Taylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off” video was supposed to be a feel-good romp that inspired viewers to let go and have a little fun but many commentators felt the urban dance scene appropriated black culture and perpetuated stereotypes. One of the most vocal critics was Earl Sweatshirt, who called the Mark Romanek-directed visual “inherently offensive and ultimately harmful”.
Romanek responded to the Odd Future rapper’s accusations today (August 21) and vigorously defended his work. “[Earl Sweatshirt] stated clearly that he hadn’t seen the video and didn’t even intend to watch it,” the filmmaker told Vulture. “So, respectfully, that sort of invalidates his observations from the get-go. And it’s this one uninformed tweet that got reported on and rehashed.”
“We simply choose styles of dance that we thought would be popular and amusing and cast the best dancers that were presented to us without much regard to race or ethnicity,” he continued. “If you look at it carefully, it’s a massively inclusive piece. It’s very, very innocently and positively intentioned.” More »
Nicki Minaj spends most of her “Anaconda” video twerking on all-fours but instead of generating a backlash from fans and online commentators, the general consensus has been “omg Onika slay!!!!” (It’s amusing because Bill O’Reilly accused Beyonce‘s infinitely classier “Partition” of ruining America’s youth). One person who has spoken out about the video is Grandmaster Flash.
“I think an artist of her stature, it wasn’t necessary, although it could be considered fun from her point of view,” the hip-hop legend said during an interview with BBC Radio. ”I’ve got a stepdaughter, 12, and I got a daughter, 15, and if I was walking by her room and she was watching the video and she was actually trying to emulate that… I’d be pretty much upset.” More »
Like many before her, Jessie J fell victim to the sophomore slump. After sweeping everything in her path with blockbuster debut LP Who You Are, the outspoken Brit failed to make a similar impact with Alive. Her aggressive new sound and bold image overhaul were too much for most fans and she seemed destined for the pop scrapheap. That is until she rebounded with “Bang Bang”.
The 26-year-old engineered one of 2014′s most unlikely comebacks by reaching out to Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande. “Bang Bang” (appropriately) spearheads Jessie J’s third LP Sweet Talker, which drops October 13. She unveiled the cover on Instagram today (August 21) and it boasts a striking snap of the diva wearing very little clothing. Welcome back! More »
Oh WOW, Katycats! Katy Perry sure has a treat for YOU!
Are you bumping “This Is How We Do” on repeat all day and night? Are you trying to teach your ice cream to twerk? COOL, YO! Now get ready, because Katy’s already switched it up with a brand new remix, starring her newest BFF Riff Raff.
Who? Well, the Houston-bred rapper has been kicking around for a while now as part of Diplo‘s Mad Decent label. You might know him for his current Vine-popular jam “Tip Toe Wing In My Jawwdinz,” or maybe from his work as part of comedic hip-hop troupe Three Loco with Andy Milonakis and Simon Rex. More »
Ingrid Michaelson slyly released one of the year’s best pop songs way back in February and it’s taken half a year for most of us to realize it. The 34-year-old singer/songwriter is currently enjoying the second biggest hit of her long career with “Girls Chase Boys”, which is hovering just outside the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100. (Only 2007 smash “The Way I Am” has charted higher).
What makes the lead single from Lights Out so good? Well, it’s possibly the most nonchalant break-up anthem of all time (“all the broken hearts in the world still beat, let’s not make it harder than it has to be”). It’s the musical equivalent of texting someone “lol bye”, which gives it universal appeal. Oh and the gender-bending video — a cute homage to Robert Palmer‘s iconic “Simply Irresistible” visual — doesn’t hurt. Watch up top. More »
Ariana Grande is taking no chances with sophomore LP My Everything. The 21-year-old worked with the game’s hottest producers and songwriters as well as roping in the services of cool collaborators like Zedd, The Weeknd, Childish Gambino and Iggy Azalea. You can now add rising Colombian rapper J Balvin to that already long list.
The Latin superstar appears on the just-released Spanglish remix of lead single “Problem”. I usually love it when artists retool their songs for the Latin American market (who will ever forget this gem?) but there’s something creepy about J Balvin quietly repeating Big Sean‘s lines in Spanish and then robotically trading verses with Iggy. Decide for yourself after the jump. More »