Here Are The 2015 MTV Video Music Award Nominees

Video of the Year


Beyoncé — “7/11”
Ed Sheeran — “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift — “Bad Blood” (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
Mark Ronson — “Uptown Funk” (ft. Bruno Mars)
Kendrick Lamar — “Alright”

Best Male Video


Ed Sheeran — “Thinking Out Loud”
Big Sean — “I Don’t Fuck With You”
Nick Jonas — “Chains”
The Weeknd — “Earned It”
Kendrick Lamar — “Alright”

Best Female Video


Beyoncé — “7/11”
Taylor Swift — “Blank Space”
Sia — “Elastic Heart”
Ellie Goulding — “Love Me Like You Do”
Nicki Minaj — “Anaconda”

Best Rock Video


Hozier — “Take Me to Church”
Fall Out Boy — “Centuries”
Florence and the Machine — “Ship to Wreck”
Walk the Moon — “Shut Up and Dance”
Arctic Monkeys — “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”

Best Hip-Hop Video


Fetty Wap — “Trap Queen”
Nicki Minaj — “Anaconda”
Kendrick Lamar — “Alright”
Wiz Khalifa — “See You Again” (ft. Charlie Puth)
Big Sean — “I Don’t Fuck With You”

Best Pop Video


Beyonce — “7/11”
Ed Sheeran — “Thinking Out Loud”
Mark Ronson — “Uptown Funk” (ft. Bruno Mars)
Taylor Swift — “Blank Space”
Maroon 5 — “Sugar”

Best Collaboration


Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar — “Bad Blood”
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars — “Uptown Funk”
Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth — “See You Again”
Ariana Grande and The Weeknd — “Love Me Harder”
Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj — “Bang Bang”

Best Video With a Social Message


Jennifer Hudson — “I Still Love You”
Colbie Caillat — “Try”
Big Sean — “One Man Can Change the World”
Rihanna — “American Oxygen”
Wale — “The White Shoes”

Artist to Watch


Fetty Wap — “Trap Queen”
Vance Joy — “Riptide”
George Ezra — “Budapest”
James Bay — “Hold Back the River”
FKA Twigs — “Pendulum”

Best Choreography


Beyoncé — “7/11”
OK GO — “I Won’t Let You Down”
Chet Faker — “Gold”
Ed Sheeran — “Don’t”
Flying Lotus — “Never Catch Me” (ft. Kendrick Lamar)

Best Art Direction


The Chemical Brothers — “Go”
Jack White — “Would You Fight For My Love”
Skrillex & Diplo — “Where Are Ü Now” (ft. Justin Bieber)
Snoop Dogg — “So Many Pros”
Taylor Swift — “Bad Blood” (ft. Kendrick Lamar)

Best Direction


Childish Gambino — “Sober”
Hozier — “Take Me to Church”
Kendrick Lamar — “Alright”
Mark Ronson — “Uptown Funk” (ft. Bruno Mars)
Taylor Swift — “Bad Blood” (ft. Kendrick Lamar)

Best Editing


A$AP Rocky — “L$D”
Beyonce — “7/11”
Ed Sheeran — “Don’t”
Skrillex & Diplo — “Where Are Ü Now” (ft. Justin Bieber)
Taylor Swift — “Bad Blood” (ft. Kendrick Lamar)

Best Cinematography


Alt-J — “Left Hand Free”
Ed Sheeran — “Thinking Out Loud”
FKA Twigs — “Two Weeks”
Flying Lotus — “Never Catch Me” (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
Taylor Swift — “Bad Blood” (ft. Kendrick Lamar)

Best Visual Effects


Childish Gambino — “Telegraph Ave”
FKA Twigs — “Two Weeks”
Skrillex & Diplo — “Where Are Ü Now” (ft. Justin Bieber)
Taylor Swift — “Bad Blood” (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
Tyler, The Creator — “Fucking Young/Death Camp”

Best of the BET Awards 2015

Last night, (June 28), the BET awards celebrated its 20th anniversary.  The night was full of reunions and tributes making for some very interesting and amazing moments. Watch the best performances below.

Kendrick Lamar — Alright
Smokey Robinson Tribute Feat. Tori Kelly, Robin Thicke and Ne-Yo
Empire Cast

Continue reading

Taylor Swift Debuts Celeb- Filled “Bad Blood” Video

Taylor Swift Bad Blood

After teasing the star-studded cast for over a week, Taylor Swift’s music video for “Bad Blood” has dropped!

Making its world debut at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, T.Swizzle went all out.

Each celebrity picked their own alter ago in the Joseph Kahn-directed video.

“Bad Blood” Cast

Taylor Swift as Catastrophe
Selena Gomez as Arsyn
Karlie Kloss as Knockout
Kendrick Lamar as Welvin Da Great
Martha Hunt as HomeSlice
Jessica Alba as Domino
Serayah as Dilemma
Lena Dunham as Lucky Fiori
Hailee Steinfeld as The Trinity
Ellie Goulding as Destructa X
GiGi Hadid as Slay-Z
Hayley Williams as The Crimson Curse
Zendaya as Cut-Throat
Lily Aldridge as Frostbyte
Ellen Pompeo as Luna
Mariska Hargitay as Justice
Cara Delevingne as Mother Chucker
Cindy Crawford as Headmistress

How Hip-Hop Conquered Streaming

Though it’s second fiddle in digital and physical sales to rock and pop, hip-hop has long been the most popular genre on music streaming services. BuzzFeed News spoke to music industry experts to find out why.

Earlier this year, on Valentine’s Day, much of the internet was enamored of Drake. The Toronto rapper’s commercial mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which had been released with little warning two nights before, was played more than 6.8 million times on Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming service, more than doubling the previous single-day streaming record. Like a capricious lover, however, that same record would soon move on to another. Almost exactly one month after Drake’s mixtape, and a week ahead of schedule, Kendrick Lamar crashed streaming servers with a surprise release of his own — his second major-label album, To Pimp a Butterfly, which demolished the record set by If You’re Reading This by racking up an unheard of 9.6 million streams on its first full day of release.

These twin high-water marks, set by two of hip-hop’s most dynamic figures (andoccasional rivals), say a lot about the state of the genre, which is flourishing after a relatively fallow 2014. But they also say a lot about the state of streaming, which is not only distinguished from other music platforms in that it’s growing rapidly, but in that the type of music that is driving its growth is rap and R&B.

According to Nielsen Music, a plurality — 29% — of all on-demand streaming in 2014 was of hip-hop and R&B. This includes activity on services like Spotify, YouTube, Rdio, and Rhapsody, but not Pandora or SoundCloud. Hip-hop and R&B’s share of streaming put the genre ahead of rock (25%), pop (21%), EDM (7%), and country (6%). And data provided by Nielsen to BuzzFeed News shows that the trend held for the first quarter of 2015, with hip-hop claiming a 25% share of streaming, compared to 23% for rock and 20% for pop.

Over the past six months, four of the top five most streamed albums on Spotify globally belonged to hip-hop (Drake, Lamar, J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive, and Big Sean’s Dark Sky Paradise), with only One Direction’s Fourpreventing a sweep. And last month, the Spotify record for most streamed song in a single week went to the rapper Wiz Khalifa, whose hit “See You Again” featuring Charlie Puth received 21.9 million plays from April 6–12.

Hip-hop’s lead in streaming is remarkable, considering that the genre has historically lagged behind rock and pop in other metrics used by the music industry as barometers of success. When it comes to album sales, for instance, hip-hop and R&B was still a distant second to rock in 2014, accounting for 14% of sales compared to rock’s 33%, according to Nielsen Music. In song downloads, hip-hop and R&B came in third place behind both rock and pop.

As the music industry has shifted to a more streaming-focused model, with both physical and digital music sales continuing to decline, there are signs that hip-hop artists are reaping the benefit. More than a third of the 14 albums to top the Billboard 200 this year, which last November began to include streams as a factor, came from the hip-hop category, including the aforementioned albums by Drake, Lamar, and Big Sean, plus theEmpire soundtrack and Wale’s The Album About Nothing.

“These artists are doing phenomenally well,” Dave Bakula, SVP of industry insights at Nielsen, told BuzzFeed News. “And it’s something we’ve seen for as long as we’ve been tracking [streaming] — R&B/hip-hop really sets itself apart.”

Of course, the million-dollar question is: Why? It’s not easy to say, conclusively. Unlike, say, vinyl, which is today marketed toward older consumers and leans heavily on the classics (4 out of 10 of the top-selling vinyl albums last year were released before 1985), streaming services have long been billed as genre-agnostic musical utopias: all of the music, all of the time. To explain how hip-hop and R&B came to rule such a platform, we talked to industry experts and came away with three theories.

The Youths

The first and most obvious answer has to do with age. Streaming is the youngest of the platforms and, as with most nascent technologies, its user base is similarly young. According to a study by GMI Market Research provided to BuzzFeed News, the average age of users of major music platforms is as follows: Spotify, 28; Pandora, 32; iTunes, 34; SiriusXM, 42; terrestrial radio, 43.

“If you’re 18 years old, you probably don’t have any memory of purchasing music via download or physical product,” said Ken Parks, chief content officer at Spotify. “But you probably do spend a lot of time listening to music on platforms like ours or YouTube.”

From Will Smith to Rae Sremmurd, hip-hop has always been fueled and supported by young people, so it makes sense that a platform with a young user base would see a lot of activity in that genre. “Many 18- to 24-year-olds, which is really our core audience, eat, sleep, and breathe hip-hop,” said Parks. So who’s streaming all of that Wiz Khalifa? Probably not your mom.

Mixtape Culture

Hip-hop, more than any other genre, has a strong tradition of free music. Years before the rise of ad-supported, on-demand streaming in America, rappers big and small were keeping mixtape sites like Datpiff and LiveMixtapes flush with quality content at no cost. When Spotify arrived in 2011 with the promise of making all music available for free, it’s easy to imagine hip-hop fans among its earliest and most avid supporters. “People our age come from an era where you can just go to a mixtape website and download everything for free, so that’s just what we’re used to,” said Tyler, the Creator, whose April album, Cherry Bomb, was the most streamed album on Spotify the week of its release. “Hip-hop fans want the shit right then and there or they’ll download it somewhere else for free. They’re like, ‘What the fuck do I look like buyin’ it?’”

It’s worth remembering that Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late mixtape broke on-demand streaming records only after being pulled from traditional mixtape destinations like SoundCloud and LiveMixtapes.

Social Media Behavior

The portability of links to songs on YouTube or Spotify means it’s much easier to share music than ever before, and activity on streaming services often follows social media conversations. According to an unpublished “Music 360” study by Nielsen provided to BuzzFeed News, hip-hop and EDM fans are the most likely to talk about music with friends, including on social media. In a survey of over 2,500 music listeners, 27% of hip-hop fans strongly agreed with the statement “I often discuss music with my friends,” compared to 28% of EDM fans, 21% of rock fans, and 17% of pop/top 40 fans. “I think the social nature of the fan base is a factor here,” said Bakula.

Nielsen’s study of hip-hop fans jibes with earlier research about African-Americans and social media use. A 2014 study by the Pew Research Center found that fully 96% of black Americans between 18 and 29 use social networking sites, compared with 90% of white Americans in the same age group. Smartphone ownership among 18- to 29-year-olds showed a similar gap: 85% of black respondents said they owned a smartphone compared to 79% of white ones.

Among the many ways that the rise of streaming is disrupting the business and culture of music, one of the most significant may be upending paradigms of access and visibility. Originally conceived as the defiant music of outsiders, hip-hop, now more than ever, is poised to become the default. If streaming is the future, than, for now at least, the Drakes and the Kendricks, and the J. Coles of the world are its heirs.

Kendrick Lamar Debuts “King Kunta” Video in Times Square

The Compton rapper has set the video for “King Kunta” in his hometown, turning the entire city into a party.

The rapper debuted the video fon giant Jumbotron screens in New York City’s Times Square and Los Angeles’s LA Live on Wednesday evening.

Lamar announced the premier on Twitter: “King Kunta Video. NYC. Beats Billboard. 46th and Broadway. 6PM” and “King Kunta Video. LA. Downtown LA LIVE billboard. 6PM”

Kendrick Lamar’s New Album Drops A Week Early

Kendrick Lamar's highly anticipated second major label album, To Pimp A Butterfly, was released digitally late Sunday night after springing a leak online. Download it on iTunes or stream it on Spotify now.The album features special guests such as George Clinton, Snoop Dogg, Bilal, and more — as well as already released tracks including “i,” “King Kunta,” and “The Blacker the Berry”

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Lamar said the album’s title was a play on the classic Harper Lee novel To Kill A Mockingbird. “Just putting the word ‘pimp’ next to ‘butterfly’… It’s a trip,” Lamar said. “That’s something that will be a phrase forever. It’ll be taught in college courses — I truly believe that.”

Kendrick Lamar Premieres “The Blacker The Berry”

Kendrick Lamar has unveiled a brand new single “The Blacker The Berry”. “I’m African American, I’m African, I’m black as the moon”, he spits “Came from the bottom of mankind/ My hair is nappy/ My dick is big/ My nose is round and wide/ You hate me don’t you?/ You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture.”

“The Blacker The Berry” follows the release of “i”.

Listen Below

Kendrick Lamar’s Surprising New Single Is All About Self-Love And Acceptance

via Buzzfeed

“i” sets the table for the popular and critically beloved rapper’s sophomore album, due later this year. But are his fans ready for what’s in store?


Early this morning, Kendrick Lamar made his proper return to music and, naturally, everyone rejoiced. Here’s “i”, the first single from the Compton rapper’s wildly anticipated (and still untitled) sophomore album.

The song was produced by Rahki, an L.A. producer and protege of DJ Khalil who worked previously with Lamar on “Black Boy Fly,” a bonus track from his 2012 debut Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.


“i” contains an expensive sample of the Isley Brother’s 1964 classic “That Lady,” making it the latest in a long line of noteworthy hip-hop songs to sample the iconic soul trio, including Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day” and The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa.”

As Kendrick Lamar songs go, “i” is unabashedly uplifting and message-driven, a psychedelic guitar-based call for self-love and acceptance that will be sung in showers and out of car windows.

As Kendrick Lamar songs go, "i" is unabashedly uplifting and message-driven, a psychedelic guitar-based call for self-love and acceptance that will be sung in showers and out of car windows.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch

After a summer marked by violence and brutality at home and abroad, the song is undoubtedly political, but its politics are of peace and humanism, not fury or righteous indignation. “If you read between the lines, you’ll learn how to love one another,” a preacher bellows at the beginning of “i”. “But you can’t do that without loving yourself first!”

After the largely narrative and introspective work ofGood Kid, Lamar seems to be revisiting the more overtly socially conscious inclinations he displayed on his 2011 independent album Section.80.


Section.80 songs like “Fuck Your Ethnicity,” “No Make Up (Her Vice)” and “HiiiPower” wore their politics on their sleeves, addressing everything from racism to self-worth to representations in media.

On Twitter, the new song inspired some enthusiastic praise.

But some were skeptical of the shift in tone.

There’s no word yet on a release date for the new album, but if it’s our attention Kendrick was after, mission accomplished.

Kendrick Lamar's Surprising New Single Is All About Self-Love And Acceptance