Monday, August 25, 2014

The MTV VMA's - What They're Calling Music Now


Written by Nicole Richards-Sharpe

The VMA’s began with a Bang Bang with the unholy trilogy of Arianna Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jesse J.  All three performed a snippet of their current hit songs and then culminated in the Bang Bang performance where Nicki Minaj, trying to salvage her wardrobe malfunction, took the attention off the group.  I mean, if you are wearing a piece of cloth complete with holes, it is kind of difficult to hold it together with one hand and perform at the same time.  That’s talent right?  I don’t even want to get into her reanimation of Sir Mix-A-Lots, “Baby got Back”.  Her “Anaconda” performance  showed that there are whole new levels to tackiness that we have not yet discovered!
 Arianna Grande has a great voice but of course in this business, that is just not enough.  The media machine has obviously made their decision to transform her from sweet Nickelodeon girl to slutty Nickelodeon girl, yet leaving the innocent look to appease their audience of pedophiles. The same people who Wow’d over Brittany Spears’ school girl video for “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. 

Even the host, Jay Pharaoh had to comment that he feels weird watching her perform.  He also mentioned grown men who probably watch her on her Nickelodeon show, “Sam and Kat”, along with their kids. Their wardrobe choice for Grande? Think Beyonce’s second rate throw-away leotards cut just close enough to be allowed on television.  And television is quickly losing any type of limits.  The third performer, Jesse J, a fleeting memory, opted for a piece of Reynolds wrap with a slit up both sides.  Classy huh? 

Taylor Swift, fresh off her announcement that she will be leaving the Country genre and entering the Pop world (Uhhhh I thought she already did but anyway), decided on a performance that was a flash back to the 1930/40’s art deco Gatsby-styled dance film. Somehow her song, “Shake it off” sounded so familiar.  I wonder why? When one of the lines was, “Hella Good” an ode to Gwen Stefani whom the cameraman coincidentally focused on, then it hit me! This beat is Bananas-“B-A-N-A-N-A-S”, Stefani’s old hit.  Too soon? Although it was unoriginal, it was a cute performance especially when the scripted Swift, high on a platform, refused to jump into the arms of the suited dancer men who playfully coaxed her from below, saying this is just too dangerous as she alluded to Nikki Minaj getting bitten by a snake during rehearsal. 

Thank you to Common for bringing back the media circus known as the VMA’s to reality. He poignantly reminded us of the Ferguson, Missouri police department’s years of injustice culminating in the murder of 18 year old Michael Brown by doing a moment of silence in the middle of the broadcast.
I appreciated Usher’s live band but can someone please inform him that he may be a little out of shape to be doing double duty as a singer and a dancer?  James Brown did it in his 70’s.  Why can’t he? And his back up dancers dressed in all white seemed so unnecessary. It was like a GLOW party gone wrong.  But of course, the carefully selected mosh pit of screaming MTV fans always make everything to the viewing audience feel oh so right.

I was happily surprised when Miley Cyrus who won for best Video of the Year with “Wrecking Ball”, had Jesse, a formerly homeless man, read a statement enlightening us of the 1.6 million homeless youths in America. I never knew that Los Angeles has the largest population of homeless kids, over 54,000.  As Jesse works to help these youths, he encouraged viewers to remember the invisible and help as well.  Congratulations to Miley Cyrus for retiring twerking and being an advocate for change.  Log on to this link for more information on how to help.

That was the first of two tear-jerking moments.  The second was the last performance of the night, Beyonce’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award performance.  It was a sultry, high-energy medley of songs off her most recent album.  The last song was a tribute to her beautiful daughter, Blue Ivy, which she sang facing the massive screen behind her that depicted endearing family scenes. When it was all done, her husband, Jay Z and little Blue Ivy presented her with the Moon Man.  She burst into tears and the little one, already showing a natural comfort with the stage spoke into the mic after applauding Beyonce, “That’s my mommy.”  What an Awwwwww moment. Overcome with emotion, Beyonce’s acceptance speech was short and sweet as she embraced her family and shared a heartfelt kiss with Jay.  Maybe this will quell rumors of an impending divorce? Nah.  Gossip mongers will never stop.

Did I see Katy Perry lovey dovey  and in matching denim with the rainbow braided, cubic-zirconian grilled, YouTube sensation, Riff Raff?  I thought she was with that boy, John Mayer.  Oh well…

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Honestly, I was bored for most of the VMA broadcast so I constantly flipped channels, missing some of the performances.  Am I wrong or did they not mention the Legendary Michael Jackson whose birthday happened to be yesterday?  Not even a mention, especially when Beyonce won the MICHAEL JACKSON Video Vanguard Award? No tribute performance?  Very suspect. 

It just goes to show that the music industry will never be the same again where real music is encouraged.  The King of Pop was the end of that era.  Manufactured images, voice enhancement and sex, sex, sex – this is what pop music is all about and if you don’t fall in line with the fakeness, no one will ever know you exist, except on YouTube of course!  The MTV VMA’s show is just one of many platforms for glorified self promotion where the shock factor is supposed to influence you to dig into your pockets and give the circus monkey a coin while another steals the rest out of your wallet. 


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