Lauryn Hill Plays Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Lauryn Hill shows up in the darnedest places these days.

Out of absolutely nowhere, Ms. Hill appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and performed not once but twice with her current touring band. Decked out in a flowing and (very) colorful outfit, Lauryn performed two exquisite covers Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” and “Chances Are.” You can view those performances here and here.

Tyler Perry Is Full Of Sh*t….

This past week, at a press conference regarding his latest Madea flick, Tyler Perry told Spike Lee to go straight to hell. Clearly fed up with discussion of Lee’s comments a few years ago regarding the “coonery and baffoonery” that is Tyler Perry’s film career, Mr. Madea finally took a stand:

“Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see.”

Now Perry actually has a point here. To somehow frame his work as “the problem” is actually condescending to his audience. People pay money to see what they want to see. End of story.

But then Perry went too far.

“Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois went through the exact same thing; Langston Hughes said that Zora Neale Hurston, the woman who wrote ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God,’ was a new version of the ‘darkie’ because she spoke in a southern dialect and a Southern tone…”

Ummm…no.

BEYONCE IS BACK, But Does She Still Rule The World?

She’s baaaaaaaaaack.

This past week, the hype machine went into overdrive with news of the coming storm that is Beyonce’s next album. Said to be released in June, this is a crucial moment in Bey’s career; she’s got some fierce competition for the Pop throne she once ruled with impunity.

But judging by the brief snippet of her new single, titled “Girls (That Rule The World),” and images of her ridiculously fierce get-up for the song’s highly anticipated music video, I’m thinking she’ll be alright.

MISTER CEE'S ARREST, And Rap's Fear Of A Gay Hip Hip Head

Nobody is more Hip Hop than Mister Cee.

He was Big Daddy Kane’s DJ during his prime in the late eighties. He was an early mentor to The Notorious B.I.G., even acting as an associate executive producer on his landmark debut album, Ready To Die. And he’s a longstanding radio DJ and personality at New York’s Hot 97, arguably the most famous Hip Hop radio station in the world.

It just doesn’t get much more Hip Hop than that. And unfortunately, it also doesn’t get more Hip Hop than getting arrested by the NYPD, so the intial news of Mister Cee’s arrest last week in New York City didn’t raise too many eyebrows. Getting into trouble with the law? Having your wrists cuffed behind your back? No problem. Very Hip Hop.

But getting arrested for receiving a blowjob from a 20 year-old man in a parked car? Apparently, that’s problematic. Go figure.

The Weeknd's "House of Balloons": THE REVIEW

You can tell a genre of music is dying when a) it gives too much of itself away to a radio-ready pop sound, and b) it becomes artistically stagnant, with too few of its practitioners willing (or able) to innovate and move the genre forward. With Usher’s lowest-common-denominator Pop&B, as well as Chris Brown’s douchbaggery and Trey Songz’s utter mediocrity dominating the charts, R&B music has certainly been sliding in that general direction over the past few years. These guys can dance and sing (or whine) with the best of them, but their music is just formulaic, thematically bland, and entirely missing any kind of edge whatsoever. Too much watered-down Michael Jackson and not nearly enough Prince, in a nutshell.

Maybe these R&B cats thought they were safe from the kind of utter embarrassment and panic OFWGKTA is inflicting on Hip Hop’s many phony, undercover pop stars. No such luck, sorry. Allow me to introduce you to The Weeknd’s House of Balloons.

Say hello to the dark, smoldering future of Rhythm and Blues.

9 Songs Every PRINCE Fan Should Know

Growing up in the digital age has completely changed our generation’s listening habits.

Instead of buying albums and experiencing a complete artistic statement, we download an artists most well-known tracks from iTunes and call it a day. It’s pathetic. How can you call yourself a Prince fan (for example) if you’ve only got “Raspberry Beret,” “Purple Rain,” and “1999” on your iPod shuffle? It’s just not enough.

The following is a list of what music nerds call “deep cuts,” or songs that either weren’t released as singles, or didn’t get a lot of mainstream attention upon their initial release. Obviously you won’t be a Prince historian after listening to these songs (the man has released over 35 albums); this is seriously the tip of the iceberg. But at least you’ll have gained a deeper insight into the many facets of his artistry; perhaps gaining a clearer picture of his genius.

These are the 9 songs every Prince fan should know.