Friday, August 27, 2010

When will contemporary artists get more respect?

Well, we all saw the VH1 100 Greatest Artists' List and with lists of this nature, there is always going to be controversial. It's ironic that in my last entry, I talked about the Rolling Stones' 100 Greatest Singers list in regards to the C-Tina vs Bey vocals arguments and this list came about. And usual, you have people up in arms over Bey's position in it or that she's even on the list. Well, I have my thoughts on that and you know I am going to speak my mind so here it is....

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.( 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. ( 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 BeyoncĂ© 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.

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