How Mannequin Pussy Found The Patience To Start All Over

By Michael Tedder

Punk is an elastic concept, spanning poppy odes to crushes, angry screeds against oppression, and every experimental rumination in between. The paradox of punk is that, within reason, sometimes doing the least punk thing is the most punk move of all.

So when you’re the Philadelphia punk group Mannequin Pussy, and you’ve made your name with brash anthems such as “Meat Slave 2” and you crammed 11 noisy songs into 17 joyful minutes on your 2016 breakout, Romantic, the most contrary move you could make would be to take a breath. Patience is an unexpected title for Mannequin Pussy’s highly-anticipated third album and an altogether un-punk concept for a sound based around “go, go, go.” But learning to take a beat was an idea that singer-guitarist Marisa Dabice had to learn to embrace. Whether she wanted to or not.

“I am so fucking impatient, but I am trying to change. If I have an idea, I immediately want to spring into action, no matter what it is,” she tells MTV News. “I heard something once that shook me, about the whole concept of a ‘genius’ being bullshit because true ideas just float around searching for a host body to bring them out into the world. So if you have an idea and don’t do anything, the idea will leave you and go search for someone who can bring it out. So if I’m at home and sitting around smoking weed and suddenly my brain starts going off on a weird pair of earrings I want to make or a t-shirt or whatever, I just go out, get the materials and do it, I don’t wait for anyone to catch onto my idea. I just go it alone.”

Of course, Mannequin Pussy is no solo project. After reconnecting with childhood friend Athanasios Paul, the two formed the band in 2010, and released a flurry of homemade EPs. They went through some line-up changes, eventually settling into their current configuration, which includes bassist Colins “Bear” Regisford and drummer Kaleen Reading (Paul switched from drums to guitar) and cut their first two albums (Romantic and their 2013 debut Gypsy Pervert) at marathon speed. “We spent two days in the studio on our first record, two or three weeks on Romantic,” she says, “and fucking forever on Patience.”

Part of Dabice’s frustration with having to wait is that, in a way, she’s been making up for lost time since she was a teenager. Born in the Bronx, but raised in Connecticut, hers was not an idyllic childhood.

“I was a kid with a childhood cancer, so it gave me this kind of twisted worldview,” she says. “To be 15 and think you might die and still have to go to school every day and study for the SATs… I don’t know, there’s something kind of hilarious about that to me now… Life is intense and shitty most of the time, so if you don’t find ways to laugh at your own misfortune then I just feel sorry for you.”

That experience, she says, in a way stunted her emotional growth, and she didn’t begin playing music until she was 24 when, after her mother had suffered a stroke, she moved from Colorado back to New York to take care of her. She soon found herself writing songs with Paul in her downtime as an outlet. After her mother stabilized and she grew tired of New York’s nonstop grind (which, because musicians are too busy trying to make astronomical rent than music, she thinks makes for “lazy artists”) the band decamped from New York to the more affordable Philadelphia, America’s most vibrant rock-music city, one full of “incredibly talented weirdos,” she says. She often sees Kurt Vile and Hop Along frontwoman Frances Quinlan just kinda hanging around.

Making Patience, Dabice had to slow things down for two reasons. The first was a label concern: Mannequin Pussy’s first two albums were released by the Carolina-based indie label Tiny Engines, best known for shepherding The Hotelier and Beach Slang into the world. The band had a “handshake deal” for two more albums, she says, but no real formal contract. Four months after Romantic was released to rave reviews (Stereogum named it Album of the Week and Rolling Stone called the title track one of the best songs of the year), they were approached by Epitaph Records, the largest independent punk label in the world.

When Mannequin Pussy first met with the label, they learned that when its founder Brett Gurewitz first heard their name, he said, “I’m glad not all the good band names are taken.” (Gurewitz is also a long-time member of Bad Religion, so he knows of what he speaks.) They decided to sign with Epitaph. The ensuing legal process of changing labels was drawn out, and not really a topic Dabice likes discussing that much: “I understand why feelings were hurt,” she says. Nevertheless, she felt it was a good opportunity for them to get more exposure and support, saying the label offered them complete freedom, and promised they “wouldn’t change a thing about our band.”

But even if their label didn’t want them to change, Mannequin Pussy did — or at least, grow. That’s the second reason: Mannequin Pussy recorded the album that eventually became Patience a few years ago, but eventually decided to throw that version out and try again.

“We first recorded Patience in the same studio as we did Romantic. And I love Romantic deeply, there isn’t a thing I would change on it. But we didn’t want to be stuck there,” Dabice says. “That studio is in this huge warehouse with a lot of memories for me personally, and this time around it just felt so hard to concentrate there, to not be sucked into the past in a detrimental way.”

Eventually, she accepted it was time to move on.

“We wanted a new challenge, a new perspective,” she says. “The decision to re-record was one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever made as a band. It still makes me feel strange and like I let people I care about down. But in the end, this band is me, Thanasi, Kaleen, and Bear. The four of us need to feel inspired by what we make together and know it’s our best possible work.”

So they started again, this time with Will Yip, the Philadelphia-based producer known for giving ambitious punk groups like Title Fight and Turnstile just enough of a polish. Since their label situation was still unresolved, Yip agreed to do the recording on spec; Dabice says he just got paid two months ago. “He’s a weirdo Aquarius with an insane work ethic, which is like my favorite combination of a person,” she says. “I wanted it to still sound and feel like us, but a graduated version of us.”

Patience is a perfect summertime rock album, one that finds the room for wistful, heartbroken indie pop gems such as “Fear/+/Desire” and surging, sing-a-long anthems like “Who Are You,” while also throwing down screaming firebombs such as “Clams” and “Cream,” which burn with the fury of prime riot grrrl cuts, but with an added heft. THe album is hooky enough to not leave your head all summer, and hard enough to cut any detractors off at the path.

“I’m not really a huge fan of shit that sounds too clean, or too perfect, but I am a fan of making something that sounds like it could be on the radio, even if it never will be,” Dabice says. She calls Yip a nurturing presence in the studio, one who helped draw new sides out of the band. “I never saw myself as a singer until this record. A wild banshee, sure. But a singer? No. Not until now.”

The album’s lead single, and the uncontested Song of the Summer in some circles, is “Drunk II,” a bittersweet ode to not-getting-over-it that combines a chiming riff, classic-rock solo, and the year’s most hilarious verse: “And do you remember the nights I called you up? / I was so fucked up / I forgot we were broken up / I still love you, you stupid fuck.”

It’s already the band’s most popular song, and one they’ve been playing live for years. It was originally written for Romantic, but she knew it wouldn’t be ready in time, so they kept workshopping it live.

“It was really this song in particular that made me feel like we had to re-record the album. We just didn’t capture it in the way I had been dreaming about for so long. I had very high expectations that had to be met to get it there,” she says.

Taking the time to get it right for Patience required, well, you can probably guess — as well as faith that her great ideas wouldn’t find some other vessel. “For almost three years, I’ve been terrified that some other heartbroken bitch also wrote ‘Drunk II’ and then I’d have nothing to show for that depressive episode except a bunch of sad memories,” she says.

But for a band that doesn’t shy away from the idea of a radio-friendly hit, and, along with “Drunk II,” potentially has a few in their quiver, it does beg one question: Is their attention-getting name good for business? Dabice, who concedes that it’s “pretty divisive,” considers it part of a long tradition of oppressed people appropriating the slurs used against them.

“You have the people on the internet who say we have the worst band name ever, and then other people who think it’s the best. People who tell us they only listened to us because of the band name and people who say they will never listen to us because of it,” Dabice says. “I do wish people wouldn’t censor us or it made people feel ‘awkward’ to say, but isn’t that also kind of the fun of rock and roll?”

Bop Shop: Songs From Mac Miller, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, And More

If you haven’t already stanned The Regrettes, it’s time to start. The power-pop punk band commands more attention with each track as they prepare for the release of their sophomore album, How Do You Love? “I Dare You” is the latest sampling from the forthcoming LP, and with a beat that’s as doo-wop as it’s punk and a dreamily charming visual, it’s the perfect song to get you started.

Over a thumping bass drum and handclaps, frontwoman Lydia Night croons about the desperation that comes with beginning to fall in love: a mix of anxiety and excitement as you try to convince someone – and yourself – to give up control and dive in headfirst. And there’s something undeniably fun about the way lyrics like “Stains on your sweater / You think you know better” and “You’re a child, and it’s kinda wild / How you’re the one who brings the sun” roll off the tongue. The music video finds the band co-opting what looks like an empty studio and turning it into their own cloud-covered dreamscape, complete with a tea party, hospital rooms, and quirky dance moves. Pink glows and bright colors are aplenty, reminding us what it feels like to be in love – and that music, too, can lift our hearts off the ground for a moment. –Carson Mlnarik

Cardi B Indicted On Felony Charges Following Strip Club Brawl

Rapper Cardi B has been indicted on felony charges by a grand jury in Queens, according to a source close to the situation, speaking to ABC News.

This development comes following misdemeanor charges being brought against her after a brawl at a strip club. She was accused of throwing bottles and chairs at bartenders at the Angels Gentlemen’s Club in the area back in August 2018.

She was arrested and formally charged in October, but rejected a plea deal to reduce her apparently transgressions to a class A misdemeanor. This could have kept her from potentially serving any jail time. Though nothing is final just yet, she could end up doing so when this is all said and done.

The “Money” rapper was indicted on 14 charges, including “2 counts of felony attempted assault with intent to cause serious physical injury” according to TMZ, as well as misdemeanor reckless endangerment, assault, conspiracy, harassment, and criminal solicitation.

The indictment is currently sealed until the star’s arraignment on Tuesday (June 25), but it appears new charges have been brought against Cardi following her rejection of a plea deal from the Queens district attorney’s office.

According to Cardi’s lawyer Jeff Kern, who previously offered a statement to the Associated Press, he is “aware of no evidence” that his client “caused anybody any harm.” It’s unclear at this time whether Cardi will end up serving any jail time for the alleged acts, and we likely won’t know more until the arraignment in the coming week.

Cardi B Hops On A Horse Of Her Own To Join Lil Nas X On ‘Rodeo’

At long last, Lil Nas X‘s debut EP is finally here. The viral star’s “Old Town Road,” one of the biggest songs of the year, is currently enjoying its 11th week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but as Lil Nas himself kept promising on Twitter, 7 isn’t just a collection of country-rap. That much was clear earlier this week, when we heard his Nirvana-interpolating “Panini,” but 7 showcases just how much of a style chameleon the young musician is making himself out to be.

“F9mily (You & Me)” recruits Blink-182’s Travis Barker (one of the most indemand pop maestros of 2019) to dip into pop-punk. On “Bring U Down,” he sings over an alternative bass line courtesy of producer Ryan Tedder, and “C7osure (You Like)” paints a nocturnal funk panorama partly thanks to Boi-1da. And then, naturally, there’s one with Cardi B.

“Rodeo,” their collaboration that comes midway between the “Old Town Road” remix and the original, which bookend the EP, is yet another firmly country-rap entry in Lil Nas X’s catalog. His voice lowers to that familiar register, one that sounds at home bolstered by the chunky cowboy guitar riffs underneath. The trippy visualization is littered with cacti, too.

Cardi, meanwhile, is here and gone in a flash for a 29-second verse. But while she’s on, she uses the platform for appropriate desert imagery: “Last n—a did me dirty, dirty / Like a bathroom in a truck stop, truck stop / Now my heart, it feels like Brillo, I’m hard like armadillo.”

The 7 EP is out now, featuring eight songs in total, including both versions of “Old Town Road.” If his Twitter presence is any indication, Lil Nas X is very happy it’s out in the world now.

Check out “Rodeo” above, then watch Lil Nas X’s interview with MTV News below.

Nicki Minaj Is Back Bringing Summer Vibes In Breezy ‘Megatron’ Video

Earlier this year, Nicki Minaj seemed to pledge her allegiance to Megatron, the big bad of the Transformers franchise, with the tease of a song of the same name. And early Friday morning (June 21), she finally delivered with a video for the song, though one with admittedly much fewer robots. (There is a green Lamborghini, but it doesn’t turn into anything else.)

“Megatron,” as a song, is breezy, but Nicki’s rhymes add an edge that makes the whole thing a potent summer cocktail. “They call me Megatron, just did a telethon,” she raps to announce herself. “He got Margiela’s on, and I get my jealous on.” As Genius points out, she also likened herself to the titular villain on Future’s “Transformer” last year. It makes sense — Nicki’s made it very clear that she likes identifying with the bad guy.

In the new video, directed by Mike Ho, Nicki goes for more of a straight-ahead, celebratory vibe to match the song’s lightness. She’s in a bikini, lounging in a pool, rapping in expensive shades in front of said Lambo in the jungle, and throwing a party at a tropical bar. It is the first day of summer, after all.

Near the end of the vid, after Nicki appears to pour gasoline all over the very expensive sports car, she’s seen walking away as it’s engulfed in flames. This looks to be CGI, though. And if it’s actually not, what a video budget!

Watch the fun go down in the new “Megatron” video above.

Maggie Lindemann Trades Ska For Punk On ‘Friends Go’ Remix With Travis Barker

Maggie Lindemann‘s recent musical output has covered a lot of ground — she went pop on “Obsessed,” stripped things down on “Human,” and recently channeled vintage No Doubt with the ska-infused “Friends Go.” Now, the 20-year-old singer has given the latter track a punk-inspired remix assisted by one of the genre’s greatest, blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

The new version sounds much louder and more urgent, as Maggie and Co. ditch the horns and crank up the amps. Barker lends his midas touch to the track, pounding away while Lindemann spirals into loneliness and disconnectedness. “I’m all by myself / Where did all my friends go?” she detachedly asks on the sing-along chorus.

Speaking about the new remix in a press release, Lindemann said, “I wanted to do a version of ‘Friends Go’ that had a bit more of a punk feel because that’s my favorite type of music. When I first recorded the song, I wanted to do multiple versions. I feel like the song is very versatile and wanted to kinda explore different genres! I love the Travis version, it’s one of my favorite songs I’ve done.”

Surprisingly enough, Barker is proving himself one of 2019’s most in-demand feature artists. Along with prepping for blink-182’s upcoming summer tour with Lil Wayne, he’s also guested on tracks from Machine Gun Kelly, Halsey and Yungblud, and Lil Nas X. Lindemann, meanwhile, was recently announced as one of the headliners of MTV’s Push Live showcase, coming to New York on July 31.

Camila Cabello And Shawn Mendes Reunite For A Hot Hotel Hookup In ‘Señorita’ Video

HOT DAMN, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes! Nearly four years after braving the harsh elements for their moody “I Know What You Did Last Summer” video, the pair have reunited for a collab that’s decidedly sunnier and way steamier. Prepare to feel all hot and bothered, because the much-teased video for “Señorita” has arrived, just in time for the first official day of summer.

In the Dave Meyers-directed video, Mendes is a motorcycle-riding, guitar-playing heartthrob who only has eyes for the gorgeous waitress at a roadside diner (that’d be Cabello, obviously). We watch as they flirtatiously lock eyes at an outdoor dance party, where Mendes sings about drinking tequila sunrises on a sweaty Miami night. Eventually, they bring the party back to their hotel room, and that’s where things get physical.

“I love it when you call me señorita / I wish it wasn’t so damn hard to leave ya / But every touch is ooh la la la,” they sing on the breezy hook, while letting their chemistry shine onscreen. “Ooh, I should be running / Ooh, you keep me coming for ya.”

Though the video ends with Cabello and Mendes in separate places (guess this was just a summer fling), they couldn’t be closer friends in real life. The two have been lovingly teasing their new collab all week long, which marks their second official team-up — and hopefully not their last.

But whether separately or together, you can count on hearing more from these two soon — Cabello is hard at work on her sophomore album, while Mendes recently launched what may be a new era with “If I Can’t Have You.” This summer, though, it’s all about “Señorita.”

See Jonas Brothers Sing In Spanish (!!) In Sebastian Yatra’s Vibrant ‘Runaway’ Video

The Jonas Brothers‘ 2019 comeback has taken an unexpected turn, with the band of brothers going bilingual for the first time ever.

Fresh off the release of their Happiness Begins album, Kevin, Joe, and Nick have joined forces with rising Colombian star Sebastian Yatra on his new single, “Runaway.” The bilingual banger also features Daddy Yankee and Natti Natasha, and the video finds all six artists ringing in the summertime with a vibrant dance party where confetti pours like rain, kids bust out the best dance movies, and each bold outfit and colorful backdrop is more eye-popping than the last.

Nick kicks off the track with some English-language flirtation: “If you wanna we can run away / I know you think about it everyday.” Natasha cranks up the heat with a sultry verse of her own, Daddy Yankee comes through with characteristically energetic bars, and Yatra takes lead on the infectious hook, with the Jo Bros joining him in singing, “Baby, let’s run-a run-a, run-a, run-a, run-a, run away / Con la luna llena, solos en la arena.”

Catch all the feel-good vibes in the Daniel Duran-directed video below.

Rita Ora Shines In Colorfully Choreographed Video For Tiësto And Jonas Blue Collab ‘Ritual’

At the end of May, Tiësto, Jonas Blue, and Rita Ora came together for a glassy piece of EDM-pop called “Ritual” that blends the legendary Dutch DJ’s expensive club sound with Blue’s pop instincts and Ora’s smoky vocalizations.

Now, the trio have released an elaborate new video for the song that finds Ora at the center of a denim dance number like a vintage Gap commercial. There’s quite a light show going on behind her and her choreographed squad as well that it’s almost hypnotizing.

As the visual expands across three minutes, subtle questions of power dynamics are raised. Sometimes, Ora is leading the pack here but they’re all moving in synchronicity along the floor. Other times, they’re all contracting and swirling like a school of fish up on a riser, with Ora high above the rest. It’s a trip.

“We had such a blast putting together this piece of art for you and I hope you love it as much as I do,” Ora wrote on Instagram about the clip, which also showed today on mtvU and MTV Live.

Watch the new “Ritual” video above, then head over to YouTube to read the lyrics under the video, which are arranged in such a way that I’m reminded of the work of the very minimal, meditative 20th century poet Robert Lax. Also a trip.

Megan Thee Stallion, Tierra Whack, Rico Nasty, And More Make Up The 2019 XXL Freshman Class

The halls of XXL Magazine are open again, welcoming in its new freshman class of carefully selected artists based on merit and a whole lot of clout. Enter the 2019 Freshman class of rising artists: Megan Thee Stallion, Gunna, Rico Nasty, Blueface, DaBaby, Tierra Whack, Lil Mosey, YBN Cordae, YK Osiris, Roddy Ricch, and Comethazine. Class is in session! Now the conversation begins via disgruntled tweets and suggestions.

The story of the XXL Freshman class stretches back to 2007 when it was first implemented. The idea was simple: a list of rising artists that are poised to become hip-hop’s most notable faces based on what they’ve shown so far. Whether it’s video views, an outrageous aesthetic, or just good music (often times all three), these carefully selected picks are brought together for a photoshoot and rap cipher to showcase their skills. Then they’re sent on their merry ways with a tag on them in the form of the public eye to see if they live up to their status. Most of them do so it’s become a great way to keep an eye on the who’s who of hip-hop.

This list is comprised of many of 2019’s hottest artists. Gunna creates magic, most often with Lil Baby, and has made the term “drip” into a national treasure. Blueface popularized the term “Thotiana” (although it’s arguable whether he’s the first) and created one of the hottest dances of the summer. Rico Nasty, Megan Thee Stallion, and Tierra Whack are three of the hardest rappers in the game period, containing more energy in each line of a song than many rappers often do over the course of their careers. Each pick makes a ton of sense.

Other of the lesser-known names on the list are on the rise. Roddy Ricch’s “Die Young” was a breakout hit that pushed him forward to take advantage of 2019, his latest song being his collaboration with Marshmello, “Project Dreams.” DaBaby’s took over car stereos and curated playlists with “Suge” and Lil Mosey’s coming into his own with his new single with Chris Brown, “G Walk.”

Here are the best reactions to the 2019 Freshman Class Thus far.