Video Review: Maroon 5, ‘Maps’

I gave a review of Maroon 5’s latest track, ‘Maps’, in my Then & Now Thursday (V.12): Maroon 5 (click the link).

I’m still in love with the song and I didn’t even know that a video had been released and although it’s been roughly a week since it’s release (7.3.14), I thought that I’d still give my review.

I love the song and I love the video concept, the two just don’t match. Well I wouldn’t say that the concept doesn’t match because in a way it does, it’s more so the music doesn’t match the intensity of the concept.

Instantly when watching the video you can see that something is wrong as Adam Levine rushes into the hospital asking where the emergency room is. Excuse me, the fucking emergency room. He races around and finds his girlfriend bloodied and heavily bruised in a hospital bed which looks like she’s been in a car accident based off the injuries. Time to backtrack in the video. Flashback to Adam dangerously weaving through cars as he arrives to the hospital. Flip the screen to his girlfriend.She’s walking down the street with a tear stained face,  when a drunk tries to touch and she pushes him off she stumbles into the street getting hit by a car. It’s clear to see she died instantly by the way her head violently hit the ground; very graphic.

Now switch back to how it all began, Adam went to a party with his girlfriend and they instantly get separated as soon as they come in. Insert members of Maroon 5. They’re both off talking to whoever when Adam heads to the kitchen, takes some shots, a girl feels all over him, and as she’s doing that of course his girlfriend would walk in and see it. As she leaves the house, Adam attempts to go after her yet he’s stopped by a friend.

The video ends with clips of all the scenes coming together, chronologically. It’s clear that a serious approach was taken with this one which I can appreciate because story lines in videos are  hard to come by. I see where they were going with this, I guess I just wasn’t expecting something so drastic as such.

With Adam’s movie debut, Begin Again, in theaters (7.11.14) this video was a great marketing way to show he could be serious and act. I’m interested in seeing the movie (but of course). The video overall was a great visual just it seemed a little too upbeat for the concept.

Check out the video below:

2014 BET Awards Nominees + My Picks

It’s been a few days since this has been announced, but as always I want to give my predictions so let’s get into the 2014 BET Awards Nominees.

The 14th annual show will air will air Sunday, June 29th, at 8/7c and will be hosted by Chris Rock. Yup, yet another comedian as a host. Let’s discuss the nominees in the bigger categories of the night: Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, Best Female Hip Hop Artist, Best Male R&B Pop Artist, Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Best New Artist, Video of the Year, Best Collaboration, and Coca-Cola Viewer’s Choice Award. Out of the 20 categories these eight hold the most weight.

Continue reading “2014 BET Awards Nominees + My Picks”

Then & Now Thursday (V.9): Pitbull

When I first created this segment on MusicMovingForward I had all intentions of Pitbull being the first artist I wrote about. The evolution of his career is what inspired this series. Well here it is about 3 months in of me doing this series and I am finally going to do my take on the artist, Armando Christian Perez, better known as Pitbull.

The first time I heard or saw Pitbull was alongside Lil Jon in his video for ‘Dammit Man.’ The year was 2004 and Pitbull merged Reggaeton with the King of Crunk very well. His debut album, M.I.A.M.I., stemmed hits ‘Culo’, ‘Toma’ and ‘Dammit Man.’ After that I didn’t really know if he would last let alone be the international sensation that he is today.

‘Culo’ and ‘Toma’ were more popular, in my opinion, and reached a different market other than urban radio and the hits clearly kept coming. He followed up his debut album with 2006s, El Mariel, which had the hit ‘Bojangles’ and followed that with 2007s,The Boatlift, which is the album that set the Pitbull sound that everyone loves today. ‘The Anthem’, yet another collab with Lil Jon peaked at #36 on the Hot 100, #24 on U.S. Latin Songs, and #8 on Rap Songs charts. The song is still played frequently on radio airwaves along with his hits from his following album, Pitbull Starring In: Rebulution. 

‘Rebultion’ was released in 2009 and spawned hits: ‘Krazy’, ‘I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)’ and ‘Hotel Room Service’. It was clear then that Pitbull had found his place and sound amongst a crazy industry where it’s easy to get lost and become a one hit wonder or in other cases sound like everyone else and be unknown. ‘I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)’ was described best by Billboard’s editor, Michael Menachem:

“The clever meshing of reggaetón with Euro dance music signals what looks like a multiformat smash.”

It became his first track to make the Hot 100 peaking at #2 followed by ‘Hotel Room Service’ which peaked at #8.

His 5th album, Armando (2010), was not only self-titled, but it was also his first full length Spanish album. It didn’t do too shabby on the charts peaking at #65 on the Billboard 200, #6 on Rap Albums, and #2 on Latin Albums. It also  scored him 7 nominations at the 2011 Billboard Latin Awards.

Pitbull went on to top the success of “Rebelution” with that of 2011s, Planet Pit. That album spawned hits: ‘Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor)’, ‘Rain Over Me’, ‘International Love’, and my personal favorite ‘Give Me Everything.’ That infectious track went on to become his first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The hits didn’t stop there. He followed up Planet Pit with 2012s, Global Warming. That album featured hits: ‘Back In time’, ‘Feel This Moment’, and ‘Don’t Stop The Party’. Chart wise it did not top the success of Planet Pit but it kept him relevant and on the airwaves especially with his ‘Take On Me’ (A-ha) cover, ‘Feel This Moment’ featuring Christina Aguilera.

Then there’s current Pitbull. He released ‘Timber’ with Kesha in October 2013 and went on to become his 2nd #1 single on the Hot 100. That track was featured on his 2013 EP,Meltdown.  He’s currently riding high off the success of ‘Wild Wild Love’ (feat. G.R.L.)

Over the course of his 10 year career Pitbull has collaborated beyond the hip hop scene, a scene he strayed away from by his 4th album. Again, “Rebultion” is the album that took his career to the next level and made people aware of his music. There are albums that an artist can’t top and there are albums that create the sound of an artist. Pitbull has a long way to go in his career and being that he can collaborate with just about anybody he hasn’t reached his peak, just yet.

This Week In Music (V.6): iHeartRadio Awards [Review]

iheartThe iHeartRadio Awards aired this past Thursday, 5.1.14, from the Shrine Auditorium. The show overall receives mixed reviews from me. There were some things I’d like to see more of and some things that need to be improved. For the first televised appearance I can’t be too hard on the production of the show, but it could’ve been put together better.

First off the best way to describe the seating arrangements and stage is to that of the Golden Globes which is held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The artists that won kept having the camera put on them and to be honest it wasn’t that big of a turnout compared to other award shows. With this being a fan based awards show and all about radio I was expecting more artists to turn out, but it didn’t seem that serious.

Performers included: Pitbull, Drake Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, Luke Bryan, Shakira, Blake Shelton, and Pharrell. Some of the performances were via satellite. My favorite performances were Kendrick Lamar’s cover of ‘California Love’ and Thirty Second to Mars’ ‘City of Angels’.

One performance that was a FAIL in my book was Ariana Grande’s of her new song, featuring Iggy Azalea, ‘Problem’. I recently reviewed the track and it’s pretty good. The problem with the performance and by the look on the faces of Rihanna, Blake Shelton, and Luke Bryan was that of confusion. I understand she wants to test limits and add a little more sex appeal to her squeaky clean image, but the performance was not that great. I know it’s a new song and there’s room for growth but all together this performance needed a bootcamp. The dancing and singing and then playing Iggy Azalea’s part while Ariana danced was eh. They could’ve skipped over that and got to the end.

The highly anticipated tribute to Michael Jackson was another bleh moment for me and I’m not talking the song. I guess I was expecting more, but really didn’t get it. Usher came out and did his usual footwork. Yeah, not really impressed or interested. The song overall reminded me of ‘Baby Be Mine.’ Check out the video/tribute to the new Michael Jackson track, ‘Love Never Felt So Good’, below:

I could not miss talking about Pharrell’s performance. I wish he would have done a mixture of old and new, especially with Gwen Stefani being there and presenting him with the Innovator Award. I would have LOVED for them to do ‘Hollaback Girl’. Maybe one day I can get this collab again. Pharrell did perform a medley of ‘Come Get it Bae’. ‘Blurred Lines’, ‘Get Lucky’, and ‘Happy.’ With the stage setup it wasn’t far for him to go. The audio wasn’t all that great, but I still love him as the artist he is. His work is to not go unnoticed.

Sidebar — I’m so happy that Pharrell and Gwen Stefani have been added to “The Voice” lineup. A reason for me to watch this show. Both will be performing on the show this MONDAY, 5.5.14, where Pharrell will perform ‘Come Get It Bae’ and Stefani will perform ‘Hollaback Girl’. Excited to see those.

Aside from the messiness of the setup of the show I will say that my favorite part was the packages/video montages throughout the show. There was no host, just an MC which was fine. I loved how artists connected to the fans with their recounts of their first memories in Los Angeles. The packages for the nominees was great as well. I just loved how that was set up. That was something that has not been done on other award shows and I hope it remains as a signature for future iHeartRadio award shows.

rs_634x1024-140501181443-634.Rihanna-iHeartRadio-Music-Awards.ms.050114Now for the winners. I talked about all my picks for the awards show and my predictions weren’t exactly correct, but I’m not surprised at who won. Again all voting was done by the fans. Rihanna was the big winner of the night with 4 wins: Hip-Hop/R&B Song of the Year (‘Pour It Up’), Best Fan Army, Song of the Year (Stay f/Mikky Ekko), and Artist of the year. As for her fashion of the evening I love the fact that she takes chances, but I wasn’t a fan of her hair at all. It’s like when she showed up to the AMAs with her hair in a wrap knowing she was receiving the Icon Award. her outfit was very edgy, as expected, I would just do without the leather jacket and her lip color was great as well. Personally I would have liked this with an asymmetrical bob.

The other winners were:

  • Best Lyrics – Miley Cyrus, ‘Wrecking Ball’
  • Best Collab – Pitbull f/ Kesha, ‘Timber’
  • Best New Artist – Lorde
  • Young Influencer Award – Ariana Grande
  • Instagram Award – Austin Mahone’s Mahomies
  • Alternative Rock Song of the Year – Imagine Dragons, ‘Demons’
  • Country Song of the Year – Blake Shelton, ‘Boys ‘Round Here’

The show overall started and ended on time, actually a couple minutes early as the last award, Artist of the Year, was presented by Jennifer Lopez & Ryan Seacrest. There were a few things that could be fixed for future shows, but for the 1st televised show it wasn’t too shabby. Maybe next year there will be a host and more artists will show up.

NEW MUSIC — Mya, Sweet XVI [EP]

220px-Mýa-1April 21, 1998 marked the debut of Mya’s self-titled debut album. In celebration of her 16 years in the biz she’s released a new EP and follow-up to her Valentine’s Day EP (With Love) titled Sweet XVI. Enjoy the sampler below  with the her full track and collab with Eric Bellinger, ‘Same Page.’