“I was trying to make the perfect album,” Nas says of his 1994 debut Illmatic, in a just-released trailer for a documentary celebrating exactly that. Directed by One9, Nas: Time Is Illmatic details the creative process behind the Queensbridge, N.Y. rapper’s stunning debut, which received The Source‘s perfect, five-mic rating and became one of the most acclaimed hip-hop albums of all time.
Pharrell, Alicia Keys and Busta Rhymes all appear in the Time Is Illmatic trailer to help speak for Illmatic‘s influence. “It’s one of the best albums of all time,” Keys says. More »
Wyclef Jean, globally-minded hip-hop artist and producer, is staging a comeback with his first new album in five years: Clefication, out this spring. The album’s first single, “Divine Sorrow” featuring Avicii, will be out later this year.
Last year, Jean released a 33-song mixtape, April Showers, as a teaser to his “Frankenstein project” of a new album, then titled The Carnival Begins. At the time, he told Idolator that he had recorded trap songs, dancehall tracks and acoustic ballads as he teamed with Pitbull and 2 Chainz, while also influenced by Missy Elliott and Timbaland.
Billboard reports that Jean had since relocated to Avicii’s native Stockholm to work on Clefication, with help from the EDM superstar’s manger Ash Pournouri. Jean and Avicii have already worked together once before, on World Cup closing anthem “Dar um Jeito (We Will Find a Way),” also featuring famed rock guitarist Carlos Santana and Brazilian singer Alexandre Pires. Revisit the song below. More »
Diplo, pop-meets-Miami bass DJ, and Skrillex, dubstep king, initially introduced their joint side project Jack Ü during last year’s Mad Decent Block Party touring festival. Now, more than a year after the producer duo’s debut, Diplo revealed a live version of Jack Ü collaboration with Kiesza, “Take U There.”
While Kiesza’s breakout hit, “Hideaway,” could easily be mistaken for an early ’90s house record, “Take U There” transports the rising Canadian pop singer to the present. Without much hesitation, her powerhouse vocals lead to the sort of dramatic bass drops and honking rhythms to be expected from the two superstar producers.
Diplo recently said that Jack Ü will release a self-titled mixtape soon. For now, hear the live version of “Take U There,” recorded during the Brooklyn stop of this year’s Mad Decent Block Party trek, below. More »
Happy Friday, Idolator Readers. Before we head straight into the Labor Day weekend, let us reflect on this week’s glamorous world of pop!
First up, with the 2014 MTV VMAs madness coming to a close on Sunday, we recapped all of the night’s events and best red carpet moments as well as the complete list of Moonman winners. We also discovered that Nicki Minaj’s “scandalous” wardrobe malfunction was actually all a hoax, fawned over Demi Lovato’s gorgeous red dress and realized that Jennifer Lopez looks great, well, always.
Not to mention, J.Lo also released a hard-hitting remix of “Booty” with fellow bootylicious babe Iggy Azalea, while Charli XCX premiered her rebellious-school-girl music video for single “Break The Rules.” Usher also hopped on the bandwagon and dropped his new Mike WILL Made-It-produced album-track “Believe Me” as well as his visual for the Nicki Minaj-assisted “She Came To Give It To You.”
Here on Idolator, we sat down not only with up-and-coming North London beatsmith Shift K3Y to talk about his music journey, but also spoke to Nick Jonas about his exciting much-awaited solo album. What’s more, we also premiered New York songstress VERITE’s new single “Weekend.”
As per usual, you guys had plenty to say. Read this week’s roundup of the best reader comments below. More »
Today (August 29) would have been Michael Jackson‘s 56th birthday. It boggles the mind to think what treasures the King of Pop could have created if he were still alive but his legacy is so incredibly vast that there’s always something new to discover. To celebrate the life of the gloved genius, I’ve put together a list of five singles that performed considerably better overseas than at home.
It’s hard to fathom how classic tracks like 1995′s environmental awareness-raising “Earth Song” could be the highest-selling MJ single of all time in the UK but not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. That has a lot to do with the way charts were compiled in the ’90s and the lack of a physical release but it still feels completely wrong. Discover over such cases after the jump. More »
Just when you thought Beyonce would slay the MTV Video Music Awards and then disappear until it’s time to collect her next batch of Grammys, the game-changing diva posed for CR Fashion Book and even wrote them a poem. Shot by Pierre Debusschere (he also helmed her stunning “Mine” video) and styled by Carine Roitfeld, the shoot is one of Bey’s best. Hell, she even has a Chanel surfboard strapped to her back in one pic!
The issue arrives on September 4 (a date which also happens to be Queen Bey’s 33rd birthday), so the shoot chronicles her life and career. There are references to her self-titled album, music videos and even past photo shoots. As for the commentary? Well, Beyonce writes about Blue Ivy and the inspiration she gets from children in general.
“There’s someone, we all find out soon, more important than ourselves to lose,” she muses. “I feel a deep bond with young children — all those photos in my dressing room — especially those who’ve been stricken. Children I’ve met across the years — they uplift me like pieces of moon and guide me, whispering in my ear.” How lovely. Peruse all the pics up top. More »