J Balvin Is A Monarch Of Mauve In ‘Morado’

J Balvin‘s the King of his massive castle in “Morado.” The name of the video means “purple” in Spanish and, as you watch the video, you’ll see a lot of it. His groovy new reggaeton jam comes with a massive, luxurious depiction that of what living in a castle is like. Sitting on stacks of comfy beds, he shows off what would be the biggest house ever on MTV Cribs. Imagine the stress that an interior decorator would have when trying to set this up.

Purple is a color that’s historically associated with royalty. J Balvin’s one of reggaeton’s kings so it makes sense that there are purple walls, animals, and splashes of it wherever he walks. This is the life of a champion. Adorning his crown and wearing an expensive suit, he resembles King Arthur on his throne. Being a ruler has never looked so sleek and stylish.

[related_link href=”http://www.mtv.com/news/3146080/j-balvin-blanco-video/”

J Balvin loves colors. In November, he released a wildly white video for “Blanco.” Right now he’s working on a collaboration project with Bad Bunny called Oasis.

Check out all of the purple goodness in “Morado” up above.

Selena Gomez Tells Us About The ‘Incredible Freedom’ At The Heart Of Her ‘Rare’ Video

Just hours after releasing her excellent third album, Selena Gomez has shared her vision of what it’s like to feel, well, Rare. On Friday (January 10), Gomez released the video for the album’s sparkling title track, on which she assumes the mantle of an ambitious woman who’s comfortable on her own and in her own company: “I know that I’m special,” she sings. “And I’ll bet there’s somebody else out there / To tell me I’m rare.”

“I hope everyone that listens to the song will know that they have something special to offer,” Gomez told MTV News over email. “It’s important to wait for someone to come into your life that recognizes and appreciates that.”

In the iridescent, BRTHR-directed video, she brings that confidence to life by wandering a colorful forest filled with bubbles, butterflies, and prismatic rainbows. “I had just returned from this incredible trip to Kenya and it was important to me that the video be shot outside in nature,” she explained. The only downside to that? “During the bathtub scene it was midnight and freezing outside. I could only do two takes of that scene because it was so cold.”

Throughout the video, Gomez becomes visibly more empowered — in the opening scenes, she looks at the camera with upset and restless expressions, but by the end, she’s a grinning, glittering goddess with technicolor butterflies surrounding her. Speaking about that symbolism, Gomez explained, “The video is very ethereal and captures the journey through three different states of mind. The moths symbolize determination and attraction. The forest represents the path to freedom and the bathroom self-reflection. At the end of the day, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and self-reflective can lead to this incredible freedom.”

As the opener and title track of her new album — her first in over four years — “Rare” sets the tone for Gomez’s new era, and it’s a special one for her. “I actually recorded the song early on in the process,” she revealed. “And when different things happened in my life and I’d take a break from writing and recording, I still knew that song would be the title of the album. It’s a powerful word.”

Bop Shop: Songs From Selena Gomez, Caroline Rose, Celeste, And More

Selena Gomez‘s new album Rare is a raw and real reflection of her life over the last several years, from her health struggles to her tumultuous love life. “Cut You Off,” in particular, will spark questions among fans about her past relationship with pop star Justin Bieber. “I might as well just tell you while I’m drunk,” she sings over a low, groovy beat. “The truth is that I think I’ve had enough.”

At its core, the song is an ode to a relationship that she should’ve given up on long before she ever did. “Gotta chop chop all the extra weight / I’ve been carrying for 1,460 days,” she sings in the very first verse, making it clear that after four years, it was time to leave the toxicity and move forward. And now that it’s all behind her, even she can’t believe that she ever got caught up in a such a mess. “Professionally messing with my trust,” she sings in utter disbelief. “How could I confuse that shit for love?” —Jordyn Tilchen

Lil Baby Is Poised And Eager To Show And Tell On ‘Sum 2 Prove’

Lil Baby has solidified himself, with songs like “Yes Indeed” with Drake, “My Dawg,” and “Close Friends,” as one of rap’s premier new age hitmakers. Yet, he still hasn’t his pinnacle and he knows this. His new song, “Sum 2 Prove,” is him vowing to keep going hard for as long as he breathes. It’s inspirational, for sure, but what makes it even harder is its no-holds-barred beat. Lil Baby is truly something special.

It can’t be stressed enough that “Sum 2 Prove” hits harder than an anvil on Wile E. Coyote’s head. Stabbing synths open up the track on a surprising note and it turns into a slugfest once the drums come in with a rapid Floyd Mayweather-like flurry. Lil Baby raps about his reality to start off, casually flexing with “Businessman, went an got me an office/ Million-dollar deals, I get them often.” It’s a shoulder-shrugging bar, like when the waiter clarifies the price of an expensive menu item and you tell them that you want it.

Seeing red, Lil Baby continues, driven with the hunger to see more. “Lately I been in my bag/ Bro told me don’t take my foot off the gas,” he spits. He builds the song around this idea: he’s already shown what he can do, but he’s still anxious to prove that he can do even more. It’s ironic. The song is called “Sum 2 Prove” and even though he’s talking to the industry at large, he proves to the listeners that he can continue his streak of dropping hot songs with ease.

Lil Baby is preparing to drop a new album, My Turn. So far, he’s released “Woah,” and “Out The Mud” with Future which are both expected to be on the LP.

Listen to “Sum 2 Prove” up above.

Drake And Future Keep Losing Jobs Because They Can’t Stop Dancing In ‘Life Is Good’

Before Drake and Future became world-class rappers, they were bumbling besties who tried their hands at every job they could find in the Classifieds section of the newspaper. In their new, hilariously reflective video for “Life Is Good,” the dynamic duo work in retail, cake decoration, and fast food, with hilarious hijinx happening everywhere they go. It’s safe to say, after watching this, that the world is a much better place with them making music instead of having to serve people. You’d definitely want a refund.

In their first failed job attempt, Drake and Future are trash collectors who spend too much time dancing on the job. Instead of, you know, picking up bags of trash, they’re grooving like rich musicians. Imagine looking out of your window and seeing someone bouncing their shoulders instead of getting that stinky old casserole out of your garbage bin. Next, they work at a tech store where they have to teach others how to operate their devices. Lil Yachty cameos as the clueless tech who still looks a bit befuddled after Drake shows him what to do.

After brief stints as dancing mechanics and cake decorators, the two then get to work at a drive-thru at a restaurant where Mike Will Made It, 21 Savage, and more actually do their jobs. Drake and Future still haven’t picked up on what to do though; Future’s spitting game at ladies in the window while Drake dances while handing off food to his coworkers. These guys are a lost cause. After one shitty shift, the two converse with each other in the back and talk about the dreams that they have of becoming rappers one day.

As it turns out, it ends up happening! And in a very meta move, the two film a music video inside of this one, dancing to this very Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-like tune, with its bouncing bass and pulverizing 808s that switch up midway. Drake and Future continue their dancing ways but this time they’re getting paid for it. Turns out, these moves actually look cool when they’re not in a place of service. For a mindfuck of an ending, it turns out that the two rappers are directing themselves.

Drake recently teased “Life Is Good” earlier this month. It’s expected to appear on a new collaborative album with Future following their 2015 joint project What A Time To Be Alive. 

Check out “Life Is Good” up above to learn how not to maneuver through the service industry.

Normani And Megan Thee Stallion Unleash Their Inner Harley Quinns In ‘Diamonds’

Have you ever seen a duo as fierce as the one pictured at the top of this page? The answer is HELL NO, unless you were actually there to witness Normani and Megan Thee Stallion swing their baseball bats around in person. For the rest of us, the “Motivation” singer and the “Hot Girl Summer” rapper have given us the next best thing: the video for their new Birds of Prey collaboration, “Diamonds.”

In it, Meg and ‘Mani hold court at a neon-lit carnival, where they fend off hordes of bad guys with some surprisingly vicious fight moves. Footage from Birds of Prey — the upcoming DC superhero flick that stars Margot Robbie as the gleefully unhinged Harley Quinn — is peppered throughout.

As for the song itself, it’s a total flex anthem. Megan comes through swinging on the first verse, warning, “I’m a supershe-ro, bitch, don’t try me, ho.” Another instant-classic line: “You want me to be a little more ladylike? / Come through with my girls, then beat your ass on ladies night.” Normani, meanwhile, handles the hook, on which she flaunts her rocks while sampling Marilyn Monroe’s classic “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

“Diamonds” is the lead single from the all-female Birds of Prey: The Album, which also features songs from Halsey, Saweetie, Lauren Jauregui, Doja Cat, Summer Walker, and more. The soundtrack arrives on February 7, the same day the film hits theaters.

Halsey’s ‘You Should Be Sad’ Video Is A ‘Dirrty,’ Shania-Referencing Hoedown

Remember when Halsey was playfully dubbed “Y’allsey” after her performance at the CMA Awards in November? Well, that was apparently just a warm-up for the country-loving pop superstar. Y’allsey has returned in full, cowboy hat-wearing force in her new video for “You Should Be Sad,” released on Friday (January 9).

Halsey teased the video earlier this week by calling it a “WILD” one and proclaiming, “yee fuckin’ haw” in a tweet. She wasn’t kidding. In the Colin Tilley-directed video, our girl lets loose at a hoedown as wet and sweaty as Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty.” Later, she brilliantly pays homage to Shania Twain by wearing her iconic all-leopard outfit from the “That Don’t Impress Me Much” video, and the black minidress from “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.”

All the while, Halsey tears an ex to shreds by singing, “No, you’re not half the man you think that you are / And you can’t fill the hole inside of you with money, drugs, and cars.” She’s not done yet. “I’m so glad I never ever had a baby with you / ‘Cause you can’t love nothing unless there’s something in it for you.”

“You Should Be Sad” is the latest taste of Halsey’s upcoming third album, Manic. So far, we’ve also heard “Graveyard,” “Clementine,” “Finally // Beautiful Stranger,” and the chart-topping smash “Without Me.” Arriving in just one week, on January 17, the album also features collaborations with Dominic Fike, Alanis Morisette, and Suga of BTS.

Earlier this week, Halsey ramped up excitement for her new era when she announced the North American leg of her Manic World Tour, which begins on June 2 in Seattle and wraps up two months later in Irvine, California. See the full list of dates, and get excited for Manic‘s impending arrival!

Selena Gomez Returns In Rare Form On Her First New Album In Four Years: Listen

Rare, it turns out, is an accurate title for a Selena Gomez album. The pop star hadn’t released a studio project since 2015’s Revival, but that dry spell finally ended on Friday (January 9) with Rare’s hotly anticipated arrival. Look at her now, indeed.

Rare is an album fueled by brave, unflinching vulnerability, which you could probably tell from its two lead singles — the melodramatic ballad “Lose You To Love Me” became Gomez’s first No. 1 hit, and was followed in quick succession by “Look At Her Now,” which details her post-heartbreak bounce-back. Gomez keeps that celebratory energy going on “Dance Again,” on which she proclaims, “All the drama’s in remission / I don’t need permission to dance again.”

Those themes of self-acceptance and post-trauma liberation bubble up again on “Let Me Get Me” (“Me and the spiral are done”) and the title track, on which she waves goodbye to an ex who didn’t realize how special she was (“I’m not getting enough from you / Didn’t you know I’m hard to find?”). Equally as biting are “Cut You Off,” on which she finally cleans her slate of a no-good guy, and “Kinda Crazy,” which finds her putting a “shady” boy in his place. But Rare is just as filled with flirtiness as it is with fragility — she gets frisky on the Julia Michaels co-wrote “Fun,” the Latin-infused “Ring,” and the 6lack-featuring “Crowded Room,” which showcases her fluttering falsetto. It all culminates with Sel searching for “A Sweeter Place” with Kid Cudi on the aspirational final track.

Yep, Selena is back and she’s in gloriously rare form. Stream the new album in its entirety below to dance, cry, and “dance again.”

Mac Miller’s ‘Good News’ Video Gives Us The First Taste Of His New Posthumous Album

Mac Miller‘s first posthumous album, Circles, arrives next week, which is good news for fans and admirers of the late rapper. “Good News” is, as well, the title of the project’s first official single, which arrived alongside a colorful video on Thursday evening (January 9).

Directed by Anthony Gaddis and Eric Tilford, the vid opens on studio footage of Miller, who invites viewers to follow him into another room, saying, “Come on guys, let’s show you how we do this.” From there, we’re transported into an abstract world that uses motion collage to take us through animated landscapes, with familiar Mac imagery peppered throughout.

As for the song itself, it’s an introspective, ’70s rock-inspired tune that lets you peek into the late rapper’s psyche. “I spent the whole day in my head / Do a little spring cleanin’, I’m always too busy dreamin’,” he sings at the onset, before musing on the chorus, “Good news, that’s all they wanna hear / No they don’t like it when I’m down / When I’m flying, oh, it makes ’em so uncomfortable / So different, what’s the difference?”

The ending of the video is especially emotional, as an image of Miller popping in some earbuds and walking into a bright light shows up, as his voice repeats, “There’s a whole lot more for me waiting on the other side.”

Hearing Mac’s voice in your headphones again is a strange sensation, but it’s entirely worth it. Press play on the “Good News” video above, and see the full tracklist for Circles — which arrives on January 17, two days before what would have been his 28th birthday — below.

1. “Circles”

2. “Complicated”

3. “Blue World”

4. “Good News”

5. “I Can See”

6. “Everybody”

7. “Woods”

8. “Hand Me Downs”

9. “That’s on Me”

10. “Hands”

11. “Surf”

12. “Once a Day”

How 100 Gecs Are Making Music ‘Super Fun’ Again, One Gec At A Time

My first question for 100 gecs is whether or not they’re my parents. It’s a chilly night in November and we’re standing in the parking lot of a brick-walled studio in South L.A., where Dylan Brady and Laura Les, a.k.a. the gecs, have been shooting a Skullcandy campaign. The gecs, I tell them, grew up in the same St. Louis suburbs as my parents — Dylan in my dad’s hometown of Kirkwood, and Laura in my mom’s Webster Groves. “Maybe we are!” they say, while lighting up a joint the size of a toddler’s foot. “Crazy odds.”

“Crazy odds” is pretty much how you could describe the entire 100 gecs phenomenon, which blew up in 2019 after the duo unleashed their debut album, 1000 gecs. Spanning ten tracks and 23 minutes, it’s a sonic clusterfuck that blends all the incompatible genres they love; from pop-punk to screamo, dubstep to emo-rap, sometimes all in the same song. If that sounds like a lot, well, that’s kind of the point. Dylan and Laura are pure music fanatics who set out to make songs they find exciting, however lawless they may be. The adventurousness has struck a chord — they began 2019 as virtual unknowns and ended it with millions of streams, an opening slot on Brockhampton’s tour, and prominent spots on many critics’ best-of-the-year lists (probably a first for a band who frequently cites 3OH!3 and Skrillex as inspirations).

“All of this is surprising,” Dylan acknowledges about their sudden explosion, setting off a breakneck back-and-forth with Laura that unravels like a page of dialogue from Gilmore Girls.

“Everything that happens is a dream.”

“What the fuck is going on?”

“Seriously. I keep telling Dylan after everything, ‘Damn, we made a fucking good album.'”

“23 minutes!”

“23 minutes!”

Courtesy Skullcandy

In person, Dylan and Laura come off like twins; it’s like watching two spaced-out, platinum hair-covered brains work perfectly in sync. They met through mutual friends at a house party in high school, and Laura quickly recalls her first impression of Dylan after he played a song he had been working on: “I was like, ‘fuck you.’ Because he was so good,” she says. She got frustrated and left the party, but they ended up talking later and bounced around the idea of collaborating. Before they could start, though, Laura left to go to college in Chicago, where she pursued a degree in acoustic engineering. Dylan eventually retreated to L.A., making a name for himself on SoundCloud, producing for other artists like The Neighbourhood and Lil Aaron, and eventually signing to Diplo’s Mad Decent label.

As they forged ahead on solo projects, they kept in touch and, in the winter of 2015, collaborated on a self-titled EP. “The first EP we made, we just holed up in my apartment and we were dead-set on making something,” Laura says. “We just wanted to do anything we could.” Dylan adds, “And then we put it on the back burner for, like, four years and then decided, ‘Let’s break this out again.'”

The impetus for that decision was, of all things, Minecraft. In September 2018 and January 2019, the sandbox video game hosted two massive music festivals inside its virtual world, wherein artists like 100 gecs made their own avatars, got on one of the festival’s digital stages, and live streamed their music to millions of people. With Laura in Chicago and Dylan in L.A., they conceived their sets — and later, the album — by emailing song files back and forth. Dylan focused on production, and Laura handled most of the lyrics and melodies with the utmost care; her tender, personal songwriting cuts through the noise on tracks like “Ringtone,” “xXXi_wud_nvrstøp_ÜXXx,” and the live staple “Came to My Show,” on which she repeats, “I can’t believe you came to my show / It hurts when you don’t, it hurts when you don’t.”

“I feel like I write a lot better when I’m by myself and I can spend the entire night not subjecting someone else to my bullshit. I just recorded in my room. The only people I had to subject to it was my roommates,” she said, adding that the distance was probably for the best when it came to recording. “I could do 1,000 takes of vocals. Dylan hates doing 1,000 takes of vocals.”

Virtually crafting an album sounds a lot harder than it actually was — mostly because the duo were working off of zero pressure and the sole motive to have fun. Take “Money Machine,” a weirdly charming banger that begins with a taunting, Auto-Tuned-drenched monologue from Laura: “Hey you lil’ piss baby / You think you’re so fucking cool?” It’s one of the most easily digestible songs in the gecs’ catalog, with a hook as sharp as anything you’d hear on Top 40 radio. The genesis of it was simple: “I made this beat,” Dylan recalls. “Called the beat ‘Money Machine.’ Sent it to Laura. She sent back the whole song. I added that verse and repeated it twice. And we never made another version of it after that.” Then there was the zippy “Stupid Horse,” a throwback ska song, made so because Laura wrote the melody and Dylan decided, “‘This one should be the ska one.'”

Dylan and Laura have already thought a bit about album No. 2, and plan to do a mix of recording separately and together. But first, there’s the matter of their 1000 gecs remix album, tentatively titled 1000 gecs & th3 phant0m m3nac3. They conceived the project last year after putting the stems for all of the album’s tracks online: part of Dylan’s goal to make music as accessible as possible. “They should just be out for every album, no matter what,” he insists. They got “hundreds” of fan-made remixes back, listened through as many as they could, asked some of their friends to make some, and are compiling an album of their favorites. It reminds me of a comment I saw on one of their YouTube videos from a fan who said listening to 1000 gecs inspired them to make his own music. “That’s the best,” Dylan says. “Music is super fun to write.”

Courtesy Skullcandy

For as much positive feedback as there is about their genre-splicing music, though, there’s also a lot of hate and a lot of “What is this?” that comes with listening to the gecs. Last month, a Reddit user summed up the general consensus by asking, “Do people legitimately like 100 gecs or is it a meme?” One person’s up-voted reply: “For me it started as ironic enjoyment but after listening to stupid horse for like the 8th time in a row I realized I was un-ironically hooked.” That’s what listening to 100 gecs is like for a lot of converted fans — at some point, you accept the madness and find whatever joy in it you can. It’s the opposite of passively listening to Spotify and letting the algorithm take the wheel; while wading through a sea of streaming sensory overload, 100 gecs feels genuinely revelatory.

“I think it’s OK for people not to like it,” Laura says of the divisive reaction to their music. “If people were like, ‘This makes me feel absolutely nothing,’ that’s way worse than, ‘This is awful.'” Dylan nods. “Better than a mild reaction, I suppose.”

They give the example of a show they played last September at New York University. As Laura recounts, “There were a lot of people there specifically for another artist, and there were a lot of people there for us. And the people that were there for the other artist were, like, holding their ears.” Dylan jumps in: “Someone cussed me out. ‘Get the fuck out of here! You can’t make music!’ They were super mad. But then some people were going so fucking hard. It was a really fun show.” Laura nods. “Yeah, and the love energy won in the end for sure,” she says, as Dylan agrees, “Love always wins.”

At the final stop of their headlining Secret Tour in L.A. a few weeks later, there were zero audience freak-outs or cuss-outs. Laura and Dylan took the stage to Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker,” with Laura’s hair thrown into a messy bun and Dylan donning a pointy wizard’s hat that improbably stayed in place during the ensuing head-banging. They opened with “Stupid Horse” and tore through a 30-minute set filled with stage diving, mosh pits, an instrumental built around an ocarina solo, a guest appearance from Dorian Electra, and not one, but two full performances of “Money Machine” that came within ten minutes of each other.

It was a show as blissfully unhinged as 1000 gecs would suggest, and it’s exciting to imagine what Dylan and Laura will do once the venues get bigger and the crowds get even rowdier. It’s happening soon — they’re playing Coachella in April and teased some other “very exciting, very cool shows” lined up for the new year. Besides that? “We have some videos in the works.” “Gonna drop some pictures on the ‘Gram.” “Gonna be eating some great food.” “Gonna be dropping some shirts.” “New album next year. Maybe. Who knows?”