Posts Tagged ‘critique’

While the first evening of BIA 2 was most definitely an improvement over BIA 1, last night’s second installment was not.

Somewhere along the way of every segment, the producers and editors seemed to lose focus of where the show was going. Was it “solutions?” A married couple having problems? Sick black people? Sick black people in Africa? Black men who don’t go to the doctor? Black men in jail? Black men with kids who commit crimes after they’re released from jail? Scenes from old “Cops” episodes? I guess CNN couldn’t step away from that “sucks to be black in America” feel that made the first BIA so slit-wrist worthy.

And the program ended on a Tyler Perry profile. Who knows what that had to do with being Black in America? Maybe just because he’s black? Black people watch his movies and TV shows, so his stuff is part of the “solution?” I really don’t know.

There’s really no way to really delve into what it’s like to be black in America in a four hour special. And no matter what, you can’t satisfy every viewer. But overall, last night’s show was just poorly done. It was on some BET Awards ‘09 level of messythrowntogetherness. But most of all, I want Soledad O’Brien to go back to any journalism school in the country and learn how to ask good open-ended questions. Who asks a sick man taking 12 medications, “Does death seem like a better way sometimes?” What??!! Oh Soledad.

But it’s not all Soledad’s fault. Someone, somewhere at CNN looked at this documentary and approved it, so the blame can’t all fall on her.

I can only imagine what will come out of the Latinos in America program premiering in the fall.


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He’s made more than 155 guest appearances and more than 20 Billboard Hot 100 songs. He’s been nominated for four Grammy awards.

His name is Akon, and he’s a marginally talented “singer” who wails badly on songs and somehow keeps making hits.

Like Soulja Boy, Akon is another artist I’ve been waiting to go away for a while. But he just won’t go.

Akon – similar to T-Pain – is a “singer” that other artists keep asking to join them on songs because it will increase their chances of getting a hit.

What confuses me the most is that no matter how horrible his stuff sounds, Akon pretty much always makes the charts.

The infiltration of artists like Akon, T-Pain and Soulja Boy into mainstream music is the reason I can barely listen to the radio today.

But the most disturbing aspect of Akon’s fame is his ability to garner collaborations with people a gazillion times more talented than him. Acclaimed artists who are already famous but they end up working with Akon because they (or record executives) want another hit.

The List of Shame: (more…)

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Ed Note: I included an inanimate object in the series because this device has enabled many artists with little or no talent to make hits.

From This May Concern You:

Dear T-Pain’s Vocoder:

If I could pry you away from your owner’s grasp I would stomp you out the way those LA cops did Rodney King in 1991. Yes, I’d tape it with my camera phone and post it on YouTube for the whole world to see that I slayed America’s favorite most annoying music device.

This is not a joke. I have a sincere hatred for you. I know it’s not good to hate people. But you’re clearly an inanimate object. So my disdain is warranted.

If Teddy had a vocoder in his right hand and Predator-like dreads we could easily mistake him for T-Pain. Actually, I'd rather hear him, Teddy Ruxpin, sing than T-Pain.

If Teddy Ruxpin had a vocoder in his right hand and Predator-like dreads we could easily mistake him for T-Pain. Actually, I’d rather hear him, Ruxpin, singing.

Why do I abhor you so? Because your owner has used you to build his career although he only has one-sixteenth of the vocal ability of one William Hung. OK, I’ll admit it: Teddy “Ruxpin” Pain can hold a note. But he also sings out of tune quite often, which is why he crutches on to aid of Auto-Tune non-stop.

I understand it’s not your fault. Still, I have a question or two that I know you can’t answer: Why did you allow him to record “In Love Wit a Stripper” through you? Why didn’t you malfunction when you first heard him phrasing together the lyrics?

Oh, that’s right. You weren’t warned. He doesn’t write (and neither do I … sure). He just aimlessly freestyles. And you allow him to perpetuate that garbage?

Don’t get me wrong. Some of his garbage smells like filet mignon — all thanks to your ability to enhance a voice that should otherwise be nowhere near a mic. Take “Buy U A Drank” or “Bartender.” They’re catchy tunes that were cool to groove to a few years back. There’s a reason people want him on their singles. They want the popular sound. That still doesn’t mean what Teddy Pain spits is a fine steak dinner. No, it’s more like a Hardee’s Thick Burger or Chipotle burrito. They taste good, but also cause irreparable damage to your life — best known as “The Itis” — for a period lasting up to 24 hours.

Still, biter after biter has grabbed a hold of one of your voice-altering cousins. Kanye West, Jamie Foxx and Britney Spears have taken this route. Kanye is one of the best rappers in the game. Foxx’s vocals are impeccable at times. Britney is …… she just is. But even stars that big have succumbed to you because you’re the “it” thing. (more…)

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By DevaDonna

There aren’t too many female entertainers whom I call myself a fan of. And this chick isn’t one of the few:

I peep her swag. I see what she trynna do. But I just ain’t wit it. We know Ciara ushered in the “Crunk’n’B” movement. And we know Keri’s clearly trying to brand herself as the anti-Beyonce. Rihanna started as the pop princess-type and migrated over into the edgy side of the pool, but Miss Keri is all like, “Look here b*****s, *neck roll and index finger up* let me tell you from jump, I ain’t nan none of them prissy a** hoes.”

OK, OK. I get it Keri. But you are just trying a lil’ too hard for me.

I understand she is to be credited to some degree for her songwriting on such tracks as Usher’s “Yeah,” Ciara’s “Like a Boy,” and Omarion’s “Icebox.” So let’s give credit where it’s due – you know DevaDonna respects anyone who’s vicious with the pen!

That song with Ne-Yo and Kanye works for me on several levels. Her vocals are the worst part of the song, but I so feel the lyrics, Ne-Yo sounds like velvet, and Kanye’s verses make me feel like he’s getting his mind back.

Oh! I won’t neglect to mention that she’s a beautiful girl. We won’t give MAC makeup and good lighting the credit for that. The girl is cute. But I just don’t like her as an artist. And I hate her twin Brooke on “Harlem Heights. Lol!

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