Ally Brooke Puckers Up In ‘Lips Don’t Lie’ Video With A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

Thirteen years after Shakira belly danced her way to the top of the charts with “Hips Don’t Lie,” Ally Brooke has given us a similarly tantalizing single with “Lips Don’t Lie.” The new track, which features A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, arrived on Friday (May 24), accompanied by a video that gets very up close and personal.

Appropriately, the vid zeroes in on Ally’s glossy lips, which go from glittery pink to dark purple to cherry red with each new shot. Over a slinky, piano-driven beat, she coos, “One hit, you’re mine / I can tell your lips don’t lie when you kiss it right back.” A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie tells a different story on his verse, channeling jealousy as he spits, “I treated you like a 10, now I’m a dog to you.”

“Lips Don’t Lie” is the follow-up to Ally’s Tyga-featuring single “Low Key,” which came oh-so-close to cracking the Hot 100 after its release in January. Momentum is on her side now, and “Lips Don’t Lie” could deliver her a summer hit.

Writing about the new song on Instagram, the former Fifth Harmony singer revealed that she first heard “Lips Don’t Lie” back in August 2018. “As soon as I heard the first few seconds I shouted ‘this is MY song! I need this song!!'” she said. “I absolutely fell mad hard in love with it like no other. … This one is special to me. I hope you love it.”

Get a taste of “Lips Don’t Lie” above, and see Ally talk “Low Key” and her upcoming memoir in the MTV News interview below.

Paid Meet-And-Greets Are A Staple Of Concert Experiences — But For How Much Longer?

By Larisha Paul

What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a concert ticket? My answer used to be just over $125 — the cost of a face-value ticket to see Harry Styles at Radio City Music Hall — until that number jumped to $175, the resale price to be graced by Lorde’s presence on the Melodrama tour. Somehow, this doesn’t even feel too outrageous. As the general cost of concert tickets has risen over 27 percent in just the past three years, with the average ticket price jumping from $74.25 in 2015 to $94.31 in 2018, according to Pollstar, fans have found themselves paying in the mid-hundreds or higher for certain top-tier live entertainment experiences (even as much as $2,850, if you’re a BTS fan buying resale).

A significant jump in pricing, however, comes alongside the option to purchase VIP meet-and-greet packages. These opportunities often include early entry into the venue, a soundcheck experience, tour merchandise, and a meet-and-greet where guests will be treated to a photo opportunity and a chance to chat briefly with the artist. The length of these interactions largely depends on the artist’s schedule as well as how many guests purchased the package. It can be exhausting to speak with dozens of people back-to-back and maintain the same level of enthusiasm and attention for each of them.

But when The 1975’s Matty Healy took to Twitter earlier this year to question the origin and motivation of paid meet-and-greets, he raised a number of critical points about the monetization of human connection and the costs of touring. “The problem is that a lot of artists don’t understand how brutal [paying for meet-and-greets] is, because MAJOR LABELS have normalised it,” he tweeted. Fans have as well.

“I feel like the more you love and support an artist, the harder it is to say a certain price ‘isn’t worth the experience,’” said Jared Green, a 20-year-old Tori Kelly fan who dropped $125 on a meet-and-greet package for the singer’s Unbreakable Tour. He recalls Kelly coming across as both open and genuinely appreciative of the relationship she has with her fans. “As a huge fan of an artist, we’re only going to want the best VIP package each tour,” he continued. “With that being said, I do feel like sometimes artists and their managers understand that and take advantage of fans by setting VIP packages very high.”

Emmy Levine, a tour manager currently working with rising artist Lauren Sanderson, believes that the prices of many VIP packages are fair when you consider the often overlooked costs that go into putting on a tour. Artists are creatively involved in the development process, but entertainment companies such as Live Nation are tasked with organizing the packages themselves. In exchange for their curation and coordination, these companies take a percentage of the income, Levine told MTV News.

There’s also the cost to produce the merchandise usually included in these packages, as well as fees to hold more time at a venue for the meet-and-greets. Levine specifically cited the added issue of “paying for the production of the tour, which could be anything from the lights and the sound and tour buses to backstage catering [and] the crew.”

In short, tours are expensive. And one way to recoup some of those costs is to charge music fans hundreds of dollars, in addition to the price of a ticket, for a chance to interact with their favorite artist.

“It is hard to turn down the kind of money you can make by charging people to shake your hand,” drummer Pat Kitch, who plays in pop-punk band The Maine, told MTV News. “I can only see it going more and more in the direction it is headed now.” But not for his band. In The Maine’s more than 10 years on the road together, they’ve never charged fans an interaction fee. Instead, they make an effort to stick around after their shows each night to meet as many people as they can manage.

“It’s always been our position that music should never be about your position of monetary privilege,” added frontman John O’Callaghan. In previous years, those attending the Vans Warped Tour could find The Maine perched under a tent with a backdrop that asked in all caps, “Why would you pay money to meet a human being?” It’s the tactic that’s helped them build the diehard following they have now. Four stops on their current tour have sold out, and low ticket warnings are in place for a few others.

When founder Kevin Lyman started up Warped Tour in 1995, he immediately implemented the event’s “no paid meet-and-greets” policy. “Once the bands start charging to meet fans, it just changes the role. It’s just a transaction,” he told MTV News. Though Lyman was told monetizing these interactions would be more financially beneficial for the bands, he decided he’d sooner walk away from the festival. “It might solve some financial issues you might be having. But in the long term will those people be there for you when you maybe really need them?” Lyman asks.

Warped Tour’s controlled outdoor environment makes it easier for fans to meet bands than it would be if they tried to do so at larger-capacity spaces and arenas. Recently, artists have created personalized systems of their own to get around this issue, while assuring that they’re able to meet their fans at no additional cost apart from a ticket.

On their current North American tour, pop band LANY are randomly selecting 15 to 20 fans each date to attend soundcheck and hang out with the group. “We want it to be as fair and open as possible,” LANY manager Rupert Lincoln told MTV News. He first brought the idea to LANY in 2018 as a means of connecting with fans safely; they were immediately on board.

With the band’s growing popularity, it’s no longer plausible for them to hang around and meet fans after shows like they used to. This new method preserves the fan-to-artist connection they’ve always had. Similarly, Troye Sivan had members of his team scout fans in the audience to bring backstage after the show on his Bloom tour for a free meet-and-greet experience.

One of them was 16-year-old Liza Tijerina, who met Troye at his Denver stop. As opposed to the usual rush of formal meet-and-greets, she had the chance to actually talk to him, and he even humored a request that he write out a tattoo for her. These randomized processes also counteract the hierarchy that can form within fandoms when access is dependent on how much disposable income a fan has.

“Being on stan Twitter over the years, I’ve seen people who have the chance to meet their favorite artists often and people definitely tend to feel and say that those fans act more superior,” Tijerina said.

Maybe Matty Healy was right when he sardonically suggested, “They should make all fans pay in cash — directly to the artist.” Or maybe, like Tijerina points out, the mere presence of money changing hands can taint an otherwise positive experience. “[If I had to pay to meet Sivan], I feel like it definitely wouldn’t have been as intimate and special.”

James Blake Brings Peace And Serenity To Ellen With ‘I’ll Come Too’ Performance

James Blake made his television debut in the United States on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this morning with his simplistic, paired-down version of “I’ll Come Too.” Ellen is known for its energetic performances and new dance routines courtesy of its host, Ellen DeGeneres. But this time, the mood was set by a soft voice and dim atmosphere, bringing the emotions to the breezy set.

Blake took to the stage with only two others for the smooth performance. His voice was angelic, the scenery bathed in deep blue. It was a much different experience from Ellen‘s preference for wide-eyed performers that raise everyone from their seats. This time, they looked on in amazement as Blake closed his eyes and sung from the heart. The somber energy and dim atmosphere, punctuated by bright neon lights, combined for an ethereal, once-in-a-lifetime-experience.

“I’ll Come Too’ appears on Blake’s fourth studio album Assume Form that came out in January. The LP also features the Rosalía-assisted single “Barefoot In The Park” and “Mile High” which features Travis Scott and Metro Boomin. In April, Blake shared a bonus track from the LP, “Mulholland.”

Check out the smooth performance of “I’ll Come Too” up above.

Halsey’s New Era Doesn’t Run Away From Her Past

By Deepa Lakshmin

Halsey’s magic number is 17. It’s tattooed on her right knuckles in blue and black ink, a permanent reminder of her life before Hollywood. At age 17, she graduated high school, left home, and first started writing original music. Under the Tumblr handle se7enteenblack, she gained thousands of followers by freely sharing her songs, poetry, and photos. She was also 17 when she attempted suicide and spent 17 days in a psychiatric hospital, an experience she’s openly discussed.

Seven years and two albums later, the number 17 remains significant as Halsey’s music career reaches new heights. Her empowering single “Nightmare” arrived May 17 — two weeks after she sold $17 tickets to two intimate homecoming shows at Manhattan’s iconic Webster Hall. She dedicated one concert to each of her previous albums: Badlands (2015) and Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (2017). Ahead of releasing “Nightmare,” Halsey gave fans — and herself — the chance to reflect on how far they’ve come and how much has changed over the years.

“I literally recognize every single person here,” Halsey said onstage halfway through performing Badlands. Was she exaggerating? Maybe, but this was an especially loyal crowd who camped outside the venue overnight. Some had been at Webster Hall for her very first headlining show in New York in April 2015, mere months before she sold out Madison Square Garden. Others had followed her since her Tumblr days. That was a very different time, but some things never change.

The “Nightmare” music video introduces Halsey’s new era and hints that her forthcoming third album will arrive this October. Full of fire, blood, and flying fists, the feminist anthem is arguably Halsey’s angriest song yet (“‘Come on, little lady, give us a smile’ / No, I ain’t got nothing to smile about,” she sings) and dropped three days after Alabama voted against abortion, which she denounced on Twitter. It’s about screaming so loud to make people pay attention, but look beyond the rage, and you’ll see glimpses of Halsey’s past tucked between fiery scenes with Blondie, Cara Delevingne, and Suki Waterhouse.

From Hopeless Fountain Kingdom to Badlands to Room 93 — her 2014 EP led by “Ghost,” the SoundCloud song that sparked her career and led to her record deal — Halsey literally keeps a musical “record of the wreckage” in her life, as she reveals in the chorus. When Halsey sings about being a “real nightmare” in the bridge, for example, the lyric parallels another symbol of chaos she identifies with: hurricanes. Her 2014 song “Hurricane” — which also includes the phrase “little lady” — is about a boy she followed to New York at, you guessed it, age 17. “Do you call yourself a fucking hurricane like me?” she sang again on 2015’s “Gasoline.”

Eagle-eyed fans have spotted other callbacks in the video. At 2:44, when Halsey is tangled up in pink ropes inspired by Japanese bondage, the visuals mimic a similar magazine photoshoot she did in 2015. And licking the microphone cord at 1:37 is her signature and extremely unhygienic move stretching back years.

What makes Halsey unique is how she transitions from one era to the next, blending hers together rather than erasing old parts of herself. Could you imagine Taylor Swift — after killing off the Old Taylor for Reputation — playing exclusively Red album cuts at a concert? Or post-Joanne Lady Gaga performing Artpop in full? Halsey, by contrast, closed both Webster Hall shows with “Is There Somewhere,” a song off Room 93 that never made it to any of her albums but is forever beloved by stans who’ve been cheering for her since day one. (It similarly speaks volumes that she did not play “Closer,” the Chainsmokers collaboration that earned Halsey her first No. 1 hit, once.)

She painted her way through her Saturday Night Live performance of “Eastside,” her collaboration with Benny Blanco and Khalid, as a nod to her artistic childhood growing up in New Jersey. In the same episode, she called out G-Eazy for allegedly cheating on her via a haunting performance of “Without Me.” (Mentioning “scissors” in “Nightmare” is also a reference to their “Him & I” collab.) She speaks frankly about her experiences with bipolar disorder, endometriosis, and the miscarriage she had at the beginning of her career. In fact, she’s making a mini-doc about reproductive rights and broadcasted a pro-choice message during her first live performance of “Nightmare.”

“It’s really fucking hard every day to be the person that you guys believe that I am,” she revealed onstage. “It’s not easy all the time. Sometimes I fuck it up and I make mistakes… I have absolutely no idea why you picked me. And sometimes I look at other musicians, I look at my peers, I look at my idols, and I think to myself, wow, they are made of some kind of stardust that I am not made of and never will be made of.”

Channeling pain into art isn’t anything new, but Halsey’s approach — revisiting old albums, infusing elements of her 17-year-old self into everything she releases today — feels like a refreshing reminder that no matter how many times we cut our hair, move to new cities, or delete old Instagram posts, our past follows us and influences who we are today. The lines between “eras” in life are often blurry. As Halsey proves, if we embrace the things that haunt us instead of running from them, we can turn them into something beautiful.

NCT 127’s ‘Superhuman’ Is A Stunning Achievement

In today’s oversaturated Korean pop landscape, the struggle to stand out — to be seen, heard, and remembered — among the daily influx of content is constant. Sure, it’s a great (and expensive) time to be a K-pop fan, but few songs rise above the noise: new groups debut, old groups come back, and everything starts to sound the same — a blur of trop-pop, house, and hip-hop that often sounds good, though not always memorable.

So when a group truly shoots their shot with something unexpected, you take notice. With “Superhuman,” NCT 127 is giving it all they’ve got.

The 10-member group — consisting of Taeyong, Taeil, Johnny, Yuta, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Jungwoo, Mark, and Haechan (member Winwin is not actively promoting with the group) — is known for their swagger and charisma. Their sound has one defining feature: a heavy bassline (the dirtier, the better). And their rappers, Taeyong and Mark, have historically taken center stage, preferring hard-hitting beats over melody on previous singles “Regular,” “Limitless,” and “Simon Says.” But “Superhuman” marks the next evolution of all that.

The nu-disco song pulses with energy, from the isolated harmonies that open and close the track — an old SM Entertainment flourish that groups like TVXQ, Shinwa, and SHINee have all employed — to the ever-changing synths that progress with such vigor, and the deep, dirty groove that hammers into your soul. The track is shining, shimmering splendor, and the futuristic visual crackles with the same intensity:

“Superhuman” is the lead single off their latest EP, We Are Superhuman. The release features five additional tracks, including the previously released “Highway To Heaven,” an anthemic synth-pop dream that seems primed to win over casual listeners and new fans; “Jet Lag,” a jazzy, R&B jam that shows off NCT’s tight harmonies and some mellifluous vocal layering; and the standout “Fool,” a smooth and playful R&B song with flirtatious spoken-word ad-libs that is NCT 127 at their very best.

We Are Superhuman isn’t a departure for the ambitious group; instead, it’s an expansion. They are finally playing to their strengths as vocalists and as performers, while also (smartly) playing into SM’s strengths as a genre-defining force in K-pop. As such, “Superhuman” feels distinctly retro and modern. It’s taking from cues from SM’s old playbook and reshaping them in NCT’s image — a little less stable, a lot more interesting.

Bop Shop: Songs From Lana Del Rey, Ty Dolla $ign, Steve Lacy, And More

Ty Dolla $ign ft. J. Cole: “Purple Emoji”

People forget about J. Cole’s desperate verse on Miguel’s 2011 heartbreak anthem “All I Want Is You,” where he made real what Miguel hinted at. He was desperate for another chance to make a fed-up partner happy. His words were crisp, not flowery, and clever. Yet when the announcement that Ty Dolla $ign‘s new single, “Purple Emoji,” would have J. Cole on it, jokes flew about what kind of overly serious themes he’d bring to Ty’s presumed world of sex. If you hadn’t heard “All I Want Is You,” you’d be forgiven in thinking that Cole would muddle the message of “Purple Emoji.”

It’s a good thing that “Purple Emoji” isn’t actually about sex – it’s about true love. And it’s also equally good that J. Cole channels his fascination with the subject matter instead of going for the thematic jugular, making his verse a personal look at his own relationship. “Purple Emoji” is a soulful, sample-driven win, one where the honesty in the vocals reflects the sheer warmth of the disembodied, friendly moans. Ty and Cole paint loving pictures of not just what love looks like, but respect, too. Cole is blessed for his black angel and the fact that she gave birth to one of his kids. He’s ready for another. And you’ll shed a tear listening to it. —Trey Alston

Ariana Grande Asks Fans To Stop Grabbing And Touching Her Friends During Her Shows

Ariana Grande is dealing with a bit of an uncomfortable problem at her shows, and now she’s got a request for her fans: to stop “grabbing/touching” her friends and photographers.

Grande took to her Instagram Stories on Thursday (May 23) to give fans a “friendly reminder” to cease the inappropriate contact.

Ariana Grande/Instagram

“Friendly reminder,” Grande wrote. “Grabbing/touching people without their consent is harassment. Please do not put your hands on my photographers or friends or anyone you don’t know for that matter when you’re in the pit at my shows. It’s never okay or funny. Thank you. (I can’t believe this has to be said…but unfortunately it happens often…thanks for listening.)”

It’s unclear what kind of incidents exactly inspired this message, but if Ari felt it necessary to shout it out on Instagram, she’s clearly been disturbed by the issue, and neither her friends or her professional staff should have to deal with such a thing.

While Grande didn’t go into specifics, she likely means some of the fans sitting in more prominent seats where her friends and photographers would be in the first place. Her post should be an eye-opener to anyone who attends her shows and thinks that doing this is acceptable in any way, especially since as she notes, harassment is never okay, no matter the situation.

Ariana is still currently traveling on her Sweetener World Tour, so there are plenty of opportunities left to see her in concert throughout October this year, when it ends up finishing in Switzerland.

It’s been quite the spectacle so far, with Grande recently swapping out “goodnight n go” from her setlist to replace it with “get well soon.” If you’re headed out to see her on one of her tour stops, be sure to follow her directives and be respectful, keeping your hands to yourself regardless of where you sit.

YG’s 4Real 4Real Has An Emotional Nipsey Hussle Tribute

YG‘s new album 4Real 4Real is out today (May 24) and at the end of the album is an emotional, touching tribute to Nipsey Hussle, a friend and mentor to him. It comes from the speech that he gave at Hussle’s funeral and is as emotionally pertinent and touching as it was when it originally was heard in April. With its release, YG’s sendoff forever becomes a part of his new album and that shows how important that Hussle was to him.

The two-minute speech is a rambling, unrehearsed reflection that finds YG spilling about his brotherly love and respect that he had for Hussle. “He was like a real big brother to me…every time I’m with Nipsey, we not talkin’ about no nothin’ that don’t mean nothin’,” he says to the crowd at the funeral. We always talkin’ about goals, family, homies, plays we tryna make.” YG thanked Hussle for his legacy and let him know that he loves and misses him.

4Real 4Real was initially set to drop on April 12 as a surprise album, but out of respect for Nipsey’s passing, he pushed it back. The LP features the previously released single “Go Loko” that has Tyga and Jon Z on it. Valee, Meek Mill, Boogie, and more are also guest artists.

Listen to YG’s touching tribute up above.

Ed Sheeran, Chance The Rapper, And PnB Rock Are Defenders Of Love On ‘Cross Me’

Ed Sheeran‘s new collection of joint songs, No. 6 Collaborationswill be out on July 12. One of the most highly anticipated tunes that will appear on the LP is his collaboration with Chance The Rapper and PnB Rock, “Cross Me,” that was teased earlier this week. It’s out now and it’s an angry defense track for a lover, a warning that they aren’t to be toyed with. But beneath the tough talk and gritted teeth, it’s an adorable track about being whipped. Ah, young love.

“Cross Me” is gummy with a jelly center. Ed Sheeran and company sing with eyes made of horned hearts across a candied bassline about coming to the defense of their partners if they have to. PnB Rock kicks things off quickly with a breathless threat that the song is built around: “Just know if you cross her then you cross me.” Sheeran and Chance The Rapper then come busting through the door with swords and nunchucks drawn, ready to vocalize about why it’s the wrong idea to even think of trying them. Sheeran handles half of the refrain with PnB Rock while Chance raps about his wife being a force to be reckoned with: “Pew, kung pow, hit your ass with a cross kick,” he raps. She’s been taking CrossFit.

“Cross Me” follows the release of the Justin Bieber-assisted “I Don’t Care” that came out earlier this month. The anthem about social anxiety and love received a crazy video treatment with adorably cringe green screen that makes it a chuckle-worthy watch. It’s the only video that you’ll find where a waffle cone has Justin Bieber’s head and a horse’s legs.

Listen to “Cross Me” up above.

Young Thug, J. Cole, And Travis Scott Deliver A ‘Summer Anthem’ With ‘The London’

Surprise! Young Thug, J. Cole, and Travis Scott have kicked off New Music Friday a few hours early with the release of “The London.”

The triple-threat collaboration was actually teased at Miami’s Rolling Loud festival earlier this month, where attendees spotted flyers promising a “summer anthem” on the way. “The London,” named after the luxury hotel chain, delivers on that promise with a scorching opening verse from Cole. Thugger, meanwhile, comes through with his signature squeaky bars, and La Flame handles the Auto-Tuned hook, singing, “Meet me at The London / If you find time we can run one / Talk about some things we can undo / You just send the pin, I could find you.” T-Minus, who produced Cole’s “Middle Child,” also put his touch on the track.

“The London” comes after Young Thug’s nearly 12-hour YouTube live stream this week called “Meet Me at the London,” where he revealed the track’s artwork. The single is rumored to be the first taste of Thug’s upcoming album GØŁDMØÜFDÖG, which Cole is reportedly executive producing, after the two hit the road together on last year’s KOD Tour. Some type of countdown, presumably for the project’s release, can be found here.