playing catch up with jojo

Photographed by Atisha Paulson

getting reacquainted

While most 13-year-olds were busy worrying about whether their crush reciprocated their feelings and slurping up the last bit of Coke at the mall food court, JoJo was busy making her swift rise to fame. After "Leave (Get Out)" hit the airwaves, she became the youngest solo artist in history to have a number-one single in the United States, and along with it came a dedicated, diehard fan base. Fast-forward a few years, and the internet was littered with headlines like "Where Is JoJo Now?" 

"I felt totally stuck and I was making the decision whether to go to college and study anthropology and sociology, or to go through with the lawsuit and try to get out and focus on the next chapter of my career," she says, referencing the time during which her label, Blackground Records, decided to silence her. "It was really frustrating because people had questions and I didn’t have answers. Even my family, they saw me, you know getting very, very sad. It was just confusing and mostly I wanted to be able to explain things to people, but I also didn't want to seem like I was anti-label or like I wasn't trying to make things work."

Because after two albums, 2004's JoJo and 2006's The High Road, and an iconic '00s breakup anthem ("Too Little Too Late"), her record company decided that they wouldn't be releasing any more of her work. She was still stuck in her existing contract, which stipulated that she release seven exclusive albums with them, and it seemed like she would never be able to release music again. 

Click through the gallery to read the entire story.

Photographed by Atisha Paulson; Styled by Marissa Smith.

Photo by Atisha Paulson

After an arduous, long lawsuit, the court eventually freed her of her contract, and she signed to Atlantic Records. Now, after clocking in some studio time and creating over 70 songs (most of which will never see the light of day), the 24-year-old is gearing up to release her new album. So far, she's released what she calls a "tringle"—three singles at once. "I knew I needed to come back and make an impact in a certain way and the way I wanted to do that is through music," she says. "Just conversationally, me and my team were sitting at a restaurant or something, and we just kept saying three singles, three singles...tringle! It's a word that sticks in your brain whether you want it to or not."

And if her previous music defined the '00s, her new material is sure to speak to the digital age. "The internet really saved me in a lot of different ways," she explains. "It just kept my sanity and kept me creative. It’s also a great place to find music, so I’m always discovering things on SoundCloud or people will tweet me, 'Hey check this out,' and oftentimes I do. It’s exciting to be turned on to new stuff." 

above: sweater by sandro. below: shirt by h&m.

Photographed by Atisha Paulson; Styled by Marissa Smith.

Photo by Atisha Paulson

But it's not just her sound that's changed, she explains. It's also the landscape. "When I came out in 2004, I think that maybe pop still had a bubblegum feeling attached to it, and a sort of stigma attached to it," she says. "I don’t really feel that way when I think of pop music today. I think there’s a lot more space now. Pop to me now just means 'popular.' We could call Bruno Mars pop; we could call Fetty Wap pop."

With tinges of house influence and synth to highlight her power-ballad vocals, her new sound melds the gap between new wave and the strong female soul music that she was raised on. "I grew up listening to all types of stuff and house wasn’t really one of them—now I love it," she says. "I dive into different music that’s touching me at the time. I love Gorgon City, MNEK and Disclosure and when elements of house and dance music are infused into pop. I’m living for it. It makes me feel fabulous, triumphant, and strong. Like a woman."

above: shirt by h&m, pants by nomia, shoes by schutzbelow: shirt by nike.

Photographed by Atisha Paulson; Styled by Marissa Smith.

Photo by Atisha Paulson

Ultimately, though, her journey is just a highly publicized coming-of-age story—a detail that JoJo is quick to point out. "It’s no different than anyone else's struggles. It’s just inserting different words and obstacles," she says. "I’m young and I believed that someday I was going to have the opportunity again to pursue my career, but I mean, some people I know were dealt just a far worse deck of cards: they grew up in the foster system, or their father was in jail and they didn’t meet him until they turned 18, or they came from another country and had to pay their way through college by working two jobs. These are real life things and you can’t really compare; all of them are difficult. So I found comfort in knowing that I wasn’t the only one struggling and it gave me some perspective on how you’re never exempt from a struggle. There’s always something you’re facing."

And she, just like the rest of us, is trying to figure it all out. "I just try to be true to who I am. I know that I’m a host of contradiction," she smiles. "I consider myself an all American girl in a sense but then I also have tattoos and two eyebrow piercings and sometimes I feel sexy, and sometimes I feel cute. I don’t wanna be I don’t have to be the same thing all the time and I don’t need to cater to men. I don’t dress for men, I dress for myself."

above: sweater by sandro, skirt and boots by dkny. below: dress by beckley.

Photographed by Atisha Paulson; Styled by Marissa Smith.

Photo by Atisha Paulson

sweater by sandro, skirt and boots by dkny.

Photographed by Atisha Paulson; Styled by Marissa Smith.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.