Watch Miley Cyrus Bring Her Raw Power To The Super Bowl Tailgate

Over the past few years, Miley Cyrus has established herself as a queen of covers. No one else in the mainstream pop realm has done what she has, reclaiming her energy through the lens of the past and making it new. On Plastic Hearts, that meant including her takes on “Zombie” and “Heart of Glass” as well as invited Billy Idol and Joan Jett to sing with her.

On Sunday (February 7) ahead of Super Bowl LV, Miley once again cemented her status, bringing out Idol for a super-charged “Night Crawling” in front of a vaccinated crowd of 7,500 frontline workers. As part of the TikTok Tailgate party ahead of the kickoff, Miley and Idol naturally segued into Idol’s own “White Wedding” in the sunshine of Tampa, Florida.

Cyrus brought her spirit via her cheerleader outfit, a look she teased on Instagram in the lead-up to the pregame celebration. “Been working my ass off on this set list! I think you’re gonna DIG IT! ☠️,” she wrote in the caption.

That lengthy setlist included plenty of Plastic Hearts cuts and — of course — several covers. She kicked off with Toni Basil’s “Mickey” (fitting given her outfit) and also belted out cuts from Dolly Parton and Nine Inch Nails, alongside her 2018 Mark Ronson collab “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart.”

By the time she wrapped, she’d also welcomed another guest to the stage — Jett herself, who sang with Cyrus on “Bad Reputation” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” in addition to their Plastic Hearts team-up, “Bad Karma.” Cyrus finished by covering Bikini Kill and even bringing it back to 2013 with “We Can’t Stop.” All this, and she can still absolutely nail a tune from Hole or Chris Cornell when called upon, too. What can’t Miley sing?

Check out Miley’s performances and get ready for the Super Bowl halftime show later tonight, featuring a sure-to-be-dynamic performance from The Weeknd.

Cardi B Gets It ‘Up’ In Supremely Sexy New Video

2020 is dead, long live 2021! Cardi B dropped her latest music video for her new single “Up” at midnight on Friday (February 5), and with it, a eulogy for a bum year. The follow-up to the record-breaking smash collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion, “WAP“, which released seven months prior in August, she’s put the past behind her and is looking toward the sky — or at least toward an album release, set to arrive in the coming months.

“Up” is a bumping bop that riffs from the catchy refrain: “If it’s up, then it’s up, then it’s up, then it’s stuck.” The video kicks off with Cardi twerking in a graveyard over a crypt marked “R.I.P. 2020” in full, chandelier crystal-encrusted funeral attire, complete with a fishnet veil and signature red-bottom shoes. From there, the visuals whip through a dizzying montage of sex and glamour. At one moment, Cardi’s ghost-riding as the blinged-out trophy on the hood of a Bentley. In another scene, she’s whipping out a vibrator in a pearly, all-girl ménage à trois inside the mouth of an oyster. In Cardi’s quintessentially provocative fashion, there are some truly mind-boggling WTF moments, too: Are those barbie doll heads really singing from inside her curls?

Ahead of the video’s release, Cardi said in a YouTube livestream, that she hoped the song would sound more “hood” than previous releases. “I wanted to do something more gangsta, more cocky,” she said, per Rolling Stone. And things are already looking for the rapper this year: In just hours after its release, the “Up” video had already topped 3 million streams on YouTube alone.

Lil Skies Finds His Truth On Unbothered: ‘I Always Feel The Pressure’

By Candace McDuffie

Lil Skies sonically resides in a realm where raw and unfiltered emotion rules. The 22-year-old emcee made noise with his 2018 major-label mixtape, Life of a Dark Rose, which, on the surface, came across as part of the omnipresent emo rap that has permeated the music industry over the past five years. But upon further exploration, it is clear that the rapper born Kimetrius Foose — just like his mellifluous peers Lil Durk, Trippie Redd, and Lil Uzi Vert — is using his catalogue to process seemingly endless amounts of inner turmoil.

Songs like “Red Roses” and “Cloudy Skies” balance tender melodicism with cerebral unease; he’s obsessed with experiencing — and always expecting — worst-case scenarios. Whether it’s betrayal or abandonment from fraudulent friends and potential love interests, Life of a Dark Rose still manages to find beauty in solitude. His follow-up project, 2019’s Shelby, also examined these themes but felt more upbeat and polished, a quality he attributes to the dizzying nature of success.

“I was on the road a lot. I saw things I never got to see,” the rapper tells MTV News. “Seeing a bunch of fans and just going through the motions. I was dealing with things you deal with when people first get the fame, which is still true to this day.” Lil Skies’s second album, Unbothered, was released on January 22 and continues to map out progression on his own terms. He sat down with us to discuss his songwriting process, how he deals with unyielding depression, and how artists shouldn’t always be considered role models.

MTV News: Your music really appeals to young listeners, but after listening to Life of a Dark Rose, I realized that your lyrics actually are universal and don’t have an age limit. What do you think draws people to Lil Skies?

Lil Skies: I just keep it real on the songs, and I don’t be hiding nothing, even if it’s the ugly truth. I feel like my fans can kind of tell I put my all into the songs, maybe. I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out that question myself. When I was making those songs [from Life of a Dark Rose], that was my early stages. I was just doing what I was doing best: making my music, going with the flow, and hoping that the people liked it. I just really kept dropping, and then it just got me where I’m at.

MTV News: To me, artists like you, Lil Uzi Vert, and Trippie Redd represent a noticeable change in hip-hop. From the emotional lyrics discussing sadness and angst to the edgy aesthetic, do you think this type of artistry was long overdue in rap?

Lil Skies: To me, I feel like hip-hop is different every period. Our generation, we don’t know how to explain it because we’re living in it. Even back then, when people would make hip-hop music, they didn’t even know how to explain it because that’s what it was at the time. Whether it was selling CDs or wearing those big-ass gold chains or doing shit like that, that was their generation. It’s just our generation. This is what we live, this is what we’re around, this is what our generation is going through. The majority of our generation is dealing with depression — now we’re just being more open about it in music. But in hip-hop people always were open about their struggles, it was just said in different ways, you know what I’m saying?

MTV News: When Life of a Dark Rose is compared to Shelby, you can hear the difference sonically. Shelby is a little refined, and I was wondering if you felt any pressure because it was your major-label debut.

Lil Skies: I always feel the pressure. There’s always pressure. If you care about what you do, you want it to be better than the last time. You want to keep elevating and keep going. What I normally do is I just record, pick my best songs, and just roll with it. That’s what I did with Life of a Dark Rose, that’s what I did with Shelby. You get to see where I’m at in my head and where I’m at in my life when an album drops. A lot of people nowadays want artists to make the same music and they want them to just do the same thing over and over again. I’m not trying to do that.

MTV News: This generation of rappers have experienced great loss over the last few years. We’ve seen what happened with Lil Peep, with Mac Miller, with Juice WRLD. With several prominent young artists dying from drugs, do you fear its toll on the industry?

Lil Skies: I do feel that way sometimes because we’re all living in this shit. When you’re a rapper nowadays, this is what your life is the majority of the time: in a studio environment creating. There’s a lot of smoking weed, there’s a lot of drugs. You have your bad days and you have your good days. Of course, you’re gonna think about that shit when other people are passing… you gotta know what you’re doing, pretty much. You gotta stay as safe as possible with whatever you’re doing. I don’t do hella drugs. I got my little certain things that I fuck with, though.

MTV News: Is that how you deal with your depression?

Lil Skies: I smoke a lot of weed. I get high. I self-medicate.

MTV News: With your visibility, a lot of young people look up to you. Do you believe that rappers should be perceived as role models?

Lil Skies: I get it, but at the same time artists are people, too. We go through things, too. We’re still human. We’re leaders to them but we can’t always be. It can’t always be, “Oh he’s doing this, so you gotta do it, too.” No. I don’t like to sit there and judge anybody doing anything because I don’t know the whole situation. You’re not going to know this whole situation. So before you judge, try to help. I know we influence certain shit, but we gotta live our own life, too. It’s not on some I don’t care-type shit, but I gotta do my own thing. I’m my own man. I’ve been living for a lot of people my whole life. But all of my responsibilities are taken care of, so at this point, I can’t let certain shit get to me.

MTV News: Is that why your latest record is called Unbothered? You’re just at the point where you’re becoming indifferent to the pressures and expectations of fame?

Lil Skies: It’s a note to myself. It’s me telling myself don’t pay attention to the hate and don’t pay attention to all the negative shit or whatever’s going on. Just stay focused, keep working, keep doing what you do. As long as you gave your best, that’s all that matters. With the album, I just want kids to know they should chase their dreams no matter what anybody tells you. That’s the biggest thing.

MTV News: What were some of your favorite songs to record for Unbothered?

Lil Skies: The first track, “Fade Away.” “Sky High,” “Ok,” “Havin My Way,” “Dead Broke,” “On Sight.” Now that I’m looking at the list, I fuck with them all [laughs].

MTV News: To those who aren’t as familiar with your music, what do you want them to take away from this project and from you as an artist?

Lil Skies: I just want to encourage people to follow your dreams. There’s going to be a lot of people talking and there’s going to be a lot of people trying to bring it down or whatever, but just stay focused and keep working towards your dreams. Never let nobody tell you that you can’t do something.

Taylor Swift’s Evermore Has A Song For Every Mood

By Carson Mlnarik

Surprise — again! After dropping her record-breaking eighth album, Folklore, on a whim back in July, Taylor Swift repeated her antics today (December 11) with the release of her Evermore. Folklore’s sister record further mines Swift’s whimsical storytelling perspective alongside producers Jack Antonoff and The National’s Aaron Dessner, two great minds who helped hone her folksy alt-pop sound the last go-around.

Evermore is an equally experimental sequel, as the pop singer weaves scenes of heartbreak and outlaws on the run. “Champagne Problems” depicts the aftermath of turning down a proposal over sparse piano keys, while the Haim-assisted “No Body, No Crime” is a contemporary riff on a vintage murder ballad boasting plenty harmonicas. Even in her most escapist moments, Swift still finds ways to craft relatable lyrics and captivating characters, perhaps none more compelling than herself. “Gold Rush” calls back her signature color for boyfriend Joe Alwyn — also known as William Bowery, a co-writer on three of Evermore’s tracks — to espouse the jealousy and insecurity that come with falling hard. And “Long Story Short” announces a place of peace after years of “petty things” and “nemeses” in the limelight.

It’s clear Evermore is a continuation of the Folklore era, with the visual for “Willow” finding Swift descending into the same piano from the “Cardigan” music video. Fans will find that not only does Taylor still have a song for every mood, but by straddling the lines of fact and fiction, she’s charting new emotional territory. Wondering where to start? Don’t worry, we’re breaking it down track-by-track.

  1. “Willow”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: hopelessly romantic.

    Key lyric: “Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind / But I come back stronger than a ’90s trend”

    Spoiler alert: Taylor is a bit of a romantic. As the song’s accompanying video shows, she’s still a heartfelt believer in true love, and she’s crafted the perfect soundtrack to underscore any slow dance, intimate car ride home, or huge reminder that you’re single.

  2. “Champagne Problems”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like you’re just not built to be in a relationship.

    Key lyric: “One for the money, two for the show / I never was ready so I let you go”

    While this song, written by Swift and Bowery, tells the tale of two college sweethearts who had very different visions of where their relationship was going, it’ll strike a chord with anyone who’s had their heart — or their expectations — broken. You think you’re in distress? Just wait until the expletive-heavy bridge when things get completely unhinged.

  3. “Gold Rush”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: just a teensy bit jealous.

    Key lyric: “I don’t like that falling feels like flying ’til the bone crush”

    Jealousy may be a green-eyed monster, but Taylor is seeing a gold rush in this upbeat daydream of a tune detailing her insecurities about having a lover whom everyone else is attracted to. Her attempts at level-headedness come with an air of desperation as she can’t help but imagine “padding across your wooden floors / With my Eagles T-shirt hanging from the door.” If you’ve got a guarded heart that’s afraid to take a relationship to the next level, you’ll feel this one.

  4. “’Tis The Damn Season”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like making the same old mistakes.

    Key lyric: “I’m staying at my parents’ house / And the road not taken looks real good now”

    With a title like “’Tis the Damn Season,” Taylor’s not exactly setting the table for a cheery Christmas soirée. Through the story of aspiring actress Dorothea — more on her later — returning home, Swift crafts a fitting ode to indulging in a holiday fling with the one that got away. We’re not advising you to send any “Are you back in town?” texts, but if you do, here’s a primer.

  5. “Tolerate It”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: underappreciated, especially for your table-setting skills.

    Key lyric: “I know my love should be celebrated / But you tolerate it”

    Every Swiftie knows that Taylor reserves track No. 5 for her most exhaustively raw and confessional moments (see “All Too Well,” “My Tears Ricochet,” and “The Archer”) and she continues to deliver the emotional punches here, whether setting the table with “fancy shit” to “begging for footnotes” in her lover’s life. When you’re feeling gaslit or ignored in a relationship, this one is here with a nice warm hug and soul-crushing bridge.

  6. “No Body, No Crime (ft. Haim)”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like taking vengeance into your own hands.

    Key lyric: “She says, ‘That ain’t my Merlot on his mouth / That ain’t my jewelry on our joint account’”

    Any true-crime podcast or documentary fan is going to be all about Tay’s first team-up with her friends in Haim. Este has gone missing — she didn’t show up to her Tuesday night shift at Olive Garden — and her cheating husband is the prime suspect. Thankfully, Taylor knows enough about a crime scene to take justice into her own hands, à la The Chick’s “Goodbye Earl.” When you want a taste of revenge, give this one a spin.

  7. “Happiness”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: wistful about what you can’t change.

    Key lyric: “And in the disbelief, I can’t face reinvention / I haven’t met the new me yet”

    What, were you expecting a song called “Happiness” to be happy? Over haunting synths and delicate plucking, Swift struggles to maintain a sense of optimism navigating the complexities of a breakup, resolving that “there’ll be happiness after you” even though “there was happiness because of you, too.” Save this one for your rainy-day walks or late-night feels.

  8. “Dorothea”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like the lonely city lights might not be worth it.

    Key lyric: “It’s never too late to come back to my side”

    Move over, Betty! There’s a new girl in town. According to Evermore’s liner notes, Dorothea is a “girl who left her small town to chase down Hollywood dreams,” and this swinging slow jam is a reminder that she’s always got someone in her hometown. Here’s a shiny ditty to remind you that you’re never truly alone.

  9. “Coney Island (ft. The National)”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: nostalgic.

    Key lyric: “The fast times, the bright lights, the merry go / Sorry for not making you my centerfold”

    After working with Aaron Dessner and his brother Bryce on Folklore, Taylor takes it to the next level in her first collaboration with their band The National. This one might be called “Coney Island,” but it’s a cloudy day at the theme park as Swift and Matt Berninger swap verses about a bitter romance where they both made mistakes. When you’re wondering what went wrong, this one will hit home.

  10. “Ivy”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: at a crossroads.

    Key lyric: “Oh, goddamn / My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand”

    Infidelity has never sounded so sweet! In this breezy charmer, Swift imagines falling in love with someone who puts “roots in [her] dreamland” even though her heart’s been promised to another. When one option looks better than the other and you’re stuck, perhaps this will help make up your mind.

  11. “Cowboy Like Me”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: ready for a risqué romance.

    Key lyric: “We could be the way forward / And I know I’ll pay for it”

    It’s official! Despite being the one to typically ride off into the sun, Taylor says she’s met her match in this slow, country-tinged swinger about a renegade romance. Throw in some not-so-sneaky background vocals from Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, and like the narrator, we’re caught hook, line, and sinker.

  12. “Long Story Short”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: at peace.

    Key lyric: “If the shoe fits, walk in it ’til your high heels break”

    Did Taylor Swift just explain 2020 in a nutshell with the lyric, “Long story short, it was a bad time?” This brisk, fast-paced tune recalls Swift’s ’80s-pop influences to sum up her fall from grace, resulting in public feuds, and how she’s come to terms with it, thanks to love. Play this one when you’re finally over the drama.

  13. “Marjorie”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: reflective.

    Key lyric: “I should’ve asked you questions / I should’ve asked you how to be / Asked you to write it down for me”

    After paying tribute to her grandfather on Folklore’s “Epiphany,” Swift dedicates this song to her late grandmother Marjorie Finlay, an opera singer who encouraged her passion for music. When you’re trying to remember those you’ve lost, try this heavenly track — and make sure you’ve got Kleenex if you’re watching the archival footage in its accompanying lyric video.

  14. “Closure”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: perfectly fine with being bitter, thank you very much.

    Key lyric: “I’m fine with my spite / And my tears, and my beers and my candles”

    A rogue drum machine leads this otherwise soft ballad astray as Taylor reflects on closure, which is never quite as clean as it sounds. Some ends are better left broken, especially when you’re still spiteful and “staying friends would iron it out so nice.” Here’s your soundtrack for no longer giving someone the time of day.

  15. “Evermore (ft. Bon Iver)”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like you need a little extra light.

    Key lyric: “I rewind the tape but all it does is pause / On the very moment, all was lost”

    In the album’s somber yet hopeful closer, Swift, Justin Vernon, and Bowery have penned a tune that speaks to the cycles of depression and anxiety, especially as they’ve affected people this year. If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air, let this be your reminder that “this pain wouldn’t be forevermore.”

John K’s Love + Everything Else Has A Song For Every Mood

Here is the responsibility of the pop artist: taking a complex yet universal emotion or experience — heartbreak, loneliness — and boiling it down to a savory stock of addictive hooks and simplified lyrical motifs. That recipe may seem easy enough to outsiders, but some topics, as vast and generative and difficult as love, need ample time to cook, then digest. Perhaps that’s why John K, an emerging singer from Orlando, Florida, has dedicated himself to exploring that feeling in all its delicious complexity.

The fruit of that work is Love + Everything Else, a collection of nine sweet songs and one delectable remix that K refers to as a “project,” a word that hints at the in-progress nature of his sound and a collaborative way of songwriting. Crafting tracks with a close-knit team of friends through candid recording sessions and thought-starting games, his break came in 2017 when “OT,” an electro-pop musing over a missed connection, amassed over 50 million streams despite its independent release. A debut EP, If We Never Met, followed, and he signed with Epic Records in 2019 with the support of Diplo and Ricky Remedy.

Now, with Love + Everything Else, K lays it all on the table, whether navigating the difficulties of moving on from a relationship (“Let Me Let You Go”), deploying clever metaphors for his own shortcomings as a partner (“Cheap Sunglasses”), or transposing vows into lyrics tailor-made for his wife (“I.L.Y.M.”). His soulful delivery feels at home over EDM basslines, and though he has often been compared to the crooners of yesteryear, many of his songs feel perfectly primed to capture the anxiety and isolation of the coronavirus era (“6 Months”). For MTV News, he breaks down the project track by track and mood by mood.

  1. “Let Me Let You Go”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: “at a crossroads and have to make a decision.”

    Key lyric: “Baby, let me love you / Oh baby, let me let you go”

    “‘Let Me Let You Go’ was kind of a jam session. And it’s always going to be, until something takes its place, the song that we open every show with. So, I really want it to be true to that, and that is why I chose it to be the first song on the project.”

  2. “Parachute”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like you “want to vibe out.”

    Key lyric: “If that’s the consequence of lovin’ you / Then I will fall without a parachute”

    “My favorite song we’ve ever worked on. We tapped into something different, something special. I’ll never forget the session. We were all just standing on our feet, just really all singing the same — it already felt like a chorus. Sometimes in creation, you get a glimpse of something and can see and feel and hear what the final needs to sound like. That song had so much personality in it, it was such a great collective effort, and everybody was just in the zone. It was a beautiful thing.”

  3. “If We Never Met”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: “thankful.”

    Key lyric: “I wouldn’t even know what love is / If we never met”

    “‘If We Never Met’ is my anthem. It’s the love of my life, a nod to all the people that have made me better. ‘If We Never Met’ started this project. It’s truly my story, and it’s so special because the song that’s truly about the story of how we all met, ends up being the song that kind of takes off first. And it was a really nice full-circle moment.”

  4. “6 Months”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: “longing.”

    Key lyric: “Feels like it’s been six months and seven days / When I’m without you”

    “I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles last year, working on all this music. Sometimes, I was gone for three to four weeks at a time, and I had to go back to being in a long-distance relationship. So, 6 months was purely coming from a homesick, I-miss-my-girl place, and we just explored that.”

  5. “Cheap Sunglasses”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: “ready to make a TikTok dance.”

    Key lyric: “This is why I can’t have nice things / ‘Cause I break ‘em”

    “We started the session and one of the writers looked at the table and saw this pair of expensive sunglasses that the producer had. And he was like, ‘Dude, I was going to buy these. They were in my cart and I just couldn’t push the button because every time I buy a new pair of sunglasses, I always lose them.’ And then we just spit it out. We found this whole deeper side of it where we related it to how I always mess up relationships.”

  6. “Learning How to Love”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like “a work in progress. I’m always going to be a work in progress.”

    Key lyric: “Baby, you’re perfect / But I can’t say the same for me”

    “I feel like it might be the dark horse of the record. I take some time away from it and then I listen to it again and I’m just like, wow, this is pretty dope. There’s a lot of growth throughout the record. It starts off very stripped and really, really grows into something where in, that final chorus, we tried to really go somewhere.”

  7. “Happiness”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: “sad. It’s okay to not be okay.”

    Key lyric: “I feel like my daydreams are nightmares / I feel like a prisoner in my head, yeah”

    “We used to do this thing, a big group of friends, and we called it the song game. We would basically give each other homework and we had to turn in an idea, whether it be a voice note, a fully produced song, or calling them on the phone and just saying something into it. Just as long as you were creative in some way. We would set a theme on Monday and the next Sunday something was due. One week it was ‘happy.’ So that song came out of the song game.”

  8. “Days Like This”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: “a hopeful, summer-day kind of mood.”

    Key lyric: “’Cause days like this, make me wish / We had more days like this, oh yeah”

    “We wrote that one in quarantine, so we were exploring how to write songs via Zoom. I got on with some friends and we were just talking about how we missed all the things we used to take for granted. We can’t be together. We can’t write. We can’t go to the beach. The only goal for that day was to write about better times. Let’s write about what we wish we could do and keep it super lighthearted and fun and upbeat.”

  9. “I.L.Y.M.

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: “in love, just all things love.”

    Key lyric: “I’m not sayin’ it’s a competition / All I’m saying is”

    “The melody feels like it could be a wedding song… Once we made that connection, it was the chance to just truly dive into a message that I could give to my wife that she would have forever. If there’s ever a bad day or something that we go through, she can listen to a record that says everything that I wish I could say over and over again. It’s almost like a pact that you can listen to.”

Billie Eilish Is Queen Of The (Deserted) Mall In Eerie ‘Therefore I Am’ Video

Billie Eilish released her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, 19 months ago already, and so much has shifted since then. She won all the Grammys. She recorded the new James Bond theme. And now, she even got Glendale to close down the mall for her.

In her extremely DIY new video for “There I Am,” Eilish spends five minutes gallivanting around the deserted Glendale Galleria in California, helping herself to soft pretzels and doughnuts. It’s a familiar haunt; she grew up frequenting the mall as a young teen in the 2010s. Now she runs it, in the vacant clip that evokes Dawn of the Dead‘s suburban post-apocalyptica and plays like a nuclear-fallout version of New Radicals’s beloved late-’90s kids-take-over-the-mall anthem, “You Get What You Give.”

A lot of what I mentioned above is utter projection, but it’s hard not to read between the lines this year, a fraught time plagued by a raging pandemic and nearly 1.3 million people dead around the world. I went to the mall a lot as a kid out of mere boredom, gathering in large groups and walking around drinking frozen sugar drinks without a face covering. Imagine such a luxury now!

In Eilish’s “Therefore I Am,” which she directed, she captures this feeling of estrangement and isolation by wandering around a closed, multi-level, capitalistic expanse maskless and alone, free, yet implicitly haunted by the shuttered shops and eerie emptiness. She’s having a nice time, though, smiling as she lip-synchs to a bouncy pop track in the vein of “All the Good Girls Go to Hell” and repeatedly relays, “I’m not your friend.”

“Therefore I Am” follows Eilish’s previous single, “My Future,” which she performed virtually at the 2020 Democratic National Convention in August.

Get lost in the vast post-commercialistic chasms of “Therefore I Am” above.

‘Modern Witches’ GFRIEND And The Magic Of Collaboration

By Tássia Assis

Though witches have received a positive wash of public relations in recent years, with shows like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and the rise of #WitchTok, the word itself — “witch” — has historically held negative connotations. It has often been used to attack women whose confidence and intellect defy the norms, from the Salem trials in the late 1600s to accusations hurled at progressive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez today. But for K-pop girl group GFRIEND, the magical being is less vindictive and more an empowered symbol of individualism, and in her, they have found a generative subject for their latest album, 回:Walpurgis Night, which dropped on Monday (November 9). Calling themselves “modern witches,” the singer Eunha defines the phrase as “a girl who faces her desires genuinely, continues to walk her own path in line with her own standards, and is not bothered by what other people say or think.”

It’s a fitting moniker for GFRIEND’s own story, which has involved a hard-fought journey of self-discovery. Sowon, Yerin, Eunha, SinB, Yuju, and Umji debuted in 2015 under Source Music, now a subsidiary of Big Hit Entertainment. Their discography has been driven by thematic trilogies, as with the popular School trinity, and the sextet has became a standout within the genre for their sharp, synchronized choreographies and nostalgic, whimsical sounds. Beneath imagery as pristine and clear as the glass beads that populate their narrative universe, GFRIEND have always had a cutting edge. Whether it’s their lively personalities, complex dance routines, or shredding guitar solos, they consistently offer more than meets the eye. But now, their intrinsic magic is in plain sight.

Source Music

回:Walpurgis Night embraces that transition. It’s the final installment of “回” (pinyin /huí/), a trilogy of releases named after the Sino-Korean word for “to spin,” “to return.” Part one, the February collection 回:Labyrinth, saw GFRIEND face tough choices in the melancholy “Crossroads.” It was followed up by the July EP, 回:Song of the Sirens, which led the members into temptation with the hypnotizing “Apple.” Now, after growing and finding confidence through these symbolic trials, as well as through five years of touring and growing close since their debut, Yuju explains that the group is moving “forward to a new path.”

That journey has led them to Walpurgis Night, the fête after which the album is named, also known as the “festival of the witches” or “second Halloween.”  Celebrated throughout Northern and Central Europe, the date marks a moment when the veil between the material and the spiritual worlds is thinner. It is rife with symbolism for the musicians. “It celebrates a new beginning upon welcoming spring and clearing away the remnants of winter with campfires and fireworks,” explains Sowon, the leader of the group.

That spirit is present in the final sequence of the mystical music video for “Apple.” Main dancer SinB is draped in red lace, swaying around a tree on fire, at once the embodiment of the biblical fruit of temptation and a living, luring flame. “Apple” marks the group’s initiation into daring sounds, visuals, and lyrics: “Don’t agonize, let go the timid child / take me, the endless witching hour descends,” they sing while strutting in glamourous black gowns and dark, shimmery makeup. 回:Walpurgis Night represents the outcomes from that surrender. “[This album] tells the story of girls who are able to view themselves purely from their own perspectives, after experiencing a series of choices and temptations,” explains Eunha. “They finally realize their true desires, allow themselves to candidly express them, and support others who walk the same path.”

And that’s where the synthy groove of lead single “Mago” comes in. Named after a cosmogonic Korean goddess, it also means “magician” in various languages, including Spanish and Portuguese. The light, celebratory sound captures the frenetic energy of a mystical festival, according to Yerin, the group’s happy pill. She explains, “We also wanted to come up with music that everyone could have fun and enjoy throughout the difficult times.” The corresponding visual is similarly carefree, with an atmosphere culled straight from ‘70s discotheques and hand-twirling choreography that reminds Sowon of “a witch chanting a spell.”

The frenetic energy of a mystical festival extends throughout 回:Walpurgis Night, from the edgy, rock-tinged “Love Spell,” to the city-pop tune “Three of Cups,” to the bubbly synths of “GRWM.” As performers, they move in unison like an all-powerful coven, bewitching the listener with grace and versatility. But that collaborative practice is apparent in the writing, too, and the witty lyrical references to Tarot cards, incantations, and other magical matters are the product of creative contributions from all members. “We’re still in the process of learning so we have a lot to improve, and the process was difficult,” SinB says. “But we felt so proud to actually see the finished songs that include lyrics that we wrote. It’s a meaningful outcome just to discover the joy of expressing our thoughts and feelings.”

That partnership was tested by the group’s first-ever unit songs, which saw the members split into pairs to craft their own concepts and lyrics from scratch. But this is also where they shine the brightest. SinB is paired with Yerin in “Secret Diary,” a dreamy track that Yerin reveals was “based on the [friendship] I have had with SinB since the trainee years.” The tropical-inspired “Better Me” offers a striking contrast between eldest member Sowon and maknae Umji, who was apprehensive to the project at first. “I was concerned that the stage would look empty with just me and Sowon, but soon realized that it looked way more amazing with dancers.” Closing out the triad is “Night Drive,” a soothing journey highlighting the vocal diversity of Eunha and Yuju, who explains that their rich ranges “helped us in the moments of exchanging stories with each other.”

Source Music

Across 11 tracks, the name GFRIEND takes on a powerful new layer of meaning, of sisterhood and companionship. That’s their magic: They are girl friends, celebrating their bond and their united power in a world that still insists on witch-hunts. “Since we’ve been together all along, we were able to enjoy more during good times, and quickly overcome the difficulties during hard times. Teamwork is one of the things that we feel confident about,” Umji reflects. “Also, we’re all very responsible, which has allowed us to do our best and continue moving forward. We still learn and get inspired from each other a lot.”

Lil Nas X Trades Horses For Reindeer In New ‘Holiday’ Song Teaser

Christmas is only 46 days away, but luckily, you won’t have to wait that long for a gift from Lil Nas X.

Yes, the “Old Town Road” artist and chart-history maker is back, and this time, he’s got more than just the horses in the back. If the trailer for his upcoming new single “Holiday” is any indication, this time, he’s got just about every present in the world, as well as whatever else fits in Santa’s sleigh.

Like Tim Allen popping out a jolly Kris Kringle gut in The Santa Clause, Lil Nas X marks the trailer by adopting a long beard, a trademark red-and-white hat, and those tiny bifocals before hopping on St. Nick’s sled, guided by his reindeer. But where’s Santa himself? Unfortunately, the big man’s been tossed out of an Old West saloon for going a little heavy on the sauce.

Naturally, Lil Nas X has picked up the reins, teasing “Holiday” with Back to the Future Part III-style graphics and font, and even a surprise cameo from star Michael J. Fox himself. (“Whatever you do, Nas,” he warns, seemingly in character as Marty McFly, “don’t go to 2020.”) Christopher Lloyd, who portrayed Doc Brown, even shouted out his best wishes on Twitter: “Always remember @lilnasx, the future is what you make it!” Also, back in 2019, Lil Nas X hyped his then-forthcoming “Old Town Road” video to MTV News by saying “Back to the Future III,” and here we are!

In the tease, “Holiday” thuds along with booming drums and a futuristic funk bass sound, and it’s likely it’ll appear on either his upcoming debut album or its accompanying mixtape — both of which he teased over the summer with an invitation for musicians to submit their beats. As per a tease he threw out on social media in September, the album is set to feature songs called “Call Me By Your Name,” “One of Me,” “Titanic,” and “Don’t Want It.”

In all likelihood, the album will drop in 2021, and as he wrote to a fan on Twitter, he feels like it’s worth the wait for all his hard work: “sorry guys i honestly wanted to just drop the album but then it’s like drop album, 2 singles off it, then album era over ? for something i’ve been working on for 2 years. it’s almost not fair to myself.”

“Holiday” is out this Friday, November 13. Check out the cinematic teaser above.

2020 MTV EMA Winners: See The Full List

By not being centrally located in a single city, the 2020 MTV EMA were able to spread the party out all over the world. From Budapest, David Guetta and Raye brought a night-sky, laser-filled rendition of “Let’s Love,” while Maluma steamed up London with a neon-purple medley of “Djadja” and “Hawái.”

The winners list, too, saw artists from across the globe honored and celebrated as the show aired on Sunday (November 8). Heading into the ceremony, Lady Gaga led the nominations by earning six in total, while BTS and Justin Bieber weren’t far behind with five each. During the show, BTS took home four in total — Best Song, Best Group, Biggest Fans, and Best Virtual Live. Gaga walked away with Best Artist and Best US Act, while Bieber won for his star turn in DJ Khaled and Drake’s “Popstar” video.

But amid those nods was also a celebration for the night’s hosts, Little Mix, who ended up nabbing Best Pop, as well as Best UK & Ireland Act, all in addition to performing new single “Sweet Melody.” They thanked their Mixers on Twitter with a quick note: “You all did that!!!”

Find the complete list of EMA winners below, and explore more from the show at ema.mtv.com.

Best Video

WINNER: DJ Khaled – POPSTAR ft Drake starring Justin Bieber

Billie Eilish – everything i wanted

Cardi B – WAP ft Megan Thee Stallion

Karol G – Tusa ft Nicki Minaj

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Rain On Me

Taylor Swift – The Man

The Weeknd – Blinding Lights

Best Artist

WINNER: Lady Gaga

Dua Lipa

Harry Styles

Justin Bieber

Miley Cyrus

The Weeknd

Best Song

WINNER: BTS – Dynamite

DaBaby – Rockstar ft Roddy Ricch

Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Rain On Me

Roddy Ricch – The Box

The Weeknd – Blinding Lights

Best Collaboration

WINNER: Karol G – Tusa ft Nicki Minaj

BLACKPINK, Selena Gomez – Ice Cream

Cardi B – WAP ft Megan Thee Stallion

DaBaby – Rockstar ft. Roddy Ricch

Justin Bieber – Intentions ft Quavo

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Rain On Me

Sam Smith, Demi Lovato – I’m Ready

Best Pop

WINNER: Little Mix

BTS

Dua Lipa

Harry Styles

Justin Bieber

Katy Perry

Lady Gaga

Best Group

WINNER: BTS

5 Seconds of Summer

BLACKPINK

Chloe x Halle

CNCO

Little Mix

Best New

WINNER: Doja Cat

BENEE

DaBaby

Jack Harlow

Roddy Ricch

YUNGBLUD

Biggest Fans

WINNER: BTS

Ariana Grande

BLACKPINK

Justin Bieber

Lady Gaga

Taylor Swift

Best Latin

WINNER: Karol G

Anuel AA

Bad Bunny

J Balvin

Maluma

Ozuna

Best Rock

WINNER: Coldplay

Green Day

Liam Gallagher

Pearl Jam

Tame Impala

The Killers

Best Hip Hop

WINNER: Cardi B

DaBaby

Drake

Eminem

Megan Thee Stallion

Roddy Ricch

Travis Scott

Best Electronic

WINNER: David Guetta

Calvin Harris

Kygo

Marshmello

Martin Garrix

The Chainsmokers

Best Alternative

WINNER: Hayley Williams

blackbear

FKA twigs

Machine Gun Kelly

The 1975

twenty one pilots

Video for Good

WINNER: H.E.R. – I Can’t Breathe

Anderson .Paak – Lockdown

David Guetta & Sia – Let’s love

Demi Lovato – I Love Me

Jorja Smith – By Any Means

Lil Baby – The Bigger Picture

Best Push

WINNER: YUNGBLUD

AJ Mitchell

Ashnikko

BENEE

Brockhampton

Conan Gray

Doja Cat

Georgia

Jack Harlow

Lil Tecca

Tate McRae

Wallows

Best Virtual Live

WINNER: BTS – Bang Bang Con: The Live

J Balvin – Behind The Colores Live Experience

Katy Perry @ Tomorrow Land – Around The World

Little Mix – UNCancelled

Maluma – Papi Juancho Live

Post Malone – Nirvana Tribute

Justin Bieber’s Moody Remix, Jade Bird’s Cathedral-Sized Voice, And More Songs We Love

In this intercontinental collaboration, British-Albanian pop-diva Dua Lipa teams up with Belgian singer-songwriter Angèle for their new single, “Fever.” The song encompasses all we love about Dua – a nostalgic, synth-pop, dance-club vibe, but this time with a twist. Similar to Angèle’s past work, especially on her 2018 hit “Tout Oublier,” “Fever” has a more mellow, less aggressive pop sound that is constantly palatable and sonically gorgeous. The lyrics transition effortlessly from English to French and back again, creating a piece of art that can literally transcend borders. The point of music is to connect people. “Fever” does just that. —Sarina Bhutani