Within one second of the public's first viewing of Baz Luhrmann's take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, it's clear music will be a centerpiece.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, saying "New York ... 1922 ..." over the Kanye–Jay–Frank Ocean track "No Church in the Wild." After first listen (and viewing), it didn't make any sense, and that hasn't really changed with subsequent viewings. The song, while quite effective as the backing for 2012's Safe House, seemed like an odd pick for our first impression of a film adapted from one of our most celebrated American novels.
Shia LaBeouf appeared on Letterman and spoke about his Broadway beouf with Alec Baldwin. "Now what did you do to him?" asked Letterman, a friend of Baldwin's. Short answer: two impulsive people clashing and creating "fireworks," tension between the two "as men — not as artists, but as men," and definitely not the PR-generated "creative differences" that were cited as the reason behind LaBeouf's departure. But we knew that already.
Over the past nine months, the two members of OutKast, Big Boi and André 3000, have produced statements in the form of lyrics, tweets, and interview responses that at times signal a potential reunion, and at other times drive home the point that the end isn't just near; it's here.
First, the bad:
There was Big Boi's July tweet, in response to why André was on Frank Ocean's "Pink Matter" and not him:
Dre didn't want an OutKast Record Coming out on anybody else LP RT @joeyde_: whhhaaaaaa @bigboi why werent you on it to begin with?!
The question was asked, because both Big Boi and André spent time in the studio separately, while Ocean's channel ORANGE was being made, but as we now know, only one made the final cut. And, according to that tweet, we have a hunch why.
A few months ago, when the buildup began for Big Boi's second solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, I made a pact with myself that if it looked like the project was going to be underwhelming, I just wouldn't give it any coverage. I'd pretend like it never happened. The idea of the Outkast-related hot streak coming to a crashing halt (again, Idlewildnever happened. We all made that up, collectively) was too much to accept, and if bad things were looming, my plan was to simply sit this one out.
But then I realized something else. If it was good, it was going to be awfully hard to write about the project without bias. Beyond the facts that I'm from Atlanta and that my first concert was Outkast opening for Lauryn Hill and that Outkast is easily the most important musical act of my life — beyond all that — there's nothing I want more in music than a successful Big Boi/Andre/Outkast project.
So, if I were to say, after a week of listening to the album nonstop, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is easily a top-five rap release of 2012, should you take that with a grain of salt (or, if you will, a sprinkle of grits)? Absolutely.
"I used to be a way better writer and a rapper when I used to want a black Carmengia.
Now a n---- speedin' in a Porsche, feeling like I'm going off of course."
— André 3000
Three notes here:
The one obvious criticism: I really don't like how André 3000 is TOTES ripping off Kendrick Lamar's style here.
Chill, bro. That's a joke. Stay out of my inbox about it.
By the time you get to the end of this song, chances are you'll forget that T.I. is even alive because André 3000 is GODDAMN TOUGH here, son. If you're a rapper and you're on a song with him and he starts doing that hyper-nasally sing-song thing that only he and God can do, then just fuck your life. You're taking that L, that's all there is to it.
It’s been a couple of years now that Andre 3000 has been associated with a lead role in a Jimi Hendrix biopic, and that delay – plus Three Stacks’ general on-and-off reclusivity — meant it sure felt like this project was never actually going to happen. But, surprise!!!, it’s happening. The Playlist notes:
Titled "All Is by My Side," the film is gearing up start lensing in three weeks in Ireland, with a six week production schedule mapped out. John Ridley, the writer behind "Three Kings," "U-Turn" and the forthcoming "Twelve Years A Slave" has penned the script and will be directing as well ... The film will essentially cover Hendrix's breakthrough period from 1966 to 1967, when he was discovered in a New York club by Linda Keith, a model and girlfriend of Keith Richards at the time, who introduced him to The Rolling Stones' manager Andrew Loog Oldham and producer Seymour Stein (who both declined to work with him), and eventually to manager/producer Chas Chandler who helped launch his career. He went to London, recorded Are You Experienced? and the rest, as they say, is history.
What, exactly, is Andre 3000's thought process when it comes to leaving the plush, luxurious, and fully stocked underground bomb shelter he calls home? We don't hear from the guy for years, then he pops up on Ke$ha remixes and in Gillette commercials and God knows what else. It's jarring!
Every week we ask Molly Lambert to dive deep on one of the Billboard top ten songs of the week charts. This week's victim? The R&B and Hip Hop list, which Molly kindly transformed into film adaptations before grading.
1. Jay-Z & Kanye West, "Ni**as in Paris"
Wizards In Paris (G): A CGI-saturated family adventure about Apples (Jay-Z) and Grapes (Kanye West), two koalas on the loose in the City of Lights after stowing away on a luxury cruise (where they romance gold-digging squirrels, upend a millionaires' buffet and eat so many shrimp). Arriving in Paris on a chilly snowy night, the rascally marsupials face racist cabdrivers, a steep conversion rate, and evil time-traveling steampunk stage magicians. The movie climaxes with an exciting chase through the Chanel flagship store and an epic tumble into the catacombs to face off with both the metropolis's fabled wizards and their own fragile furry mortality. Listen:Here Grade: A
Landing a verse from André 3000, the Big Foot of hip-hop, is a great way to show your industry pull. The problem here for Jeezy, though, is that Drake’s album just had a brand new 3 Stacks feature, while this “I Do” verse has been floating around for over a year. Come on, ‘Dre: goddamn Ke$hagets a new one, but Jeezy has to settle for scraps?
Beyoncé is blonde as shit and properly on her Courtney Stodden in the new video for "Party." You are beautiful, Bey. Turn the makeup gun down two notches. I have no problem with slutty looks, especially from my pop stars, but this isn't my favorite Beyoncé styling. Firstly, this video screams "summer" and it's nearly Halloween, which is why Rihanna's spooky UK youth cultures in a blender video for "We Found Love" seemed so appropriate (pools:summer::fields:fall). The problem with the video for "Party" is that the party doesn't look very fun. It looks staged and totally unspontaneous in every way, even the bunny ears at the end. Beyoncé looks kinda crazy rolling around sexily on every surface in sight, and also like she has one eye on the clock the whole time. The best image in "Party" is Beyoncé in a gold birthday hat.