Kendrick Lamar has defended his decision to brand himself the 'King of New York' in a new song after it prompted derision from hip-hop heavyweights Jay Z and Sean 'Diddy' Combs. The rapper made the controversial statement on Big Sean's single Control, but it prompted a withering response from Combs on Twitter.com along with negative comments from Lupe Fiasco and Cassidy.
Now Lamar has spoken out to address the issue, insisting the lyric has been taken out of context.
He tells Los Angeles radio station Power 106, "I think it's a case of maybe I should dumb down my lyrics just a little bit... The irony of that line is that the people who actually understood it and got it were the actual kings of New York, you know, me sitting down with them this past week, and them understanding, it's not actually about being the king of whatever coast, it's about leaving a mark as great as Biggie (Notorious B.I.G.), as great as Pac (Tupac Shakur)."
Lamar also insists he's happy to stoke up from friendly competition with his rival rappers, telling New York's Hot 97, "A lot of people think it's about talent, that's where they get it wrong. I'm saying I'm the most hungry. I respect the legends in the game, I respect the people that done it before me, the people that lost their lives over this. Because of what they laid down, I'm gonna try to go harder, breathe it and live it, that's the point of the whole verse."
Justin Timberlake ruled the MTV Video Music Awards in New York on Sunday (25Aug13) by picking up four honours and delivering the night's performance highlight. The pop superstar took home the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, Video of the Year for Mirrors, which also claimed Best Editing honours, and his Suit & Tie promo earned the Best Direction prize.
He also wowed with a show-stopping performance featuring a medley of his solo hits and a brief 'N SYNC reunion.
Rap duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were also big winners - they scored Best Hip Hop Video and Best Cinematography trophies for their Can't Hold Us promo and also landed the night's Best Video with a Social Message award for their gay anthem Same Love, which they performed with Mary Lambert and special guest Jennifer Hudson.
Lady Gaga kicked off the ceremony at the Barclays Center in typical bizarre fashion, dressed as a futuristic Mother Superior. The Paparazzi singer began her performance of new single Applause wearing a weird white nun's habit but the get-up was quickly ripped off her by dancers to reveal a glittery black leotard with matching skull cap.
That outfit became a shimmering blue two-piece, topped by a peroxide white wig. The pop superstar also donned a canary yellow wig and face paint during the opening performance, and wrapped it up following a quick change, dashing out in a two-piece bikini and long blonde shaggy hairpiece.
Other performance highlights included Miley Cyrus, who performed We Can't Stop surrounded by dancing teddy bears, while wearing a fluffy grey bodice. She also sported a new hairstyle - tight cat-ear-like bunches on top and a short ponytail.
The former child star then proved she's all grown up by ripping off her top to reveal orange rubber bra and panties as she took part in a performance of Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. The hitmaker strutted out on stage wearing the thick-striped black and white suit.
During the pair's suggestive routine, Cyrus donned a large foam hand to feel Thicke up with and then bent over and wiggled her backside into the singer's crotch while smiling with her tongue hanging out.
After watching Cyrus dancing with Thicke, comedian Kevin Hart joked, "Miley better go and get a damn pregnancy test after doing all that grinding."
Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Drake also hit the Barclays Center stage, while Katy Perry closed the 2013 ceremony by performing her new song Roar from underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.
The full list of 2013 MTV VMAs winners is:
Video of the Year - Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
Best Hip-Hop Video - Can't Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
Best Male Video - Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars
Best Female Video - I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift
Best Pop Video - Come & Get It by Selena Gomez
Artist to Watch - Austin Mahone
Best Collaboration - Just Give Me a Reason by Pink featuring Nate Ruess
Best Video with a Social Message - Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert
Best Rock Video - Up in the Air by 30 Seconds to Mars
Best Art Direction - Q.U.E.E.N by Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu
Best Choreography - Treasure by Bruno Mars
Best Cinematography - Can't Hold Us bu Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
Best Direction - Suit & Tie by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z
Best Editing - Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
Best Visual Effects - Safe & Sound by Capital Cities
Best Song of the Summer - Best Song Ever by One Direction
The MTV Video Music Awards may no longer award Moonmen in categories such as "Best Post-Modern Music Video," but that doesn't mean the awards show has sold out and gone all mainstream. In fact, thanks to its location, nominees, and lineup, we may be poised for the most hipster VMAs of all time.
LOCATIONTalk about street cred. In 2013, the VMAs moved to Brooklyn for the first time ever. The show will be nestled in the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets (the most hipster of basketball teams), Brooklyn's first state of the art stadium, which Jay Z himself had a stake in. The stadium serves food from local vendors and the basketball court itself — which, granted, will not be in place during the awards show — is herringbone. If Brooklyn wasn't hipster enough (which it is; it's basically the epicenter of hipster), the stadium certainly is — this ain't the Staples Center.
THE NOMINEESBrigitte Engl/WENN
Holy indie bands, Batman! While teen-friendly staples like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez and blockbuster favorites like Justin Timberlake and Kanye West rule this year's list of nominees, quite a few indie bands are also getting their time in the spotlight this year — and what's more hipster than an indie band? Sure, the list includes gettin'-too-big-for-their-britches Mumford & Sons and fun., but we could also see less mainstream artists like Duck Sauce, Flying Lotus, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Capital Cities, and The Weeknd take home a trophy. And, while we're at it, Janelle Monae, Lana Del Rey, Vampire Weekend, Imagine Dragons, Miguel, and Iggy Azalea — is this an awards show or a warehouse party in Bushwick?
THE LINEUPAnd things get even more hipster when you consider the presenters and performers. We've been promised appearances by everyone's-fantasy-hipster-boyfriend Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the chillest-host-to-ever-sit-behind-a-Late-Night-desk Jimmy Fallon, Scottish-powerhouse-and-style-icon Emeli Sandé, and I'm-so-hipster-I-bleed-PBR Jared Leto. There is also a rumored surprise performance by Daft Punk because of course.
BONUS: LENA DUNHAM Fun. is nominated for a VMA. Lena Dunham is dating fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff. There's a good chance Lena Dunham will be at the Barclays Center tonight. And anything Lena Dunham attends automatically gets 5 million hipster points.
The VMAs air on MTV Sunday, Aug. 25 at 9 PM ET.
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Rapper Kendrick Lamar has risked the wrath of his hip-hop peers by taking aim at the likes of Drake, Wale and J. Cole in his new verse on Big Sean's track Control. Even his song collaborator isn't immune to the lyrical jabs as Lamar spits: "I'm usually homeboys with the same n**gas I'm rhyming with/ But this is hip-hop and them n**gas should know what time it is/ And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale/ Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake/ Big Sean, Jay Electron', Tyler, Mac Miller/ I got love for you all but I'm tryna murder you n**gas/ Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you n**gas/ They don't wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you n**gas."
Rapper Drake turned his OVO Festival in Canada into a star-studded affair on Monday night (05Aug13) by introducing Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Tlc to the stage and reuniting Sean 'Diddy' Combs with his former protege Ma$E. The Best I Ever Had hitmaker closed out his fourth annual event with a headlining set at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in his native Toronto and he made sure fans were given a show to remember by packing in the guest appearances from his hip-hop peers Wale, Big Sean, A$AP Rocky and French Montana, as well as R&B singers The Weeknd and Miguel.
West took over the stage to perform Can't Tell Me Nothing and New Slaves, and heaped praise on Drake, crediting the rapper with inspiring the Stronger star to team up with Jay Z for their 2011 collaborative album, Watch the Throne.
He said, "Me and Hov (Jay Z) would have never made Watch the Throne if this n**ga wouldn't have been pushing on us like that (sic)."
Lil Wayne then joined Drake for renditions of their joint songs The Motto, HYFR and Love Me, before the audience was taken back to the late 1990s with a surprise set by Combs and Ma$e, who teamed up for covers of Notorious B.I.G.'s Mo Money Mo Problems and It's All About the Benjamins.
The surviving members of TLC also took part in the nostalgic gig with Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins and Rozanda 'Chilli' Thomas running through No Scrubs and Waterfalls, while Lil Mama - who will portray tragic rapper Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes in an upcoming TV biopic - also made an appearance onstage, although she did not perform.
The big gig ensured the OVO Festival ended on a high after singer Frank Ocean was forced to pull out of headlining the first night of the event due to a tear to one of his vocal cords. His absence prompted organisers to scrap Sunday's (04Aug13) line-up and instead expand Monday's show.
Linkin Park took their legions of fans on a trip down memory lane during their headlining set at the Sunset Strip Music Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday night (03Aug13) when they recalled playing their first shows at venues dotted along the fabled street. The rockers performed an 80-minute set of hits and singer/rapper Mike Shinoda even revamped a rap from an early song, titled Read My Eyes, that never made its way onto any of the band's albums.
Clearly emotional onstage at the full circle concert, he told fans, "Our first shows were at the Whisky (A Go Go) and Roxy. We played the majority of our first 15 shows there and it was our, like, dream... the Key Club used to be called Billboard Live and it was our be dream to be like, 'Dude, one day we're gonna be big enough to play Billboard Live!. And we would never have f**king thought that the dream wasn't to play Billboard Live; it was to play in front of f**king Billboard Live."
Bandmate Chester Bennington added, "Back when we were recording (album) Hybrid Theory and writing music for Hybrid Theory we'd have these crazy dreams, like, 'Wouldn't it be f**king cool if we shut down Sunset...?'"
Shinoda later recalled performing with Jay-Z at The Roxy, which was among the venues taking part in the SSMF, after spotting the club from the stage.
He added, "This is the most nostalgic show we've ever played," prompting Bennington to add, "I teared up, like, twice already."
The festival also gave Stone Temple Pilots fans a bonus - as both the band's current frontman Bennington and former lead singer Scott Weiland hit the stage on the same night, hundreds of yards apart - the Linkin Park star took over as STP's semi-permanent singer when Weiland was fired from the band earlier this year (13).
Weiland and his new band The Wildabouts added a second night to their Friday night (02Aug13) Viper Room gig and were performing there as Bennington left the main stage with Linkin Park.
Bennington made no mention of his other band during his set and Weiland made sure there was no bad blood between the two rockers by telling Rolling Stone magazine last week (ends02Aug13), "I've known Chester for a long time... I don't think Chester did it (replaced me) in a spiteful way."
Weiland and the remaining members of STP are currently locked in a legal dispute over the rights to the band name.
Jay-Z debuted his arty Picasso Baby promo on TV in America on Friday night (02Aug13). The 10-minute clip featured the rapper performing at the Pace Gallery in New York City surrounded by famous friends including moviemakers Jim Jarmusch and Judd Apatow, actors Alan Cumming, Adam Driver, Taraji P. Henson and Rosie Perez, and members of the Big Apple's art scene, including performance artist Marina Abramovic, who was personally thanked in the end credits of the Mark Romanek-directed video.
NBC may still be in fourth place, but that doesn't mean they were hurting for news at today's Television Critics Panel, in which the network's entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt and other Peacock execs unveiled a slate of exciting upcoming programming...and less than satisfactorily addressed NBC's shortcomings. Here's what we learned.
1. A Hillary Clinton Miniseries Is in the Works
Diane Lane has been cast to play the former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State in a four-hour miniseries event that will likely air in late 2014 or early 2015. Greenblatt was quick to note that it most likely will broadcast before Clinton announces whether or not she will seek the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination, a decision expected in spring or summer of 2015. No word yet on who will play Bill.
2. Rosemary's Baby to be Rebooted
Roman Polanski's 1968 horror-pregnancy classic will become a series, following the network's success with turning another classic horror movie franchise into a TV series in Hannibal.
3. Stephen King's The Tommyknockers To Get the Series Treatment
Considering the blockbuster numbers for CBS' summer adaptation of Stephen King's Under the Dome, NBC wants a piece of the action. So they're planning a series treatment for King's 1987 novel about the residents of a Maine town who slowly fall under the influence of a mysterious object in the woods, The Tommyknockers.
4. NBC's Ratings Are Fine!
Greenblatt defended NBC's ever-sagging ratings and suggested that there would be nothing the network could do to replicate the success of say, The Walking Dead, a hit so big he called it "an anomaly." Way to set the bar low!
5. Sunday Night Football Will Feature Matrix-style Replays
360-degree "bullet time" replays are in the works to give viewers an all-angle overview of key plays during Sunday Night Football next season. Sounds expensive, but considering that it's the only NBC franchise with blockbuster numbers it's probably a sound investment.
6. Sean Hayes Has a Bold Proclamation for His New Show
The former Will & Grace star, who despite playing a gay character for years on the hit series only recently came out of the closet himself, says sexuality isn't at the forefront of his new series Sean Saves the World. Rather, he calls it a "post-gay" series.
7. Sorry, Jessica Simpson
NBC has canceled the reality-competition show Fashion Star.
8. Praise for The New Normal, Just Not Renewal
Greenblatt called the Ryan Murphy-cocreated sitcom "ahead of its time" in its depiction of a gay couple...so ahead of its time that it had to be canceled.
9. They Want Jay Leno to Stick Around
But not on The Tonight Show, nor on a 10:00 variety show. Greenblatt says he's hoping Leno will become an NBC alumnus like Bob Hope, who in his later years didn't have a regular show on the network but remained loyal to it nonetheless, popping up for specials every now and then.
10. Why? Whyyyyyyyy?
In time for their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia next February, NBC Sports will produce an original documentary on the 20th anniversary of figure skater Nancy Kerrigan's infamous clubbing attack at the hands of the ex-husband of her skating rival, Tonya Harding.
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Jay-Z's Barclays Center venue in New York City has eclipsed Madison Square Garden to become America's most profitable concert venue. The rapper owns a percentage in the company which operates the venue and he is co-owner of resident basketball team the Brooklyn Nets. He also played the opening gig there in September (13).
The Brooklyn arena has since hosted some of the world's most famous musicians including the Rolling Stones and Sir Paul McCartney, as well as Justin Bieber and Rihanna, and new statistics show the Barclays Center raked in $46.9 million (£31.3 million) in concert ticket sales between 1 November (12) and 31 May (13).
The figure puts it ahead of the Big Apple's other famous arena, Manhattan's fabled Madison Square Garden, which scored second place in the list of America's top gig venues with sales of $39.5 million (£26.3 million), according to Billboard.com.
The figures also make the Barclays Center the second highest grossing concert venue in the world, coming in behind London's O2 Arena, which grossed $119 million (£79.3 million) in concert ticket sales over the same time period.
Beyonce and her rapper husband Jay-Z joined demonstrations on the streets of New York City on Saturday (20Jul13) to protest against the controversial verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. The stars have been among the most outspoken critics since neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges after fatally shooting the 17 year old in Florida in 2012.
The not guilty verdict sparked numerous protests across the U.S. and the celebrity supercouple joined in by attending a rally in the Big Apple on Saturday.
The stars joined the protest outside the New York Police Department headquarters in Manhattan, along with civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton.
Beyonce has also urged fans to sign a petition stemming from the case by posted a link to Moveon.org on her official website, with the statement: "We are still struggling with the issue of inequality and the lack of value for a black man's life. Trayvon Martin's most basic civil right, the right to live, was violated.
"We have made so much progress and cannot allow hatred and racism to divide us. When we all join together, people of all races, we have the power to change the world we live in."