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Tag: The Dream (1-10 of 14)

The-Dream returns to form with 'Royalty - The Prequel'

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Last week, R&B god the-Dream released a video for his single “Black” that underlined the song’s triumphant political message–inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela–with a staged protest pulling together representatives from a diverse range of causes, from Ukrainian sovereignty to the epidemic of gun violence in Chicago. It was a remarkably solemn moment from a performer who’s biggest moment of mainstream exposure in recent memory was when he got clowned by Jay-Z for the outfit he wore to the Grammys.

At 7 p.m. last night, the-Dream that his cult of devotees know and love—the one who writes songs about things like buying women expensive handbags in order to get off the hook for doggish behavior or getting drunk on tequila and crashing an ex’s weddingcame bouncing giddily back with the surprise release of a free seven-song EP called Royalty – The Prequel. It is, thankfully, a far less serious record than “Black,” or even most of last year’s IV Play, which even his hardcore fans had a hard time finding much pleasure in.

The-Dream is an R&B artist, but he’s always had a rapper’s spirit, and Royalty is, on one level, a playful tribute to the rap music that he loves. “Pimp C Lives” transmutes Houston’s syrupy hip-hop sound into future soul with a chorus that shouts out the late UGK rapper. “Cold” samples Mobb Deep’s classic NYC thug anthem “Shook Ones, Pt. II.”  On “Outkast” he compares true love to the feeling he got from listening to Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik for the first time.

Getting to goof around and indulge his geekily obsessive rap-fan side is one of the benefits of the mixtape form. It also removes much of the pressure to produce radio hits, which seems to have begun having a detrimental effect on his work. Where IV Play feels constrained and lifeless, Royalty (and the free online album 1977 that he released in 2012 under his given name, Terius Nash) is vibrant and mischievous, the qualities that made his fans fall in love with him in the first place, and ones that help sink his hooks into you even when they’re not particularly sharp. Royalty‘s supposed to be the first release on a new “Designer and Culture Label” he’s starting called Contra Paris. Hopefully he won’t go back to a traditional label—he’s much better when he’s off his leash.

The-Dream gives 'Black' the full video treatment

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Back in April, R&B king the-Dream released a new song, “Black,” that traded in his usual strip-club-friendly beats and bedroom-focused lyrics for anthemic sweep and a political message inspired by Nelson Mandela’s death. It was miles away from the Dream that so many of us know and love with a ridiculous, almost cultish avidity, but he managed to stick the tricky landing; “Black” is like one of R. Kelly’s patented Inspiration Jams without the shlockiness that those usually come with, or the creepy feeling that you’re getting life advice from a sexual predator.

“Black” launched with a lyric video cut together out of footage of political activism in progress, ranging from Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the black power salute at the 1968 Olympics to Pussy Riot marching defiantly down a crowded Russian street. Today he dropped the song’s official video, which continues the political theme with an almost surreally broad coalition of protesters marching against racism, classism, homophobia, Wall Street, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, violence in Chicago, and what seems like dozens of other causes. The video’s message may be a tad muddled (especially when you factor in the singer’s recent arrest on assault charges), but with the-Dream flexing a newfound ability to manipulate emotional switches beyond horniness and regret, it still hits. It’s probably not a coincidence that it’s dropping right before a day commemorating revolutionary political activity.

Watch the video below. (It may be NSFW because of brief female toplessness.)

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Beyonce prepping new music for Super Bowl, says The-Dream

If you’re a betting person, The-Dream has a hot Super Bowl tip for you: put your money on Beyoncé.

During a chat with Billboard, the producer also known as Terius Nash assured fans and onlookers that Bey would “definitely” have new music ready to go in time for her Super Bowl halftime performance, which will take place on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

“She’s already gearing up to get ready to put stuff out,” he said. “I’m sure there will probably be a couple records you hear before the Super Bowl gets here.” READ FULL STORY

Jay-Z and Kanye West's 'No Church in the Wild' video: Watch it here

It’s hard to watch the Throne if it isn’t there.

BFFs Jay-Z and Kanye released the official “No Church in the Wild” video late last night, making the track the third from their 2011 super-collaboration Watch the Throne to get a clip.

It is, however, the first that doesn’t involve an appearance from either rapper, or even guest crooner Frank Ocean.

Instead of kaleidoscopic wizardry and flashy, Aziz Ansari-approved sports cars, the bleakly shot, Romain Gavras-directed video focuses on a violent yet somehow vaguely boring uprising in the streets of Prague. Dissatisfied youth, aggressive police, burning cars — you get the idea.

While watching it, we were secretly wishing that one of the rioters would take off his bandana and reveal himself to be Jay or ‘Ye, ready to spice things up a bit. Alas, our prayers were not answered, and five minutes later, the video ends with… more rioting.

We’re not saying we have to see famous people in every music video, but when a project is basically built on megastar wattage like the Throne is, it wouldn’t hurt.

Take a peek at the “No Church in the Wild” video for yourself and let us know if you agree:

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

All sorts of people like The-Dream: rap people, pop people, contemporary-R&B people, bearded people. But apparently not ceiling-dancing people.

In the festival’s amusing tradition of assembling strange lineups that don’t exist in real life, this year’s Billboard showcase enlisted none other than Terius Nash to warm up the stage for the evening’s main attraction, Lionel Richie.

And it was kinda awkward!

Unsurprisingly, the venue (at the new Moody Theater, which Jay-Z also played this week) filled out early in the evening with people pumped to see Richie —  and only Richie. Luckily, The-Dream stuck it out and put up a solid show anyway, jumping around in his glowing Back to the Future Part II sneakers and delivering favorites like “Shawty” and the slinky new single “Roc.”

Still, this was an audience the “Love King” just couldn’t seduce. Stoic and (in at least one case) asleep, the older-skewing crowd was so unimpressed that The-Dream eventually just asked, “A lot of y’all don’t know who the f— I am, huh?” He followed that up with a good-natured smile and a minor undressing, as if maybe it was his shirt that was preventing people from recognizing him.

It didn’t help much, but he did finally win the house over at the end of his run when he gushed, “I’m totally delighted to open up for one of our musical heroes.”

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The-Dream says Rihanna asked to collaborate with Chris Brown

Rihanna’s got someone in her corner, and this time it’s not Miranda Lambert.

The-Dream recently spoke out in defense of Rihanna’s controversial collaboration with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown — and clears the air on how the two remixes came about.

“It was Rih’s idea,” he confirmed to Billboard.

The-Dream, who produced the “Birthday Cake (Remix)” track released on Rihanna’s birthday, says he made sure to stay supportive of her decision.

“Not only do we work together, but [Rihanna] is a friend of mine,” the producer said. “I don’t know how she got the logistics and how it happened — maybe she’ll talk about it one day. I showed up at the studio, and it was like, ‘All right, cool, let’s finish this record.’”

“For me, it’s just music,” he continued. “Two talented people doing a record together, doing two records together, and that’s what it was. It wasn’t about an incident that happened. The true thing really is to forgive, and… you want to believe in people.”

READ FULL STORY

Kim Kardashian's new single 'Jam': Listen to it here

This morning, reality TV mini-mogul Kim Kardashian confessed to Ryan Seacrest she had some butterflies about the impending world premiere of “Jam,” her first official single.

“I think it’s only normal for me to be nervous,” she said on Seacrest’s KISS FM show. “I’m only human. I’ve never sang [sic] before.” (She’s not counting the song’s unofficial premiere two months ago at a club in Las Vegas.)

Of course, whether or not “Jam” qualifies as a real singing debut is up to the listener: READ FULL STORY

Kim Kardashian is making an album

kim-kardashianImage Credit: George Pimentel/Getty ImagesKim Kardashian is famous for a number of reasons, but singing is not particularly one of them. Until now! People reports that the socialite reality star has been busy in the recording studio with The-Dream. According to a top-secret source quoted in the story, “They’re working on some fun music.”

The-Dream is one of the greatest singer-songwriters in contemporary R&B. And hey, who doesn’t like fun music? So I’m withholding all snark for now, at least until we get to hear what Kim K sounds like on record.

But how about you? Do you have any interest in hearing a Kardashian/Dream collab? Sound off in the comments.

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

More from EW.com:
The-Dream brings love and lust to New York City
Kim Kardashian begins her gradual transformation into P. Diddy

The-Dream addresses marriage woes in open letter: 'I've tried to take my own life'

the-dreamImage Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmmagicR&B romantics the world over were dealt a blow when singer-songwriter The-Dream announced his separation from singer Christina Milian this week. The power couple wed just last September and welcomed a daughter this March. Now The-Dream has addressed the rampant speculation about what caused the split in an open letter on his official site.

The most explosive headline from the letter comes near the end, when The-Dream reveals that he’s considered suicide: “I’ve cried about this for months, after interviews, after prayer and I’ve tried to take my own life at a point because of the failure that was looming.” Thankfully, he seems to have moved past that point now.

Despite recent paparazzi photos of The-Dream and an assistant frolicking on a beach, he firmly denies that cheating was an issue. “I would love to tell the truth as to why my relationship wasn’t successful, but today that is between me and Christina,” he writes. “It’s easy to say that it’s because of another woman or a new relationship but truthfully, IT’S NOT.” He also takes “FULL RESPONSIBILITY” for concealing problems in the marriage from the public. “If there’s anyone to blame and you can’t fathom this happening, please blame me and me alone for not being upfront! Even though we were trying to overcome personal things between us, I was just simply scared and embarrassed to let everyone know we WERE FAILING and HAVE NOW FAILED!”

The-Dream’s reps did not immediately reply to a request for further comment. Read the full letter at his website and let us know what you think.

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

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Pink hospitalized after concert fall, but says “full steam ahead”
Vampire Weekend sued by ‘Contra’ cover model
Amy Winehouse says third album will be ready “in six months at most”
Carlos Santana’s ‘Guitar Heaven’: Full tracklist revealed
Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” still on top of Billboard Hot 100
Jay Sean’s “2012″: Late-summer anthem?

Eminem holds No. 1 spot on Billboard 200 albums chart

eminemAfter shaking up the chart last week with a boatload of albums sold, Eminem again leads Billboard‘s album chart. His Recovery is No. 1 for the second week in a row, selling 313,000 copies. In two weeks it’s already gone platinum, totaling sales of 1.1 million copies. Formerly No. 1, Drake‘s Thank Me Later sits at No. 2 for a second straight week, selling 105,000 albums.

Following the U.S. release in theaters last Thursday (July 1), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack leaps seven places to No. 3, with 65,000 copies sold. The-Dream’s third album, Love King, debuts at No. 4 with 58,000 copies sold. The Now 34 compilation stays at No. 5 on the chart with 45,000 sets moved. Selling 41,00 copies, Justin Bieber‘s My World 2.0 jumps two spots to No. 6.

3OH!3′s sophomore album, Streets of Gold, debuts at No. 7 with 41,000. Jack Johnson’s To The Sea sails back a spot to No. 8 with 35,000 alums bought. Miley Cyrus’ Can’t Be Tamed falls back six places to No. 9 with 32,000 copies sold. And Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now rounds out the top 10, moving up two slots to No. 10 with 30,000 copies sold this week.

Surprised Eminem has a stranglehold on the chart? Who do you think will unseat him? Did you buy any of these albums? Let us know.

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

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Apple Records to release remastered records by James Taylor, Billy Preston, and Badfinger
Liz Phair raps, goes ‘Bollywood’ on new song
Prince says ‘the Internet is completely over’
Lilith Fair co-founder Terry McBride: “There won’t be any more cancellations”

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