Teyana Taylor Brought The Soul Train Experience To Ellen

Teyana Taylor brought out the disco ball and imitation Don Cornelius on The Ellen Show earlier today (April 18) when she performed “Issues/Hold On.” It was Soul Train circa 1971 and the singer captured the air masterfully. Imagine not grooving to this when watching it. Yeah, we can’t either.

From the stale orange and yellows of the stage lighting and gigantic hair curls to the shimmering bodysuits and outrageously wonky dance moves that were popular back in the disco period, Taylor nailed the feel. It helps that “Issues/Hold On” is a smooth tune with a distinctly retro twist. The performance moved without a hitch, swiftly and classical; even Ellen herself is spotted dancing with the fake Don Cornelius, enjoying the experience. The moving parts – the dancing couples, the swaying dancers – the retro stage design – connect seamlessly. For a brief moment, if you blink your eyes to quickly, you might just convince yourself that what you’re watching is authentic Soul Train coverage. Especially around the time that the stage forms the infamous dance line from Soul Train and Taylor strolls down it with a partner, dancing frivolously.

Last month, Taylor released a 1970s-themed visual for “Issues/Hold On” starring A$AP Rocky as her flirtatious, charismatic partner. It also features a surprise cameo from Tyler the Creator; if you blink, you’ll miss it.

Check out the magical performance up above.

Wallows Grew Up Going To Coachella — Now They’re Playing It

By Kat Bein

Imagine growing up in southern California and heading to your first Coachella as a high-school freshman. You’re a snot-nosed kid with indie-rock dreams jamming with your best friends, and at the malleable age of 13, you see The Strokes, Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, and more. You fantasize for the next seven years or so about playing that stage, and then, suddenly, you’re standing in the Indio desert sun, ready to rock the next generation of idealists.

That’s the story of Wallows, the fresh-faced rock trio that brought the house down early Saturday at Coachella. Singer and guitarist Dylan Minnette, guitarist and vocalist Braeden Lemasters and drummer Cole Preston have been playing together for a decade, and its given the early 20-somethings a tightness and a brotherly affection that fans can feel and critics have to respect.

Coachella brought a day of many firsts: The band debuted much of their debut album, Nothing Happens, during the performance, which also kicked off their upcoming North American tour. A few technical difficulties couldn’t slow their energy. MTV News caught up with Wallows after the set to hear about that Coachella high.

MTV News: Congrats on the debut Coachella set. It was also the first time you played the music from Nothing Happens. What was it like being up there?

Dylan: It was surreal. I knew going into it I would have a lot of nerves before and a lot of nerves after. I was totally right. I’m excited for weekend two, because this is a lot of firsts. “First” off, it was the first show of our tour, first time playing any of the new songs live, it was the first time using a lot of this new equipment that we’re using, first time playing Coachella. All that combined into one … but it was really fun. Took me a few songs to loosen up but I had a great time.

Braeden: I would agree. It felt really good.

Cole: It felt like it flew by. One second we were like, oh we need to set up, the keyboard’s not working, and then the next second it’s like, whoa, we are doing this, and here we are.

MTV News: You guys grew up going to Coachella. This is almost like your backyard music festival. You guys said you’ve been seven or six times each.

Cole: We went when I was a freshman in high school, 2011. Epic lineup, honestly.

Dylan: It was all the most influential bands for us. It went Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, Kanye West, and The Strokes.

Braeden: My first year was the year after that; Snoop Dogg and Radiohead. I remember being so claustrophobic during Radiohead. I was so scared.

MTV News: That’s very akin to their lyrical messages, though. You were feeling Thom Yorke’s anxiety.

Braeden: One of the biggest memories I have from Coachella was the second time they played here and their power went out.

Cole: Imagine over the main stage PA, just this sound going [mimics electronic hissing], cutting out, and they were still playing. … When they started playing “Creep,” I was like, this is once in a lifetime. Unreal.

MTV News: You guys have been playing together for about a decade. Critics are always trying to say that rock is dead or close to it.

Braeden: Critics are dead! Come up with something new!

MTV News: Is that something you guys actually felt when you were getting together and making music, or is that just windbag bullshit?

Braeden: No way, because when we were making music, all I would be listening to is Arctic Monkeys or The Beatles. I would only listen to that when I was 13 growing up. I had no idea that people thought that. I was like, what? And then as we’ve gotten older, we started loving every other genre of music as well, and now we love anything and everything. There’s no limit.

Dylan: I think it depends on how someone is saying it. If someone says, “Rock and roll is dead,” do you mean as a genre? Then, no, because there’s incredible bands right now making rock music that is some of the best rock and roll you’ll ever hear, and that’s happening now. But if you mean rock and roll as a concept or a construct is dead, I guess I understand that but I also disagree because I feel like the idea of being a “rock star” has transitioned over into hip-hop. Rappers, people playing hip-hop right now are the rock stars. That’s that lifestyle, so rock and roll is not dead if you have a broad mindset about it.

MTV News: Talking about this rock star lifestyle and attitude, have you found any of the rock star lifestyle stereotypes to be true? Anything not so glamorous as you maybe thought when you were fantasizing about playing Coachella as kids?

Cole: Everything is pretty much what I imagined.

MTV News: Throwing TVs out of window and signing boobs?

Dylan: I wouldn’t sign a boob.

Cole: Yeah, we’re kind of the anti-rock stars. I mean, I would love to be able to live that way. I’m just too mild.

MTV News: Well, you guys have a vlog about playing board games.

Cole: [laughs] We’re just nice young men.

MTV News: You’re about to head out on the tour. Are your board games ready? What are you going to do to survive the road?

Braeden: Green tea. Vodka.

Dylan: Today made me more excited, especially because our shows inside the rooms we’re going to be playing will be so different with lights and the sound.

Cole: Lights and sound [laughs]. There was no sound at this one.

Dylan: I’m just excited to go into those rooms and play the shows.

MTV News: I also love just the title of the album, Nothing Happens. It’s like the biggest NBD ever. Obviously there are consequences to the debut album being out and the 10 years leading up. There’s this adage that you have your whole life to write your debut album and you have two years to write your second.

Dylan: That’s kind of inspiring. I’m just excited for all these brand new songs on the next album to just completely surprise us. A lot of the songs are old ideas, and they still feel fresh, but they can still also feel like, of course. There’s gonna be at least half of our next album that we have no idea what the songs are already.

Braeden: It’s refreshing. A clean slate for us.

Schoolboy Q Has 21 Savage, Travis Scott And More Colliding With Him On Crash Talk

Schoolboy Q is preparing to release his fifth studio album Crash Talk on April 26. With it right around the corner, the rapper has revealed a compact tracklist with guest appearances from artists such as 21 Savage, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, and more. He also shared the slightly unsettling cover art that’ll make you get a slight itch, but you won’t exactly be sure why.

The first thing you’ll see when looking at the cover art for Crash Talk is a foreboding paper bag. It looks dangerous and empty, but there’s a head lurking in beneath its folds. A thick, homely yellow makes its home behind the mask of a paper bag and the back of the cover features a mustard fence, obtuse and grandiose. The fence sits beside the tracklist – fourteen tunes and seven features. Here’s the full list in order; Travis Scott, 6lack, Ty Dolla $ign, YG, 21 Savage, Kid Cudi, and Lil Baby.

Schoolboy Q marked the beginning of his album release cycle by releasing “Numb Numb Juice” in March. He followed up earlier this month with “CHopstix,” his collaboration with Travis Scott. He wrapped up the lead-in with a psychotic album trailer featuring that creepy paper bag earlier this week.

Check out the tracklist and cover art up above.

The Weekend, SZA, And Travis Scott Are Game Of Thrones‘ Big Three In ‘Power Is Power’

Game Of Thrones is a show of perspectives. What does an impending war of nightmares look like to a resurrected rightful king? A brutal queen with two dragons? A silent, cursed person that can raise the dead, with skin the color of a glacier? The show does it best to put us in the shoes of these characters and more to replicate the doom, dread, and likely excitement. But we’ve never heard what these characters think in musical form. Henceforth “Power Is Power,” the star-studded collaboration between The Weekend, SZA, and Travis Scott. It gives some new insight into three of the show’s main characters and, in the process, becomes a thrilling, personal examination of their brains.

In the second episode of season 1, Cersei Lannister, one of the show’s most dangerous, volatile minds who would eventually become queen, is told by Littlefinger, a cunning spy whose Achilles heel would come to be his overconfidence, that “knowledge is power.” Cersei responds simply, abruptly. “Power is power.” There’s strength in this statement because over the course of its eight seasons so far, the show has been just as much about a political struggle as it has been about battling armies of the undead. Three central characters in every season are Jon Snow, the man born in a never-ending blizzard, Daenerys Targaryen, the fire-breathing rightful queen, and the Night King, a vengeful spirit that can raise sleeping corpses. “Power Is Power” finds its three singers portraying each of the characters; The Weeknd is Jon Snow, SZA is Daenerys, and Travis Scott is the Night King. They may not call them by name, but the proof is in the details. The Weeknd sings about being born in the snow and not being stopped by a knife to the chest. SZA croons about playing the game before, the “Great Game” as Tyrion Lannister so puts it. Scott sings about peace in his brand of violence that aligns with the Night King’s stoic demeanor as he causes chaos in the Seven Kingdoms. Hearing these three characters on a song together is weird because you think about their actions and what’s coming. There’s a destined meeting that’s foreshadowed by this collaboration.

“Power Is Power” appears on the forthcoming album For the Throne: Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones that comes out on April 26. The LP will also feature music from Lil Peep, Ty Dolla $ign, Maren Morris, and more.

Check out the Westeros-themed tune up above.

NCT 127 Debut Their Pulsing New Single ‘Superhuman’ On Good Morning America

NCT 127 have given us a lot in the years since they made their bold, incendiary debut with 2016’s “Fire Truck.” For example: They’ve delivered braggadocious bass-heavy bops (“Cherry Bomb”); dramatic vocal fry (“Limitless”); commanding hip-hop swagger (“Simon Says“); bubblegum pop (“Touch”); and multilingual Latin trap (“Regular”). But their newest single offers something we’ve yet to see from the unconventional Korean group: Disco.

On Thursday (April 18), NCT 127 previewed the shiny, pulsing track on Good Morning America — their U.S. morning show debut — with an electric mash-up of new single “Superhuman” and fan-favorite show-stopper “Cherry Bomb.” The result was a dazzling spectacle of charisma and sharp choreography, the hallmarks of every NCT 127 performance.

NCT 127 are anything but subtle, but it’s that in-your-face aura and extreme confidence that their fans (called NCTzens) find so alluring about the 10-member unit. “Superhuman” is a new direction for the group — featuring members Taeyong, Taeil, Johnny, Yuta, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Jungwoo, Mark, and Haechan — and if the track’s rhythmic beat and sparkling vibe is any indication of what’s to come on the forthcoming six-song EP (NCT #127 We Are Superhuman, out May 24), then we’re thoroughly hooked.

The group also collaborated with Social House — the American producer team behind Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” and “Thank U, Next” — on the EP. And according to a press release, the EP’s closer, “OUTRO: WE ARE 127,” will reflect the global group’s “vision of being connected in a dream and becoming a whole through music” — a prismatic theme that was also explored in their album Regular-Irregular last year.

NCT 127 will kick off the U.S. leg of their Neo City – The Origin tour on April 24 at New Jersey’s Prudential Center. With 12 concerts planned across 11 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, the Korean group is making history, as this marks the most North American cities any K-pop boy group has ever toured.

And with a song like “Superhuman” ready to take off, the only way for this group to go is up.

The 1975 Tease New Album And Give A Cheery Performance On Corden

The 1975 were the soft-smiling, absurdly cheery guests on The Late Late Show With James Corden last night (April 17). They had a great sit-down conversation with Corden and spoke about the current state of the band’s career. They also performed “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)” on the dark stage, illuminated by the shining number and ecstatic backup dancers. They brought the sun to Corden. 

The 1975’s shining number made for a perfect glimpse of a happy atmosphere. “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)” sounds like it was made through wide grins and sharp foot taps. Frontman Matt Healy grooved as his mangy black tuft of hair danced on his head, looking as if it would come off at a moment’s notice. The true stars of the performance, though, were the identically dressed women situated in the middle of the circle of musicians, jumping, swinging their hips, and exposing blinding white teeth due to the kind of smiles that signify that someone’s having the time of their life.

The band’s conversation with Corden covered their upcoming plans for new music. They confirmed that they worked on an album that will come out before the end of the year.

There’s no need for the 1975 to rush a new LP; the band released their third studio album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, in November. After an upcoming performance at Coachella, the band will be heading on a North American tour that wraps up in June.

Take a look at the performance and conversation with Corden up above.

Kevin Abstract Releases An EP, “Ghettobaby,’ And Zombified ‘Baby Boy’ Video

aBrockhampton’s Kevin Abstract is surely on a roll. Just last week, he surprised the world with the release of the three-track project, ARIZONA baby. Today, he’s released another a new EP, Ghettobaby. There’s no stopping this kid.

Ghettobaby is made up of six songs; the three from last week’s ARIZONA baby (“Big Wheels,” “Joy Ride,” and “Georgia”), and three new ones, “Corpus Christi,” “Baby Boy,” and “Mississippi.” Abstract led into the release of the new EP by releasing a video for “Baby Boy” a couple of hours before the project dropped. It’s an off-putting visual featuring an army of zombie-like figures moving slowly through the night. It’ll give you goosebumps.

Abstract’s currently released two bodies of work on two of the three dates posted to Instagram: “11th, 18th, and 25th. He tweeted earlier this week that he’s slowly releasing an album (also called ARIZONA baby) so its highly possible that a third installment of new tracks is coming on April 25. For now we’ll have to wait and see.

Amidst rumors circulating that the rap collective was separating, Abstract recently took to Twitter to let fans know that everything was fine within the group. “BROCKHAMPTON IS NOT BREAKING UP THE NEW MUSIC SOUNDS GOOD AS HELL WE JUST NOT SPENDING 10 DAYS ON ALBUMS NO MORE,” he wrote. Brockhampton’s last album was 2018’s Iridescence.

Check out the tracklist for Ghettobaby and video for “Baby Boy” up above.

CupcakKe Puts A Super Raunchy Spin On Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’

Lil Nas X’s runaway hit “Old Town Road” is the No. 1 song in the U.S. right now, and the hype doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. The country-trap bop broke Drake’s streaming record, Billy Ray Cyrus hopped on a remix, Keith Urban covered it, and Young Thug has even teased his own version. On Wednesday (April 17), the rodeo kept going with CupcakKe, who renamed the viral hit after herself, “Old Town Hoe.”

To absolutely no one’s surprise, the Chicago rapper gives a very salacious, very on-brand performance on the remix. “I’m gonna take your dick, put it in my hole / I’m gonna, ride till I can’t no more” is how she flips the now-iconic hook, and it only gets nastier from there. Of course, it’s also packed with impressively quotable bars, most of which I’m not going to type out here, in case someone is looking over your shoulder. It’s best if you just press play below and hear it for yourself.

If you’re into CupcakKe’s glorious outlandishness, check out her previous singles from this year, “Bird Box” and “Squidward Nose.” And look out for more “Old Town Road” remixes, because I can only assume loads more are on the way.

BTS And Halsey’s ‘Boy With Luv’ Is The Future Of Artist Collaborations

On Wednesday (April 17), BTS scored another major accomplishment when the Korean group made Time‘s list of the 100 most influential people of 2019. Singer Halsey — who is featured on the group’s latest single, “Boy With Love” — penned a heartfelt note for the septet in honor of their latest career milestone. In it, she captures BTS and their global appeal in one simple sentence: “Behind those three letters are seven astounding young men who believe that music is stronger than the barriers of language.”

It’s a statement that was furthered echoed by the sheer enormity of the group’s global press conference the night before. Over 150 media outlets from around the world submitted over 500 questions for the press conference — including MTV News — which was both attended by Korean media and live streamed on YouTube for international press and fans. Topics included their most recent album (Map of the Soul: Persona), collaborating with Ed Sheeran on “Make It Right,” whether they find their unprecedented success to be invigorating or intimidating, and, of course, Halsey.

According to rapper Suga, in conceptualizing Persona around the themes of “love and interest about you [the fans], joy of the small things,” it was important for them to collaborate with “an artist who was able to express a variety of emotions, and we believed Halsey was appropriate for this.”

“We first met two years ago, and we felt that our passion in music connected,” he added for the group.

And it was a mutual thing. In a separate video screened for press, Halsey noted how BTS’ passion for their music and their fans made her want to work with them, crossing oceans and timezones to film the music video in Korea alongside the group. (She even learned part of the choreography — a first for the pop star.) “They are an absolutely amazing group who put so much love and so much dedication into everything they do,” she said. And that admiration extended behind the scenes when BTS, specifically dancers Jimin and J-Hope, helped Halsey work through the choreography on set. “They were so nice and encouraging and they made me feel like I could really do it if I put my mind to it.”

There’s also the fact that Halsey and BTS both have a unique relationship with their dedicated fans, who have seen them rise from industry underdogs to reigning pop royalty without losing the parts of them — their candor, humor, passion for social issues, and ability to speak to the anxieties of their generation through music — that make them special. Or, as Halsey said of the key to BTS’ success: “When an artist loves their art, it makes it last forever.”

That respect for one another and their art is what makes a collaboration like “Boy With Luv” so effortlessly seamless. A feature is a transaction between artists — a play for more radio spins and a higher chance at chart success. For BTS, collaborating with a Western artist like Halsey — who has two No. 1 singles under her belt — makes a lot of sense as they try to break into the only thing that has eluded them on their journey thus far: U.S. radio. For a self-described BTS fan like Halsey, the opportunity to collaborate with the biggest group in the world is a no-brainer. (Just ask Troye Sivan.) Still, I’d hardly call Halsey’s contribution to “Boy With Luv” a feature; it’s a collaboration in the truest sense of the word — a rich cultural exchange between artists that finds Halsey harmonizing in Korean on the hook and BTS adapting her fizzy pop to their own fluid style.

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A lot of that has to do with how they approached the song as a collaborative effort. Halsey brings her own perspective to the track — which finds the seven young men of BTS waxing poetic over minutiae of someone’s day — with her signature airy vocals and punchy ad-libs like “I want it!”

“Working with BTS was really special because it’s a lot different that what it’s like when I’m making music alone,” Halsey described. “There are so many individuals in a group, and you have to take each of their personal styles into account.

It was really cool to come together and do something that reflects all of us. It’s a really special marriage of music in America and music in Korea that’s now music for the world.”

As the musical landscape becomes more culturally diverse, a song like “Boy With Luv” sets a precedent for the future of artist collaborations — a future in which hearing BTS and Halsey sing in Korean or Bad Bunny and Drake croon in Spanish won’t seem so novel. Because music is its own universal language, a mellifluous form of communication. To truly understand it one needs only to open up their mind.

Jonas Brothers Are Returning To SNL 10 Years After Their Adorable Debut

The JoBros comeback is coming full circle! Just days after BTS rocked Saturday Night Live, our other fave boy band, Jonas Brothers, will hit the famed late-night stage. The recently rebooted trio will play the May 11 show, hosted by Emma Thompson, who’s making her SNL debut. For Kevin, Joe, and Nick, though, it’ll mark a return to Studio 8H that’s over a decade in the making. And given today’s exciting news, that’s a memory we simply must revisit.

Rewind with us, if you will, back to ’09…

When the brothers made their SNL debut in February 2009, it was at the peak of JoBros mania. They were fresh off a breakout year that was marked by their chart-topping third album, A Little Bit Longer, and their smash DCOM, Camp Rock. Their appearance also came a week after their first Grammys, where they were nominated for Best New Artist and performed alongside Stevie Wonder. In short, they were the kings of the teen pop world; no contest.

So when they appeared on SNL‘s Valentine’s Day episode with host Alec Baldwin, the show wisely milked JB as much as possible; along with the mandated two-song performance, the trio also flexed their acting chops by appearing in not one, but two sketches. The first was an SNL Digital Short in which Andy Samberg uncovered their “past career” as a hair metal band. And the second, titled “Fourth Jonas,” featured Baldwin playing their saxophone-playing older brother, Gary, who was unanimously voted out of the band (but not before sneaking jabs about purity rings and Joe’s eyebrows).

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As for JB’s two performances, I’m just going to say it: they were… OK. First up was “Tonight,” the fourth and final single off A Little Bit Longer. Joe handled lead vocals, flanked on either side by his curly-headed, guitar-playing brothers, each wearing a then-stylish scarf. (Remember: this was before Swole Nick Jonas came into our lives. Surely, if he tried to wear the same scarf now, his neck veins would split the fabric into thin little threads.)

Meanwhile, drummer Jack Lawless — who, for all intents and purposes, is the fourth Jonas Brother, since he still plays with the band today — is the only one who seems to have not aged at all. And while “Tonight” isn’t the guys’ most remarkable song, they still gave an energetic performance.

For reasons unclear, the group’s next song wasn’t a single, nor a particularly memorable track from A Little Bit Longer. It was “Video Girl,” an uncharacteristically nasty swipe at fame-seeking groupies that includes the total burn, “get some class and kiss the past!”

The first notable part about this performance is that it was introduced by Baldwin and his niece Hailey — as in, Hailey Bieber! — who was probably 12 at the time, and was equal parts excited and adorably awkward. As for the song itself, Nick manned the drums, Joe gave plenty of ‘tude, and Kevin was low-key cringeworthy every time he sang “video girl” during the chorus. Sorry, but it’s true.

Ten years later, Jonas Brothers will return to SNL older, wiser, and (hopefully) without a single scarf in sight. It seems likely that they’ll perform their new singles, “Sucker” and “Cool,” though the possibility of new music is also on the horizon. And here’s hoping Gary Jonas doesn’t try to weasel himself back into the band for the guys’ big comeback. We’ll find out on May 11!