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It’s A Competition Just To Judge For American Idol

The drama is getting started a bit ahead of schedule over at American Idol. Ever since Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler decided to bow out from their roles as judges on the popular reality singing competition (though not Randy Jackson, apparently) there has been a great deal of speculation and conjecture as who will take over their spots. About a month since Tyler and Lopez’ departure, it looks like the panel for Season 12 is finally coming together. Maybe.

Mariah Carey was one of the first names floated around as a replacement judge. Indeed, Carey was the first new face to sign on for season 12 to the tune of $18 million. But it looks like Carey might not be the only woman at AmIdol this time around; Nicki Minaj is reportedly close to signing onto the show for $8 million and an allowance for hair, makeup, and outfits. Knowing Minaj, that could easily drive her price tag into the tens of millions.

While it doesn’t sound like Carey is too pleased with having to share the spotlight with another female performer it is unlikely that she would have been the lone diva for long. Katy Perry was also in talks with Idol to judge, though $20 million apparently wasn’t enough to land her.

As for the guys it’s still unknown who is going to be bro-ing out with Jackson in season 12. Keith Urban is in talks with the show and he would certainly lend the twang to the proceedings that Idol has been lacking. It would be an easy transition for Urban, too, as he has just wrapped up his judging gig on Australia’s incarnation of The Voice. The other big hosting candidate would be rapper and living embodiment of ego Kanye West. It also sounds like West has some pretty powerful backers, namely American Idol host Ryan Seacrest and Kris Jenner, matriarch of the Kardashian clan and momager extraordinaire. So, he’s basically got it, right?

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Soundcheck: Who Is Hit Boy?

Pharell tried it.  Timbaland took a stab too.  Kanye perfected it.  Hit Boy will continue the trend.  The transition from super-producer toartist is no easy trek.

Chauncey Hollis, the man behind the beats, is ready to leave the boards behind and embark on his own journey toward rap superstardom. Fresh off his über-successful hit, “Niggas In Paris” Hit Boy made it clear he was ready to show the world he can rap too.

Last week, he dropped his free debut offering, HITstory, from his new label home on his House Of Hits website.

The producer-turned rapper signed to Kanye’s label, G.O.O.D. Music in May. “I’m just making music with them, so stuff will end up where it is supposed to,” he told MTV News. “That’s family and they’re the best in the world in my opinion, so I can’t lose. Being able to get advice from those guys is priceless.”

The 11-track EP features collaboration with label-mates, Big Sean and John Legend as well as Bun B, among others. His first single, “Jay-Z Interview” dropped in June and let fans know he wasn’t fooling around. “Yeah, the sh– I spit like/ ‘What the f— has gotten into you?’/ I got ‘em tuned in like a Jay-Z interview.”

On the album, he displays a broad range of content and creativity; depicting a life of big dreams, big disappointments, and bigger determination. “I knew what I wanted before I had it/ but I always had it I was an addict/ And this room is feelin’ just like an attic/making 10 beats a day and going at it… God damn I was just home/ now I’m number 3 on The Throne/ I had so many emotions, that I had to make it into a song,” he rhymes.  Continue reading ‘Soundcheck: Who Is Hit Boy?’

Bon Iver Announces Remix Contest

You might have what it takes to make folky singer-songwriter Justin Vernon – a.k.a. Bon Iver – sound a little bit less dour.

A remix contest has just been announced for the singer’s most recent release, Bon Iver, Bon Iver. “Bon Iver, Bon Iver: Stems Project” is the unwieldy but fitting title for the event: fans will be able to download and re-work the stems for a chance to have their work featured on a Spotify-exclusive Bon Iver release. There’s also a prize pool of $10,000 up for grabs, or $1,000 for each track to be remixed from the album.

Let’s speculate on the potential different paths one can take with these remixes. We already know that Vernon’s autotuned, dulcet tones lend themselves well to a hip-hop framework. Maybe an anthemic cut of “Holocene” in the vein of a Kanye West banger is in order? Or imagine turning “Beth/Rest” into a blown out, Skrillex-y EDM track. This would be pretty easy to accomplish with the new Dubstep Machine, an application that will let you drop the base from whatever website you’re on. I smell a hit.

Download the stems and check out the contest here.

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The Re-Launching of Fiona Apple

Here we go again again! Another online article where the subject is Fiona Apple. For the last few weeks, it seems, it’s been virtually impossible to turn on the computer without stumbling across a new headline about the 34-year-old singer-songwriter. I can’t think of any other musical celebrity this side of Kanye West who, in recent memory, has gotten quite so much mileage out of being both ridiculously talented and endlessly quotable.

And Apple doesn’t even tweet (yet)—or date a reality TV star!

Her musical gift and her gift of gab pretty much ensured that the June 19 release of her fourth album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, would arrive with more fanfare than the expected critical gushing. In fact, after one week of release, the new set sold 72,000 copies, good enough for a No. 3 debut on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart, immediately making The Idler Wheel… the highest-charting album of Apple’s career.

That would be chump change in the coffers of Adele or Lady Gaga, but considering that Apple released her last album, Extraordinary Machine, way back in 2005, before the world had heard of Adele, Gaga, or Katy Perry, and the year in which Rihanna released her debut album, it’s as extraordinary as one-half of her last album title.

Continue reading ‘The Re-Launching of Fiona Apple’

Soundcheck: Hot Summer Hip-Hop

The 2012 BET Awards were held Sunday night in Los Angeles, setting the tone for a sizzling summer of new music from some of hip-hop’s biggest names. Beyoncé took home the trophy for Best Female R&B Artist while Nicki Minaj nabbed Best Female Hip Hop Artist for the third year in a row.

Whitney Houston was given one final farewell from a group of very talented loved ones including her mother, Cissy Houston, who sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to a sobbing crowd. Mariah Carey and Angela Bassett, along with the rest of Houston’s Waiting To Exhale cast mates, also delivered heartfelt tributes.

Performances from Chris Brown, D’Angelo, and Kanye West provided previews for some of this season’s most anticipated releases. Brown’s album, Fortune, was just released on July 3.  Last weekend, Brown was honored at the 2012 BET Awards winning Best Male R&B Artist after he gave a power-packed performance of “Turn Up The Music” and “Don’t Wake Me Up” to a turned up crowd who can’t help but be mesmerized by his unrivaled dance moves and brightly painted bare chest. His newest singles dropped last week and included one Drake diss and two crazy collaborations; “ Mirage” featuring Nas and “Get Down” featuring B.o.B., as well as one stellar solo offering, “Trumpet Lights”.  Continue reading ‘Soundcheck: Hot Summer Hip-Hop’

 


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