This year's Victoria’s Secret fashion show, which aired last night on CBS, was a bit gullier than usual. That’s because, alongside all the usual frilly pageantry — the bedazzled undergarments, the kissy faces, the Adam Levine — Jay-Z and Kanye West showed up to do “Niggas in Paris.” The Watch The Throne staple (it’s being played an exponentially increasing number of times per night during the power duo’s current tour) was the obvious choice for the evening. But that didn’t mean the delirious Hit Boy beat — certainly a harder-knocking sound than the Victoria’s Secret spectacular is typically accustomed to (again: Adam Levine) — sat too well with the models. Gloriously, every cut-away to a backstage shot of a beautiful person attempting to dance in this video is an instantly GIF-able bit of awkward magic. Why can’t these models dance? Is this that thing where good-looking people never get told they’re not good at something? (The theory was explicated on 30 Rock, in the brilliant episode in which Jon Hamm attempts to order off the menu — “a catfish po’ boy and a diet raspberry Fanta” — at Barney Greengrass). Doing much better at the "looking cool while at a show" thing: Beyoncé, hanging in the front row with a Danny Brown impersonator; Orlando Bloom, in his most visible role since Elizabethtown; and the general audience, who obey instructions to throw their hands in the air with all the dead-eyed obedience of a cult assembly. Just one question: where the hell is ‘Ye’s skirt?
Last night's Watch the Throne show at Madison Square Garden has only started five seconds ago and already the fifteen-year old from Long Island behind me is straddling two rows of seats and throwing both middle fingers in the air. In her defense, Jay-Z and Kanye West did just come out to "H.A.M."
In its first week of release, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV is projected to sell between 700,000 to 850,000 copies. That would make Carter IV the year’s second-biggest debut, after Lady Gaga’s Born This Way; it would also significantly trump the super-hyped Watch The Throne, which managed a now-measly-looking 436,000 in its first week. How the hell did that happen?
When Kanye and Jay-Z's Watch The Throne made it all the way to its release date last Monday without leaking, the music industry sat up and spat out its caviar breakfast. How did such a high-profile album stay safe? The answer was the pair's bonkers commitment to security: They released Throne digitally via iTunes first, so nobody could steal a copy from a warehouse. And Jay-Z and Kanye recorded together only in person and in non-studio settings like hotels and Australian mansions, meaning no tracks were emailed between hackable accounts and no studio hangers-on could get sticky fingers. And most important of all, during the process, Kanye’s engineers saved all the songs to external hard drives that, Billboard reports, “[could] only be accessed by biometric fingerprint readers.” So how did all of this pay off sales-wise?
Jay-Z is smiling. He's not smirking. He's not cackle-chuckling. He's grinning like a school kid, just out for summer, who got away with having his girlfriend do his homework all year. Granted it's a video set, but have we ever seen Shawn Carter with his guard down like this? I knew he had cars for days, but I didn't know he genuinely loved cars, or driving, until I saw him do doughnuts in a custom Maybach-turned-Batmobile. I’d wager my date with Amber Rose that, at some point, Jay squealed, or at least giggled, with delight on the set of this video. Going back and forth with Kanye (red designer skinny jeans hanging off his ass, ensuring another five years of urban asscrack to avoid looking at), he looks more comfortable than ever.