Monday, February 16, 2009

Breaking down the Grammy Award for: Best New Artist

The Grammy for Best New Artist, one of the most sought-after awards in music, is also considered by many to be a "kiss of death" or curse to one's career. Is this valid paranoia? Let's see how NARAS has fared over the past decade:

2009: ADELE
Other nominees: Duffy, Jonas Brothers, Lady Antebellum, Jazmine Sullivan
Clearly it's too early to tell if the Grammy gods did well with this one, although I think they're gonna end up being right on. Duffy was over-hyped by her label, and the Jonas Brothers proved in their Grammy performance just how bad they really are. Jazmine and (especially) Lady Antebellum both have the potential for bright futures, so I look forward to seeing where this goes.

Other nominees: Feist, Ledisi, Paramore, Taylor Swift
If Amy can get her act together, we can at least upgrade this to a "B." But there's no denying that Taylor Swift is a bona fide superstar already. Feist is great, but she can thank Apple for this nod. Ledisi is talented but she didn't stand a chance at winning; her loyal following will keep her in the business for a long time. Paramore will have a solid career if they can stop arguing.

Other Nominees: James Blunt, Chris Brown, Imogen Heap, Corinne Bailey Rae
If I wrote this before last weekend, I'd have to notch this as a "B," since Chris Brown has all the tools to be the next Usher and more. Looks like he really shot himself in the foot with his latest drama. Corinne is talented but she'll never be Carrie in terms of success; James was a one-hit wonder, and as for Imogen...sorry hipsters, you're not gonna win this battle.

Other Nominees: Ciara, Fall Out Boy, Keane, Sugarland
Fall Out Boy is already on a downward spiral toward irrelevance, as is Ciara. Keane and Sugarland are great talents, but John Legend defines the term "critic's darling" and was made to win this award.

2005: MAROON 5
Other Nominees: Los Lonely Boys, Joss Stone, Kanye West, Gretchen Wilson
Kanye is a megastar, but Maroon 5 is arguably just as huge at this point. I was tempted to give this one an "incomplete," but M5 has proven to be worthy of this award, even with only two albums.

Other Nominees: 50 Cent, Fountains of Wayne, Heather Headley, Sean Paul
A pretty weak year, in hindsight. Evanescence had their time in the spotlight, but it's hard to argue against 50's success.

Other Nominees: Ashanti, Michelle Branch, Avril Lavigne, John Mayer
I can see this being a controversial grade already. Sure, Norah had two huge albums... but for 7-time Grammy winner Mayer to NOT have this award seems silly in 2009.

Other Nominees: India.Arie, Nelly Furtado, David Gray, Linkin Park
Perhaps the most talented bunch of the 2000s; but this is a no-brainer (sorry, Linkin Park). Those who dubbed Alicia as "all hype" back in the day are eating their words now.

2001: Shelby Lynne
Other Nominees: Brad Paisley, Papa Roach, Jill Scott, Sisqo
The "D" isn't for picking a bad winner, but bad nominees altogether. Who got shunned? Nelly, Nickelback, and Dido, just to name a few. Contrary to the strong class of 2002, this is the weakest field from the new millennium. With respect to Ms. Scott, Paisley probably deserves the award. (My deepest apologies to fans of "Thong Song.")

2000: Christina Aguilera
Other Nominees: Macy Gray, Kid Rock, Britney Spears, Susan Tedeschi
Notice the three TRL nominees; this was a very interesting time in pop music. It seems laughable that Britney was even nominated, but even Kid Rock stood the test of time longer than any of us imagined. A hat tip to Ms. Tedeschi, but Christina takes the cake.

That's one D, four Cs, three Bs, and two As. Not as bad as I thought. But let's not forget about some huge mishaps from years past, including:

1998: Paula Cole over Erykah Badu
1992: Marc Cohn over Boyz II Men
1990: Milli Vanilli over Indigo Girls
1982: Sheena Easton over Luther Vandross
1981: Christopher Cross over The Pretenders
1977: Starland Vocal Band over Boston
1973: America over The Eagles

Hey, at least they were right about The Beatles.

It's Mixtape Season!

Does each of these deserve its own post? Maybe, but probably not. I'm putting these in order of personal priority:

Drake - So Far Gone [click to download]

50 Cent - '90s and My Heart Is Broken [click to download]

Blu - HerFavoriteColo(u)r [click to download]

Jay Smooth: "Beyond Chris Brown and Rihanna"

Very thought-provoking piece. Business as usual from Jay.

Click here for Brown's apology, and click here for how the incident might affect his career in the long run.

The Real: "Food Fighters"

ItsTheReal Presents The Food Fighters from jeff on Vimeo.

You might notice I rarely post anything about petty "beefs," such as our current Curtis/Ricky debacle. This is a rare exception, and it will be for obvious reasons after you watch.

Charles Hamilton Mixtape x 2

Sorry for the late post on this V-Day themed mixtape, but I was too busy doing REAL V-Day stuff to bother.

Check the vid for Chuck's take on the project, and download both new jawns below:

Charles Hamilton - Well This Isn't Awkward [click to download]

Charles Hamilton - My Brain Is Alive [click to download]

Thursday, February 12, 2009

50 Cent: 90's & My Heart's Broken (Trailer)

I'm usually the last one to post anything 50-related, but you know how I feel about mash-ups. Especially 90's R&B mash-ups. I'll put the hatred aside for this one.

Get it tomorrow at

VIDEO: Evidence feat. Phonte, Blu and - For Whom the Bell Tolls

What a video. Great look for three of the game's most underrated.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Q-Tip Mixtape

Brought to you by J Period. Click here for the track list, and click here to download all 49 tracks (not a typo).

Santogold is now Santigold.

She doesn't even give a reason why. Her real name IS Santi, but still...come on now.

No more booze at Bay to Breakers?!?!?!

What a crock of shit this is. No word yet on whether or not they're banning nudity, too.

Weezy on Around The Horn

Dude's got a future, if he ever decides to put down the purple.

VIDEO: Ludacris feat. Plies - Nasty Girl

I forgot Luda was promoting an album. Guess that happens when you put one out the same day as Kanye.

VIDEO: Capone-n-Noreaga feat. Busta Rhymes and Ron Browz - "Rotate"

This track is so--> 1998. Until they added a Ron Browz hook.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HILARMO ALERT: What are you doing here?

WARSAW (Reuters) - A Polish man got the shock of his life when he visited a brothel and spotted his wife among the establishment's employees. Polish tabloid Super Express said the woman had been making some extra money on the side while telling her husband she worked at a store in a nearby town.

"I was dumfounded. I thought I was dreaming," the husband told the newspaper Wednesday.

The couple, married for 14 years, are now divorcing, the newspaper reported.

(Thanks to Evan for the tip)

Asher Roth goes through the Grammy gift-giving suite

"All you have to do is get famous, then they just give you stuff."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Romeo feat. Akon - Get Low Wit It

I'm only posting this to emphasize why Romeo doesn't get any PT for USC hoops. Oh, you didn't know?

Shout-out to Kat, the world's most notorious video coordinator.

Lil Wayne does Letterman's Top 10

Nat King Cole: Remixed

Two new joints off Re:Generations, a forthcoming Nat King Cole remix project. Album hits stores on March 10.

My parents played "Unforgettable" pretty much on loop when I was a kid, so Nat's a permanent fixture in my music encyclopedia. Looking forward to this release very much.

Nat King Cole feat. Nas - The Game of Love [click to download]

Nat King Cole feat. The Roots - Walkin' My Baby Back Home [click to download]

Fashawn with Blu & Exile @ Mezzanine-SF (Do you see me?)

Fashawn Live @ the Mezzanine (San Francisco, Ca) from on Vimeo.

I'm the white dude in the back.

PS - if you want Fashawn's dope Higher Learning mixtape, click here.

Wayne meets Katie

I watched this on TV, and have to give props to both Weezy and Ms. Couric for holding their respective grounds for this interview.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pre-Grammy party in...Big D?!

Dallas' own Play-N-Skillz threw what sounds like quite the fiesta at Plush last night. With Bun B, Travis McCoy, Slim Thug, Paul Wall and more in attendance, looks like Big D came to play! Read all about the par-lay (and Play-N-Skillz' Grammy nominations for Lil Wayne's "Got Money") by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This is how I feel about Denny's FREE Grand Slam today.

Thanks to Bennett for the pic. Speaking of which, check out his new mixtape right here:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Bonnaroo 2009 Lineup Announced

Check it out here...what do y'all think? AKA use the comments field, cough cough!

Monday, February 2, 2009

VIDEO: Bangladesh - "Adidas"

The producer of "A Milli" does a take on the "Diva" beat, which he also produced. Now that you know that, don't the two songs sound a lot alike?

Nas says he's on Detox

"I did a joint. I think it's crazy," Nas says of working with Dre. "He's someone I'd love to do a whole album with one day. He's incredible. I think he's the best producer of all time."

Read the rest here.