Lil Wayne Has PDSD (Post Dream Stress Disorder) In Nightmarish New Performance

Start your day off with Lil Wayne‘s flex-heavy performance of “Dreams” from last night’s (February 5) episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Questlove and The Roots joined him for the autotuned show that cranked the energy knob to the max. It’s great to see Lil Wayne back in rare form like this, having fun with his music.

Lil Wayne’s show was pretty simple but effective. “Dreams” is about the rapper hallucinating that he’s broke. Before it can settle in, he jolts awake to a life of riches and spontaneity. While metallically singing about this scary thought, the screen behind him broadcasted dark thunderstorm clouds, potentially indicating that being without his funds would really be a nightmare.

But once he got out of his sleep in the song, the energy in his performance kicked to the extreme with Questlove’s high-octane pounding of drums and Wayne’s own psychedelic, possessed screaming. The entire song is built around the shock of potentially losing it all, so Wayne’s excited delivery of it matched its necessary intensity. “Thank God it was just a dream!” he shouts and sings into the microphone. After repeating it over and over, “Woke up and I screamed!” comes next, transferring over to you this same white-hot energy.

“Dreams” appears on Funeral, Lil Wayne’s latest album that dropped at the end of January. The LP features “I Do It,” his collaboration with Big Sean and Lil Baby. Adam Levine, XXXTentacion, and more also make appearances.

Lil Wayne surprised fans around the world when he performed as a robot on The Masked Singer during its latest season premiere. Let’s get one thing straight: once the automaton began performing Lenny Kravitz‘s “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” it was instantly clear that Wayne was under the mask, even if the judges had no clue (they guessed Floyd Mayweather Jr., Steve-O, and other equally odd picks). It was startling though, just because the rapper even appeared on the show, something that host Nick Cannon even marveled at afterward.

Check out Lil Wayne’s performance of “Dreams” on Fallon up above.

Try To Keep ‘Calm:’ 5 Seconds Of Summer Have A New Album On The Horizon

5 Seconds of Summer‘s new album comes out on March 27 – let’s get that out of the way. Its title is hilarious because it’s set to be called Calm. How can anyone be “calm” knowing that another release from 5SOS is right around the corner?

With just a little more than a month away, it’s time to kick those excitement senses into full effect. Open all the circuit boards and crank up those gasping knobs. And to make fans even less calm, the group has released a new single from the LP, “No Shame.” Can today get any better?

“No Shame,” which shares the name with the fall tour that they announced last month, is easygoing, poolside fun. This sunny treat may sound like a celebration, but its lyrics are anything but. It serves as a commentary on how eager we, as a society, are to get a response from others – often to our own detriment. “Digging my grave to get a reaction / Changing my face and calling it fashion / Got no shame,” lead vocalist Luke Hemmings sings sweetly on the chorus. Likes are worth money today, literally.

The song ends with the idea that no matter how big of a reaction a person gets, they still get spit out and replaced at the end of the day when the next biggest thing gets discovered. It’s a harsh cycle that repeats in the age of going viral at the snap of a finger. Who knows if it’ll change but, until then, we have 5SOS’s new treat to sing that’ll hopefully wake us up to how dark it all is.

5SOS’s forthcoming LP, Calm, will also feature “Teeth,” Easier,” and another new song, “Red Desert,” that the band debuted in Los Angeles last month. They’ve released a one-minute trailer that gives fans a minute to check out everything to expect.

Listen to 5SOS’s “No Shame” up above.

Loona’s ‘So What’ Is An Explosive, Confident Comeback

Loona has perfected the art of the comeback with a bombastic new single, and you’ll be bumping it for days to come.

“So What” marks an effervescent return for the girl group, which finds its 11 members belting out the high-energy dance track with enviable confidence. It’s a thumping, electrifying anthem that urges listeners to appreciate themselves just the way they are.

The video is full of just as much ebullient energy, even without member Haseul around for the release. Blockberry Creative previously confirmed earlier in January that she would be taking a break from performing alongside the rest of Loona to focus on her mental health, as she’s been dealing with an anxiety disorder. Her hiatus is only temporary, however, and it’s expected that she’ll be returning soon.

Despite Haseul’s absence, however, Loona still shines in their urban-inspired banger’s accompanying music video, which outfits the girls in vibrant crimson jackets and black biker leather that gives them a harder edge as they serve serious power poses in front of the camera.

“So What” marks the release of Loona’s latest [#] EP, which is now available on streaming platforms as well. It spans six tracks, including the titular “[#],” “Number 1,” “Oh (Yes I Am),” “Ding Ding Dong,” and “365.”

“[#] does not mean much when it is used alone, but it means that when # is used in combination with words or letters, they realize the result of a multi-use combination when they are together, just as they perform a special function or great ability,” reads the official video description, setting the tone for the EP.

It’s about time to enter a new era with Loona at the wheel, so get ready to start memorizing the choreography and lyrics. You’re going to need to know them if you can ever truly hope to know what it means to stan Loona.

Christine And The Queens Sings The Purples On ‘People, I’ve Been Sad’

Christine and the Queens debuted a new song on A Colors Show and after watching its video, you’ll learn two very important things:

  1. This song is very, very, emotionally raw, and sounds grandiose even, like it’s determined to be the biggest tune about being down in the dumps in world history, and
  2. Purple is Christine’s color and I wouldn’t blame her if she never not wore it for the rest of her life.

#5DBCD2. That’s the shade of this marvelous purple room that Christine stands in, cavernously caroling her latest so smoothly that even the synths sound like they’re weeping. This grand spectacle finds Christine divulging her feelings about being submerged in sadness ready to get out. “It’s true that people, I’ve been missing out/ Missing out for way too long,” she sings boldly. She’s in the process of snapping herself out of this funk and getting back to her former self.

Her wonderful performance is the star of this video, and it’s not just because of the lovely lavender landscape. Cadet Blue isn’t technically purple, but her magnificent suit fits the color scheme perfectly. She looks the part and sings it too. I think we can all agree that purple means sad now, right?

Christine released her sophomore album, Chris, in 2018. Last year, she collaborated with Charli XCX on their high energy track, “Gone.”

Check out Christine’s awesome new song, “People, I’ve Been Sad,” and a performance of it up above.

Jay-Z And Beyoncé Were In ‘Artist Mode’ During Demi Lovato’s Super Bowl Performance

During Demi-Lovato‘s striking National Anthem performance at Super Bowl LIV, Jay-Z and Beyoncé (along with daughter Blue Ivy) remained in their seats. Now that the event is in our rearview mirrors, Jay-Z has revealed to the public that, contrary to everyone’s beliefs, neither he nor his wife was protesting. They were, instead, analyzing the show from artists’ perspectives.

Jay-Z conducted a Q & A session at Columbia University yesterday (February 4) where he was asked if, by him sitting down, was he “trying to convey a signal.” His response immediately put that idea, which was beginning to grow legs in the public’s eye, to bed.  “It actually wasn’t. Sorry,” he said before continuing on, explaining that his brain went into “artist mode” as he began to break down the show from this perspective.”So I’m really just looking at the show. Did the mic start? Was it too low to start? “

Jay-Z and Blue Ivy

Another thing that he revealed was that he didn’t realize that they’d been sitting down for the entire performance until it was too late. Jay-Z was wrapped up in a conversation with Beyoncé about how Lovato possibly feels performing at the Super Bowl since Bey’s “performed at the Super Bowl before, and I haven’t.” He went further, saying that there wasn’t a need for “silent protest” thanks to the diverse set of halftime performers that included Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, and more which is “making the biggest, loudest protest of all.”

Looking at Roc Nation’s partnership with the NFL, it’s clear that Jay-Z didn’t need to protest. Last August, the NFL unveiled the partnership which, along with including social justice efforts for the community, gave Jay-Z the power to advise the league on artists for major performances like the Super Bowl. Since he had a huge hand in shaping this year’s diverse halftime show, what he says makes a lot of sense.

Check out Jay-Z’s full comments on the situation over on TMZ.

Dua Lipa’s Technicolor Dream: How She Found Her Voice On Future Nostalgia

Dua Lipa has just spent 10 minutes discussing what makes her feel nostalgic. Against a candy-pink seamless background, the 24-year-old pop star mentioned her bygone Tamagotchi, a love of “Cry Me a River,” and more; she was talking broadly in relation to her forthcoming second album, Future Nostalgia, but focusing on the latter half of its title. Now, she’s diving right into the future.

“On my last record, everything just happened so fast. I was touring, and writing, and doing TV performances, and everything, that I don’t feel like I had enough time to just sit down and rehearse for everything,” she tells MTV News. “Whereas now, I decided, ‘I’m going to finish the album first. Then I want to talk about creative and visuals and what I want to do for the tour.’ I want to make sure that [for] every performance I do I have enough rehearsal time to be able to put on a unique performance every time, even if it is the same song.”

That song, the dazzling nu-disco “Don’t Start Now,” kicked off Lipa’s second era with panache. She reemerged as a queen of dance thanks to the tune’s electricity; a few days after it dropped in early November, she lit up the MTV EMA with a choreographed live premiere, backed up by steely looks and dozens of dancers. Modified versions of that performance, slightly tweaked to better resonate on its various stages, found their way to The Tonight Show and Ellen, each one revealing Lipa with a large squad of her own. She’d earned that kind of support.

“Don’t Start Now” and its follow-up singles, “Physical” and Future Nostalgia‘s title track, found Lipa capitalizing on the momentum she’d shaken loose with 2017’s “New Rules.” That ubiquitous post-breakup hit catapulted her to two Grammys (including Best New Artist), the title of most-streamed female musician in the U.K. that year, and general global superstardom. With the whirring carousel of her career in motion — spun by a purple, sultry voice that sold her early pop cuts like “New Love” and “Be the One” — she turned that kinetic energy toward the circuit breakers. It was time to power the dance floor.

“It is really nerve-wracking when you’re putting out a new song and it’s kind of different from what you’ve put out before and you don’t know how people are going to react and if they’re going to like it,” Lipa says. “It’s one thing [to have] me thinking it’s all right. I suppose I probably had cabin fever in the studio for so long.”

MTV/Rebecca Lader

Future Nostalgia‘s writing and recording began quickly after “New Rules” had reached its apex. Lipa worked with Mark Ronson and Diplo on their Silk City song “Electricity” (which nabbed all three artists a Grammy) and even hopped in the studio with pop brainiac Max Martin. Those sessions didn’t yield anything for the new album, though: “That was during kind of the process that I was still on tour and I was still writing. I still hadn’t quite yet figured out the Future Nostalgia title.”

Once she did, it unlocked everything. Lipa reenlisted trusted collaborators from her debut, like “New Rules” producer Ian Kirkpatrick and pop super team The Monsters and the Strangerz, and added new ones; Julia Michaels and Tove Lo both get songwriting credits on Future Nostalgia. Lipa worked hard in “bright, airy spaces” from morning until 9 or 10 at night cultivating the new songs. Crucially, she felt much more comfortable with the process compared to when she recorded her self-titled debut.

“I guess I didn’t realize how much I was almost holding back in a way because I was just kind of learning. I was just getting confident. I was learning my craft. I was getting used to just being in a room, and a lot of the time in a room full of men. And to be a vulnerable, 18-, 19-year-old girl talking about very personal feelings and emotions is daunting sometimes,” she says of making her debut. “Now, I feel like I’ve claimed my place in the studio, and I know exactly what I want and I can go in and I can just write. I’m a lot more confident now.”

In case you were wondering how that confidence manifests itself, the video for her clubby new single “Physical” begins with Lipa quite literally ripping a dude’s heart out of his chest and using it to ignite a technicolor dance party. With intercut animation, eye-popping production detail, and, of course, another large platoon of color-clad dancers highlighting each emotional turn of the song, the “Physical” video is an opus. It’s a trip to watch after revisiting her simpler (and yet no less ambitiously choreographed) “New Rules” visual.

When Lipa kicks off a world tour in late April, shortly after Future Nostalgia drops on April 3, those two songs will serve as crown jewels in the set. It’ll be about 14 months since winning her first pair of Grammys, and about three since Billie Eilish succeeded her as the reigning Best New Artist. Ahead of that, she reflects on what advice she can impart to future winners in that same category, as she’s lived it herself.

“Always stay true to yourself. Always be authentic. Don’t allow these little pressures, or pressures from people online, or what other people may think, to make you change your trajectory and change exactly where you’re headed,” she says in a tone so certain that it’d be unwise to question her. “They’re there for a reason, and they’re there because they’ve worked.”

Hayley Williams Extracts The Funk And Injects Jazz In Dua Lipa’s ‘Don’t Start Now’

You know that chilling, neck hair-raising feeling that you get when there’s no one in the house with you and you hear a creak in another room? It’s hard to replicate that simultaneous mix of fear, wonder, and flatulence. Just kidding about the last part. But if you’re looking for the audio equivalent of this strange sentiment, prepare for Hayley Williams‘s bluesy cover of Dua Lipa‘s three-minute electric groove, “Don’t Start Now” at BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge.

If the wind had a voice, it’d probably sound like Williams. So imagine if you could listen to the wind make its own version of an explosive pop record into its own, early morning mist. That’s the gist of William’s whispering cover, trading in the sexy groove for a subtle, sultry rasp. Williams torches the microphone with a simultaneously quiet and powerful vocal that sits on your chest like an elephant. She’s absolutely wonderful as she’s backed by the drums that swallow the original’s funk and regurgitate it in the form of DIY percussion. Even with the same lyrics and the same structure, Williams’s cover feels like a drastically different song.

Williams also tackled her own chilly single, “Simmer,” that she released in January. Her limbs got loose as she danced while singing the song with her eyes closed. You could tell that she was into the moment, bringing the same kind of intensity evident in the music video where she gets chased by a dangerous entity that’s ultimately revealed to be her.

Williams is set to release her forthcoming album, Petals For Armor, on May 8. It’ll feature “Simmer” along with the recently shared “Leave It Alone” which came with a video about metamorphosis.

Check out Williams’s ‘Don’t Start Now’ cover up above.

Khalid Is The Relationship Guru Of Gen Z On ‘Know Your Worth’

Khalid absolutely melted into Disclosure’s pop-funk vortex, “Talk,” in 2019, so it’s thrilling news to see, and hear, that he’s returned to the brotherly duo’s fresh sound with “Know Your Worth.” This isn’t a retread though. It’s a summery, temperate-climate tune that’s here to take over amusement park commercials this year.

Disclosure, by definition, are an electronic music duo, but this blanket term does nothing to describe their sound. Endlessly imaginative, they fold aspects of pop, R & B, groove, and funk into their techno origins, captivating with original production that sounds amazing with backing vocals, but could also live without them. It’s great for them that Khalid’s on this one though because he takes an already swell track and makes it into a one-of-a-kind experience. “Know Your Worth”‘s jubilant atmosphere is both bouncy and festive as it encourages your shoulders to roll and the ends of your lips to curve into a cheesy grin.

Khalid, the romantic, takes this happy, three-minute romp to woo a woman in a relationship who isn’t getting enough attention from her partner. That sly devil. He plays an innocent, whipped lad, dancing up to a dejected damsel to let her know that things get better – if she leaves her bozo. “Find someone you know will put you first/ Find someone who loves you at your worst,” he carols innocently. Who’s this much better partner? Well….let’s just say that Khalid has an idea. “So you’ve got your love locked up instead/ But somethin’ better’s waitin’ at your door.” Is he talking about himself? Or the person that every partner has in a relationship that’s waiting outside of the situation to be let in when the time’s right?

As we get closer to Valentine’s Day, it’s imperative to realize that your partner deserves the utmost attention, and respect, that can be given. If that’s not the case in your situation, Khalid wants you to realize that you, or your partner, deserve better. “Know Your Worth,” isn’t just an awesomely flirty tune for our hotter months; it’s a reminder, promise, and preview of the kind of affection that we all need.

“Know Your Worth” is the latest of Khalid’s recent lovestruck releases. He released the shoot-your-shot anthem “Eleven” in January and, before that, “Up All Night” dropped in November.

Check out Khalid and Disclosure’s cheery new Pre-Valentines Day bop “Know Your Worth” up above.

If You Tell Conan Gray About Your Love Beefs, He’ll Make A Song About Them

Imagine getting into a red-faced screaming match with your partner about the best Jonas Brother, who ate the last Oreo, the intricacies of Cheer, or whatever else couples fight about. You confide in your friends, who support you through group texts and virtual hugs. But what if you texted your friend to vent and they responded with a full-on pop song inspired by your relationship problems?

That’s exactly what Conan Gray, this month’s MTV PUSH artist, does with his music. The 21-year-old’s stirring vocals about intense, Gen Z emotions — see “The Story” and “Maniac” — aren’t just informed by his own experiences, but from the people around him.

“I do this really annoying thing that my friends hate. If they rant to me while they’re texting me, I’ll turn around and then in an hour, I’ve sent them a text message of a song that I’ve written about the argument that they had with their boyfriend,” he said. “They hate it, but it’s really good inspiration. ‘You know I’m not dating anyone, so I’ll just write a song about you instead!'”

How long will this strategy last before Gray starts building more from his own experiences? Since he’s so fresh to the music world, it’s hard to say — especially since he’s still pinching himself to make sure that all of this is real. After becoming an internet sensation — thanks to a YouTube presence that stretches back to 2013 and the breakout single “Idle Town” — he’s now gearing up for the release of his debut studio album, Kid Krow, which is set to drop on March 20.

“The past year has been a lot of change and I haven’t taken much time to take it in,” Gray admitted about his rise to stardom. “I had no idea that everything was going to flip like that for me. I was sitting in my room on GarageBand without even the slightest clue that [my music] would go viral, I would get signed, and do all of these crazy things. I had no idea.”

“Everything can change in a moment, and just that thought is something that kept me going,” he added. “And I hope that people who listen to the album are able to take away that message as well.”

Check out Gray’s MTV Push interview above and see clips from his exclusive performances of “Maniac” and “The Story” here.

The Format Are Back: See Their 2020 Reunion Dates And Listen To Live At The Mayan Theatre Now

Have you heard “She Doesn’t Get It,” the wry, wonderful 2006 song by short-lived (but fiercely beloved) Arizona indie-rock band The Format? For years, I would sing along to its opening line “All the girl post the same four pictures / All the boys have the same girls’ hair” and smile so self-assuredly thinking about how it was so true in the age of Myspace and early Facebook. Then, a year or two ago, someone blew my mind: It’s actually “All the girls pose the same for pictures,” which is somehow an even more era-defining line than what my brain heard. Good song.

The singer who delivered that line, by the way, was Nate Ruess — perhaps best known as one-third of Fun., the also short-lived but highly successful pop supergroup he sang in with Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost. Before “We Are Young” seemingly conquered the world, Ruess found the right complement in his Format partner Sam Means, whose expertly ornate pop craftsmanship paired perfectly with Ruess’s soaring emotionality. That combination helped their two albums — Interventions + Lullabies and Dog Problems — achieve such a dedicated following. It’s why the The Format’s 12 years on hiatus have been such a bummer. Until today.

Yes, The Format are back. They technically returned Monday night (February 3) in Phoenix for a surprise acoustic performance that fan-captured footage reveals also doubled as a cathartic sing-along. If you live in New York City, Chicago, or Phoenix, you’ll be able to join them this year on a special run of reunion shows kicking off in March.

The band hits Bowery Ballroom in New York on March 20 and 21 before heading to Chicago’s Lincoln Hall on March 27 and 28. They’ll find a nice homecoming at The Van Buren theater in Phoenix on April 3. Tickets for all go on sale on Friday, February 7 at noon venue local time. But before that, a Wednesday pre-sale (with the code: FORMAT) will be up at The Format’s official merch site at noon local time.

But if you can’t wait that long, Nate and Sam have got you covered — Live at the Mayan Theatre is available to stream right now. Though it’s an old show recorded in 2007 and first released on DVD way back then, it’s officially out now via streaming platforms and on vinyl, kicking off the reunion by taking a moment to celebrate their highest peak.

“About a year ago, I was driving and I was listening on random, and Interventions came on,” Ruess told the crowd at the show last night in Arizona, per AZ Central. “And I was listening to it and I was like, ‘I should probably skip this.’ And I listened and I thought, ‘Holy [expletive], this kicks ass. This is totally rad.” Once he texted Means about how good the first album is, he got a simple reply: “I know.”

Live at the Mayan Theatre is a great show. They play “She Doesn’t Get It,” a crown jewel from Dog Problems, four songs in. Watch that performance above and just try to tell me you don’t hear that opening line the way I (mis)heard it for over a decade.