#POPCANONS The Anatomical Zeitgeist No. 8, Est. 2013

Soundtrek, Vinyl Cut Prose

Here’s a little story that I made up, so let’s make believe: four years ago I had a party that was too much fun for me…

– “I’ve Just Begun (Having My Fun)

#basically

Back in 2009, I had a little fun drafting up my list of the top twelve Pop artists from the first decade of the millennium (I get bored, it happens). I made up a little narrative of the icons that lived the blueprint for a global lifestyle – more than a genre, an ongoing epic poem defining the general public of that elusive scene, scape, soundtrack we like to call Pop. I was fresh out of undergrad; but forever a 90s kid caught in the nostalgia of homecoming kings, queens, and courts, naturally I paired off the lords and ladies of the said vanity fair, in a fitting hommage to the heralded pantheon of celebrity (which is effectually no more than a glamorized high school) #youcantsitwithus Five coupled jesters of the court, a pair of regal deities, and a pair of honorable mentions (because it’s America – so as long as you’re the best loser, there’s space for you on the podium – but don’t get crazy).

The list went a little something like this…

SnappScenes: “Bad Girls” – M.I.A.

A.V Hub, TK:LDN

Live fast, die young… #badgirlsdoitwell… Maya Arulpragasm like the Mayans – had it right… even when wrong:

It turns out that the Mayans had it right. History is a giant alarm clock. As the bell starts to ring, we awaken from the dream, and remember who we are.

Bad Girls… from Eve and Mary (and Magdalene), to Cleopatra and Nefertiti, from Frida and Josephine, to Eleanor and Marilyn – are the backbone of wake-up calls and real talk, courtesy of rogue revelry. #doitwell

Top-to-Bottom two cents #topback: History is a giant alarm clock, and discographies are giant phonographs… as the bell starts to ring, and the needle hits the groove, we awaken from the scene, and remember who we are… This year, Maya got back into the groove: Kala style.

Prose & Pastiche: “Run The World (Girls)” Video – Beyonce

A.V Hub, biorhythmic, Soundtrek, TK:NYC

The modern music industry’s Mitochondrial Eve returns with a fervor to prove – once again – that despite all patriarchal restrictions and destruction: she who bears the womb… the forever battlefield, and said burden… is she who is best equipped to commandeer the cultural revolution. Who rev the world? Girls.

The revolution will be feminized. She who betrayed Jesus, she who betrayed Adam, she who bears the weight of said world on her naturally sinful shoulders, in her superseding of submission, will ascend to prominence; born to blossom, bloom to perish, just as man destroyed that which he cannot create, so in the wake of destruction and suspension in social smolder, here woman returns to bear life again… Strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business


Who run the world? Girls. Girls, women, females have the unparalleled capacity to create life. Despite all social constructs, religious constraints, and artificial inferiorities women are able to create something lasting, something outside of themselves, and from their sin comes the succession – well, that, or a dance nation… my persuasion can build a nation #literally

#inanutshell Self-reference and atmospheric concept #letsbeyhonest #independentringonit

SnappScenes: Lady Gaga – “Judas”

A.V Hub, TK:NYC

Three days later… minds are made for swiping, and that’s just what they’ll do, and one of these days – or three – Swipe’s mind vomits all over you #inthemostbiblicalsense

In the cultural sense: Gaga smited her own spoken futuristic pretense; in the most biblical sense – her lips behave beyond repentance: a miss’ single kiss birthing culture from the crucifix – by all means, sir, take offense.

BlinkkBeats: Britney Spears – “Till The World Ends” (Remix) ft. Nicki Minaj & Ke$ha

biorhythmic, SnapTrakks, TK:NYC

Brit and The Bic spark the firework as Good Friday brings 2011’s crucifixition of culture courtesy of Pop: for those who think young *ding*

When the dust settles at the feet of Rihanna’s brothel, and Madam Spears breaks away from the featureit becomes glaringly clear that when placed in the company of her peers and those whom she preceded – Britney is best as the ringmaster, swag over doccious – all eyes on the three-ring-circus… in a beautiful demise upon Neo-Roman American eyes… the products of Pop’s most prominent puppeted puppeteer… Nicki Minaj… Ke$ha… sounding off as pop donatellas from the shoulders of their predecessor Spears, and simultaneously protecting the legacy of that very same ill-fated musing godmother…

BlinkkBeats: GreatEclectic – “MEG▲LOMANI▲”

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek

I’ve hit the point where Pop music is so good right now – so perfect – that I can’t even make sense of it because it makes too much sense in and of itself #senseless To be fair, that point started swinging as soon as the beast beat beneath Perry’s Dark Teenage Twisted Fantasy dropped, and it officially hit when Rozay held Brit against me; Pop: because I’ll take you everywhere – call me MC Hammer #imaboutscene. GreatEclectic isn’t a moniker, it isn’t a motto, or even a mantra – it is a melodic manifesto: #thus

Cover Me:

Welcome to the Retirement Haus: Pre-VMA 2010 – Pretense and Predictions

Popisodics, Soundtrek, TK:NYC

That time of year again: Vidjo. MUZAK. Awords.

Pretense: I do love this time of year, but to be honest I’m feeling a bit less-than-enthused for the first time in my life (yep, pass the Geritol – it’s time for the early bird special #aarp). On one hand I feel like you can’t top last year – it just… it can’t happen; and to even fathom a thought entertaining any idea otherwise is, is beyond negligent and belittling to Pop logic, theory, and history. That said… let’s delve and dabble

So, to be completely honest: 1.) I’m still hungover from a punch-drunk-love affair with the 2009 VMAs, and 2.) MTV is no doubt still in come-down mode from the superlative high that was said ceremony. The 2009 VMAs capstoned an era – they were our “we went out like kings and queens” magnum opus. Now, we’re on the heels of the embodiment of all a Video Music Award ceremony should be: dictator to the following year in Pop Culture. Last year we saw a star rise from the dead and resurrect performance art as Pop – from the Grammys to the AMAs, from Bad Romances to Monster Balls, from Good Ass Jobs to Good Fridays, Beiber and iCarly, Russell Brand and Katy Perry, Imperial States of Mind… the list goes on, but however you slice it: the 2009 VMAs were the Pop pulse this year. After a showing like that, there’s nothing to do except sit back and bask in the brilliance of a job well done – enter VMA 2010.

British Breakfast Flow: “I Whip My Hair” – Willow Smith

Soundtrek

This morning I woke up in my bed to the aromatic sounds of a British Breakfast style feast for the ears… Willow Smith’s “I Whip My Hair” has that distinctive bangers and mash bombast which simply cannot be denied

Watch this space: Young Hov confirmed on Ryan Seacrest that he’s signed Young Willow to his Roc Nation label… hopefully the Fresh Princess’ Roc career will fare better than The Sugababes’ – the odds are good it will, seeing as we Americans like our Pop royalty like we like our, well, everything: domestic.

#mytwocents: Granted it’s nothing groundbreaking, it gets the room shaking: period. Nine-year old Willow’s flow is definitive without being overbearing… which is saying a lot for a nine-year-old – especially since Justin Beiber still can’t get a moustache hair, or his voice, to break. Needless to say, I’m hypt for the new breed of homegrown heiresses #yaypop

Watch that space: Official Update

Sunday Best: “Power (Remix)” ft. Jay-Z (Produced by Swizz Beatz); Kanye West

Soundtrek

It’s Sunday, let’s round out the week with a recap of the g.o.o.d. word: Kanye’s “Power” Remix… (aka “While you were sleeping, this happened”)

Power (Remix) ft. Jay-Z (Produced by Swizz Beatz) – Kanye West

#mytwocents: If Jesus Walks; Muhammad marches. I just don’t know where to start or finish with this… what to say that hasn’t already been said by the Louis Vuitton Don?

Fame Kills: Hova sets the tone before Kanye atones. Carter coasts through the intro over weathered and vintage beats. His voice calmly builds a signature blueprint by speaking from experience – the sound, like his own timbre, ride like sapient soul – as he flows of power flipped and reversed from the penthouse to the projects, of how his dynasty came to fruition. Jay-Z careens through the verse like a watchmaker over his time pieces. He presides over the scape as a Pop god does, creating culture, keeping time as a zeitgeist, leaving the clocks and his creations to their own devices… he killed auto-tune once, and is not averse to doing so again. His son Ye won’t let our minds become idle once more though, thank Hov he’s back – like the clockmaker of old: clock is ticking – power just counts the hours – even when it all falls down and you’re “lookin’ through the sunglasses and the sunroof.”

Cherry-Cherry-Boom Jailbreak: Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” ft. Beyonce

TK:ATL


Chains, much like man, cannot hold nor stop Lady Gaga; they must only hope to contain her and, shortly thereafter, succumb to the reality of inevitable acceptance and reverence.

Down to brass tacks – and knuckles: this. video. should. be. illegal. If Lady Gaga wasn’t so original, she’d be criminal – oh … wait. This video comes off the heels of her iconic Paparazzi video, also directed by Jonas “Brother Please, I Use My Cojones” Akerlund.

After all of the hype, the question remained in the back of every monster’s mind: “but really, can anything make “Bad Romance” look bad, can Gaga even top herself at this point?” The collective answer was “yes… bxxch is bad.” “Telephone” takes the theme of “Paparazzi,” douses it in Tarantino cinematics – sets it off – and sends Gagaloo off to see the Wizard, the Wizard of HBO Presents: Oz; it’s Pulp Fiction turned Pop Fact. Welcome to the GrindHaus of Gaga

“Telephone” is a tale of three terrains: the pound, the pussy wagon, and the public.

The pound:

The hold is Gaga’s Haus. Rolling solo dolo in a sea of chain gang Cholas, Gaga owns the video and the prison just like she did Hollywood and Vine. Right from the jump Gaga turned the walk of shame into the walk of Fame. She comes through the Pen harder than Baltimore: when the guard says “I told you she didn’t have a dick,” half the American male population breathed a sigh of relief at the confirmation of their heterosexuality – the other half re-questioned their own, and wondered if she was packing more than they were. They say the clothes don’t make the man, but as Gaga said of her VMA Paparazzi performance:

People say I’m no more than the clothes I wear; that’s exactly right: if they bleed, I bleed.

So what do the clothes say about her now? She goes hard. Kanye would never rock a mink fur in the winter like Killa Cam, Gaga would never rock anything less than chains and haute couture with killas, man; Hov might rock Versace shades four years straight, Gaga rocks Newport shutter shades: all. day. Pain is beauty: Emphysema of the eyes is ballin’. The new thug misses takes rumors and throws them on the ground – she will not be a part of the system. People say Gaga’s a crackhead; well, the news called it crack, she calls it Diet Coke – cans… as curlers. She rocks Virgin Mobile phones in her pants: cherry cherry boom boom – you’ve been popped.

The Yard is her field of peerless competitors – the T Swifts, Rihannas, Ke$has and Katy Perrys. It is the L.A. Reids and Diddys. It’s the sharks with which she swims. She came in an assumed farce, and comes out a feared force. The prison is Gaga’s playground, she goes to the depths, mingles with the monsters, and moves on to the next one – but she’ll be back.

The Pussy Wagon:

A Gaga bailout from Beyonce made sense after “Video Phone;” after “Telephone” though it seems more audacious than the government bank bailout. Oh Honey B – Hov might want to guard his cookies because Gaga took a bite out of that Honey Bun like it was Bey’s bad girl meat.

One-on-one, Gaga at 23 can go toe-to-toe with any celebrity, artist, icon, or contemporary. Anyone who said Gaga didn’t bring it to “Video Phone”… said that because they didn’t know any better, and Gaga kindly brought it back. She rides shotgun, she plays the part of passenger – and still manages to upgrade the pilot. Whether in a pickup truck, or in the booth laying down tracks, Gaga is Pop’s deadliest partner in crime – and she is K-Slaying it right now. Gaga: unshakable; the game: shook like a Polaroid picture.

This is when the video shifts though: from the true garage grit of a prison flick to the pseudo-sugary sweet hypersaturation of a cracked-out candy la-la-la-land – from sharing the comfortable misery of monstrous mistresses, to shielding herself from the flashing lights of Hollywood and their Venusian trap death kisses. Here we go from killin-it-with-the-prison-campy to killing-me-with-the-uber-kitsch.

The public:

If the prison was Gaga’s Haus, the diner is her public – and she runs them both like a boss. “Paparazzi” saw the death of the celebrity, “Telephone” is the follow-up that turns the table on the viewing public. In a restaurant full of stars (Semi-Precious Weapons, I see you) and citizens – Tyrese playing the hybrid of “Hey, don’t I know you from?” – everyone is a starving roadside voyeur-exhibitionist.

The fiends either want to see, or be seen – but regardless, it’s all part of the scene. When Beyonce kills Tyrese it’s that redemption – whether it is one celebrity pulling at another like crabs in a barrel, or just a man holding down a good woman, it’s all about ambition – Beyonce bailed Gaga out to kill the beast. The fiends eyes had been sticky like honey on bees since Gaga was chillin’ with Wale in the DMV.

Inevitably, she “always knew you’d take all my honey;” Gaga knew it’d be like this when she was in the kitchen. Stylebiters, swaggerjacks, haters, that greed – it’ll kill you. The fiends want it though, they live for the celebrity rise and demise – and it will undoubtedly be the undoing of the public. Decked out in Americana from head to toe – it is almost too apropos.

Hidden-in-plain-view is the celebreality of our hyperconsumer country eating up entertainment to the point of amusing ourselves to death. While with one hand she liberates inmates and monsters; so with the other Gaga serves and satiates our insatiable appetites. That splendific poison that we simply cannot push to the side – she supplies that fatal fuel until we reach our own delicious demise. It is the celebrity-obsessed culture – not the celebrity itself – that is lead headfirst – and left heartless – on the diner dancefloor.

So, Gaga cooks up a feast like crackcake samiches and feeds the beast – til the world goes Pop. She’ll gladly return to the Pen, but to the pits of the prying, pleading, perverse public is a place to which she promises she’ll never return again: on to the next one.

All of this is to say that “Telephone” is living proof that Gaga is her own gauge. She creates and shatters her own standards – standards that no other artist can even fathom. Her hype recalls Williams’ name. She makes everyone get on Akon’s time – every artist should consider retirement after this. It means Pop will never be low brow – ever.

This video is not a game – she’s having tons of fun, but she’s not playing with you: this is real. Rome wasn’t built in a day – I can’t be expected to make coherent sense of this masterpiece within a few hours; besides, I left my head and my heart on the dancefloor.

Grammy 2010: Let’s Get It – Predictions, Punchlines, and Pop Waxed Poetically

Soundtrek

So, it’s that amazing time of year again… GRAMMY SEASON – let’s get it! I get excited during oddly specific times of year: my birthday, the first legit Spring day of the year, the first legit Fall day of the year, VMA night, any time when I get money and/or presents, the proper release of a music video/album that hasn’t leaked, and Grammy night. Yes, you’re thinking: “Well, that’s whack,” “Who watches that other than old people,” “Sunday is laundry night,” “Who is Grammy?” No, I don’t care.

This year is grrrrrreater than Tony the Tiger – yes, I say that about every year by and large because when it comes to this and the VMAs I can’t avoid the inner-Millenial child that gets brink-of-seizure status excited about any annual encapsulation of all things Pop… regardless of how terrible said year in Pop actually was. This year though, we’ve got: Lady GaGa opening. Assuming the Staples Center doesn’t spontaneously combust after said opening, they’ve also got: 3D Michael Jackson tribute (I knew saving 3D glasses from random childhood scenarios would come in handy… take that A&E’s Hoarders); Wheelchair Jimmy, Wayne, Eminem, and Travis Barker (yeah, Kanye’s absence downgrades that from win to “we’ll see”); “Andy Warhol” is large enough in the Grammy site tag cloud to make me pull out the silver hairspray; 11 of my 14 Dime A Dozen honorees are nominees; and… some other stuff.

Anyway, long story short here’s the rundown of my should win, will win, sayin’, and possibly a “doesn’t need the win anyway.”

A Dime, A Dozen: Beyonce and Justin Timberlake –– Bandstand Breakouts

Soundtrek, TK:ATL

Round 5 of “A Dime, A Dozen” brings us to a woman of fate and the captain who went solo before his ship sailed out and sunk: Beyonce and Justin Timberlake.

https://i2.wp.com/i.ytimg.com/vi/0D_H8CNmavA/hqdefault.jpg

Beyonce and Justin Timberlake: This pair led two of the biggest gold mines of the 2000s before breaking western harder than a Frisco earthquake –– but it paid off and thus is why they are indisputable Pop icons of the decade. Destiny’s Child is one of the best selling female groups of all-time (wait imma let you finish <–– watch this space). *N Sync, one statistic: 2.4 million albums, 1 week –– and Justin still went solo like he had no strings attached. Knowles is like a Diana Ross, and Timberlake like an Elvis who distracts you with an MJ studded glove. These two remained relevant in a decade where their new selves rendered their original selves irrelevant –– they were the video that killed their own radio stars.

The de-brief: VMAs 2009

Soundtrek

janetvma

Yes, please. MTV: proof that reality is the greatest canvas, and life is the greatest performance art. By reality, of course I mean “reality drama” and MTV’s “reality” which is anywhere a production crew happens to be, and by life I mean celebrity – because, really, who else’s life matters? The VMAs (as stated below) are the encapsulation of all things Generation MTV, all things pop. While the past few years saw the bubble burst and pop culture crumbled to a state of all style and no care for substance, 2009 was ripe for the renaissance of Pop Art and a Warholian world of blurred lines between reality and fantasy for entertainment’s sake. Let’s delve.

The Re-Branding of America: KGB – “Natural Weave”

TK:LA

Watching my little sister interact with the world made me realize the Tide-like brainwashing power of the media. As a Communications major, McLuhan and Co.’s theories are an assumed reality; but deep down I had to believe the media’s stranglehold on youth — and adults — was more relevant in the classroom than on the city streets. I was wrong. That said, I figure media literacy is imperative. Seeing as how it is rarely taught in classrooms — sadly — I might as well take matters in to my own hands. Therefore, I’ll highlight an ad a day — to keep the doctors away. Imitation is suicide, and in a world of mass media immersion we are all programmed to fit the mediated mold.

First up, the ad that made me shake my head — full of my own natural human hair.

Throwback Thursday: May 7th

Soundtrek

So I’m spring cleaning in prep for graduation/22nd bday weekend, and iTunes/iPod compiled quite a brilliant playlist I must say – although it’s not too tough a task with my exceptionally brilliant library, but that’s neither here nor there.

Point is: in the midst of the final days of my undergrad career, I’m throwing back to my music mode from the first days of my high school career.

Hands down the soundtrack of my Summer/Fall 2001 was Aaliyah‘s Aaliyah. Timbaland and Static integrated electronic, r&b, industrial, jazz, pop, latin, and hip-hop to produce a futuristic urban pop album – easily one of the best of the era.

It was apparent from the jump, “We Need a Resolution,” that Timbaland went hard for his muse as always…

The Beat: Sasha Obama’s Tax Records

Popisodics, TK:DC

This just in: Sasha Obama’s Diva defense was overruled when she could not legitimize being “the female version of a hustla.”

Brilliant Onion article —

sashonion

“Believe me, Ms. Obama, you will suffer the harshest punishment available under the law.”

Baucus went on to say that he was disgusted by the second-grader’s “ruthless greed, especially at a time when so many honest Americans have to go without.” According to witnesses, the chairman repeatedly demanded that Sasha respond to the charges before her and refrain from trying to dodge questions by playing with her pigtails, leaving to use the bathroom, and asking what “personable accountafrility” means.

“The fact that you keep looking over to your mother to find out what to say suggests guilt on your part,” Baucus said. “Well, young lady, I’m afraid you’ve run out of places to hide. The American people are finally going to get the explanation they deserve.”

“Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. You will not walk away from this, Ms. Obama.”

sasheli

[Charges] included Sasha’s failure to declare the weekly earnings she took in for helping to wash the dishes at night; several oral contracts the child entered into, whereby she received small stipends of taxpayer money for finishing all of her homework; and, perhaps most damning of all, the gifts she is said to have accepted from lawmakers, Cabinet members, and aunts and uncles visiting the White House on her birthday.

Still reeling from the controversy of having three of his Cabinet nominees investigated for owing back taxes, President Barack Obama attempted to distance himself from this latest situation.

“I’m sorry, but I barely know this woman,” Obama said during his testimony before the committee. “Apart from a few conversations we’ve had in the past eight years, I’d say she’s a complete stranger.”

Watch this space: Every good conwoman needs an accomplice —

… nah, too obvious — and what conman says “oh man,” like that? But wait, what’s that red in the corner of the helicopter shot — it couldn’t be

— from the looks of it Carmen is on the homework hustle with “‘Mr. Fuzzles’ and a ‘Professor Peanut Butter.'” Oh, Sasha’s good.