Yesterday was Soulja Boy’s 21st birthday, and in honor of the milestone, the rapper decided to get himself something nice. Very nice.
TMZ reportedly spoke to a member of Soulja’s management team, who said the "Crank That" singer purchased a, ahem, $55 million private jet to celebrate the occasion. Well, the jet itself was only $35 million, but Soulja is spending another $20 million to customize it with Italian leather seats, flat screen TVs, multiple bars, tiled floors and Brazilian hardwood cabinets.
So, first things first: Happy belated birthday, Soulja Boy. Have fun at the $300,000 party you are throwing for yourself in Miami tonight. Second, Soulja Boy has $55 million to spend on a private jet? That’s crazy!
Celebrities are well-known for spending insane amounts of cash to pamper themselves with the best of everything – Madonna reportedly slathers $500 cream on her visage, Jennifer Aniston regularly jets down to Los Cabos, Mexico, for five-star vacations, and rappers the world over have been singing the praises of Cristal champagne, which sells for several hundred dollars a bottle, for years. And as anyone who’s ever watched “Cribs” knows, celebs love to splurge on fancy cars, motorcycles and boats.
In honor of Soulja’s big boy toy, here’s a rundown of some of the most lavish rides of the rich and famous.
By Matt Goodhue
First Tracy Morgan goes on an anti-gay rant at his stand-up show in Nashville, and now some Soulja Boy fans think the young rapper is homophobic and racist after several profanity-laced Facebook updates were posted to his account. Luckily for Soulja Boy, his shocking outburst wasn’t a reflection of the star’s actual beliefs, it was the result of some really bored computer whizzes attempting to turn a celebrity's career sour.
Soulja Boy's updates over the weekend attacked white people and the gay community, saying, “I'm gonna keep talking s**t to these white f****ts until they unlike my page. f**king weirdo stalkers!”
The Atlanta rapper has addressed the issue and expressed his anger toward the words his fans viewed on his page. “The hackers used these old accounts to post hateful messages,” Solja told TMZ. “This was not done by me or anyone on my team and I'm upset that I am being labeled as a racist and homophobic person.”
Just about every year in pop music can be defined by a certain trend that tended to permeate a large percentage of the songs floating around the radio. There was the Year That Auto-Tune Blew Up, the Year That Country Crossed Over, the Year That Everybody Collaborated With The Neptunes and the Year That "Mambo No. 5" Ruled The Earth. This year, it's somewhat difficult to figure out exactly what the underlying thread was, though the MTV Newsroom Blog would like to submit 2010 as the Year That Everybody Sang Their Own Names.
Listen to the likes of Jason Derulo (who seems to open most of his songs by singing his own name), Lady Gaga (whose own name makes up the bulk of the chorus of "Bad Romance") and Akon (who croons "Akon and MJ" at the top of the recently-released posthumous Michael Jackson single "Hold My Hand"). It's not a bad plan, really, as since most songs are overheard at the supermarket or coming out of passing cars, it's probably a good idea to identify yourself in the place where a radio DJ used to.
Of course, none of those artists invented the idea of singing your own name. Britney Spears entered the universe with the song-opening "It's Britney, bitch" a few years back, while many rappers treat their own names like brands in the middle of commercial jingles (including Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Soulja Boy and countless others).
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the amazing piece of video below, pulled together by our crack production team here at MTV News. It'll give you a good idea exactly how many artists are singing and rapping their own names.
Who is your favorite self-referential artist? Let us know in the comments!
At this point it just feels like Justin Timberlake is teasing us. Following up on the "SNL" skit last weekend, in which he refused to answer questions about when he's going to make another album, Timberlake dropped by Jimmy Fallon's "Late Night" on Wednesday night to talk up "The Social Network" and ended up providing further proof that one of the great music talents of our time is seriously holding out on us.
After Timberlake gave major props to house band the Roots and Fallon teased the bespectacled singer about his historical knowledge of hip-hop, Justin mentioned that 'NSYNC once asked legendary hip-hop crew the Sugarhill Gang to open up one of the boy band's shows back in the day. That inspired Fallon to ask the band (spontaneously, of course) to serve up a taste of Sugarhill's classic "Rapper's Delight."
What ensued was a head-spinning blue-eyed ramble through rap history, as Fallon and Timberlake hopped out of their seats and started trading lines on "Delight" like a suburban basement Run-DMC. Speaking of DMC, they moved into a few lines from that Rock and Roll Hall of fame group's "Peter Piper," easily segueing into a nasally take on the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere," Digital Underground's "Humpty Dance," Snoop Dogg's "Nuthin' But a G Thang" and Tupac's "California Love."
Then it was back to the East Coast for Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy," the Roots' "The Seed 2.0," Eminem's "My Name Is" and Missy Elliott's "Work It." They also threw in snippets of songs by A Tribe Called Quest, T.I. and Rihanna, Kanye West and Soulja Boy, ending with Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" as they wandered out into the arm-waving audience. Exhausted, the duo brought it ball back with one more out-of-breath half verse of "Rapper's Delight," setting off yet another instant viral hit from the Fallon studios.
And making us all wonder anew, seriously Justin, when are you going to make another album?
Really, you should be listening to music every day, but thanks to Twitter, Monday has become the best day of the week to discover new songs, show some love to the tune currently dominating your iPod playlist and quietly judge the listening habits of your closest friends. Yes, it's #MusicMonday, one of Twitter's most enduring trending topics. Hence "MTV News' #MusicMonday," a weekly look at the songs your favorite stars are currently crushing on.
This week, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker endorses Big Boi's latest masterpiece.
Though Travis Barker is best known as the guy who keeps the time for pop-punk icons Blink-182, his musical endeavors have stretched far wider than that. He has worked with a number of hip-hop artists (including Paul Wall, Soulja Boy, Drake, Black Eyed Peas and Bun B), ventured into the world of dance music (his collaborations with the late DJ AM) and put together a number of eclectic collaborations in between. So it shouldn't be surprising that when it comes to listening to music himself, Barker has been spinning one of the most eclectic albums of 2010.
"I'm listening to the new Big Boi album non-stop," Barker told MTV News during a visit, which also saw him sit in on a freestyle with Fat Joe on MTV News' "RapFix Live." "He just makes great music. He's a great rapper, there's great production on the album. It's win-win."
Big Boi's new album Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty is one of the most talked-about hip-hop full-lengths of the year. Long in the making, the album contains the killer single "Shutterbugg" as well as production from Organized Noize and fellow Outkast member Andre 3000 as well as guest spots from T.I., B.o.B, George Clinton and Jamie Foxx.
What's your #MusicMonday jam? Let us know in the comments!
Yesterday, the MTV Newsroom Blog celebrated the birthday of Soulja Boy, who turned 20 years old. Today, we are throwing a virtual fete for a musician who literally may be the exact opposite of the "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" rapper. It's a new calendar for Rush bassist and singer Geddy Lee, who turns 57 years old today. If you described the Canadian virtuoso to somebody or wrote down the details of his career on paper, you probably wouldn't believe his existence was possible. But over the course of 35 years, Lee has fashioned himself into a great prog rock icon — and possibly the greatest who ever lived.
Along with his two bandmates (guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart), Lee has crafted an incredibly deep career as a member of Rush. They are beloved not only because of their technical mastery (each member is considered something of a virtuoso, especially Peart, who is often thought of as one of the best rock drummers of all time) but also because they have crafted some of the most definitive anthems of the late '70s and early '80s rock era. With its keyboard-heavy fills and bottom-heavy thump, "Tom Sawyer" is an incredible construction, with hooks so big you don't realize that the time signature seems to change a dozen times and there's no real chorus. "Time Stand Still" is a majestic epic, and "The Spirit of the Radio" is a total smash.
Rush have continued to roll out albums every few years, and they continue to sell out massive venues around the world. They're truly gigantic, and a big part of their success falls to Lee, whose voice is one of the most unique in rock. It's an incredibly high-pitched squeak that should be grating but actually services the songs incredibly well. His incredible instrument is displayed extremely well on "Closer to the Heart," from the band's 1977 album A Farewell to Kings.
Under normal circumstances, we would suggest that you raise a glass to today's birthday boy. Unfortunately, Soulja Boy is only 20, which means he's still a year away from legally enjoying a celebratory glass of Cristal. But that shouldn't stop him from enjoying his 20th birthday. It shouldn't be difficult, as Soulja clearly knows how to have a good time.
For a guy who is only 20 years old, he has crammed in an awful lot of highlights into his career. He first burst onto the scene in 2007, when his single "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" stormed the charts, took over the radio and turned the concept of the "Superman" into one of the most entertaining pieces of new slang in a generation. Though Soulja could have easily been dismissed as a novelty act, he continued to deliver top-shelf singles like "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" and "Turn My Swag On" (both of which came from his 2008 album iSouljaBoyTellem). He is currently gearing up for the release of his third album, which includes the singles "Pretty Boy Swag" and the forthcoming "Speakers Going Hammer" (which was produced by Drake and Eminem collaborator Boi-1da).
To celebrate Soulja's upcoming album, his already-deep catalog of hits and, of course, his turning one year older, check out the clip for "Let Me Get Em," one of his early hits.
On Tuesday, the MTV Newsroom Blog wondered aloud about the best collaboration Just Bieber has ever been a part of. Though the 16-year-old singer only has a handful of songs to his name, he has managed to hook up with a number of high-profile artists and create a string of hits with other stars. In addition to the two songs he has recorded with mentor Usher (My World's "First Dance" and the remix to My World 2.0's "Somebody to Love"), he has shared track space with Ludacris ("Baby"), Jaden Smith ("Never Say Never"), Sean Kingston ("Eenie Meenie"), Jessica Jarrell ("Overboard") and Soulja Boy ("Rich Girl"). But which one of those tracks stood above the others as the favorite among fans?
The poll ended up being a two-horse race between "Baby" and the remix of "Somebody to Love." Even though "Baby" sits at number five on the Ultimate Chart, "Somebody to Love" won the day, taking 37 percent of the total vote. "Baby" finished in a distant second place with 24 percent, while "Never Say Never" (which only appeared on the soundtrack to "The Karate Kid") came in third with 16 percent of the vote.
Even though "Somebody to Love" features Usher, his presence didn't seem to help the popularity of "First Dance," his other tag-team with Bieber. That track only took in three percent of the total vote, earning it a spot in last place. Just above it was "Rich Girl" (four percent) and "Overboard" (seven percent), with "Eenie Meenie" in the dead center spot with eight percent.
Bieber is currently working on new music, and it's almost a certainty that he will be collaborating with many more artists in the future (including Dr. Dre, about whom Bieber tweeted earlier this week). Who else will Bieber hook up with in the studio? Will Usher join him once again? Will he work with Drake to create an ultimate Canadian superpower? Will he jam with Asher Roth, who has Bieber's skills as a rapper? Only time will tell.
Who should Justin Bieber collaborate with next? Let us know in the comments!
Over the course of the last week, the MTV Newsroom Blog readers have been weighing in on some of the best collaborations that Eminem has managed to pull off over the course of his long career. It's impressive that even after a decade in the game, Slim Shady is still one of them most coveted and in-demand players on the hip-hop scene, both for his signature rhyming and his unique approach to production. When Eminem appears on a track, it tends to lend said song an instant blast of credibility and also gives it a swift kick in the sales pants as well. In fact, there's only one other artists out there whose collaborative services may be more in demand: Justin Bieber.
Though the 16-year-old Bieber only has one album and one EP to his name, he has accumulated an impressive number of tag-team productions. Bieber's biggest single "Baby" featured an assist from Ludacris, while the Canadian pop singer can currently be heard tearing up the Billboard chart with the remix of "Somebody to Love," which includes a guest spot from mentor Usher (who he also teamed with on My World's "First Dance").
Bieber has also found success teaming up with Sean Kingston ("Eenie Meenie"), Jessica Jarrell ("Overboard"), Jaden Smith ("Never Say Never") and Soulja Boy ("Rich Girl"). For a guy who has really only been in the spotlight for a year, that's an impressive number of collaborations with some truly top-shelf talent.
But which song reigns supreme? It's up to you to decide! Vote in the poll below and leave your thoughts in the comments!
M.I.A. has been in the news an awful lot in the past week, but it's not because of her excellent new single "Born Free," the controversial video for said track or her hotly-anticipated album /\/\/\Y/\. Rather, she has been on the lips of music fans and media followers alike, as her feud with writer Lynn Hirschberg has continued to escalate. Following what she thought was an unfair profile in The New York Times, M.I.A. tweeted Hirschberg's personal phone number last week. And just to let everybody know that she means business, M.I.A. released the dis track "I'm a Singer" over the weekend.
Here's the thing: Not only is "I'm a Singer" a pretty weak track (both as a dis and as an M.I.A. song), but it's also totally unnecessary. Hirschberg has no real recourse (she has already called M.I.A.'s tweeting of her phone number "unprofessional" and "unethical"), and, ultimately, she's just a writer. There's no need for a beatdown.
In fact, in extending the feud a few extra days (and however much it cost to record "I'm a Singer"), M.I.A. has jumped onto the list of the lamest celebrity feuds of all time. Like M.I.A., some of those pit musicians against the media (remember The Source co-owner Benzino's lame jabs at Eminem early in his career?), while others are over disagreements over the actual work (Ice-T calling Soulja Boy's music "garbage" or former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker's limp protest against Michael Jackson's "Christ-like" poses during the 1996 BRIT Awards). Sometimes it's about family (the constant dust-up between Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain) and sometimes it's out of left field (Lynyrd Skynyrd took offense to Neil Young's "Southern Man," which lead to "Sweet Home Alabama" and a general sense of mutual respect). Sometimes it's even about patriotism, like when Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines criticized George W. Bush and the war in Iraq, which prompted Toby Keith to absolutely lose his mind (he famously used a doctored photo of Maines standing next to Saddam Hussein as a backdrop during concerts).
(Click here for more photos of lame feuds, including those involving Courtney Love, Eminem, Ice-T and LL Cool J!)
Which celebrity feud do you think is the lamest? Let us know in the comments!