Last night Kendrick Lamar was the last musical guest ever on The Colbert Report, and boy, did he have a great time. Not only did he totally kill it, performing a never-before-heard song, he had a true blast being interviewed by Stephen Colbert, often cracking up super-hard. Hope these videos momentarily distract you from the fact that the show ends tomorrow night.
Warm Your Grouchy Heart With This Supercut of Darlene Love Singing ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ for David LettermanBy Nate Jones
Just like your real dad, David Letterman gets the same Christmas gift almost every year: a visit from Darlene Love, who makes an annual tradition of stopping by Letterman's shows to perform his favorite holiday song, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." Now, to celebrate Love's 22nd and final visit on Friday, the Late Show YouTube account has made this mash-up of all the times Love's sung the song for Dave over the years. As a special treat, this will be the year her baby finally comes home.
Every week, members of the Vulture staff will highlight their favorite new songs. They might be loud, quiet, long, short, dance-y, rawkin', hip, square, rap, punk, jazz, some sort of jazz-punk-rap fusion — whatever works for the given person in that given week. Read our picks below and please tell us yours in the comments. (Also, read music critic Lindsay Zoladz's The Pinkprint.)
So much depended upon The Pinkprint. Too much, probably. Some of this has to do with the stark confidence of its title, or the increasingly grand statements Nicki Minaj has been making about her fabled, much-delayed third album for the better part of the last two years. “I do think it’s going to create new rules,” she’s said. Also: “[Jay Z] did such a great job of creating this Blueprint for male rappers … I felt like with what I’m doing, I want female rappers to pattern themselves with what I’ve done one day.” Bold claims, sure, but the unfair truth is that Minaj would have been stuck with this heavy crown whether she liked it or not. Since blasting up from the underground and into mainstream consciousness in 2010 (the year of her world-stopping guest verse on Kanye West’s “Monster,” as well as her debut album Pink Friday), Minaj’s reign as her generation’s greatest female rapper has been completely, and perhaps depressingly, uncontested.
In his rollicking, insightful new book Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll, author Peter Bebergal delves deep into the weird connections between popular music and the occult, and how the former has so often utilized the mystique of the latter. In this excerpt, Bebergal looks at the rumors that have long circulated about Jay Z's involvement with the mysterious Illuminati cabal, and what those rumors signify about how we think of the rap superstar.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just announced its class of 2015 inductees: Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan (and his former band, Double Trouble), Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Bill Withers, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Green Day (which is deserving but still surprising to see). (Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A., the Smiths, Kraftwerk, and Chic were among those nominated who didn't get enough votes to earn induction.) Ringo Starr will receive the "Award for Musical Excellence," making him the last and final Beatle to enter the Hall of Fame as a solo artist — after the band was inducted as a group in 1988. Perhaps the best response to the news comes from Withers, who has been mostly missing from the industry since the mid-'80s: "I just never felt that anyone owed me this. It's something that's nice that happened. I guess I'll have to go buy a suit."
The eternally delayed comeback album has become a running joke in the music business, instantly evoked by the words Chinese Democracy (finally released to a tepid response 15 years after Guns N' Roses's previous album) and Detox (it's been 15 years and counting since 2001, and now Dr. Dre maybe isn't calling it Detox anymore). But there are actually quite a few artists who manage to return after a really long break with an excellent album. It's been a banner year for the comeback album: Electronic-music pioneer Aphex Twin released the widely acclaimed Syro, his first in 13 years. And now R&B hero D'Angelo has dropped his Christmas surprise, Black Messiah. In their honor, here are the 12 best studio albums by artists who were away for at least a decade. (A criterion that rules out favorites like Patti Smith's Gone Again, Dr. Dre's 2001, and Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel ...)
A Hungarian folk singer has lobbed a civil suit at Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Timbaland for allegedly sampling illicit material on "Drunk in Love." Monika Miczura Juhasz, a.k.a. Mitsou, claims Bey and Co. distorted (without proper permission) and then used vocals from a song she released almost two decades ago to create the song's exotic-sounding intro. "Page Six" reports that the purported original song, "Bajba, Bajba Pélem," was recorded in 1995 and released in the U.S. two years later as part of an album titled Gypsy Life on the Road. "Following Mitsou’s stirring featured solo vocal introduction, Mitsou’s voice continues to sing as Beyoncé begins to sing," reads the suit. "All together, Mitsou’s vocals are featured for over one and half minutes of the five and one half minute song." Since Mitsou did not sign any documents that would allow anyone to alter or repurpose her voice, the singer is reportedly seeking unspecified damages, as well as an end to the distribution of "Drunk."
It's here, it's here, it's finally here. After dozens of false alarms and very real police sirens, late last night, D'Angelo released new music to the masses. Black Messiah is futuristic funk and sweat mixed with current worry, dropped from the heavens, à la last year's Beyoncé, as a surprise to all. It's been a long 14 years leading up to this point, after his second album — 2000's universally acclaimed Voodoo — redefined soul music for the modern era. His biggest hit, "Untitled (How Does It Feel)," was also his biggest hurdle: Its music video had him naked with hardened abs and glistening skin. It placed him firmly in the space of heartthrobs like Usher; concerts were drowned out by catcalls. D'Angelo resented the attention, canceling concerts and retreating into himself, taking drugs and alcohol into his cave. News dripped out intermittently. A new album always seemed to be almost ready. But now it’s actually finally here. This is a timeline of what D’Angelo has been up to and not up to since Voodoo.
It may have come as a surprise to the uninitiated last July when Romeo Santos, the king of bachata, sold out two concerts at his home borough’s Yankee Stadium. But any latecomers to the angel-voiced singer’s R&B-tinged romantic balladry were only getting clued in to what the Spanish-speaking world already knew: Santos, 33, is one of music’s biggest stars — in any language. As if any further proof were needed, this past week, Billboard placed Santos at No. 1 on its Top Latin Artists chart, and gave the same position to his latest LP, Formula Vol 2, on its Top Latin Albums ranking.
Santos, spoke to us about where he’s come from and where he’s going.
On Tuesday, British pop-star Charli XCX will release her highly anticipated Sucker. Though she exploded into mass consciousness this year with her guest vocals on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” the 22-year-0ld has been kicking around for a decade. Her breakout has been a long time coming. Here's how it happened:
Everyone is really excited about D'Angelo's first album since 2000, Black Messiah. Rightfully so! Maybe you woke up and found out this morning, or maybe you saw it all go down last night at midnight and just had to stay up another two or so hours to digest the whole thing. (No wonder our celebratory tweets were a little wonky.) Either way, you weren't alone. A bunch of musicians and critics were immediately thrilled. Here's the Twitter party you might've missed.
Animal Collective's Panda Bear premiered the music video for one of his newer songs on Adult Swim late Sunday night. Titled "Boys Latin," the song will be featured on the artist's next album, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, which is due out mid-January. Encyclopedia Pictura's Isaiah Saxon and Sean Hellfritsch directed the accompanying video, a wonderful phantasmagoria drenched with brilliant colors, stunning animation, peculiar surroundings, and pulsating musical production.
It was quite the busy weekend for Taylor Swift. Among a slew of other things, she turned 25 years old, had (what appeared to be) the most incredible birthday party, and then, last night, danced with her new BFF Beyoncé at a Justin Timberlake concert. Look! They like each other! And now we know exactly what the best gift Taylor received for her birthday was.
When D'Angelo released his last album, Voodoo, in 2000, Bill Clinton was still president. (Let that sink in.) And now, with little warning or pomp, he released his third studio album last night. You can buy Black Messiah on iTunes or stream it on Spotify below. It's a Christmas miracle.
D'Angelo has long toyed with our emotions, promising for years that we would get a follow-up to 2000's Voodoo. Now the perfectionist is finally set to unveil his next album, Black Messiah, later this week (which will probably screw up everyone's "Best of 2014" lists). Last night, he released the album's first single, "Sugah Daddy," which is funky and layered and smooth. It's been too long, D'Angelo, but it sounds like the wait was worth it.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of her surprise album release, Beyoncé cut a bunch of its music videos together into an 11-minute, black-and-white documentary. It's called "Yours and Mine," and it features Beyoncé giving her thoughts on a few thematically relevant ideas: love, aging, fame, parenthood, and feminism. It's a lot like her documentary, but even artier! As always, any one of her sentences in this thing would make a great motivational poster.