Anytime an award’s show is led in by a marathon of a reality show featuring orange people dipped in moose it is probably in everyone’s best interest not to get their hopes up.
Fortunately, up until a few days ago I had forgotten all about the Video Music Awards, which meant I didn’t even bother taking the time to feign excitement or optimism.
I will give MTV some credit – last year’s show was pretty good. It’s just too bad it’s not last year.
To that end, let me make one thing clear: This shit was awful. There were some good things – like, uh, the stage crewmembers set up – but overall it was a very dull event and I’ll likely forget most of what I’ve seen tonight six hours after this post is published.
I do have one good thing to say, though: I actually learned a few things from watching this. And when you really think about it, shouldn’t we all take comfort in the fact that I can still learn from a network that’s now known for some loudmouth dwarf named Snooki?
The answer is no, but I’m going to share my musings on this show with you anyway.
Okay kids, let’s dive in so I can off and dream about chicken wings and the death of Sallie Mae.
1. Nicki Minaj would rather be BEP than Lil’ Kim.
Let’s get this out of the way, because I know each of you Nicki Minaj naysayers who like my work and tolerate my adoration for Head Barbz are curious to know what I made of her network debut solo performance.
Uh, does “the hell if I know” suffice as an answer? No? Ugh, fine, let me try to sort my feelings out.
I got confused about thirty seconds into Nicki’s set. She looked like a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger who stole from Pebble Flintstone’s closet. And to be a rapper, there was nothing remotely hip-hop about that performance.
I was dead silent for a good two minutes after she finished. I literally was speechless and didn’t know what to make of it. I do know I instantly started laughing mid-way, but I didn’t know if that was a good or a bad thing at the time.
But, after watching it some more I realize it wasn’t completely terrible. It was memorable, which I gather was the goal. It was certainly different than anything I’ve ever seen from her. Yet, I would not object if she decided to never ever do anything like that again. It was the kind of performance I would expect from a person who tapes their dick down and collects tips while covering Patti Labelle.
The thing about Nicki Minaj is she’s made it very clear that she doesn’t want to be your typical rapper. She wants to wants to crossover as much as possible .I understand that, but I think one thing many younger artists fail to understand is that you don’t have to be so pressed to assimilate.
I noticed some said that blacks “didn’t get it.” Oh, I get it. It’s just that I also get Jay-Z gets more love from non-black audiences making hood records. Meanwhile, Kanye West dabbles in everything and practically begs for the support and still doesn’t enjoy the kind of broad appeal Hov does.
That said, if this is lively, cartoonish, singing, dancing, Samurai Barbi thing is something Nicki Minaj truly wants, then okay. As of now, though, I hear “Monster” then see this and it all seems kind of schizophrenic.
I don’t mind Nicki Minaj being so fun, but I don’t know, this was a lot and I’m not convinced it’s necessary.
Is that what happens when ADD goes untreated?
If nothing else, though, she’s trying to be a better performer. And if you didn’t know it yet, for my over 25 crowd the times are a changing. That’s the future. Get with it or sob in a corner – the kiddies don’t care either way.
Sidenote: I have nothing to say about Will.I.Am. Well, nothing besides massa gon’ get him for playing in his paint.
2. Katy Perry doesn’t like to lose.
Katy Perry and Ke$ha were clearly irritated by Lady GaGa winning best person to ever live in a post-Madonna career peak world. Those two should council with all of the R&B singers not named Beyonce and start a support group.
Oh and I saw someone retweet a comment from Nivea saying Katy Perry copied her look. Nivea, you can sing, but Katy Perry doesn’t know who the fuck you are Smurfette. Besides, she’s good friends with the girl currently taking hair color cues from Big Red. What makes you think she didn’t grab a couple of Kool-Aids packs from her and got it popping? Shouldn’t you be writing apology letters to Sade for that ill-advised cover of “Stronger Than Pride” anyway?
3. Ciara will never stop.
I was recently telling myself that I was perhaps too harsh on Ciara last year. Then I watch her performance with N.E.R.D. and revisit that position.
Ciara has a great body, but seriously, why is her crotch always in my damn face?
We get it, girl. You’re a woman. The porn industry is making it known that the profits aren’t what they used to be so why aren’t artists realizing sex alone doesn’t sell?
I’m tired of the Matrix. I’m tired of seeing her crotch. I’m tired of her trying so damn hard when she really doesn’t have to. She needs a hook, not an extra Pilates class.
She looks thirsty as hell. Somebody hand her a glass of water.
4. Kim Kardashian is a fashion icon.
I like Kim Kardashian, but did anyone else hear the announcer say that and stifle laughter?
5. Jason Derulo is a real person.
I still don’t know what he looks like, but they kept repeating his name so I assume that he is an actual human being and not some tone-deaf cyborg sent to the world to do battle with my eardrums.
6. Taylor Swift is still annoying.
While as intriguing as it was to discover what country shade sounds like, I am sick and tired of Kanye West talking about this incident from last year and I am tired of Taylor Swift acting like ‘Ye played her the way we found out Bill messed over Sookie in the season finale of True Blood.
Girl, he snatched your award. Not your virginity. Shut up and move on. You, too, Kanye. I am mad you’re the one who brought the bullshit up again.
7. Chelsea Handler is a punk under pressure.
Shout out to Katey Red for inspiring this number. Anywho, Chelsea Handler is funny albeit kind of racist. And no, I’m not that sensitive about racial humor. I just think Chelsea purposely pushes for cheap jokes sometimes. She’s kind of like that cool white chick who you have occasionally say, “Alright, not too much” to prevent yourself from grabbing a bottle of Luster’s and channeling your favorite reverend with an agent but no home church.
I don’t know what Chelsea was on last night, but many of her jokes came across as dated and flat. What a pity because for those who don’t watch Chelsea Lately, they probably think she’s as funny as a boil.
8. Kanye West dresses the way I envisioned my gay uncle to have rocked it back in 1987.
I don’t think he’s gay, but it’s just an observation. He gave me gay v-neck remix of one of Richard Pryor’s old suits.
As for the performance, eh, I guess it was cool. The thing about Kanye is I like him, but sometimes he attempts at being “avant garde” come across as forced and unnecessary. I didn’t need the ballerinas. I just needed him to give me a song that made me feel so strongly about him in the first place – which he really hasn’t done thus far with the recently leaked tracks.
Last night was every 808s and Apologies.
9. Eminem needs to lose his plastic surgeon’s number.
His face looks as snatched as Cher’s ass last night. He looks more like Lori Petty than Lori Petty does. That ain’t it, homie. Also, I stopped caring about Eminem several years ago. I’m glad he’s happy and relevant to some, but all of his recent songs sound formulaic as hell.
10. Drake’s body should be jealous of his right hand.
It’s seriously the only entertaining part of his body. I like Drake in my head phones, I don’t really like him on my television screen. I see he’s trying to improve but overall he’s a rather lackluster live performer. Thank God Mary J. Blige decided to be Beyonce in Drake and Swizz Beatz interpretation of DC3.
Oh and Drake, man you ain’t Frank Sinatra. What is it with Black people forever jocking The Rat Pack and/or the Italian mob? Ya’ll too good to be a fake ass Billy Dee Williams?
11. Lady GaGa embraces the cliché.
The pre-show was about Nicki Minaj, everything else was about Stefani.
She definitely deserved every award she got, but I can’t take GaGa seriously when she talks about [now] being one of the “cool kids” given she was popular at her wealthy and well-to-do Upper East Side high school. The thing about GaGa is that for all of her talent, she’s transparent as hell.
She says she’s broke because that’s what pop stars say. She says she was uncool because that’s the common narrative among many famous entertainers. She cries because well, that’s what a lot of them do, too.
I truly appreciate her and her contributions to contemporary music, but she is a manufactured personality. But, then again, most pop stars are and if it’s her actually pulling the strings – which I think it is – then I guess it’s fine. For me, though, when you know someone is telling you what they think you want to hear, it can sometimes teeter on patronizing.
While I think GaGa is an amazing talent and one of the best things to hit pop music in an extremely long time, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if one of her previous stabs at a successful music career would’ve worked out. You know, like that Norah Jones thing she was on a few years ago. If that stuck, would she be hugging her piano tight in a potato sack instead of dressing up like an Apache drag queen?
I can’t see Madonna being any other variation of herself as an artist than what she is now, but with GaGa, sometimes I think she’s just clever enough to realize what did work for – thus allowing it to consume her for the greater good of fame. Sort of like Nicki Minaj. I don’t actually think that’s a bad thing per se, but it’s a wee bit cynical – if true, anyway.
Still, predictable or not, Lady GaGa still far more talented and interesting than then three other actual celebrities who bothered to show up to the arena this year. And I’m buying her album when it drops so she wins.
As for this show, not so much.
P.S. There’s a place in my heart that holds a special resent for all of you that have made these people on Jersey Shore bigger stars on a music channel than actual musicians.
Edit: Oops, I forgot about Uncle Usher’s performance. Well, that basically sums up my feelings about it, now doesn’t it? He doesn’t seem to care as much as he used to. It’s kind of sad he’s still able to do well half-assing it, but oh well most seemed to love his tribute to 2008 stage set ups so different strokes. Meanwhile, I’ll continue clinging to the old days when the choreography was fresher and Tameka Raymond dressed him.