get Beliebers primed for a new 3D concert movie said to be coming soon. The new song is available on iTunes right now, though you can also give it a spin below.  READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, and the long legacy of album sequels

This week saw the early streaming release of Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience — 2 of 2 – you can listen to the whole thing in its entirety over at iTunes right now (and then read the official EW review). 

2 of 2 is the sequel to March’s The 20/20 Experience, Timberlake’s long-awaited return to pop music. It’s also the latest in a relatively recent phenomenon: The album sequel. (Add Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 coming in November, to the list.) If movies can do it, why can’t the music world?

With these releases in mind, it’s time to look back at the best examples of album sequels. They don’t all work (in fact, a lot of them do not—be wary of rappers returning to old titles that weren’t that good in the first place), but these are the 10 best, in no particular order.

Jay Z, Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life
Jigga has had two different sets of sequels, but his In My Lifetime series is consistently stronger than those albums that contain the title The Blueprint (the original Blueprint is a stone-cold classic, but its two follow-ups are bloated and inconsistent). Vol. 2 was the album that found Jay crossing over into pop territory, as the Annie-sampling single “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” gave Jay his first jolt of mainstream popularity—which he has ridden into his status as one of our premiere music stars.

Dr. Dre, 2001
The long-awaited, unofficial sequel to Dre’s landmark solo debut The Chronic (in some circles, it’s still called Chronic 2001, it’s long-rumored working title) hits just as hard as its predecessor and features a handful of tracks (including “What’s the Difference?” and especially “The Next Episode”) that sounded instantly timeless—and have remained so.  READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake boxes for your love on 'TKO': Hear it here

Pop stars, they love the boxing these days!

Katy Perry’s been putting on her best fighter face while promoting “Roar,” and Sleigh Bells (who, yes, are basically pop these days — this iPhone ad says so) have adopted the old sport as part of their regimen, and now Justin Timberlake has entered the ring with “TKO,” the second released single off his upcoming The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2.

The love-and-pugilism song comes behind “Take Back the Night” and, as expected, is a Timbaland-produced jam that runs around seven minutes. Give a listen below:

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Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl: Why choosing him makes good (business) sense

There are still nearly four months left in 2013, but we already know what the most-watched musical performance of next year is going to be.

Over the weekend, the NFL announced that the next Super Bowl Halftime Show performer will be Bruno Mars. He’ll take the stage midway through football’s championship game on February 2 inside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (home to both the New York Giants and the undefeated New York Jets).

There are a number of names that were tossed out as alternatives to Mars, the most popular being Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Jay Z. But there are compelling reasons for all three of those to be avoided, if they were even considered: Springsteen did the halftime show too recently (remember when he crushed that camera with his crotch?), Bon Jovi seems to be in flux (who knows if the Richie Sambora situation will be resolved by February), and Jay Z is way too polarizing for an event of this size and scale (even with his nods to big business, he remains too risky a figure for this stage as far as the check writers are concerned).

Really, Mars is the biggest pop star to never have done the halftime show, save for maybe Taylor Swift (who seems like a lock to do this show some day). And his resumé is chock full of qualifications for one of music’s biggest gigs: He has two chart-topping albums, five Hot 100 number ones, has shifted over 115 million singles, and has already performed on the Grammys, the VMAs, and Saturday Night Live. He’s a bona fide superstar, and yet the overwhelming reaction to the announcement that he got the gig has been negative: He’s not a representative of New Jersey (or New York), he’s simultaneously too young and too old; he’s too short.

But really, the selection of Mars should not be surprising to anybody. The Super Bowl is, primarily, a massive business opportunity for advertisers, media outlets, corporate sponsors, and the NFL itself, and Mars represents a shrewd business solution: He’s famous and an excellent live performer, but most importantly, he sounds like someone your mom would like.

That last piece of criteria is the most important: Since the Super Bowl is the most-watched television event of the year (and many broadcasts have become the most-watched television event of all time, at the time), programmers have to assume that there are people watching who don’t normally watch football and don’t pay close attention to music.

That’s why the game itself is weighed down with non-sports-related tie-ins, why the commercials have been built into the entertainment, and why the halftime music tends to skew towards the broadest selections.  READ FULL STORY

Post VMAs sales spikes: Justin Timberlake and NSYNC top the list

Though NSYNC were only reunited for a total of 110 seconds during Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards, that was enough to get the long-dormant boy band back into the zeitgeist—and into the virtual wallets of music fans.

Justin Timberlake and his compatriots were among the biggest sales victors coming off the VMAs, which don’t tend to provide the same kind of spike as the Grammys but can definitely still make an impact: The NSYNC hits compilation Greatest Hits shot into the top 30 on the iTunes Albums chart in the wake of the combo’s performance of “Girlfriend” and “Bye Bye Bye” on MTV’s big show.

And while Timberlake’s current album The 20/20 Experience has been a top 10 staple on iTunes since its release, Sunday night’s show clearly boosted preorders of the forthcoming The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2, which is one of three preorders currently sitting in the top 20. (The others are Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz and Katy Perry’s Prism; Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP rests just outside that space at 21.) READ FULL STORY

Dave Chappelle and Prince, together at last! (Sort of)

Prince-Breakfast-Can-Wait.jpg

The cover art for Prince’s new single “Breakfast Can Wait,” debuted on Prince’s brand-new Twitter, is getting a lot of exciting reactions across the Internet, as it should — though some might be taking things too far. It is not, for example, “the best thing he’s ever done,” as one headline declared — we’d imagine Purple Rain or Sign o’ the Times might be near the top of that list.

Still, we do agree that it is pretty amazing. For those who were asleep during the years of 2003 and 2004, the cover is an image taken from one of Chappelle’s Show most famous sketches, featuring host Dave Chappelle dressed as a pancake-serving, basketball-playing Prince. And as Sunday’s New York Times pointed out, Chappelle is staging a return to comedy, so this is good timing for him, too.

To fully enjoy the moment, check out the original Chappelle’s Show sketch below:

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Robin Thicke sues for pre-emptive copyright protection of 'Blurred Lines'

With apologies to Miley Cyrus, Daft Punk, and Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is undoubtedly the song that will define the summer of 2013. So naturally, with the sort of exposure and success it has scored, it has come under fire from people trying to get a piece of the action.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thicke (along with track cohorts Pharrell Williams and T.I.) filed a suit in federal court in California against both the family of Marvin Gaye and a publishing company that holds the rights to some of Funkadelic’s compositions. The reason? Both of those parties have claimed that “Blurred Lines” borrows from their own work, and thus they should be entitled to royalties.

The Gaye family’s claim is especially absurd, as they claim that “Blurred Lines” feels and sounds the same as Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” and that, according to the suit, “the Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work.”

Meanwhile, Bridgeport Music says that “Blurred Lines” sounds too much like Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways.” Both parties have threatened litigation if they aren’t paid, which is why Thicke, Williams, and T.I. have filed suit in order to get the matter settled immediately.

Give a listen to “Blurred Lines,” Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways” below.  READ FULL STORY

Prince is now on Twitter

Prince has always been just slightly ahead of his own time—at least musically.

Technologically, he’s been less eager to embrace the 21st century, even going as far as declaring the Internet “completely over” in a relatively recent interview.

But apparently he’s cool with Twitter, because the Purple One has begun sending out 140 character missives into the cyber-ether. The verified account @3rdEyeGirl has been active for a while, mostly as a depository for new tracks and photos from tours (3rd Eye Girl is the female trio who backs Prince up). But last night, Prince himself took over, announcing “PRINCE’S 1ST TWEET.”

So far, his missives have been less the revelatory, though we can confirm that he did in fact add too much pepper to this salad. (You’re welcome, Prince.) He’s also clearly getting the hang of various Twitter memes, since this is the worst selfie we’ve ever seen.

Still, he does know what a hashtag is, and clearly has gotten the hang of retweeting, as the last few dispatches from the account are from people marveling at the fact that Prince is now on Twitter, which completes the Internet circle of life.

One notable thing: @3rdEyeGirl is not following a single person on Twitter—not even Janelle Monae, whose new album features a guest appearance by Prince. Will you be the first person Prince follows? Tune in a few days from now to see how well he masters #FollowFriday.

Chris Brown says he may quit music

If his tweets are to be believed, we may not have Chris Brown to push around much longer.

Though the controversial R&B star has a new album coming at the end of the month called X, he announced on Twitter that he probably only has one other album left in him. “Don’t worry mainstream America,” he wrote, “After this X album, it’ll probably be my last album.” He followed that up with the statement, “Being famous is amazing when it’s for ur music and talent. I’m tired of being famous for a mistake I made when i was 18. I’m cool & over it!”

The “mistake” mentioned in that tweet is, presumably, his arrest for domestic assault after attacking then-girlfriend Rihanna the night before the Grammy Awards in 2009. (It should be noted, of course, that Brown was actually 19 when that incident occurred, but math is hard.) And he’s not done making mistakes—just yesterday, Brown turned himself into authorities in Los Angeles to be booked for a hit-and-run case against him.

Though this retirement idea probably won’t stick (the only stars whose retirements mean less than musicians are professional wrestlers), it should be noted that Brown’s nearly 13 million Twitter followers have been getting quite a stream of downers recently, including melancholy musings like “Home don’t feel like home. Too many empty rooms” and “Aspire to be great and the person you wanna be. Don’t conform because ur worth is more than any money or status. We live. We die.”

But with all that new time on his hands, what will Brown do with his time? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

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