Cardi B’s Pianist, Chloe Flower, Can’t Stop Laughing At Your Grammy Memes

By Emilee Lindner

It only took a few minutes for Cardi B’s performance at the Grammys to go viral on Sunday. Or, more specifically, her pianist went viral. Chloe Flower, with some divine ferociousness, flew her fingers all over a crystal-encrusted piano and then plunked out the monstrous bass line of “Money,” maintaining intense eye contact with the camera the whole time. Inches away, Cardi twerked and her dancers spread-eagled in unison. It wasn’t until she met up with Cardi at an afterparty that she realized she was now internet famous.

“Are you on Twitter?” Cardi asked. “Because you’re all over it.” Chloe checked her phone.

“There were all these memes,” Flower told MTV News. “Like ‘Walking into my meeting like…’ Then they would show my face looking at the camera. It made me laugh so hard.”

Overnight, Chloe gained 50,000 followers across social media. The next day, she signed an exclusive deal with Sony Music.

But this moment has been long in the making. She began tinkling the ivories at 2 years old, eventually training at Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard. In 2010, she signed with Babyface’s Soda Pop Records, laying down piano instrumentals. In sessions with the legendary R&B producer, she picked up production skills — “I don’t like to take breaks, and some of the producers there were taking breaks, so I ended up learning the programming myself.” Since then, she’s produced tracks for Celine Dion, Nas, and 2 Chainz.

On Instagram, you can find Chloe delicately remixing pop songs like Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” or Drake’s “Don’t Matter to Me.” She wears designer gowns and five-inch heels. She plays on Liberace’s own glass piano, on loan to her by the Liberace Foundation. When Cardi saw her account, she got the Grammy gig.

Rehearsals had Chloe practicing her fierceness — something that she honed in on by channeling Beyoncé. Cardi inspired Chloe as well, along with the all-female team who made the whole thing happen: creative director Tanisha Scott, stylist Brookelyn Styles, and many others.

“Being with [Cardi] in the studio, knowing her work ethic, her work ethic is intense,” she said. “She doesn’t just show up and do it, she’s involved.” As for the Best Rap Album trophy Cardi took home on Sunday? “She deserves that.”

On the day of the performance, Chloe was similarly disciplined: She woke up early, hopped into an infrared sauna to sweat for 30 minutes and then started to practice. Because eating makes her sleepy and nervous, she eats very little on performance days, only fruits and vegetables. And in the week leading up to the ceremony, she secluded herself, avoiding pre-Grammy shindigs and dinners with friends — no matter how tempting. In her dressing room she requested a keyboard, where she could practice some more. “I try to mentally prepare,” Chloe said. “It’s a very regimental form. I can play perfectly from home any time, but when you’re in front of a huge audience and the pressure’s there, it becomes real.”

That sort of mental state is indicative of her everyday regimen as well. She practices at least 10 hours a day, sometimes up to 14 hours, but not always in the gowns you see on Instagram. “I’m either in my couture or in sweatpants,” she said. “I don’t, like, own a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. I’m always really dressed up or I’m in sweats. Like sweats sweats. Like those huge ones.”

Onstage, Chloe wore a Fouad Sarkis gown that was decided on so late that it was held together with tape. Originally, she was supposed to wear a leggy rockstar-esque dress, but that simply wouldn’t do. “When Cardi saw it, she was like, ‘I want her to look more extravagant. And I want her to look more couture. She’s not going to stand out enough in a short dress.’”

“Because the dress was picked so last minute, my stylist was on the floor underneath me, making adjustments like right before the gate was lifted,” Chloe said. “It was close.”

And because Flower works closely with the Liberace Foundation, they loaned her another piano for the performance — the one Cardi danced on. “If Cardi’s going to be twerking on a piano, it should be that one,” Chloe said. “I know Liberace was up there smiling.”

She wrote a colorful intro to “Money” — one that was completely different from the thunderous track, something to trick the viewer into thinking they were watching a classical recital. Perhaps her elegant-to-baddie mood change was why we were all drawn to her in the first place. Making the piano look badass only helps her overall goal: to promote music education. “I want the world to know that part of the reason I did this is I really want kids to be excited about learning instruments,” she said.

With her newfound fame and Sony deal, Chloe has plans for a covers album with original orchestration — “an iconic female album,” she calls it. She dreams of working with Beyoncé and Ariana Grande, and becoming a go-to producer. “There are not that many female producers out there,” she said. “Which is why I wanna be one of the female producers that people work with.”

And you definitely will be seeing her on stage again. “My ideal concert would be dancers everywhere, pretty sets, piano,” she said. “I loved being on stage with all those girls.”

Lizzo Makes The Guys Cry Tears Of Joy In ‘Cuz I Love You’ Video

Lizzo‘s new album comes out soon so it’s only right that today she releases the video to the song’s powerful title track. The enormous vocal presence here is astounding and, somehow, the black and white visual manages to match the effort in sheer scale. There’s just one thing missing – her fierce woodwind instrument, Sasha Flute. Take a look at the video below.

From the very beginning, things seem just a bit off. From the framing of the camera to the accompanying revealing vocals, it seems like Lizzo is confessing her sins to a priest. But things aren’t all that they seem; she’s actually talking to a significant other who’s incarcerated. As she belts high vocals she becomes the head of her own congregation of chiseled men who stream tears as her vocals soar higher and higher. The entire time, the monochrome presentation paints a retro picture that her exaggerated makeup backs up. It’s a weird, nostalgic experience.

Cuz I Love You is right around the corner and, because of it, we’re seeing more Lizzo than ever before. Last week, she gave The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon perhaps the funkiest show in its history with a disco-ball themed performance of “Juice.” Her performance of the record on Ellen in January was equally spectacular, incorporating both the audience and Sasha Flute for a flashy preview of what to expect when her album hits stores in April. She’ll also be embarking on a tour in support of the LP that same month, so get tickets to hear “Cuz I Love You” and “Juice” live. Who knows, Sasha Flute may even make an appearance

Katy Perry And Zedd Basically Star In Their Own Black Mirror Ep In Freaky ‘365’ Video

Two years ago, Katy Perry‘s “Bon Appetit” video turned the pop star into an actual banquet of food feasted upon by hungry (and presumably wealthy) onlookers. That era of “purposeful pop” might be behind her, but in her latest video for “365” with Zedd, Perry once again finds herself the center of attention — only this time, she’s an android.

As scientists work to transform her A.I. shell into Stepford-wife perfect, Perry sings about falling too hard into something that might just be meant as a fling. You might not even notice what the song’s “about” at first though, because — I can’t stress this enough — Katy Perry plays a frightening robotic 1950s housewife. And Zedd is her human test subject.

When she’s not being a Fifth Element-ized Betty Draper in the dining room, an androgynous Perry delivers the song in a vividly dark-red lab room rocking a look reminiscent of known Ghostbusters foe Gozer the Gozerian (with a touch of Max Headroom). But with her subtle tweaks and twitches, she’s even more unsettling in her humanlike form.

Because there’s a robot involved — much like in Kehlani’s latest clip for “Nights Like This” — there’s obviously a twist, but you’ll have to watch for yourself to find out what it is. Perry promoted “365” on her social accounts with a poster that makes it look like a terrifying dystopian sci-fi horror movie, and hey, maybe it is. And maybe there’s even more where it came from?

Check out all the madness above and try to answer the query posed in the video’s prologue: “Define love.” Happy Valentine’s Day!

Offset Relives His Violent 2018 Crash In ‘Red Room’ Video

Now that the “Win Cardi B Back” campaign is finally over, Offset is moving full steam ahead with the rollout of his forthcoming album that’s coming out on February 22. Today, he has released the video for the lead single, “Red Room.” Take a look at the reflective visual below that, yes, involves a literal red room.

The “Red Room” song itself is about Offset’s upbringing and come-up, looking back at the circumstances that contributed to getting him where he is at today – both good and bad. It makes sense that the accompanying video follows the same format, giving the viewer glimpses of these situations and events in three-second windows. We see the rapper as a child, follow him as he commits robberies, then take a trip to the clink with him as the result of his actions. After experiencing the rush of Offset’s younger, wilder days, the viewer then relives his 2018 car crash from the passenger’s seat. We see the rapper, wounded, limping away from the car which has become a mangled heap.

The release of the video comes after the revealing album trailer he dropped earlier this week, featuring previously unseen footage of Cardi B giving birth to the couple’s daughter, Kulture. At the 61st Grammy Awards on Sunday, Offset’s tongue became a meme as he stared at Cardi B’s performance of “Money” from the audience.

Tiffany Young’s ‘Lips On Lips’ Is A Playful Valentine’s Day Surprise

Tiffany Young‘s lips don’t lie. The pop star dropped her latest single, “Lips On Lips,” just in time for Valentine’s Day, and the melodic love song boasts a playful trop-pop beat and Young’s breathy vocals as she implores a lover to “put your lips on my lips.”

Co-written by the “Born Again” singer, “Lips On Lips” was inspired by Young’s own idea of a fairytale kiss with someone special. “I wanted to focus on romance and the sweet and special intimate moment in a kiss,” she said in a statement. “Spreading love for ALL, and I hope Valentine’s Day is ‘Lips On Lips’ day for everyone.”

“Lips On Lips” is the title track off Young’s first U.S. EP, slated for release on February 22. Lips On Lips marks a new page in Young’s story. Having found fame as a member of legendary K-pop girl group Girls’ Generation — the group debuted when Young was just 17 years old — the Korean-American singer is now doing things on her own terms.

Young, now 29, is focused on shedding more than a decade of pop-star polish and introducing herself to U.S. audiences as a confident female solo artist who’s unafraid to bare her soul. The moody pop song “Born Again,” the first single off Lips On Lips, found Young absolving herself of her painful past; while “Lips On Lips” is a little cheeky, as Young candidly tells a romantic partner exactly what she wants.

Credit Transparent Arts

“I’m experimental [as fuck] right now, but I’m also feeling fiercer than ever,” Young recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “This just felt like the right mood. Dark, edgy, romantic, raw. I’m just feeling liberated. This is my most honest and authentic self.”

And her fans are already loving this new era. Young’s Lips On Lips North American Mini Showcase Tour kicks off March 3 in Toronto, and it’s already sold out.

To hear about Young’s career journey in her own words, check out her episode of MTV News’ Homecoming.

Halsey And Yungblud Ruminate Over Their Self-Sabotaged Relationship On ’11 Minutes’

It’s no secret that Halsey is a major blink-182 fan — she’s been singing their songs in malls and name-checking them in smash singles for years — so it’s only appropriate that she’s finally linked up with blink drummer Travis Barker on wax. The two come together on “11 Minutes,” a new song that also features Halsey’s rumored boo, British rocker Yungblud.

Arriving on the eve of Valentine’s Day, “11 Minutes” is for anyone who’s feeling particularly angsty during this lovey-dovey time. Over Barker’s thunderous drumming, Halsey and Yungblud trade urgent vocals about a defective relationship: “Call me stupid, call me sad / You’re the best I’ve ever had / You’re the worst I’ve ever had / And that keeps fucking with my head.” After three minutes of their desperate rumination, the track abruptly flips into a haunting ballad, with Halsey’s fading vocals repeating “why aren’t you here?” over a spare piano. Try not to get goosebumps, I dare you.

In a statement via iHeartRadio, Yungblud explained that “11 Minutes” is all about a self-sabotaged romance. “The song tells the story of a perfect tragedy that reflects modern love within our society,” he explained. “We are so distracted and focused on what’s next, we can fail to see what is actually in front of us. We don’t realize how much we need something until it’s taken away from us.”

He added of his collaborators, “Working with Halsey and Travis was a fucking dream — at the end of the day we’re all rock kids. We grew up with a mutual adoration for the genre so it completely makes sense that we would come together and try to modernize it.”

“11 Minutes” arrived on Wednesday evening (February 13) after being announced by Halsey and Yungblud just hours earlier. However, eagle-eyed fans may have noticed that the “Without Me” singer teased a lyric of the song — “you’re the fuckin’ acid to my alkaline” — in an Instagram post back in November. Not only that, but she’s been hinting at a collaboration (and possibly a relationship?) with Yungblud for a while with pics of them together. Now if only she’d be as forthcoming about that third album of hers!

Ryan Adams Accused Of Sexual Misconduct, Emotional Manipulation By Multiple Women

Singer-songwriter and producer Ryan Adams has been accused of abuse, manipulation, and sexual misconduct by several women in an exposé from The New York Times. Adams, through a lawyer, has denied the allegations.

The women who spoke about their experiences with Adams include his ex-wife Mandy Moore, singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, and more young female artists he was ostensibly mentoring. Most shared stories of Adams offering them career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing them for sex. “In some cases,” the article claims, “he would turn domineering and vengeful, jerking away his offers of support when spurned, and subjecting women to emotional and verbal abuse, and harassment in texts and on social media.”

One woman, a then-aspiring bassist identified as Ava, claims she was 14 when she struck up an online relationship with Adams that eventually led to sexual conversations and an instance when he exposed himself to her over Skype. In a text message from 2014 reviewed by the Times, Adams wrote to her, “If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol.”

Moore also described “psychologically abusive” behavior from her ex-husband, adding that “music was a point of control” for him. She said, “His controlling behavior essentially did block my ability to make new connections in the industry during a very pivotal and potentially lucrative time — my entire mid-to-late 20s.”

Adams’s layer, Andrew B Brettler, told the Times, “Mr. Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.” Brettler also denied the other “extremely serious and outlandish accusations” detailed in the report, calling them “grousing by disgruntled individuals.”

Read the full New York Times piece here.

Juice WRLD Is Forced To Give His Heart Up On Wounded New Song ‘Robbery’

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Juice WRLD has a dark tale of romance gone awry to share. The rapper released his new single “Robbery” today via Beats 1 Radio as Zane Lowe’s World Record. Don’t let the mischievous name fool you; the only boundaries broken here are metaphysical in nature, not physical. Take a listen to it below.

“Robbery” is in line with the smooth, mid-tempo jams that Juice WRLD specializes in. Nick Mira, the producer behind his breakout single “Lucid Dreams,” returns to the fold with a piano-heavy instrumental that soundtracks Juice WRLD’s wounded wailing. The song is a drunken reflection of a toxic relationship by Juice WRLD, with the rapper confessing to his deepest insecurities to remain sane. “One thing my dad told me was ‘Never let your woman know when you’re insecure’/So I put Gucci on the fur/And I put my wrist on iceberg,” he caterwauls dejectedly. You can practically hear him venting to a stranger at the bar, during a commercial break for a college football game, his breath heavy with the thick smell of fresh beer.

“Robbery” is the first single from Juice WRLD’s forthcoming sophomore album Deathrace for Love that is set to drop on March 8Later this month, the rapper will be joining Nicki Minaj for The Nicki WRLD Tour that’s set to kick off in Munich, Germany.

Lady Gaga Will Not Stand For Any Cardi B Criticism: ‘Let’s Celebrate Her Fight’

Lady Gaga and Cardi B both walked away winners at last weekend’s Grammys, but only the latter queen has had to defend her victory amid an onslaught of criticism. Cardi’s win put her in the history books as the first solo female artist to earn Best Rap Album, but after some haters said she didn’t deserve it, she deactivated her Instagram and ranted about the “bullshit” she’s been taking.

“I’m seeing a lot of bullshit today and I saw a lot of shit last night, and I’m sick of this shit,” she said in a now-deleted video. “I worked hard for my motherfucking album.”

Gaga apparently caught wind of the controversy and showed Cardi some love with a heartfelt post on Twitter that called on others to support the “brave” MC.

“It is so hard to be a woman in this industry. What it takes, how hard we work through the disrespectful challenges, just to make art,” Gaga wrote, alongside a photo of them meeting at Sunday night’s ceremony. “I love you Cardi. You deserve your awards. Let’s celebrate her fight. Lift her up & honor her. She is brave.”

Gaga wasn’t the only one to defend Cardi’s hard-earned win. Pusha T, another contender for Best Rap Album, offered his congrats, as did Chance the Rapper, who called her award “overly deserved.”

“It would be inconceivable not to honor u last night,” Chance wrote in the comments of a now-deleted post. “Straight up bask in it YOU deserve it. It’s a feeling very few will ever know, but YOU do.”

All “bullshit” aside, Gaga’s support has to mean a lot to Cardi — the Bronx rapper is, after all, a longtime Little Monster. She hasn’t responded to Gaga’s tweet yet, but hopefully she’s basking in the love from her fellow Grammy victor.

Drinking Boys And Girls Choir’s Surging K-Punk Will Keep You Raging In 2019

If 2018 was the year K-pop finally breached the gates of the U.S. mainstream, the South Korean power trio Drinking Boys and Girls Choir are helping light a similar fire for K-punk this year. The skate-infused rock tonic swirled up by the band’s three members — MJ, Meena, and Bondu — is grittier and spunkier than the carefully choreographed movements of BTS; stylistically, DBGC hew more closely to American pop-punk institutions of Blink-182 and Sum 41 (and in their multiple songwriters and singers, even the legendary Minutemen). This all makes their upcoming LP, Keep Drinking, a highly potent melange where gilded hooks and noisy hardcore mingle with brief ska excursions and more. But it all started with a shared affinity for New Found Glory.

Based in Daegu, 150 miles southeast of Seoul, the trio began playing together by covering one of the Florida five-piece’s seminal hits. “I told them, I want to cover this song,” MJ told MTV News recently in a Skype interview. She doesn’t remember which one, though. Meena recalls a more ambitious approach: “Actually, we tried the whole album. But we just finished the one song.”

“And then we started making [our own] songs,” MJ said.

Meena and MJ began as drummers, and Meena hopped on bass as Bondu joined on guitar. They all take turns singing in both Korean and English, and each gets at least one spotlit moment on Keep Drinking (out March 8 on Damnably). The album’s a caffeinated 18-song liftoff front-loaded with a rallying title track, a blistering assault called “I’m a Fucking McDonald’s” inspired by Meena’s day job, and the mosh-ready “National Police Shit.” You can see the band’s collective energy in that song’s vibrant, joyously juvenile music video, which MTV News is exclusively premiering above.

That the clip plays like a stunty Vine compilation without all the filler might explain the album’s wild mania. While MJ gets the album’s sweetest moment, anchoring a breezy cowpunk number with a forlorn lilt, Meena and Bondu trade off vintage millennial pop-punk shouts throughout the rest, all reminiscent of the North American skate-infused rock the band grew up downloading. Now, DBGC are the ones online; in one of their best and most revelatory live clips, they charge through “Song of Sincerity” to a crowd of 30 or 40 jumping fans in a small club. Bondu and Meena jump, too, as they strum their first chords. The audience goes off.

“Here, it’s just one live club,” Meena said. “If we [organize] a punk show, we call another city’s punk band, and they come to Daegu and we play together. Korea is really small, so it’s maybe four hours by bus. If they take a speed train, they can come in one hour and a half.”

DBGC are loyal to Daegu. They don’t see a need to relocate to a bigger city like Seoul for the exposure. It’s too expensive, for one thing — ranked the sixth-priciest city in the world in 2018 — and geographically, it’s close enough that they can get there in a few hours anyway. “We can go to Seoul and come back the same day,” Meena said. “We’ve had many shows in Seoul.”

There’s also the internet, the very tool that allows music fans a hemisphere away to discover, dig, and share DBGC (and their incredibly endearing, mildly rebellious YouTube videos) in the first place. But beyond that, Meena, MJ, and Bondu have hometown loyalty, even in a city with a “really small” punk scene. In Daegu, they preserve that culture by organizing shows and playing live during the local Go Skateboarding Day festivities. “Daegu is a conservative city,” MJ said. “Many governments banned skateboarding in public. So we have to crash on that.”

One scene they have yet to crash is America. But that’s changing soon, thanks to an upcoming midnight SXSW gig, their first-ever in the U.S. They’re a tad nervous. They’ve only seen the festival as it’s represented in films about music. Of course, the delight is there, too. “I’m really happy, but I can’t imagine,” Meena said. “We just practice together and make a playlist. A friend from America, from California, when we announced our band’s name on the SXSW site, he was really happy and really excited and he told me, ‘Wow, you are awesome.’ So I can feel good.”

Even as SXSW’s coolness has gradually rubbed off like a nightclub wrist stamp — so it’s been suggested for years — the festival’s atmosphere might be a welcome vibe for DBGC, who’ve had some bad luck playing shows outside Daegu. Once, after a “great gig” in Indonesia, local police locked down the venue for two hours in pursuit of an alleged weed smoker. And a few days later, true to their band name, the trio was shut down by the police for having a few beers while playing a public space. (They rebounded with a private show inside a studio, thanks to their pals in Bandung’s Saturday Night Karaoke.)

A few live hiccups are key in forming a band’s origin story. DBGC seem less concerned with myth-making, though. They’re too focused on the people singing their songs back to them and riding the high of that moment — whether it’s one giant leap for K-punk or just the biggest adventure yet for one excited band — to care. “I work a full-time job, so when I play a show, I feel free,” Meena said. “If anybody listens to my song, and I can play, I’m just really happy.”