Taking things one step further, from a geeky filmmaking standpoint, I adored the fact that during Bay’s scene, Fallah and El Arbi employ the classic “Spin the Camera in a Circle Around Your Subjects” that Bay uses in so many films. In fact, he memorably used it in the middle of a shootout in Bad Boys II, and even though Bay is only making a wedding toast in his Bad Boys for Life scene, it plays out on screen like this:
Mick Jenkins’ 1967 Ford Mustang doesn’t radiate colors off of its normally glossy exterior. It’s a deep, dark silver, and he compares it to matte black, into which other hues disappear like quicksand. He bought it on Craigslist for $5,000. The 28-year-old Chicago rapper, whose music submerges itself in the political and social subconscious, estimates that he’s put $22,000 into pimping his ride. Now, he cackles as he relives the reactions he gets when he arrives at events. “When I pull up, I don’t give a fuck what’s out there,” he tells MTV News over the phone. “It gets the same love as a Maserati. People go crazy because you don’t see shit like that.”
You’d think by this adoration that Jenkins’s music would center around his accomplishments, but that’s not quite the story. Since his 2012 debut project, The Mickstape, Jenkins’s raps have explored his viewpoint of society through an evolving mind and through the lens of his Christian faith. He can expound upon the importance of drinking water and then flip it into washing away your sins with it, with God’s help.
For Jenkins’s latest project, The Circus, though, his car is at the center of its grand spectacle. While his previous project, Pieces of a Man, went inwards to squint at his id, The Circus casts himself aside (or rather, puts him inside his ride for a nighttime visit to a park) and instead focuses on the world at large, in all its frequent ugliness. “It’s about society,” he says. “We’re all performing for peanuts and being asked to do amazing things for people. We’re being robbed of certain humanities and our uniqueness is being exploited.”
The LP’s seven songs come together to paint a picture of society that Jenkins is complicit in: one that shows how we’re all acting out for the audience of smartphone cameras that record and chronicle our every move. The Circus treks through the feelings and experiences of processing that kind of surveillance. On opener “Same Ol,” Jenkins laughs at how nothing ever changes. “Game don’t switch, you know this, shit don’t stop,” he raps on the chorus, following it a line as certain as death and taxes. “Money gonna come, money gonna go, somebody catching it if it drops.”
“Carefree,” meanwhile, is a foreboding story about a police confrontation that finds Jenkins performing for an audience at the beach, “off the drugs” and “off the drinks” as he spits. The first verse sets a breezy mood underneath the stars. “Shawty never smoked kush like this, some fire-ass music playing, grinding on me / You know I had to push right back, reflex, respect,” he raps, recalling the good times.
After the chorus, Jenkins’s heart jumps into his throat when the police come to ruin the group’s fun. “Can’t even look me in my face,” he spits, disgusted at the officer. “So quick to shoot, no Devin Booker.” The song ends with Jenkins getting a ticket for his windows being too dark, which he based entirely in reality. “We really got rolled up on at the beach, crazy as hell, at 11:15 because the park closed at 11,” he says. This fear, this kind of confrontation, this spectacle put on display — they all dig into the layers of performances that we play.
On The Circus, Jenkins doesn’t have to play alone. The project’s lone feature comes courtesy of Earthgang, the eclectic rap duo signed to Dreamville Records that Jenkins has become close with. “They are so fire, and I’ve been working with them for a while,” he says about their collaboration, “The Light.” It’s the sole soul spot on the EP, which Jenkins says is part of “a ton of soulful stuff that I’ve been working on; it’s just not on here.” Earthgang’s presence is personal for him. “They showed me a lot of love before they knew who I really was,” he says. “We made a couple of records back then. I’m super excited to continue working with them.”
Wedged firmly in the center of the EP is “Flaunt,” on which Jenkins’s normally socially conscious music turns toward shit-talking. It’s him acting for the audience, chuckling as he shows off the fruits of his labor. Though he may sound like he doesn’t want to do it, Jenkins is flexing. “I love to humblebrag,” he says about the song. “I’ve got a couple of things that cost a couple of bucks.” In addition to his Mustang, his favorite material possessions he’s purchased in the last few years are his new Mamiya RB67 SLR camera and original artwork that he’s bought from artists that he’s “connected to.”
It doesn’t matter what he buys, though; he’s still in the center of The Circus, a project about the ways we put on for each other, told through songs involving putting on for listeners, for friends, and for Jenkins himself. There’s a lot to unpack, as its orange and maroon cover art reveals; on it, a cartoon version of Jenkins juggles on top of an elephant inside a ring of fire. For those who want the rest of the story — Jenkins calls The Circus “a direct prequel” to his next album — they’ll have to parse the artwork for details. “Whatever you need to know, it’s alluded to on the cover.” Before he can elaborate, he ends the call with a bow, signaling the end of the show. For now.
Halsey’s new album Manic is here, and no one is more relieved than the star herself. “The most torturing and beautiful wait of my life has come to an end,” she tweeted upon the project’s release on Friday (January 17).
The wait, thankfully, was worth it. Manic capitalizes on Halsey’s chameleonic approach to pop music, while delving deep into her relationships, her experience with bipolar disorder, and her constant toggle between confidence and self-doubt. Unlike her sophomore record, 2017’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, which was set in a Shakespearean dystopia, Manic functions as the inside of Halsey’s (oftentimes messy) mind. And what it a reveal it is.
Fans had already heard about half of Manic before its arrival — there were the previously released songs “Graveyard,” “Without Me,” “Clementine,” “You Should Be Sad,” “Finally // Beautiful Stranger,” and “Suga’s Interlude.” But the brand new tracks are where Halsey really bares her soul. She confesses that she’s “got no self-esteem” on “Still Learning,” fantasizes about revenge on “Killing Boys,” and cries out on the all-caps “I HATE EVERYBODY” — a lyric that she finishes with the thought, “Then why can’t I go home without somebody?”
But it’s closing track “929,” named after Halsey’s birthday, that may be the most shockingly candid of all. Over twinkling chords, she details the anxiety, isolation, heartbreak, nicotine withdrawal, and hair loss that come along with being one of the most famous pop stars on Earth. “I remember the names of every single kid I’ve met / But I forget half the people who I’ve gotten in bed,” she sings, later admitting that she’s “still looking for salvation.”
Manic also reunites Halsey with BTS member Suga, and features additional collaborations with Dominic Fike and Alanis Morissette. On “Alanis’ Interlude,” the two women twist John Mayer’s “Your Body Is a Wonderland” into something more playful and explicit: “Your pussy is a wonderland.”
Stream Manic in its entirety below.
Louis Tomlinson is still somewhat of an enigma. He is, after all, the only former One Direction member who has yet to put out his own album. But that’s about to change — we’re just two weeks away from the release of Tomlinson’s debut LP, Walls, and on Friday (January 17), he gave us a taste of what’s to come by releasing the emotional title track.
On “Walls,” Tomlinson acknowledges the struggles he’s faced with introspective, heartbreaking observations, like, “Nothing wakes you up like waking up alone” and “Nothing makes you hurt like hurting who you love.” But just when you think it’s all doom and gloom for Tommo, he cracks the sadness open and lets a little light in by revealing that the hard times have made him a stronger man.
“These high walls, they came up short / Now I stand taller than them all,” he belts on the uplifting chorus. “These high walls, never broke my soul / And I, I watch them all come falling down for you.” Upping the emotional ante is the addition of a live orchestra, which only takes this ballad to beautiful heights.
Walls arrives on January 31 and includes the previously released singles “Kill My Mind,” “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart,” and “We Made It.” Each of those tracks has shown us a fresh side of the solo star, and his new album should help break down those, uh, walls even more. Until then, check out Tomlinson’s latest track above.
Ariana Grande may have struck gold by recreating beloved rom-coms in her “thank u, next” video, but now Jonas Brothers have come along to whip up their own nostalgic, cinematic concoction. After days of relentless teases, the bros dropped their new single, “What A Man Gotta Go,” alongside a video in which they recreate three iconic ’80s films. And because their real-life wives indisputably stole the show in the “Sucker” vid, the J-sisters are along for the ride as well.
The fun-loving clip stars Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas doing their best dancing-half-naked-in-the-living-room recreation from Risky Business. Then there’s Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, who channel Danny and Sandy at the school dance from Grease — with Sophie taking on a surprising bonus role. To round it out, Kevin Jonas pulls off that iconic Say Anything scene, holding a boombox outside his wife Danielle’s bedroom window. All the while, the brothers groove along to their upbeat, love-crazy new track, singing, “What a man gotta do / To be totally locked up by you?”
Make sure you stick around for the bloopers, because — spoiler alert! — all three JoBros end up in their underwear by the end.
“What A Man Gotta Do” marks Jonas Brothers’ first release of the new decade, following a whirlwind 2019. Last year, the trio released their comeback album Happiness Begins, embarked on a huge tour, notched their first No. 1 single, won their first award at the VMAs, and capped off their year with a festive Christmas bop. It’s good to see them carry that wild momentum into 2020 — in nothing but their underwear, no less!
Check out Jonas Brothers’ new video above, and see it playing all day long on MTV Live and mtvU.
ET also sat down ‘The Gentlemen’ cast where they answered a handful of fun speed-round questions.
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Back when Mike Lowrey was in the police academy, he was pulled out to go on an undercover mission, chosen in part because nobody would know him. He became a driver within the Aretas drug cartel, and it was there he became acquainted with Isabel. It turns out the pair became much more than simply friends, leading Mike to have to make a choice when the time came for the police to move on the cartel. He chose to let Isabel get arrested, but the other shoe drops when we learn that Isabel went into prison pregnant, and the child she gave birth to, the one that’s been trying to kill Mike all this time, is his son.
I mean, just imagine if every actor and filmmaker was brutally honest about every movie they were in. Press tours just would not be press tours! Part of an actor’s job is to let the audience decide how a project is received anyway, and if they were always dropping their outright takes on the film before people had a chance to find interest in it, the movie industry would be a bleaker place. Plus, what if an actor hated something the audience is going to love? That’d be a real shot to the foot!
Best Actress – Lupita Nyong’o
The most glaring snub of the bunch, it’s astonishing that Lupita Nyong’o was not given a nomination for Best Actress. She gave us not one, but two powerful performances in Us. Of course, the same argument could be made for many people in the movie, but there’s no denying the Nyong’o’s performances as Adelaide and Red drive the film home from start to finish. She showed us two wildly different characters, and the roles will go down as a clear example of her versatility as an actress.
Eddie Murphy was welcomed to accept the award on the Santa Monica stage with a standing ovation from the crowd filled with actors, filmmakers and critics. During his speech, he revealed the oddly specific advice he said he often gives people when he inevitably is asked to lay some wisdom on young hopefuls who’d like a career in comedy just like him.