Justin Bieber wraps up #MusicMondays with “Confident,” the 10th and final track from his series. This one features Chicago’s Chance The Rapper, and it’s the springiest song yet from this project. While most of the preceding nine tracks found Bieber lamenting breakups and love lost, he has now worked through the pain and is back on the prowl. That means he brought the swagger back, and the confident crooner is eyeing up a confident “Mona Lisa masterpiece” over a beat that jumps and skips like prime Timbaland.
The percussion then drops out for a few seconds as Chance jumps in with his jittery delivery, offering up a verse just short enough to leave you wanting more. Good work, fellas!
Hear it below. More »
There’s no arguing that Cody Simpson has had a banner year — but while the Aussie teen sensation has been churning out tunes and setting tween girls’ hearts aflutter, what’s been burning up on his iTunes?
As it turns out, the pop heartthrob enjoys the sensitive stylings of another solo male crooner — John Mayer, whose latest LP Paradise Valley isn’t just one of Simpson’s favorite albums of the year — he says it’s one of his favorite albums of all time. More »
Did You Hear?
:: Carrie Underwood has responded to the criticism surrounding NBC’s The Sound of Music special, particularly her take on leading role Maria von Trapp. “Plain and simple: Mean people need Jesus. They will be in my prayers tonight,” she says. [E!]
:: Ellen DeGeneres has taken cues from Kanye West‘s “Bound 2” for her annual Christmas card, as she revealed during her daytime talk show. Who can blame her? Not Seth Rogen and James Franco. [EllenTV.com]
:: During the Detroit stop of his Magna Carta Holy Grail tour, Jay Z riffed off Nicki Minaj‘s “Beez in the Trap” to the tune of Coldplay‘s “Clocks,” then vibed to his band’s live cover of The White Stripes‘ “Seven Nation Army,” in a minute flat. Made in America, indeed. [YouTube]
:: Britney Spears confesses that her two children, ages eight and seven, may be more in touch with pop culture than she is. “I mean they listen to cooler stuff then I do sometimes,” she says. “They really know what’s in. They are like, ‘Mom, this is really hip,’ and I go in and listen to it on the computer.” [MTV]
After the jump, find out what music you can catch on TV today. More »
Kanye West plans to take producer Rick Rubin‘s earliest aesthetics, last heard in Yeezus, to a new level in his next album. “I think my next album is going to be eight songs,” he said at Miami’s Art Basel, during a Surface magazine talk with architect Jacques Herzog. “It’s just reducing down the amount of information that you need.”
West had turned to Rubin for help just weeks before he had to submit Yeezus to his label. West even recorded vocals for five songs just two days prior to his deadline. But as he would tell BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe, West had also asked for Rubin’s “Reduced By” aesthetic, as initially popularized by LL Cool J‘s debut album Radio. (“He’s not a producer, he’s a reducer,” West said.) More »
Rebecca Black, of that 2011 viral hit “Friday,” has released a new song-turned-sequel called “Saturday.” In its video she eats a bowl of cereal and sits in the backseat of a convertible, as she sings of doing in “Friday,” but she also moves right along to hang out at the boardwalk, light up sparklers at a beach and crash a crowded house party littered with red Solo cups.
At that party she smacks the butt of a partygoer, rides a stuffed Stegosaurus and laughs at a girl dressed as Miley Cyrus in “Wrecking Ball,” twerking. “Trying to get Friday out of my head,” she sings. “It’s all so hazy, got a little too crazy / You know I’d do it all again.”
Just a few weeks ago, Black said nearly the exact same thing. She was filming herself as she revisited “Friday” for the first time since it dropped. She groaned when she noticed a zit on her cheek. She clarified that no, someone didn’t smack her butt as she was walking by. She notes that she still has the same alarm clock featured at the start, but aside from that, “Friday” had changed her life. (Obviously.)
Watch “Saturday” up top, then see Black re-watch “Friday” after the jump. More »
Well! One Direction were the musical guests on Saturday Night Live this week, and unsurprisingly — given that they’re, y’know, one of the biggest bands in the world — a whole lot of hay was made of their appearance on the show. (That is, they featured prominently in host Paul Rudd‘s opening monologue, where Rudd invited some comedy royalty onstage to perform a rendition of Starland Vocal Band‘s “Afternoon Delight,” as well in a funny little skit where Rudd played their biggest fan.)
They also performed “Story Of My Life” in a nicely understated rendition, looking appropriately polished for the occasion as they turned out the rootsy track, then came out later to perform Midnight Memories track “Through The Dark.” Watch “Story Of My Life” up top, then see “Afternoon Delight,” the biggest fan skit, and “Through The Dark” below. More »