Marc Hogan



  • Nicki Minaj

    Nicki Minaj's Beach-Rave 'Starships' Video: The Barbie Who Fell to Earth

    "Let Nicki Minaj Be Great," SPIN'S hip-hop blog No Trivia argued not long before the pop-rap multi-threat released her all-over-the-place sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, and it's advice that's stuck with us. If you spend a lot of time in the real or virtual company of music writers, as we do, you hear a lot about how Minaj is at her best when she's showing off her unparalleled skills as a rapper. If you spend a lot of time with middle-school girls, we suspect, you'd be more likely to find yourself singing along to pop hits like "Super Bass." Historically speaking, the little girls are usually right.

  • Jack White

    Jack White Brings Out the David Lee Roth in Stephen Colbert

    Jack White and Stephen Colbert aren't exactly strangers to each other. The former White Stripes frontman, who just released a nominal solo debut, Blunderbuss, that we really like, has previously been game for a two-part interview with The Colbert Report's faux-conservative host, and White's Third Man Records even put out a single featuring Colbert backed by goth-rockers the Black Belles. Last night on the Report, White ripped into Blunderbuss stomper "Freedom at 21," the single he initially let loose via helium balloon. He yowled and soloed with impeccable panache, but in an earlier interview segment, he confirmed to Colbert that only five of those fantastical balloon-singles have actually been found.

  • Usher / Photo by Todd Williamson/WireImage

    Hear Usher's Eurodance-y 'Scream': No 'Climax'

    On June 12, Usher is set to release his seventh album, Looking for Myself, but he might be looking in some of the wrong places. Rather than gaze into a mirror (or take some time off for contemplation and self-discovery), the smooth singer teamed up earlier this year with producer Diplo for the swooning electro-pop tease "Climax," which recently hit No. 1 on Billboard's R&B chart, spawned various remixes, and set itself up as a likely entry on more than a few best-songs-of-2012 lists. Now via Miss Info comes word that Ush will be veering off in two other directions on his next pair of Looking for Myself singles. If part of the pleasure of "Climax" is that it never quite reaches a climax, then maybe the idea of Usher's new album is that he doesn't necessarily have any single "self" — the man is a protean figure?

  • Kool A.D.

    Watch Kool A.D. of Das Racist's Laid-Back 'La Pinata' Video

    The plan was supposedly for each member of Das Racist to drop a solo mixtape this year, and before we even knew who was going to play in the Super Bowl, two out of three members of the Brooklyn hip-hop trio had done just that. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait for hypeman Dapwell's non-D.R. joint, but mellow one Kool A.D. must've taken t-t-totally wired colleague Heems' wisely stupid, seriously funny, personally political triumph Nehru Jackets as a challenge. Where Kool A.D.'s first mixtape of the year, the obliquely hedonistic Palm Wine Drinkard, felt like an elaborate internet joke we weren't quite in on, his just-released follow-up, 51, follows the boom-bap of Nehru Jackets to its own laid-back, deranged ends.The first video selection, "La Piñata," is a good indication of the progression-through-retrogression that Kool A.D.

  • Kid Cudi

    Kid Cudi Demands Whiskey on Obama-Sampling 'Dennis'

    Kid Cudi was last seen putting out a tepid "alternative rock" album as part of his WZRD collaboration with "Day 'N' Nite" producer Dot da Genius. After that terribly sung trainwreck, newly surfaced solo track "Dennis, Hook Me Up With Some More Whiskey" is being billed as Cudi's return to rapping, but for an artist already known for blending genres, that's only semi-accurate. Cudi is singing here, all right, though with a rapid flow and limited range that make it function as rapping. Produced by Scott Mescudi (Cudi himself) "Dennis" returns to WZRD-style mook-rock-guitar-that-makes-Rebirth-sound-brilliant.

  • Dave Grohl / Photo by Didier Messens/Redferns

    Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Skrillex to Headline Every Fest in Sight

    A few more upcoming music festivals announced their lineups yesterday, and some big, familiar names are at the top of the billing. Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters will headline Music Midtown, which comes back to Atlanta's Piedmont Park September 21-22 after being revived in 2011. The Avett Brothers, Girl Talk, T.I., Florence and the Machine, Ludacris, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and others are also on the lineup. Music Midtown originally ran for 12 years from 1994 to 2005. Visit Music Midtown's website for tickets and scheduling information. Skrillex and Snoop Dogg, meanwhile, are among the acts slated to perform at Ottawa Bluesfest, which takes place June 4-16 at the Canadian capital's LeBreton Flats Park.

  • President Obama on <i>Fallon</i>

    President Barack Obama Finally Collaborates With the Roots

    Ahmir "Questlove" (or "?uestlove") Thompson is such a dedicated supporter of President Barack Obama that the Roots drummer uses a picture of the two together as his Twitter avatar. Obama, for his part, has recently been known to show off his presidential pipes, singing "Sweet Home Chicago" with Mick Jagger after saving the music industry by crooning a few words from Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" during an appearance at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater.

  • The Rapture

    Honey, This Video Shrunk the Rapture: Watch 'How Deep Is Your Love?'

    "Let me hear that song," Luke Jenner howls over the piano-house dance-rock of "How Deep Is Your Love?," a standout from the Rapture's excellent 2011 album, In the Grace of Your Love. The first single from the New York band's first album in five years now finally has a video (via Noisey), and it's a weird one: Jenner gets reduced to toy-like proportions, and for some reason a grandmotherly African-American woman spirits him to a church service, where, OK, the joyous mood complements the song's worshipful catharsis. Either way, at least the clip lets us hear this euphoric, beautifully uncluttered dancefloor stomper one more time. Read "The Rapture's Second Coming," from the October 2011 issue of SPIN.

  • Nate Dogg / Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage

    Warren G, Game, and the Late Nate Dogg Throw a G-Funk 'Party'

    Nate Dogg, who died last year at 41, did not appear at Coachella as a hologram, despite a TMZ report he would be getting the treatment that turned out to be reserved for Tupac. But the West Coast rapper-singer has still come back from the grave to host some supremely laid-back, G-funk-tinged festivities with old co-conspirator Warren G and Compton rapper Game on "Party We Will Throw Now!" The title's somewhat stilted syntax makes sense in context, between '90s-oozing synths, clipped strings, and cognac-soaked piano chords. Available on iTunes now, the track lacks that essential moment that would really bring back the G-funk era, but the Regulator's dextrous verse, in particular, handily earns its keep. A shame that Nate Dogg couldn't be here to give his collaborators that extra bit of (non-dro) inspiration, but it's great to hear his smoothly funky singing just the same.

  • Wiz Khalifa

    Hear Wiz Khalifa's First 'O.N.I.F.C.' Single 'Work Hard, Play Hard'

    When Lil Wayne ended last year's MTV Video Music Awards with a one-two performance of a shamelessly pandering, semi-romantic ballad, "How to Love," and an almost entirely censored gangsta-rap chest-beater, "John," most of the people we follow on Twitter tended to blanch. But the rapper-ternt-brand (shouts to Nicki Minaj) was also demarcating the two poles of what a quick Top 40 radio listen would indicate people want to hear. Wiz Khalifa's new "Work Hard, Play Hard" sounds poised for radio success, and when an opening barrage of epithets is edited for mass consumption, the first single from the Pittsburgh rapper's August 28 O.N.I.F.C.

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