This Girl Should Be Fired

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Judging by the grin she gave following the last shimmy of her All Star Halftime performance, Alicia Keys appeared quite proud of herself. That’s unfortunate. She did look great or whatever, but no one in her camp should’ve gone back and watched the tape and said to her in good faith, “Yeah, keep doing that.”

I don’t know who told her to step away from the piano, but their speaking privileges deserve an extensive rest period.

Who goes to Houston and begins a performance singing “Empire State of Mind?” I can’t imagine this former soft stud and hip-hop head hasn’t played “Wanna Be A Player,” “Southside” or some UGK on her piano before. Know your audience.

As a native Houstonian, y’all should know that she is quite lucky that the population of H-Tine has shifted in recent years and the All Star crowd overall seemed to consist of out-of-towners living on the paler side of life. Had she tried that before a crowd of longtime locals of the Negro variety, she would’ve been booed all the way back to Hell’s Kitchen — deservingly so.

And for the love of God, will someone please tell her to stop performing “Girl On Fire?” I know that technically, that song is a hit because little children love screaming along to it and Citibank made sure to drill that song into our psyches by way of an overbearing marketing campaign, but no more, Alicia. No more.

Stop remixing the song. We get it already: The girl is on fire. Hell, the girl must suffer third-degree burns by now. Pour some cold water over her and let her heal those scabs. Retire that noise already.

The same goes for the ill-advised remixes of “Girl On Fire” like “Obama’s On Fire.” I’m surprised none of the secret service on sight didn’t tackle her to the ground. Again, quit it, Alicia. Several last nerves will thank you for it.

As for that voice, can you imagine all the shade Whitney Houston is throwing in heaven over it? “My Lord, were you taking a bathroom break when she was auditioning for a record deal?”

Look, I can’t sing, but I can hear. All those years of crying out out to God in pain through song has done its damage. Learn to sing within your range, Mrs. Keys-Beatz. Whatever is left of it anyway.

Take your time and stop shouting because no one, no one, no one wants to hear those screams. I say that with love, concern, and some honey and lemon tea for your vocal chords.

On to her dancing: She tried the absolute shit out of it, didn’t she?

To be fair, she sort of improved on the choreography. You know, she’s finally out dancing a baby who learned how to walk six hours ago. Even so,  just as I don’t expect Sade to start rapping about being able to make a sprite can disappear in her mouth, I don’t want to see diet soul singer try to give Britney Spears teases.

Speaking of soul music, where did hers go? What is this last album doing? Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Alicia Keys supposed to be something light-skinned Roberta Flack with Aretha Franklin leanings? Bono is cool, but when is she going to return back to ripping offJames Brown and Prince, or better yet, start releasing singles again along the lines of the gorgeous “You Don’t Know My Name.”

Some of you might dismiss the suggestion as reductive, but many of the people who bought your first few albums – yes, I have receipts – would call that restoring the natural order.

Following this interview, I get these sense that Alicia has lovely spirit. Cute for her, but in the end, after watching her All Star act I think it’s time someone calls on an Amber Alert for her lane because looking like Lena Horne, singing off brand U2 tracks and dancing like Ashanti impersonating Beyoncé is not her truth.

She can keep that short haircut, though. Girl, that’s cute.

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