‘YMCMB start and stop with Wayne; it ain’t no YMCMB without Wayne,’ Birdman tells MTV News.
By Rob Markman, with reporting by Sway Calloway
When Lil Wayne first signed with Cash Money Records as a pre-teen, he wasn’t the label’s biggest star, but these days, it’s impossible to imagine the premier rap label without Tunechi. With his most-recent deal, fans won’t have to fathom that possibility.
A few weeks back, Weezy announced on MTV’s “Hip Hop POV” that he re-signed with Cash Money for a four-album deal, and since then, rumors have begun to surface that Birdman put up $150 million to retain Wayne’s recording rights.
“YMCMB start and stop with Wayne; it ain’t no YMCMB without Wayne,” Birdman told MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway on Monday night while DJ Khaled was shooting his “Take It to the Head” video in L.A.
On “POV,” Wayne said, “Everybody knows I came into the game at 11 years old with Cash Money Records, before we even had a major deal. We signed a deal in I don’t remember when, and I been with Cash Money ever since. So, if you’re looking for integrity, I am the definition. If you’re looking for a person that’s gonna stay down, I am the definition. If you’re looking for loyalty, I am just that.”
Birdman wouldn’t confirm the exact figures in the deal, but he made it clear that when it comes to Wayne, who he considers a son, the sky is the limit. “The type of situation we did never been done in urban music; it’s probably the biggest deal ever in urban music,” he said. “I’m blessed to even do that — whatever my son want, he can get. It’s all his anyway, so it don’t really matter to me.”
With Weezy as the flagship, the #1 Stunna hopes to grow his Cash Money/Young Money company into a billion-dollar brand. “That’s one of our goals, and the move we just made was a big move to that, to make sure the pioneer of it, which is Wayne,” he said.
Tunechi’s next album will be I Am Not a Human Being II, and the new deal ensures that it won’t be his last. Baby is no doubt proud to continue doing business with Birdman Jr., but let him tell it, and it’s more than business: “This is for life,” he said.
Are you looking forward to Lil Wayne’s next album? Tell us in the comments!
‘Jersey Shore’ star Vinny Guadagnino, Monica, ‘Glee’ actress Dianna Agron and more weigh in on MTV’s Battle of the Boy Bands.
By Christina Garibaldi
Just because the Boyz were knocked out in the second round of the competition doesn’t mean they don’t have their die-hard fans out there — among them “Glee” star Dianna Agron.
“When I was growing up, it was ‘NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees,” Agron told MTV News of the late-’90s boy-band explosion. “I was so obsessed with Boyz II Men in fourth grade. ‘Motownphilly’ — so good, so awesome.”
The R&B group is a favorite of Monica‘s as well. “My favorite boy band would have to be New Edition and Boyz II Men,” she told MTV News. “I don’t know if you consider these boy bands though, but they were just unbelievable.”
Another popular choice was ‘NYSNC, who made a shocking first-round exit when they lost in the final moments of voting to British boy band 5ive. Justin Timberlake and company ruled the charts (and the hearts of teen girls everywhere) in the late ’90s.
“I would say ‘NSYNC was my favorite boy band. They’re amazing, they were so talented,” former Danity Kane singer Aubrey O’Day said. “Obviously Justin came from that. We all know we were sweating Justin!”
Posters of Timberlake most certainly lined the walls of millions of fans, including Selena Gomez, who revealed to MTV News that her first crush was the former ‘NSYNC member.
Of course, picking just one boy band isn’t always easy, which was the problem for Roc Nation’s newest member, British singer Rita Ora.
“My ultimate boy band, I have a few: Jackson 5, Jagged Edge — I love Jagged Edge,” Ora said. ” ‘NSYNC, they were the ones, I swear.”
But when “Jersey Shore” star Vinny Guadagnino picked his ultimate boy band, he opted for keeping it in the MTV family.
“I kinda liked 2ge+her,” Vinny admitted. “I loved .”
Voting for the Elite Eight in MTV’s Battle of the Boy Bands runs until noon ET on Wednesday, May 2. Winners are determined by fan votes, so if your favorite band made the cut, make sure you keep voting. Tune in to AMTV and MTV Hits for their boy-band video takeovers each day and make sure to spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #BBB and like us on Facebook for updates!
Singer goes tribal and gets her dance on in trippy new Talk That Talk video.
By Jocelyn Vena
Rihanna‘s wondering “Where Have You Been” in the just-released music video for the Talk That Talk single. Her search takes her to mucky rivers, flower-drenched hillsides, desert-scapes and smoke-filled dance parties, overflowing with dancers popping and locking in tribal couture alongside the sexy pop vixen.
The video, which she dropped on her Facebook page, opens with Rihanna emerging from a river, scantily clad and as lonely-looking as hinted at in the track’s lyrics. “Where have you been all my life?” she sings while performing more intense choreography than fans of the singer might be used to. She shimmies and shakes in an exotic desert-like setting, wondering where her one true love might be hiding.
The video serves as a kind of photo shoot for a tribal-print-themed spread in a fashion magazine, with Ri donning funky looks that feature lots of animal prints, chunky jewelry and headdresses. It’s sexy and full of longing, much like the song itself, and even includes the singer appearing topless in certain shots. And if a topless Rihanna can’t find love, what hope is there for the rest of humanity?
As the Calvin Harris-produced track grinds on in all its EDM glory, Rihanna continues her trek throughout the world, looking for that special guy, who seems to slip through her fingers at every turn. Rihanna looks fiercely into the camera, shimmying to the song’s bumping beat, with her siren call being blasted into the wilds of the world.
The video turns psychedelic as it nears its end and a kaleidoscope effect is filtered over the clip, with glitter-sprinkled Rihanna making one final plea. Several dance breaks, wardrobe changes and hairstyles later, Rihanna looks as if she still might have to live her life all by her lonesome. At the video’s end, she goes back underwater, with just her dancers to keep her company.
In addition to dropping her video on Monday (April 30), the singer will also sit down with her “Battleship ” castmates during “MTV First: Battleship,” where she’ll be on hand to debut an exclusive clip from the blockbuster and open up about her big-screen debut.
Don’t forget to watch Rihanna on MTV tonight at 7:56 p.m. ET to see the premiere of an exclusive “Battleship” clip, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A with the film’s stars on MTV.com, hosted by MTV News’ Josh Horowitz. Fans can get in on the action by submitting video or text questions via MTV.com or via Twitter using @MTVNews, hashtag #MTVFirst or #AskBattleship.
Juliet Simms and Jermaine Paul also pull out all the stops for their mentors and America.
By John Mitchell
With a trip to the finals on the line, Monday night’s (April 30) “Voice” semifinals saw the remaining two artists from each team take the stage to sing their hearts out for America’s votes and high scores from the coaches, which, combined, determine who moves on to next week’s finals.
First up was Mouseketeer-turned-rocker Tony Lucca, who ditched his guitar for the first time in the competition to show off a different side of himself, singing “How You Like Me Now.” Lucca upped his game last week with his rocking rendition of Britney Spears’ ” … Baby One More Time” and knew he had a lot to prove.
Without his guitar to hide behind, Lucca delivered plenty of pop-star swagger. Blake summed it up most succinctly, saying Lucca’s swinging performance was reminiscent of similarly suited-up Robert Palmer in his prime. Even Christina, who has often been Lucca’s harshest critic, went on and on with praise for so long that host Carson Daly cut her off. (Didn’t he notice her tiara? Who cuts off a pop diva in fishnets and a bejeweled crown?)
Erin Willett entered the ring with a “special song choice”: a rearranged take on David Guetta and Usher’s dance thumper “Without You.” It was a risk, but that’s what Erin, who said during rehearsals she felt like she’s “never had a moment” on the show, was after. She was expectedly powerful, earned a thumbs-up from the judges and got very emotional onstage when she finished singing, but we’re not sure everything came together just right to make the performance memorable for the right reasons.
Throughout the competition, Christina has pushed classically trained Chris Mann into pop and rock territory to prove — both to himself and the voting public — that he could do more than sing opera (as he did during the blind auditions). However, as the contest winds down, Aguilera was keen to show off what attracted her to Mann in the first place (his perfect voice) and gave the singer one of the most well-known classical songs ever, “Ave Maria.” He nailed it, so much so that Aguilera caught Cee Lo tearing up. Aguilera was so moved by Mann’s performance that she jumped from her chair and joined him onstage to give him a hug.
Fan favorite Jamar Rogers from Team Cee Lo was next to the stage with the classic “If You Don’t Know Me by Now.” A born entertainer with a penchant for high-energy performances, Rogers reeled it in this time, hoping to showcase his voice, and the judges took notice.
“Forget the competition for a minute,” Adam said. “I’m just a fan of what you do.”
Though they are ostensibly competitors, there’s always a good bit of camaraderie among the contestants on “The Voice,” and that showed through when the teams joined forces for group performances of the Killers “All These Things That I’ve Done” (Teams Cee Lo and Adam) and Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” (Teams Christina and Blake). Similarly, though they may bicker in their judges’ chairs, Christina was bobbing her head (a task given how much that jeweled tiara must weigh) along to Blake’s performance of his new single “Over.”
Hoping to show that Mann isn’t the only true powerhouse male vocalist in the competition, Blake paired former Alicia Keys backup singer Jermaine Paul with Journey’s massive ballad “Open Arms.” Jermaine rose to the challenge, digging deep into the song’s emotion and tackling the song’s runs with aplomb.
The judges were not shy about praising Paul’s performance. “You came in and you murdered that song,” Christina said. “Jermaine, I would like to congratulate you, because you are no longer a background singer, my friend,” Adam added. But his own coach made the most crucial point, given how close Paul is to the finals, saying, “You’re peaking at the right time.”
Katrina Parker also opted to change things up, singing “Killing Me Softly” in the style of the Fugees’ remake. Outside her usual Adele-like belting, she showed off a new vocal personality — more sultry and raspy than ever. Noting that later in the night the judges would be forced to award percentages to the contestants and that Tony Lucca and Adam are maybe a more natural mentoring fit, Christina championed Parker, telling Levine to “take a look at Katrina Parker because she’s a star.”
Having saved her from elimination twice in the competition, we think he gets it, Christina.
While many singers opted to show off a different side of themselves, being in the bottom two last week chased Lindsay Pavao right back into her hipster-indie wheelhouse, where she found Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” waiting for her. The performance was very Florence and the Machine-lite, with Pavao looking ethereal while strumming a guitar and sounding as unique as ever. Even Blake complimented Christina’s strategy of returning her contestants to their roots (Mann with opera and Pavao with light indie rock).
The final contestant to hit the stage was rocker Juliet Simms, singing James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” She earned a standing ovation from her coach Cee Lo and fawning praise from the rest of the judges (Adam said she was “the one to beat” tonight), but Aguilera’s words of support — saying that Simms sings for herself and that often leads to the most gut wrenching performances — were perhaps the most important, as she tore the roof off the 2007 Grammys with her take on this song.
At the very end of the show, the coaches were given 100 points to divide between their two contestants, the results of which will be tabulated alongside America’s vote and revealed Tuesday to determine who moves on to the finals.
Who are your picks for the finals? Let us know in the comments below!
Watch the full clip on Monday at 7:56 p.m. ET on MTV and an interview with the cast shortly after on MTV.com!
By Kevin P. Sullivan, with reporting by Josh Horowitz
By now you’ve probably heard that on Monday, April 30, the cast of “Battleship” will present a never-before-seen clip from the upcoming movie on MTV at 7:56 p.m. ET.
You probably know all about the 30-minute interview with the stars that will follow on MTV.com and how you can get your question answered by submitting a video or text to MTV.com or Twitter via @MTVNews, using the hashtags #MTVFirst and #askBATTLESHIP.
But that’s probably not enough for you, since you simply cannot wait until the clip’s premiere on Monday night. Luckily, we have a sneak peek at the exclusive scene, and it looks like things are going to get a little explosive.
‘Our Mindless movement is all about being confident, just being yourself,’ Battle of the Boy Bands hopefuls tell MTV News.
By Kelly Marino
The first round of MTV News’ Battle of the Boy Bands has officially ended, but there is still time for fans to cast their votes for their favorite heartthrob group in hopes to title them the ultimate boy band of all time.
Another group urging their biggest followers to vote for them are the guys from Mindless Behavior. But before you get mindless with your votes, here are some facts about the foursome that might help steer your mind in the right direction:
Highest Chart Achievement
Their single “Mrs. Right” featuring rapper Diggy Simmons reached #8 on the U.S. Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts after its 2011 release.
The guys confess they would travel the world just to find the right kind of girl in the beat-popping hit “Mrs. Right,” causing female hearts in every country to flutter.
During their pledge to search high and low for “Mrs. Right,” the boys get a lesson or two in geography from their teacher, Professor LL Cool J. Directed by Brett Ratner, the video also features Mike Epps as the school janitor, who joins in on the fun during a pep rally to cheer on Diggy Simmons and the group’s signature dance moves.
Their debut album, #1 Girl, hit the U.S. in September 2011, debuting at #7 on the Billboard 200 with 36,000 copies sold in its first week.
Despite all of their success, the boys weren’t afraid to admit who they thought might be their biggest competition amid the new wave of boy bands that has exploded on the scene. “As far as other boy bands who I feel our biggest competition is One Direction and the Wanted,” Roc Royal told us. “That’s a huge competition for us, because we all have different movements, and they come from the U.K., and they also have fans out here, which, they have a lot of fans out here, so it’s crazy.”
So why do the guys think they should win our Battle of the Boys Band? Well, it’s simple, really: “There’s a lot of boy bands in the poll, but we’re definitely unique,” Princeton stated. “So please vote for us.”
Ray Ray chimed in: “I think we should win the title for Best Boy Band of All Time because we have a great movement. Our Mindless movement is all about being confident, just being yourself, not caring what other people think, stopping all the bullying and, one, we’re really great artists. We have songs that anyone can listen to. That’s why I think we should win.”
“And we love all of the fans,” Princeton added.
When it comes to learning the key to becoming a great boy band, the group even filled us in on a little secret the Backstreet Boys once told them while on tour together: “When we were on tour with the Backstreet Boys, the advice that they gave us was ‘Stick together no matter what,’ ” Ray Ray shared. “They said: You might have arguments here and there, but just stick together. You have to become family although you’re in a group. You have to literally become family, and you got to stick together.”
Voting in round two of MTV’s Battle of the Boy Bands runs until noon ET on Monday, April 30. Winners are determined by fan votes, so if your favorite band made the cut, make sure you keep voting. Tune in to AMTV and MTV Hits for their boy-band video takeovers each day and make sure to spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #BBB and like us on Facebook for updates!
But, Battle of the Boy Bands competitors also show love for ‘NSYNC.
By John Mitchell
The competition continues to heat up in MTV News’ Battle of the Boy Bands. Some huge favorites are falling behind as some unexpected fans come out of the woodwork to vote for their favorite groups.
At this point in the competition, Big Time Rush are well ahead of ’90s R&B hitmakers All For One in their showdown, but anything can happen right up until voting closes today (April 26) at noon. So, the boys are here to tell you why you should vote for them and keep them in the race for the boy-band crown.
Highest Chart Achievement
The band, which was created for its namesake Nickelodeon show, enjoyed its strongest sales week ever when its November 2011 album, Elevate, debuted with over 70,000 in sales. However, their debut, 2010′s BTR, while selling fewer copies (67,000) in its opening frame, actually enjoyed a higher chart position, debuting at an astounding #3 to Elevate‘s #12.
For sheer Backstreet nostalgia alone, it’s got to be “Worldwide.” The clip features the guys — Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena Jr. and Logan Henderson — in all-white outfits, crooning their hearts out ballad-style, while hanging out in an airline terminal. The homage to the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” is undeniable — and we mean that as the highest of compliments.
Well, that depends who you ask. “Boyfriend,” the band’s first official single sent to U.S. radio, remains their strongest-performing track on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #72. However, the band and its fans certainly have a connection with “Music Sounds Better With U,” which was co-written by the band and Ryan Tedder — yes, that Ryan Tedder, a hitmaker in his own right with OneRepublic, who is currently one of the hottest songwriters in the world after his work with Beyonc
Drizzy says that while a lot of Take Care was down, he will switch up the tempo for his next album.
By Rob Markman
Since he dropped his breakout tape So Far Gone in 2009, Drake has been consistently going through changes. With each music project, he documents his ever-evolving life, so fans shouldn’t expect that to change when he finally releases his third LP. Drizzy didn’t want to give too much away, but from the sound of things, it’ll be much different from his sophomore effort Take Care.
“I think that my mood will be reflected in the tempos that I choose for the music,” Drake said of his next LP during a press conference call Tuesday. “A lot of Take Care, it’s down, a lot of it’s down and I think a lot of that had to do with being back home in Toronto and getting reacquainted with the life I had before and the difficulties of that, but at the same time trying to express excitement and trying to express joy.”
Though he still keeps a place in his native Toronto, Drake has recently moved to L.A. The relocation has already sparked musical ideas for the Young Money star. “There’s just so much going on for me in the U.S. that I recently made the move to L.A.,” he said. “It’s a new atmosphere, getting to know new people. It’s going to be a very interesting album.”
Drake told MTV News that with Take Care, he was telling a story inspired by his 2009 track “Houstatlantavegas.” On the song, Drake created a fictional world, describing a love affair with an ambitious stripper who can’t quite get out of the life. “It was a world that was very much real to me, but I created it in my mind. It was a world that, being a kid from Toronto, I used to look at from the outside and I used to be like, ‘Man that looks crazy,’ ” he told us. “All those strip clubs and all those nightclubs and the drinks and the girls and the fame.”
Things have evolved in the months since he released Take Care. “Now I’m kind of in a very, very, very, very different place than I’ve ever been,” Drake said. “I think it will be conceptually one of the best projects that I’ve ever worked on because there’s so many new things going on in my life. Everybody knows when it’s new, that’s when I thrive.”
What is your favorite Drake mixtape or album? Tell us in the comments!
Hollie Cavanagh rises up with ‘The Climb’ and Joshua Ledet racks up two more standing ovations.
By Adam Graham
If “American Idol” was decided by whoever received the most standing ovations from the judges, Joshua Ledet would have this year’s competition in the bag.
Ledet racked up two more standing O’s from the judges on Wednesday’s (April 25) “Idol,” which found the contestants singing two songs apiece: one from Queen, and another of their own choosing.
That brought Ledet’s unofficial standing ovation season total to 12 — that figure according to Skylar Laine, who ribbed him backstage for receiving a dozen standing O’s over the course of the season.
Ledet first got a rise out of the judges with his version of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” which caused Jennifer Lopez to ask, “Is it bad for me to say the Joshua part of the show is my favorite part of the show?” He followed it with a version of India.Arie’s “Ready for Love” — which was sung by Michael Lynche back in “Idol” season nine — which was called “another unbelievable performance” by Randy Jackson. Added an enthusiastic Steven Tyler, “I hope the label finds you a bunch of good songs, man, and you’re off to the moon. I smell the finish line with you.”
Hollie Cavanagh received the evening’s other standing ovation from the judges with her second song, “The Climb,” the Miley Cyrus song that seemingly summed up her journey on the show so far. It came after she received so-so marks for her first song, Queen’s “Save Me,” which played into theme of “The Climb” even further.
“That’s the Hollie Cavanagh that we love, that’s the one! Hollie is back! Yo!” said Jackson. Added Lopez, “You said it backstage, ‘I gotta step it up,’ and you did! It was perfect.”
Steven Tyler’s favorite of the night was Skylar Laine, who opened with “The Show Must Go On” and followed it with Jason Aldean’s “Tattoo’s on This Town.” On the Queen song, Tyler praised her energy and her passion as over-the-top, saying, “the way you hit your notes, for an 18-year-old? Oh my God. That was fabulous.” Lopez said she got “goosies” from Laine, while Jackson dubbed himself a “ginormous” fan of the Mississippi singer.
Jessica Sanchez kicked off the show with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was shot in black and white while a chorus of Sanchez heads backed her on the oval “Idol” video screen at the back of the stage. For her second song, Sanchez sent a shout-out to her dad, singing a touching version of Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father.”
Lopez told Sanchez she expected more energy from her during “Rhapsody,” but said her “Dance With My Father” was “the best I’ve ever heard that song sang.” Meanwhile, Jackson summed up her two performances by saying, “every time you get up and sing, you know what’s wrong with it? Absolutely nothing!”
Phillip Phillips, who has battled Dave Matthews comparisons from fans all season, seemingly got away from the Matthews talk with his first song, a fun, spirited take on “Fat Bottomed Girls.” “People say that you remind them of Dave Matthews, that didn’t remind me of Dave Matthews at all. That was something totally different,” Lopez said, invoking Matthews name out loud for the first time this season. “That’s the mark of a great singer for me.”
And how did Phillip Squared follow it up? With a performance of Dave Matthews’ “The Stone,” on which he sounded like a direct clone of Matthews. Lopez was not pleased, dismissing the song “obscure” and “artsy,” and worrying it would get him voted off the show. Jackson, for his part, admired Phillips’ sticking to his guns. “Die, sink or swim, Phil Phillips will always be Phil Phillips,” he said. “I love that.”
Elise Testone took on Queen’s “I Want It All” early and followed it with Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold as Love.” The first song got high marks, though the latter “wasn’t the right song for this time in the competition,” Jackson told her, criticizing her for “boxing” with the song, and saying Hendrix sang “about 1/25 of what you sang” in his original. J. Lo had the opposite reaction. Although she said she wasn’t familiar with the original, “you slayed that song so hard, it didn’t even matter,” she said.
Wednesday’s show opened with the Top Six performing a medley of Queen songs, backed by Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor.
Thursday’s show will feature performances by Katy Perry and 10th season “Idol” contestant Stefano Langone, and one of the six remaining contestants will be sent home.
What did you think of “Idol” on Wednesday? Let us know in the comments!
Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.
‘They know their biggest asset is looking gorgeous and shutting up,’ columnist Rob Shuter tells MTV News.
By John Mitchell
They’ve been uncharacteristically tight-lipped about their rumored romance, but they are just about the only ones. It seems all anyone can talk about is the blossoming relationship between Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, who have already been anointed with their very own celebrity couple name: Kimye.
The two were spotted all over New York City this weekend, getting dinner with the rest of the Kardashian clan at Spice Market, enjoying another meal thrown by luxury brand Audemars Piguet at Catch in the city’s Meatpacking District and hitting the opening of Scott Disick’s new Japanese restaurant Ryu.
Despite all the hand-holding and dinner parties, both Kim and Kanye have kept quiet regarding their relationship, which isn’t surprising to Naughty But Nice celebrity columnist and TV host Rob Shuter, who believes they are well aware of how they are handling their big reveal as a couple.
“Kim and Kanye are so smart. They realize a picture is worth a thousand words. If they actually speak, we might be less interested in these two,” Shuter told MTV News. “They know their biggest asset is looking gorgeous and shutting up.”
Maggie Coughlan from Gilt City agreed, adding that their behavior in public tells the whole story.
“I think the fact that they’ve been parading their love all over New York City is a statement enough,” she said, “and they’re so high profile, it’s very tongue-in-cheek, like, ‘Hey, we can go out, we can hold hands, we can make appearances together, we don’t need to say anything, we’re that famous.’ ”
Celebuzz editor Amber James thinks there might be a little more to it, opining that Kim K. may be taking things a little slower this time around to avoid repeating the missteps that led to her down the aisle too quickly, resulting in her brief and controversial marriage to basketball star Kris Humphries.
“She doesn’t want to make any missteps this time around,” James said.
What do you think of Kimye? Let us know in the comments below!
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