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Kanye West performs at Samsung Galaxy Note 2 launch party

Samsung took a stop in New York City last night to launch the Galaxy Note 2, complete with a performance by Grammy award-winning artist Kanye West.

Like many other tech journalists in New York City, Tuesday was an average day filled with Apple iPad mini announcements, quirky science news about a talking Beluga whale, and some new Windows 8 laptops and tablets. Then, this came in the mail.

Good Afternoon, 

Thank you for RSVPing for the Samsung Galaxy Note II event on Wednesday! We wanted to invite you to stay after the press conference for a special performance by Kanye West.

Although we’ve already reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, our New York staff had planned to attend the event in case anything new would be announced. But after this email was sent out, tech media flocked to Moynihan Station in midtown New York to prepare for the long wait for Grammy award-winning artist Kanye West to drop a surprise performance slapped in the middle of the week.

What made Kanye Jesus Walk his way into the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 World Tour event is beyond us, but by 9 p.m., some members of the public also joined the party, filling the room with an energy and noise totally unexpected for a phablet launch party. Also in attendance were also some of New York’s finest gossip bait, including fashion editor Nina Garcia, Jersey Shore‘s Pauly D, and the New York Giants star wide receiver, Victor Cruz.

In a quick set that lasted just over an hour, Kanye West performed classics like “Heartless,” “Runaway,” “All of the Lights,” and “Through the Wire,” while bringing in a special guest of his own, 2 Chainz, to accompany a recent hit, “Birthday Song.” The set ended with a new record, “Clique” before West disappeared behind the stage without an encore. While the concert was certainly memorable and intimate (all things considered, the room was pretty small), did the crowd leave with an impression of Samsung and the Galaxy Note 2 in mind, or were they overwhelmed with the presence of the one and only Yeezy? I guess we’ll find out when the phone-meets-tablet hybrid becomes available this November.



It’s a modern tale of love found through the internet. The story of a rock band who found a face painter and together created addictive, visual magic like we’ve never witnessed before.

The Ontario based band is called Young Rival, and their song Two Reasons needed a music video. Using their passion for surfing the pages of Reddit as an ally, they found Michigan face painter James Kuhn while surfing the site and were blown away by his bizarre creations and personality. To give you an idea, Kuhn describes himself as “an artist, retired drag queen, whiteface clown, former nudist, born again Christian, average 46 year old guy…well maybe not exactly average!” Seriously, what’s not to love?

The band/artist collective then teamed up internet style. The band e-mailed Kuhn, asking if he’d help out with their project and he said “yes.” The band was physically mailed CDs over the few months that followed, each containing a video of Kuhn lip-synching performances, which they edited into the wild final video you see below. Internet collaboration at its best!

Alicia Keys Cleans House in ‘Girl On Fire’

Alicia Keys dedicates her new video for “Girl on Fire” to family time. And while the quotidian household chores featured in the video – sweeping the floor, cleaning up toys, paying the bills – might seem a little dreary against that rainy backdrop, Keys adds a dance party, synchronized group kitchen prep, and Mary Poppins-style magic to lighten the mood and bring a sense of enchantment to her working mother’s routine. “Girl on Fire,” which was released last month, serves as the title track and lead single for Keys’ fifth album, due out on November 27th.

NPR & Soundcheck Present: Flying Lotus, Death Grips, Buke & Gase

Line outside for the show at (Le) Poisson Rouge.
Photo by Loren Wohl for NPR

NPR Music and WNYC’s Soundcheck live from (Le) Poisson Rouge in NYC during CMJ.

Show poster.
Photo by Loren Wohl for NPR

DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC for NPR Music Presents showcase.

Buke & Gase at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC for NPR Music Presents showcase.

Death Grips at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC for NPR Music Presents showcase.

Flying Lotus at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC for NPR Music Presents showcase.






Usher Breaks Through the Walls of Pain in ‘Numb’ Video

In Usher‘s somber video for ‘Numb,’ the R&B singer breaks through the turmoil and pain that have boxed him in for the past several months.

The Chris Applebaum and Grace Harry-directed clip features Usher in a glass box reflecting on some of the troubles that has left him “hopeless” and “paralyzed.” Using his canceled January 2011 Berlin concert as the catalyst of his pain, the singer shrugs it off by doing what he does best — he dances.

There are also images of him kneeling at someone’s hospital bed and playing around with his two kids. All this to say, that no matter what obstacles comes in Usher’s way, he’s going to overcome them — unfazed and un-shattered.

Watch Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy, And Juicy J Perform ‘Work Hard Play Hard (Remix)’ At The 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards

Last night the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards aired, and really, what better way was there to open the show than with a performance by Wiz Khalifa/Amber Rose’s baby-daddy/theglowing father-to-beJuicy J, and Young Jeezy? Yep, there are zero other better ways. Confirmed.

Watch Wiz Khalifa Perform ‘Work Hard Play Hard (Remix)’ At The 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards after the jump.

In typical Wiz fashion, the “Remember You” rapper stormed the stage wearing his signature fedora and seemed beyond chill as he began spitting verses from his smash “Work Hard, Play Hard.” And guess what? After Wiz finished his “Work Hard, Play Hard” verse, pal Young Jeezy hit the stage to drop his “Work Hard” remix verse. And yep, there’s even more — following Jeezy’s cameo, Three 6 Mafia veteran and Taylor Gang MC Juicy J dropped by to rap Lil Wayne‘s “Work Hard, Play Hard (Remix)” verse (bummer that Lil Wayne wasn’t there, but major props to Juicy J for picking up the slack so hard!). Right — so Wiz is definitely winning the award for the dopest-future-dad-to-be, right? That’s basically a no-brainer right there.


New Music: Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Never Is A Long Time” and “Love Of Your Life”

“Never Is A Long Time” and “Love of Your Life” comprise the third installment of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ single series. The tracks are already available for purchase as a 7″ vinyl or digital download, but now you can stream both below.

The entire series spans nine two-sided singles, comprised of leftover material from the sessions for I’m With YouThe first installment, “Strange Man” b/w “Long Progression” is available to stream here. The second, “Magpies on Fire” b/w “Victorian Machinery” can be found here. The fourth, fifth, and sixth singles (titles TBD) will follow on November 6th, December 4th, and December 18th, respectively. The final single will then be released in early 2013.

New Video: Jadakiss Feat. Emanny “Cuz We Paid”

With the piano by his side, Jadakiss gets reflective alongside crooner Emanny on the smooth “Cuz We Paid.” The cut appears on Kiss’ The Consignment mixtape that’s out now. Getting money isn’t everything, the D-Block general professes.

Video Premiere: Trey Songz, ‘Dive In’

It’s always the pretty boys who get themselves into SO much trouble. Trey Songz may be too handsome for his own good, because boy clearly cannot help himself when it comes to the opposite sex. In the video for “Dive In,” the latest single from his fifth album, Chapter V,Trey has something very simple to do: complete a business deal at a work colleague’s home. But of course, when his colleague’s beautiful wife enters the picture, Trey pretty much loses his mind. FOCUS TREY… ah eff it, there’s no helping you, Trigga.

Filmed in a gorgeous Malibu estate, Trey described his motivation on set in behind-the-scenes footage: “We try to have this meeting… and my mind keeps wandering off in space and into a place of fantasy.” (So basically we don’t know how Trey gets through everyday life. ‘Cause there are plenty of ladies perfectly willing to turn those fantasies into reality!) Well anyway, we think Trey should probably try to focus, because eventually his business colleague notices that wandering eye. We don’t want to spoil the ending, but Trey should definitely keep his wits about him, and his shirt dry. Or at least scope out a plan of escape.

Jay-Z Salutes Brooklyn With Beyonce in Final Show at the Barclays Center

After seven sold-out shows, Jay-Z concluded his run with one final concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Saturday (Oct. 6). The rap mogul saluted his hometown with 19,000 people in attendance, and he also shared it with 60,000 viewers who were watching live via YouTube.

Backed by a proficient live band of drummers, keyboardists and DJs called the Roc Boys, Jay-Z’s finale was truly a celebration not only for Brooklyn, but for hip-hop as well. Jigga pretty much stayed with the set list of his earlier concerts and kept his guest list short to one very special person: his wife Beyonce.

Jay kicked off his concert with songs dedicated to the Big Apple and BK including ‘Where I’m From,’ ‘Empire State of Mind and ‘Brooklyn Go Hard.’ He then followed that with a tribute to his late friend and Brooklyn native Notorious B.I.G. with a sing-a-long of ‘Kick in the Door’ and ‘Juicy.’

He also took a moment to express his indifference to critics who felt that his contribution to the Brooklyn Nets was not significant. “Don’t let no one diminish your accomplishment,” he told the crowd. “Here’s the story. A young black male was raised in a single-parent home in a low-income housing project and I stand before you as the owner of the Brooklyn Nets.”


Midway through his show he performed a solo rendition of ’03 Bonnie & Clyde,’ which segued into his surprise of the night — Beyonce. As he left the stage to take a breather, Ms. Carter, dressed in black leather shorts and a matching Brooklyn Nets hat, stood in the middle of the stage to let fans soak in the awesomeness. Then Bey-Bey strutted across the stage before launching into her girl-power track ‘Diva’ followed by ‘Crazy in Love,’ in which Jay-Z quickly returned to recite his verse on the latter.

Before Beyonce could leave the stage, hubby Hov gave her a playful slap on the butt for a job well done. Afterwards, Jay joked with the crowd, “Of course I had to let BK (Beyonce Knowles) touch the stage in BK — well, BKC now.”

Jay-Z then took fans down memory lane to his ’90s hits including a cappella rendition of ‘Dead Presidents,’ which he then segue into ‘Can I Live’ (both from his classic album ‘Reasonable Doubt’). He then followed those jams with his most notables anthems ‘Public Service Announcement,’ ‘Heart in the City’ and ‘Hard Knock Life.’

Near the end of the show, Jay-Z took a quick break and changed out of his all-black Nets jersey to an all-white Nets jersey and matching hat. He told the crowd to take off their cool and turn the Barclays arena into a bumping club. From there he performed a slew of his club bangers including ‘What More Can I Say,’ ‘Jigga (What’s My Name),’ ‘Izzo (H.O.V.A.),’ ‘Money Ain’t a Thing’ and ‘Jigga What, Jigga Who?’

He also recited his kingly verses from Snoop Dogg‘s “I Wanna Rock (King G Remix)” and Rick Ross‘ ’3 Kings’ rapping, “Ex D-boy use to park my Beamer / Now look at me I can park in my own arena.” For Jay, his finale at the Barclays Center was his full circle moment.

Jay-Z and Beyonce

Hov ended the show with his belief that everyone has “genius-level talent.” “I believe that I’m in the building with 19,000 people that will change the world,” he told the crowd. And with that, he performed his inspiring anthem ‘Young Forever.’ He was joined once again by Beyonce, who sang Mr. Hudson’s hook on the song. Before ending the show, the power couple shared a kiss before they exited off the stage as the BK fans cheered gloriously for their hometown hero.

Grand opening. Grand closing. Welcome home, Jay-Z.