Wednesday, December 22, 2010
First of all, I have never seen a more jealous and delusional fanbase than the C-Tina fanbase. The whole Legendtina thing when this girl has NOTHING WORTHWHILE for POP MUSIC since 2003(ironically, the year that Bey debut DIL), is sickening to my soul. But I don't even care about C-Tina really. She can flop all she wants or whatever. Sales don't make a great artist. I get that. And this blog is not for shading artists...this is all about Beyoncé.
But her fanbase that sickens me and after this thread: http://www.afterld.com/showthread.php?25361-What-do-you-think-about-quot-fake-quot-songwriters it's time that they get my wrath. Don't get mad because your girl is being seen as the "fake" that she is and don't have the respect that Beyoncé has right now. The Voice of this generation was a media creation and it is being exposed. About time. Anytime a "soprano"(I put that in quotes because she's NO ONE'S SOPRANO) even a mezzo can struggle with C5s is no one's voice of a generation. And to make matters worse some make a thread like this in obvious motive to shade Beyoncé mainly because she got the Pop Female Vocal Nomination that C-Tina stans were crying for, they want to make her into this great "songwriter" and that her lyrics are great. What?!!!!!!!!!!!!! Back 2 Basics were such lyrical masterpieces...especially Candy Man. Every speechwriter would be jealous of the lyrical style that is on that album. And don't even try to come for Bey's lyrics in songs because lyricism is not the reason why I *heart* Bey songs.
I almost feel like a fool wasting the pixels to do this because there is nothing to prove when it comes to Bey. Anyone who has any unbias will tell you that Bey's "lane" isn't lyricism, but arrangements and vocal arrangements especially. Some may not think that this is songwriting(only lyric-writing is) but arrangements is songwriting. I don't need Bey to be this great lyricist to prove her artistic greatness. Her ear alone is why she's the great vocalist that she is. She was the one composing DC's harmonic arrangements from the time she was a child (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flFkxzuuUQ4 ....look at the 1:20 mark) and she, for the most part, craft her background harmonic arrangements in her songs. Everyone knows this.
But since you pressed individuals want to come for Bey's artistic integrity in favor of that Madonna wanna-be whose think that "re-invention" is artistry, I guess I will post from ATRL(you know the site that some of you C-Tina stans tried to infiltrate the C-Tina vs Beyoncé vocal discussion thread that was made so that C-Tina could win and was posted on aLD.com. http://twitter.com/churchofxtina/status/16278720192978944 God, you're a pathetic crap of a stanbase).
Anyway, here is a poster on the another Beyoncé songwriting debate thread: I don't think Beyonce gets enough credit for her specific songwriting talent - rearranging. (In that way, she follows Madonna's lead - eat that Sats and MissTina!) Take Halo, for example - the demo version has this terrible, oddly placed and emotionally flat middle 8 - it just doesn't work. What Beyonce did, very wisely, is take that awful middle 8 out and let only her voice's echo fill the gap. THAT - the break before she comes back - is what gives the song its emotional wallop. She may not be a Lily or Amy or Gaga, being able to write both lyric and music - but she's damn sure better than the rest of her peers, who are either terrible, TERRIBLE lyricists (try listening to Back to Basics and not cringing REPEATEDLY) or, you know, not at all involved in any aspect. (fill in the blanks ...)http://atrl.net/forums/showthread.php?p=4029865#4029865
So shady(LOL!!!!). You see, Bey's strength is C-Tina's weakness, believe it or not. C-Tina's ear sucks compared to Bey. Bey could NEVER have a video like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0LFpdsmQNk and there are many more videos like this. You know why? Because Bey actually understands ADLIBBING WHILE STAYING IN THE METRIC STRUCTURE OF A SONG. She understands Chord Progression. She understand the art of tonal inflections and belting PROPERLY and having great DICTION. She can subtly change the rhythmic structure of a song like she did with Barbra's The Way We Were while keeping the overall vibe of the song. When Prince speaks of your musicianship from the aspect of being a great vocalist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfCIafZZx6I that's all that need to be said.
In fact, anytime I ask a Christina fan what instrument is phrasing vocally is...there are always crickets in the background and they have the nerve to come for Bey's artistic integrity? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!! *SMH* I can tell you being the fan that I am, that Bey's vocally phrases for the most part like a Brass Instrument. How she uses her vibrato, her inflections, her runs, how she uses her dynamics all come from that aspect. And her ad-libs, when she does ad-libs, are killers. Watch these videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3XMqcEAPOM and: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcDh2OYmlQ8&feature=related and even more importantly this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky0adn2v48Y
From the 1:50 mark and on...C-Tina could NEVER. Those Eb5s grunts and growls where Bey is calling and responding with Tia's Alto Sax would DESTROY C-Tina's LUNGS. I am sorry, C-Tina usually belts from the throat so it would be her esophagus. My bad. Anyway, just to note, I always KNEW that whenever Bey sings DIL, she phrased like an alto Saxophone vocally. When a vocalist has that kind of musicianship, why it is so hard for some to grasp that this is how she contributes to the composition of her songs? If you don't really know music, if you don't realize that arranging and re-arranging of songs is composition and therefore, "writing" songs then you need to shut up. Period. End of story.
BTW, this is the same site that you can't even make Bey threads on that site because the stanbase is so pressed on her and they have a Bey forum on it. Any Bey thread gets banned, but I guess they can't even follow their own rules, especially when it comes to shading her. Pathetic, just like the artist they stan for. So I am glad that C-Tina is flopping hard, just like she's doing for her new movie Burlesque(how can your movie flopped with CHER IN IT?!!!). If for nothing else, because of that horrific shell of a fanbase that C-Tina has. If I was her, I would never claim them especially since they have let her down in terms of buying her music. Instead of spending your time dissing Bey, put this much emphasis on promoting your girl and buying her music.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
As we all know, she is one hell of a performer(studio recordings are performances just as well as live concert performances) and she deserves every good that she gets. There are a lot of pressed people today and I will address them in a few moments. But before that, I just want bask in the glow. The fact that IASF is still getting kind of love over 2 years later, just shows that the IASF was truly a killer. Think about it: How many of us would have thought that this would happen?
Last year we were celebrating the 10 nominations and then the 6 Grammys. And now...this is just icing on the cake. Contrary to what people think...Bey gets a lot of love from her peers and the public as the VH1 100 Greatest Artists shown as it was voted on by her peers. And some stan bases can't deal with it. I feel their pain. Okay, I am lying. Not really. I would be a "gracious winner" but some of these stanbases have lost their minds.
Why is it that when their fave don't get "Grammy love", now the Grammys have become a joke? If you are really a fan of an artist's music, you don't actually care whether it gets nominated or not. I mean, I love Bey's music and even if it never got praised, I wouldn't care. I mean, it does gets its due but I love it regardless. And I am not going to call other artists names(Negroncé? Really?) just because my fave is not shining over them. It's juvenile, it's pathetic, it shows your life need a better perpective.
And another thing...and I say this all the time, for all those who are mad because Bey was nominated for her I Am Live version of Halo just as she was nominated last year for her studio version of Halo. Understand this...it goes to show you just what kind of state music is in and just for that reason....Bey deserves every accolade that she gets. Halo is one of the best vocal performances in pop music. Any Non-Operatic Mezzo Soprano who can move through from their chest and head voice as well as use their dynamics as fluidly as she did deserves the love it got. It's a beautiful, sweeping, dramatic ballad. And the live version, Bey did a great job with the lowered key, using her lower register to go lower than the original version(especially on the word sound, that part gets me every time). I always thought it was a great song and I am glad it is getting the love that it deserves.
But of course, instead seeing this, it's the old "Matthew buys votes" BS. There are 12,000 voters on the Committee. Matthew is only one of them and even artists who have been in the industry a long time get to vote on them. Saying these kind of arguments over and over again, makes you sound pressed, and pathetic. It's one thing to want your fave artist to get nominated but the world is still spinning on its axis. The stars is still in the sky. Music is still in existence. It's not the Apocalypse, ladies and gentlemen. If any of your faves didn't get nominated, they will get nominated soon.
I mean, to be honest, some of the Bey Party wished that her Sweet Dreams/DIL/Sweet Love live medley had been nominated in the Female R&B Vocal catalogue and I personally feel that the whole I Am DVD at the Wynn should have been at least nominated in the Contemporary R&B award category. But I will not cut my wrists over it. It's all good.
But all and all, it was a great day for the "BeyHive". *applause* I know that all you appreciate how special a time this is(as I do) and I hope this spirit continues. Have a great holiday season.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Well, you all see the title of the thread so you know the basis for this post: http://tvnz.co.nz/entertainment-news/lipgoss-beyonce-s-life-sucks-3918320 And let me tell you that the motivation for this thread is to get people to talk. And as we all know, the name of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter can draw blood on both sides. There is no middle ground, it's as bad as the Yankees vs the Red Sox. And the media knows these things which is why they trod out the same BS articles from before: She's preggo, the DC split, Rihanna vs Bey stan wars(that's bloggers' fave) and etc.
Nevertheless, my point is to address something that people need to understand: Just because you're famous, don't mean you automatically lose your humanity. In fact, and I am not one to qoute scripture from the Bible but it is appropiate in this case: To whom much is given, much is required.
There is a reason why some have riches and some do not and that's my opinion. If more people in the world would ponder things like Bey did in this article, then this world would be in a better place. A much better place.
BTW, if you read the context of that statement, you will see that the comment Bey made was from a place of gratitude anyway. Not complaining at all. How many of us have look at people who are in worse positions in life and say, "By the Grace of God, there go I"? It allows you to put things in perspective so you don't make the kind of choices that would lose those things which is why I believe Bey is here to stay in this industry. She gets it. That's where the comments of her saying that she will not lose herself when speaking of Lauryn, Mariah and Whitney are brought into perspective.
And then the author said, it's annoying to see a celeb "complain" about their lives. See, this is why I couldn't be a celeb because they can't win and get analyzed too much over the things they say. If they always talk about how blessed their lives are, then it's they are bragging too much because only a few people in live can have what they have, but then when they talk about their problems, then they are ungrateful and should shut up.
Here is the thing, I am one of those who could careless about an entertainers personal stand or things. For example: If my fave entertainer is a Republican, it won't make me vote the same way and vice-versa. Entertainers are that, entertainers to me and I don't know them to be a role model for me. Image is everything and articles like these are why. I remember Bey in an interview talking about people calling her fake during the Destiny's Child days and it's on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SURSjYhudtI She talked being happy all the time and she relates a story that she has told many times about someone close to her dying and she had to paste on a smile even after then because a kid asked for her autograph.
And I applaud her thinking like this because it shows she actually cares about her fans. And you can tell that's not an act because I remember the video when PETA did that dirty and low thing to make her look bad and you can tell Bey's face was "swoll"(mad for all those who aren't slang literate) but she kept her cool but looked genuinely sad when one of them talked about her being an bad example for her fans by wearing fur. Like I said, I try not to analyze her or any celeb like this, and I don't need her to be the nicest or "lady-like" to like her music. But what I am saying is that I believe that those things were geniune moments for the fans because remember, the girl don't have Twitter or Facebook and that moment is probably she don't do those things.
Well, as I said on Bwboard, you're not going to please everyone, when you're a celeb. Every person is not going to be a fan of yours. If it was up to me, every person would be a fan of hers because that's how talented she is and I can't understand how anyone can't see what she has meant to her craft. But it is what it is. However, the media has to stop the BS. Stop twisting things out of context for attention grabbing like this author was doing(Good job, author). Stop reaching for things that aren't there. I could say the thing that you just say about celebs complaining. Who are you, to tell a someone to complain or to speak for me in saying that we as a society don't want to hear a celeb "complain".
I am not the most intelligent man in the world but I do know every person is not going to be happy every moment whether with riches or in poverty. That when an entertainer is off that stage, they go through things just like I do and a lot of times, it's even harder because many people are jealous of what you have and can't wait to see you fail. It's misery loves company and "craps in a barrel" and yes, the media will play off that too if it will get them ratings. There are a lot of jealous, pathetic losers that will vent on celebs because of their jealousy and again, the media know this.
But one of these days, I would love to people to use common sense, see the games that the media play and put aside their viewpoint of a particular celeb so that can know that they are manipulated to think a certain way. To view them in this way and they think that they have the power to make you or break you. But the beautiful thing is, my fave knows this and no matter how many games that are played by the media, as I said, she is here to stay and the moment that the media knows that they are her foostool, then they just might stop looking as foolish as they do making these kinds of article. Nah, maybe not. Anyway, I hope everyone's Thanksgiving Holiday was great and I hope that all of you are looking forward to the I...Am Tour DVD as I am.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
When you see the content of my entry, it will become crystal clear why I titled this as I did. One of the things that is my passion is history and especially the history of music and entertainment. Especially mainstream entertainment. For as long as the industry has been in existed, there has always been the dynamic of the older established veteran artist/entertainer being pitted against the younger one. For example, the media back in the day tried to pit Lena Horne vs. Dorothy Dandridge against each other as if both of them couldn't be stars at the same time. This is done to black female stars all the time. So with that in mind, let me set the stage for the beginning of the Janet/Beyoncé stan wars.
Beyoncé was coming off the DIL and Destiny's Fulfilled Era, and was about to release the album that I consider the standard of "Hip Pop Soul"(B'day). Meanwhile, Janet was coming off the backlash of what happened at the Super Bowl Halftime performance in ironically, Bey's Hometown, Houston. We all know what happened. It's a date that will live in infamy. But Janet had not released any music from that time until 20 Y.O.
They were both going to be released around the same time, and a certain man, a record label executive who was the boyfriend of Janet said things that would set the tone for that whole era in a bad way: "Only Janet records sound like her. I always look and think where is Beyoncé going to be in 20 years? It's hard for me to visualize. I don't put them on the same plane. "
Now to be fair, he went in on Britney and Christina too. But what was the point of mentioning all three of them especially Beyoncé? Think about this for a minute, Bey had already proven her potential for longevity with the fact that she had already been in the industry for a decade going back to 1997 with Destiny's Child. But let's take it even further, this girl has been performing(like Janet) since she was 7. She was on Star Search at 12 and Monica said so eloquently in detail of her relationship with Bey, already had a recording deal with Darryl Simmons and Electra Records before DC's deal with Sony/Columbia records.
Bey was no overnight success, this was a girl who worked and worked to get where she was at the point of the B'day era. And JD knew ALL of this. Which is why what he said was so baffling. It made him seem pressed and desparate. And what it did create an unnecessary stan war that has been going on to this day and set the tone for how he would ruin everything that Janet built up that point. And I will get into how pretty much destroyed her but the thing that makes me love Bey so much was her classy responses in the aftermath of Jermaine's tomfoolery.
We all know how when Angie Martinez in an audio interview with her asked her about JD's comments how she said that famous comment in the speaking voice that all Bey Party members love to hear: God bless you, Jermaine. How can't you not love her? *Chuckles* Anyway, after all of this, she said that Janet was not her peer, that Janet was above her and spoke on her were her peers. Then, she did subsequent Ring The Alarm performances with Rhythm Nation Nods in the performance. Not to mention, she also has Frank Gatson as her choreographer who all Jackson stans know was a choregrapher for Janet and her big bro[I don't need to speak his name, you know who I am talking about].
So if there is anyone who understands and respects the Jackson legacy, it's Beyoncé Gisselle Knowles-Carter. That's why her comments about Joe Jackson in distinguishing the differences between her dad and Joe shouldn't have been taken offense by Janet stans especially in light of the relationship between him and the Jackson children which is on record. Even Sandra Rose who has built her blogging career off of hating Bey even acknowledge what Bey's intent was: (http://www.sandrarose.com/2008/12/in-defense-of-beyonce/) So if there is any artist who should been given the benefit of the doubt by the JanHova Stan base, it should be Beyoncé.
Of course, the stan war got too deep then...with some Bey Party Members who are going to defend Bey when someone "comes for her wig" retaliating and then Jan stans doing the them. But the thing I need to tell Janet stans everywhere is that this dynamic is part of the legacy that Jermaine created. It's a legacy that Janet have finally gotten rid of(Praise the Lord!!!!). So with that in mind, why not push that aside that nasty part of it too? I am willing to extend a olive branch to all of the Janet stan base knowing that not all who don't like Bey are going to take it, but at the least give some who don't something to ponder.
As I said, I am going to get into the Jermaine Dupri Curse and how it affected Janet to the point where she is now. I just mention the foolish comments he made about Bey in an effort to create a war for the sole purpose of promotion. Then he tried to completely urbanize her. What?!!!! Yes, Janet is a legend especially when it comes to Urban Pop. She has classic in that genre that has and will forever stand the test of time. In fact, and this is coming a Bey stan who love this album, but I view RN1812 being better than B'day and as you can see in an earlier paragraph, I proclaimed B'day as the standard for "Hip Pop Soul". So that right there should tell of what I think of Janet's brilliance over the years. In fact, I find it a crime that Janet was not on the VH1 100 Greatest Artists list. Just criminal. She's one of the greatest video artists of all time and her sound is even a nice little template for Bey and DC to build off because she was the standard for Urban Pop. To have Madonna on the list and not her counterpart, Janet was indeed should be a misdemeanor at the least.
Many would disagree with me, but I don't feel the Super Bowl incident would have affected her as affected her as much. Janet even in her military suit wearing days all straddle the line with her sexuality. My fave songs from her are songs where she's taking it there. I have a confession to make: Hearing Janet Jackson speak in French with her soft, girlish voice is very erotic, I have to admit. It's one of the reasons why Funny How Time Flies is my fave Janet song of all time. So sexuality and Janet is nothing new. She was straddling further and further by the time of the Super Bowl incident but a lot of music/entertainment fans was heated when Janet got all that bad publicity and Justin got nothing as if he wasn't there.
So in 2006, this is two--in fact--almost 3 years later. Even if Janet wasn't going to move the number of units that she did with Control and RN1812(no one is doing that these days even back in 2006), she could still establish herself as a force for Urban Pop with her strong fan base. Then Call on Me was released as the first single. Bad move. The worst. Because even though Janet had an Urban Influence in her sound[her bro is MJ, so that's understandable] but she is pop. Janet does not have the timbre/voice to do what Bey has been doing with her sound her whole career. Bey's sound is Aretha Franklin-esqe rhythmic vocal stylings bringing the funk with an interpretative flair, that's not Janet's style. With that in mind, Bey can bring more urban/ hip hop swag and make it more believable than Janet ever could. And yes, I do know about the song she did with Q-Tip but that's a song that is still different than what Bey does with her sound. Janet could never do B'day. Never!!!!
That's the truth, Janhova stans and this is not me saying as a Bey Party Member saying this. Look at this blog comment: There is a world of difference between a good soul singer, and a good funk singer. Mariah Carey, for example, is a good sweet sould singer, but if she were to start grunting into the mic and demanding snare kicks from the drummer, her people would rush the stage within seconds to take her off to the mad house. Presumed breakdown. She hasn't got the Funk. Sadly, neither of today's fine young singers, with the possible exceptions of Mary J., Beth Ditto and Beyonce, and that's about it. Even the greatest soul singer of them all, Aretha Franklin, don't quite have the funk chops to be a bold soul sister.
So you see, that's not the Janet sound even though she is one of the rhythmic dance artists of all time. To completely Urbanize Janet was the most foolish thing that JD ever did with her. It turned off many Janet stans who loved her from the time she was singing Control at 17, it made her seem as if she was trying to compete with the very ones that Jermaine attacked in order to build Janet as the Icon and legend that we already knew she was. He didn't have to say or do anything. If anything, he turned the Janet buying public off with what he did.
Then by the time Janet put out Discipline(not a bad album at all), she was already in a funk(no pun intended) that the point that she has not quite recover from. But the thing is, even with that, her legacy speaks for itself. One thing about the Bey Party, we respect the legends. We don't come at their wig. Why is that? Because we respect what they meant to music and entertainment. We don't attack them to build Bey up. We don't have to. We understand her place in the industry and the lane in which she has made for herself. So why, would we come at Janet, who most of us would consider a legend and icon?
It all goes back to 2006 and the JD comments. It gave some who probably wanted a reason to go at Jan's wig, especially with both artists releasing at the same time, that green-light to do so and then instead of both stan bases basking in the fruit of both of their legacies, we go at each other's throats. It's ridiculous. They aren't of the same generation or peer group. Janet was entertaining before Bey was born. As a stan, I know this and respect it. So I would never call Janet names like Trannet or anything of that nature.
I respect the Jackson legacy with true reverence. I know not everyone does, but I do. And with that respect and understanding, I have to state this as honest as I can: Bey will take the Jackson legacy further than Janet could ever do it. It is what it is. And it's not about sales, or even popularity but the impact that an artist has on their craft for years to come. To make this point clear, Bey's DVD is produced, directed and edited by her. She has the kind of control of her career that MJ would want every artist to have. Not to mention, Bey has youth on her side; the talent; and more importantly, the history of knowing the past so that she can shape its future.
And if you're an honest Janet stan, you're ok with this. Who else could do this, if Janet couldn't do it. Bey is a daughter of the legacy that the Jackson set forth. Her sound is the 2000s, she's to that decade what the Beatles and Motown(a legacy that helped to shape the Jacksons) to the 60s. If you're not convinced, look at my entry on Beyonce and Electro Pop and you see what I am talking about. I can say these things confidently. They are both legends even if they aren't of the same generation. So let's bury the hatchet and make a truce. I hope that Janhova stans will accept this entry in the spirit given.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Where [have] I been? I wanna hear from the young people. [It's] easy for me to complain about this techno-pop cause I have a taste for something else. But how do YOU feel? I definitely don’t want to offend anyone. Young people, I know this is the music of your generation. These rappers ought to be ashamed of their damn selves. I’m talking about the mc’ s rappin over this pop techno music. I believe in pimpin the system [but] got DAMN! Not like this!”http://twitter.com/FATBELLYBELLA
Okay, Erica, tell us how you really feel about artists, labels and the dynamics of techno-pop. *chuckles* Anyway, with comments like this, I feel to make a long post that will probably make you feel like you're reading a distertation or thesis. Oh well, that's how I do it sometimes. But anyways, these comments had me thinking especially remember all those discussions of Bey's upcoming 4th album as well as her last album era where she did in fact record Electro Pop songs on it, like Radio, Why Don't You Love Me? and Sweet Dreams and as well as unreleased songs like Control.
Now, I have spoken my mind on her doing songs like that and I kind of lukewarm about it because yes, electro-pop has become a fad and it's already enough that some think Bey will do record anything and do anything to "keep her relevant" in the spotlight. Even make-up preggo stories about herself, like some tried to insinuate after another irresponsible gossip report was made and then back-tracked to make Bey jealous of Alicia Keys who just had a baby(Congrats to her, btw). Unbelievable. So with everything about her being scrutinized, I wasn't sure about this and especially since Bey is The Standard-Bearing Artist of Contemporary R&B.
Nevertheless, as I saw on a blogger's post on Erykah's comments some educated Bey stans explained that Bey was doing this before the "electro-pop" craze began and they are right. I remember Bey doing a Ring The Alarm remix by the Freemasons who we all know are a big part of why Electro Pop is in Urban Music. This is way back in 2006. Then also, Bey has also done dance remixes of songs which is one of the reason why Bey was 2nd in the Decade End Billboard Dance Charts behind Madonna(http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/charts/decadeendcharts/chart_display.jsp?&f=Dance/Club+Play+Artists&g=Decade-end+Artists), having 14 # 1s on the dance charts in the decade and FYI, as you can see, artists like MJB and Whitney are also on this chart also so Urban Dance Music is a big part of the industry. Like it or not.
But I won't even get into her solo catalogue. Nope. Instead, I will take it back further than that and give a nice little history lesson in the process. Yep, all the way back to Destiny's Child. Yep, all the way back to the No, No, No remix back in 1997. We all know how big a song that was, and that song pretty much launch DC into the powerhouse group that we know them to be(whether as DC4 or DC3 later). Then we all know about the Classic Album known as Writings On the Wall which stamped Destiny's Child imprint on the industry and in music/entertainment. What people don't fully realize is: Just how massively influential their sound is for the music of today. For R&B and Pop music, especially today's pop music. Now as we also know, TWOTW wasn't pretty dominantly Uptempo Dance Album. But their singles especially are a big part of the reason why dance pop is how it is today.
How? Look at how artists, artists like Justin Timberlake, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguliera and Britney Spears tried to a more edgier, urban sound to their music. Especially JT, CA and Britney. Justin came from a boy band which was not super edgy at all. But by 2002, you see him hooking up with The Neptunes to get a more edgy sound to separate what he did with N'Sync. No coincidence there. Christina's first album was very "Celine-ish". Next album, here she is trying to be edgy to go along with her Sex Kitten image for the album era using a more Urban sound to give her that edge. Look at even Pink. She came into the industry with an R&B sound who she said was forced on her. Now keep in mind she was trying to make into the industry being part of a group that was Contemporary R&B in their sound, but now she's not doing that.
Then look at Lady Gaga. If you listen to many critics, it's like she discovered the Holy Grail and bringing Dance Pop back into the mainstream. Umm, ladies and gentleman. Keep in mind that the person who help to craft her image and sound is a man who worked with Destiny's Child Himself almost a decade earlier, in fact on one of their biggest songs(Bootylicious), Rob Fusari. We all know the drama that happened a few months ago, with his comments about Matthew and Lady Gaga but the thing that everyone needs to know is that he's a big part in helping to craft the sound that Destiny's Child brought not only with TWOTW but with Survivor also. It is no coincidence that Telephone, a song with Bey featured in it, is ironically produced by Rodney Jerkins who produced, Say My Name. Look at how many producers, especially Urban Producers who dabbling with Euro-pop, Techno-Pop Sound. That's not a coincidence, people. This is the legacy of Bey/DC, which is why I will always love this quote from the BlackYouthProject speaking on Bey's artistic contribution to the industry: (Musically, Beyonce’s best work takes the Hip Hop-meets-60’s soul sound pioneered by Lauryn Hill, and makes it danceable, club-ready, and pop-oriented. http://www.blackyouthproject.com/blog/2010/02/no-passengers-on-her-plane-beyonce/)
In fact, the comments before that explains my blog post even further: The genius of Beyonce, as with any great artist, begins with the aspects of her music that have stylistically set her apart, and thus influenced her peers. Like Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill before her, Beyonce mixes Soul and R&B with elements of Hip Hop in a way that is neither forced nor haphazard. She can move seamlessly and assuredly between both aesthetically, attaining a certain level of believability that someone like Amerie never seems to reach in that arena. The core of what makes Beyonce’s take on Hip Hop/Soul so unique is her hiccupping, rapid-fire vocal style. Rather than going the Mary J. route, and basically utilizing a classically Soulful vocal style over Hip Hop-inflected beats, or the L-Boogie route, and both singing and rapping masterfully (but separately), Beyonce combines the two, delivering her soulful, R&B vocals in a stuttering, rhythmic fashion that almost sounds like rapping.
The impact of what she and DC made on the industry is this, it combined the Urban sound, something MJ did similarly with Off The Wall and Thriller, brought it to the Clubs which is part of how Uptempo songs become hits because DJs spin those songs and now mainstream artists who wanted to get hits had to get to Urban Producers to give their sound more edge to either keep their demographic and expand their demographic. In fact, DC was so big at one point that Tommy Matolla, who is known for "legal payola" didn't do that for them because he felt that they didn't need it and he wanted to teach indie stations a lesson because he had beef with them. Which is one of the reason why Bootylicious was only #1 for two weeks even though it was such a big song on the radio and we all know how big Bey's songs are on radio: In May 2001, Columbia Records declared that itwould curb indie payments on behalf of the new single “Bootylicious”from the girl group phenomenon Destiny’s Child. 167 Albeit a minordistinction, the label declared that it would pay the minimum $1,000 toindies whose radio stations were in the large markets, but it would refuse topay indies for the adds in “smaller-market stations.”168 The result of Columbia’s risky endeavor was that two weeks after pop-sensation Destiny’s Child released the “Bootylicious” single, 113 pop stations addedthe song to their playlists. 169 However, the 113 stations playing the“Bootylicious” single was a drop off from the 150 radio stations that wereplaying Destiny’s Child’s prior single “Survivor” two weeks after thatsong’s release only a few months earlier. 170 It was speculated that“Bootylicious” was kept off the air in markets where indies still maintainexceptional influence as retaliation against Columbia’s move to limitindependent promotion. 171 Despite Destiny’s Child’s popularity, Columbia’s decision to limit theuse of indies in such a fashion is virtually unheard of. 172 Some industry insiders speculated that Columbia made this move to test the waters for a challenge to the future of independent promoters. 173 Although“Bootylicious” did incredibly well on the radio, the drop off of nearly fortystations adding the song to the station rotation is a sobering reminder of the power that indies exercise over the industry. Furthermore, the somewhat successful curtailment of indie promotion for artists as popular as Destiny’sChild do not reflect the likely outcome if other less popular artists fail topay indie fees. 174
So even though Britney and artists in her lane sold more than TWOTW and Survivor in that time period[keep in mind that DC was Billboard Artist of the Year in 2000 and 2001, though], yet if these artists wanted to do well on the charts, they were going to do their thing on the Urban/Rhythmic Charts to keep their success. Is it a wonder that Britney stans always complain about some of her "Urban" Songs don't get the spins on those formats that Bey and even Rihanna don't get? Think about it: As many albums and records that Britney has sold in her career, you would think that her stans could care less about that because it has worked for her all of these years. Gaga stans care more about her songs being #1 on Pop than anything else. Why? Because they know her lane and Gaga still tries to expand her demographic audience through Urban Music which is why I mentioned Rob Fusari in the first place.
Not only this, look at the top 10 artists on Billboard's Artist of the Decade charts. 9 of the 10 are Urban Based artists in their sound as I have said before, so it's no deep mystery to say that Urban Music dominated the decade. It's why artists like Fergie, Christina, Nicole Scherzinger, Nelly Furtado, and etc all experiment with the Urban Sound. If anything, Urban Music is the reason why Electro-Pop is out in the forefront in R&B/Pop and Pop Music period. It's the thing that Grace Jones wanted to do, it's what Jody Watley wanted to do with New Jack Swing, it's what Paula Abdul wanted to do and even what Prince really wanted to do with Vanity and Appolonia on a smaller level. And the reason why DC was able to get it done because not only was the production in that area was strong, but the vocal arrangements and even more importantly, the performing was on point. Not to mention, that package appealed to the younger generation which has grown with Bey, Kelly and Michelle(and yes, Bey is much bigger than both of them but they both have fans). In fact, LeToya benefits from her time with DC. So artists(even the big young pop artists from that time period) who wanted to get a piece of it had to get a piece of what DC did in order to keep their success and last in the industry.
So what does that all means? It means that the critics fail when they talk about Bey jumping on a bandwagon with regards to Electro Pop. DC is the reason why Electro Pop exists. To make this point further...when I first heard DC4 and No, No, No and other songs with this sound afterwards, I hated them. I thought of them as gimmicky as Das EFX; Bones, Thugs and Harmony; and Nelly. And they were bringing this sound to R&B? And yes, I know that Mariah did the rap singing style with BT&H, but I looked at that like I did with Biggie recording with the same group, like it was a novelty. With my 90s thinking of what R&B was to sound like, even Uptempo songs(remember, Teddy Riley was extremely influently with his New Jack Swing sound and female artists who did it, the sound was called New Jill which set the stage for MJB's sound). I was wrong. DC and their team was genius and then they had the nerve when they could have just keep that sound, like the artists I named because it was such a success for them, they switched up, put a variety of sounds that has shaped Today's Contemporary R&B.
So with that in mind, as much as I am not really enthused about Electro Pop as a whole, I can deal with Bey especially doing a electro pop song or two, next album era. Like it or not, it's part of Urban Music and Pop Music in general. Actually, what I would love for her to do is bring Suga Mama into the studio and put some real ascoustic instrumentation along with the electronic sound. Watch how that works. Look at this article in which the author talks about contemporary R&B and why he has a hard time getting into it: I’ve been slow to warm to much contemporary R&B. I tend to gravitate toward the genre’s past, when a group of people sat in a studio with instruments and played them while a singer gave voice to the song. (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/6841971.html) As some might know, this was an article about Bey and this author even with everything he said about Contemporary R&B, he is much more open to Bey than any other contemporary R&B artist.
Look at the fact that Bey submitted her Live DVD at the Wynn for to be nominated in Contemporary R&B. This is a good thing and I am rooting for it to get nominated and win. Not just because I am a member of the "BeyParty" but also because Contemporary R&B needs this. All of you remember in my blog the quote from The Guardian where the interview was so amazed at how raw Bey's performances are and Bey's comments toward that. My thing is not to attack Electro-pop and the fact that it is so successful. Electro-Pop actually has more edge than your typical dance-pop song from the 80s. No, what I would like to see is what Bey did with Why Don't You love Me? That song is electro-pop but that song has edge. Solo, the Bama Boys and Bey did an awesome job of bringing a funky Urban swag to that song that pretty much no one in her age group can do. If Gloria Gaynor, a woman who in the 60s was in the "Chitlin Circuit" doing Classic R&B did disco and that song is her singature song then Bey, a woman who is big part of what Urban Dance is what it is today, can and should do it if that she wants to do. Thank you for reading this. I know the length of this blog probably testing your patience, but I had a lot on my mind and I hadn't blogged in a while. I hope that everyone have a great weekend.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
First of all, I am tired of seeing bloggers exploiting you and Aaliyah's death by whipping you into a frenzy whenever they ask questions like, "If Aaliyah was alive, would be Beyoncé be a big superstar?" You all fall for it: Hook, line and sinker. NONE of you even think,"Why is the point of having this question, a decade after her death? Wouldn't it be better to celebrate her music and legacy and appreciating that? Rather than debating what would haves and could have." I would agree with you. Especially being a fan myself. But I know it's not intelligent Aaliyah fans thinking this way. It's pressed Aaliyah "fans" some of them probably not even real fans. Only because fans after her death or even worse using Aaliyah to bash Beyoncé.
I could get into the fact that Bey, as being part of DC, was much more mainstream than Aaliyah ever could be. I also could get into the fact, for all of those silly misguided ones who said the only reason Bey was a success as a solo artist is because people were looking for someone to fill the void that Aaliyah left, that when Bey blew up as a solo artist, she wasn't even a solo artist. Nope, she was still apart of DC when that happen and all of them went "solo". It wasn't about Bey becoming a big solo artist. It was about the Destiny's Child brand and Bey blew up bigger than anyone would have imagined her to.
It wasn't until DC disbanded was when Bey "officially" became a "true" solo artist. Why do you think Michelle did Gospel, Kelly did the Urban/Alternative and Bey had the more commercial sound out of the other 3 when they were still apart of DC? Everything they did was about the success and the expansion of the group. Aaliyah, dead or alive, would have had nothing to do with what happened for Bey during the DIL era because Bey was Destined(yes, pun intended) to be the star that she is.
And any Aaliyah stan who wants to debate how Liyah's music is much more "substantial" in that Bey is...is going to look stupid. Lyrical Depth is not exactly Aaliyah's strength when it comes to her music. And I am a fan of her music saying that.
I mean, I said more than I really wanted on this to while not getting deep into why delving into why Beyoncé would have the career that she has if Aaliyah is alive. But I could drop all of these facts and it would not mean nothing to some of you because it masks a bigger problem. To me, it is seems that you're jealous of Bey's success and for no reason. I have seen some of you, while foaming at the mouth like you're possessed by a demon, wished Beyoncé was on the plane that crash rather than Aaliyah. Sick!!!! Really sick!!!! Not liking someone's music is one thing. Wishing death on them, is very extreme and a horrible thing to do. Surely, you can't be that passionate over Aaliyah to wish death on Bey because you wish that Aaliyah had the same mainstream success that Bey has now. Come on, now!!!
And don't blame the Beyhive(the Bey Stan Base) for your behavior. I know for a fact that the Liyah stan base go at it with Brandy and Monica stans and I have never seen any member of your stan base wish that it was Brandy or Monica on the plane rather than Liyah. There is no excuse. Absolutely, none. No matter how much I don't like an artist's music, going that far is way too extreme. I love music but it's not that serious. And normally, I wouldn't even bother addressing this kind of behavior but...it's sad that whenever the anniversary of Aaliyah comes around, these are the topics that bloggers use to pull you Aaliyah stans in because you can't let it go.
Aaliyah is dead, as sad as it is, she's dead. It wasn't meant for her to have the kind of success that some of you covet for her. And it's stupid to hate on Bey because of it. Let it go!!! Celebrate her music, her memory and appreciate what she was about as an artist and I say as an artist because most people don't know what she was about as a person. We didn't know her personally, but the art could and should be appreciated. I think that where Aaliyah is...I don't think she would care less about fame and music legacy and status. Thank you to all who have read this.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Now I don't know about you...but as I have said many times, I love all kinds of music. Ballads, Mid and Up-tempos from a huge variety of genres. It's not serious that a song has to be the deepest lyrically to be a great or classic song. Musical Production>>>>>>Lyrical Content. If the music production is bad, it makes the lyrical content seem worse. If it is bad. And the worst lyrics can be "hidden" with great melodies and production. They are songs, not theses and State of the Union speeches.
Now keep in mind that if we go through Bey's catalogue, she actually have more ballads than even uptempos. That's a big stereotype with Bey's music. That she's all catchy anthems. Forgetting that she has gone into the top 5 with Ballads, Mids and Uptempos. But yes, it is a stereotype of hers.
I mean, look at now. Bey has already attracted producers of genres for the next album and even though you have the familiar producers, you have producers like The Script and Kevin Barnes from Of Montreal wanting to work with her. So who knows what Bey will do next album with her sound? We can guess and speculate but unless we aren't in the studio, no one knows.
But I think we should give the Queen of Pop & Soul the benefit of the doubt. I don't think she has anything to prove. She's a staple in her craft, nothing will take away from that. I want the best album Bey has to offer, but not to make her legacy bigger. But because she has the talent to do nothing less. I mean, with what's out there in Radio Land, do we have any choice but to give Bey the benefit of the doubt?
Friday, August 27, 2010
First of all, congrats to everyone on the list. This list was made by people who are actually in the industry so this shows the respect that these artists have in the industry, both past artists and contemporary artists. Making a list of only 100 greatest acts when there have been 1000s of great acts that have entered the industry is hard. So many genres to choose from.
With that in mind, when lists like these are made, it is usually the 60s-early 90s artists who get respect that contemporary artists won't. Don't get me wrong, these acts longevity and their work have influenced the music that is out today. Okay, I get that. So there won't be much contemporary acts on lists like these. That's the way it goes. And BTW, there are many acts who should have been on the list but were not. Bob Marley not on the list? Barbra Streisand not on the list? Only 11 women on this list? Strange.
However, my problem is that people complain about the comtemporary acts that are on the list. Especially Bey and Jay. It's okay that people want to remember the geniuses of the past and give them their due but ladies and gentleman, both of them are great in the lanes that they are in and big, make that huge influences on the artists of today in their genres. I have said this many times on this blog: Bey/DC is the Sound of the '00s. Contemporary R&B which is a huge part of today's sound is made in her image. That's one of the many reasons why she's the only 3 time Best Contemporary R&B Album Grammy Winner. To diss her credentials for being on this list, whether you like her music or not is silly IMO.
If Contemporary Artists are going to be on it, she should be on it. Like it or not. And as for Jay, the man has more #1s than Elvis and Elvis is always on lists like these. Think about that, people. He has classic albums for Hip Hop, so many it would take me all day to speak on that. I would never defend Bey's husband on here. I am a fan of Bey, first. However, Jay not getting the respect he deserves as an artist after what he has done for his genre is sad. Even if he is not the Greatest MC alive, he's on the short list and if Hip Hop is a viable, respected genre then he should be on this list. Any Hip Hop who wants to be mainstream(and I understand a lot of hip hop heads don't like that) are influenced in some way by Mr. Carter. Like it or not. And this is coming from a Hip Hop fanatic, who knows underground acts as well as mainstream ones, who grew up watching "Beat Street".
But it goes back to my question: When will contemporary artists get more respect? Music didn't die in the early 90s. The industry is still past that era, people. And music will continue to go on until the world ends or whatever. The artists that are coming into the industry aren't just influenced by music from the jazz/blues era to the Michael Jackson, Whitney, Mariah, Mary, and etc era. There were artists, artists who have been in the industry over a decade, from the 90s who are still making music and influence the generation of new artists that are coming out today. That's why I understood it in one MB site that I go to when she said she was up in arms over Bey's spot. At first, I thought: Okay, she's contemporary and older acts gets more due than younger ones. But then I asked why especially consider how much the younger artists has contributed to the industry already? I got what the poster was saying, finally. Why that much deference toward to older acts? Just because it's older don't mean it is better.
Anyways, I don't even consider Bey with those artists, I put her above them because she's been doing this since the 90s. Toni B. set people str8 in the interview in which she also set people str8 on who is more talented between Ciara, Bey and Rihanna with this very thing.(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IurMgMOmo08). She and Jay and artists like her have the respect of the industry and that's all the matters because they usually know more then critics and the posters on MBs who think that if they name drop older artists that makes them musically educated.
The real question is should be, Why don't female artists don't get the respect that they deserve? Why did only 11 female acts get on the list in the first place. Seems to me that Sasha Frere Jones is right: Young black female singers rarely get past the red rope and into the Genius Lounge—the moody, the male, and the dead crowd that room. ( http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/musical/2009/02/09/090209crmu_music_frerejones?currentPage=all#ixzz0xq3hM0eH) I know that change is slow, but it seems to me that female artists still aren't given the respect that they deserve. Yet, instead of the fan bases of female artists arguing over the merit of the ones who are on it, they should complain about this. But the beautiful thing is I believe that this attitude is slowly changing and female artists like Beyoncé are helping to make it happen. Hopefully, people will see this and give contemporary artists like her the due that they deserve. I am proud of her and I hope that she always get the respect that the industry has obviously given her.
Monday, August 23, 2010
1. Christina fans using the Rolling Stone argument to support their position: It's the #1 pet peeve I have. For one, it's a subjective list made by journalists and people who work with Rolling Stone that used artists to praise their choices. Also, any list that don't have Barbra Streisand on it, and this is supposed to be the "Bible" of the music industry, isn't credible at all. Think about it: Mariah and Whitney are on the list[BTW, C-Tina is rated over Mariah on their list, that alone is pathetic.] and Babs influenced both of them. Yet, she's not on that list. There wouldn't be artists singing "power pop ballads" without Babs blazing that trail. Not to mention, she's one of the greatest technical female singers of all time. Her belts are free without any tension, her tone is one of the most resonant tones in all of modern mainstream music and her musicianship and interpreting of the music that she does is impeccible. She may not do all the adlibbing, melismatic phrasing, howling and wailing but her sincerity to her craft is undeniable. I would say the same thing if Bey was on the list and not C-Tina if Babs was omitted from it. For example, on a youtube video, though many Bey stans disagreed with me, I said that Bey is the bottom half of the top 50 to the top 75 range of female vocalists of modern mainstream music history(any genre, excluding opera/non-secular music). I would put Babs over Bey without hesitation. My fandom doesn't cloud my objectivity. Nor I am one who believe that contemporary artists are always inferior to old school artists. Fair is fair. C-Tina does not have the impact on artists or on the industry as a whole as Babs. To exclude Babs from that list, but have C-Tina on it is a criminal act and every objective music fan would agree with me.
2. "She's a White Girl with A black Girl voice": This argument in itself is pathetic on the whole. It's a sad day in music history that it has to be addressed. My 2nd fave female artists of all time is Teena Marie. She's one of the great soul singers of her time and she's white. Then there are other great white soul singers like, Michael McDonald, Janis Joplin(who was influenced by Bessie Smith, the Empress of Blues), Darryl Hall(Hall & Oates) and many others. I give cred to Adele in terms of contemporary soul artists. I don't feel that an artist has to growl and wail to have soul credibility, yet since C-Tina does these things, it adds to her soul credibility. Not to mention her skin-color. The Blue Eyed Soul dynamic is a long discussion in of itself and C-Tina gets those kind of comments. Here is one small problem: She's Latina not White. There are many soulful Latino/Latina artists and performers. Great in their lanes and have contributed to music and entertainment. Also, C-Tina is as pop as Bey is, in fact more so. When she tries to tackle "soul music", she fails. Why? Because she makes her voice and her ego bigger than the music. Take the James Brown cover at the Grammys. That whole performances was about how many runs she could do, and trying to prove that she's indeed a soul singer. She failed!!!! That high pitched howl that she did? Double Fail!!! James didn't even do that for the original composition and even when he did those things, they were within the frame work of the music. C-Tina seemed not to understand that. She just tried to mimic him instead, and even though the performance as a whole wasn't boring, her doing that took away from what the performance was about: Him. And don't use, "Well, Bey growls and wails too" argument. That fails also. Bey does it for interpretative purposes, and she don't always approach her belts that way. Also, Bey has done authentic and sincere compositions of funk inspired music. Bey and Funk(James Brown's genre) is a match made in heaven. Everyone knows this. C-Tina could never ever do what Bey did at the beginning of CIL on the I AM DVD, and Bey's voice was tired so her tone wasn't even as on point as it normally is. No matter how much wailing and growling she does. One last thing, C-Tina makes her tone sound bigger than what it really is. Her tone thins when she belts, for various reasons, and she makes her mid voice tone bigger to compensate for that so that she have that burly, gospelesqe tone but having that tone alone don't make a soul singer. Tammi Terrell has a light tone, but she had more understanding of soul music and executed way better than C-Tina would ever think to be able to.
3. It's accepted that C-Tina is "The Voice of This Generation in this industry: To me, this is one of the worst arguments of all. For one, about a decade ago when she was competing with the Britneys, the Jessicas, Mandy Moores, her label along with the media push this and so it's the perception that she is indeed, the Voice of this Generation. And yes, C-Tina does get praise for her voice. So does others in the industry, including Beyoncé. I saw on a site that C-Tina gets respect from her peers with her vocals that Beyoncé does not. I did this *blank stare* and *SMH*. Not that I need her peers opinion, Bey gets love across the board in the industry for what she does vocally. From Prince, Patti, Aretha, Smokie, Toni Braxton, Charlie Watts (from Rolling Stones, the group) to name a few from many artists, from numerous producers, critics, and etc, her vocals get numerous love. Not everyone in the industry thinks that C-Tina is the best vocalist of her age group, that's a subjective thing and something that's not stable because one minute you get praised and the next, that same artist might fall off. Both of them have gotten their props as singers/vocalists.
Okay, I know this is a long entry, but I had a lot to get off my chest today. I am a Bey fan and I love her vocals, but I am very objective toward certain things. I know that not everyone is going to like her and that's fine. I also understand her place in music history. Instead of C-Tina fans holding on to titles given a decade ago, they need to hold C-Tina to a higher standard than the music and vocal skills that she has produced especially in the last 5 years. She is squandering her potential, and hopefully her newest album not living up to expectation will allow her to see this. If she wants to truly prove her gift as a vocalist, she needs to go back to the drawing board and do whatever necessary apart from Auto-Tune to fulfill that potential.
Monday, August 16, 2010
One of the things I find is the double standard when it comes to R&B singers and Hip Hop Artists with anything. It's acceptable for Hip Hop Artists to "beef" with each other(no matter the gender) but it's unacceptable for R&B singers(no matter the gender) to do the same. I guess part of it is because Hip Hop Artists are expected to be hard, edgy and "hood" whereas R&B artists are expected to be soft, subtle and "classy" with the things that they sing. And back in the day, there was a distinct difference between hip hop artists and R&B until both genres merged and it is big part of music and entertainment today.
Not to mention, women in general are supposed to dainty, and "lady-like" as a whole whereas men are supposed to be hard as an example of their masculinity in society. Nevertheless, saying the N word with all it's connotation of the past is still a very controversial thing in our society and in music as a whole. BTW, Nigga and Nigger are actually two different connotations and reflect two different thoughts. I am from "The Hood", and I am 34 which means I grew up when Hip Hop wasn't even as commercial as it is now, and I grew up hearing Nigga for at least 2 decades and maybe a little before that. I, myself, don't use it but I don't get offended over it because as I said, I understand the difference because being called a Nigga and being called a Nigger.
Not to say, I don't understand the offense of the word. As I said in my last entry, the very fact that we have a discussion about racism, means that racism will never be abolished or eradicated. About 50 years ago, this country had segregated schools, restaurants, and even water fountains!!! It takes time to heal from that and philosophies and the residual consequences from that don't fade away. We should always remember our history so that we can learn from it and hopefully, not repeat the things that our ancestors did before us that weren't right. Not to mention, as I said, in my last entry, there are still racists out there who will twist things to promote their agenda. All the time, you hear: "If Blacks can call each other Nigger, why can't we do it?" You also have misogynists trying to find justification in calling women, the B-Word because some women, call each other that in friendly greeting.
So it's a slippery slope, as far as society goes. Nevertheless, when it comes to performing, and music in terms of the entertainment industry some of the best music comes from reflecting what the culture, sub-culture and pop culture alike is. Not to say that anything should be recorded, but the day free speech is free speech at the end of the day. If the Klan can be allowed to march in neighborhoods daily, then an artist saying Nigga is not a big deal especially knowing that the word is not the same as calling someone a Nigger which is always used in a racial context. So with that in mind, I am sick of the media especially, trying to provoke things for ratings and ultimately money. For example, when Nas wanted to call his album Nigger(which he dropped eventually), the right thing to do would have been to ignore him because he was doing it for attention.
As long as the media is willing to do anything for attention, artists will be the same way. Not to say that Bey did that in this case. For one, Bey has said the word before. Irreplaceable comes to mind. In fact, she has even *gasp* cursed on record. And even though, I, myself, don't curse, I don't believe in censorship when it comes to this. In fact, there are times when a curse in order for a song to be fully expressed lyrically, works. I am not going to say that certain songs suck because there are curse words in it. Big Daddy Kane is my favorite MC/Rapper of all time, he cursed A LOT. His prime was during the late 80s and early 90s. He used Nigga also. It didn't stop me from listening to him and I was a teen then. He didn't influence me in the direction that I am now. Anything that I have done, I have taken responsibility for my actions. I will not blame environment, whether it is music or my "hood" for anything that I have done.
Secondly, the song is not even hers. Not to excuse it, but it is coming from Kanye's perspective and we all know that he, as well as many other rappers/MCs, use the word frequently. [Though Kanye himself said that SHE wrote the Hook while singing it, but Bey don't lyric write at all though. *Chuckles*] Even "conscious" rappers have used it. It's always about context when it comes to comprehending anything. There are people who twist Biblical teachings off of misinterpreting the context of the scriptures, like Slavery for example. Same principle here. Not to say that I agree with everything that she does, or I like everything that she does musically or performing. The breast jiggle thing that she did on the Video Phone Video and The Why You Don't Love Me video, I have to keep from cringing, though especially with the latter video, I even got why she did it[it was done right when with the line: I give you everything you want/Everything you need. It actually fits believe it or not].
I think people have a hard time with it, because Bey off stage carries herself different that she does sometimes on the stage. I feel part of the reason why she spoke on Sasha as being her alter-ego was to show that performing is a completely different dynamic for her as oppose to her everyday life. To set the record the straight when it comes to percieving her art and not trying to confuse her artistic expression with her as a person. Not to mention, to show that a woman can be sexy, even push the line for what society thinks is classy and lady-like and still be still be lady like and feminine. And let's face it, whether we like it or not, the N word is not going away anytime soon. No protests, laws, essays, or dissertations are going to make a dent in stopping it.
Music is a personal thing. You either respond to it or not. If the N-Word offends, it is okay but there are musicians who make a conscious effort not to use it. Bey don't say that word much at all. In fact, a lot of people complain about her being too safe. Also, for as much criticism as she gets for being "oversexualized", she don't sing that often about sex. VP is the only song where she even explicitly sings of sex on IA...SF("You want to see me naked") and even that was teasing, not like other singers and rappers who say whatever is provocative. Bey is not a Lil Kim clone. I am not attacking Kim by saying this, but there are two different artists. Bey can even sing about sex and not approach it the way Kim does.
Finally, I think the whole issue that I am speaking of is about authencity. Certain people have more cred in the things that they do than others. Let's say that Bey wanted to do a whole Country Album, some people would have a problem with this because they would think that she's trying to do something that's she not. I heard someone say this when she recorded Diva, and that the poster said that he/she(don't know the gender), like Ciara's cover better because Ciara is more "believable" in being "Hood". Not realizing that if it was not for Bey and DC bringing Urban Music to Pop/Mainstream Top 40 stations and influencing her, she probably wouldn't have been in the industry in the first place because labels wouldn't think that there was a market for her. Hell, Bey is even influencing rappers, like Trina. She's a big part of Urban Mainstream music, whether people like it or not.
People can't have it both ways. You(general you) can't say Bey is not authentic and allow her to sing about what she wants. People can't complain about the expression of her sexuality, but ignore other facets of her performing. As a fan, I don't have to like everything she does, but I can give her the freedom to be what she wants to project as an artist and not take it personal because she don't always do what I might like or say the things that I don't relate to, or express it the way I would if I was singing the same song. This is how I feel, others don't have to agree but hopefully we can all reason together on this because at the end of the day, it's music and our love of music, Bey's music is why most of us are fans.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
It was also posted on Bwboard.net and I am surprised there weren't a lot of pages concerning the topic. Let me say, it's a good article. It gives her due as a force in her craft and in popular society. I do get his overall point, though I feel feel that it takes it a bit too far and provokes discussions that drift off the point that he is making. I will speak on that in this entry.
I am a "stan", especially concerning her music, but I grasp that she's more than her music and performing. All pop stars are. Yet in that dynamic, it's amazing how well-respected Beyoncé across the board in the industry. Though her musical audience is in the 18-30 year old range, she has fans of all ages, genders, sexual preferences, religions, cultures, and etc. Being a black female pop star and having that kind of impact on pop culture is a wonderful thing to see. Yet one of the things that I believe that articles like his lack is expressing how hard it is to be in that position.
For one, at times, her artistic credibility and integrity get called into question. Not from her peers who know the blood, sweat and tears that she pours into what she does. I'm speaking of those who think it's cool or profitable to attack her, to play off those who get their kicks out of negativity and criticism. In the blog that I was in, the author of it and numerous other posters spent over 100 comments(in a 200 comment thread) criticizing and debating her looks and her "using" them to appeal to a broader audience than artists whose looks can't access that appeal.
Yes, image is important in mainstream entertainment and mon-mainstream as well, and it's paramount to note that, yes Beyoncé's image does appeal to pop culture. However, note that this is only one part of the appeal that makes Beyoncé, Beyoncé. The thing that allows her to have the enduring power that she has is her talent and her passion for her work. Not to mention, for a pop star, she makes a conscious effort to the put the focus on her work. To be professional in everything that she does. Across the board, that's what we hear when others speak on her in the industry. To "Buy into Beyoncé", is appreciate this about her. Without that, she's another disposable face who has little to no impact on the industry or pop culture.
Also, he said that with her success, it opens the door for racist to use her as an example to give the impression that racism is over. The fact that this is a discussion shows that racism will always be an issue and no celeb or powerful figure in society will change or abolish it. I do see his point, especially considering that she comes from an upper middle class family with both of her parents actively raising her, even helping her be successful in her craft. Make no mistake, this is inspirational and relatable. Yet, that doesn't exclude her from backlash and many times, vile hatred toward her. Far from it.
From whites and blacks alike. Some whites hate because they want their own to rule the pop world and will not acknowledge the dynamics of racism in the mainstream media. Some blacks hate because they want her to fully respresent them and since many black families are fractured so she's not relatable to some of them. Now I am not one to call everything racism or to dwell on it, truthfully speaking, she is more polarizing in colorism and sexism than racism.
I spoke of the debate of the blogger and the posters about her looks. It was vile. Discussions of plastic surgery on her nose(Rihanna was brought up also) to make her look "European"(not all Europeans have small noses btw). Attacks on her wearing blonde hair, especially the weaves(it's 2010, people!!!) and even her getting tans to give off "The Tanned White Woman" look. *blank-stare*. It's usually black women who go there. Not to say all black women hate on her. Far from it. But when these discussions take place, it is coming from that place and it reveals their insecurities because in their mind, the media "prop" her up on this pedastal, as the ideal of "The Beautiful Black Woman", and it's because she's light-skinned. Colorism at its finest. Then you have those who loves to criticize her stage image, complaining about how she uses sexuality as a crutch because that's all she has to offer as an artist and performer. Sexism at its finest. Convient sexism at that, forgetting countless performances that showcase nothing but her voice and her music.
Now to be fair, I loved how Professor Cashmore used one of her iconic moments of her career, a performance that showcased her vocal talents to show her impact on pop culture. It's great to see the academics recognize all that she brings to the table. That talent endures further any dream that Professor Cashmore speaks of as Beyoncé's enduring appeal. With casual fans, they might focus on her image and "relatability", and as a pop star, that's the reality and lane that has to be navigated. However, with her major fans which are legion in number, appreciate her gift; her God-given talent combined with hard work, the only real thing that a great entertainer needs.
At the end of the day, this is all that matters. Speaking for myself, all she needs her voice, great music and to perform heart out and I am a fan for life. In that sense, her talent goes beyond her gender, race, background, religion and etc. That's the Beyoncé, I "buy" into and I can safely say that there are millions who agree with me. Thank you for reading this entry and I hope all of you enjoyed it.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
To give the short answer, I will say that pretty much it is too high. I will admit that at times, I can go too far in my expectations. Let me say that I appreciate what she has done as a performer and artist. I feel that she is one of the greats. No matter the debate of where she is placed, she has to be discussed as one of the greats and she's only 28. Still, being that she's 28, I am excited over the potential for more growth musicially and showmanship. There are so many directions and options for her to go and I don't want her to miss out of them because there are a lot of artists, past and present, who would love to be in her position.
So, yes, I do want her to take advantage and continue to mature as an artist. Yet, I find myself looking at posts with blank stares because of how high the bar is set with regards to critiquing her music. And I am not even talking just critics. I am talking about fans. It's mind-boggling to me that a 3 time contemporary R&B Album Grammy Winning Artist with all three of her officially released albums don't have one classic album in some of those fans' minds. *blank stare* Are we looking at the landscape of Contemporary R&B Music right now?
And worst, people want to compare her work to Albums like Thriller, Songs in the Key of Life and even The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Are people serious? To have discussion like, "Will Beyonce get her 'Thriller'?" is unbelievable. We are talking different eras of music. Even the 90s are different than what is going on now in the industry. It boggles my mind.
If I am looking from an objective pov, not just of my personal subjective pov then yes, Beyoncé has classic albums. All 3 of them are in their own way. They have made an impact, and have set the standard for her genre. It's why she's the Queen of Pop & Soul. That can't be taken away, no matter she does afterwards with her work and yes, I know that this is a society and age of, "What have you done for me lately?"
So with that being said, Beyoncé puts high expectation on her work. She is the same woman who said she recorded Deja Vu because she wanted something different than what she hears on the radio during that time. She's also the one who said that she hadn't done a classic album yet during the beginning of the IA..SF era and this is after putting out an album that I believe is the standard for Pop & Soul; B'day.
So from that pov, that excites me. She has the fortitude, the willingness to grow and not stay stagnant. She also has the pulse of her fans, for the most part, dig what she does and is willing to grow and mature with her and she has the backing from her label to do what she wants within the framework on the industry that she is navigating. I believe the best is yet to come. But while that is the case, hopefully people will appreciate what she has done in the framework of the age and genre that she is in while being open-minded enough to give her the freedom to grow as the artist that she desires to be. Thank you for reading this blog and I hoped that everyone had a great 4th of July.