Bowie's new video depicts, among other things, priests partying and a touch of stigmata; as you might have expected, the Catholic League was not amused. Writes the League's prez Bill Donohue, "The switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced, this time playing a Jesus-like character who hangs out in a nightclub dump frequented by priests, cardinals and half-naked women ... in short, the video reflects the artist — it is a mess." I might be reading this wrong, but is it at all possible — considering the strangely jovial and florid word choices above — that Bill Donohue is all aggy right now because his MP3 blog never took off?
In the past week, brothers Jeff and Eric Rosenthal of sketch comedy duo ItsTheReal have released a DJ Drama–hosted mixtape, Urbane Outfitters, with the likes of Hannibal Buress, Bun B, Maino, Lil Jon, and Freeway; been written up in a variety of outlets, from the New York Times to Billboard to Fast Company; and retweeted Macklemore nine times. To close out their week, they're doing our Songs of the Week, because it's the final step in "making it."
N.O.R.E. ft. 2 Chainz, French Montana, and Pusha T, "Tadow"
Jeff Rosenthal: These are the things that go “tadow” for French Montana: his chopper, her ass, his money, and his bling. I don’t know if it’s a sound or an adjective or a combonomatopoeia, but it’s certainly something I’m adding to my everyday-speak.
Rembert Browne: Why aren't you guys in the N.O.R.E./P.A.P.I. video for "Built Pyramids”?
On the surface, rapper French Montana and his Bad Boy Records boss Diddy don't seem to have much in common. The former has a gritty exterior and discusses cocaine less as a drug and more as a lifestyle, while the latter has a habit of glistening and reminding us how he has all the money. One of the ways in which they are extremely similar, however, is their skill at the art of knowing everyone and being everywhere. Diddy has made a career of always finding his way on-camera, onto a remix, or to the right party. His protégé, young grasshopper Montana, is a quick learner — in the past six months, he's landed on the Drake-headlined Club Paradise Tour, and has become second only to 2Chainz as far as star-studded collaborations go, most notably the car-rattling, Vanessa Bryant–referencing anthem "Stay Schemin.'"
While landing a verse on that song was an accomplishment, perhaps more impressive is what French did on accident, that being the invention of a word. That word: "fanute." Due to a hard-to-decipher drawl, his opening lyric "From the hoopty coupe, to that Ghost dawwwg" was interpreted by a significant chunk of the listening population as "Fanute the coupe." Was "fanute" a word in 2011? No. Has it, somehow, taken on a life of its own, loosely defined as anything from "switch out" to "accumulate funds" to literally anything you want? Absolutely.
Nineteen-year-old Brit would-be pop-star Charli XCX dropped a new single and a new mixtape, Heartbreaks and Earthquakes, this week. This track has a spoken-word bridge in which Charli reveals just how much "you" mean to her — "I’m drinking love potion when I’m next to you," etc. — which feels very '90s, which is comforting. I welcome her potential future radio domination.
As it does every year, XXL has just released its 2012 "Freshman Class" cover, a collection of MCs the magazine has decreed to be ascendant, near-world-conquering types. Considering the basic facts of the exercise — the max number of people that can be represented, the implied attempt at diversity in the selections, the sheer impossibility of getting a bunch of rappers together in the same room at the same time — the omissions and inclusions on this list always piss people off. So, congratulations to: Machine Gun Kelly, Danny Brown, Kid Ink, Future, Roscoe Dash, Hopsin, Macklemore, Don Trip, Iggy Azalea, and French Montana. Now here are the manners and reasons as to why people are mad at you on the Internet right now.
So you’re a famous rapper, and your team just won the Super Bowl – what do you do? Record an ill-advised tribute track, of course! New songs have popped up from both the Bronx’s French Montana and Queens’ LL Cool J (studio in the NCIS: Los Angeles trailer?) paying homage to the New York Giants in awkward, rushed fashion. Look: I, in no way, believe it to be necessary to disparage or nullify the warm glow that blooms deep within the heart of a diehard, and then sticks around in there for weeks while they weepily watch YouTube highlights every 15 minutes after their team wins a title. I just think it’s something best kept to oneself.