Swizz Beatz Talks 'Magna Carta Holy Grail'

Now that Yeezus season has arrived, most hip-hop fans are focused on the next big release: Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail.

Speaking in a new interview, world renowned producer/rapper Swizz Beatz offered a bit of insight into the record while talking about his working relationship with Jay-Z. The biggest takeaway from the clip is probably that Swizz believes Magna Carta Holy Grail is the best representation of Jay by Jay to date. You can view the full clip below.

Magna Carta Holy Grail is available exclusively to Samsung Galaxy users starting July 4, followed by a wide release. (more…)

"Watch This!" Wednesday: Mumford & Sons, Kid Cudi & Swizz Beatz

We love passing new music videos around the OurStage office, and now we’re going to be sharing our finds with you. Here’s this week’s freshest new clips!

Mumford & Sons – “Lover Of The Light”

It’s hard to tell exactly what Idris Elba is thinking in this video, but it sure is nice to look at. The clip shows a blind man (Elba) who is seemingly thrilled by the sunrise, talking to himself at breakfast, and almost running to his death off the cliffs of Wales. Elba co-directed the intimate video, and does a great job telling a somber story backed by an uplifting song.

Kid Cudi – “Just What I Am” (feat. King Chip)

Don’t be fooled by the frame: This video isn’t quite fine art. Cudi claims “all my videos will be in a baroque frame. I create art, so it will be presented as such. ART IN MOTION.” Um, okay. Unfortunately for Cudi, the visual companion to “Just What I Am” is nothing we haven’t seen a million times before – red solo cups, crowded party, toasting to the good life. Oh well, the song’s not bad.

Swizz Beatz – “Everyday Birthday” (feat. Chris Brown & Ludacris)

Chris Brown wakes up in bed with a “crazy” girl, Luda wakes up in a shower, Swizz is chillin’ on a yacht in Cannes. So begins “Everyday Birthday,” a whirlwind visual feast of bottles poppin’, club hoppin’, and some very evil French girls.

More like this:

Mumford & Sons ˜The Road To Red Rocks’ DVD Trailer

Kid Cudi Signs On To Rom“Com Two Night Stand

Soundcheck: Maybach Music Makes Big Waves, Sign Omarion

Last week, Maybach Music Group made big waves when they announced some serious plans for 2012 that include a new Reebok clothing line with Swizz Beatz, three summer release dates for MMG artists and a surprising new addition to the team.

Rick Ross was joined by Warner Bros. and Def Jam Recordings executives Steve Bartels, Todd Moscowitz and Lyor Cohen, who spoke quite highly of The Boss.

When I got a chance to meet him, I saw someone that was going to be undeterred in achieving the success that he has, said Cohen. He’s not satisfied. There’s no stopping him. I’m so grateful that I’m associated with him and that the Warner Bros. label is associated with him. The possibilities that Rick and Maybach Music are going to bring is going to be, in my mind, unprecedented.

Swizz Beatz hit the stage to announce his partnership with Ross on a Big & Tall clothing line for Reebok. He’s going to lead the big and tall movement, said Swizz. There’s a limit with clothes that stops at a certain point. With Ross, everything has to be custom made. I felt that instead of just doing a regular sneaker, we give Ross his own big and tall line.


BTJunkie Shuts Down: Is This The End of the Era of Free Downloads?

And so it goes: The war against filesharing and illegal downloading has officially begun. Earlier this week BTJunkie, one of the largest BitTorrent networks on the Internet, announced that it was shutting down for good.

“This is the end of the line my friends,” says the ominous message on their homepage. “The decision has not come easy, but we’ve decided to voluntarily shut down. We’ve been fighting for years for your right to communicate, but it’s time to move on. It’s been an experience of a lifetime, we wish you all the best!”

This, of course, is following the FBI’s recent takedown of filesharing Web site Megaupload.com. Currently, the Web site’s founder Kim Dotcom Schmitz is under arrest, $50 million worth of assets were seized along with cars, guns, and valuable artworks that Schmitz had in his possession. Also supposedly involved with the Web site was Alicia Keys’ husband Swizz Beatz, who was rumored to be Megaupload’s CEO.

Of course, BTJunkie isn’t the only Web site that has begun to take defensive action.  FileSonic, FileServe, and Upload.to have all disabled their filesharing capabilities.

All this recent activity has brought to question where the future of music acquisition is headed. Let’s face it; many if not most of us have used some of these Web sites. Some of us even rely on them. But with more and more of them shutting down, and with SOPA and PIPA looming over the horizon, its no wonder that the Internet has taken a turn for the hostile. Piracy and illegal downloads have plagued the entertainment industry longer than we can remember, and now these industries are biting back. So where does that leave your average listener?

Well, the thing about the Internet is that someone will always find a way to bypass the system. We would hope that, in the future, the music industry might even take a hint from one of these Web sites and revolutionize the entire system of acquiring new music. For now, it looks like we’ll just have to go back to feeding our money to The Man…


Soundcheck: Can A Drummer Get Some?

Is it possible that the most ground-breaking hip hop album of 2011 will come from a punk? Punk rocker that is, as in Blink 182, +44, bad ass super drummer, Travis Barker. While he’s floated around the hip hop scene for years, (touring and collaborating with Cypress Hill, Paul Wall and T.I among others), he’s about to pull a whole new rabbit out of his hat. His full-length, solo album, Give The Drummer Some is jam packed with hard-hitting tracks, laced with lyrics by some of hip hop’s best including Lupe Fiasco, Snoop Dogg, Drake and Lil’ Wayne. The all-star line up is as eclectic as the music”which fuses hip-hop, punk, rock and electro” resulting in a truly unique style.

The album’s rap roster is rivaled by its impressive production credits which include DJ Khalil, The Neptunes, Swizz Beatz, RZA, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Chuck Inglish, Kool Kojak, Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco, Dr. Dre, Eric Valentine, A-Trak, Kanye West and Barker himself. The album’s title comes from the Ultramagnetic MC’s track of the same name, appropriately derived from James Brown‘s hit, “Funky Drummer”.

Give The Drummer Some features an unbeatable line-up of rappers rocking out, including RZA, Rick Ross, T.I.,The Cool Kids, Raekwon, Tom Morello of RageAgainst the Machine, Slash, Steve Aoki, Pharrell, Kid Cudi, Yelawolf, Swizz Beatz, Bun B and Tech N9ne.

With a roster like this; it’s no wonder some songs have already made it onto the internet; some being released by Barker as previews, and others leaked before their time. On January 28, Barker released a preview of Come N Get It, a track produced by The Neptunes, featuring Clipse (together in rare form since Pusha T‘s solo signing). The official single, Can A Drummer Get Some? features Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross, Game and Swizz Beatz and was released on February 1. In it, Game goes hard, spitting lyrics over Barker’s banging like Back from the dead but they never found my killer/So I jumped up out this grave like Michael Jackson in Thriller/Iller than most emcee’s cause I be killin’ ˜em/Most emcee’s turn into ghost emcee’s/Yeah, give a drummer some.

Barker has been a mainstay on the pop/rock scene since his days with his uber-successful band, Blink 182, ruled the charts in 1999, and his family-based reality show, Meet The Barkers, aired on MTV in 2005. His on-again, off-again romance with ex-wife, Shanna Moakler kept him in heavy headline rotation until their 2008 divorce. The California native snagged serious media attention again in 2008, after he and the late DJ AM survived the tragic plane crash that killed four people. The drummer spent months in the hospital and suffered second and third degree burns over much of his body; ultimately battling through to make a full recovery.

Now, the inspiring rocker is ready to take the hip hop world by storm, finally bringing his brilliant idea to fruition with this 12-track masterpiece; adding one more accomplishment to his growing list when it hits stores on February 22.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

OK Go releases Last Leaf video

If you read this column with any regularity, you know that if OK Go releases a video, it’s likely to show up here. Today we present you with Last Leaf, wherein a few slices of toast provide the backdrop for a poignant, stop-motion vignette. We still can’t tell if the animation is etched onto the toast itself, or projected. Either way, it’s a bread-winner. Hope you like.

Best duets this week”Conan and Jack or Rihanna and Jon?

Does the joy on Jon Bon Jovi’s face when a culturally relevant (and minxy) pop star joins him onstage do it for you? Or is it seeing Conan O’Brien wield an axe and do his best rockabilly snarl? You don’t have to answer yet”watch the clips below and then decide who wins the week’s best duet.

The Bad

NKTOBSB co-headlining tour

Muffle your squeals, 30-year-olds! New Kids On The Block and The Backstreet Boys have joined forces FOR THE OLD-ENOUGH-TO-BE-YOUR-DAD TOUR*. Stop thinking about your mortgages and toddlers and rediscover the glory of A.J. McLean’s goatee!

*Not the real tour name, but it should be.

Keith Richards attacks Swedish journalist

Strangely enough, it seems a lifetime of soaking your liver in Jack Daniels doesn’t mellow you out. Keith Richards found this out when confronted with a reporter who had negatively reviewed a Rolling Stones concert in 2007, calling the band amateurs. Richards hoisted himself off his rocker* and demanded the reporter, Markus Larsson of the Swedish publication Aftonbladets, apologize. When that didn’t happen, Richards proceeded to give Larsson a couple wallops about the head, hissing, You’re lucky to get out of here alive. Don’t feel bad, Markus. At his age, Richards is lucky to get out of anywhere alive.**

*not really

The Ugly

Courtney Love shows The New York Times what class looks like

Courtney’s school of class involves getting tipsy before your interview with The New York Times, sending the reporter and photographer up to your room at the Mercer Hotel, then showing up an hour later drunk and completely naked. Read this indelible tale of elegance and refinement in its entirety here.