Mash-ups are a mainstay on the hip hop scene with rappers constantly collaborating to deliver fresh material. Even the most vicious emcee paired up with the current R&B diva has a natural charm, and we’ve come to expect Rihanna, Beyoncé or Kelly Rowland backing up big verses from big rappers. Now, it seems that hip hop has crossed over into the pop star realm, blurring the lines between the sugary sweet stylings of pop icons like Britney, Katy and Bieber with the hard-hitting sound of the streets.
We got our biggest dose of the crossover craze when Nicki Minaj announced she would join Britney Spears on her Femme Fatale Tour this year. In a groundbreaking move, fans of pop music’s reigning queen would be shoulder to shoulder with fans of the hottest thing to hit hip hop in years. What resulted was one hell of a party!
Now, other singers are following suit, and pairing up with some unlikely collaborators. Justin Bieber will throw a little hip hop into the holidays when he releases Under The Mistletoe, on November 1. The fifteen-track holiday album features a version of “The Little Drummer Boy” with none other than Busta Rhymes. We can’t imagine Rhymes’ grimy, gruff voice singing about the birth of Christ, but we’re all ears. Other guests on the album will include Usher,Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey.
As Benjamin Franklin once said (and I’m about to paraphrase dramatically), only two things in life are certain: death and taxes.
Now we can add to that party of two another certainty: a new Rihanna album before the end of every year. Since making her debut with Music of the Sun in 2005, the singer has taken only one year off, 2008, during which she dealt with the fallout from the Chris Brown mess and still remained in circulation with an expanded second edition of Good Girl Gone Bad called Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded.
Her fifth album, Loud, which was only released last November, is still going fairly strong on the charts. It just spun off its fourth Top 10 single, “Cheers (Drink to That),” and one suspects that Rihanna and her label, Def Jam Records, could possibly milk it for at least one more. But she’s already making plans to move on to studio album No. 6. On September 15, Rihanna tweeted to fans that it’ll be in stores “this fall.” Four days later, again via Twitter, she revealed the title of the first single, “We Found Love.” As of September 23, an album title hadn’t been announced but an official release date was: November 21.
I suppose this gives die-hard Rihanna fans—and lord knows there must be tons of them out there to send 10 of her singles to No. 1 in five short years—but it also threatens to render her dangerously overexposed. And considering the fact that she’s set to make her film debut next May in the board-game-turned-action-flick Battleship, might we soon be in for Rihanna overload?
Shining Rae may have thought she was “Dreaming” when she landed a mentoring session with a major industry player, but the experience was all too real. The soul songstress won July’s “Artist Access” Premium Member Competition and recently returned from NYC, where she got the chance to sit down with Bruce Tyler, one of the music industry’s leading resources.
Whether it’s working alongside major record labels (Sony Music & Columbia Records), artist managers, music producers, radio giants, leading music Internet sites, TV and film production companies or some of the biggest artists in music today (John Mayer, John Legend, Aerosmith, Beyoncé, The Fray), Tyler is widely considered one of the music industry’s best resources.
Shining Rae gave it her all in NYC, performing her winning song “Dreaming” for Bruce Tyler and an intimate audience. Check it out in the video below!
The music industry can be a hard place to navigate, but here at OurStage, we want to help you get your foot in the door! We know that a huge part of success in the music industry comes from having great connections, and so once again we are giving our Premium Members the opportunity to connect with industry consultant Bruce Tyler by entering our October “Artist Access” Competition!
Bruce Tyler is the former EVP of both Sony Music and Columbia Records and is widely recognized for his efforts in working alongside artists such as Beyoncé, John Mayer, John Legend, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz and The Fray. In his over twenty-five years of experience, he’s worked with major record labels, artist managers, radio giants, music producers, TV and film production companies, leading music Internet sites and even some of the biggest artists in music today. He is widely regarded as one of the music industry’s best resources.
One winner will be chosen to travel to New York City and meet with Tyler in hopes of building a connection that could further their musical career. Want this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be yours? Sign up for an OurStage Premium Membership here, log on and enter your best pop, rock, urban or country song by October 23rd for your chance to win!
Florence Welch must be in a state of extreme suspense right about now. And if she is, no one would understand how she feels better than Adele. At the dawn of 2011, Adele was in the very same position in which the lead singer of Florence + the Machine now finds herself, coming off a GRAMMY-nominated (and in Adele’s case, GRAMMY-winning) US debut album with extremely high expectations from people who are music fans, music writers and both (like yours truly). Would album No. 2 be career boom or bust?
For Adele, the rest is recent music history. Her sophomore album, 21, is the biggest seller of 2011 so far in the US, where it has launched two number one singles, song of the summer “Rolling in the Deep” and the big-boned ballad “Someone Like You.”
Florence, in a sense, is someone like Adele. Both British acts broke big in the States on TV (Adele on Saturday Night Live in 2008, Florence at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards); both were nominated for the Best New Artist GRAMMY (Adele won, Florence lost); both have worked extensively with producer Paul Epworth; both were cited by Beyoncé for influencing her during the making of 4; and both played major roles in making the pop charts safe once again for British blue-eyed soul.
But is this where the similarities end? Does Florence’s upcoming second album, still untitled as of mid-September, have the same potential as 21? The power to move continents of fans with its fiery emotion, bringing them to their knees and sending them crawling en masse to iTunes?
As a fan, there’s nothing you want more from your favorite band than success. You show them your support by going to their shows, by buying their merch and telling everyone you know about them. Thanks to you, the devoted fan, your favorite band is somewhere. But this is your chance to take them somewhere even better.
This is your chance to make a difference in your favorite artist’s career: The winner of this month’s “Artist Access” Competition gets an invaluable one-on-one mentoring session with none other than Bruce Tyler—former EVP of Sony Musicand Columbia Records who’s worked with artists such as Beyoncé, John Mayerand John Legend—to get the tips and feedback an emerging star needs to break out and take the music world by storm.
What are you waiting for? Head over to the “Artist Access” Channel through September 30 and let your voice be heard! Premium Members who perform rock, pop, urban and country are all competing for this chance of a lifetime. It’s up to YOU to decide who deserves it the most!
This was a brutal exercise, listening to at least large chunks of every Number 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 for the years between 2000 and 2010 (I should have stopped at 2009, but I’m a glutton for punishment). Anyway, in order to avoid repetition, if a song was a Number 1 in more than one year (carried over from a previous year), I only considered it for the first year in which it hit the top spot. I thought I might see some kind of trend in quality of pop music, but no such luck—highs and lows abound throughout.
Best: “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas. Rob Thomas tries really hard to wreck this song with his awful singing, but it’s still really catchy. Sorry Rob, but I’ve come from the future to tell you that you’ll have more success offending listeners with your solo record.
Worst: The epic and universal terribleness of “Arms Wide Open” by Creed beats out such dreck as “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon and a song called “I Knew I Loved You” by a band that wrote the name “Savage Garden” on a piece of paper, looked at it and said, “Yes. Let’s name our band that. That’s not totally stupid at all.”
Dishonorable mention: “Independent Women Part 1” by Destiny’s Child, for opening the song with a shout out to Charlie’s Angels, the movie in which it is featured, and for kicking off the verse with the lyric, “Question: Tell me what you think about me.” Yeah, that’s not a question, that’s a command. What do I think about you? I think that you’re too pushy and have a tenuous grasp on parts of speech.
“Take back Vanessa Redgrave
Take back Joe Piscopo
Take back Eddie Murphy
Give ‘em all some place to go”
— Tom Petty, “Jammin’ Me” (1987)
“Fuck Tom Petty!”—Eddie Murphy
Oh, those crazy stars! What will they say next? And will they ever learn? What a tangled web they weave when they start to take pot shots at each other.
Celebrity feuds have existed since before the dawn of the pop charts. Eminem owes much of his early notoriety to cutting down to size the likes of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, ‘N Sync and Moby in videos and on record. Meanwhile, off the record (though always totally for attribution), Katy Perry has never met a fellow chart-topper she wouldn’t slag off.
But lately, stars keep colliding and disturbing the peace in the music galaxy. Liam Gallagher just filed suit against his brother Noel over the latter’s claim that Liam pulled out of a high-profile Oasis gig in 2009 due to a hangover and over comments Noel made blaming Liam for the demise of the band. But then brothers in arms have engaged in verbal—and occasionally, physical— combat since the heyday of the Kinks, which featured the dueling Davies, Ray and Dave. Chris and Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes, William and Jim Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Kings of Leon‘s Followill brothers have the battle scars to prove it.