“We don’t have any rules, everyone is trying to figure it out. That’s why the internet is like the wild west”.
Last night Jay-Z has announced the release of his twelfth studio album titled Magna Carta Holy Grail which will be released on July 4th; The first million copies will be given away for free through a specifically designed Samsung Galaxy smartphone, after which it’ll become available to everyone worldwide. A trailer for the album was aired in the States last night and featured appearances from LP collaborators Timbaland, Rick Rubin, Swizz Beatz and Pharrell Williams. This appears to be a shrewd business deal on all sides and is probably just the beginning of what’s to come. And although this isn’t necessarily the first time a music superstar has teamed up with a technology company, this is Jay-Z and that means something significant. Take a look up top and get ready for July 4th.
While Beyonce continues to befuddle the world with her seemingly unpredictable campaign strategy, a full length version of her Timbaland produced, The-Dream penned new single ‘Grown Woman’ has mysteriously appeared online. A short snippet of the afro-beat song was first previewed during Bey’s Pepsi commercial in April and she’s been performing it live during her The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour concerts but until now the full song had not been heard. Listen below…
Bey’s hyped up big announcement yesterday has turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax. Instead of revealing her new single (in full), a music video and/or album details, she’s released a new… Pepsi commercial. There has to be more coming, surely? Most excitingly however is that the new advert does preview more of that new single we heard yesterday. Produced by Timbaland ‘Grown Woman’ is reported to be the first single taken off Beyonce’s upcoming 5th album, expected later this year.
Basically while old farts were busy debating Beyonce’s stance on feminism on her ‘Bow Down/I Been On’ single, she was busy lining up bonafide H-Town legends for it’s remix. The Houston native employs Bun B, Z-Ro, Scarface, Willie D, Slim Thug & Lil Keke to add original verses to her Timbaland produced banger ‘I Been On’. As like in the original version Bey only appears in chopped & screwed form.
I can find very few faults on Justin Timberlake’sThe 20/20 Experience, but unfortauntely ‘Mirrors’ (for me at least) stands out like a sore thumb. It’s the weakest song on the album with a sloppy rehashed Timbaland beat at the heart of it. It’s the only song on the LP that feels completely uninspired and as Wiley so eloquently put it “sounds like he went round Timbaland’s for half hour” to record it. Their attempt at making a lazy anthemic power-ballad worked perfectly of course (just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean I don’t see the genius in it) with it shooting straight into the #1 spot in the UK and fast becoming another one of JT’s most commercial songs. On the upside the backend of the song is smashing – shame it’s not like that the entire way through. Anyway – here’s the video…
A couple nights back we tweeted a link to Okayplayer’s forum or rather specifically to a post published by Questlove which suggested that Justin Timberlake would release part 2 of his new album The 20/20 Experience sometime in November. Despite The Roots’ drummer being slightly disgruntled by his ‘news’ being picked up across near-enough every platform in blogland – it was up until last night an unconfirmed story. However according to various sources (including this guy) JT confirmed the release of part 2 during a gig in Los Angeles.
According to Questlove’s original post the second part of The 20/20 Experience will feature “throwback Timb” productions, saying the songs he had been played by Timbaland “were straight up Missy/Magoo Timb and [that] Justin said he wanted Timbaland to “get back in his real zone” even if it meant alienating the tweens born after ’86 who never ever heard of Sly Slick and Wicked”.
We’d had our suspicious that there could be another 10 tracks on the horizon given the album title (“20/20 Experience”) so this all makes perfect and wonderful sense. JT’s album is officially released worldwide this week, it will no doubt (and hopefully) shift a shit load of copies – and deservedly so. Despite a shocking amount of relatively confused reviews the LP stands alone as yet another great Timberlake record. It’s not an easy pop record to get to grips with that much is true – but how can you miss the beauty in that? A pop record that isn’t easy to digest? All a part of that Timberlake/Timbaland genius.
Mrs. Carter returns with an uncompromising new song titled ‘Bow Down / I Been On’. Produced by Hit Boy (‘Bow Down’) & Timbaland, Polow Da Don and Planet V (‘I Been On’) she boldly reinstates much of the freedom accredited to her last album 4 by resisting to release a typical middle-of-the-road pop ballad / radio friendly novelty record and instead she goes in hard on what is arguably her most R&B sounding track in years. Trap-R&B, chopped & screwed – Bey goes gully and straight freaks the tail end of ‘I Been On’ (a beat many UK heads will know from her O2 ad), the mainstream will not be happy – well done Bey, well done. That said this doesn’t sound like ‘first single’ material, I won’t be surprised if something more official follows suit.
‘Bow Down / I Been On’ is far from Beyonce’s greatest record but the statement it makes is important and given her position (worlds biggest pop star), is impressive too, and combined with JT’s current effort solidifies the fact that we’re in the middle of a renaissance. Oh, and welcome back Timbaland – we missed you.
After successfully cementing his comeback during last nights Grammy Awards, Justin Timberlake releases a new track ‘Mirrors’ off his upcoming third album The 20/20 Experience (March 19th). Unquestionably his most ‘Justified’ sounding song of all the tracks he’s thus far allowed us to hear. Timbaland’s iconic drum pattern with JT’s smooth, heartfelt melody was always a winning combination – this 8 minute ballad is no exception. Not as strong as ‘Cry Me a River’ perhaps but it still does enough to satisfy – the latter half of the song is particularly dope.
This image was just posted on Jay-Z’s Life+Times website with a simple message: “Roc Nation welcomes Timbaland to the family”.
I guess that can lead us to believe that Timbo has signed as a producer to work under the Roc Nation umbrella. So not only is Timbaland out to reclaim his crown as super-producer this year by producing Justin Timberlake’s soon-to-be-classic 3rd album, he’s also working with Missy Elliott and Beyonce for their new albums, and now he’s working under the guidance of Jay-Z & Co? Have the stars aligned? Could this be the return to form we’ve been waiting for? Let’s see…
As fantasied of for the past 6 years, Justin Timberlake returns with a brand new single produced by long-time collaborator Timbaland and featuring Jay-Z. JT & Hov were supposed to collaborate a few years back but it never happened, ‘Suit & Tie’ is their first official pairing and is also the lead single taken off Timberlake’s upcoming 3rd album The 20/20 Experience (also produced by Timbo).
‘Suit & Tie’ isn’t as instant as ‘Like I Love You’ or ‘SexyBack’ but it certainly packs the goods we’ve all been missing since Justin went Hollywood. Timbaland’s production is understated and interestingly sounds akin to something The Neptunes could have produced (all in the horn section). But as always it works perfectly in line with what Justin brings – the dude is clearly on a some Marvin Gaye tip here.
The song was released with an accompanying open letter from Timberlake which began with the singer saying “I hope this gets to you the right way. It’s the only way I know to do it. Some people may criticze me for the last 3 days. But it was fun, right?!?” – referring to what some cited as an anti-climatic return on Friday when Justin released his ‘I’m Ready’ PSA. The Grammy winner goes onto explain “I’m gearing up for a big 2013…Back in June of last year, I quietly started working on what is now, my next journey with that thing I love called MUSIC. The inspiration for this really came out of the blue and to be honest, I didn’t expect anything out of it. I just went into the studio and started playing around with some sounds and songs. It was probably the best time I’ve had in my career… It is full of inspiration that I grew up listening to and some newfound muses that I’ve discovered along the way. I’m calling it “The 20/20 Experience,” and it’s coming out this year”.