My Picks for The 2018 VMA’s

MTV announced the VMA nominees for 2018. While Cardi B and and The Carters were top nominees, Childish Gambino “This Is America” was one of my top picks, even getting my vote for video of the year. Another standout to me was Drake’s “God’s Plan.”

Some categories I didn’t vote for because I honestly didn’t see the videos, or I didn’t feel super knowledgeable about the category (such as best editing).

The VMA’s always has noteworthy moments, and hopefully this year will be no different. Check out my choices below.

Video of the Year:

Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left to Cry”
Bruno Mars – “Finesse (Remix)” [ft. Cardi B]
Camila Cabello – “Havana” [ft. Young Thug]
The Carters – “APES**T”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Drake – “God’s Plan”

Artist of the Year:

Ariana Grande
Bruno Mars
Camila Cabello
Cardi B
Drake
Post Malone

Song of the Year:

Bruno Mars – “Finesse (Remix)” [ft. Cardi B]
Camila Cabello – “Havana” [ft. Young Thug]
Drake – “God’s Plan”
Dua Lipa – “New Rules”
Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
Post Malone – “rockstar” [ft. 21 Savage]

Best New Artist:

Bazzi
Cardi B
Chloe x Halle
Hayley Kiyoko
Lil Pump
Lil Uzi Vert

Best Collaboration:

Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”
Bruno Mars – “Finesse (Remix)” [ft. Cardi B]
The Carters – “APES**T”
Jennifer Lopez – “Dinero” [ft. DJ Khaled & Cardi B]
Logic – “1-800-273-8255” [ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid]
N.E.R.D – “Lemon” [ft. Rihanna]

Best Pop Video:

Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left to Cry”
Camila Cabello – “Havana” [ft. Young Thug]
Demi Lovato – “Sorry Not Sorry”
Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
P!nk – “What About Us”
Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood”

Best Hip Hop Video:

Cardi B – “Bartier Cardi” [ft. 21 Savage]
The Carters – “APES**T”
Drake – “God’s Plan”
J. Cole – “ATM”
Migos – “Walk It Talk It” [ft. Drake]
Nicki Minaj – “Chun-Li”

Best Dance Video:

Avicii – “Lonely Together” [ft. Rita Ora]
Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – “One Kiss”
The Chainsmokers – “Everybody Hates Me”
David Guetta & Sia – “Flames”
Marshmello – “Silence” [ft. Khalid]
Zedd & Liam Payne – “Get Low (Street Video)”

Best Latin Video:

Daddy Yankee – “Dura”
J Balvin – “Mi Gente” [ft. Willy William]
Jennifer Lopez – “Dinero” [ft. DJ Khaled & Cardi B]
Luis Fonsi – “Échame La Culpa” [ft. Demi Lovato]
Maluma – “Felices los 4”
Shakira – “Chantaje” [ft. Maluma]

Best Rock Video:

Fall Out Boy – “Champion”
Foo Fighters – “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”
Imagine Dragons – “Whatever It Takes”
Linkin Park – “One More Light”
Panic! at the Disco – “Say Amen (Saturday Night)”
Thirty Seconds to Mars – “Walk On Water”

Video With a Message:

Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Dej Loaf and Leon Bridges – “Liberated”
Drake – “God’s Plan”
Janelle Monáe – “PYNK”
Jessie Reyez – “Gatekeeper”
Logic – “1-800-273-8255” [ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid]

Best Cinematography:

Alessia Cara – “Growing Pains”
Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left to Cry”
The Carters – “APES**T”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Eminem – “River” [ft. Ed Sheeran]
Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood”

Best Direction:

The Carters – “APES**T”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Drake – “God’s Plan”
Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
Justin Timberlake – “Say Something” [ft. Chris Stapleton]
Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood”

Best Art Direction:

The Carters – “APES**T”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
J. Cole – “ATM”
Janelle Monáe – “Make Me Feel”
SZA – “The Weekend”
Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do”

Best Visual Effects:

Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left to Cry”
Avicii ft. Rita Ora – “Lonely Together”
Eminem – “Walk On Water” [ft. Beyoncé]
Kendrick Lamar & SZA – “All The Stars”
Maroon 5 – “Wait”
Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do”

Best Choreography:

Bruno Mars – “Finesse (Remix)” [ft. Cardi B]
Camila Cabello – “Havana” [ft. Young Thug]
The Carters – “APES**T”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Dua Lipa – “IDGAF”
Justin Timberlake – “Filthy”

Best Editing:

Bruno Mars – “Finesse (Remix)” [ft. Cardi B]
The Carters – “APES**T”
Childish Gambino – “This Is America”
Janelle Monáe – “Make Me Feel”
N.E.R.D – “Lemon” [ft. Rihanna]
Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do”

Push Artist of the Year:

July 2018 – Chloe x Halle
June 2018 – Sigrid
May 2018 – Lil Xan
April 2018 – Hayley Kiyoko
March 2018 – Jessie Reyez
February 2018 – Tee Grizzley
January 2018 – Bishop Briggs
December 2017 – Grace VanderWaal
November 2017 – Why Don’t We
October 2017 – PRETTYMUCH
September 2017 – SZA
August 2017 – Kacy Hill
July 2017 – Khalid
June 2017 – Kyle
May 2017 – Noah Cyrus

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Taylor Swift Shows Her Love for R&B On New Spotify Playlist

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Taylor Swift released an updated playlist of her favorite songs on Spotify, and while it had expected pop hits, it also included unexpected R&B.

Some of Taylor’s favorite songs include Majid Jordan’s “Her” from their first EP A Place Like This,  and “One I Want” from their latest album, The Space Between.  Another new edition on the list was Jhene Aiko with “While We’re Young.”

She included Kehlani again, who she first showed loved to in an Intagram post of her favorite songs in 2015, with “Honey”  and “Good Life.”

It always fun to see what music other people like, especially an artist. Any songs on here that you like as well? Listen to the playlist below.

Chance The Rapper’s Organization SocialWorks Puts on Black History Month Film Festival

✊🏾 @socialworks_chi

A post shared by Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) on

 
Chance The Rapper’s non-profit, SocialWorks, is hosting a Black History Month Film Festival in Chicago. Movies will be shown every Friday and Saturday this month, with The Wiz first up. Other movies that will be shown to the public are Malcolm X, Black Panther and Ali. There will be a pre-show party for Black Panther including a DJ set, photobooth and giveaway for people who show their Black Panther ticket. There will be a private, invite only event for a showing of the movie Shot In The Dark, a basketball documentary that Chance produced.

Tickets for these events are $7 online or in person. Also, with a ticket for any movie that is bought online using promo code SMGChange, $1.50 will be donated to Social Works. For more information, click here.

I find this to be exciting because I feel like their aren’t any huge celebrations for Black History Month. I think it is important to celebrate the culture in all its forms and I hope to see more events like this.

Migos Explains The Difference Dripping and Spilling While Getting Ready For The Grammys With Vogue

Vogue went behind the scenes to see Migos get ready for the Grammys, and we got a lot of insider information about the group.

First and foremost, we got to see Migos without their glasses, which doesn’t happen often.  It was funny to see because when they all where glasses, they look very much alike, but without glasses, they are all different and don’t look that similar.

Migos shared their fashion inspiration being Michael Jackson.  Offset sang some Michael Jackson and his mom said that he has loved Michael since he was a little boy.

Quavo explained the difference between dripping and spilling when it comes to fashion. Dripping means there is a lot going on (adornments, etcetera) and slipping means there is too much going on.

It was great to see the guys lighter side in this video.  Check it out above.

 

Apple gets in on #AnimojiKaraoke With Childish Gambino and Migos

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During the Grammys, Apple launched its new campaign for Animoji using nominated artists Childish Gambino and Migos. For Childish Gambino they used the song “Redbone” and for Migos they used the new single “Stir Fry”

I find these commercials to be so cute. Seeing the little fangs on the dog and fox in the Migos is oddly adorable, and the little poop emoji ad libbing is a bizarre choice that strangely works. The alien for “Redbone” does my favorite part of the song when Childish Gambino is singing the line “Gon’ catch you sleepin’, put your hands up now baby” really fast.

I feel like showing the range in facial expressions really adds to both of the commercials too. It makes it seem like they are really singing. Only thing that sucks it that you couldn’t make videos of the lengths yourself since you can only film 10 seconds of Animoji at a time, but I think that is something they should change.

Check out the two commercials below.

Alessia Cara Addresses Controversy On Her Best New Artist Win

Alessia Cara, Nick Jonas

Alessia Cara won Best New Artist at the 2018 Grammy ceremony, and while it was a happy moment for herself, her fans and her family, many people weren’t please.

Cara received backlash on social media because her debut album, Know-It-All was released in November 2015 and her debut single “Here” was released in April 2015, meaning many did not consider her to be a new artist. However, with the new Grammy rules, an artist can be considered for this category after releasing a debut album. The current rules are:

Must have released a minimum of five singles/tracks or one album, but no more than 30 singles/tracks or three albums.

May not have entered into this category more than three times, including as a performing member of an established group.

Must have achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and impacted the musical landscape during the eligibility period.

The Grammys also say:

“Our Best New Artist category probably has the most complicated set of rules of any of our categories. Essentially, a “new artist” is defined for the GRAMMY process as any performing artist or established performing group who releases, during the eligibility year, the recording that first establishes the public identity of that artist or established group as a performer. A GRAMMY nomination in a performance category in a prior year disqualifies an artist from competing in this category, unless the nomination came from a single or a guest spot on another artist’s recording, and the artist hadn’t yet released a full album.”

So the Grammy might consider her song “Stay” with Zedd as the breakout song during the elegiblity period.

Alessia addressed the controversy on her Instagram post below.

to address the apparent backlash regarding winning something I had no control over: I didn’t log onto grammy.com and submit myself. that’s not how it works. I didn’t ask to be submitted either because there are other artists that deserve the acknowledgment. but I was nominated and won and I am not going to be upset about something I’ve wanted since I was a kid, not to mention have worked really hard for. I meant everything I said about everyone deserving the same shot. there is a big issue in the industry that perpetuates the idea that an artist’s talent and hard work should take a back seat to popularity and numbers. and I’m aware that my music wasn’t released yesterday, I’m aware that, yes, my music has become fairly popular in the last year. but I’m trying very hard to use the platform I’ve been given to talk about these things and bring light to issues that aren’t fair, all while trying to make the most of the weird, amazing success I’ve been lucky enough to have. I will not let everything I’ve worked for be diminished by people taking offence to my accomplishments and feeling the need to tell me how much I suck. here’s something fun! I’ve been thinking I suck since I was old enough to know what sucking meant. I’ve beat u to it. And that’s why this means a lot to me. despite my 183625 insecurities, I’ve been shown that what I’ve created is worth something and that people actually give a shit. all of the years feeling like I wasn’t good at anything or that I was naive for dreaming about something improbable have paid off in a way that I have yet to process. I know it sounds cheesy and dumb but it’s the honest truth. thanks to everyone who’s shown me kindness and support along the way. I’ll stop talking now.

A post shared by ALESSIA CARA (@alessiasmusic) on

 

The rules of the category are obviously ambiguous and have changed two times this decade already. However, the way people discover and digest music is completely different than how it was even five years ago. Fellow nominee SZA had put out a studio EP, Z, in 2014 and self released other EPs before. Chance The Rapper had released a slew of music via mixtapes before winning Best New Artist in 2017. Basically what people define as “new” will change from person to person, but it doesn’t mean people are any less or more deserving.

Surprises and Snubs From the 2018 Grammy Nominations

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The nominees for the 2018 Grammys were nominated, and I was pleasantly surprised by the diverse group of nominees.  At the same time, some work that I thought should have been nominated weren’t. Check out the biggest surprises and snubs of the 2018 Grammy nominees.

Surprise: Jay-Z Nominations in The Big 4

The Big 4 refers to the categories that reach all genres, include Record, Song and Album of The Year and Best New Artist. Of course, Jay could not be nominated for Best New Artist, but 4:44 is nominated for Album of The Year, “4:44” is nominated for Song of The Year, and “The Story of O.J.” is nominated for Record of The Year. While I wasn’t surprised that Jay was nominated in rap categories, and it wasn’t totally unexpected that he was nominated as Album of The Year, the Song and Record of The Year nomination threw me off. Usually these categories don’t have a lot of rap songs, but also, the fact that he was nominated for two different songs is pretty amazing. Usually, the song for the same artist overlaps in the two categories (example this year being “Despacito”). Very exciting that his most confessional and personal work in years was recognized in this matter.

Surprise: 6lack’s Nominations:

6lack is nominated this year in the Best Urban Contemporary Album for Free 6lack and for Best Rap/Sung Performance for “PRBLMS.” No offense at all to 6lack, but he is a highly acclaimed artist that just isn’t Grammy bait. While he doesn’t consider himself to be rapper, that fact that the Grammys also acknowledged this and nominated his album for Urban Contemporary Album instead of a rap album is a major step forward. Last year, Drake was upset for winning Best Rap Song for “Hotline Bling” which isn’t a rap song. These nominations show that the Grammys might be understanding the nuances of urban music and listening to less mainstream artists.

Surprise: Lorde’s Nomination For Album of The Year

It’s not surprising that Lorde is nominated for a Grammy, but its surprising that she is nominated for Album of The Year but no other award.  All other nominees in this category are nominated for something else, so its a bit confusing to celebrate an entire body of work in the highest category but no songs specifically.

Snub: Kehlani not being nominated for SweetSexySavage

I’m biased since this is probably my favorite album of the year, but I thought she would get a nomination for Urban Contemporary Album, especially since her mixtape was nominated two years ago.

Snub: DJ Khaled ft Rhianna and Bryson Tiller’s “Wild Thoughts” not nominated 

This was a pretty huge song from a big album so I’m pretty thrown off that it was not at least nominated for Best R&B Performance.

Snub: Calvin Harris not nominated for Funk Wav Theory Vol. 1 or “Slide”

I thought Funk Wav Theory Vol.1 was Calvin Harris’ best album to date with a lot of hit singles, so I’m surprised it wasn’t nominated in the Dance/Electronic category. Also I thought “Slide” would be nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

Which Grammy nominations surprised you this year? Who do you think was snubbed?

Ed Sheeran Talks About Girlfriend Cherry Seaborn on Taylor Swift’s End Game

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Ed Sheeran verse on his song with Taylor Swift is about his own “end game,” his girlfriend of two years Cherry Seaborn. Check out the telling lyrics below.

Now well, when I was young, we connected
When we were little bit older, both sprung

Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn first met when they were 11 back in Ireland, but she moved to North Carolina to attend Duke University. They reconnected through a mutual friend who was working on his tour.

After the storm, something was born on the 4th of July

Ed Sheeran has mentioned that Taylor Swift’s 2015 4th of July party is their anniversary.

After professing his undying love on the track, I wonder if a marriage proposal is next.

Xscape’s interview on Watch What Happens Live Is The Most Awkward Thing I’ve Ever Seen And I Love It

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Recently united girl group Xscape came on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live after the second episode of their four part docuseries on the network, and it was so cringeworthy. While Watch What Happens is usually a very light late night show gossiping about Housewives, Andy stepped on some land mines and tender spots while asking questions with the group. Some highlights include:

Kandi calling out Tiny about her and Tip being together

The facial expressions! The lies! Kandi smelled the b.s. and called out it immediately. I’m happy they are back together though, they have a beautiful family and seem to love each other.
Xscape existing without Kandi
When Andy asked if they were making new music together, everyone except Kandi said they were. When Andy followed up with if they are performing that’s when things got even more awkward.  They might need to make a quick legal decision about the name rights.
Kandi and Jermaine Dupri
So Kandi admits that she slept with Jermaine Durpi, but not his dad.

Tamika talks about being pressured to get an abortion

This is more so sad than awkward. At least they were honest about the past.
And here is the after show with more shade

Overall, I just hope that the tour goes smoothly and that Tiny and Kandi, who have remained good friends over the years, stay that way.

Taylor Swift Announces Tour Dates for ‘reputation’ North American tour

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On the heels of the Friday release of her latest album, ‘reputation,’ Taylor Swift has announced the dates for the tour to support the album. A stadium tour, Taylor will be playing sport arenas around the country.  This explains why we don’t see a date for a major city like, New York City, because NYC does not have a stadium within the city.

Tickets go on sale December 13, Taylor’s birthday. However, the deadline to join the Taylor Swift Tix program, the way to get in line for tickets, is November 28. Join the program here and see the dates below.

International tour dates, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand will be announced at a later date.

May 8 – Glendale, AZ @ University of Phoenix Stadium
May 12 – Santa Clara, CA @ Levi’s Stadium
May 19 – Pasadena, CA @ Rose Bowl
May 22 – Seattle, WA @ CenturyLink Field
May 25 – Denver, CO @ Sports Authority Field At Mile High
June 2 – Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field
June 30 – Louisville, KY @ Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
July 7 – Columbus, OH @ Ohio Stadium
July 10 – Washington, DC @ FedEx Field
July 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Lincoln Financial Field
July 17 – Cleveland, OH @ First Energy Stadium
July 21 – East Rutherford, NJ @ MetLife Stadium
July 28 – Foxborough, MA @ Gillette Stadium
August 4 – Toronto, ON @ Rogers Centre
August 7 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Field
August 11 – Atlanta, GA @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium
August 14 – Tampa, FL @ Raymond James Stadium
August 18 – Miami, FL @ Hard Rock Stadium
August 25 – Nashville, TN @ Nissan Stadium
August 28 – Detroit, MI @ Ford Field
September 01 – Minneapolis, MN @ U.S. Bank Stadium
September 08 – Kansas City, MO @ Arrowhead Stadium
September 15 – Indianapolis, IN @ Lucas Oil Stadium
September 18 – St. Louis, MO @ The Dome at America’s Center
September 22 – New Orleans, LA @ Mercedes-Benz Superdome
September 29 – Houston, TX @ NRG Stadium
October 6 – Arlington, TX @ AT&T Stadium