Pharrell

RCA

RCA

Jennifer Hudson’s latest offering, “He Ain’t Going Nowhere,” feels eerily similar to Usher’s “She Came To Give It To You.”

The retro-inspired Pharrell-produced tracks don’t sound alike sonically, but they both suffer from being completely underwhelming despite the huge names attached. Where Usher’s single features Nicki Minaj, Hudson’s newest offering features “Black Widow” rapper Iggy Azalea.

As I said about “She Came To Give It To You,” none of “He Ain’t Going Nowhere’s” elements are individually awful, but, as a whole, the single is quite mediocre.

We’ve heard much better from all three of the artists involved, which is probably why my expectations were so high.

Hudson is preparing to release her third studio album, JHUD, on Sept. 23. Meanwhile, Usher’s album has been shelved until further notice.

Listen to “He Ain’t Going Nowhere” over at BuzzFeed.

Usher and Nicki Minaj in "She Came To Give It To You" video

Usher and Nicki Minaj in “She Came To Give It To You” video

If I told you Usher, Nicki Minaj and Pharrell recently worked on a song together you’d expect it to be a massive hit, right? That’s what drags their latest collaboration “She Came To Give It To You” down.

The single isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not the major song you’d expect from the “Little Freak” collaborators and one of the biggest producers in the industry, either. It’s safe.

Usher parties and performs in a hidden room club in the similarly safe music video for the bass-heavy song. Nicki Minaj eventually shows up and starts making crazy faces in front of a bunch of televisions and Pharrell lurks around, holding up the wall and nodding his head.

The stars are mostly seen in separate scenes, with the exception of a few quick shots of Minaj and Usher on television screens.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen this video concept countless times before so it likely won’t elevate the single.

Admittedly, if some less established artists had released this same single and video it probably would be received better.

These three have set the bar way higher.

The video’s release comes after Usher and Minaj performed the song together at the VMAs over the weekend.

Continue reading

Pharrell and Miley Cyrus in "Come Get It Bae" video

Pharrell and Miley Cyrus in “Come Get It Bae” video

We’re three videos into the visuals for Pharrell’s G I R L album (I’m not counting “Happy” because it was originally for Despicable Me 2) so, if you’ve been paying attention, by this point you should know what the gist of this new video is. Female empowerment is the purpose, as usual. Dancing is the vehicle.

Pharrell films a group of women as they perform choreography to his song “Come Get It Bae” in thew newly released video. The choreography isn’t new. The singer’s backup dancers have been performing it alongside Pharrell live for a while now. But it’s never looked this fun. The ladies in the video seriously seem to be having a blast!

And then Miley Ray Cyrus appears doing what she does best: smiling and having a great time.

At the end of the visuals I feel pretty inspired to learn the song’s choreography, although I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t go as well as it does for the women in the video. Pharrell won’t be there to cheer me on, after all. Continue reading

Apple

Apple

The 2014 iTunes Festival is looming and the first round of performers have been revealed.

Sam Smith, Pharrell, Kylie, Maroon 5 and Beck, 5 Seconds of Summer and Kiesza are just a few of the artists whose names are currently on display on the festival’s official website.

The month-long festival takes place in September every year and is streamed live to Apple customers from London.

The festival came to the United States for the first time this year at SXSW with performers like Coldplay hitting the stage.

Usher and Nicki Minaj in "Lil Freak" video

Usher and Nicki Minaj in “Lil Freak” video

Usher’s new song is a nod (of sorts) to SOS’s Band’s “Just Be Good To me” and that’s probably why you’ll like it.

The Pharrell-produced “She Came To Give It To You” is less suggestive than Usher’s other recent releases (“Good Kisser” and “I Don’t Mind“) and it features a verse from “Pills N Potions” rapper Nicki Minaj. Usher and Minaj always make good music together. The two previously collaborated on “Lil Freak” back in 2010.

The funky bassline and background melodies are the real standouts here, though.

Usher will release his eighth studio album later this year. Disclosure recently remixed the album’s lead single “Good Kisser.” Continue reading

BET

BET

Let’s be honest, most of us forgot about the BET Awards up until the last minute this year. The Awards Show just didn’t seem to be offering anything worth watching based on it’s promo.

It turns out, though, there were actually some genuinely good surprises in this year’s show. And, no, Beyonce and Jay Z’s “special performance” (from their On the Run tour via satellite) was not one of them. From Chris Brown’s first performance since being released from jail, to unexpected medleys from Usher and throwback bands like Silk and Color Me Badd to a surprise appearance from Missy Elliott during Pharrell’s opening number, this show really was full of exciting moments.

Maybe it’s a good thing the network didn’t tweet out the surprises before the show. A part of what made them great is that they were genuinely unexpected.

Nicki Minaj, Jhene Aiko, John Legend, Lil Wayne and more also graced the stage during the show. Continue reading

Disclosure

Disclosure

Can you believe Pharrell’s “Frontin” is 11 years old as of this week?!

Disclosure has reworked Pharrell’s debut solo single and say they may let fans download it for free when they reach 1 million likes on Facebook. With the help of a few synths, the duo is able to infuse the style associated with their debut album Settle into the popular throwback track, which they say is one of their favorite songs EVER.

Let this be your excuse to dance around your room for a little while before you get your day started! Continue reading

Pharrell Williams in “Happy” video

Pharrell Williams in “Happy” video

Pharrell, Usher, Drake and Lil Wayne will perform at the 2014 BET Awards on June 29.

The artists are the first performers to be announced for the annual awards show, which will be hosted by Chris Rock this year. The live show will take place in L.A. at the Nokia Theatre.

Jay Z and Beyonce lead this year’s nominees with four nominations each.

Rap Up

Twitter (The Voice)

Twitter (The Voice)

Gwen Stefani: strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.

Let the fact that Gwen Stefani gave birth to her son on February 28 and is already back to strutting her stuff on stage sink in before we proceed…

The mother and No Doubt songstress is officially ready to take her seat and add The Voice judge to her resume and she celebrated by performing her hit single “Hollaback Girl” with her friend/collaborator Pharrell, who is also new to the reality singing competition’s judge lineup.

The two judges reunited before this performance at the iHeartRadio Music Awards last week where Stefani presented Pharrell with the Innovator Award.

It’s safe to say the time off didn’t do any harm, as Stefani delivered a solid performance, even dropping it low a few times. Watching this definitely makes me sad that the singer isn’t planning to release any solo music at the moment.

Stefani replaces Christina Aguilera, who is currently pregnant with her second child, as a judge on the popular show. Continue reading

iHeartRadio

iHeartRadio

We didn’t really need another awards show, but we got one.

It’s true, the best part of the iHeartRadio Music Awards was the intros for the award categories and the L.A. montage that played during 30 Seconds to Mars’ performance (can we get a full documentary on that, please?). Besides that the awards show went a lot like all of the others: Rihanna showed up LATE, donning an interesting new hairstyle; Luke Bryan sang the sang same song that he’s performed at all of the other awards shows over the last year; Pitbull performed something; There was a tribute (or tw0) of sorts.

Honestly, if you didn’t get to tune in you didn’t really miss much, but just in case you’re still curious, check out a few of the performances from the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards below. Continue reading