The Week That Was: Wyclef v. Bieber, Talib Kweli returns, N.E.R.D.'s self-canonization


Last week, you hurried to begin Christmas shopping, finish buying Thanksgiving trimmings, and scrounge enough spare change to buy yourself a copy of Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday. And while you weren't paying much or any attention - and who could blame you? - all of this stuff happened.

[jump] Rap/Prog/Pop Project N.E.R.D. Gleefully Continue Industry-Wide Denegration Of What A "Greatest Hits" Album Is

Labels, bands, agents, A/Rs, and publicists, please take note: a greatest hits album is literally a greatest hills album. That means songs that the average man or woman on the street would recognize by a given artist or collection of artist, not whatever songs the artist(s) wants to choose in order to emphasize a particular facet of his or her persona or milk one agenda or another. Because, I mean, just look at the tracklist for this N.E.R.D. best-of that's coming out soon. (Too soon. N.E.R.D. is about a decade old, and they haven't called it a day, so nobody in their camp should even be thinking about best-ofs.) The project - basically super-producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, known to most mortals as The Neptunes, with notable assists - his released four albums. Their Greatest Hits will draw from the first two; the only song most people remember from this era is probably the bombastic "Rock Star."

Gimme Noise will save you some time and money. Want N.E.R.D.'s greatest hits without rewarding asinine corporate cash-in bullshit like this? Go to iTunes and buy "Rock Star." It still sounds amazing. You don't need to own anything else, unless you're someone who believes that the Neptunes' production aesthetic has actually become more innovative and forward-thinking with time. (Note: people who believe this are part of the minority.) Similarly, skip Jay-Z's The Hits Collection: Volume 1 - one of many, many flawed Hova hits collections on the market - and just cop used, el-cheapo versions of In My Lifetime, Vol. 2, Roc De La Familia, and The Black Album.

Talib Kweli To Continue to Suck Joy Out of Political Rap With Intriguingly Titled New Record

Gutter Rainbows is what he's calling it; I'm about as psyched for it as I am for the next R.Kelly sexcapade. Is it even possible that the erstwhile Black Star member has made a record half as interesting as the name? Given last year's blah Reflection Eternal reunion and everything Kweli's committed to tape for the past decade or so - and yes, that includes his verse on the otherwise stellar "My Chain Heavy" - I wouldn't bet on it.

Wyclef Jean Has Mad Beef With Justin Bieber

Well, not really. I wish he did have beef with Bieber, though - something juicy significant, you know, like "Justin Bieber used a sample from The Ecleftic without asking permission and is profiting handsomely without cutting me in on the royalty action and therefore we are beefing hardcore" or "Justin Bieber borrowed my souped-up Datsun and crashed it into a tree, so we have beef" or "Justin Bieber are enmeshed in beef because he screwed the pooch on my campaign to become president of Haiti" or "Justin Bieber and I are beefing because he kidnapped my home girl Janice and sold her into white slavery." Something.

When Even Randy Jackson Is All, "That's not my brother Michael singing on that album," Don't You Kinda Have To Face Facts?

Sometimes a Doubting Thomas is just a reluctant skeptic who knows how to use his or her ears - not a bored rabble-rouser.

Because Gimme Noise Is Psychic, We Already Know What You'll Watch On Tivo First On The Morning Of Sunday, December 19th

Lil Wayne and Eminem. Together. On Saturday Night Live. To perform a crap single. Will the writing staff waste multiple opportunities to stick these hip-hop titans into vaguely amusing skits? Count on it.

You Now Officially Have Permission To Forget that Avril Lavigne and Sum 41 Ever Actually Existed

If you ever were aware of either entity in the first place, that is.

Vaguely Homoerotic New Dr. Dre/Eminem Cut Leaks

I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the lab when the final mix of "I Need A Doctor" was playing. Picture it: Dre and Em nodding appreciatively to the beats, everyone else pulling chagrined "O" faces at lyrics that resemble something a nagging, desperate wife might scream at a dithering, procrastinating husband who's somehow blown a decade renovating the family garage.