Somehow, while nobody was paying attention, Jimmy Fallon became something of a hip-hop lightning rod in the hip-hop community, and his show "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" has become a haven for rappers who just want to have fun. Of course, Fallon recruited the Roots as his house band, which has been a deft move, as not only is the music on the show largely great but they've also reached out to their friends for some after-hours jams (last week, Wale sat in with the group and freestyled his way through an excellent show). Last night during Fallon's monologue, the host busted out a recurring segment called "Slow Jam the News." Normally, it involved Fallon whispering news segments while the Roots' Tariq "Black Thought" Thompson sings the jokes. But last night, Fallon got an assist from Diddy on a remixed version of the news.
Fallon, Thompson and Diddy combined to deliver a hilarious take on Barack Obama's sluggish polling numbers. Later in the show, Diddy sat down to talk about his new MTV show "Making His Band," his vodka (he shared his recipe for the "OG Diddy," which combines Ciroc with lemonade and Welch's grape juice), his production history, his fragrance ("Men gotta smell good, too") and his upcoming album Last Train to Paris, which he promised "will make you dance, make you groove and make you love your woman better." When you look at Jimmy Fallon, you don't necessarily think, "Yep, there's a guy who knows the vibe of the streets," but so far his taste in hip-hop and his willingness to embrace it in late night (not something often seen) has made his show a must-watch for any rap enthusiast.
"EEKKKSS!!!!" That was the immediate, incredibly visceral reaction several of my coworkers and I had when we watched the clip of Mark-Paul Gosselaar in full character as Zack Morris on last night's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."
Sure, it was a ploy for Mark to plug his new TV show — which sadly isn't some extension of "Saved by the Bell" and is instead about lawyers — but this is the best way I've ever seen someone plug a show. Zack, dressed exactly the same as he did when he was in high school at Bayside, insisted that he is actually Zack, and that he changed his name to Mark-Paul Gosselaar to pursue a career in acting.
Gosselaar — who doesn't seem to have aged a day since "Saved by the Bell: The College Years" ended in 1994 — knows that all we really care about is his "SBTB" alter ego. As he sat on Jimmy's couch, crossing his legs to show off his pegged jeans, black socks and hideous high-tops, Mark/Zack managed to reference every greatest "Saved by the Bell" moment ever: That summer he worked at the Malibu Sands resort and judged the Miss Liberty pageant; the time he almost got all Hollywood on the group and started hanging out with teen star Johnny Dakota. But the real way he proved that he really was Zack Morris was by calling a time-out and freezing everyone as he talked directly to the camera. Yes, that actually happened.
All hardcore "SBTB" fans know about being timed out, just as well as they know about the Kelly Kapowski poster that once hung in Zack's bedroom (which also made an appearance on "Late Night"). What did come of Zack's relationship with Kelly? Well, she dropped him for Jeff from the Max, again, just like in high school. And Zack ended up with Stacy Carosi. If this means nothing to you, then you're clearly a preppy.
And in case you ever wondered if Zack Attack's greatest hit, "Friends Forever," still stands the test of time (not unlike his amazing cell phone), then you will be excited to know it does, especially when he sings it with the Roots.
At first, I was not an Allison Iraheta fan. I might even have been an Allison Iraheta hater. But the 17-year-old "American Idol" contestant won me over with her passionate rendition of "Someone to Watch Over Me" during last week's Rat Pack tribute night. And her performance on Tuesday — a soulful cover of Janis Joplin's "Cry Baby" — had me thinking the cranberry-haired rocker was headed to the top three — and perhaps further.
But she was booted off on Wednesday's broadcast, while Danny Gokey and lived to sing — or squeal? — another day. So, where does Iraheta go from here? A look back at former "Idol" contestants who got knocked off in the fourth spot provides both hope and concern for those of us eager to see Iraheta have a long, rocking career. Read More...
By Adam Murphy
Since taking the stage at 30 Rockefeller Plaza as the house band for NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," the Roots have been settling nicely into their new home in New York. Drummer ?uestlove just kicked off his Thursday night "fANtastic" residency at Le Poisson Rouge, MC Black Thought has been channeling Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance at Carnegie Hall, and the whole group opened for Dave Matthews Band at Madison Square Garden two weeks ago.
Though they're never slow to remind audiences of their own Philadelphia roots, New York fits these guys like a glove.
Perhaps the most exciting development for the Roots (besides replacing the Max Weinberg Seven on "Late Night," of course) is their residency at Highline Ballroom, aptly called "The Jam." Each Wednesday night, the group brings its favorite artists to the stage to — as the name of the night implies — jam. This past Wednesday's installment included a barrage of newcomers and unknowns far too great in number to identify individually, but recent guests included rappers Skillz, Pharoahe Monch, stic.man and M1, a.k.a. Dead Prez. Read More...
By Kathleen Newman-Bremang
That's it — I'm never going to another party where ?uestlove isn't spinning. Yes, the Roots figurehead was that good DJing last night at Le Poisson Rouge in New York. If you missed it, don't fret — this week marked the first of many Thursday-night shows ?uestlove will be headlining at the venue.
The thing is, though, it wasn't even about the amazing rap/jazz mash-ups or the classic hip-hop songs blaring from the sound system — it was about the energy. ?uest was headbanging and feeling the music just as much as the rest of us on the dance floor. The The 'fro-sporting drummer seemed to switch between an introspective and focused music lover to a giddy kid playing on his iTunes, rocking out with the rest of us. There was just something about looking up and seeing the legendary drummer bobbing along to the beat — I'm telling you, it made the best songs even better.
So what songs did ?uest decide to bust out during his long-running set? Well, let's just say he kicked it old school.
Something has changed in my friend Crooked I.
I've known him since the '90s, for over 10 years. I met him as an up-and-coming artist around the same time I met Eminem, Xzibit and the Roots. He was then, as he is now, one of the most skillful lyricists I've ever heard, and he's been a regular visitor on "The Wake Up Show."
Crooked I has had a very roller-coaster career. He's been through many independent labels and was also signed to one of the most controversial labels of all time, Death Row Records; he never released an album while signed to Death Row. He was once regarded as the guy who would resurrect the West Coast. Since then, he's become an Internet giant and has yet to drop the milestone that would revive his career.
I consider him a friend. Our relationship has gone beyond DJ/ TV personality and rapper. We communicate for advice and insight. Without revealing too much, I know that Crooked I has always been heavily involved in the streets, and you always worry about people who live in those circles, because nothing's guaranteed. I felt like he was making it out of that — until he was shot at.
I think something has changed in him since the incident, and I can hear sincerely that he really is contemplating his next move as an artist and what he wants to say to the world. He said he pretty much has cheated four or five brushes with death, and now he wants to leave a bigger legacy, in case he doesn't cheat the next one. He wants to reach people in a whole new, positive way. I, for one, am very supportive of that and interested to see what that means at the end of the day. Read More...
Posted 3/3/09 3:18 pm EST by MTV News in Uncategorized
By Kathleen Newman-Bremang
Jimmy Fallon is that affable goof you can't help but root for. Maybe it's because we're nostalgic for his days on "Saturday Night Live" or because we feel bad about his fleeting movie career. (Remember "Fever Pitch"? Yeah, me neither.) Whatever the reason, I couldn't help but want Fallon to be brilliant on his "Late Night" debut last night. Unfortunately, that's not what happened. OK, it wasn't that bad, but come on, Jimmy — impersonating De Niro to his face? Really?
But there were some bright spots amid Fallon's nervous twitching and uncomfortable blinking. So, without further ado, here's the breakdown of the best and worst moments from the first episode of "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon":
» The opening monologue. With jokes that seemed to be recycled from Jay Leno and really bad TelePrompTer reading — like, really bad — Fallon fell flat.
By Daniela Capistrano
Coldplay, Wale, the Roots and other artists may like Twitter, but none of them liked it enough to attend the first-ever Twitter awards ceremony. The aptly named Shorty Awards, a riff on the mini-blogs' 140-characters-or-less restriction, took place at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday evening.
Nope, there were only two tweet-loving famous musicians passionate enough about Twitter to fly across the country and meet their fans: '80s rap icon MC Hammer (Twitter.com/MCHammer) and AFI bassist Hunter Burgan (Twitter.com/TranquilMammoth).
The Shorty Awards were founded by Sawhorse Media to honor the best producers of short content on Twitter in 2008. The Twitter community voted on their favorite users in 26 categories and the winners were given travel grants to attend, thanks in part to the Knight Foundation. CNN's twitter loving Rick Sanchez (Twitter.com/ricksanchezcnn) hosted the event and was heard later declaring, "The smartest people I have found in any community are the people I've found on Twitter."
Posted 2/6/09 4:51 pm EST by MTV News in Uncategorized
By Joseph Patel
It's no secret that some of us here are big fans of TV on the Radio, and not just because your author of this here post often gets confused for guitarist/vocalist Kyp Malone. They've slowly, steadily grown into one of the most original rock outfits in years — our very own American Radiohead, some might say.
"The location is pretty great — look at that view," said Brian Weitz, a.k.a. Geologist from Animal Collective, gazing out across the expanse of Liberty State Park at the skyline of Lower Manhattan. Indeed, the first thing you notice on stepping off the ferry and turning to look behind you is a cityscape that is hard to match anywhere in the world. It was day two of All Points West, the so-called "boutique" festival (meaning it accommodates 30,000 instead of 70,000) that at long last brought a weekend-long major music event to the Northeast. Saturday was the only sellout of the three-day weekend, and for good reason: Apart from the godlike Radiohead on top of the bill, there was a pretty exceptional supporting cast that included, on three stages, the Roots, Kings of Leon, Metric, the Black Angels, the Virgins, Chromeo, K'Naan and Sia.
But I began my day by speaking with one of my favorites, the Collective. A few hours before they brought their clanging, charging, joyful noise to the masses, we talked on the VIP bleachers overlooking the grounds. How great is the idea of Kings or Radiohead fans discovering Animal Collective? "That's the main reason, I think, you do festivals," said Weitz. The guys are not doing a lot of fests this summer — they're concentrating on mixing and finishing their ninth album, due out in January — but they were pleased to be at All Points West, in part because they were playing the main stage. While there is no doubt AC's sound is big enough to fill a large setting, Noah Lennox, a.k.a. Panda Bear, is not a big fan of outdoor fests. Apparently, he and the sun "don't agree."