The upcoming album by The Roots, Rising Down, is no longer going to feature the song, "Birthday Girl," which was a collaboration with label-mate Fall Out Boys' Patrick Stump. The Philly rap crew has always struggled with toeing the line between fierce beats-and-rhymes hip-hop on one hand, and pop acceptance on the other. And that song - and this album, for the most part - was supposed to deliver both.
Anyway, we hopped on the phone with Newsroom regular, Questlove, a few minutes ago and he explained the decision, saying it was "an artistic one," but recognizing the fact that such a collaboration was hard for the label to really work with. Word inside the Def Jam offices is that Fall Out Boy wouldn't be in the video, do the TV appearances, and didn't really have time to promote the song alongside The Roots, so we see through Questlove's denials. (Didn't he know they were busy in Antarctica??)
The Roots will release the song as a bonus track on iTunes and also on the international version of the album. Still, they're shooting a video for it in a couple of weeks, as a viral video, like their others, except this one will star gothy, porn queen Sasha Grey, SO IT WILL BE THE BEST ONE EVER. Seriously, not to be that guy but anyone who names their nudie photo sets after old Siouxsie & the Banshees and Joy Division songs is pretty great in my book.
It's not often we believe release dates on upcoming rap albums. I mean, seriously, truth and deadlines and release dates are all just relative concept in hip-hop. But Lil Wayne's much, much, much anticipated Tha Carter III album is scheduled for May 13th, and well, we might just believe it.The argument for: there is so much riding on this album for Weezy, that there's no way his label, Universal, could screw up this marketing plan. This is the album that is supposed to validate the years of internet hype on Wayne, with hip-hop audiences, with newfound rock audiences, with people who actually buy records and don't download the hundreds of free songs he's given away since 2004.
The argument against: Um, it's hip-hop. It's Lil Wayne.
Verdict: Somewhere around April 29th, the album leaks (2-week window, as always), and Wayne pulls a Jack White and says, "Let's release this to stores now!" and it immediately shows up on iTunes and in record stores and all sorts of other legitimate places people still buy music. Or, more likely, Weezy puts it out next week for free on an internet mixtape hosted by DJ Drama. Coin flip, really.
We here at the Newsroom were pretty surprised to see Jesse McCartney’s video for his new single (don't call it a comeback, yo!), "Leavin." It's a far cry from his Beautiful Soul days, but maybe that sweet kid thing wasn't working out for him. It's a simple video but very racy. You know, he's gotta prove he's all grown up, not a teenager anymore, blah blah blah.
His album hits stores May 20th, and features his work with Sean Garrett, The Dream ("Umbrella, ella, ella"), The Clutch (seriously - there's a guy named 'The Clutch'), and Tricky Stewart. That is to say, Jesse isn't just all grown up, he's all R&B'ed out 'cause HE KNOWS YOU NEED SEXIN'. Or something. Jesse explains his video and then the actual video, below.
OMG HE'S ALL GROWNS UP.
So last week, MTV News got with Scissor Sisters songstress Ana Matronic in Brooklyn, during an anti-war benefit that also featured Lou Reed, David Byrne, Norah Jones and Moby. Um, yeah, we feel the same way.
Anyway, she let it be known that her band - a fun live show, if you ever get to see it - are calling their upcoming third album, well, Chinese Democracy.
So...not really. But we liked that they joked about it. Surely their lawyers are breathing a sigh of relief. A few years back, April 2003 to be exact, the Offspring announced they'd be naming their album, Chinese Democrazy (You Snooze, You Lose)
, but the merry pranksters eventually chose a different title after a convincing call from Axl's legal counsel.
To which we say, COME ON, SOMEONE NEEDS TO MAN-UP AND DO THIS. PLEASE??? Isn't there a statute of limitations on forever-in-the-making sixth albums?
Hey, remember two days ago, when we all were making fun of Coldplay for calling their new album Viva la Vida? Sure you do. We made a joke about the title confusing Ricky Martin fans? Man, those were good times.
Anyway, if you missed your opportunity to laugh at Chris Martin and Co. the first time around, well, you've got a second chance now. Because, as luck would have it, they've changed the title of the album. More specifically, they've added to it. As posted on Coldplay's official site yesterday (and confirmed by a spokesperson for their management today) the album is called -- wait for it -- Viva la Vida or Death and all His Friends.
That's the title. And while it's nothing to rival Coheed and Cambria's catalogue (like their 2005 album, Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Volume 1: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness,) dang, we're starting to wonder if Martin is getting paid by the word when it comes to picking a title.
Oh, actually, via the power of Google, we've just figured out that "Death" is actually the title of one of the songs on the record, "a straight-up rock tune with a riff that sounds ripped from the Doobie Brothers, piano, and, in the last section, flute" ( so says "Rolling Stone". Which sounds pretty excellent. We love the flute.
We like bubbly, international, dance pop like the next person. In particular, we are very fond of Kylie Minogue, Australia's answer to Madonna, as it were. Ms. Minogue, who recently battled breast cancer, will be releasing her tenth album, titled X (get it???), on April 1st. The first single? A song called "All I See" that features the rapper Mims.
She couldn't get Lil Wayne? Because he'll rap for anyone and, well, we'd kinda be interested in what that would sound like. But this Mims collabo? Bleh.
Attention dudes in cargo shorts (and somewhat confused Ricky Martin fans): On June 17, Coldplay are going to make you both very happy with the release of their new album, Viva la Vida.
Yesterday, frontman Chris Martin told Rolling Stone that the title (which tranlates to "long live life," which sounds like an Olive Garden slogan or something), was inspired by a painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and that he chose it because "She went through a lot of sh**, and then she started a big painting in her house that said 'Viva la Vida' … I just loved the boldness of it."
Coldplay fans might be able to relate.
Coldplay began working on the album with producer Brian Eno last year in Barcelona. They reportedly recorded more than 20 songs, and have been busy whittling that number down. According to a spokesperson for their management, some of the songs that will make the final cut include: "Violet Hill," "42," "Life in Technicolor," "Yes" and "Strawberry Swing." Apparently life is lived in colors and flavors.
We were getting lost, once again, in the new, ridiculously great Erykah Badu album -- which also seems to be connecting with the people -- when we got a call from Questlove to come down and listen to the new Roots album at Battery Studios in NYC.
This is album number 10 for the guys, who are favorites of the Newsroom, but in this business it's easy to get cynical about something that's, well, consistent. We're always looking for the NEW, the NEXT. Truth be told, though, we were excited about getting to hear it, especially after seeing that video for the teaser single, "75 Bars (Reconstruction)", where they get all gangster on some poor, unsuspecting soul (likely, a music critic).
Keeping with the Project Runway theme for the week, the new album, Rising Down, is fierce. The beats are super-hard, with all kinds of warped bass and keyboard sounds, a little go-go (courtesy DC's Wale!), and you won't ever hear a better sounding hip-hop album than a Roots album.
Black Thought is a dense, heavyweight lyricist, and he stays true to form this time out. But he's more visual in his rhymes nowadays and peppers the album with a few different styles, like on the first single, "Birthday Girl," which feature's Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump.
But here's the thing...
Bun B is definitely a favorite of most people in the biz and, well, we'll say it, he's one of our favorite people ever in the history of this rap game. Last night, the Texas vet hosted an album listening session for media here in New York and lots of people came out to the spot, including Talib Kweli, Fab 5 Freddy and a host of journos, bloggers and such. And our own Jayson Rodriguez, who reports:
Most listening sessions are a crap shoot. You never really know if folks are gonna show up, and whether its for the music or the free food. But by and large, the throng of people who came out to support Bun were there as much because he's such a good guy as because he's such a good lyricist. And in the wake of Pimp C passing, more than ever it just felt like you were there for your guy. That’s how Bun can make you feel.
More after the jump, including tracklist for II Trill.
Icelandic post-rocker's Sigur Ros have been busy recording their follow up to 2005's critically acclaimed Takk in New York City over the last few weeks, and work has seemingly progressed nicely. The band posted a message on their website Wednesday saying that they’ve laid the “foundations” for 11 songs and are now off to familiar territory in Sunlaugin, Iceland to complete work with producer Flood (U2, Nine Inch Nails, The Killers) with a tentative release date of late spring/early summer. The band added that "no one has heard any of these songs before.” The band’s label confirms they’ll be playing Bonnaroo and several European festivals over the summer, and will most likely preview some of their new material at these shows.