Nicki Minaj Does New Collab with Major Lazer (Listen)

Photo: Christopher Macsurak via Wikipedia

Nicki Minaj, Partynextdoor, and Major Lazer have released a new banger today, one of the few glimmering beacons of hope in these dark, dark times. The single, titled “Run Up,” has been teased for weeks, and certainly lives up to the hype, giving us seriously happy, slightly beachy vibes. Take a listen below.

“Run Up” is likely to be included on Major Lazer’s forthcoming fourth studio album, Music is the Weapon. To Zane Lowe on Beats 1 last summer, Diplo said of the album: “Definitely we have Usher on it. MØ’s back on songs. We have a song with Sam Hunt which is very unusual, but I love him. Travis Scott. I don’t even know; I have to go back…Sia is on a couple ideas, but one of the records might be her record. She’s definitely background vocals on a song.”

While we await more magic from Major Lazer, we’ll have to be content for now with Nicki’s “Run Up” verse to tide us over – and her verse in “Monster” on repeat:

It’s December, Which Means It’s Time For End-Of-The-Year Mixtapes

End of the year listicles are a weird double-edged sword—yeah, they can be seen as agenda-setting and the discourse around them mind-numbing (“Where is [Album I Liked]?” “Why is [Album I Hated] on this list?”), but they’re also a great way to catch up on the good stuff you might have missed over the past year. For those who can’t stand all that clicking and reading, end-of-the-year mixtapes are a tolerable and dance party-ready substitute.

Hype Machine, instead of doing the whole end-of-the-year listicle thing, enlisted a pair of popular dance party curators to do their 2012 mixes, Major Lazer and the Hood Internet. The former, in addition to the international jamz with which Major Lazer are associated, features hits from Kendrick Lamar, Usher, TNGHT, and Hot Chip, as well as some of their own tracks from this year, including a sped-up “Original Don” and the wub-happy collaboration with Flux Pavilion, “Jah No Partial.” Chicago duo The Hood Internet feature Kanye West, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Future, and Chief Keef, among others, and both mixes feature iterations of M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls.”

DJ Daniel Kim takes a more pure pop approach to his end-of-the-year mix, which features some of the biggest singles of the year, with videos to match. More than 50 tracks from the forgettable (“Payphone,” that Flo Rida whistle song) to some particularly choice jams—you may have forgotten “Call Me Maybe,” Grammys, but the Danthology certainly did not. Fun.’s “We Are Young” gets mixed with tracks from Katy Perry and Nelly Furtado, and what’s amazing is how immensely improved all three become.

The only end-of-the-year mix that seems conspicuously missing is DJ Earworm, who has been delivering a mega-mashup pop music State of the Union of sorts for years along the lines of Danthology. But we’re sure he’ll have something along soon. In the meantime, put these on your New Year’s Eve playlist.

Eli Roth Directs A Video With Snoop Lion and a Bunch of Kids, Because Why Not?

For all the incidents which made him notorious before his rap career took off, Snoop Lion seems like he’s pretty good with kids. His short-lived up-close-with-the-family show Father Hood showed him as your typical goofy reality TV dad, and he sponsors a youth football league for inner-city youth. So it was only a matter of time before he made a Halloween music video with a bunch of kids running around in animal costumes, and have Eli Roth (fresh off the Goretorium!) direct it.  

Before the music begins in the clip for the Major Lazer-produced reggae jam "La La La," Snoop Lion is chatting with some of his kid collaborators, dressed as birds and bugs and lions and tigers. They ask him all kinds of questions, including why he changed his name and if he knows Jennifer Lopez. The video mostly consists of Snoop—at first donning his tricolor beanie before going into a coffin and emerging with a cane and a giant lion spirit hood—singing about very traditional reggae themes while the kids dance around, cute cartoon turtles stumble by and occasionally the animations get a little NSFW.If Sesame Street featured short-shorts-wearing backup dancers, not-so-subtle references of death and claymation anthropomorphic fruits smoking weed, then it would look something like this. Watch. 

Major Lazer’s Live-Action, SoMe-Directed New Video for “Get Free”

Major Lazer returned this year with some personnel changes (Switch and Skerrit Bwoy out; Jillionaire in), production on the new album from Snoop Do—er, Lion, a new reggae-tinged single, “Get Free,” released back in April and a second full-length album on the way.

Ed Banger art director So Me (“We Are Your Friends,” “Barbra Streisand”), directed the video for “Get Free,” released today. Diplo and Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, who also sings on the track, make appearances in the clip, a mix of studio footage, boxing, school kids, some brilliant and frenetic dancing and at some point, a guy with an extremely intense gaze petting a chicken. Basically, it’s a nightclub description from Stefon come to life.

Free the Universe drops November 6th via Mad Decent/Downtown and features appearances from Tyga, Wyclef Jean, Bruno Mars and more. In the meantime, check out the video below.

Ten Celebrities Who Should Buy Appleton’s New $5,000 Jamaican Rum

On August 6, 1962, the Commonwealth of Jamaica declared its independence from Britain. In the years and months leading up to that historic moment, the sage distillers at Appleton Estate set aside a few barrels of their finest rum as an alcoholic time capsule, with the idea that it would be opened, blended, and bottled in honor of the country’s 50th anniversary in 2012. As Jamaica’s golden anniversary approaches, Appleton is releasing the spirit in limited quantities (800 bottles) and at a lofty price tag ($5,000 each). I was fortunate enough to receive a (small) sample bottle of Appleton 50-Year Jamaica Independence Reserve Rum. My first thought, after "How does it taste?" was "Who is going to buy it?" 

In the realm of ludicrously expensive booze, when people are dropping crazy amounts of money on a bottle of something, it’s usually either a fine French wine or some ridiculously old Scotch whisky. (As for the latter, the Macallan just broke the world’s record for most expensive whisky ever sold at auction with its 64-year-old going for $460,000.) In my professional drinking career, I’ve had the good fortune of tasting a $17,500 Scotch (Highland Park 50-year-Old), a $700 gin (Nolet’s Reserve Dry Gin), and an $800 orange liqueur (Grand Marnier Quintessence).  But I’ve never tasted a rum that sells for more than $200, so I was looking forward to sipping some of this extremely precious liquid.
So first of all, what does $5,000 rum taste like? The Appleton 50-Year-Old has a dark mahogany appearance and a strong, leathery aroma that makes it almost as much of a pleasure to smell as it is to drink. When you do actually drink it, you’ll notice an explosion of flavors, from vanilla and maple to cinnamon and citrus. It’s as smooth as the day is long, and the flavor lingers in your cheeks for minutes and in your mind forever. So let’s just say that it’s really, really good. In fact, it’s the best I’ve had. 
But who would buy it? Not me, I’m afraid. To me, $5,000 is a lot of money, but plenty of people drop that much in a night without thinking twice. And so, dear Appleton Rum marketing department, I’ve gone through the trouble of compiling a list of people you should approach with this amazing new (old) rum of yours.
When he founded Island Records in 1959, Blackwell brought ska and reggae to a worldwide audience, forging the careers of Bob Marley and many others along the way. Blackwell’s family on his mom’s side had been involved with Appleton Rum in the past, so not only does he have the money to buy a bottle or two, he’s got the family history to make it meaningful. Hit him up, Appleton.
The oldest son of Bob Marley, Ziggy’s not only an heir to a sizable fortune, he’s an active reggae musician himself. So maybe he grew up Rasta and abstains from alcohol most of the time. His purchase of this world-class product of Jamaica would be a ringing endorsement of one of the island’s premier industries. Ziggy ought to make an exception in this case and buy a bottle, even if he only serves it to guests. 
He’s one of the biggest reggae stars out there, and isn’t shy about being boombastic. A bottle of $5,000 rum from his homeland of Jamaica would look great on his coffee table. 
The artist once known as Snoop Doggy Dogg is in the midst of a major Jamaica thing right now, spending lots of time on the island filming a documentary tentatively titled Snoop in Jamaica. I’m not sure how strict he is about abstaining from alcohol as devout Rastas do, but if there’s any wiggle room, I’m sure he’ll find the Appleton 50 tastier than any gin ‘n’ juice he’s ever had. 
Busta’s from Red Hook, Brooklyn, but both of his parents are Jamaican, and his musical style is influenced by reggae rhythms and melodies. As one of the most successful rappers alive, he’s easily got the money to support the Jamaican economy with the purchase of a bottle or two. Pass the Courvoisier Appleton.
Thanks to his Major Lazer project with DJ Switch, Diplo has established himself as a force in Jamaican music. The duo’s first album, Guns Don’t Kill People … Lazers Do was recorded in Jamaica at Tuff Gong Studios and featured such notable Jamaican artists as Vybz Kartel. He’s worked with musicians as varied as Thom Yorke and Beyonce, which strongly suggests that he has both the means and the enthusiasm to procure and enjoy Jamaica’s finest rum. 
No, Nicki’s not Jamaican, she was born in Saint James, Trinidad, but she’s got that cool island thing going, and she absolutely tore it up at Jamaica Reggae Summerfest last year, so let’s give her a symbolic key to the island for her contributions. Anyway, this list is dominated by men, but women can appreciate a fine spirit as well as any of them. The Barbz would go nuts. 
Rihanna is from Barbados, which is not Jamaica. Barbados is, however, where rum was invented (or at least first officially produced) by Mount Gay Distilleries Ltd. in 1703, which means Riri knows it well. As a connoisseur, she’d look absolutely lovely sipping a glass of Appleton 50, and might even be inspired to write a song about it, which they probably wouldn’t mind at all.  
Rick Ross isn’t Jamaican either, but he is the bawse, which means he’s actively on the hunt for the best of everything, to consume conspicuously, in impressive quantities. Well, Mr. Ross, the next time you take over the VIP section of a nightclub like LIV in Miami Beach and avail yourself of the bottle service on offer, may I suggest steering clear of the vodka just once in favor of what may well be the best rum in the world? And can I come hang out with you? Okay, sorry. 
Even though he’s from Kenya Hawaii, President Obama remains wildly popular in the Caribbean. Instead of having a "beer summit" like he hosted with Skip Gates and that cop who arrested him in his own house that one time, he should have a rum summit centered around this elite bottle. And yes, I’d love to attend, so give me a ring, sir. I’m in the book.

Lineup Announcement Roundup: Austin City Limits, Holy Ship!!

If sweating it out with barbecue sauce stains all over your shirt while trying to take in the dozens of bands around you or dancing on a really big boat in the Bahamas sound like your bag, tonight’s festival roundup will be particularly appealing. Austin’s end-of-festival-season blowout Austin City Limits announced its lineup with some notable overlap with Lollapalooza and a stacked roster of eclectic acts all three days, starting at the top with headliners The Black Keys, Florence + The Machine, AVICII, Neil Young & Crazy Horse (get ready to sing some classic American folk songs!), Jack White, The Roots, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Avett Brothers, Weezer, M83 and Iggy & The Stooges. 

Other notable ACLiens include a reunited Afghan Whigs on their world domination tour, soul-revival upstarts Alabama Shakes, Childish "Donald Glover" Gambino, BASSNECTAR, The Shins, Los Campesinos!, Gotye, Tegan & Sara, Zola Jesus, BlackBook artist to watch Michael Kiwanuka, Willis Earl Beal, Gary Clark Jr., The Weeknd and First Aid Kit, with plenty more here. 3-day passes for ACL are already sold out, but you can get single-day passes for $90 a pop.

If you’d rather dance on a boat to Diplo and Digitalism, electronica festival and cruise Holy Ship!! (with TWO exclamation points) returns with a host of DJs and dance acts including the aforementioned Mad Decent mixmaster and Hamburg house duo, as well as Major Lazer, Justice, Knife Party, Boys Noize, Skream and Benga, Busy P, Crookers, Dillon Francis and 12th Planet, with pletny more names on the site.

ACL will take place October 12th – 14th in Austin’s Zilker Park; Holy Ship!! will host a pre-party in Fort Lauderdale on January 3rd, 2013 and be on the high seas aboard the MSC Poesia January 4th – 7th, 2013, just in time for you to fully decimate any hopes of maintaining a New Year’s resolution. Watch footage from last year’s cruise below: 

Morning Links: Lindsay Lohan Can’t Afford Therapy, James Franco Is Single

● Lindsay Lohan says she can’t afford to pay for her court-ordered psychological treatment. Or, more likely, she’d just rather not have to. [People] ● Painter Lucian Freud, grandson to Sigmund and psychological portraitist extraordinaire, has died at age 88. [NYT] ● No Doubt has called in Major Lazer to the studio, we imagine to show them what the kids these days are listening to while they ready their first album in ten years. [P4K]

● Simon & Schuster is happy to publish Snooki’s second book, this time a novel about “the sexiest summer ever,” because the publishing industry is pretty desperate and her first book sold a ton of copies. [Celebuzz] ● Guys, James Franco is finally single! He blames his inconceivable schedule for his split with longtime girlfriend Ahna O’Reily. “Then I signed up for more school at Yale,” he says. “I think that was it for her.” [NYDN] ● Rohan Marley left his longtime – and expecting! – girlfriend Lauryn Hill and their five children for a Brazilian model, who went on to tweet the news. Is this just a silly game, Lauryn must be asking. [MTO]

Music You Might’ve Missed This Week: Drake, Chiddy Bang, Duck Sauce, Major Lazer

Lil B stole the show this week by dropping his controversial I’m Gay (I’m Happy) album with no warning on Wednesday night, but there were a few other noteworthy releases including the video for Drake’s “Marvin’s Room,” the “Mind Your Manners” single from Chiddy Bang’s debut album, and some new cuts from Duck Sauce and Major Lazer. Here’s are a few thing you might’ve missed.

Drake – “Marvin’s Room” Video: Drizzy premiered this single in early June and after his label attempted to remove the free track from the Internet, he followed up with the accompanying visuals this past Tuesday. Just like the lyrics, the hazy low budget video finds him in a club, after too many drinks, pining over a woman.

Chiddy Bang – “Mind Your Manners” Single: Chiddy and Xaphoon dropped their Peanut Butter & Swelly mixtape at the end of May–download it ASAP if you haven’t already–and this week, the rapper/producer team premiered the first official single from their upcoming debut album Breakfast.

Tinie Tempah ft. Wiz Khalifa – “Till I’m Gone” Video: Tinie Tempah re-released his debut album Disc-Overy for U.S. fans in May, and for the Stargate-produced single “Till I’m Gone” he shot a video in Los Angeles with Wiz Khalifa.

Duck Sauce – “Big Bad Wolf” Single This track bears little similarity to A-Trak and Armand Van Helden’s smash hit “Barbara Streisand,” but after numerous concerts a radio rip of the song has finally landed online.

Major Lazer – “German Elephant Killer” Single Diplo and Switch are employing some new social media strategies this year. In order to listen to this new single, fans are first required to “Like” the group on Facebook. We had to do it too. Stream the track on Facebook. Lil B – “Trapped in Prison” Single At Coachella, Lil B announced plans to title his new album I’m Gay (I’m Happy) sparking a bit of media controversy. Then, this week he quietly dropped the LP on iTunes and premiered this new single. Make judgements for yourself. (courtesy of HypeTrak) Lil B – Trapped In Prison by Hypetrak

Beyonce – “Girls (Run The World)” Alternate Video Fans seemed to enjoy this video more than they enjoyed the actual song, so here’s an alternate version of the original cut.

Eminem ft. Sasha Grey – “Space Bound” Video Em’s recent Hell: The Sequel EP with Royce 5′ 9” is having a great run on the music charts, but this week Shady rolled out the visuals for his Recovery single “Space Bound” with a guest appearance for porn star Sasha Grey.

Missy Elliott – VH1’s Behind The Music Special Okay, so this one isn’t exactly a musical release, but definitely worth a look. Missy Elliott filmed a segment for VH1’s Behind The Music where she opened up about her career and past, including sexual abuse and her current battle with Graves disease.

Major Lazer, Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do

What do you get when you pair a Philly-based DJ with a penchant for dinosaurs and a British producer whose pseudonym was once changed from Solid Groove to Switch?

Why, a zombie-fighting Jamaican cartoon commando with lasers for limbs and an uncanny way with futuristic-dancehall blazers, of course. As their breathtakingly kinetic alter-persona, Major Lazer, master-mixers Diplo (Wesley Pentz) and Switch (Dave Taylor)—with backing from the louche larynxes of Santigold and Amanda Blank—lay down a Jimmy Spliff, er, Cliff-indebted aural bacchanal. “Mary Jane,” “Pon De Floor” and “I’ll Make Ya” are raucous patois party-starters guaranteed to get all of the Jessica Rabbits on the floor hopping.