Sage, Kesha, And Chika Unite To Break The Gun-Violence Cycle In Powerful New Video

After this year’s horrific mass shooting in Parkland, Florida left 17 dead, young new artist Sage began work on a song. Sage, then a high-school senior, brought an early version of the tune to his sister, Kesha. On the final track — released on Friday (October 12) via a gripping video made in partnership with March For Our Lives — the two team up on a powerful, memorable chorus: “I don’t wanna be brave / I just wanna be safe.”

The song’s three minutes are also highlighted by verses from rising Nigerian-American rapper Chika, whose words paint a painfully visual of the gun-violence epidemic in America. And in the accompanying video, that epidemic, and its frustrating cyclicality, is on full display.

Sage appears briefly on a television alongside talking heads discussing that very cycle, but the rest of the runtime is devoted to portraying what’s called “the most vicious cycle” — in other words, what happens after a mass shooting, when we ultimately end up exactly where we began. To illustrate this, the YouTube upload contains three runs of the same video, caught in a seemingly endless loop, as a gunman’s bullet (and the gun lobby’s deep pockets) sets off a twisted Rube Goldberg-like labyrinth of damage throughout a school.

Kesha paired her contributions on this song with a stirring op-ed in Teen Vogue, also published on October 12. “It’s sad to me that many politicians, pundits, and everyday Americans dismiss gun violence, not just mass shootings in schools, as just another part of the culture in our country,” she wrote. “I wish it wasn’t. It doesn’t have to be.”

She references her brother Sage, as well as their collaborator Chika, as fellow supporters of “candidates who support common sense gun laws in this November’s midterm elections, so that we can finally end senseless gun violence.”

“United, our voices are more powerful, and now we want to ask you to be part of this movement with us,” she ends the op-ed, calling for everyone to come together to “break the vicious cycle.” Read her full, compelling letter here, and watch the “Safe” music video above.

For more from March For Our Lives, see MTV News’s coverage from the historic rally in March 2018 below.

Shawn Mendes Takes On An Immortal Classic With New ‘Under Pressure’ Cover

In 1981, Queen and David Bowie teamed up for a song that would become immortal. “Under Pressure” continues to work, nearly 40 years later, because of its simple formula: It’s a duet, but it’s also got one of the best bass lines ever written and tons of claps and snaps, which make everything as sticky as possible. It’s wonderful.

The song’s a bold one to cover, but I used to rock the hell out to the My Chemical Romance and The Used version, which still absolutely rules. The latest pair to try their hand at it are Shawn Mendes and teddy<3 (the new stage name of Mendes’s longtime collaborator Teddy Geiger), and their version is a spindly, acoustic-led showcase for their powerful and singular voices, particularly Mendes’s.

While teddy<3 leads on the chorus, Mendes’s soaring raspy falsetto is the centerpiece here, even hitting Freddie Mercury’s iconic whistle-high note during the bridge. Geiger co-wrote Mendes’s biggest hits — including “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” and “Stitches” — and Mendes has spoken highly of her and of their partnership. But “Under Pressure” marks the first time they’ve been on record together, and they’re a perfect match.

The pair made the song for the upcoming Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, as both pointed out on social media. “So honored Shawn asked me to sing with him,” Geiger wrote on Instagram.

Mendes added that they recorded their version “to honor Freddie, and for a cause really close to our hearts, to benefit the Mercury Phoenix Trust in the fight against HIV/AIDS.” All profits from the song will go directly to the organization, which members of Queen founded after Mercury’s death from AIDS in 1991.

Stream their “Under Pressure” cover above, and purchase it here. Play it loud for maximum effect until Bohemian Rhapsody hits theaters on November 2 in the U.S.

Charli XCX And Troye Sivan Cosplay As Spice Girls, BSB, And Eminem In ‘1999’ Video

Last week, Charli XCX and Troye Sivan dropped the nostalgia-fueled pop banger “1999,” complete with spot-on Matrix-inspired single art. If listening to the track managed to dredge up all your precious pre-millennium memories, then you’ll be psyched to find out that the video is that, times infinity.

Charli and Troye raided the costume closet of your dreams for the vid, which references various pop culture moments, movies, and celebs from the late ’90s. Charli cosplays as all five Spice Girls, TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and a turtlenecked Steve Jobs, while Troye dresses up as goateed Backstreet Boys, a Ramen-curled Justin Timberlake, and a bleach-haired Slim Shady. Together, they recreate iconic scenes from Titanic and The Matrix, and even revive Marilyn Manson and Rose McGowan’s wild look from the 1998 VMAs.

Elsewhere, The Sims computer game surfaces, as do Skechers sneakers, Surge soda, and Baby-G watches. It might take you a couple views to catch each and every ’90s wink, but it’s entirely worth it — this vid is totally buggin’!

So what did we learn today? Apparently, Charli (a self-proclaimed “’90s bitch”) and Troye have “invented nostalgia.” Thanks, you two!

Here’s How Ariana Grande Fans Dealt With Her “Breathin” Video Troll

Ariana Grande’s surprise video for “breathin,” consisting of her baby pig walking around for three minutes and nineteen seconds, isn’t the official visual for the fan-favorite track. But if you were living through the drama after Ariana dropped the video around 7:00pm ET yesterday, you probably thought this was the real deal.

Earlier in the day, Ariana gave fans some much-wanted updates about her Sweetener era projects, including a mention of a “breathin” music video. “Tryna shoot a breathin video bc i forgot to (hope there’s still time)” she wrote, as the track enters the top 20 of U.S. pop radio.

That’s what made the surprise release so jarring, with fans believing that a blurry but cute Piggy Smallz moment probably isn’t what Ariana meant by “tryna shoot a breathin video.” With no additional information to go by, many fans thought this was just Ariana trolling.

Some fans were hopeful that the silly visuals really were the one-and-only “breathin” music video, while others begged for something with a bigger budget.

Less than two hours after the Piggy Smallz release, Ariana commented that this was, in fact, the official “breathin” music video on a post from Pop Crave, a major source of music news for stans.

Though this may have looked like confirmation, plenty of Ariana fans believed she was trolling them even further, pointing to the fact that Ariana admitted she was trying to film the video just hours earlier.

Still, those who believed Ariana found meaning in the video, noting that October 10 was World Mental Health Day. During an interview on The Tonight Show, Ariana said that “breathin” was written in the midst of an anxiety attack and addresses her strategy of deep breaths to calm her anxiety. Paired with the fact that Piggy Smallz is another way for Ariana to manage her anxiety, this all appeared to be purposeful to some.

As speculation continued, Ariana responded to a hateful comment under a now-deleted post around 11:00pm ET, confirming that this look is a hold-over while she works on the official music video: “thought this would make u laugh while u wait for the real one bc i took a break to take care of myself for a lil while.”

That comment put to rest four hours of in-fighting and disagreement as Ariana fans couldn’t figure out for sure if Piggy Smallz was really the star of “breathin.” Now that they know the truth, they’re enjoying the cuteness of the visuals while looking forward to the bigger-budget official video that’s still to come.

Dylan Sprouse Broke Camila Cabello’s Heart In The Leafy ‘Consequences’ Video

Fresh off of a four-win night at the 2018 AMAs — where she was a great stationary dancerCamila Cabello kicked off Wednesday (October 10) by dropping a moody, autumnal video for her tender song, “Consequences.” And it stars Dylan Sprouse.

Yes, while his twin brother Cole has been busy solving sexy murders (or whatever) in Riverdale, Dylan’s been slowly laying the foundation for a mead empire based in Brooklyn. That’s why his appearance in “Consequences” as her lost love feels so welcome.

The clip, directed by Dave Meyers, is some real When Harry Met Sally… stuff, with the two of them mingling in memory at a piano in an orange leaf-covered park, then a snow-covered park. It’s poignant as the soft ballad unfolds alongside Camila’s heartbreak.

Camila, meanwhile, spent the summer hopping from stadium to stadium on tour with Taylor Swift and headlined her own tour earlier this year in support of her debut album. After the AMAs, she apparently celebrated with enough cheese and meat to bathe in, which sounds pretty great.

The only thing missing from the “Consequences” video, IMO, is exactly that — or maybe some mead? Check out the frosty, fairy tale-inspired clip above.

12 Song Anniversaries To Celebrate This October

As much as I’d like to say that Halloween favorite “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett is turning 56 years old this October, that’d be a lie — its birthday was back in August. Though this month’s song birthdays aren’t too spooky, it’ll still scare you to know how old they are.

“…Baby One More Time,” Britney Spears: 20 years old

It’s frightening that one of Britney’s most timeless songs dropped on October 23, 1998, but that hasn’t stopped people from watching the iconic “…Baby One More Time” music video more than 365 million times since it was uploaded to YouTube in 2009.

“One Less Lonely Girl,” Justin Bieber: 9 years old

Justin turned 24 years old this year on March 4, meaning he was just 15 when he released “One Less Lonely Girl” on October 6, 2009.

“Rehab,” Amy Winehouse: 12 years old

Though “Rehab” wasn’t an official U.S. single till 2007, Amy first graced the world with the track on October 23, 2006, later becoming her only song to reach the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“Locked Out of Heaven,” Bruno Mars: 6 years old

Bruno had tons of hits to choose from, but there was no keeping the 6x platinum “Locked Out of Heaven” from his Super Bowl halftime show performance in 2014 less than two years after releasing the track on October 1, 2012.

“Bad Romance,” Lady Gaga: 9 years old

Rah rah ah-ah-ah! Nine years before Gaga was starring in the third remake of A Star Is Born, she was putting out bop after bop in 2009, including “Bad Romance” on October 26.

“My Love,” Justin Timberlake: 12 years old

Justin’s been shaping and breaking hearts for decades, earning him five number one hits, including the track with an October 24 birthday, “My Love.”

“Single Ladies,” Beyoncé: 10 years old

Mention “Single Ladies” and most will think of the music video’s widely-attempted and rarely-mastered choreography. It’s that viral status that makes the song, with an October 8 birthday, one of Beyoncé’s most timeless.

“Timber,” Pitbull featuring Kesha: 5 years old

No artists were as present at weddings, proms or birthday parties as Pitbull and Kesha were in 2013, so it’s no wonder that with their powers combined, “Timber” spent three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart after its October 7 release.

“Firework,” Katy Perry: 8 years old

Light up some sparklers and give a toast to Katy’s music video for “Firework” when the song turns eight years old on October 26.

“Low,” Flo Rida featuring T-Pain: 11 years old

Apple-bottom jeans, boots with the fur, baggy sweatpants and Reeboks with the straps — you got all that? If you didn’t know the words to “Low” after it’s October 9 release in 2007, you simply weren’t cool.

“Jesus, Take the Wheel,” Carrie Underwood: 13 years old

Aside from being Carrie’s debut single with an October 3 birthday, “Jesus, Take the Wheel” became a meme of its own, especially in a Vine where Jesus really does grab ahold of the steering wheel.

“Carry On,” Fun.: 6 years old

Fun hasn’t released another album since Some Nights in 2012, on which the October 23 release “Carry On” lives; the band is currently on hiatus as the members, including Nate Ruess, Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost, work on solo projects.

Watch Shawn Mendes Inject Some Whimsy Into ‘Treat You Better’ With Jimmy Fallon

What do you think goes into the planning conversations about Jimmy Fallon‘s “classroom instruments” musical segments? The song in question probably has to be simple enough to be strip to its essential parts, for one thing. For another, it obviously has to sound good in a pseudo-acoustic setting.

Monday night (October 8), the latest pop tune to get this treatment was Shawn Mendes‘s “Treat You Better,” where Fallon manned a woodblock and Mendes himself played the spoons. It wasn’t as seemingly futuristic as Ariana Grande’s paper-instrument take on “No Tears Left to Cry,” but it sounded pretty great as Mendes’s rasp soared over all the whimsy.

Treat You Better” became Mendes’s second top-10 single in the U.S. when it was released in 2016, which is to say it’s a known song. But like, why not “Lost In Japan” for this segment? The juxtaposition of a titillating midnight bop with classroom instruments sounds like a perfect match, but hey, I don’t make the rules. Mendes is likely saving that one for his joint performance with Zedd at the American Music Awards anyway, which air on Tuesday (October 9).

Also, The Roots never get enough credit for making these performances pop, but they should, because they do so much here! It’s not just a bunch of shakers and plastic clappers; the main melodic instruments here are a ukulele, a melodica, and a toy xylophone, and you really gotta play those things to make it work.

In addition to spreading the gospel of his self-titled album, which dropped in May, Mendes — a good Canadian — is very stoked that hockey has started up once again. Honestly, same. Check out the lovely little clip above.

The 10 Most Beautiful Moments Of BTS’ Love Yourself Tour

The concept of Post-Concert Depression has often been used to describe the emotional comedown of seeing a live show, as the euphoria wears off and reality of normal, everyday life sets in. But for the 40,000 fans who witnessed BTS’ historic concert at Citi Field on Saturday night (October 6), a different emotion comes to mind: hope.

BTS ended the North American leg of their Love Yourself tour at the packed Queens stadium, a momentous first for a Korean act. And it was truly a night of celebration and reflection for the chart-topping group and their diverse fans (called ARMY). “This is only the beginning of our most beautiful moment in life,” leader and rapper RM reminded the extremely amped crowd after kicking things off with the anthemic “Idol,” the group’s most recent, and most rambunctious, single.

Since making their debut in 2013, the seven members of BTS — RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — have continued to defy the odds, shattering YouTube records, debuting atop the Billboard 200 twice, and revolutionizing the globalization of Korean music.

Seeing them live in concert, it’s easy to see why.

With their Love Yourself tour, BTS have created an experience so captivating, so inclusive, and so visually stunning that it’s cemented the boy band as one of the most vital acts in pop music today. The two-and-a-half-hour set featured highlights from the group’s Love Yourself era — and one fire medley (no pun intended) — weaving together an intimate narrative of love and acceptance through a mix of musical genres, crisp choreographies, colorful visuals, and undeniable charm.

Blame it on the chorus of voices singing “you’ve shown me I have reasons I should love myself” while hues of pinks and purples lit up the stadium, their echoes filling the air like a warm embrace. Or the way BTS themselves basked in the enormity of the moment, delivering fan-service and finger hearts with complete sincerity. (Jimin was even moved to tears.) But it was impossible to leave Citi Field and not feel energized by it all.

BTS ask their fans to look inward, to take their universal message and reflect on their own state of being — to know that just because you don’t love yourself today doesn’t mean you can’t love yourself tomorrow. In doing so, they acknowledge that a beautiful moment in life isn’t just one moment, but rather a series of moments. So let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful moments of the Love Yourself tour:

  • J-Hope set the mood

    Bangtan’s resident hype man and mood-maker, J-Hope, set the night off right with an exuberant performance of “Trivia 起: Just Dance.” The funky future-bass track was the first of the night’s solo stages and therefore had a lot to accomplish, maintaining the energy of the opener while also establishing the rapper as a dynamic force unto himself. Oh, and he can really bust a move.

  • Jungkook kept the party going

    Youngest member Jungkook delivered a playful solo stage with “Euphoria,” a dreamy pop song that really should have been a single with its radio-friendly EDM hook. Co-written by RM, the track is a bubbly ode to young love, and it was a confident showcase for Jungkook, who served vocals and choreography with staggering bravado.

  • Jimin made everyone swoon

    “Serendipity,” Jimin’s soft R&B ballad, put the performer’s fluid duality on full display, as he toed the line between sweet and sensual — his airy, ethereal vocals grounded by the sharp precision of his PG-13 moves.

  • RM channeled his idols

    There’s something effortless about RM. His flow. His swagger. His unflappable leadership. It’s how he can get a crowd of thousands to their feet with nothing but a mic. As the group’s main rapper, RM’s deep, easy flow and clever wordplay have become some of the most distinct aspects of the group’s sonic DNA. And with “Trivia 承: Love,” RM delivered both — a hype hip-hop track with deep emotional resonance, not unlike the work of his New York heroes. “The music born here changed my life,” he said, “made me dream, and gave me a new life.”

  • V’s gravitational pull

    BTS doesn’t have a central figure, but as a performer, V comes close. The vocalist and visual has the ability to seduce an entire crowd with a single look. During his sultry performance of “Singularity,” even the most subtle movements — a caress here, a glance there — were met with awe and fervent screams. It’s this intimate relationship with the camera that makes him so fascinating to watch, his charisma pulling fans into his magnetic field one eyebrow quirk at a time.

  • Suga had something to prove

    Known for his slick tongue technology, lead rapper and producer Suga is a bit of a chameleon. Case in point: “Trivia 轉: Seesaw,” a standout performance that saw the rapper trade in his signature aggressive style for a melodic R&B flow, cool choreography, and a vibey disco beat. And with it, the complex performer turned his perceived weaknesses — his vocal ability and dancing prowess — into strengths before attacking the crowd with his electric verse in “Tear.”

  • Jin’s vocal talents soared

    Fan chants are a typical part of the live experience in K-pop. But eldest member Jin received a special distinction on Saturday night, becoming the only member to inspire his own fan chant. As Jin sat behind the piano to deliver the opening verse of “Epiphany,” a chorus of “KIM SEOKJIN” reverberated around the stadium. And the early praise proved to be well-earned. The ballad was a sneaky show-stopper, Jin’s powerhouse vocals soaring into the night sky.

    Jin might not be the group’s flashiest member, but that’s OK; he doesn’t need much to stun everyone into silence.

  • The medley set the stadium ablaze

    BTS may be one of the biggest acts in music at the moment, but Bangtan haven’t forgotten their humble beginnings. The mid-show medley of “Boyz With Fun,” “Attack On Bangtan,” “Fire,” “Baepsae,” and “Dope” had the crowd on their feet as the group attacked the fan-favorite tracks with personality and precision.

  • Suga may or may not have spoiled their 2019 plans

    Leave it to Suga to boast about the group’s future accomplishments before they’ve even happened yet. During the members’ final farewells to the crowd, the rapper assured fans that Citi Field was “just the beginning,” before alluding to a potential U.S. stadium tour in 2019. “Maybe next year… I’ll leave that up to you guys’ imagination. For us, we dreamed a dream and you guys imagined it, and now we’re here. Let’s see each other next year.” That sounds promising.

  • RM brought the message home

    What does it mean to love yourself? And more importantly, where does one even start? According to RM, these are questions no one has the answers to. The process of loving yourself is a journey that never really ends, but through music and through moments of togetherness, the answer becomes a little clearer.

    “Through this Love Yourself tour, I am finding how to love myself,” RM said as he addressed the crowd at Citi Field for the final time. “I didn’t know anything about loving myself, but you guys taught me through your eyes, through your love, through your tweets, through your words — you guys taught me, and I started to love myself…

    So I want to say one thing: Please use me, please use BTS, to love yourself.”

    Looking out at the sea of smiling faces in the crowd — faces of all ages and ethnicities, from all walks of life — there’s hope that they will.

Alessia Cara Sees The Light In Her Defiant ‘Trust My Lonely’ Video

If anyone knows a thing or two about brushing off haters, it’s Alessia Cara. This year alone, the singer expertly dismissed critics who questioned whether she deserved a Grammy, then triumphantly launched her second album era with the relatable jam “Growing Pains.” Now, the 22-year-old is back with another new earworm, “Trust My Lonely,” which comes with an awesomely empowering message.

In the bubbly track’s video, Cara performs in front of various colorful backdrops in sunny locales like a beach, a football field, and a grassy meadow. While goofily and carelessly dancing, she sings, “Go get your praise from someone else / You did a number on my health / My world is brighter by itself, and I can do better, do better.”

Upon releasing the video, Cara explained the song’s meaning on Twitter, writing, “It’s human instinct to hold on to things that aren’t good for us something because we’re afraid of being without them. They become our comfort. In some cases, it’s a toxic relationship, in others, a bad friendship, or in my case — and the reason I wrote this song — internal black clouds and voices of doubt, both my own and those of others. Letting go is not easy, but most times it’s the uncomfortable nudge we need in order to find a happier place within ourselves. This song is for you and for me. Let it be both a reminder and celebration of the frequently forgotten sentiment that we’re here and we’re okay.”

The video also sees the return of the symbolic oversized suit Cara’s been regularly rocking lately. On Instagram, she said that the suit “visually represents the idea of growing up too fast, or trying to fit ourselves into roles that can feel too large to handle.” Considering her forthcoming sophomore album is titled The Pains of Growing, that seems like a perfectly suited (sorry) metaphor.