It was recently announced that Paris Hilton would be releasing her second studio album this summer on Birdman’s Cash Money Records.
While Hilton stars in the video for Rich Gang’s first single “Tapout,” it’s still an announcement that feels strange, given the usual roster of rap talent Birdman’s label attracts. Talent such as Drake, Jay Sean, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, and Ace Hood are all label mates on Cash. Yet Hilton – who released her pop debut album, Paris, in 2006 on Warner Brothers – should still feel right signing to a label known predominantly for their rap stars. Here are some reasons why this makes a lot more sense than you think.
While “Started from the Bottom” is a catchy track from Drake, it’s a song that feels archaic and out of place in the new world of rap music. While we can recall some of the greatest rap and R&B tunes from the past detailing the idea of “making it” and getting out of a situation that wasn’t ideal (think Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, N.W.A, even Get Rich or Die Tryin’, by 50 Cent), it’s no longer something the best rappers are rapping about anymore.
Look to Ace Hood’s “Bugatti,” Juicy J’s “Bandz a Make Her Dance,” or even anything from Future’s excellent mixtape, F.B.G. The Movie, and we’re seeing rappers no longer discussing their spotty past to the top, or their road to success; but rather celebrating, revelling in the money they have right now.
Rap is changing. Now rappers rap more about the bills they’re throwing at their video hoes, being on the Forbes list, and their “million dollar pussy” much more than about the struggle to how they got all that money.
So if rap is slowly becoming a genre about money and having a lot of money, why wouldn’t you have Ms. Money Herself, Paris Hilton herself, on one of your label mates? A woman who is a billionaire in just fragrances alone. Putting that in perspective, Madonna just became a billionaire this year with her MDNA Tour sales; a woman whose has had overwhelming success, record sales, and sold-out concerts over several decades. Hilton is not just a billionaire, but a billionaire in perfume alone; something that’s only a small percentage of her revenue if you include club appearances, interviews, movie cameos, and her Reality TV success.
By signing Hilton, Birdman takes the Cash Money name to a new point of definition, expanding from a label known for their successful artists into something of a collection of individuals with money, fame, and fortune; a group that defines success, disposable income and power – a group that Hilton fits into with no problems.
But it sometimes isn’t just about money: Paris Hilton can make a good pop song too. While Paris sold a little less than 200,000 copies, the tracks on the album were quite solid. It avoided the mistakes of Heidi Montag’s Superficial and Kim Kardashian’s messy sole single “Jam (Turn It Up).” Hilton’s producers knew her vocal strengths and worked with them, making music that was breathy, but effective. In fact, her most successful single, “Stars Are Blind,” received attention from Lady GaGa, who, in an interview, called it “one of the greatest records ever . . . a great pop record.” Let’s not also forget that her recent track with collaborators Manufactured Superstars, “Drunk Text,” was an absurd, but amazing club track. Something that felt self-aware, silly at times, but great. If Hilton has more dance tracks in her, who are we to deny ourselves from hearing them?
While this doesn’t mean to become a love letter for Hilton, I don’t feel ashamed to let you know that I’m rooting for Paris. While she can be an easy target given her sex tape, her squeaky-voiced Reality TV persona, and her ability to let her status as an heiress make her come across as entitled and shallow, Hilton should be able to garner more respect as a businesswoman than she does. Currently, Hilton has 17 different product lines of shoes, handbags, and perfumes around the world, and Hilton has currently opened 44 different Paris Hilton stores around the world. On a business level, this news is impressive, but in a recent interview with Letterman this fact is barely discussed, and he then spends the interview trying to embarrass Hilton by Windex-ing her forearm and seeing if she can guess which “scent” of her 18 perfumes she’s wearing.
Hilton’s billion dollar self-worth comes across more as a punchline, rather than an impressive fact. Hilton needs a group of people like Cash Money to save her from all of her critics. Right now, there aren’t a lot of people on her side, and if she can release something musically strong, with backing from an unusual source, we can expect a new Hilton. A Hilton who isn’t a comic point, or a person who an interviewer can ask “do you feel your moment has passed?” But rather someone who was laughing at herself this whole time with us . . . all the way to the bank, and all the way to a potentially successful music career we just didn’t think would happen.
–Aristotle Eliopoulos is a writer who lives in Toronto, Canada. When Aristotle isn’t dissecting the Marxist Feminist tones of Tara Reid’s new moombahton song (released exclusively for Jamba Juice in the Philippines), he’s working hard to get the Church of Marissa Cooper off the ground — which is going well so far, but you know how Josh Schwartz can be.
Sitges Pride is one of Spain’s most colourful party weekends for the gay community, attracting thousands of partygoers from all over Europe and beyond. 2012 saw over 70,000 partygoers invade the town – more than double the town’s usual population.
This year’s four-day extravaganza was earlier than its usual date at the start of July, from 13th-17th June. There were live shows and performers from Thursday through till Monday. Here’s a scene from the Main Stage on the Promenade.
Performers included Local legends Lady Diamond and Ruby (black and white, Union Jack), and the ‘girls.’ Not to be confused with the Spice Girls 50 year reunion…
A Tina Turner impersonator also took to the stage, along with some super-hot boys taking part in the Mr Gay Espana competition.
Saturday’s Parade saw the streets of Sitges transformed into a sea of ripped bodies, speedos, feathers and colourful costumes (which actually isn’t that different from any normal weekend, just on a different scale). The ‘ES Army’ were especially popular…
Some guys even kept their clothes on…
Saturday and Sunday night saw more performances, this time from a Take That tribute group and of course, more sexy guys posing in speedos and skimpy underwear…
The chico in green was especially popular with the crowd, and with our photographer!
After the madness of Saturday, things got wetter with the an awesome pool party at the Hotel Antemar.
You might recognise our buddy in green…
Happy Pride from Sitges!
Thanks to Cameron MacLeod for the awesome photos. You can check out tons more on his facebook page, here:
You have to love social media. An inked twink put up on facebook last weekend ‘Happy Father’s Day to all the leather daddies.’ It was Father’s Day in the USA, Canada and the UK, (other countries celebrate at different times of year) and aside from the commercial opportunity, it’s time to celebrate the value and wisdom of our gay mentors. The fathers who, held us together when our relationship went pear-shaped, when our own birth fathers didn’t know we were gay, or when they had booted us out, or knew we were gay but the silence going back home was deafening. No-one mentioned it. Those daddies that started as a street, club or sauna pick up, then became our home tutors in the art of relationship kick-back. I remember very clearly those middle aged men who assisted me in wiping tears when the current boyfriend walked out, never rang back or cheated. Who else could I run to in emotional crisis as a twink barely out of teenage years?
Memories from my gay youth still affect me today. As well as the two week relationships that went sour, the germs of codependency, abuse of drink, drugs and credit cards, I also recall the kindness of Brian Eyles who showed me, in a very grand restaurant, without embarrassing me, how to fillet a Dover Sole in three strokes. This older gent also paid the bill, never suggested sex, and taught me to make the most tongue quenching champagne cocktails, that I can no longer quench, but praise must be given. The Eighties, sadly, brought about his demise with AIDS, like many that held me to their hearts. I also thank Pav, from Poland ( known as Peggy, as he had a thing for spring clothes pegs on his nips) who stood by me at the latter stages of alcoholism, when I ran out of money and despair, feeding and watering me until I got well. Ted Gatty, in his fifties, who in Kent, England, WAS the gay scene in the 70s, holding underground parties in his house basement, for queers to meet, dance and shack up a relationship. It was here that I met Pat, from Norfolk, camp as a coot who travelled hundreds of miles to get to Mum Gatty’s parties and always arrived in the same way. People would say “Is Pat here yet?” Soon after Pat would arrive with the world’s worst hair-peice crown topper weave EVER. It looked like a yachting cap on his head. He then did a full cartwheel into the hall, to prove it never came off. Pat was 75 and had regular sex with his bisexual postman. This was my entry into gay life. No wonder I stayed! Such fun, such a family, such a homecoming.
Ivor Powell, mid-forties, who guided me as a friend through not only the difficult years, but never laid a hand on me (with me not knowing he had a fetish for red hair), who introduced me to all manner of characters, who spellbound me with wartime tales of sucking off US GIs in tunnels, of antiquarian booksellers who taught me aspects of the classics, and titled baronets who were still ordering rent boys at the age of 70. I am blessed to have embraced these pillars of wisdom into my heart and life experience, these daddies who suffered suppression, even prison for being gay, and not being able to be out to their families.
I was lucky, my Dad accepted me being ‘a homo,’ along with my Mum, who said “it’s because David is in Art” as I worked in advertising as a commercial artist. They came to gay parties and gay bars, met my friends and Dad didn’t blink an eyelid – quite unlike the horror stories we know of and read about, tales of rejection, distaste and abandonment. The gift he gave me was one of acceptance, laughter and being ‘matter of fact’. Not that much difference really from the way I work at things today, so he is always with me. He died in 1992, in a bar in Spain, while I was in the UK. Rarely a drinker, he only drank shandy (lager and lemonade) and cherry brandy for special occasions. He asked for a cherry brandy in the bar, the barman said “we don’t have it,’ Dad promptly fell off his bar stool, had a heart attack and died immediately. What a way to go.
On reflection, even in death he was funny, my Dad. Take one moment to remember the relationship you hold with your own father, dead, unknown or alive. Do you echo his traits, weaknesses or strong points? Until you get clearer on this, interpersonal relationships with men will resonate with what is uncleared on the resentment front. Perhaps sadness that he was emotionally unavailable to deal with sexuality, bondship and presence. Think of those gay daddies also, that held you in their arms in silence, teaching you the things they never knew: freedom, respect and shameless esteem. Think of the daddies that AIDS swept away in a tsunami almost overnight, and the gay seniors, the grandfathers who lost their lovers, friends and acquaintances, who now stumble in the wilderness of loss without people to talk to in the winter of their years, their friends gone by. Do befriend them. You will learn so much.
The new generation of bears and daddies have much history to teach, about HIV prevention, virus living and healthier communications, as inter-generational relationships, of all kinds are more visible now. Maybe now is the time to ask: “Who is mentoring ME now?” What is my birth father relationship like – does it need attention? Have all resentments been resolved? Have you told him you love him, hugged him or sent a letter into the ether if he has passed over or is untraceable? One day you will look in the mirror and see his face, for better or worse.
Take this as a starting point of discovery.
I started Bikram as a yoga-virgin about two years ago when I found a Groupon online. I didn’t know what to expect and the only thing I knew was that it was going to be hot as f*&k! Of course, my first class was hell. I felt dizzy, like I was going to pass out and I almost threw up. But according to the instructor, this is normal… It takes time for your body to get used to the 105F temperature of the room since you’re there for 90 minutes.
I seriously thought I would never go back, however, as soon as I left the studio I felt so vitalized I couldn’t wait for the next day. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and the feeling of accomplishment you get after you finish is A-M-A-zing!
When I heard Bikram Yoga Herald Square in New York City was hosting a monthly gay yoga event, I knew I needed to hop on that boat! As you might already know (read my preview post), with the help of GuySpy and Gay Men’s Boot Camp I hosted the third edition of STIFF, a night of hot guys, sweaty yoga and organic cocktails.
More than 50 guys showed up to practice yoga half-naked, drink and dance. After we finished the class we were pretty dehydrated. Luckily we had organic cocktails courtesy of JuiceWell to quench our thirst. It didn’t take long to get the party started!
DJ Heather M brought out the dancer in all of the guests with a super-rad playlist of house, techno and minimal beats. Meanwhile, my ‘one night stand’ and I were making sure everybody got on the GuySpy App… and we succeeded! I mean, who could resist my cute accent and Ezequiel’s sexiness?
All ‘round it was a fantastic event! Special thanks to Greg and Sam from Bikram Yoga Herald Square for all the support and Laura and Lucas from Gay Men’s Boot Camp for being great co-hosts.
Not just a pretty face
With every generation comes a new attempt at bringing the Superman saga to life on the big screen. This time the comic book icon returns in the form of Henry Cavill (The Tudors, Immortals) in Man of Steel. Does this rejig deserve a chance to rescue you from the depths of boredom, or does this flick flop big-time like a cheap polyester cape? Read on!
The Good: This version, directed by Zack Snyder (300) and featuring a screenplay by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight Trilogy), is a dark reimagining of the comic book mythology, showing the downfall of the planet Krypton and how Superman came to be. The story focuses on Superman’s human experience of how he grew up being an outcast for most of his life, an interesting angle for this reboot. The star-studded cast assembled doesn’t disappoint, either. And those epic battle scenes are literally earth-shatteringly spectacular.
The Gay: Cavill. Oh. My. Goodness. Is this man the most perfect thing on the face of the Earth? Those eyes. That smile. That coiff. That chiseled, hairy chest. Those arms. And that newly designed Superman spandex suit just accentuates his exquisite physique in all the right places. This movie should seriously be retitled “Buns of Steel”! Heck, within the first few moments you see Cavill shirtless, soaking wet, sporting some serious scruff with a full on beard, and literally flaming (as in covered with fire)!
And this movie also sports a lot of hot daddy realness. Christopher Meloni and Lawrence Fishburn make appearances, and Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner as Clark Kent’s fathers Jor-El and Jonathan Kent, respectively.
And was it me, or did General’s Zod’s crew get imprisoned in some phallic looking pods before getting sent off to the Phantom Zone? Hmm.
The Bad: The pacing seemed a tad slow, and this flick is very dark – sometimes too dark for an enjoyable night out at the movies. It could’ve been funnier too. Dark and depressing was the theme here. The handheld camerawork is sometimes too shaky to the point that it’s sickening, especially watching it in IMAX 3D. Speaking of 3D, it was rather meh. And some of General Zod’s dialogue (Michael Shannon, Boardwalk Empire) was clunky and awkward. I guess this is the hard thing about origin movies; they have to take a lot of time to set up the franchise in order for things to go anywhere that in the process things get lost. But OH MY GOD, HENRY CAVILL! So sexy!
The Fugly: All the product placement in this film is a tad overdone. But I’m not gonna lie; part of me did delight in seeing an IHOP get trashed. Ugly lens flares affect this flick as well, but not as bad as some other summer blockbusters we’ve seen this year (I’m looking at you, Star Trek Into Darkness!). And what was up with those metallic pinboard-esque viewfinder things that followed around Jor-El? Didn’t digital screens exist on Krypton? But that Cavill… oh my goodness! So hot.
Man of Steel, or flimsy aluminum foil? This film is definitely going to divide those faithful to the Superman franchise. It’s a very dark, very human take on the story, and not everyone is going to fall in love with it. I was captured by it, and I thought it was ambitious. We’ll see how the franchise pans out. But OH MY GOODNESS HENRY CAVILL IS SO SEXY! Just drop your cash down on the counter and delight in his smouldering sexiness! Seriously.
The Grade: B+ for the film A+ for Henry Cavill’s hotness
What’s the Buzz: Sauska Winery’s Cuvee 113. Dry, with super graceful flavors of Filo dough, blanched nuts, ripe orchardpit fruits, citrus oil, dried apple and apricot, yellow plum, and Fuji apple. Very reminiscent of a Rhone white meets a gorgeous Burgundy. What a brilliant wine, and it doesn’t hurt that the famous Paul Hobbs is the consulting wine maker!
This wine pairs BRILLIANTLY with cheeses, avocado, salmon and crab, poultry, pasta, mushrooms, mayonnaise & creamy dips, and roasted garlic!
For more information, email TheDean@vinoversity.com. Vino-Versity is located at 1657 First Avenue, at 86 Street, New York City.
Story courtesy of Matthew Breen and Out.com
Cher’s having a big year. She just finished recording her new album (to be released September 24 on Warner Bros. Records), she’s scheduled to perform on June 18 on the season finale of NBC’s The Voice, and her documentary on her mother, Dear Mom, Love Cher, is coming out on Lifetime next month.
But hold on to your Bob Mackie headdress: NYC Pride has just announced that Cher will be performing at the 2013 Dance on the Pier on June 30.
“NYC Pride is thrilled to welcome Cher to the stage of this year’s Dance on the Pier! Her performance will be one of the most memorable in the history of this world-class party,” says Chris Frederick Managing Director of NYC Pride in a release. “Now in its 27th year, the Dance on the Pier continues a proud tradition of partnering with all-star talent to create a high-quality event that raises funds to support local LGBT non-profits and New York City’s annual Pride festivities.”
Artists have included Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, and Cyndi Lauper have all been part of the event in year’s past. But it’s motherfucking Cher this time. Cher. There ain’t no fashionably late to this ball.
Get your ticket at nycpride.showclix.com.