Category Archives: Jay-Z

A brief catch-up

So, apologies, but due to time constraints and general tiredness this blog is becoming nothing more than two weekly features with very little else going on in-between. Sorry about that. Shall we have a quick round-up of what’s good this last week (by ‘good’, we kind of just mean ‘new’).

Someone from Girls Aloud that’s not Cheryl will soon be releasing a single and that woman’s name is Nadine ‘The Voice’ Coyle. ‘Insatiable’ is the first single from her debut solo album of the same name and it’s out at some point in November via TESCOS! No, seriously. You will only be able to buy it in Tescos with your butter, a cucumber and a copy of Nuts (what you will be doing with those three things WE’D RATHER NOT KNOW!):

Kanye West has been releasing a song a week for the past few weeks in an effort to be the most talked about man on the internet (for his music, not for bullying young women in front of millions of people). We mentioned the Beyonce-featuring ‘See Me Now’ a few weeks ago, and since then we’ve had ‘Monster’, which featured a scene-stealing Nicki Minaj verse that walked all over the other guest, a certain Jay-Z. Here’s the latest track, the bouncy, breezy jam, ‘Good Friday’:

We’re also really liking American singer and guitarist (weirdly, it seems women are allowed to play guitar! Who knew!?) Marnie Stern, whose third album is out next month. ‘Transparency Is The New Mystery’ is a brilliant example of dynamics, all violent drums and sprawling guitar figures that teeter on the brink of collapse but somehow pull away just in time.

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Clare Maguire’s new to us

We’re ‘famous’ for our tardiness when it comes to new bands – have you guys heard of Radiohead? GOING. TO. BE. HUGE – but this possibly surpasses our previous efforts (or lack thereof).

Clare Maguire hails from Birmingham and became the focus of a record company scrum last year, with people like Jay-Z and Rick Rubin not literally fighting for her signature. She’s now signed to Polydor, who have been pretty tight-lipped about what they’ve got in store, but what we do have is ‘Strangest Thing’, a song that’s been on blogs for eons. Naturally, we’ve only just got round to listening to it, and it’s a corker. Maguire possesses a voice so huge and emotional it can all get a bit X-Factor-Judges-house-stage at times, but there’s something undeniable about the song that anchors it all perfectly.

Listen here:

Expect to see her on those Big In 2011 charts and no mistake.

Does she ever sleep?

Surely, tonight of all nights is a good time to unveil another Beyoncé video, is it not? It’s not like there’s anything else going on is there? Plus, this is Beyoncé‘s fourteenth single to be released this month and as everyone knows, the fourteenth times a charm.

‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’ didn’t even make it onto the original pressings of I Am Sasha Fierce (an album that’s been re-released more times than Blade Runner), but has been selected as the final single from this exhaustive campaign. The video introduces another character, B.B. Homemaker, and finds her doing all sorts of household chores dressed as Betty Page – vacuuming, washing the dishes, fixing her car – in between making what looks like a very difficult telephone conversation (perhaps Jay-Z had forgotten the Rice Crispies?). The best bit? When the B-dog (she’d like that moniker, right?) polishes her SIXTEEN Grammy awards. OH NO SHE DIDN’T.

New Musick Monday

So, last week we predicted big things for Jay-Z (hardly putting our necks on the line – it entered at no. 4), Jazmine Sullivan (more of a risk seeing as the album was probably brought by anyone with an interest about a year ago – it was nowhere) and Florence & The Machine. The latter has had some pretty extensive coverage thanks to the Mercury nomination, but the single failed to dent to the top 40. Luckily, the album re-entered the top 10 and another track, ‘You’ve Got The Love, also started to climb the top 75. Imagine if that were to become the next single? IMAGINE.

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Tongue N’ Cheek by Dizzee Rascal

Tongue N’ Cheek!? Tongue ‘N Cheek!? Oh dearest Dizzee man, this really won’t do. If you’re using N’ then what you’re actually trying to say is Tongue AND Cheek, which just sounds like some grizzly meat order at some posh restaurant. Grammar issues aside, this is essentially Dizzee’s coming out album…not like that, but in terms of him embracing pop and deciding that he’s going to stop going on about knives and ‘beefs’ and concentrate more on going on holiday and dancing. It’s not just about the three (three!) number 1 singles though, with the ridiculous ‘Road Rage’ taking in grime, drum n bass, techno and probably some jazz.

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Celebration by Madonna

‘Hung Up’, ‘Music’, ‘Vogue’, ‘4 Minutes’, ‘Holiday’, ‘Like A Virgin’, ‘Into The Groove’, ‘Like A Prayer’, ‘Ray Of Light’, ‘Open Your Heart’, ‘Borderline’, ‘Secret’, ‘Justify My Love’, ‘La Isla Bonita’, ‘Papa Don’t Preach’, ‘Lucky Star’, ‘Crazy For You’, ‘Who’s That Girl’, ‘Frozen’, ‘Live To Tell’, ‘Beautiful Stranger’, ‘Don’t Tell Me’, ‘Cherish’. Just a few hits to choose from.

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‘FeelingPulledApartByHorses’ / ‘The Hollow Earth’ by Thom Yorke

Oh, we’re not going into all of this again. Just scroll down a bit for more info. Cheers.

New Musick Monday

As someone kindly commented last week, The Big Pink single seems to have been pushed back a week so is actually out today. Think of our premature recommendation as merely a form of preparation, a way of doubling the fun when you see what we’ve recommended this week. Elsewhere, the Taken By Trees album sold about ten copies, which is fine, and the Jamie T album entered at number 2, one place behind 92-year old singing sensation, Dame Vera Lynn. Her Timbaland-produced effort is something to behold. Expect a feature on her very soon.

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The Blueprint 3 by Jay-Z

OK, so he may not be able to scale the heights of his previous works – especially given the fact he’s the head of a massive corporation, sleeping with Beyoncé and friends with Obama – but The Blueprint 3 contains enough flashes of brilliance to keep the man at the top of the game. Featuring some stellar production from the American Dream-robbing Kanye West, Swizz Beats and Timbaland (as well as some perfunctory work from The Neptunes) and a guest list that includes Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Kid Cudi and Luke Steele, this is an album programmed to succeed. For the most part it does exactly that.

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Fearless by Jazmine Sullivan

The more eagle-eyed amongst you will realise that we mentioned this album about eight months ago, but it’s so good that we decided to mention it again. As if to aid us in this reckless decision, Columbia records have decided to re-release the album via iTunes with an extra track thus allowing it to appear here. Thanks for that. Fearless isn’t like most recent R&B albums for two reasons. 1). It isn’t just two killer singles and a load of filler and 2). It isn’t needlessly worthy or preachy (yes we mean you Alicia). It helps that Sullivan has an incredibly soulful voice, one that frays and cracks at all the right moments, like Lauryn Hill before she went nuts and shaved her head and moved to a Kibbutz.

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‘Drumming Song’ by Florence & The Machine

On our album, this is just called ‘Drumming’. Why add the word ‘song’? Are we to think that Florence’s label needed to make sure we were aware that it is indeed a song and that without it we were all stumped. “What is this thing? ‘Drumming’? It makes no sense. Ah, ‘Drumming Song’, I see”. Anyway, our is not to question why, and sure everyone’s probably bored of people prattling on about Florence and her machine, but you know what, the album’s amazing, this song’s amazing and in the video she dances like a gothic Beyoncé. Plus, this remix is very good too.

Prog-Hop

Who remembers the good old days when you could buy a commercial hip-hop album and be safe in the knowledge that all you’d hear is some mindless rhymes about money, bitches and bling with a chorus sampled from a recent hit single, usually sung by a young female singer? Now it’s all MGMT this and Ratatat that (hey, that rhymes!), with all these experimental production flourishes getting in the way of all the pimpin’ and braggin’.

One recent exponent of this phenomena is Kid Cudi. Fresh from working with Italian dance producers The Crookers on ‘Day ‘N Nite’, he’s back with a new single called ‘Pursuit of Happiness’. Produced by Ratatat and featuring MGMT on the chorus, it’s a brilliantly stoned, skillfully executed fusion of rap and OTT guitars.

It’s got a similarly spaced out beat, this time provided by Kanye West and No I.D. Perhaps it’s the start of a whole new genre; Prog-Hop anyone?

Running up that hill

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Jay-Z’s forthcoming new album, The Blueprint III, surely has no more secrets to reveal come release time? So far, we’ve had the one that mentioned Noel Gallagher, the one about Obama, that other one with Santigold on it and finally the one dissing Autotune. Well, none of these are the official first single, that comes in the shape of ‘Run This Town’, which features Rihanna on the chorus and Kanye West rapping sans Autotune.

It’s alright. The beat has that marching-band motif that ‘Jesus Walks’ has, and hearing a guitar over the top is a nice surprise, but Jay-Z sounds a bit bored and Kanye West says the following; “she got an ass that will swallow up a g-string, and up top two bee stings”. Rihanna is the real star of the show, delivering the chorus in that kind of dead-eyed way she’s perfected.

There are more surprises on the album of course – MGMT also make an appearance!

Automatic for the people

A few months back Musick composed a heartfelt note to President Barack Obama pleading with him to help rid the planet of a deadly pandemic. Not bird flu, no, but autotune. Finally, after months of negotiations between his people (bless you Hilary, those muffins you made were delicious) and our people, word was sent that Obama had come up with a cure in the shape of a certain Mr Jay-Z:

We’ve mentioned Mr Hudson before, but this is his first single since his big American re-twizzle. ‘Supernova’ features some left-over beats from Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreaks album, a massive chorus and, yeah, you guessed it, a whole load of autotune. Mr Obama we still need you, don’t let us down now.