"It was hard work maintaining a light buzz for so long, but it paid off. When Rihanna’s manager, Jay Brown, appeared to tell me that this was one of her first interviews in years I just laughed. And then choked. Because here she was." — Miranda July interviews Rihanna for the NYT Magazine's Greats Issue. (SLNYTM)
DoubleX Gabfest: The Beazel Better Have My Money Edition - "On this week’s Gabfest, Slate’s Hanna Rosin and June Thomas join New York editor Noreen Malone to talk about what it means to be asexual, Rihanna’s music video for 'Bitch Better Have My Money' and other prefatory uses of bitch, and the 1939 film The Women." [more inside]
"[I]t is her flipping of masculinist scripts—the reclaiming of chauvinistic language, the cartoonish and flippant treatment of violence, her insistence on getting paid for her labor, and her reenactment of machismo through her hyper-feminine fashionista presentation (replete with an all-girl posse)—that makes the BBHMM video [NSFW] much more layered than a simple woman-hating narrative, as some have labeled it." [more inside]
U2's thirteenth studio album Songs Of Innocence was released for free download via iTunes this week (with surprisingly good reviews and some naysayers). And of course, some controversy about how it was distributed... But it's been 5 1/2 years since the release of their last album. What on earth have they been up in the meantime? [more inside]
When we return, our eyes will have shrunken into tiny slots and we will forage on the ground for centipedes and other high-protein foods we can feel with our hands. A first-hand account of Rihanna's 777 tour. Day One: There may be 777 tour babies nine months from now. Stockholm (Syndrome). Cray In Paris.
A tale of science gone mad, global conspiracies, and the dangers of hubris. Drake, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye, Weezy, Birdman, Noah Shebib, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj in: Hottest Chick in the Game, a comic by Sean T. Collins, and Andrew White.
Dave and Duncan off the inspirational (and cancelled) MTV reality show 'The Buried Life' star in a parody of Rihanna's We Found Love video along side a bunch of spray paint and candy.
"Some critics have said in response to this that if the Catholic church's insurance does not cover Sandra Fluke's birth control, it shouldn't cover Cardinal Dolan's Viagra. Oh, no, no, no, that's called celibacy plus. That's how the pros do it. Because chastity is one thing, but it shows true commitment to uphold your vows when you are sporting a crook you could hang a miter on. Oh, wow, see you at mass on Sunday, sir? I hope he doesn't become Pope. I'm a Catholic, it's okay. I go to confession, it will be fine. " - Stephen Colbert, speaking at the TIME 100 Gala, in front of Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan [more inside]
"At Roc the Mic, Stargate carries on a glorious and disappearing New York tradition that stretches back to the Brill Building days of the late fifties and early sixties, when songwriting teams such as Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, and Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry cranked out hits for the top pop acts of the day; and further back still, to the nineteen-tens and twenties, when the Broadway-to-Sixth Avenue reach of West Twenty-eighth Street, known as Tin Pan Alley, for the sound of pianos coming from the upper floors, was the center of the music-publishing industry. With their managers, Blacksmith and Danny D., orchestrating demand, Stargate has become one of the very few writer-producers whom labels approach when they absolutely must have a hit single, or a “bullet,” as Hermansen calls it, to market an album with." The New Yorker - The hitmakers behind Rihanna
Rihanna's 'Birthday Cake': Reasons to listen (Ann Powers, NPR) "I'm choosing to do something else, though — to wrestle with the material at hand. As a music critic and, on a personal level, as someone who's long considered pop to be a crucial avenue for understanding the intricacies of the human heart and soul, I'm committed to engaging with the music that makes us sit up and take notice. I'm willing to try, even if those songs expose or even encourage aspects of behaviors that aren't so savory. I don't think "Turn Up the Music" tells us much; "Birthday Cake" is a different matter. So I'll continue trying to grasp what's happening in a song that makes many — but not all — of us want to turn away." (Potentially triggering all round.) [more inside]
GonZo Presents Disco's Payback: The Reboots is an 11-track album featuring modern pop records mashed up with disco classics.
Using album & digital song sales, Hot 100 rankings, radio airplay, YouTube views, social media, concert grosses, industry awards and critics' ratings, Rolling Stone compares sixteen female artists to name the Queen of Pop. [more inside]
Eminem's new video, featuring Rihanna, makes domestic violence sexy as only a (literally) smoldering Megan Fox can. [more inside]
Comedian Affion Crockett, most remembered for appearing on MTV's "Wild 'n Out"and for his impressions of Jay-Z, manages to play Jay, Kanye and Chris Brown in a spoof of Jay-Z's song with Rihanna, "Run This Town".
“Mamase mamasa mamamakusa” or “Mamaku mamasa makumakusa”? Michael Jackson is sued for copyright infringement – again – by Cameroonian singer Manu Dibango (Flash homepage with autoplaying audio). Dibango’s Duala-language original phrase mutated into something else (Swahili?) in “Wanna Be Starting Somethin’.” They settled out of court – but then Jackson licensed that phrase to Rihanna, a right that Dibango claims Jackson never had. [more inside]
Beyond Chris Brown and Rihanna. By now you've probably heard about Chris Brown and Rhianna. Jay Smooth of Ill Doctrine asked Elizabeth Mendez Berry, author of Vibe Magazine's 2005 feature Love Hurts (pdf) about "domestic violence within (and without) hiphop", for her thoughts. [more inside]