Madonna featuring M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, “Give Me All Your Luvin’”
This song sounds like Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend,” which on its own isn’t the worst thing ever, but it pointedly contains the lyrics, “Every record sounds the same / You’ve got to step into my world.” Also: Madonna made M.I.A. and Nicki awkwardly shake pom poms around just in case anyone forgot for a second that she was playing the Super Bowl halftime show this Sunday, and then only gave them four worthless, tacked-on bars each? On the plus side: Doesn’t she look amazing, folks?!
M.I.A., “Bad Girls”
Now here’s M.I.A. flourishing in her own element. Director Romain Gavras got a lot of people all riled up with his clip for M.I.A.'s “Born Free,” but this one should go down smoother: Instead of police state brutality and ostracized gingers, we get some remarkably innovative displays of Arab drift. (Not familiar with the popular, super-dangerous Middle Eastern street-racing maneuver? Search it on YouTube, and then also prepare yourself to possibly get nothing done for the rest of the day). Bonus fun! There may or may not be a ginger hidden in this video.
Prodigy featuring French Montana, “I’m From the Trap”
First the hook on “Stay Schemin’,” now his stellar refrain work on this track (off Prodigy’s upcoming H.N.I.C. 3 mixtape): If for whatever reason this whole rap thing doesn’t work out, French might have a long career ahead of him as a "menacing chorus for hire" guy.
Beach Fossils, “Shallow”
I’m going to be straight up with you: While the measured pace and lax guitar strums of this track are a soothing delight well worth sharing, I can’t really tell you anything about this band. From the information in front of us, though, it seems like they’re really into referencing terms related to the beach and the ocean. Following that logic, we can safely assume their new album is called Guy Selling Coronas Out of a Trash Bag in Brighton Beach.
Jack White, “Love Interruption”
This is Jack White’s first solo song since he and Meg White split up the White Stripes. Guess what? It has no drums in it! Now that is some adorable loyalty to your former sister/wife/drummer. White Stripes Gang 4Ever!!!
R. Kelly, “Share My Love”
Here is something R. Kelly told haunted folkster Will Oldham once: “I’m thinking of going back to the Shaft  days next year and just see what it’s like to bring that back to R&B. It’s interesting because when I was a kid I used to watch, like, Back to the Future , where the man would call ‘Marty!’ and they would jump in the little car and go back to the future. And I always said, ‘Man, that’s how I want to be able to travel with my gift.’” To that end, Kellz’ new single sounds superbly ’70s-disco’d-out. What I’m saying is that, when it comes to conversations he has with haunted folkster Will Oldham, R. Kelly does not lie.
Big K.R.I.T., “Boobie Miles”
Big K.R.I.T.’s obsession with (the movie) Friday Night Lights' Boobie Miles has already been on display, through the sampled dialogue on the intro to “Hometown Hero”: “Come on, man, this is God given … only thing I gotta do is just show up.” Here, K.R.I.T. again evokes the good name of Boobie to drop inspirational affirmations over a lush sax riff that’d work equally as well in the bedroom. (Like, you know. For "sex.")
Taylor Swift and LL Cool J, Grammys Commercial
Just two pals! Just a couple of goofballs! Beatboxing and such! Laughing and joking! Casual and unforced and in no way shape or form creepy at all! LOL!
Mac Miller featuring Cam’ron, “Dig That”
In our latest installment of Fact Checking the Weird Things Rappers Say: “If life is like a movie, I’ll truly be your editor / Spielberg!” — Cam’ron. While Steven Spielberg is widely known for his directorial efforts on such Oscar-winning fare as Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, he has also worked as a film editor: IMDB has nine "editor" listings for him, including his uncredited work on The Goonies and Poltergeist. Point, Cam’ron!
The Los Angeles electronic-music producer Shlohmo, who's putting out his Vacation EP next week, makes some excellently unsettling beats. Relatedly, I lived down the hall from a kid named Shlomo in the third grade. In relation, I can see now, my Shlomo’s beat-making skills were pretty paltry.