Every week, Vulture faces the big, important questions in entertainment and comes to some creative conclusions. This week, we speculated about the True Detective finale, relived the glory of Oscar night, and kicked off our historic Reality Rumble bracket. You may have read some of these stories below, but you certainly didn’t read them all. We forgive you.
Just as Prince and Jay Z did before her, The Artist Formerly Known as Ke$ha is now just plain Kesha (or "Kesha Rose," as her new Twitter handle says). It's a new start for the singer, who just got out of rehab for an eating disorder and is happy and healthy — and hopefully won't be ditching the glitter forever.
Option one: click play on the below video, and enjoy Future's glorious "Move That Dope" in traditional visual form (with obligatory Gandalf Hat — Pharrell will never take that thing off). Option two: scroll down to click play on the below video game, and enjoy Future's glorious "Move That Dope" while trying not to crash into any walls. What will you choose?!
Is it a rule that all postapocalyptic movies must have an accompanying Ellie Goulding song? Yes, apparently. The Divergent soundtrack is streaming over at Pitchfork today, and it's full of unusual players: Banks, Pia Mia, M83, Woodkid, and Skrillex. The future has never sounded more distorted and depressing.
Each week, through my Somewhere In Time column, I hop in my DeLorean GIF to a moment in our pop-culture past to reevaluate just what we as a nation thought was good. This week I travel back fifteen years and flip on the radio: Though the cover of Billboard's March 6, 1999 issue trumpeted a rock resurgence (led by standard-bearers the Flys and Everlast), the rest of the magazine was all pop. We were in the spring of the Boy Band Moment, we were post-grunge and pre-Y2K, and we were wearing bucket hats. Join me as I check out the top 40 songs on that glorious week’s pop singles chart.
I mean, they were invited and everything — but the audience didn't know, which produces a nice "Surprise Kanye!" moment around the 1:30 mark. (Or maybe that is just a" Look, Someone Other Than Big Sean!" moment. Discuss amongst yourselves.) Anyway, here are Rick Ross, 'Ye, and Big Sean performing "Sanctified," otherwise known as the "Rick Ross Will Make You a Grilled Cheese" song. Romantic.
From the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is Bb My Side, here's the first clip of André Benjamin (a.k.a. Outkast's André 3000) in full character. It wasn't as simple as a change of hairstyle (although he did lose weight and study dialect): "I listened to hours of interviews," Benjamin noted in the film's production notes, "I watched films – watched his mannerisms." To get that super chill attitude and inherent coolness? He didn't really need to study.
"Fuck the Lannisters and everybody that ride with 'em / Jon Snow and the Night's Watch, finna slice some iron in 'em." Here is "Mother of Dragons," which is exactly as advertised (a tossed-off rap song with occasional Game of Thrones references). The full Catch the Throne mixtape is out tomorrow.
Prince "took over" The Arsenio Hall Show last night, performing new songs (watch one, below) and answering questions. He revealed fun facts, like that he doesn’t own a cell phone and apparently doesn’t know what infomercials are. As you can see below, things got heated when he revealed his pet peeve, people touching his hair. People, seriously, why are you touching Prince's hair? Would you touch a real prince's crown? Which raises a more important question: Why isn't Prince always wearing a purple crown?
Big Boi, Wale, Common, and Daddy Yankee are all contributing to the HBO-sponsored mixtape, which drops Friday and will be exactly what you'd hope: rap songs about Game of Thrones. Big Boi in particular is very excited about this project (and paycheck): "I'm really happy. I get to be part of the process of one of my favorite shows." Also, he's reading the books now, so he can find out what happens. Get in touch with Big Boi for all your Game of Thrones spoiler needs.
There is a long tradition of Celebrities Doing the Local Weather, and, real talk, Katy Perry is just okay at it. She has a decent level of enthusiasm, a couple of cute town jokes, and she does manage to communicate the basic facts of the weather. (Such as: It is warm in Australia!) We'd give her a solid B+. But this koala! Who is this Surprise Koala? Tell us more about him or her! A+ to Surprise Koala, would do business again.
… in the sense that they made a music video at the high school where Clueless was filmed, and they re-created basically every scene, with appropriate costumes and dopplegängers. (That Fake Christian sure looks like Real Christian! Also: Where is real Christian now?) Iggy gets to be Cher, and Charli appears to be some sort of Tai-like character? Anyway, here is “Fancy,” otherwise known as “your excuse to quote Clueless for the rest of the day.”
Fox announced today that megaproducer Timbaland has signed on as a songwriter and song producer on the upcoming drama Empire, a sort of King Lear set within the world of hip-hop. Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson star in the pilot, which was written by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. So as T Bone Burnett was to the first season of Nashville, Timbaland will be to Empire — at least in terms of musical bona fides. One hopes Empire has more going for it than "well, the songs are great," which is where Nashville is these days.
If you were hoping to see Meryl Streep shake her money-maker (her money-maker being her amazing talent) at tonight's Academy Awards, you have Pharrell Williams to thank for making it happen, and so soon into the show! While performing his Best Song-nominated tune "Happy" from Despicable Me 2, Pharrell managed to get Meryl, Lupita Nyong'o, and Amy Adams to show off their moves in the front row. Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx took his dance moves to the actual stage. If you were watching live, you may also have noticed Jennifer Lawrence frantically demur Pharrell's offer to dance, probably because there's a 90 percent chance her dress would have fallen down or something.
"Leaks usually bother me," Sky Ferreira wrote on Twitter today, "but I actually like 'Rancid Girl' so that's ... cool?" It is cool. "Rancid Girl," a quiet track with a punk-rock heart ("filthy mouth, Minnie Mouse") appears to be from Ferriera's Ghost EP era, co-written by Blake Mills, Jon Brion, and Cass McCombs.
Beck released four albums in the first two years of his career. The arrival of Morning Phase marks just his eighth in the two decades since. The more deliberate pacing serves him well, as the intervals between albums has given him ample time to experiment and molt into the various versions of Beck we’ve seen over the years. Here, Vulture ranks all twelve of his studio albums, and throws in his unrecorded twenty-track sheet-music project Song Reader for good measure.
It is directed by Hype Williams, and you can watch the trailer (which also played on Late Night With Seth Meyers) here. It’s mostly tour footage, which would suggest that this is a concert film, and therefore separate from the project Kanye and Bret Easton Ellis have been writing together. But who (besides Kanye) knows.
It's amazing to think that it's been almost three years since LCD Soundsystem called it quits with a marathon final show at Madison Square Garden on April 2. The good news is that soon you'll finally be able to listen to the whole set from the comfort of the chair you put next to your record player. The Long Goodbye: LCD Soundsystem Live at Madison Square Garden will come out on April 19, Record Store Day, as a 5xLP vinyl boxed set and then May 20 with a full digital and vinyl wide release. Read the full, extensive track list below; watch a performance of "All My Friends" from the show, taken from the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits; and decide whether this release makes them closer or further away from a reunion.
During an interview with GQ, Pharrell gets a phone call from Usher ("Yo, Ush") and we, the reader, get to overhear what is perhaps the most wonderful phone conversation of all time. You see, Pharrell is in the process of trying to convince Usher to release a song about "the rodeo world" inspired by the Year of the Horse (which we are currently in): "Look at what happened when Ginuwine did 'Pony' and he had the mechanical bull ... Now, that was Ginuwine. We’re talking about you, and bringing you to the rodeo world with a record that gives you the license to do that." Wait so, Usher in chaps? Yes, please.
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