Jay Z took to his Life + Times site to post his own personal rankings of his albums from best to worst (thus, these are the official rankings). He also stacked the physical copies in the same order, as you can see up top — solo LPs only. No surprise, Reasonable Doubt stands at the top of the summit, with Kingdom Come smothered on the bottom. (Someday, someone will be brave enough to write a “Kingdom Come isn’t as bad as everyone says” piece.)
This is so great, though! It’s pretty rare for an artist to get into the catalog self-critiquing business beyond the “well, this one is my favorite right now” or “they’re all my babies, I can’t choose” boilerplate answers. Not only that, but Jay also offers some brief commentary next to each entry, admitting to artistic missteps and misjudgments. (It wasn’t all self-flagellation, of course. Hov posits that the top four selections are “classic.”)
Check out his full list below. More »
Rocking his bejeweled Phantom of the Opera mask, R. Kelly performed a medley of Black Panties songs on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night (December 4). He quickly tore through ”Genius,” You Deserve Better” and “My Story,” with some help from 2 Chainz on the latter. But the best part, obviously, is that Kells recreated the cover of his album (which is out December 10), with a woman sitting on his lap and Kelly “playing” her like a violin.
Check out the performance up top, and then watch his interview with the host below, where he talks about the inspiration behind the album’s title, the next installments of “Trapped In The Closet” and his plans to bring it to Broadway. More »
“It’s a 16-minute introduction to our love of hip hop, films, guitar music and massive hooks.” That’s how Roman Rappak, singer from Breton, describes his band’s upcoming Force Of Habit EP to Idolator. Indeed, the four songs here run the gamut, from the indie rock of single “Envy” to the dark, synthy dance grooves on “Got Well Soon” to the orchestral and pensive soundscape that is “Sticker Factory.”
The frontman from the UK quintet explains, “We are really excited about this US EP, as we wanted to make something that people who had heard [2012 debut album, Other People's Problems] could listen to as a continuation of what we had put out already, but also that would work as an introduction to the band.”
Force Of Habit will be officially released on December 16 on Breton’s own imprint label Cut Tooth, via Believe Recordings. But ahead of that, Idolator is premiering all four tracks. Give the EP a spin below. More »
I don’t speak French, so I can’t tell you exactly what’s going on in the above clip — but it would appear a French news broadcast aired an exclusive preview of Daft Punk‘s “Instant Crush” video. The Strokes front man Julian Casablancas has vocal duties on the Random Access Memories track, and in this clip ripped from BFM TV, he’s performing solo on a small stage under a lone spotlight. He also seems to be involved in some sort of human doll love story, but there’s no sign of the Robots themselves in this teaser.
“Instant Crush” will be the second video from RAM, following “Lose Yourself To Dance,” which also put the guest vocalist (in that case, Pharrell) at the forefront of the visual.
Watch the preview up top (it starts about 25 seconds into the clip). More »
Lana Del Rey last night (December 4) premiered her highly anticipated Tropico short film at The ArcLight Hollywood, and at the event, she also revealed the title to her next album. “I really just wanted us all to be together so I could try and visually close out my chapter before I release the new record, Ultraviolence,” she told fans.
Tropico is billed as “an epic tale based on the biblical story of sin and redemption,” with Del Rey in the role of Eve. It was directed by Anthony Mandler and features the songs “Body Electric,” “Gods And Monsters” and “Bel Air” from her Paradise EP, with each song accompanying one of three chapters of the story (“Body Electric” for the Garden of Eden vignette, “Gods” for the seedy L.A. setpiece and “Bel Air” for heaven/paradise, or maybe just the countryside).
Head below to watch the whole thing now, in all its poetry-reciting, lap-dancing, icon-fawning glory, and also see the video of Lana revealing the new album title. More »
The turkey leftovers have been cleared out, the tree is up and we’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of cards that need to be dropped in the mail this month. A good excuse to procrastinate on the latter: We decided that no website is complete at this time of year without a festive playlist, and so to truly get in the spirit of the holidays, that’s exactly what we whipped up for you!
Our criteria was simple: This particular roundup of seasonal hits simply had to be pop-oriented, melodic songs that bring about a grand sense of warmth. Whether it’s Justin Bieber feeling lovey-dovey under the “Mistletoe,” Chris Martin crooning beautifully on Coldplay‘s “Christmas Lights,” Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson harmonizing sweetly over their “Winter Song” or Lady Gaga dreaming of a picture-perfect “White Christmas,” each of the songs below, much like the stocking hung by the chimney, were chosen with care.
So head below and hit play to chill out to our yuletide mix. At the very least, it should cure you of of the Bing Crosby blues the elevator ride put you in. More »