Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is about to make some major announcements that will change Facebook as we know it. The social network has been keeping busy in the lead-up to f8, its annual developer conference. In the past few weeks, the company has revamped Friend Lists, added a …
Category Archives: Savvy Pop Culture
Born February 26th, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas, Johnny Cash caught the attention of a label after serving in U.S. Air Force. He soon found success in country music, though he also experimented with gospel and rockabilly. Cash even branched out into acting, and appeared on TV and in films. And despite substance abuse issues, he found love with June Carter. He continued to act and make music throughout his old age and even collaborated with contemporary artists, helping to raise his popularity before his death. In this WatchMojo.com video, we take a look at the life and career of Johnny Cash.
Definition: The name of whatever Sheen’s on.
Usage: “I am on a drug, it’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”
Definition: The end goal of Charlie Sheen’s life philosophy.
Usage: “The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning,” “Just winning every second,” “Winning, anyone?” “Duh, winning!”
Pronunciation: Quoth Sheen, “It rhymes with winning.”
Definition: Winning on the ultimate level.
Usage: I’m not bi-polar, “I’m bi-winning. I win here and I win there.”
Riding the mercury surfboard
Definition: Skillfully working one’s way into the headlines.
Usage: “It’s been a tsunami of media and I’ve been riding it on a mercury surfboard.” (See also: “winning.”)
Definition: Winning on the ultimate level.
Usage: I’m not bi-polar, “I’m bi-winning. I win here and I win there.”
Clearly the best but also saying:
“What’s not to love?” he said on ABC. “Especially when you see how I party. It was epic. The run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards just look like droopy-eyed armless children.”
Wearing a golden sombrero
Definition: Getting divorced four times in a row (kind of the opposite of a hat trick).
Usage: “I tried marriage. I’m 0 for 3 with the marriage thing. So, being a ballplayer — I believe in numbers. I’m not going 0 for 4. I’m not wearing a golden sombrero.”
Definition: What runs through Sheen’s veins, making him all-powerful.
Usage: “AA was written for normal people. People that don’t have tiger blood and Adonis DNA,” “[I survived drug addiction] because I’m me. I’m different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man.”
Sober Valley Lodge
Definition: The Beverly Hills home where Sheen claims he’s healed himself “with the power of my mind.”
Usage: “We couldn’t really call it rehab because we didn’t have a license to operate one, so it was a crisis management center that we labeled the Sober Valley Lodge. … Its primary client achieved radical success.”
Definition: Sheen’s nickname for himself, based on his preferred position between his two blonde 24-year-old girlfriends, a.k.a. “the goddesses.”
Usage: “It’s a wedge. Boom. You form a wedge to make room for the guy carrying the ball.”
Definition: An exclamation used to signify the end of a mind-blowing statement.
Usage: “You have the right to kill me, but you do not have the right to judge me. Boom. That’s the whole movie. That’s life.” “[My ex-wife Denise Richards] shows up looking the way she does. … Wow! Everybody’s winning. Boom!” “White gold? Boom!” (Synonyms: Bang.)
Definition: An exclamation used to signify the end of a conversation.
Usage: “That’s how I roll. And if it’s too gnarly for people, then buh-bye,” “Oh wait, can’t process it. Losers. Winning. Buh-bye.”
His half-sung vocals, alternately surly and vulnerable, weave in and out of the mix along with distorted guitars, sweeping strings, twinkling harpsichords, ghostly samples, and who knows what else. No other major-label rapper in 2010 is pushing boundaries in quite the same way.
On the surface Kid Cudi‘s Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager is an ambitious 17-track drug-fueled diary detailing dark times and the forces behind them. Beneath the surface however, Rager is a cautionary tale which captures Cudi’s shift away from one stage of his life to the next. As he explained to Spin‘s Sean Fennessey recently, “It’s a chapter of my life I’m closing.” He continued by describing the album as being “for those whom cocaine does not work.” Following a year which included a high-profile arrest and a trail of drug use which seemingly followed Cudi everywhere he went, the MC now claims a clean(er) lifestyle, relating his new perspective during the cover story for Complex magazine’s fall issue. “Yup. No more blow. People do drugs to camouflage emotions and run away from their problems. Now I’m going to deal with certain things as they come, prioritize shit—man up, so to speak.” So where does that leave Cudi now, and how does all of this personal growth translate through his new album? In short: a clear mind is apparently of little detriment to the 26 year old superstar.
The dark themes that run throughout Rager can be largely summed up by a lyrical blast in the second of the album’s five acts. With “Mojo So Dope” Cudi lays out the blueprint for the hour-long journey, “Damn, you must understand, when I speak about a song this is really how I am/Yeah, this is how I really think, you could see what I see, yes I really think/Yes I really drink, I really do rage.” And as referenced in the vocalist’s statement which lumped drug use and emotional instability together, there are indeed many issues which need to be uncovered here, and Rager simply appears to be the first step in Cudi’s emotional rehabilitation.
Enhanced by Cee Lo‘s stunning chorus, the album opens with “Scott Mescudi vs. the World,” a track which sets the stage for conflict immediately with the opening bar, “What up?/How’s everyone doing?/You’re now in a world I’m ruining.” The track’s thumping beat sets a musical tone which is felt throughout, but it’s the young MC’s confusion and struggles which push the album to its full potential. The hollow beat in “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young” only goes to reflect the emptiness portrayed through the lyrics, Cudi speaking of his late father’s habits being passed down to him. Sampling St. Vincent‘s ominous “The Strangers,” “Maniac” finds Cudi appropriately joined by underground MC Cage/ whose 2009 release wholly focused on “exorcising demons.” Late in the album “All Along” again points out the insecurity which has hidden at the core of Cudi’s life, “All along, I guess I’m meant to be alone, out there on my own.” Self-admittedly however, Cudi’s emotions took a back seat to the drug use in his real life, and the same can be said for much of the stories in Rager.
Early on in the album Mary J. Blige steps in with “Don’t Play This Song,” working behind Cudi as he rumbles over a low-key beat, “HBO, that Vitamin Water: that’s money to blow.” And as history has proven time and time again, an excessive amount of expendable income mixed with mental instability and a taste for candy rarely ends well. “Marijuana” find a repeating chorus take precedent over any real substance, “Pretty green bud, all in my blood” (the song closes at four minutes and twenty seconds with Cudi cheekily adding, “aaaaaaand 4:20”). Blige returns for “These Worries” as Cudi parallels his substance intake and subsequent abuse with his teetering sanity, “It’s a full-time job not to lose my faith”; adding an aural coke snort and morning-after inventory (“So much whiskey all in my liver”) for good measure.
The main focus of the album is Cudi’s alluded-to twist in perspective though, and the greater part of Rager reflects that shift. Coasting through the album’s infectious production—supplied by any number of talents ranging from Bruno Mars‘ Smeezingtons crew to Jim Jonsin to Cudi, himself—is a series of key tracks which help direct the artist toward his conclusion found in album-closer “Trapped in My Mind.” “REVOFEV” finds Cudi checking himself, “Wake up, things might get rough/No need to stress, keeps you down too much,” while “We Aite (Wake Up Your Mind)” thematically follows Cudi as he opens his eyes to the world, and “GHOST!” finds Cudi dumbfounded in his density, “Got to get it through my thick head that I was so close to being dead.” Most interesting is the epiphany found in “Ashin’ Kusher” however, where the vocalist takes a step back from the static and blasts those who have judged him for his past indiscretions, “If you know me man, I don’t really worry ’bout a nigga tryin’ to judge: Who are you, Judy?”
While those approaching Rager with any expectations are likely to be surprised, most are likely to be satisfied with the results. That being said, there are some tracks that stand out for their inconsistencies. “The Mood” is out of place, lyrically, as it follows a story of sexing it up with a French female, and its beat isn’t strong enough to demand that it make the final cut amongst the album’s already-lengthy track list. Just as those who went into Man on the Moon I with only “Day ‘n’ Nite” in mind to prepare them, those who are only familiar with “Erase Me” are in for a shock. The song is enjoyable, and Kanye West‘s cameo stands as one of the highlights of the record, but the song isn’t musically representative of Rager and is merely a palette cleanser that Cudi himself has brushed off for having been created on a whim.
As the story comes to a close with “Trapped in My Mind,” Cudi seems to have answered the question of whether or not he has made it out of the past year with a shred of sanity. Concluding that being trapped in his mind is no longer a curse, Cudi digresses by simply embracing his new found comfort, “Hey it’s not that bad at all.” Therein lies Cudi’s mission statement as he goes forward with his next projects: to hold true to himself his feelings, and continue to learn how to approach them in a healthy fashion rather than suppressing them as he’s done in the past. While he’s known for proudly wearing an ego so self-assured that it might only be on par with his good friend Kanye, what Kid Cudi has created with his sophomore album shows exponential growth, as an artist and as a person, from the tight-pants MC who made it big a few years back. Now all that remains is to go forward and keep progressing; as GLC rhymes in “The End,” “My brother told me a long time ago, don’t focus where you bein’ G, focus where you tryin’ to go.”
Just another puppet that’s being controlled by the label. She’s just very overrated, plastic, corporate-produced, pre-packaged garbage.
She doesn’t have enough talent to be as big as she is. Her voice is nothing special and her singing is definitely not as skilled as even many American Idol contestants. I do think she made it big because of her looks(which I also, don’t understand because she doesn’t seem attractive at all to me either). There are so many more gorgeous girls from the Carribean with much more beautiful voices. What also irritates me, is that instead of counting her blessings and being thankful for where she is, Rihanna instead, acts rude and stuck up to her fans with a diva attitude as if she can sing like Whitney Houston(if you go on TMZ and look up the video with her leaving I think the Late Show while ignoring her fans, you’ll understand what I’m talking about). She’s fortunate to even be noticed by them. There are dozens of people with more talent who should truly be in her place, but, like they say, life can be unfair.
Most of the garbage popular music is enhanced in the studio to sound good. Nearly all of these so called artists that are incredibly popular are really talentless hacks and are popular for their marketability through tv, magazines and videos. Hell look at T-Pain, the guy is a total joke. He uses auto-tune and everyone thinks it sounds so cool. Its takes no talent to do that, its a computer changing the pitch of his voice. Autotune programs can make steven hawking sound like that. People need to get a clue before decent music dies completely.
Because in the studio, they are able to do multiple takes until they get it right. Also, in the studio there are countless mastering effects, vocal tools, etc. They have software that can fix the pitch of your voice, make it fuller, etc.
Rihanna for example simply has no talent, notice how she like always touches her crotch or is wearing october 31st attire on stage or something like that see that’s meant to distract from the fact that she sounds like a goat making orgasam Noises underwater lol
I find it amazing how some people think she is the “next Beyoncé”. Rihanna will NEVER even come CLOSE to the amazing, powerful, soulful voice of B. She has some catchy songs, but the writers DEFINITELY gave them to the wrong artist.
She is better than most of the Disney “singers”, though. **cough cough MILEY CYRUS **cough cough JONAS BROTHERS *cough cough
She doesn’t have a great voice and doesn’t write songs or play any instruments. If you listen to her sing live you will know what I mean when I say her voice is nothing special.
She is just another one of those “hot” celebs with no real talent. Just like Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears etc. I could go on and on.
I do not hate her- she’s obviously adored my many humans..but it erks me that so many people I know drool over her and I’m left looking like the douche when I break out with all the above. Her music is catchy, I like to dance to it…but that’s not because I like her- just the production work EVERYONE ELSE puts in.
Sighs. Just needed to vent ya’ll.
SAGITTARIUS December 19 – January 20
CAPRICORNUS January 21 – February 16
AQUARIUS February 17 – March 13
PISCES March 14 – April 19
ARIES April 20 – May 15
TAURUS May 16 – June 21
GEMINI June 22 – July 21
CANCER July 22 – August 10
LEO August 11 – September 17
VIRGO September 18 – October 31
LIBRA November 1 – November 24
SCORPIUS November 25 – November 30
OPHIUCHUS December 1 – December 18
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This year he became the go-to guy for hip-hop melody, shaping the sound of radio with a pair of hits on which he wrote, produced and sang. They were virtual gifts to run-of-the-mill, melodically inclined rappers: “Nothin’ on You,” which became a No. 1 Billboard pop hit for the Atlanta rapper B.o.B, and “Billionaire,” by the Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy, which went to the top five.
But his placelessness hasn’t always been an asset. Born Peter Gene Hernandez, Mr. Mars is primarily of Puerto Rican and Filipino descent, which proved to be an obstacle in his industry dealings. “I was always like, girls like me in school, how come these labels don’t like me?” he said.
An early record deal with Motown went nowhere. Race was always a concern. “Sadly, maybe that’s the way you’ve got to look at it,” he said. “I guess if I’m a product, either you’re chocolate, you’re vanilla or you’re butterscotch. You can’t be all three.” He named his debut EP, released this year, “It’s Better if You Don’t Understand” — a taunt.
“Don’t look at me — listen to my damn music,” he said. “I’m not a mutant.”
He now has before him the daunting task of getting out from a shadow of his own making. (Though the spotlight isn’t always friendly: he was arrested last month in Las Vegas on suspicion of cocaine possession.) For the moment, at least, he’s the most important male singer working in hip-hop, a short but proud lineage that includes Nate Dogg, Pharrell Williams, Akon and, more or less, T-Pain. Rap-R&B collaborations have been plentiful for almost two decades, but typically it’s a female singer called in to add sultriness to an aggressive song. Mr. Mars is part of a little-discussed parallel history, one whose shape he’s changing. These collaborations are only one part of Mr. Mars’s catalog, but they matter.
His fluency with hip-hop is an implicit part of his songwriting, even on songs that don’t feature rappers. He also has a gift for songs with global reach. Matisyahu’s “One Day,” a Smeezingtons production, was used by NBC in its coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and Mr. Mars produced and wrote on “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan, a version of which was used as Coca-Cola’s promotional anthem for the 2010 World Cup. They’re songs fit for tourists.
And Mr. Mars knows how to grab attention quickly. A bit of the Sheraton Waikiki was peeking through during the Bowery Ballroom show. Mr. Mars and his band wore coordinated blue blazers and skinny ties. His tuft of hair was trimmed to a neat fade on the sides. There was dancing involved. He was a natural showman, as if he’d been doing it for decades.