Entries tagged with: Kanye West
by Andrew Sacher
Pitchfork just posted their Top 100 Tracks of 2013. It's got what some people might call the worst song ever, the song with the most talked-about rap verse of the year, some surprises, and some of the year's most undeniable songs. Their #1 pick is certainly one of those undeniable songs, whether or not you're a fan of the artist who made it. What do you think of their list? Did your favorite song make it? Any glaring omissions?
Check out the full top 100 below...
by Andrew Sacher
I always look forward to FACT's year-end list, which you can count on to be chock full of (but not limited to) forward-thinking electronic music, pop, R&B and rap, and it's one of the lists where I'm usually guaranteed to find something new. They just put out their 50 Best Albums of 2013 list, and it has all of those things, from one of the biggest name pop stars of the year to some of the most obscure stuff. It's also got one of the least obvious #1s I've seen on lists this year.
Check out the whole thing below...
Around the time Busta Rhymes came out as a guest at A Tribe Called Quest's "final" shows (opening for Kanye West at Barclays and MSG), it was announced that Busta and ATCQ's Q-Tip would be releasing a collaborative mixtape. That mixtape is out now, and features guest appearances from Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, Talib Kweli, Missy Elliot, Raekwon, and others. That's the artwork above, which clearly riffs on ATCQ's The Low End Theory cover art.
Q-Tip's next #Offline DJ party happens on Wednesday (12/18) at Output (tickets).
You can download the mixtape for free at LiveMixtapes and stream it below...
NPR Music posted their 50 Favorite Albums of 2013, and as usual it included a lot of classical, jazz, world music, but also many of the indie/pop/rap/metal that shows up on these lists like Bill Callahan, Blood Orange, Chance the Rapper, Deafheaven, Flaming Lips, Haim, James Blake, Kanye West, Laura Marling, Run the Jewels, Sky Ferreira, Waxahatchee and more. Their list is in alphabetical order, and you can browse the full thing below.
Noel Gallagher @ Coachella 2012 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
You know you've made it when Noel Gallagher starts dissing you. In a new year-end interview with Rolling Stone, Gallagher, who's had a "dog-shit year," was asked about some of 2013's bigger LPs. He likes David Bowie's ("fucking masterpiece") and Yeezus ("fucking great") and Disclosure's Settle ("fucking mega"). Arcade Fire? Not as much. In typical style:
I haven't heard it. Anybody that comes back with a double album, to me, needs to pry themselves out of their own asshole. This is not the Seventies, okay? Go and ask Billy Corgan about a double album. Who has the fucking time, in 2013, to sit through 45 minutes of a single album? How arrogant are these people to think that you've got an hour and a half to listen to a fucking record?Someone should remind Gallagher that Oasis' third album, Be Here Now, was a double album that clocks in two minutes longer than Reflektor. He also has a few words about Arcade Fire's "super not mandatory" dress code:
That is to take away from the shit disco that's coming out of the speakers. Because everybody's dressed as one of the Three Musketeers on acid. "What was the gig like?" "I don't know, everyone was dressed as a teddy bear in the Seventies." "Yeah, but what was the gig like?" "Ah, fuck knows, man, I have no idea. I was dressed as a flying saucer."You've got plenty of time to get your UFO suit ready for Arcade Fire's three Barclays Center shows, which happen August 22, 23 & 24 of 2014. Tickets are still available for the first two, and the 8/24 show goes on sale December 13 with an AmEx presale starting Monday (12/9) at 10 AM.
Gallagher was also asked about Miley Cyrus, to whom he offers this advice:
Be good. Don't be outrageous. Anybody can be outrageous! I could go to the Rolling Stone office and fucking shit on top of a boiled egg, right? And people would go, "Wow, fucking hell, that's outrageous!" But is it any good? No, because, essentially, it's just a shit on top of a boiled egg. That's all it is. If I was to go to your office and play you a song that I'd just written that was amazing, that would be better, wouldn't it?There's lot more where that came from and you can read the whole interview at Rolling Stone.
It's been a transitional year for A.V. Club. The print version of The Onion ceased publication, and much of AVC's senior staff jumped ship for Pitchfork's new film site, The Dissolve. And then they got a redesign which is still a little kink-y. But they're still one of the best all-around arts and entertainment sites as far as I'm concerned. Like just about everyone else, they dropped their Best Albums of Year list this week. Due to a few ties, A.V. Club ended up with a 23 album list, topped by Kanye West's Yeezus, which has been hovering around the Top 5s on many lists this list season. Haim's Days are Gone is at #2 and you can check out the whole list below...
UK music weekly NME has just published its end-of-year issue, with their Top 50 LPs and Tracks of 2013. As for the albums list, we'll let you read on to find out what their #1 pick is, but it might just be the one NME called "absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of [said band's] career" and "the greatest record of the last decade." It's not Palma Violets, who were last year's Track of the Year, as their debut LP came in at #32 on the list.
As for tracks, their single of the year is a pretty obvious (certainly ubiquitous) choice. Check out the full lists of NME's Top 50 LPs and Tracks below...
by Bill Pearis
#1 LP of 2013 according to 'The Quietus'
Online UK music mag The Quietus started five years ago and quickly became (I think) one of the best sources for music writing on the web, giving a home to many former NME, Select and Q writers who are still seeking new music but are not so interested in the flavor of the month. The Quietus are not staffed by contrarians, nor sheep. To wit: the site just published its Top 100 LPs list of 2013 and topping it is Glynnaestra, the third album from UK duo Grumbling Fur which came out via Thrill Jockey back in August. From The Quietus' write-up:
Grumbling Fur make me want to take drugs. And I don't mean drugs like a few puffs on a spliff before bedtime or on a lazy Saturday afternoon, or a cheeky dabble at a rave to keep the energy flowing - I mean proper, don't-eat-for-18-hours-beforehand, make-sure-you've-got-a-couple-of-good-people-around-you, psychically prepared voyaging, preferably on a warm and sunny but slightly overcast afternoon in a field somewhere in the West Country, or in a friend's house cluttered to the rafters with fascinating and peculiar objects.The Quietus' Top 10 also includes some records you might have heard (David Bowie, Nick Cave, Foals, Factory Floor) but probably some others you haven't. And if you haven't heard Glynnaestra (I hadn't) you can stream it in full below.
You can check out The Quietus' entire Best LPs of 2013 list in this post, and they also made a Spotify playlist to accompany it. Their list, along with the Grumbling Fur album stream, is below..
by Andrew Sacher
Grimes at ACL 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Whether it's to criticize her or praise her, it's hard to deny that people like talking about Grimes' musical opinions. Her top 10 albums of 2012 list included the most pop (Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber) AND the least pop (Swans), and she totally meant it too. She's defended Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and pop music in general, and denied accusations of trolling when her Boiler Room set included Taylor Swift, Maria Carey, Ramones, Skrillex, and others.
Grimes has now published a list to her tumblr of her favorite songs of all time. It continues her trend of pulling from pop and experimental music with songs from Burial, Mariah Carey, Joanna Newsom, Beyonce, Mazzy Star, Skrillex, Animal Collective, Butthole Surfers, Paramore and more. It's not only newer stuff though, she's also got Patsy Cline, Prince, and Enya, among others.
Check out her whole list (subject to change), via Exclaim, below...
Flatbush Zombies at North Coast 2013 (more by James Richards IV)
Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. Here are some highlights...
Flatbush Zombies, Bodega Bamz @ Irving Plaza
This is is a great double bill for the NYC weird-rap scene, headlined by maniacal druggy trio Flatbush Zombies and opened by A$AP collaborator Bodega Bamz.
Ida Maria @ Mercury Lounge
Norwegian singer-songwriter Ida Maria, once known for her wildcard electric performances, returns for her first NYC shows in some time. Will "Oh My God" still have the same punch?
Jagwar Ma, Fascinator @ Bowery Ballroom
With a debut album that owes more than a little to the early-'90s Madchester rave scene, Jagwar Ma will be twistin' your mellon (man) with sunshine vibes to spare. Sold out.
Mellowhigh @ Gramercy Theatre
Another bunch of odd rappers, but this time from the opposite coast, MellowHIgh is the trio of Odd Future members Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, and Left Brain.
John Grant @ Rough Trade
John Grant's Pale Green Ghosts is Rough Trade Shops' #1 album of 2013 so this show at their new NYC store has potential to be special. Though you can really say that about any John Grant show. Tonight's show is free with purchase of his new LP.
Twin Sister, Leapling, Ava Luna, Celestial Shore, Zula, Empress Of (DJ set) @ Silent Barn
This is a "farewell party" for Big Snow Buffalo Lodge, which shut its doors in July without a proper sendoff. Tonight it gets one...at Silent Barn.
Luke Temple, Chris Bear, MEMs (5), Eliot Krimsky @ Union Pool
This is the first week of Luke Temple's "improvisational" December residency. Expect the unexpected. Also, expect Chris from Grizzly Bear to be a part of tonight.
Elton John @ Madison Square Garden
With close to fifty years of pop/rock songwriting and a new album out this year that at least Rolling Stone likes, Elton John takes over MSG for what will surely be a night of hits.
Golem, The Unemployed Fortune Tellers, Minnie Tonka @ Glasslands
The Festival of Lights celebrations continue with the annual Hanukkah show from klezmer punk band Golem.
Ask Me Another @ The Bell House
John Hodgman, Lizz Winstead, and Al Jacobs will feature in this "rambunctious hour that blends brainteasers and local pub trivia night with comedy and music." Sold out.
Benji B, Juan Atkins, J. Rocc, Jay Daniel @ The Panther Room
You may know Benji B as the man behind the orchestral rearrangements of Flying Lotus, TNGHT, Kanye West, Drake, Jeremih, and others that surfaced earlier this year. Not sure what he'll be stirring up tonight, but it will surely be a special night, as it's the NYC installment of his London party Deviation. Also on the bill is Detroit techno vet Juan Atkins, Stones Throw associate J.Rocc and Detroit newcomer Jay Daniel. Tickets for tonight's party are still available. Check out Benji B's orchestral video below.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
Follow BrooklynVegan on instagram.
Vampire Weekend @ Roseland in April (more by Robert Altman)
The Monday after Thanksgiving Weekend is looking to be Official Year-End List Day, as we've already got SPIN, and Paste, (plus ones from UK mags Q and Mojo) and now here's the one from elder rock statesman Rolling Stone, who have Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City in the top spot, with Kanye West's Yeezus at #2. RS' Top 10 also makes room for John Fogerty, Paul McCartney, Lorde and more. Haim are at #31 for those keeping score. You can check out their entire Top 50 LPs of 2013 list (which includes a couple EPs) below...
Phosphorescent at Rough Trade NYC (more by Amanda Hatfield)
by Andrew Sacher
It's the first work week of December and the year-end music lists for 2013 keep piling in. We just saw album lists from Q and Mojo, and now we get a list from a US publication, SPIN. There's not too many surprises on this one. Like last year, it shares its #1 with the highest Pitchfork-rated album of the year, and in general it features many of the albums we expect to see on these kinds of lists, including a lot of the year's big-name comebacks like My Bloody Valentine, Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, Queens of The Stone Age, Boards of Canada and Nine Inch Nails, plus big breakouts like Haim and Disclosure. There are a few interesting omissions though, like Savages.
Check out their full list below...
by Andrew Sacher
Kanye @ MSG - 11/24/13 (via BrooklynVegan Instagram)
Kanye West just wrapped the 4-night NYC runYeezus tour at MSG last night (11/24) with legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest opening, and billing it as their "final" show. The run also included another show with Tribe last Wednesday (11/20) at Barclays Center and two with Kendrick Lamar -- 11/19 at Barclays and Saturday (11/23) at MSG.
It was Kanye's second live appearance(s) in NYC this year, after having headlined Governors Ball back in June. His GovBall set was an incredibly elaborate affair, with a massive light show and intense on-screen footage that was more about the overall audio/visual experience than it was "a concert." And last night's MSG show was a similar experience, but a totally different delivery. Instead of video clips, Kanye was backed by a giant 3-dimensional pyramid, a "sky" screen above it, and a silent group of "dancers" who looked more like a cult-ish or religious group than dancers. The setlist was super heavy on Yeezus early on, playing most of the older hits towards the end, but it was those dark, abrasive moments of the new album mixed with the ominous stage show that really made it an unforgettable experience. That, and of course, Kanye's nightly rant, which this time was about how "nobody says anything bad about Lenny Kravitz," how terrible the fashion industry is, and about not letting your ego get to your head too much.
During A Tribe Called Quest's set, like he did at Barclays Center, Busta Rhymes came out during "Scenario" which got him and Tribe a standing ovation. Busta and ATCQ's Q-Tip have a collaborative mixtape, The Abstract & The Dragon, coming out on December 12, and they just made a video for its single "Thank You," which features Kanye, in addition to Lil Wayne. A$AP Ferg, A$AP Nast, and Tristan Wilds make cameos in the video, but aren't on the song. Check it out below.
And in more related news, James Franco and Seth Rogen decided to make their own version of Kanye's "Bound 2" video, which you can watch, along with a couple videos from MSG (including a "rant" video) and Kanye's setlist, below...
A Tribe Called Quest at Barclays Center - 11/20/13 (via)
Kanye West's tour currently has him in the midst of his 4-night NYC run, which included stops at Barclays Center with Kendrick Lamar on Tuesday (11/19) and A Tribe Called Quest last night (11/20). The run resumes at MSG on Saturday (11/23) with Kendrick and MSG on Sunday (11/24) with Tribe.
I feel silly saying they played classics. I mean... "Sucka N*gga," "Find A Way" (Dilla dilla, beats beats) and "Bonita Applebum"... I don't think there is such a thing as a non-classic Tribe tune! For "Bonita," a full bodied Stephanie Santiago painted head to toe in red, black, and green stripes ala the iconic Low End Theory artwork, mesmerized the crowd as she walked to the center of the arena holding a cut-out apple with "38-24-37″ written on the reverse side.A picture of the full setlist (also via Okayplayer) and a video of them performing "Scenario" with Busta Rhymes last night, below.
Tickets for both Kanye shows at MSG are still available.
Video and setlist below...
Kanye West in Sweden in 2011 (more)
Kanye West just premiered the video for "Bound 2," the final track on Yeezus, during his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The video features (a topless) Kim Kardashian and was directed by Nick Knight. You can watch it, along with his Ellen interview, below.
UPDATE: The uncensored version of the video is out now, and you can watch that below. NSFW obviously.
On the "jackass" comment, Kanye admitted that "that's how the world felt," but that Obama shouldn't have responded negatively. "I don't care if somebody the President or not. I care about thoughts, and how you helpin' people, and what you bring to the world. My music brings joy to people. What I create brings joy to people, and I'm about people. Me, I'm not about me. I'm about, 'I got an idea that people gonna like.'"Yeezy's tour begins its four-night run in NYC tonight (11/19) at Barclays Center. It also hits Barclays on Wednesday (11/20) and then MSG on Saturday (11/23) and Sunday (11/24). Tonight's and Saturday's shows are being opened by Kendrick Lamar, and Wednesday's and Sunday's shows will be the "final" shows for legendary group A Tribe Called Quest. Tickets for all four nights are still available.
In between those shows, you might run into him at a local Wendy's.
Ye also just spoke on Bret Eason Ellis' new podcast, which you can listen to here. New videos and updated list of tour dates below...
by Andrew Sacher
Angel Haze at Lollapalooza 2013 (more by James Richards IV)
Rapper Angel Haze has still not announced a release date for her much-anticipated debut LP, Dirty Gold, but last month she kicked off her #30Gold series, a month-long series of covers and freestyles over other songs to precede the album. The newest #30Gold installment is the cover of young British pop breakout John Newman's "Love Me Again." You can stream it below, along with covers/freestyles of Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, Macklemore, A$AP Ferg, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Jay Z, and Kanye West.
In her "Same Love" (Macklemore) freestyle, Angel Haze addresses her sexuality, rapping:
At age thirteen, my mom knew I wasn't straightRead the rest of the lyrics below. Following that song's release, she did an interview with Fusion TV, saying that if she to label herself (though she'd prefer not to) it'd be "pansexual." "To identify as pansexual to me means to just want love and to want a connection with anyone you can find it with," she said.
She didn't understand, but she had so much to say
She sat me on the couch, looked me straight in my face
And said you'll burn in hell or probably die of AIDS
It's funny now, but at thirteen it was pain
To be almost sure of who you are and have it ripped away
And I'm sorry if it's too real for some of you to fathom
But hate for who you love is not exactly what you'd imagine
And I guess it was disastrous
Because everything that happened afterwards was just madness
Locked away for two years to keep me on the inside
Because she'd rather see a part of me die than me thrive
And it's tougher when it's something you can't deny
And ignorance teaches us it's something you decide
You're driven by your choices, an optical illusion
Here's to understanding it's not always confusion
That freestyle isn't the only genuinely moving thing Angel Haze has done in recent memory. Last week, she posted a video of herself reading a poem she wrote titled "You Broke My Heart." You can watch that below, and to say the least, you'll feel her pain.
Streams, poem video, and "Same Love" lyrics below...
A Tribe Called Quest
As you may have heard, Kanye West's tour was plagued with some equipment damages which caused certain shows to be cancelled, but Kanye's since fully updated his tour schedule, and is set to pick things up again on 11/16 in Philly. As long as everything goes right this time, this means his NYC shows -- 11/19 & 20 at Barclays Center and 11/23 & 24 at MSG -- will happen according to plan. As discussed, the 11/19 & 11/23 shows are being opened by Kendrick Lamar, and the 11/20 & 11/24 shows are being opened by A Tribe Called Quest. Tickets for all four NYC shows are still available. Updated dates are listed below.
For ATCQ, these will be the legendary group's "final" shows. Tribe member Q-Tip tweeted, "In August, ATCQ did our last show FOR Cali. It's only right we do our FINAL 2 joints where we started...NYC."
Updated dates are listed below...
As discussed, Kanye West is going on his first solo headlining tour in five years, and as you may know, Kendrick Lamar is set to open most of it, but no openers were ever announced for the four NYC shows. Now it's finally been announced that Kendrick opens two of them, and the other two are being opened by... legendary Queens crew A Tribe Called Quest! The schedule for NYC looks like this:
November 19 - Barclays Center w/ Kendrick LamarTickets for all four shows are still available.
November 20 - Barclays Center w/ A Tribe Called Quest
November 23 - Madison Square Garden w/ Kendrick Lamar
November 24 - Madison Square Garden w/ A Tribe Called Quest
A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad DJs the RSVPed-out NPR CMJ showcase that Pusha T (whose new album Kanye produced) plays.
Updated Kanye dates are listed below...
by Andrew Sacher
Pusha T spent most of the '00s as one half of respected hip hop duo Clipse, and more recently he's struck out on his own, releasing multiple mixtapes, and becoming a frequent Kanye collaborator. This week (10/8), he finally put out his first official solo album, My Name Is My Name, which was produced almost entirely (and executive produced) by Kanye West. You can hear hints of Yeezus in the production, but while 'Ye used his own record to see how far he could push the boundaries of hip hop, for this one he keeps his beautiful dark twisted fantasies within the classicist realm of the genre. 2 Chainz and Big Sean, who are becoming the dynamic duo of goofy guest verses, show up to lighten the mood on "Who I Am," The-Dream gives Pusha a dose of PBR&B (sorry) on "40 Acres," and Kendrick Lamar appears in characteristic game-murdering mode on what may be the album's best track, "Nosetalgia." You can watch the video for "Nostetalgia" (via NPR), along with a full stream of the album (via Myspace), below.
Pusha T is about to go on a UK tour with collaborators Chase & Status, but before that he'll play a couple US dates, including NPR's CMJ showcase, which happens on October 16 at Le Poisson Rouge. The rest of the lineup is stacked, including Syrian pop star Omar Souleyman (who has a new Four Tet-produced album on the way), NYC pop duo Cults (who have other shows too), and a DJ set from A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad (who also DJed last year's NPR CMJ showcase). The show is free with RSVP, which opens today (10/10). Check @NPRHipHop and @NPRMusic for updates. If you can't make it, you can also watch the live stream on NPR Music.
All Pusha T dates are listed, along with the video and LP stream, below...
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Arca - &&&&& (MP3)
Arca at Le Poisson Rouge in March (more by PSquared)
It's been a pretty incredible year for Brooklyn-via-Venezuela producer Arca. It wasn't that long ago that he was playing around the forward thinking UNO scene with CFCF, SFV Acid, Mykki Blanco (whose career has also seriously escalated), and others. Now, he's taken on the role as co-producer for hot, rising, Young Turks-signed UK singer FKA twigs, and contributed to the dark, twisted production of Kanye West's Yeezus (along with another once-underground producer, Evian Christ).
Arca's next NYC show is the just-announced Pitchfork's FORMS and MoMA PS1-presented show in the VW Performance Dome at MoMA PS1 on October 6 from 4-7 PM (not the first time he's played MoMA PS1). The show is part of the venue's Sunday Sessions, and is with London director Jesse Kanda (who also directed FKA twigs' "Water Me" video). They'll be premiering a film that interprets a section of Arca's recent &&&&&, a mix that goes through Yeezus-style darkness, uplifting wordless vocals, clamoring percussion, and more in its 25+ minutes.
The MoMA PS1 show "will feature abstract renditions of Arca's music with a vocal ensemble led by Abby Fischer accompanied by lights and a set designed by video/art collective Thunderhorse." Tickets are on sale now.
Arca's &&&&& can be downloaded above, and streamed, along with FKA twigs' "Water Me" video and Kanye's "I'm In It" (prod. Arca, Evian Christ, etc), below...
Kanye West at Governors Ball 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Tickets for the NYC stops on Kanye West's tour at Barclays Center (11/19) and Madison Square Garden (11/23) went on sale this morning, and Kanye immediately added second dates for each venue (Barclays on 11/20, MSG on 11/24). Tickets for all four are on sale now.
Kendrick Lamar opens most of the tour, but hasn't been announced for the NYC shows (neither has anyone else). Updated dates are listed below...
Kanye, Charlie Wilson, The Roots & a choir on 'Fallon'
Kanye West recently announced a tour with Kendrick Lamar, and following that announcement he appeared on Late NIght with Jimmy Fallon to perform the closing track on Yeezus, "Bound 2." Kanye performed with backing from Fallon's house band The Roots, a choir doing the "bound to fall in love" vocal and Charlie Wilson joining him to sing his hook on the song. Check out the video of that performance below.
As discussed, Kanye's tour hits NYC on November 19 at Barclays Center and November 23 at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for both shows go on AEG/Venue/Radio/TM/Twitter/AmEx presales Thursday (9/12) at 10 AM (password: "YEEZUS"). General on-sale begins Friday (9/13) at 9 AM.
Kendrick, who we just caught at Williamsburg Park, hasn't been announced for the NYC shows (neither has anyone else).
Fallon video, and the list of all 'Yeezus' tour dates, below...
Kanye West has made recent festival appearances like NYC's Governors Ball and has gone on a collaborative tour with Jay Z, but the man behind two of rap's most acclaimed albums of the current decade hasn't actually gone on a solo headlining tour in five years. That will change this year though, as he's just announced North American dates spanning from October through December. Stacking the deck even more, another very exciting figure in today's rap world, Kendrick Lamar (who also played Governors Ball), will be opening.
The tour hits NYC for arena shows on November 19 at Barclays Center and November 23 at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday, September 13. All dates are listed below.
Kendrick isn't actually currently listed on either of the two NYC shows, but he will be in NYC to play Williamsburg Park on September 10 with Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, and Bishop Nehru. Tickets for that show are still available.
Jay Z just announced a tour too, including two nights at Barclays Center.
Meanwhile, there's a bunch of other great upcoming hip hop shows happening in NYC.
All Kanye dates are listed, along with the video for "Black Skinhead," below...
Grimes and 2 Chainz
Taylor Swift realizing *NSYNC appeared on stage
From many points in Brooklyn, one could look up and see the lit up blimp in the air hovering over the Barclays Center yesterday (8/25). It was where the overhead shots were being filmed during the pre-show which included the big crowds outside around the Brooklyn streets that MTV got closed down to create the red carpet for the VMAs....
A red carpet, set up on Dean Street near Flatbush Avenue, was completely invisible to many non-ticketed fans and the general public who were mainly cordoned in a pen at the Best Buy on Atlantic Avenue between Fort Greene Place and Sixth Avenue.Meanwhile, during the ceremony, we got performances from Kanye West (playing "Blood on the Leaves," not "Black Skinhead"), Justin Timberlake (on-stage *NSYNC reunion included), Drake, Kendrick Lamar (joining Robin Thicke, who, um, palled around with Miley Cyrus on stage), Lady Gaga (playing her new EDM-inspired single), and more.
Another penned area, at Sixth Avenue and Bergen Street, gave a small group of fans a distant peek at the carpet, but it was still a full city block away.
"Obviously they can't let everyone in for security reasons, but we can't see anything at all," said Donna Hall, 28, who came from Queens. "I've been out here with my friends since 3 p.m. and we've been trying to find the best vantage point possible, but we settled here because at least we could see a glimpse of the red carpet. [DNA Info]
Daft Punk didn't perform, but they did walk the red carpet and sit in the audience in their masks which they also wore to present 'Best Female Music Video' with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. They also debuted part of the video for "Lose Yourself to Dance."
Vampire Weekend, who are headlining the Barclays Center in September, presented an award to One Direction.
Jay-Z and Beyonce were strangely nowhere to be found.
Eminem also pulled a Jay Z and announced his new album, MMLP2 (the sequel to 2000's Marshall Mathers LP), in a commercial that aired during the VMAs. The album was executive produced by Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin, and it's due out November 5. Meanwhile, the single, "Berserk," will drop this Tuesday (8/27).
If you watched, what did you think? Should Miley Cyrus stop being so trashy? Should Robin Thicke stop being so creepy? Should Kanye stop being so serious? Does Justin Timberlake have really long arms? Does anyone really care that *NSYNC showed up (for a minute and a half)? If you didn't watch, or need a refresher, some videos from the night are below...