Today In Music Videos: Sigur Ros, Muse, Kanye & More

Songs are great, but sometimes you don’t know you love a track until you see the video. Thanks to the Internet and our insatiable appetite for amusement, the releases these days come fast and furious—check out our own premiere of Theresa Andersson’s “Street Parade” from this morning.

On any given day there’s plenty of great stuff floating around in the cultural ether. Let’s look around shall we?

This is the latest video from Sigur Rós’ forthcoming album Valtari. Each song from the album is getting a video by a different director, this one, for "Varúð,” is from Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, who created the album’s cover art.

This one is the latest from Kanye West, for his track “Mercy,” which also features Pusha-T, Big Sean, and 2 Chainz.

It’s not exactly a video, but this is the just-released album trailer for Muse’s forthcoming The 2nd Law.

Finally, last night The Walkmen performed two tracks on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Here’s our favorite, “Heaven.”

Morning Links: Kanye Kicks Off G.O.O.D. Friday, Judy Dench Wraps ‘Bond’ Career

● DJ Funkmaster Flex got Good Friday started a little early, spinning "Mercy," the first single off the Kanye and company’s G.O.O.D. Music compilation, on his show last night. Swerve, swerve, swerve… [RapRadar]

● The makers of Theraflu would like to remind you that they "in no way" want to be a part of Kanye’s double-cupped up "Theraflu." [NME]

● Looks like Mary Kate and Ashley weren’t fans of Harvard MBA recipient Tyra Banks’ "fantasy novel" Modelland. [Gawker]

● Justin Timberlake dangerously designed Jessica Biel’s engagement ring without the help of Biel’s stylist and, while Biel won’t say she doesn’t like it, everyone seems to know it’s not her style. Boys! [Us]

● Looks like Skyfall will be Dame Judy Dench’s last 007 movie as Bond’s other girl, M. [TheSun]

● Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain — where can have food and beverage delivered straight to their movie seat — has a Manhattan outpost in the works. [ArtsBeat]

Big Sean Recaps His Album Release Week on the Set of ‘Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay’

It’s been exactly a week since Big Sean dropped his debut album, Finally Famous. Now, he’s on set in Chelsea to film the Hype Williams-directed video for his Kanye West-featuring single, “Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay.” While Kanye films his segment of the video, Sean and his stylist settle on a screaming-loud, all-yellow outfit, with a couple of Jesus pieces and gold pinky rings for full effect. Patience has been a virtue of the 23-year-old Detroit rapper, who signed with West’s G.O.O.D. Music label a few years back, and who released a series of Finally Famous mixtapes before finally getting the chance to drop his official LP. It debuted at no. 3 on the charts.

Before he’s summoned back to the set, Sean casually drapes a nearby fur accessory over his head, and settles down to answer a few questions. It’s been a big week. Is he feeling any nerves at all? “Nah. I’m about to kill it.”

It’s been a long countdown to your official album release. How were you feeling the day of? The day my album came out I had a show in Vegas and I spent about $5,000 on flights and hotels to get my mom, dad, brother, and my best friends out there. It was worth it because it was just that one moment. The show was great and I wasn’t thinking, so when it hit 12am EST time, I realized that my album had just come out. It was right after I got off stage and my mom was in her special balcony section, so I went to her and hugged her and cried in front of all these fans. I think I was crying on her arms for about 15 minutes like a little baby. I was holding her and my dad and crying with both of them. That was probably the best day of my life, straight up.

So June 28 lived up to all of your expectations? Yeah man. We went to the club and got drunk as hell afterward. It was me, Wiz Khalifa, my family—my mom and dad were in the club with me—with like six bottles of champagne and Patron. It was crazy man, my mom and dad were hanging with me, I couldn’t believe it. We went out to eat after that. It was like 4 in the morning and I was tired as hell, but they were more awake than me.

Did the high continue when you woke up the next day? I was still working the day the album came out. I’m never satisfied. Not till I sell like a million in the first week, or until I’m the biggest artist on earth. I think the timing is meant to be, because my whole journey and the work on this album have been really humbling.

Now that you’re officially ‘finally famous,’ will the Finally Famous title stick around? I’ve been ‘finally famous’ since I was 17, but I just had to let the world know. It’s a lifestyle, it’s a way of living, I’m not saying it in the sense of “yeaah I’m famous,” I’m saying it in the sense of getting recognized for doing what I do, and I put “finally” in front of it because we worked our asses off. I think I’m going to call the next album Finally Famous with a subtitle. Just like I did the first three mixtapes with Finally Famous, I might do the first three albums as Finally Famous as well. image

You also shed a few tears at your album preview session in NYC a few weeks ago. Did you expect to get so choked up that night? I didn’t, but everything has seemed so far away at times. There were a lot of people in the audience, like Kanye, of course, who’s the head of my label, along with the whole Def Jam crew, all of the radio stations, all of these cool people…but what got me choked up was my friends being there. I just flashed back to high school, before Kanye or before anything was in play, with us talking about all the things we wanted to do. We always had the belief, like ‘man, we’re going to be big one day,’ and it was powerful to see them there with me. I’m not like a super sensitive dude or anything like that, but with tears of joy…sometimes you can’t even control it.

Do you have the drive and discipline to become the “biggest artist on earth?” Hell yeah I do. I’m gonna prove myself man, I’m gonna go hard. I’m gonna have a new album in less than a year, a new mixtape out in a couple weeks, and I’m still doing other tapes for other people. I’m gonna be that rapper. When I was looking at Biggie and Pac coming up, I wanted to be like them, and I’m going to be like for the younger generation. Somebody’s got to step up and do it.

What have you learned from the music industry crowd you run with these days? People like No I.D., Kanye, and Pharrell have shared their knowledge with me. I learned a lot of lessons just as a man on how to act, how not to act, and how to see the potential in music. I really used this album as a learning experience and picked up different lessons on how to make music. There were a lot of last minute deadlines, sample clearances, and stuff like that to deal with, so it wasn’t the exact vision I had, but the point of our lives is always to find perfection in imperfection.

You spread features from artists like Chiddy Bang, Pusha T, and Wiz Khalifa over 16 tracks. Were you worried about having too many guests on your debut? I was really going back and forth because I wanted this to be all me. I wanted to get my story across, the story of a kid who realized what he wanted to do in life, started doing it, and is now living out his dream. He does what young people do—parties hard, loves girls, and just gets high off of life—and I wanted the album to be a soundtrack for young people. If there’s one thing I want to be remembered for, it’s as someone who followed their heart and stood up for what they knew was right, no matter what people said. I’m not going to be 66 years old, wishing that I coulda, woulda, shoulda because whenever you follow your heart, whenever you choose to believe in something, that’s going to give you the best results. The track “Dance (A$$)” is pretty funny because you actually sampled MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” to make it. It’s crazy because that song came together all in my head. I was sitting with the interns producing another track and said, ‘I have an idea for a song man, it’s just gonna be called “Ass.”’ And I just started clapping my hands, like, ‘Ass, ass, ass, ass, ass, bounce now make that motherfucker hammer’ and they were like, ‘Wow, that’s crazy let’s do it.’

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You got mobbed at the Adidas store in SoHo a few weeks ago. Have you been able to chart the growth in your fan base over the past few years? Yeah, even Twitter is a good gauge of your fan base. I remember at the beginning of last year I had about 30,000 followers on Twitter and now I have 500,000 or something like that. With every mixtape or new project that I drop, it just gets bigger and bigger, and that’s how I feel like it’s going to keep going. I got bigger off this album and I’ll get bigger off the next thing I drop. We’re going all the way, that’s what G.O.O.D. Music is all about, that’s just what we do.

At your shows, diehard fans usually sport the “Big Sean Look.” Can you describe it? They obviously don’t have the fur, but…. Yeah, not the fur, but I usually have on snapback hats and tisa hats with the POW chains, Jordans or fresh ass Adidas, and the jeans can be any color—black, blue, diamond-studded, as long as they’re fitted and not too baggy. That’s the Big Sean look, with a denim jacket sometimes.

Photos by Matthew Manocherian.

Big Sean Having a Big Week, Premieres ‘I Do It’ Video

June 28 will be a big day for Big Sean. The Detroit rapper will drop his debut album, Finally Famous, on Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label, five years after freestyling for the Louis Vuitton Don outside of a local radio station. In the weeks leading up leading to his album’s release, Big Sean has hosted a teary-eyed listening session in NYC, released some new songs (and had a few leaked), and been featured on a new Kelly Rowland track. Today, he released the video for his single “I Do It.”

“I Do It” is the second official single from Finally Famous and the video, just like the song, is a pretty accurate summation of Big Sean’s aesthetic. Clothes, jewelry, girls and a general life of leisure feature heavily in his world. Check out his signature diamond encrusted “Pow” necklaces. They never get old.

“I Do It” was also featured in a recent Adidas ad starring Chicago Bulls MVP Derrick Rose.

New Music Leaks from Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Nas, & Big Sean

Yesterday was a banner day for hip hop leaks. We’ve got new songs from Yeezy, Weezy, Nas, and Big Sean. Are they all good? Meh, not really. But is it exciting to have a batch of new music from some of the best rappers working today? Definitely. Below, a roundup.

Kanye West –Mama’s Boyfriend” This didn’t make the cut for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which is too bad because it’s an excellent throwback to early, College Dropout-era Kanye. It’s also a rather touching tribute to Ye’s mother, who passed away in 2007. Download it here.

Lil Wayne –Dear Anne (Stan Pt. 2)” You wouldn’t believe it on first listen, but Swizz Beatz produced this track. It’s pretty dark and melancholic, with a lot of minor chords and tinkly piano. Remember that Eminem song “Stan,” about an obsessed fan? This is a follow-up to that. Unfortunately, it won’t be appearing on Tha Carter IV. You can download it here.

Nas –Nasty” Back in the day, Nas was known as “Nasty Nas,” hence the title of this track. If you like Nas, you’ll like this new track from his upcoming album Life Is Good. As ever, his flow and lyrics are dazzling, although I’m not crazy about the production on this one.

Big Sean ft. Kanye West –Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay” When is Big Sean going to blow up? Kanye’s labelmate has a lot of potential, but this is definitely not his breakout hit. That creaky nails-on-a-chalkboard noise in this beat is abrasive. The rest of his debut album is apparently coming on June 28 after many delays. For a much better Big Sean track, may I direct your attention to “My Last“?

So the summer is shaping up well so far, rap-wise. Could any of these qualify as the 2011 summer jam though? No. And the lack of said summer jam is still a pressing issue that the world of popular music needs to address.

Kanye West Brought G.O.O.D. Music to Brooklyn Last Night

Full suits are a little stuffy for summer weather performances, so last night in Brooklyn, Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Music crew went with an all-black-denim look instead. That’s except for rapper-turned-rocker Kid Cudi, who ran through Man On The Moon (I and II) hits in ripped blue jeans and a Pink Floyd tee. Pusha T, Big Sean, Cyhi, and Mr. Hudson each performed individual songs and shared stage time with Ye at the breathtaking Skylight One Hanson venue for the Heineken Red Star Access event.

Heineken took up two floors of the downtown Brooklyn space—a vaulted, art deco landmark with 63-ft ceilings. A street-level stage setup plus basement level lounge with more beer, couches, and flat screens all tuned into the Heat vs. Mavs game.

It’s not a stretch to say that the game might’ve attributed to the delayed performance, but either way, the concert kicked off around 12am with a few opening words from Aziz Ansari. Then Kanye — donning a few Jesus pieces — led in with “Dark Fantasy,” “Hell of a Life,” and “Power.”

image Photo Credits: Tim McGurr (13thWitness)

Pusha T jumped in with “My God,” followed by Cyhi, Mr. Hudson and then Big Sean, who secured a decent amount of stage time to perform some new songs (“My Last Joint,” “Marvin and Chardonnay”) from his upcoming debut, Finally Famous. Cudi, rocking no Jesus pieces or black denim, brought an unexpected amount of energy with “Mojo So Dope,” “Pursuit of Happiness,” and even “Make Her Say,” but most notably “Gorgeous,” along with Ye.

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The energy tilt was a great lead into My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’s “All of the Lights” where everyone (but Pusha) returned to the stage, and it actually sort of felt like watching one big happy family. “Through The Wire” happened during closing minutes, due to crowd requests, as did “All Falls Down.” There was a bit of theatrics—an elevating stage platform and fog machines—for “Flashing Lights” but, the closing number was “Runaway.” And the red leather jacket came out for that one.

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The venue, an unexpected pick, was a fitting backdrop for Kanye and all his glory, although the sound/acoustics were a bit questionable at times. And where was Jay-Z? We heard he was in the building.