Aug 29, 2011

Lil Wayne - Tha Carter IV (album review)


It's finally here! I feel like Lil Wayne was EVERYWHERE this summer- he basically collaborated with every single artist on the top 40 charts! (If he didn't, he feuded with them!) Anyway, Billboard did me the favor of writing up a review so check it out and leave your thoughts on the album...
"Tha Carter IV" arrives today (Aug. 29) with gargantuan expectations that Lil Wayne cannot match. How could he? The last installment in the New Orleans rapper's "Carter" series, "Tha Carter III," was a perfect storm of critical and commercial acclaim, riding well-constructed hits like "A Milli" and "Got Money" to become the top-selling album of 2008, and earning a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year along the way. Two years earlier, Lil Wayne was a lauded mixtape rapper still moving on from his Hot Boyz days; with "Tha Carter III," he became the biggest rapper in the world.

"Tha Carter IV" has been heavily anticipated ever since, the promised payoff after the misguided rock album "Rebirth," the odds-and-ends release "I Am Not a Human Being," and a stellar first single, "6 Foot 7 Foot," that Lil Wayne dropped after being released from prison last fall. To his credit, Lil Wayne has remained a cultural force during the album delays, touring the country on his best-selling I Am Still Music tour this year and lending his charm to recent hits by Kelly RowlandDJ Khaledand Drake. Two singles from "Tha Carter IV," "How To Love" and "She Will," are currently in the Top 10 of the Hot 100 -- Lil Wayne is still on the top of the world, as uneven as "Tha Carter IV" may be.


Make no mistake, "Tha Carter IV" is not a bad album, and may be more easily digested and supported by those largely unfamiliar with Weezy's antics and unaware of his previous highs (pun intended). But Lil Wayne diehards will notice the lack of gargantuan hooks, knocking beats and microphone personality that made "Tha Carter II" an unexpected breakout and "Tha Carter III" a watershed moment in mainstream hip-hop. Most frustratingly, Weezy's wordplay has taken a turn toward the pedestrian: the man who once delivered linguistic cartwheels on mixtapes like "Dedication 2" and "Da Drought 3" now delivers punchlines like "You're on the outside looking in, close the blinds/They say never say never, but fucking nevermind," with little imagination or panache. And while Weezy's strength has always been in shooting off brilliant similes instead of developing narratives, "Tha Carter IV" oddly lacks any reflection from Wayne on the hectic three years since "Tha Carter III," including his extended time in prison.


"Tha Carter IV" may suffer due to lofty expectations, but there are still plenty of highlights: "6 Foot 7 Foot" still captures the machine-gun wordspray that Lil Wayne and producer Bangladesh previously created on "A Milli," while "President Carter" samples Jimmy Carter's 1976 inauguration in a flash of genius. Meanwhile, "She Will" and "So Special" offer the quick shots of melody that colored "Carter III" standouts like "Mrs. Officer" and "Let the Beat Build." Is "Tha Carter IV" Lil Wayne's crowning achievement? Definitely not. Is it worth repeated listens? Definitely.

Which songs on "Tha Carter IV" stand up next to Lil Wayne's best work? Here's our Twitter-length track-by-track review of each song.

1. "Intro" - Weezy's back, with a slowly growing beat behind him and no chorus in sight. "Still running shit, I'm on my cardio," he spits.

2. "Blunt Blowin" - 5-minute epic, with Wayne taking things slow and sneering through the hook. The beat knocks, but Weezy still sounds too tentative.

3. "Megaman" - The intensity ratchets up with another unassisted, chorus-less track. The first 30 seconds are electric, especially the Samuel L. Jackson pun.


4. "6 Foot 7 Foot" - Still sounds fresh eight months after release, and works perfectly within the rhyme-heavy first third of the album. Corey Gunz delivers great first guest spot.

5. "Nightmares of the Bottom" - Not as dark as the title suggests, but track provides some much-needed depth and perspective. "Don't call me sir, call me survivor," Weezy shrugs.


6. "She Will" - Drake joins the party for an ode to sensory pleasures with a shimmering beat. Drizzy was an afterthought when "Carter III" came out; now, he can hold his own.

7. "How To Hate" - T-Pain and his pitch-corrected persona flips the middle finger to a frayed relationship. It's hard to groove to something this nasty.

8. "Interlude"
 - Tech N9neAndre 3000, same beat as "Intro"… and no Weezy? This "Carter" breather is unexpected but both veterans murder their verses. Come back to recording, Three-Stacks!


9. "John" - This re-imagining of Rick Ross' "I'm Not a Star" suffers for being released months ago, but kicks off "Carter IV's" second half in boisterous style.

10. "Abortion" - Lil Wayne sounds absolutely giddy singing/rapping the album's biggest grower. Why shouldn't he be? He "ashed my blunt in my Grammy award"!

11. "So Special" - Like on Kanye West's "Blame Game," John Legend's soulfulness injects some hard-earned humanity into this hip-hop superstar's wordplay.


12. "How To Love" - Call it the "Lollipop" of this album: a totally unexpected, R&B-inflected jam in which Wayne embraces Auto-Tune. And yes, fans "Love" this one, too.

13. "President Carter" -  Everything -- Infamous' delicate beat, the Jimmy Carter sample, Wayne's unsubtle declarations -- comes together on "President." A must-hear.

14. "It's Good" - Forget the Jay-Z diss. "It's Good" is the strong posse cut that "Tha Carter IV" needed. Drake sounds particularly riled, but Lil Wayne sits atop the throne triumphantly.

15. "Outro" - Bun BNasShyne and Busta Rhymes creep in for an entertaining farewell, but like "Interlude," Lil Wayne is nowhere to be found. Huh?  

Aug 28, 2011

Lady Gaga and Britney Spears Introduce Beyonce (video)

I'm not sure why this video isn't available on MTV but here ya go- Lady Gaga (Jo Calderone) tries to kiss Britney and then they introduce Beyonce....

Bruno Mars VMA Amy Winehouse Tribute (video)

Bruno Mars did a great tribute to Amy Winehouse at the VMA's singing Valerie....



p.s. Katy Perry.... it would be a lot easier to accept you as an amazing artist if you weren't wearing a block of cheese of your head.   ijs.

Lady Gaga a.k.a. Jo Calderone at the VMAS (video)

So I'm hoping that Lady Gaga is just having fun and playing a character and not undergoing some split personality disorders.   I loved seeing her accept and perform at Jo, but I want to know that deep down she knows who she is (and yes, it's ok if she is trying on characters and personalities)
Check out her performance of 'You and I' and her acceptance speech later on for Best Female Video (shout out to Cloris Leachman for being awesome- totally outshone those girls from the shore!)





Get More: 2011 VMA, Music

Beyonce 'Love on Top' at the VMAS and PREGNANT (video)

Miz B, you are fierce- you know it, we know it... girrrrl that baby is gonna know it if it doesn't already.   Super impressive watching her not only perform and dance and sing and shine, but doing it all while pregnant... super professional.   Kinda want the jacket for my own closet too, not gonna lie!   The octave switchups are superb- she sang the heck outta that song!!!
Can I just say how AWESOME it is at the end.... when she throws down the mic and opens her jacket and rubs her belly????

Chris Brown Brings It at the VMAS

I liked his performance (wanted to see him headbang or something when his dancers were jumping around to Nirvana though) and you really can't deny the guy can DANCE... watch it for yourself:

Aug 23, 2011

EAST COAST EARTHQUAKE

We felt it here in Long Island... but apparently it was felt from Virginia through Toronto!
Hope everyone is ok... they are evacuating the White House, the Pentagon and air control towers at JFK and Newark (I am sure there are others but my news comes from twitter so very fragmented...)

THIS IS WHERE IT ORIGINATED - Lousia, Virginia is the center and the town probably got hit very hard... tweet me pics and I'll post...
Map showing earthquakes

"One Man Disney Movie" Nick Pitera (Video)

Nick Pitera is one of those guys I expected to be cast on Glee... still wondering why that hasn't happened yet. In the meantime here is an old video I meant to post ages ago that Nick made... and it is for anyone who ever watched Disney movies as a kid.   Seriously, it is totally awesome and brings back great memories...enjoy!

Get my music on iTunes
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Music from Disney films has made a huge impact on me, and has been the source of inspiration for many years. Since I was 5 I have dreamt of voicing a character myself, and this is me doing my best to pay homage to a few of my favorites. I had so much fun making this video and I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks so much for watching!

Sincerely
Nick

http://twitter.com/NickPitera
Nick Pitera - facebook

Aug 22, 2011

The Miggs - Lindsay Lohan (video)

So let me get this straight.... she is Lindsay Lohan by day and Banksy-esque wannabe by night?   Lindsay- what are you trying to tell us?   I'm just kidding, of course she's not running around LA late at night for unknown reasons, appearing at random red carpets... oh wait...
Watch the music video for the Miggs song starring Lindsay Lohan and leave your comments below:

Definitely a great way for this band to gain attention!   I will say this for her, girl looks great on camera! Way to work it!!!

Eminem feat. Bruno Mars - Bad Meets Evil (video)

When I think of artists collaborating I have to admit that pairing up Eminem with Bruno Mars wouldn't occur to me... however after they joined forces on 'Lighters' I was pleasantly surprised.   It seems perfectly natural to see them both in a song together now- and apparently they liked it so much they made another song together!   Check out their latest video for Bad Meets Evil

So what do you think?   Leave your comments below.

Marina and the Diamonds ... Electra Heart - Radioactive (video)

Hmmm. I love Marina and the Diamonds.    I posted a few of the videos for her songs over the last few years (click here and click here) and now it seems she is changing it up a bit by creating a new alter ego for herself named Electra Heart and putting out some new music.   It's a little different but still very interesting and different. It seems she is embracing the house craze and making danceable music- can't hate that!   I preferred her as a brunette but since she HAS gone Hollywood it seems natural that she went blonde!   Check out this video for her song Radioactive and let me know what you think.

Kim Kardashian Wedding Video

Wow... It didn't take long for video clips and pictures to start leaking...

...of course it helps that this was 'leaked' by E! and that they are going to air a wedding special lol.   Congrats tho, everyone looks beautiful (but seriously, was she able to make EVERYONE wear only black or white??? I would have shown up in a red or aqua dress just to provide a splash of color!)

South Jordan - Hush Hush (video)

I feel so proud watching South Jordan putting out new videos and music!   I first blogged about them last February (click here to read previous post) and have some of their music on my iPhone playlist for my car.   I have shared their songs with people and everyone who hears their stuff loves them so I very happily share another great song called Hush Hush.... this is a live, stripped down version and a little different than the earlier videos I posted but still thoroughly awesome.   Check it out and leave feedback!


I'm still waiting for my invite to a live show when they perform in New York! (hint hint guys)

Jim Chapman - Best UK YouTube Guru

I have a secret obsession watching youtube gurus... usually beauty gurus.   For the most part they are all female, but Jim Chapman is the funniest, most personable guy guru I have ever stumbled across.   Even though I can't use most of his advice because I don't shave my face and my hair care routine is totally different from his for obvious reasons, I still watch all of his videos.   I particularly enjoy when he talks about differences in language and some of his advice absolutely cracks me up.   Outfit of the day videos are well done and he always looks very put together.   His girlfriend Tanya is a guru too and I watch her videos as well, but I really enjoy when she guests on his channel- and when his brother John guests as well.... these twins are so genetically gifted it's ridiculous!

Here are his links so you can start watching him as well:
Blog/Website: http://jimchapman.co.uk
Twitter: @j1mmyb0bba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-Chapman/144191708975703

His mom also has a channel http://www.youtube.com/user/ModernandMature

Thanks for always cheering me up- keep those awesome videos coming!

Kim Kardashian Over the Years (video)

This post is a little bit different than the ones I usually put up but I was fascinated watching the video and had to share it. I remember when Kim looked like her previous self and frankly although she has perfected the art of looking airbrushed in real life, I think she looked younger and fresher before (not sure if she looks older because she actually IS older or as a result of the work she's had done). Anyway, check out the video and let me know what you think. Shout out to goodplasticsurgery.comfor always having awesome content!

Aug 19, 2011

Lady Gaga 'You and I' (video)

Oh Lady G you have done it again... I am lying here feverish and sick and somehow the images in your video are both comforting and mindfreakingly insane all at once.   How do you do it?   This video is awesomely eccentric and damn it she got to be a mermaid!   Overtly sexual and then that random mix of absolute innocence...   I almost forgot to mention she gets to play a male 'greaser' verison of herself too!
On a completely different note, the song itself is a little bit country and kind of endearingly fun if a bit at odds with the actual video, but in total Lady Gaga fashion, it works.



Check out the video and let me know what you think of it.

Lil Wayne and Drake - She Will vs. J-Lie (video)

Uh oh.    This seems to happen a lot more often than people are willing to admit- a huge artist records a song that becomes a smash and then a much smaller artist will come forward saying it was theirs first.   A part of me wonders if Drake or Lil Wayne even had anything to do with creating the beat or were just handed a track that they put down words to.   Either way, maybe this situation will bring J-Lie some fans because honestly whatever the back story, he's kinda great.   It would be awesome if Lil Wayne would collaborate with the guy and mashup the two songs... just a thought

Watch the video and let me know what you think... I like the song!   I keep replaying it!

Aug 12, 2011

Lloyd - Dedication to my Ex (video)

This always happens to me... I hear a song on the radio and love it and then somehow over the course of time I forget about the song until I randomly stumble across it and remember I liked it all over again.   This just happened to me today when I was browsing the web and saw the song from Lloyd ... Dedication to My Ex.   The lyrics crack me up and the beat is fun- plus there's a great bit that Andre 3000 does and honestly its just a fun song to listen to.


***thanks to Lloyd Ladies for the correction - my bad!

Belated Apologies...

I just found out that people have actually been missing my blog posts... honestly I'm flattered since aside from the times I force people to look at my blog I didn't think that many actually followed it.   However, it turns out a few of you actually enjoyed my skewed view of life and random posts, so I will make the effort and try to find fun content to share with you all once again.   To those that reached out and asked why I stopped posting, I apologize and hopefully I don't let you down again,

PLEASE leave me comments, contact me, tweet me- whatever it takes- give me requests, suggestions for what you'd like to see here otherwise I will just keep posting random stuff as I find it!   Happy Friday everyone, hope you're having a great summer!