TIME Music

Hear Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Funky New Song ‘Downtown’

He'll play the song live at the MTV VMAs this Sunday

Today in imagery you didn’t need think about: “I’m so low that my cojones almost draggin’ on the concrete,” which comes courtesy of Macklemore on his new song with Ryan Lewis, “Downtown.” The Seattle rapper must be done with his thrift-shopping days, because the track finds Macklemore in the mood to spend some serious dollars on a moped for this funky follow-up to his comeback Ed Sheeran collaboration. “Downtown” feels like several songs in one—some ’80s arena-rock vibes, what sounds like a Sugarhill Gang tribute—which will probably make for a splashy debut performance at this weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly described the content of the song.

TIME Ashley Madison

There Are Almost No Active Female Users on Ashley Madison

HONG KONG-LIFESTYLE-INTERNET-SEX
PHILIPPE LOPEZ—AFP/Getty Images

Most appear to be bots, fakes, or inactive accounts, a report says

The large disparity in the number of male and female accounts on the adultery website Ashley Madison is well-documented. But an analysis by Gizmodo of the massive data dump released by people who allegedly hacked the company’s website shows the number of active female users is absolutely miniscule.

Ashley Madison has about 31 million male accounts and 5.5 million female accounts. But the overwhelming majority of those female accounts appear to be bots, fakes, or inactive accounts that were hardly used in the first place, the report says. Gizmodo found that only about 1,500 of the female users had ever checked their messages on the site, while only 2,400 had ever chatted on the site, and only 9,700 had ever replied to a message.

Hackers first threatened to release personal information about Ashley Madison users in July, and then proceeded with a massive data dump earlier this month. Ashley Madison is now facing several lawsuits from several former users who say the website knew about the security vulnerabilities in its systems.

TIME Music

Watch Justin Timberlake and Selena Gomez Grace Taylor Swift’s Stage

Taylor Swift selena gomez
Christopher Polk—TAS/Getty Images Singer-songwriters Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez perform onstage during The 1989 World Tour Live In Los Angeles at the Staples Center on Aug. 26, 2015 in Los Angeles.

The only two celebs Taylor hasn't sung with yet

At this point in her 1989 tour, Taylor Swift has welcomed everyone from Cara Delevingne to Julia Roberts to Chris Rock to Lisa Kudrow to her esteemed stage. Her five-night engagement at LA’s Staples Center has been particularly celeb-stacked—this week, she’s sung “You Oughta Know” with Alanis Morissette, gone spangle-for-spangle with Ellen DeGeneres, performed “Dreams” with Beck and St. Vincent and duetted with John Legend on “All Of Me.” Last night, for her final trick, Swift brought out the only two celebrities—nay, people—left on Earth that she has yet to harmonize with in front of thousands of iPhones: Justin Timberlake and Selena Gomez.

First up, Verified T. Swift Bestie Gomez took the stage in a pair of Swift-esque hotpants for the debut live performance of her new single “Good For You,” which Swift called “the song of the summer.”

Later, Timberlake—who, fun fact, stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2008 to surprise an utterly lovestruck teenage Swift as she wore a glittery LBD in the daytime—joined Swift for a rousing rendition of his hit single “Mirrors.” In a nod to how far they’ve both come since awkwardly discussing gender relations on Ellen, Swift explained, “Justin hasn’t performed since he became a dad, so I’m just honored that this is his first performance.”

TIME celebrities

Man Who Surgically Transformed Himself to Look Like Justin Bieber Found Dead

Toby Sheldon
Hector Campos—Splash News/Corbis Toby Sheldon pictured at the "Tabloid Taco Time" Charity event for Feed My Starving Children in Woodland Hills Calif. on Apr. 27, 2014.

Tobias "Toby" Sheldon was reported missing

Tobias “Toby” Sheldon, the 35-year-old who spent more $100,000 on plastic surgery to look like Justin Bieber, was found dead last week, his rep confirms to PEOPLE.

According to TMZ, officials found his body on Aug. 21 in a Motel 6 in California’s San Fernando Valley. Officers found drugs at the scene, but no cause of death has been determined. Sheldon was reported missing on Aug. 18 and was last seen on the 1700 block of North Orange Grove Avenue in West Hollywood. At the time, friends told ABC7 that his disappearance was unusual, saying that he hadn’t left a note or anything to indicate he would be gone.

The Los Angeles Police Department speculated his disappearance may have been connected to a recent breakup with his boyfriend. Sheldon was known for appearances on TV series such as Botched and My Strange Addiction.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Video Games

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Is the Best Metal Gear Ever

The new pinnacle of stealth gaming, and a triumphant farewell from one of the medium's brightest luminaries.

The holy grail of world-building games, it’s argued, is a black box that lets players do as they like with minimal handholding. Pliability with just the right measure of accountability. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, a tactical stealth simulation wrapped in a colossal resource management puzzle inside a love letter to theatrical inscrutability, comes the closest of any game I’ve yet played to realizing that ideal.

That probably sounds a little backwards if you’re hip to Hideo Kojima’s long running Metal Gear Solid series, which launched in 1987 on a Japanese computer platform. We laud Kojima for his contributions to stealth gaming’s grammar, but he’s also loved and, by some, lampooned, for bouts of indulgent auteurism. A self-professed cinephile (he told me in 2014 that he tries to watch a movie a day), he’s notorious for straining attention spans with marathon film-style interludes and epic denouements. His last numbered Metal Gear Solid game, Guns of the Patriots, holds two Guinness records, one for the longest cutscene in a game (27 minutes), another for the longest cutscene sequence (71 minutes). A fan-edited compendium of the latter’s combined non-interactive sequences clocks in at upwards of nine hours.

So it feels a little weird to declare The Phantom Pain comparably cutscene-free. Oh they’re still here, as fascinating, offbeat and abstruse as ever, but restricted to momentary exposition instead of Homeric interruption. It’s like some other mirror-verse version of Kojima helmed production, suddenly obsessed with play-driven storytelling, while most of the grim narrative about the descent of a Melvillian mercenary trickles in through cassette tapes you can listen to at leisure, or ignore completely.

Konami

That turnabout pays dividends. We’re instead treated to a clandestine feast of open world prowling, an unparalleled tactical toybox staged in sprawling bulwarks bristling with eerily sentient enemies. You play as Big Boss, the grizzled, cyclopean soldier of fortune we spent so much of the series reviling, traumatized and left comatose by events in last year’s prologue and prolegomena, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. The Phantom Pain is the revenge fantasy entrée transpiring nine years later, a grab-your-bootstraps offshore empire-building exercise and parallel slide into militaristic perdition by way of the Soviet-Afghan and Angolan (civil) wars circa 1984. It’s a Cold War paranoiac’s paradise.

The idea, first articulated in 2010’s Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, is that you’re leading a private nation-agnostic military force from your “mother base,” a concrete and steel-jacketed platform anchored in the middle of the Indian Ocean near the Seychelles archipelago. From there, you execute contracts for shadowy clients in fictional swathes of Afghanistan and the African Angola-Zaire border region, accruing capital to unlock an arsenal of espionage munitions, all the while sleuthing for intelligence on the sinister outfit that brought you to ruin nearly a decade ago.

You’d think a game about private mercenaries would entail managing squadrons of them, and The Phantom Pain does eventually unlock a meta game where, wielding an anachronistic wireless handheld drolly dubbed an “iDroid,” you can deploy groups of soldiers to conflict zones based on probabilistic projections. But this is Big Boss’s story, and the lion’s share plants you in his boots, embarking on missions framed like TV episodes, infiltrating then exfiltrating enemy compounds, mountain fortresses and repurposed ancient citadels to extract some piece of intel, rescue a skilled soldier or assassinate whatever operative. It’s during those tense, punishing, exquisitely crafted sorties that the experience shifts from glorified hide-and-seekery to sublime subterfuge.

Konami

Consider just a few of the ways Kojima lets you poke his anthills. Like how to approach a cliffside fortress teeming with floodlights, security cameras, anti-aircraft cannons, machine gun nests, barbed wire fences, lookout posts, labyrinthine caverns, hovering gunships, weaponized bipedal robots and playgrounds of scalable, multilevel mud-rock dwellings staffed by relentless, hyperaware soldiers. From what angle? At sunrise or sunset? After thorough or slapdash surveillance? In what sort of camouflage? With the aid of a horse for quick arrival and escape, or a canine pal that can spot and mark enemies faster and more completely than you?

Should you wait for a stray sandstorm to blow through, occluding visibility and making direct approaches (or escapes) tenable? Buzz HQ to chopper in a rocket launcher so you can take out an enemy gunship while it’s still on the helipad? Scout for unguarded power hubs to kill lights and cameras (at the expense of raising guard alert levels)? Detonate communications equipment to disrupt radio chatter between field operatives and HQ? Should you slink across a dangerously unconcealed bridge to save time, or clamber down a rocky bluff, scurry across the basin below, then inch up half a dozen flights of steel-cage stairs to pop out at the bridge’s far side? Are you the turtle or the hare?

But it’s the game’s ruthless artificial intelligence that ties it all together so superbly. The Phantom Pain sports the most unpredictable, exploitation-resistant opponents we’ve seen in a sandbox game. Though they run through all the classic Metal Gear-ish paranoia loops, they’re capable of far grander collaboration and topographical awareness. If alerted, they’ll swarm your last known position, then spread out to probe logical escape routes. Favor night ops and they’ll don night vision goggles. Favor headshots and they’ll start wearing metal helmets. It’s as impressive, in its way, as Monolith’s Nemesis system in last year’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, turning indelibility into tactical iteration.

Konami

In the background sits your mother base, visually emblematic of Kojima’s fondness for pumpkin-orange containers and pipe-strung sidewalls, everything smooth and orthogonal and gleaming—the Jony Ive of offshore platform design. Once you’re using the Fulton recovery system, an intentionally silly balloon-driven means of quick-firing anything (enemies, weapons, animals and more) you find in the field back to base, you’ll spend hours here developing new weapons, fiddling with staff assignments and snapping on new platforms. Once you grok how battlefield bric-a-brac feeds into base growth, mission difficulty trebles, as you’re incentivized during assignments to track the best-rated foes and gear.

The game has its share of head-scratchers, like why enemies tagged on your radar stay marked when restarting a mission (convenient, but immersion-killing), or why it takes so much work to unlock the game’s notion of a fast travel system. I’m also conflicted about the buddy system: I wound up abandoning my wolf companion because he made the surveillance game too easy.

The least defensible design choice is probably Quiet, a female warrior-sniper dressed in, well, let’s just say the opposite of practical battlefield attire. There’s a plot explanation for this, but it’s pretty weak, though I found it curious that the men in the game seemed not to notice (okay, a couple yahoos overheard talking about her, but that’s it). It’s Kojima’s directorial eye that lingers voyeuristically here, robbing us of the choice not to leer, daring us not to be titillated.

Konami

But then we know by now that Kojima games mean wrestling with paradox. Thematic gravitas versus silly dialogue. Visual revelation versus graphical compromise. Gameplay versus cutscene. Eroticization versus objectification. Antiwar allegory versus lurid violence.

When I asked Kojima what hadn’t changed about gaming over the past several decades, he told me that while the technology had evolved, “the content of the game, what is really the essence of the game, hasn’t moved much beyond Space Invaders.” It’s the same old thing, he said, “that the bad guy comes and without further ado the player has to defeat him. The content hasn’t changed—it’s kind of a void.”

Loping across The Phantom Pain‘s hardscrabble Afghani-scapes, lighting on soldiers bantering about communism and capitalism, playing tapes of cohorts waxing philosophic about Salt II, Soviet scorched earth policies and African civil wars, questioning who I’m supposed to be—sporting metaphorical horn and tail, both hero and villain—all I know is that I’m going to miss the defiance, the daring, the controversy, the contradictions. This, given Kojima’s rumored breach with Konami and his own affirmations about leaving the series, is all but surely his last Metal Gear game, so it’s poetically fitting that it turned out to be his best.

5 out of 5

Reviewed on PlayStation 4

Read next: Here’s How to Upgrade Your PlayStation 4 Hard Drive

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TIME Music

Taylor Swift And Lisa Kudrow Sang ‘Smelly Cat’ Onstage And Everyone’s Head Exploded

Taylor Swift invited Lisa Kudrow onstage and they sang 'Smelly Cat' together, Phoebe's iconic song from 'Friends'

Taylor Swift has invited a bevy of famous friends onstage for her 1989 tour, from Serena Williams to Lorde to Ellen DeGeneres. But Wednesday night in Los Angeles, Tay-tay may have outdone herself: she invited Lisa Kudrow up for a duet of ‘Smelly Cat.’

That’s right, ‘Smelly Cat,’ the iconic coffee shop song written by Kudrow’s character Phoebe in Friends, has now gotten the Taylor Swift treatment. Is this a hint that Swift’s next album will be entirely covers of Phoebe’s other quirky Central Perk hits? A girl can dream.

Read next: The Creepy Alternate Ending for Friends That’s Gone Viral

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TIME

In The Latest Issue

Photograph By Platon For TIME Photographed for TIME on August 7, 2015 in New York City.

Stephen Colbert’s Night Vision
If anyone can put the edge back in late night, it’s him

The Price and Promise of Hillary Clinton’s Wobbly Summer
The Clintons have always been a high-wire act

Meet YouTube’s View Master
YouTube is the ultimate destination for kids on the Internet—and Susan Wojcicki plans to keep them hooked

Doctors on Life Support
Doctors are stressed, burned out, depressed, and when they suffer, so do their patients. Inside the movement to save the mental health of America’s doctors

Inside Vladimir Putin’s Circle
The dangerous rise of Kremlin hard-liners

Ted Cruz: Right Turns Only
The candidate’s radical plan to win the White House

The Fight Against Blood Diamonds Continues
It’s been 15 years since the global crackdown. But the industry is still tainted by conflict and misery

Everyone’s a Superhero at Marvel
The brand is winning new fans by bringing diversity to comic books

Best of Fall Arts

The Man Who Would Be Jobs
Michael Fassbender stars in a new biopic

A Founder of the Treasury Cashes in on Broadway
The new musical Hamilton has taken New York by storm

Ellen Page Comes Out a Fighter in Freeheld
The actress stars in a new movie about marriage equality

Inside the World of Ballet’s Tormented Swans
Flesh and Bone debuts on Starz

The Best of Fall Art
From Dutch treats and far-flung Pop to Picasso in 3-D

The Weeknd Gets Down and Dirty Atop the Charts
A new album, Beauty Behind the Madness, is out Aug. 28

Hosting My Own Podcast Taught Me a Lot About Myself
Including how to cry

9 Questions With Mindy Kaling
The creator and star of The Mindy Project talks about her new book, Why Not Me?, her dream guest star and the importance of two minutes

What Hasn’t Been Fixed Since the Last Market Crash?
A rout carries echoes of 2008

It’s a Deadly Summer for U.S. Cities
Inside the troubling numbers

Joe Biden Weighs One More Shot at the Job He Always Wanted
Will he or won’t he?

How to Prevent the Next Hurricane Katrina
Billions have been spent. It’s not enough.

Scott Walker Fights Back by Campaigning More Like Donald Trump
The candidate has become one of Trump’s many targets

8 Ideas Making Schools Better for Kids
Reforms from start-time to recess

The High Stakes of Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal
Predicting the likely fallout

The Empire City Burns Bright In a Major Debut Novel

Peculiar Patents

Sky Pool

Why the Dating Game Is Rigged–Against Women

Europe’s Struggle With Lone-Wolf Terrorists

Milestones

What You Said About …

Verbatim

Why Are Flight Prices So Low?
Airfare prices dipped 5.6% from June to July, the biggest monthly drop since 1995, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index. Three factors are driving the decline:

A Voice to Say, This Land Is My Land

America’s Drone Danger

Why We Work

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