Latest Blog Posts

Tech N9ne's 'Fear' music video hits hard

Tech N9ne's 'Fear' music video hits hard

One of the most personal -- and career best -- moments in the rapper's life

Tech N9ne has been at the rap game for 15 years, with more than a dozen proper studio sets to his name.

Time hasn't slowed him down, either: the rhymer introduced a couple of the best songs of his career with latest collection "Strangeulation," one of which is "Fear," a track about dying and the loss of his mother.

"Is there sound when the ground absorbs me?" Tech asks over the emotional loops, and with the video elements added to "Fear," consider yourself hooked. The 5-minute clip starts with a message to his fans:

"On November 27th 2013 I recorded 'Fear,' one of the most emotional songs of my entire career. The Strange Music video team shot the video on April 7th, 2014, days before I left for my tour in the course of waiting for the release, my greatest fear happened on June 6th, 2014, and I lost my ange l- my mother. Maudie Sue Yates-Khalifah.

"It's important for my fans to know that this is the most personal music video of my career and I never could have imagined what it would mean to me today. This is the final version of 'Fear,' for my fans worldwide.

"Thank you everyone for your love and support."

For many who have experienced the "toughest thing to swallow," "when someone who raised you, they gonna forget you" due to disease (Yates-Khalifah suffered from Lupus), it's powerful stuff.

"Strangeulation" is out and features collaborations from the Strange Music roster and made it to No. 4 on the Billboard 200 when it dropped; "Fear" has guest Mackenzie O'Guin.

Read Full Post
Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy' sits pretty atop the singles chart

Could Magic's 'Rude' topple her from her throne?

The rapper from down under remains on top again, as Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX, holds at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the fifth week.

Similarly, Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” which features Azalea, stays at No. 2.  Ashanti is the only other female artist to have logged 5 weeks simultaneously at No. 1 and No. 2 12 years ago with “Foolish” and as the featured artist on Joe’s “What’s Luv.” Last year, Pharrell Williams held down the top two spots at the same time for five weeks with Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which also featured T.I. and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” according to Billboard.

Both “Fancy” and “Problem” are losing overall Hot 100 points (the tally measures sales, airplay, and streaming) leaving Magic!’s “Rude” the chance to leapfrog from No. 3 to No. 1 next week.

Two other newcomers move into the top 5:  Nico & Vinz climb 7-4 with “Am I Wrong,” while Sam Smith, whose “In The Lonely Hour” enters the Billboard 200 at No. 2,  moves 10-5 with current single, “Stay With Me” (he also rises 14-12 via his feature on Disclosure’s “Latch.”

In the bottom half of the Top 10: Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle,” featuring Snoop Dogg slips 5-6, John Legend’s “All of Me” falls 4-7, Calvin Harris’ “Summer” inches 9-8, DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down For What” drops 6-9 and Pharrell’s “Happy” spends what could be its last week in the Top 10, sliding 8-10.

Just missing the Top 10, Maroon 5 bows at No 14 with new single, “Maps.” That’s the best debut for any group so far in 2014.

Read Full Post

Report: Luke Grimes left 'True Blood' because he refused to play gay

Report: Luke Grimes left “True Blood” because he refused to play gay
The actor, who was replaced by “Bunheads’” Nathan Parsons, objected to same-sex kissing and sex scenes that were part of the final season scripts he had read, according to Buzzfeed.

“Tyrant” attracts 2.1 million viewers
That’s about 80% of “Fargo’s” premiere viewership, but considered a good number considering the subject matter.

Read an excerpt from Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Adventure autobiography
The first few pages are now available online.

World Cup biter Luis Suárez to join “The Vampire Diaries”?
Ian Somerhalder jokes that “umm.. Apparently there's a new cast member."

Check out Kristen Chenoweth as Malefecent
Here’s your first look at the Disney Channel movie “Descendants."

White “Big Brother” star accused of racism defended by his black friend
The family of Caleb Reynolds is also sticking up for him after he called President Obama a "Muslim monkey” on Instagram.

Book twist is unlikely to happen on “Game of Thrones"
Michelle Fairley throws cold water on that book spoiler.

“Breaking Bad,” “House of Cards,” “Game of Thrones” are the most binge-watched shows
TiVo’s survey also found that viewers binge-watched “The Walking Dead,” “Downton Abbey” and “Star Trek.”

Lifetime spinning off “Raising Asia” from “Dance Moms”
Asia Monet Ray, 8, and her mom, who also starred on “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition,” are getting their own reality show next month.

Firefighters rescued Rob Lowe and his family from raging waters that overtook their French vacation home
"Thank you to the fireman that saved us from this nightmare,” Lowe’s son Johnny tweeted. "Happy for us all to be safe, thoughts to others."

Read Full Post
Just how big is 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' going to be at the box office?
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Just how big is 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' going to be at the box office?

Is it going to be the summer's biggest hit?

There have been some monster openings at the box office this summer, but "Transformers: Age of Extinction" looks like it might be the biggest debut of 2014.  Just how big?

Read Full Post
Michael Jackson

5 reasons we'll never see another artist like Michael Jackson

Today marks the fifth anniversary of his death

Five years ago today Michael Jackson died. It feels like it was yesterday. His music still floods the airwaves and theaters and his popularity remains undiminished.

Here are five reasons we’ll never see the likes of his singular talent again:

1. He had time to develop: There’s no real development process anymore: whether it’s the immediacy of “American Idol,” “The Voice,” etc., or YouTube, wanna-be artists get exposure often way before they are ready—even though they think they are. Jackson and his brothers incubated in Gary, Ind., away from any spotlight. Though Michael became famous at a very, very early age, that was only after the Jackson 5 had worked their way up through local talent shows, regional tours and more before Motown signed them in 1969 (after initially rejecting them in 1967).

2. He was born a star: Jackson came alive on stage in a way that only a handful of artists since the advent of modern entertainment have: Elvis, Jackson, Springsteen. These aren’t artists who simply enjoyed/enjoy being on stage: They crave it and have to have it and feel more alive on stage than anywhere else. There is a magic that happens when the lights go down and they walk on the stage that can’t be taught, it can’t be learned. It can be nurtured, but you’re either born with it or you’re not and 99.999% of all performers aren’t. Jackson was.

3. He worked hard: Jackson had an unbelievable amount of talent bestowed upon him by the talent gods, but he then took those gifts and worked on them incessantly. He studied Gene Kelly’s dance moves, he practiced singing and worked to find different places his voice could go. He was constantly trying to improve and up his game. There never seemed to be a moment where he felt like he could rest on his laurels.

4. He didn’t play it safe: It’s easy to forget how adventurous he was musically because the risks he took have since cleared the path for other artists. When “Beat It” came out, the thought of having a rock solo by the likes of Eddie Van Halen on a pop/R&B track was unheard of…and he encountered plenty of push back. Just like pioneers always do.  He transcended genres with a fearless abandon and commitment to pushing music forward.

5. He could sing: His stage presence and dance ability were so otherworldly, it’s easy to overlook what a great vocalist he was. Listen to those records: the tear in his voice on “She’s Out Of My Life,” the hopeful determination in “Man In The Mirror,” unbridled joy on “The Way You Make Me Feel,” the growl in “Dirty Diana.”  He had range and strength, but he also had emotion. Not that many artists have that hat trick.


Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Alone Yet Not Alone.&quot;</p>

"Alone Yet Not Alone."

Credit: Enthuse Entertainment

The Academy responds to 'Alone Yet Not Alone'-gate with new campaign regulations

Music Branch gets specific attention in the new rules revealed today

Ah, remember "Alone Yet Not Alone?" For a couple of weeks at the wintery height of awards season, it was the gift that kept giving for Oscar scandal-mongers -- the head-scratching surprise of its nomination in the first place, the uncovering of its dodgy campaign tactics, the shame of its eventual disqualification. And five month later, most people have forgotten the film (which was formally released only last week) ever even existed. Oscar season: it chews you up and spits you out, but rarely quite so humiliatingly. 

Read Full Post
<p>Joe Carnahan</p>

Joe Carnahan

Credit: AP Photo

'The Grey' director Joe Carnahan to take on 'Five Against a Bullet'

Bodyguard team-up flick is right up the director's alley

I've been eager to see how Joe Carnahan will follow up 2012's "The Grey" (my number one movie that year). He had a stellar vision for "Daredevil" but Fox passed on it and gave up their lease, leading Marvel to develop the property with "Cabin in the Woods" director Drew Goddard as a series for Netflix. Coming this year (or maybe next — watch for a Toronto bow) is "Stretch" with Patrick Wilson and Chris Pine. And Carnahan has always had this and that lurking, whether an adaptation of James Ellroy's "White Jazz" or the Pablo Escobar story "Killing Pablo." But it looks like the gritty "Five Against a Bullet" is on deck, and it sounds awesome.

Read Full Post
Rooney Mara
Rooney Mara
Credit: AP Photo

Rooney Mara turns producer-star for 'A House in the Sky'

The Oscar nominee is producing the project alongside Megan Ellison

Rooney Mara has been playing things pretty cool since picking up a Best Actress Oscar nomination two years ago for "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." The franchise initially beckoned by David Fincher's Scandi-thriller remake hasn't come to pass, which has left Mara room to be discerning: she had classy leading roles last year in David Lowery's "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" and Steven Soderbergh's "Side Effects," though neither one was built entirely around her; a tart supporting role in Spike Jonze's Best Picture nominee "Her" further added to her credibility.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;The Flash&quot;</p>

"The Flash"

Credit: The CW

The CW sets Fall 2014 premiere dates boosting 'Flash' with 'Arrow'

Also, check out CBS Fall 2014 premiere dates

The CW announced its Fall 2014 premiere dates, once again kicking things off in early October and giving the new drama "The Flash" as big an introductory boost as possible.

Read Full Post
'Ask Drew' looks up with 'Interstellar' and 'Starman'
Credit: Warner Bros./Paramount

'Ask Drew' looks up with 'Interstellar' and 'Starman'

Plus a very particular match-up in this week's Movie God

I was going to try to shoot an "Ask Drew" a few weeks ago, but it fell right between two week-long trips out of the country, and the Saturday I was poised to come in, I basically just collapsed.

The video team was ready and waiting, though, and as soon as I hit the office this week, they were ready to throw me in front of a camera and shoot a new episode. The great thing about the way you guys have responded to these so far is that we are not hurting for questions. There's always a stack of stuff ready to be answered, and the video guys are always happy to see more submissions arrive at

Read Full Post

The CW’s fall schedule once again debuts in October

The CW’s fall schedule once again debuts in October
“The Vampire Diaries” opens CW’s fall on Oct. 2. “The Flash” premieres Oct. 7.

Watch Ben Affleck & Matt Damon announce the new “Project Greenlight”
“We look forward to looking at all your stuff,” the duo say in a YouTube video.

NBC renovating 30 Rock
The restoration and renovation of 30 Rockefeller Plaza will include the re-creation of a grand staircase and mezzanine rotunda, as well as a re-creation of the original art deco era design of the lobby.

“NTSF:SD:SUV” is on hiatus
Paul Scheer is busy working on new shows for Adult Swim and HBO. “I wanted to try something different,” he says. "We may revisit ‘NTSF,' but right now it's just kind of… it's not over, but I have no plans to do anything with it right now.”

“Big Bang Theory’s” Simon Helberg welcomes his first son
Wilder Towne Helberg joins big sister Adeline.

Read Full Post
Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert

5 things we learned from Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood's 'Somethin' Bad' video

Hair extensions trump all

They seemed like such nice girls… In their high-budget video for “Somethin’ Bad,” Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood—aka Belle Boyd and Priscilla Parker— play two girls gone bad on one crime caper after another.

The clip, which premiered today on CMT, plays out like a trailer for an action flick with opening and closing credits part of the package.  Lambert and Underwood, when they aren’t singing up against a police line-up wall, are busy planning heists that involve great costumes, motorcycles, card games, banks, and, above all, leather.  

Our five takeaways from the video (other than the fact that Lambert looks adorable in the brown wig and should totally try that look):

Playing in a high-stakes card game is a lot like attending the CMA or ACM Awards: the ladies are dressed in formal wear while the boys, for the most part, get to wear anything they rolled out of bed and put on.

They make lousy poker players. The signals they are sending each other and their tells are so obvious that anyone who continued to bet against them is an idiot. Be like Lady Gaga and work on that P-P-P-Poker Face.

It is far better to look good standing beside a motorcycle in a leather outfit with a head full of hair extensions and a wind machine than to actually be able to ride said motorcycle.

When in doubt, throw in an explosion.  After stealing jewelry from the vault at the bank where they have been working, our gals take time to change out of their catsuits into their getaway outfits (kind of like how you change from your wedding dress to an outfit to leave your reception) and as they run across the street there’s a random explosion in the bank that sends money and Underwood and Lambert flying. It’s just thrown in there because, well, every good action movie has an explosion or two, right?

Who says crime doesn’t pay?  The video ends with the ladies making a get away in a Mercedes (nice product placement) that takes them to a helicopter where they are undoubtedly headed for their next caper.

The song is No. 28 with a bullet on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.


Read Full Post