Instagram (Nicki Minaj)

Instagram (Nicki Minaj)

Paid sisters Beyonce and Nicki Minaj surprised fans with an explosive performance of their “Flawless” remix in Paris last night during Bey and Jay-Z’s On The Run tour.

Many of the artists’ fans were already speculating that the ladies would link up on stage since they were both in Paris, but that didn’t stop the crowd from going CRAZY when Minaj walked on stage.

Beyonce mostly stood by mugging as Minaj delivered her verse, but she did join in for one line in particular. “Mayday Mayday, Earth to bitches,” she lipped.

Watch a clip from the performance now before the Beyency snatches it off YouTube. Continue reading

Chris Brown performs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Chris Brown performs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

It seems like people are definitely embracing Chris Brown a little more these days. The singer appeared on The Tonight Show last night and absolutely killed his performance.

Breezy performed chunks of his new album’s title track “X” and his hit single “Loyal.” Brown’s vocals were pretty good, but, as usual, his dancing was the draw here.

X leaked a few days ago, although it’s not scheduled to be released until Tuesday, Sept. 16.

As usual, I try not to post new songs once an album has leaked in full and I hold my review until the official release date. BUT, I will say I have been listening to “X” nonstop since the album leaked. The explosive, synth-heavy song about a on-again, off-again relationship is super addictive.

Watch the performance over on Rap-Up.

Sevyn Streeter covers Ariana Grande's "The Way"

Sevyn Streeter covers Ariana Grande’s “The Way”

Before releasing her debut solo EP Call Me Crazy, But… last year Sevyn Streeter was writing some pretty big hits for other artists. Ariana Grande’s breakout single “The Way” is one of them. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve been waiting for Streeter to cover the song since I found out she wrote it and The Grammys finally got her to do it.

Unfortunately, Streeter’s version of the song sounds a little strained vocally. In this case, she definitely did right to give this hit away…

Or maybe I’m just setting my cover standards too high today. 

Watch the cover here.

The Carters at the MTV VMAs

The Carters at the MTV VMAs

Last year ‘N Sync reunited at the MTV VMAs for Justin Timberlake’s Video Vanguard performance. This year, Beyonce sang all but one song off her 2013 self-titled visual album. The 15-minute set included bits of “Blow,” “Drunk In Love,” Partition,” “Flawless,” “Blue” and more and, while one of the highlights was definitely footage of Beyonce’s daughter dancing along in the audience, it’s safe to say Bey definitely stole the show and lived up to her husband’s claim that she’s the “greatest living entertainer.”

Everything from the video displays to the dancers and the transitions were a reflection of the effort Beyonce puts into every single one of her shows so that each detail is a memorable experience for fans. If you haven’t seen her live yet, this performance should convince you to tap into your piggy bank and make it happen ASAP.

The only thing that even came close to touching Beyonce’s performance was her acceptance speech. The singer was presented the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award by her husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy, who couldn’t stop clapping and cheering her mother on. It was a touching moment, especially considering Blue first made her world debut from her mother’s belly on the VMA stage back in 2011.

(Also, a simple embrace and kiss from Jay Z and Beyonce was a stronger statement about their marriage than any PR statement addressing the rumors could ever be…)

And, thus, the Carters continue to rule the land.

Blue woke up like this...

Blue woke up like this…

Continue reading

Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj perform "Bang Bang" at the MTV VMAs

Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj perform “Bang Bang” at the MTV VMAs

The MTV VMAs wasn’t spectacular this year, but it wasn’t terrible either. It was fun, but not particularly memorable (Beyonce aside). Honestly, we all know that how well an awards show is received is directly related to acceptance speech antics and performances. This year, everyone kept their acceptance speeches short and shade-free and the performances, while good, weren’t instant classics, either.

Ariana Grande opened the show by coming out of a spaceship and performing her intergalactic Zedd-assisted hit single “Break Free” from her sophomore album My Everything, which is out today. Ironically, Grande’s kid friendly performance gave way to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” where the singer humped the floor and recreated the video’s chair sequence in a green two piece. Minaj ran off the stage to change as Grande joined Jessie J on the stage for their major collaboration “Bang Bang” just minutes after the product placement-heavy video debuted online. The rapper made it to the stage for her verse, but she didn’t have time to zip up her dress so she just held is shut with her hands for the end of their set. Aside from Beyonce’s 15-minute-long performance, this was the performance highlight of the night. Wardrobe malfunction and all. Sam Smith, 5 Seconds of Summer, Maroon 5, Usher and Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora all delivered solid, albeit conventional, performances, too.

Surprisingly the night’s biggest disappointment performance-wise was Taylor Swift. The good news is she didn’t twerk. The bad news is she just twisted around the stage with a bunch of men in suits to her new single “Shake It Off”. If it wasn’t for the commentary about the dancer who was bitten by a snake during Nicki Minaj’s rehearsal the day before (The anaconda boa constrictor DID…), the performance would’ve been a total snooze. Swift, you’re a full on pop star now. It’s time to step completely outside of the box.

Watch the performances below. Continue reading



Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande and 5 Seconds of Summer are among this year’s VMA performers that will be taking the awards show’s stage for the first time this Sunday (August 24). Nicki Minaj will also make her solo debut at the awards show.

It’s a big deal for the artists and, if done right, it could be the topic of everyone’s conversations for years to come. (I’m looking at you, Miley Cyrus.)

To celebrate the newcomers I’ve compiled a list of my favorite VMA debuts.

From Madonna to Lady Gaga (haha, sorry), check out the memorable performances below. Continue reading

Big Machine Records

Big Machine Records

On August 18 Yahoo will host a worldwide live stream where Taylor Swift will reveal “big secrets” and, likely, release a new single from her forthcoming highly-anticipated album. On August 24 she will perform at the MTV VMAs.

The singer has remained mum on the details of both events following their announcements.

All we know is the Queen of snarky, shady, slightly immature, but significantly irresistible songwriting is about to return.

Other VMA performers include Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, 5 Seconds of Summer and Usher.

Jazmine Sullivan performs "Stupid Girls"

Jazmine Sullivan performs “Stupid Girls”

Men aren’t usually the ones raving about Jazmine Sullivan, considering the singer is often bashing them or their property in her music. That’s what makes it sort of hilarious that Sullivan decided to debut a new song, “Stupid Girls,” in a barbershop full of men in New Orleans.

When she first enters the barbershop the men look less than thrilled, but a few of them can’t help but nod along once she starts singing.

“And if you love them like I do, you’ll be a fool,” Sullivan sings. Her husky vocals and precise vocal runs are as chill-inducing as ever.

The performance was shot around the time of the Essence Music Festival for NPR.

So far we’ve only gotten one single from Sullivan’s forthcoming comeback album. We need more. ASAP. Continue reading

Instagram (Nicki Minaj)

Instagram (Nicki Minaj)

Nicki Minaj has been added to the growing list of MTV VMA performers.

My initial thought was that Minaj could be joining Beyonce for a performance of the new “Flawless Remix,” but, according to MTV, Minaj will be delivering her first solo performance during the awards show.

Still, this doesn’t mean the rapper won’t join Beyonce at a different time in the show. After all, Bey is up for the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, so she has to have something special up her sleeve for her performance. (And by special I don’t mean playing a performance from this year’s On the Run tour, either.)

Other performers include Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, Usher, 5 Seconds of Summer, Maroon 5 and Ariana Grande.

The MTV VMAs will air on August 24 at 9 p.m. EST.

Beyonce in “Pretty Hurts” video

Beyonce in “Pretty Hurts” video

It’s only right that the artist that unceremoniously dropped the critically acclaimed visual album of the last year perform at the MTV VMAs and receive the coveted Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, right?

The Video Music Awards would almost feel pointless without acknowledging the woman who dropped 14 new music videos and songs in the middle of the night last December, completely shocking not only fans and critics, but also the people that worked behind the scenes on the project.

MTV announced Beyonce as the latest performer and recipient of the award, which went to Justin Timberlake last year, this morning.

In addition receiving the Video Vanguard Award, the singer is also nominated for eight awards at this year’s show, including the Video of the Year award.

Update: “Black Widow” collaborators Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora have just been added to the growing list of performers that already includes Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, 5 Seconds of Summer and Usher.

The MTV VMAs will air on August 24 at 9 p.m. EST.