January 23, 2018

Review Category : TMZ Music News

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Help MTV Celebrate Music Independence Day!

When Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's The Heist debuted at #2 on the Billboard albums chart last year, people were surprised. When "Thrift Shop" went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 2013 — just the second time an independent song had ever reached the top spot in chart history — people were shocked. And when "Can't Hold Us" went to #1, then held on for six-straight weeks ... well, there really wasn't anything left to say.

After all, at this point, it's not exactly news that Mack & Lew have achieved monumental success without the help of a major label; but what is noteworthy is the fact that they have no plans of changing their independent ways any time soon ... no matter how often the majors come calling these days.

"There's been interest from everyone; I'm not going to say names, but there's been a lot of flattering feedback in terms of what we've been doing," Macklemore told MTV News. "Any time there's a group going against the grain, there's going to be people that are like 'Wow, you did it by yourself.' In 2012, that's impressive ... we talk to a lot of labels, had some great conversations [but] right now, we're doing it ourselves; and that's what makes the most sense with this project."

And Macklemore & Lewis's independent status makes them the perfect poster children for MTV's July 4 Music Independence Day Blow Out, a 12-hour celebration of music from superstars and emerging artists alike. From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on MTV, ...

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‘Lone Ranger’: The Reviews Are In!

"Hi-yo Silver, away!"

That's what critics are saying about Disney's attempt to reboot the Western hero as a summer blockbuster hero — but what many critics really mean is "Hi-yo Silver, go away."

The Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer-starring action flick is experiencing a rough ride as it rolls into theaters. Some reviewers are charmed by Depp's turn as Comanche warrior Tonto, while others are left cold, or worse. Likewise, many have praised the film's final action scene — a sequence involving two runaway trains and multiple shoot-outs — but many of those same champions admit that the fun comes far too late in the game.

Read on for more of what critics are saying about "The Lone Ranger," in theaters today.

The (Mildly Spoilerish) Story
"The plot, though overly complicated in the telling, is actually quite simple. Educated lawyer John Reid (Armie Hammer) returns to his hometown of Colby, TX, on a train that's carrying the fearsomely violent bad guy Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), who is being hauled in by the local civic bigwig Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson) so that the killer can be publicly hanged in order to assure the townsfolk of their safety. Also on the train bringing Butch and John to Colby is Tonto (Johnny Depp), a mystical, deadpan Comanche whom we eventually learn has been shunned by his tribe and has revenge on his mind due to events from his past. After Cavendish pulls off an elaborate escape with the help of his gang, a posse led by John's older brother Dan (James Badge Dale) hunt ...

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Yo Gotti Takes ‘Act Right’ Video To Home Of Beloved Mac Dre

BEVERLY HILLS, California — Fans got pretty excited when T.I. seemingly announced that he had signed Yo Gotti to his Grand Hustle label, but according to the Memphis MC, there is no deal in place. Instead, Gotti told MTV News that while he's friends with T.I., he's excited about his own deal with Epic Records— along with his upcoming album, I Am, and the video for "Act Right."

"We just shot the video in Oakland, we went out to Mac Dre's house, used his bikes and all that," Gotti told MTV News of the visuals for his single, which also features YG and Young Jeezy.

Mac Dre is a beloved Oakland rapper, who was murdered during a 2004 drive-by in Kansas City, Missouri. His murder has yet to be solved. On the track's first verse, Gotti sends a special shout to the fallen rapper. "I'm goin' goin' back, back to the Bay/ Rest in peace Mac Dre," he rhymes.

"The whole record 'Act Right' is dedicated to the Bay Area and that whole culture, so I felt like the only way to do it right is to go out there and do it. I wouldn't shoot my video to 'Act Right' no other place in America but the Bay Area," he said.

As far as his supposed deal with T.I., Gotti says it was just all a misunderstanding. During a June video interview with VladTV, Tip revealed "Gotti has officially joined the gang," but Gotti clarified what that really meant.

"I'm CMG, I got a partnership deal with L.A. Reid at ...

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Birdman’s <i>Rich Gang</i> Out To Become Billionaires With ‘Dreams Come True’: Watch A Sneak Peek!

BEVERLY HILLS, California — Even after all that he's accomplished, Birdman still has big dreams. On July 23, the Cash Money CEO will release his Rich Gang album, a compilation featuring not only rappers from his YMCMB roster, but friends like Rick Ross and Meek Mill as well.

Yo Gotti appears on a track titled "Dreams Come True," alongside Mack Maine, Ace Hood and Birdman himself, and on Friday, Baby gathered them all in a luxurious Beverly Hills mansion for a rather rich video shoot with director Eif Rivera.

"This is my first time putting a lot of us together, just showing the power that we have," Birdman told MTV News as he was flanked by the song's collaborators plus rap veteran Busta Rhymes and relative newcomer Reek da Villian.

For Bird, it's all about helping those around him. "My dream is to make sure all my n---as be playing with hundreds and they could become a billionaire in this business in this life that we chose," he said. "One of my goals is I want to be able to serve a billion people in music; I want to be the first billion-dollar brand ever in music."

YM president Mack Maine is currently living the life he also wanted since a teen and he is a deep and personal connection to the new track. "'Dreams Come True' is basically a reality now for me. I honestly grew up watching Stunna and watching Slim in the studio, I used to leave high school, basketball practice and go at night until I ...

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Wale Feeling ‘Gifted’ With #1 Debut As <I>Yeezus</I> Takes #3

It will be a 1-2-3 finish for hip-hop on next week's Billboard 200 chart, thanks to a strong first frame for Maybach Music Group's Wale. The rapper will score his first #1 debut with The Gifted, which moved 158,000 copies, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.

Just below, last week's top earners will do a flip-flop, as J. Cole's Born Sinner will hang at #2 on sales of 84,000 (down 72 percent), while Kanye West's hyped Yeezus slips to #3 as sales fell off by 80 percent to just under 65,000. According to Billboard, that represents the fourth largest drop for a #1-debuting album in the SoundScan era, behind other 80-plus percent dippers from Madonna, Lady Gaga and Mac Miller.

When MTV News caught up with Cole at the BET Awards last weekend he was psyched
 about the strong sales for his sophomore album. "That's the people speaking. I'm happy, I'm grateful, dawg; I'm blessed," he said of the 297,000-unit debut last week. "The second-week numbers are fantastic too."

Elsewhere in the top 10, Christian rockers Skillet hit #4 with Rise (60,000), India.Arie was in at #7 with Songversation (31,000) and another worship rock band, August Burns Red, snuck in at #9 with Rescue & Restore (26,000). The second week was tough for Mac Miller, whose Watching Movies with the Sound Off tumbled 78 percent and 11 spots to #14 on sales of 23,000. (Mac had a better week on the iTunes album chart, where he hung in at #7.)

Next week's charts are a mystery, as both Billboard ...

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Demi Lovato Previews ‘Mortal Instruments’ Track ‘Heart By Heart’: Listen Now!

Demi Lovato doesn't wear her heart just on her sleeve, but also in her music. Following the chart-topping success of 2012's and this year's Demi is once again singing about love on her track, "Heart By Heart."

The singer gave fans an early taste of the sultry ballad on Wednesday (July 3) with a minute-long preview posted online.

"When your soul finds the soul it was waiting for/ When someone walks into your heart through an open door/ When your hand finds the hand it was meant to hold/ Don't let go," Lovato sings on the simmering slow jam. As the crescendo builds, she adds, "Someone comes into your world/ Suddenly your world has changed forever."

Lovato joins a diverse batch of artists on the release, including Zedd, Owl City, Jessie J, AFI, Youngblood Hawke and Colbie Caillat, among others. The soundtrack will officially hit retailers on August 20, one day before the movie, starring Lily Collins, is released to theaters. (It also happens to be Lovato's 21st birthday.)

The film, based on the best-selling novel by Cassandra Clare, is about a Brooklyn teen Clary Fray (played by Lily Collins) who learns that she is a member of a race of demon destroyers known as Shadowhunters. The film also stars Jamie Campbell Bower, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Lena Headey, Kevin Zegers and Godfrey Gao.

Check out everything we've got on

...

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Jay-Z And Beyoncé Go Public On ‘TRL’ In 2002: Watch The Classic Clip Now!

It's almost impossible to remember a time when Jay-Z and Beyoncé weren't a couple ... but in 2002, when they first went public with "'03 Bonnie & Clyde," most folks couldn't believe that a kid from the Marcy Projects had managed to win the affections of the burgeoning Queen Bey, who had just gone solo after five years in Destiny's Child.

And yet, more than a decade later, they're still going strong ... and that's putting it mildly. Married in 2008, Jay and Beyonce are not only hip-hop royalty, but one of the highest-earning celebrity couples in the world, not to mention doting parents to their daughter, Blue Ivy. But when they stopped by "TRL" in late '02 to perform "Bonnie & Clyde," well, they were still in the early stages of their relationship, and hesitant to talk about anything involving their relationship.

"We met a long time ago; award shows, a lot of different performances," Beyoncé responded to Carson Daly's question about how the two had met. And when the "TRL" host pressed a little further, Jay stepped in to quickly change the conversation.

"You know, people, you see each other, and you respect each other's music, there's always that conversation 'We oughta do something!' he said. "[It's] that time filler. When that time filler turns into something real, it's music."

And it's proven to be a whole lot more than that. So it's fitting then, that on Jay's upcoming Magna Carta Holy Grail album, the couple will re-team for a sequel to "Bonnie & Clyde," ...

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‘Despicable Me 2’: The Reviews Are In!

In case those ubiquitous billboards featuring funny-faced yellow pills hadn't tipped you off, "Despicable Me 2" is coming to theaters this week, reuniting Gru with his wacky Minions for a whole new set of adventures. In this follow-up to the 2009 blockbuster, Gru (Steve Carell) trades in his supervillain costume in exchange for the life of a super-dad, only to find domestic bliss — and single-parenthood — challenged by the arrival of Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig), a government operative hoping to enlist him to hunt down another former baddie who's disappeared.

Whether or not Gru becomes a bona fide hero, the film certainly promises some hilarious hijinks. But do they live up to the ones in the original "Despicable Me?" MTV News took a look at some of the reviews that popped up as the film nears its July 3 release date and compiled some critics' thoughts about the film.

How Worthy — Or Necessary — Is This Follow-Up To 'Despicable Me?'
"This new picture feels like... a hastily thought-up opportunity to put our characters through some kind of adventure. Any kind of adventure. Whereas the original had Steve Carell's evil genius and his cache of spazzed-out weapons trying to hijack the moon, this film sends him to the mall." — Jordan Hoffman, Screencrush

Still, What Can Audiences Look Forward To In the Sequel?
"After reluctantly admitting that he made a second-rate baddie at best, Steve Carell's overcompensating character gets a chance to prove himself a first-class hero, providing ample opportunity for comic support from his Minions. While not quite as charming ...

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Pharrell Is ‘On Complete Fire’ Thanks To Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, 2 Chainz

Let's face it: Pharrell Williams is everywhere this summer.

It's not like the always in-demand producer/singer/arranger/Renaissance Man went away — working on songs and albums by everyone from Game to Adam Lambert, Usher and Kendrick Lamar over the past two years — but the past few months have seen him popping up all over the charts on a variety of high-profile projects, not to mention a stellar turn on Sunday night's BET Awards.

His first big move was back in March, when music fans first got a taste of his now-ubiquitous falsetto vocals on Daft Punk's summer smash

"I thought it would do good, I didn't know it would be this; I didn't know it would be breaking records across the board, I had no idea," Williams told MTV News of the song that crashed the top 10 in nearly 30 countries and broke streaming records on Spotify. "I just thought it would do well, because it felt great and it felt different, and you guys know I live for those types of things, to do things that are different."

That alone would be enough to remind people of what a hook-monster Skateboard P is. But then he doubled down with the other beach banger of 2013: Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." That made Williams the first act since the Black Eyed Peas in 2009 to have the #1 and #2 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

"He's clearly having a moment and he's on complete fire right now," said Vibe editor in chief Jermaine Hall. "The way his ...

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