2015 MTV Video Music Award Predictions- The Battle of the Mainstream!!

*Im already correct for Best Pop Video. read below!*

We are 2 hours away from the MTV Videovma Music Awards airing at 9pm.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, MTV should be saluted for being the first channel to air a music video “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles.  And without them, these music award shows (MuchMusic, iHeartRadio, Billboard Music, Teen Choice, etc) would not exist because there wouldn’t be a platform for the exposure of the artist and their craft.  We Salute You MTV!!!

But as the evening approaches for this year’s award show, I am naming my predictions for each category.  Miley Cyrus is the host and I already predict that she will bring a lot of thrill, nudity, tongue sticking out, winking, and awkward twerking.  But as for the music, let’s get on with it!!  And dont forget to follow the commentary, updates, and more @PopStyleBlog on twitter!!

~Ashlee Dawne

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Should be:  Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
Will be:  Beyoncé – “7/11″

BEST MALE VIDEO
Should be/Will be:  Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”

BEST FEMALE VIDEO
Should be:  Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Will be:  Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”

BEST HIP HOP VIDEO
Should be: Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
Will be: Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”

BEST POP VIDEO
Should be: Beyoncé – “7/11″
Will be: Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”

BEST ROCK VIDEO
Should/Will be:  Hozier – “Take Me To Church”
(Best song in this category though) Arctic Monkeys – “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”

ARTIST TO WATCH
Should be: FKA Twigs – “Pendulum”
Will be: Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”

BEST COLLABORATION
Should/Will be:  Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”

VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE
Should be: Rihanna – “American Oxygen”Will be: Big Sean ft. Kanye West and John Legend – “One Man Can Change the World”

BEST ART DIRECTION
Should/Will be:  Skrillex & Diplo – “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Should/Will be:  Beyoncé – “7/11″ (Beyoncé, Chris Grant, Additional choreography: Gabriel Valenciano)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Should/Will be: FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks” (Justin Brown)
Will be: Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud” (Daniel Pearl)

BEST DIRECTION
Should be: Hozier – “Take Me To Church” (Brendan Canty and Conal Thomson of Feel Good Lost)
Will be: Kendrick Lamar – “Alright” (Colin Tilley & The Little Homies)

BEST EDITING
Should/Will be:  Beyoncé – “7/11″ (Beyoncé, Ed Burke, Jonathan Wing)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Should be: Skrillex & Diplo “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer, Gloria FX, and Max Chyzhevskyy)
Will be: Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Ingenuity Studios)

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#MusicCrushMonday- Fetty Wap (August 24, 2015)

Hey, What’s Up, and Hello!  Welcome to another edition of #MusicCrushMonday here on PopStyleBlog.com!  This week’s choice is a new comer to the hip-hop game who is playing the game to his advantage and making his mark.  Not only did he have one the biggest #SongsoftheSummer with “Trap Queen,” but he has also been nominated for 3 MTV Video Music Awards (airing on August 30th).  AND…. he just became the first artist on Billboard Music Charts to have ALL 4 of his singles land in the Top 10 Rap Chart at the SAME TIME!!!  (He has the number 2, 3,6, and 8 slots).  This week’s #MusicCrushMonday goes to…….

FETTY WAP!!!

Fetty-Wap-Trap-Queen

Fetty is a young rapper from New Jersey who has made his rounds to become mainstream enough among a pop culture audience, yet maintain his trap roots with those form his community.  Fetty’s story about losing his vision in 1 eye at a young age has pulled on the heart strings of many of his fans, while his gritty lifestyle lyrics, easy to memorize hooks, and “zone-out” beats capture his fans eardrums.  I must admit I did not think Fetty Wap would be around for more than 1 single, but I have easily become enthralled in his music… especially his latest track ““679” ft Remy Boyz (WARNING: the video and lyrics are a little explicit).  But this track is great for the choreographer and dancer in me.  It has an actual beat that can be counted and it has a tempo that can be adapted to hip hop dance.  He gives me Dance Battle with “679,” Club Anthem with “Trap Queen,” House Party with “My Way,” and Holla at Me with “Again.”  In my opinion,  its FETTY WAP FOR THE WIN!!!

Til next time folks….. Keep it #PopStyle

~Ashlee Dawne
@PopStyleBlog on Twitter
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#MusicCrushMonday- Gwen Stefani (August 17, 2015)

Welcome to another edition of #MusicCrushMonday on PopStyleBlog.com.  Today was my first day back to school (#Teacherslife, #EducatorsRock, #DanceTeacherForever) and I needed to give myself a pep talk to just break my summer cycle of living.  I needed a pep in my step, a swing in my hips, and beam in my smile as I greeted my colleagues after 2 months a part.  Who else to give me that feel good, California chill, effortless smile/pep, and enviable swag other than this week’s #MusicCrushMonday….                   GWEN STEFANI!!!!

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The lovely Gwen Stefani has always been able to churn out pop-ska-alternative hits that give you the “feel goods” and the spunk to kick some a**.  Whether they were with her band No Doubt from the 1990s or as a solo artist, Gwen knows exactly what it takes to get you up and say “Just a Girl” but I aint no “Hollaback Girl”!  Both of these songs were my #MorningMotivation jams to get me in the mood to return to the schoolhouse and plan for a kick a** year!! (Click the titles above to see the music videos).

I hold a special place in my heart for Miss Gwen, my 1st girl crush, and have always respected her hustle as a an artist, clothing designer, coach on the Voice, and integrity in the music world.  She remains humble, in fabulous shape, and true to her musical roots.  Here’s to you Gwen!!  Shout out to all the educators/teachers/school admins holding it down last week, this week, next week, and beyond as we get ready for another school year!!  We aint no Hollaback Girls! (or boys!)   Til next time… Keep it #PopStyle

~Ashlee Dawne
#PopStyle
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#MusicCrushMonday- Geto Boys (August 10, 2015)

Welcome to another week of #MusicCrushMonday where I bring you an artist/song that has recently become my #earworm.  This week I think I was influenced a little by the soon to be released film “Straight Outta Comptom,” which features the 90s hip-hop iconic group NWA.  This throwback to 90s hip-hop when “music was music” has been the subject of my music library lately.  Therefore, I name this week’s #MusicCrushMonday as…..

THE GETO BOYS (circa 1991)geto boys

Yep that’s right.  The Geto Boys are this week’s #PopStyle #MusicCrushMonday.  Better known for their hit “Mind Playin’ Tricks on Me” I was happily reminded of this group when I was watching the 90s cult movie classic “Office Space” (please Netflix this if you haven’t seen it already- it’s hilarious!)  In the movie, the Geto Boys have about 3 songs on the soundtrack that play oh so perfectly with the situational humor of the main characters Peter, Michael, and Samir.  The thing that makes the Geto Boys chilled vibed street reference filled rap lyrics so catching is that they seamlessly fit into everyday suburban and urban life, as evident in the movie.  In the clip below, you will see Peter (under the influence of hypnosis) begin his journey of complacency and “I don’t give 2 cares” about my job as the Geto Boys song “Damn, it feels good to be a Gangsta” plays ever so gently in the background, perfectly framing how every mid-level corporate employee feels on dress down Fridays.

Office Space clip: Geto Boys “Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta.”

Enjoy the throwback feel of today’s #MusicCrushMonday.  And remember…. you too can feel like a Gangsta.  Till next time… Keep it #PopStyle

~Ashlee Dawne
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#PopStyle

#MusicCrushMonday- Leikeli47- (8/3/15)

Hello Pop-Stylers!  It’s been a couple weeks but I’m back with another #MusicCrushMonday!!!

This past week I was immersed in the land of dance at the Dance Masters of America TTS conference in Buffalo, NY.  I took classes, learned new methods of teaching, refreshed my terminology and knowledge of dance history, and even performed in the Hip Hop intensive with the one and only Rich Ashworth. (Look him up cause this guy is the hip hop truth).  Therefore, my #MusicCrushMonday goes to the artist of the song that the Hip Hop intensive group used. I introduce to you LEIKELI47!

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Leikeli47 is an obscure hip hop underground rapper, featured in a ski mask in all her images, leading to her anonymity.  Her sound is what I call electro-punk rap……think Azealia Banks flow mixed with MIA beats. In her song “Two Times a Charm” audio (the song I performed to) the beat is not only hypnotizing but also its grimmy and raw with a sassy peppy feel of walking down a New York City fashion week runway- leading to a unique sound that is bound to become the new #earworm. (Click below to see part of the hard getting choreography we did…. Yours truly is second from right in front row).

https://goo.gl/photos/4GD6gewRx3WxoeFn6

Leikeli47 self titled album is available on ITunes and Spotify. I suggest you run, not walk to get this album so you too can #RiptheSummerUp (click here to listen to this hit).

Til next time… Keep it #PopStyle
~Ashlee Dawne

#MusicCrushMonday Alessia Cara- July 20, 2015

Sorry for the late post Pop-Stylers.  The day got away from me so my post is a little but nonetheless here is another edition of #MusicCrushMonday.

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I recently was introduced to a song called “Here” Alessia Cara on the local hip hop radio station. And let me tell you this song brings all the feels to life! This song has a sultry dark beat with undertones of whispering melodies that entice the listener to go deeper into the rabbit hole. 

Watch “Here” now

“Here” is a song about a girl who doesn’t want to be part of the crowd of distant, non-personal, self involved people and instead would prefer to be in her own corner until she’s able to leave this place and retreat to her own thoughts. 

So take a listen to this track and add Alessia Cara to your summer nights playlist. Enjoy!! Until next time…. Keep it #PopStyle

~Ashlee Dawne

#MusicCrushMonday: The Weeknd (July 13, 2015) #PopStyle

Hello Pop-Stylers!!  It’s been a while since I posted and I even missed a week of #MusicCrushMonday.   But have no fear because I am back and ready to present my #MusicCrushMonday for July 13th.  This week’s #MusicCrushMonday goes to….


The Weekndweeknd

This high pitched crooner has been on making major pop culture crossover moves since his newly acquired fame from a broader base due to his monster hit “Earned It” from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack earlier this year.  Ever since then, pop culture can’t seem to get rid of him.  He’s performed at the Sweetlife Festival, the Much Music Video Awards in his native Canada, the BET Music Awards, and is soon to headline to Made in America festival founded by Jay-Z.

This protégé of r&b star Drake came into my music collection in 2011 when he released a free album called House of Balloons.  I downloaded it and immediately became enraptured with his sultry tone, vocal musicality, and sensual sound.  Since then my playlists have been populated with songs like “Often,” “Wicked Games,” “Wanderlust,” and more.  If you listen to in a little of his lyrics, you realize pretty quickly that The Weeknd is for mature audiences only.  Yet, his newest single “Can’t feel my face” has a pop-electro feel that could cross into younger audiences… minus the context clues of course.  And his recent collaborations with pop sensation Ariana Grande can’t hurt his chances to crossover.  His unique style in the music industry and commitment to his sound as an r&b artist has certainly earned (no pun intended) The Weeknd his spot as my #MusicCrushMonday.

Til Next Time….  Keep Pop in Style with #PopStyle

~Ashlee Dawne

Music Crush Monday #MCM- Janet Jackson (June 29, 2015)

In honor of her recently announced Unbreakable Tour, and her appearance on the #BETAwards Sunday night, AND the fabulous dance tribute to her using “Pleasure Principle,” “All for You,” “If,” and “Rhythm Nation.”, AND the fact that she still looks amazing after all this time away from the public… My Music Crush Monday (#MCM) goes to the one, the only….

JANET “MISS JACKSON IF YOU’RE NASTY” JACKSON

janet-jackson-behind-the-scenes-of-nutrisystem-janet-jackson-30583471-768-1024 Janet-Jackson-BET-Awards-2015-Pictures

Janet (yes, we’re on a first name basis) has been an inspiration to me since I was old enough to walk!  As a dancer, she has given me move, after move, after hit, after choreography, after style, after dance track, after fabulous-ness through the decades and I AM HERE FOR IT!!!

Janet is one of the last true dancer/singers of her time.  She brings the entertainment factor, the sexy, the stage presence, the drama, the choreography, and the occasion nip-slip/wardrobe malfunction that we all crave from an artist.  She is a true artist.  With her new Unbreakable Tour 2015 starting this fall, Janet is sure to sell out all her stops.  And yes, I plan to be in the building!!

So in honor of Janet on this Music Crush Monday, here are my Top 10 favorite dance tracks from Miss Jackson.  It was hard to narrow it down to just 10 but here goes, in no particular order…..

1)  “If” (Janet)  (I will say this is my favorite track… I have the choreography engraved in my brain!!)
2) “Rhythm Nation” (Rhythm Nation 1814)
3)  “All Nite (Don’t Stop)”  (Damita Jo)
4)  “Throb” (Janet) – Pure dance track with very little vocals. Yes to the sweat will ensue off this track)
5)  “Black Cat” (Rhythm Nation 1814)- I always dreamed of dancing to this on an outdoor stage with pyrotechnics and smoke. 🙂
6) “Control” (Control)
7) “Escapade” (Rhythm Nation 1814)- I memorized the choreography to this so I could audition for my dance studio’s Senior High Troupe for 13 year olds- I was 10 at the time and I got in!  Boo-yah!! (Thanks Janet)
8) “Come on Get Up” (All for You)
9) “Pleasure Principle” (Control)
10) “2nite”(Discipline)- A hidden track on a very disappointing album but this will certainly get play in some underground rave club on a summer night.

Til next time peeps!  Keep Pop in Style!!

~A.D. Mack #PopStyle #JanetJackson #MusicCrushMonday

#MCM: Tori Kelly- June 22, 2015

Good evening Pop Stylers!  Back with another week of my favorite music obsession.  I’ve only been hip to her music for about 1 year now, but I saw her live at the Filmore in Silver Spring, MD and am officially smitten by her talent, innocence, heartfelt lyrics, and empowerment.  I really think you’re gonna like her…..  This week’s #MCM (Music Crush Monday) award goes to…..

TORI KELLY!! tori-kelly-tickets_06-24-15_23_553a90c270cae

Who is Tori Kelly you may ask?  Tori Kelly is an up and coming independent singer/songwriter from California.  She got her start auditioning for American Idol in 2008 and later found Youtube fame through her cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ Bout You.”  Tori Kelly has a very relaxed, coffee shop, acoustic guitar vibe that is not only relatable, but also entertaining and genuinely felt by her listeners.

My first introduction to #ToriKelly was through her song “Dear No One” which talks about desired and hoped for love that is only unrequited because of the physical absence of that special someone, not the actual belief that love does not exist.  A little heavy I know, but there is such an innocent and sweet spirit to her lyrics about love lost and love yet to be found that it’s quite endearing and captivating.

2015 has been a breakout year for Mrs. Tori Kelly.  Not only has she been named KIA’s One to Watch artist at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, but also she will be releasing her first full length album on tomorrow (Tuesday, June 23rd) called Unbreakable Smile.  And let me tell you, this album will pull on your heart strings and uplift your spirits at the same time.  Her concert last Friday at #TheFilmore in Silver Spring, MD gave a nice taste of what Ms. Kelly can do with her vocal range, guitar talent, and lyrical penmanship.  My favorite song of the upcoming album is without a doubt “Expensive”.  I deem this song the new anthem for independence, self-worth, and loving who you are!!  I see great things for Ms.Tori Kelly in 2015!!  Go out and get the album #“Unbreakable Smile.”

Until next time, keep Pop in Style!  #PopStyle #Tori Kelly #UnbreakableSmile

~A.D. Mack

#MCM (Music Crush Monday)- June 15, 2015

It’s time for another #MCM!! And this week, my pick has a double meaning for #MCM… Music Crush and Man Crush.  This man has exceptional talent, charisma, honest lyrics, a relatable appeal to the masses, and recently the #PopStyle credibility to work with 1 of the biggest names in Pop music now (can somebody say #TaylorSquad.  This week’s #MCM for Music Crush Monday goes to……

KENDRICK LAMAR!!!!! (swoon)

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“Alright” by Kendrick Lamar (click for the video)

Lamar gives us a nostalgic vibe with the saxophone horn in the background, evoking a blues vibe as he raps about the struggle and the “hard times like God.”  He assures us through his poetic melodies that even though times are harder than we imagined, and people everywhere are struggling to come up and gather the many remnants of their life together, that WE will be alright.  The individual struggles turn into a collective anthem of redemption….. The penmanship alone evokes community, unity, hope, and a brighter now and future….

When you know, we been hurt, been down before, n****
When my pride was low, lookin’ at the world like, “where do we go, n****?”
And we hate Popo, wanna kill us dead in the street for sure, n****
I’m at the preacher’s door
My knees gettin’ weak and my gun might blow but we gon’ be alright

Kendrick Lamar just gave this generation an Anthem of Redemption…. an Anthem of Hope… an Anthem of Change.  And with all that is going on in the world right now, we certainly need something to lift of heads.  In the words of someone who was surely a mentor and inspiration of Kendrick…..

Keep ya head up, oooo child things are gonna get easier
Ooooo child things are gonna get brighter (Tupac- Keep your head up)

Til next time… Keep Pop in Style
-A.D. Mack #PopStyle