Last nite, all of Appalachia gathered to punish hip-hop for stealing their phrase “knuck if you buck” without paying proper homage by way of Lady Antebellum dominating the 2011 Grammy Awards.
That is, if you are to believe the self-appointed oracles of music that took to Twitter to convey the less than subtle message: “Hip-hop don’t win shit ‘cause you Negroes with an igga don’t buy music.”
The sentiment bears about as much honesty in it as the tapped down crotch of a drag queen, but what does it matter given the Grammys only handed out about 3.5 awards in what felt like a 5.5 hour-long telecast anyway?
If the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences didn’t want to focus on who won what, why should I?
Let’s just move on from that and go straight to the performances.
The Aretha Franklin Tribute
A lot of you all are under the impression that I absolutely hate Christina Aguilera. Well, maybe I kind of do and just never wanted to admit it. I used to adore her, though, and her music. Then all of that adoration started to dwindle as the years went by and I noticed how much of a miserable, self-important jackass she appeared to be.
Despite all of this, I always kept an open mind to continue buying her music because of the voice she used to deliver it. Unfortunately, her voice has been hit or miss in recent years. Even if she didn’t flub the lines at the Super Bowl, she still sounded like Heathcliff battling hemorrhoids.
But last nite I was reminded of why I ever gave a damn about Christina Aguilera. I loved her cover of “Ain’t No Way.” She sounded absolutely beautiful. Christina Aguilera is capable of delivering some really great covers. Like her rendition of “Run To You” at the 2000 BET Awards and “I Loves You, Porgy” at a Pre-Grammy Awards special on CBS a few years back.
This is the Christina I enjoy and I’m glad she’s gone back to that. It made perfect sense for her to do “Ain’t No Way” given her song, “Impossible,” jacks from it heavily without giving partial credit. Hello, Alicia Keys.
Yes, she might have looked as if she’s been using Paula Deen’s cook book as a treasure map to find all of the weight Aretha has lost — but that’s between her and her dietitian and/or plastic surgeon.
By the way, everyone sounded great, too. Jennifer Hudson didn’t howl as long as she normally does, Martina McBride sounded lovely, and Yo-Yo Adams always brings it on home. Her subtly should be a note to singers who typically follow the “shout it out” guide to singing (two of the four performers included).
I will say, though, I wish Yolanda had performed “Call Me.” I’m pretty sure Jesus understands how amazing that song is and would’ve given her a pass the way he has with other tributes.
Full disclosure: I fucking hate “Born This Way.” Not only is it a rip-off of like three Madonna songs, it is beyond patronizing. I believe her intentions are genuine (I’ve written praise of her efforts to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell), but this second tier version of “Express Yourself” that offers lines like “don’t be a drag, just be a queen” makes me consider ditching the gay community and applying for asylum inside of Rihanna.
I will say, though, that the song is less annoying live than it is on track. Still, the song sucks and will likely only help those only one Glee episode away from admitting that they masturbate to Matthew Morrison out loud.
For everyone else who is gay and doesn’t want to be a queen and dance around to disco with a glow stick stuck to their pants (take that however you want), this song probably push them four feet back in the closet.
And I still don’t get why no one told her that it’s probably not a good idea to include a term like “Orient” in a song about tolerance. I know in the end, the song is still helpful but blah all the same.
By the way, it won’t be long before Madonna and Grace Jones link up on Skype and devise a plan to take a black skillet and smash her and the egg they carted her ass to the show in.
Bruno Mars, B.O.B, Janelle Monàe
Okay, so in theory I know I’m supposed to be a fan of Bruno Mars. He has a nice voice, is a good songwriter, and can make a love song that doesn’t include any bullshit lines that point more towards materialism than actual affection. Yeah, I’m not a fan.
He’s sort of like the Tylenol PM of music to me. I think the problem is his voice is kind of soulless. It’s very clear – which makes it easy to listen to his voice and record successful pop songs, but not really feel anything he’s saying.
I’m a bit indifferent to B.O.B., but I get the appeal and he I can’t say I’ve ever heard a bad song from him. He gets two points for simply not being just another typical rapper.
Overall, I really appreciate their performance because it shows there are young people who are talented, who make music that is substantive and don’t need bullshit gimmicks to deliver a quality performance.
Of course, my favorite among the three is Janelle. I know some of you wish she’d wear her hair a different way or stop dressing like she’s ready to bring you water with lemon on command. Oh well, as long as she’s singing that strong and performing this well with music this interesting I’ll show her to her own damn table. I don’t really care what she’s wearing.
She also deserves to be much bigger than she is. I want people to catch up. This performance may have helped.
Justin Bieber feat. Jaden Smith and Usher
First, stop giving Usher scripts. Sometimes you need to be the bigger person and say, “I love you, but you deliver lines about as well as Waka Flocka scores on book reports.”
Not only that, their banter was weird. Stop it. Right now.
Second, I’m not 12 so I barely remember anything Justin Bieber actually said. I don’t think I will care until he’s officially Justin Timberlake’s replacement. Any day now, sir.
Third, I owe Jaden Smith an apology. On Twitter I asked if he started rapping three hours after seeing his sister Willow’s video. Apparently he was rapping before her. My bad, lil’ man.
I don’t remember anything he said either, but I do recall the tweets about his leopard pants.
Look, if that lil’ boy wants to dress like his middle name is Simba and his parents are fine with than then let Jaden live. I saw comments about what he and Lenny Kravitz had on and it has makes want to consider starting a charity for men who can’t fathom anything beyond the basic criteria to determine one’s manhood.
Prince wears Halle Berry’s hair better than her and your mother still wants both his dick and his stilettos. Some of you need to shut your homophobic asses the fuck up long enough to get some damn perspective. Shit.
My profanity latent-rants aside, the only other thing I have to say is Uncle Usher really needs to step it up. After watching Chris Brown shine on SNL I think it’s time R&B’s new favorite Unc realizes that same ole’ two-step from ’01 isn’t cutting it anymore. This is coming from an Usher fan.
Oh, and I never want to hear “O.M.G.” again. Ever.
This sentence about their tribute to Teddy Pendergrass lasted longer than the actual tribute. Next.
Cee-Lo feat. Gwyneth Paltrow
He might have been dressed like an obese version of the NBC peacock, but Cee-Lo’s continues to serve as a careful reminder of howy the Atlanta music scene became so popular.
As for Gwyneth, I see what she means when she says she’s been studying Beyoncé in order to step her cookies up on stage. It worked, because she was actually kind of entertaining. Not entertaining enough to launch a music career – but fret not, I’m assuming she will anyway.
The only other note I have is for Cee-Lo: Watch your back, pimpin’. Elton John is not as forgiving to copycats as Madonna is. You’re never too old to give someone the clap back.
Yeah, I turned to The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion came on when she took the stage. I just thought you should know that.
Rihanna featuring Drake
This was practically the exact same performance from the American Music Awards, only the very beginning reminded me of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s performance of “Crazy In Love” at the BET Awards. Only sadder.
However, I’m still glad Rihanna is improving. She’s no longer dancing like the stripper on the last 15 minutes of her shift. She’s now the new and still uncomfortable stripper who realizes her rent won’t kept paid if her pussy isn’t popping.
Way to go, girl. I’m rooting for you.
As for Drake, did anyone else noticed how goofy he looked grinning after grinding on Rihanna? That’s exactly what I do when a chick tries to break me off at a party. I’m grinning because despite my hips suggesting otherwise, my dick isn’t the least bit interested in this sort of extracurricular activity.
Drake shouldn’t have that same grin. And after listening to him talk about how it’s a honor to perform with his friend, whom he loves with all his heart it’s no wonder Rihanna hasn’t invited homeboy for an all access pass to her California king bed.
As for the other performances:
Either I was bored, afraid, or wishing I could be the Sandman.
Alright, folks. That’s all I got.
Until the next show….
And if you want my Grammy commentary in real time, check the Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/youngsinick.