This year has been quite a year… Diesel like 90s WWF Denim – needless to say the VMA have been millions of miles away from my spectral proximity: that said, it’s in my blood… no matter how few nominees I know, no matter how irrelevant the proceedings, no matter how cruxed upon pop cultural cannibalism – a festival of juggernauted feasting upon the legends and legacy of old – I will always have an opinion, and the VMA will always have a story and a place in contemporary culture. Though I know a record low number of nominees this year – and hold an even more subterranean affinity, or regard at all, for the nominees of which I do have some cognizance – this year is epic and masterful for so many subtle reasons: the first and last, the alpha and omega of which revolve around this year’s pulse player – The Bajan Queen of Body Parts: Rihanna.
VMA are obviously critical this year though… I’d wager to guess the biggest point is the revisitation of 2007. #neverforget
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.
Oh that Madge… I can’t help it, I’ve got the biggest Cheshire grin plastered above my chin right now…
See the thing about it is, I wanted to not like this video – hear me out: I wanted to not like this video because after the hoopla and hype, after the media blitzes and reductionism, this era was gearing up to be the bark of Confessions with the bite of Hard Candy #notgreat then, there’s the distractions and the white noise pulling attention from the product at hand and towards the peripheral gossip… in a nutshell: I was ready to not like this video for the same reason I was gearing up to not like Born This Way – because people were going Gaga over Madonna; but lo and behold… Pop never lets you down.
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 feature… it 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…
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
Grammy Noms: the sweetest thing this side of Nana’s cookie jar #popnom. A nibble is all you need, so let’s blinkk the besties #getitgramms
Grammys 2011 Best Rap Solo Performance: because it doesn’t matter how low you go, as long as you’re not afraid to come back and claim the throne… defenestration is a beautiful death… the legendary leap into night fall… goodnight cruel world, see you in the mourning… this is far from over #musicislifeismusic
Nicki Minaj aka Onika Maraj aka Young Money Mistress aka #yougetthegist released the video for “Moment 4 Life” yesterday, which is the third single from her debut album Pink Friday. The clip takes stage as a modern fairy tale, featuring Mr. Young Money himself, Sir Drake, as Minaj’s knight in sullen armor.
Once upon a time there lived a king named Nicki. One day, while sitting on her throne, she received an enchanting visit from her fairy Godmother. She would remember that moment for life.
The video is very Nicki Minaj, very “Moment 4 Life,” very Pink Friday, very Drake, very Young Money – very veneer.
We meet Nicki in the boudoir of her own castle, she is the everything – the King, the Queen, the fairy Princess, the Fairy Godmother, and her own favorite company even in a crowd of guests. Yet at the same time, she’s not entirely any of those things. What’s interesting is that Nicki’s fairy tale is void of struggle or hardship: there is only the eternal eleventh hour with no looming midnight fall. There is no fragile glass slipper, only an unbreakable diamond stiletto. There are no evil stepmothers or stepsisters, just the soft-spoken Aubrey Graham. There is no infernal blaze or funeral, only the fireworks overhead a royal matrimony.
Turn up the lights in here, baby / extra bright, I want y’all to see this / turn up the lights in here, baby / you know what I need, want you to see everything / want you to see all of the lights – Kanye West, “All of the Lights”
Once upon a rhyme two bubblegum nymphs lit up the pitch black pop sky with tales of teenage dreams and rose-colored weekends. Princess Katy Perry sang this year from atop her Golden Coast lollipop tower; while Dutchess Nicki Minaj led a brigade of bad Barbies across the hard candy-coated pop landscape. This year we saw the rise and reign of the psuedo-sexual siren; from adolescent dreams to Roman’s vengeful screams Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj exemplified both sides of Barbie – the pinup princess and the dutchess behind barbs. Amidst all of the flashing lights, these two were the fireworks that took fantastical flight.
Nicki Minaj opened the year launching feature after brilliant feature across star-studded tracks. She held court with the divas, the dons, and the du jours; throwing down with everyone from Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, to Rick Ross, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eminem, Ludacris, Usher, and will.i.am. Co-sign after co-sign Minaj built hype and suffocated hearsay. Before long, it seemed as if the collective culture’s eyes were glued to Nicki’s rocketeering rise, awaiting with bated breath the halogenic blast of her solo debut; Pink Friday was the explosive result. The album is truly Minaj’s child, and capstoned her rookie year exceptionally well. It’s the pink hybrid hue between that clean white naive newness and raw red monstrosity; it’s the bridge between the come-up of the work week and the kick-back of the weekend, where Miss Minaj continues to blaze somewhere in between as the not-quite-a-babydoll-but-not-yet-a-boss.
Nicki Minaj is the pre-eminent female MC of Generation Now. She’s a massive attack on the senses; scorching eardrums with fire-breathing vocals, and blinding corneas with neon-shine vestments – and it’s all at once. She’s so pink you can taste it – a Blow Pop, scattered, chopped, and cooked up by a local street vendor on the Brooklyn block: pank; young culture’s saccharin-infused quarter water: Pank pop. Hype, hair, and hyperimmediacy with hood-pass in hand – she is the pop face of urban misses.
Her style is a snapshot; an urban blender mixing and matching gutter gear with cosmopolitan couture – pose, a harder Harajuku girl posted on the corner of Tokyo-chic and Harlem-beast – pose, a cracked mirror brightly reflecting what’s left of iconic Barbie’s shattered remains – pose, the Young Money queenpin reigning supreme beneath a neon crown – pose, an amazonian commander-in-chief sitting shotgun rocking steady in pink – pose.
Her sound bites eardrums, breaks vinyl, and borders on schizophonia. One minute she’s a soprano-pitched Valley Girl with a bubblegum Swiss Army tongue, and the next she’s laying down lines colder than Weezy’s grill, with the bassment boss swelter of Biggie Smalls. In any given moment, she’ll switch gears like a Maserati, as she blesses every track with her manic John Hancock signature flow. Her records are deviant dialogues between a milieu of manic personalities; line-by-line she throws ventriloquist vocals across a cerebral sonicscape – from Roman Zolansky to Onika, Nicki stands somewhere in between.
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.