Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Too Old For Top 40?

Popular music has become a joke. Maybe it was always a joke and now I'm just old enough to recognize it. We've got Fergie trying to keep her 'London Bridge' from falling, and the Pussycat Dolls asking Snoop to 'Loosen Up' their buttons, and each has millions of fans clamoring to buy their CD's. Cassie sings 'Me & U' to some guy that she plans on giving up her 'Goodies' to. Ciara has the whole Aaliyah vibe when she performs.

My elders would always say that everything goes around in cycles. So, it's alright for new artists to get inspiration from the artists of the past that did it well. But do we have to have duplicates existing at the same time? Does Gwen Stephanie have an agreement with Fergie to keep that suburban-white-girl-with-an-'urban'-edge image in the limelight while she tends to her newborn son. When Gwen comes back, will it be like an episode of Quantum Leap where the two selves can not exist in the same time dimension. Surely I'm not the only one that thinks these two singers are interchangeable.

Rihanna and Cassie, same thing. The good thing about the paper thin voiced singers is that when you sing their songs loud in your car, you sound JUST like them. How empowering is that?? I bought Amerie's last CD just so I could have something to sing in the car. I can't wait to go to Karaoke, I've even got the moves down. There are some CD's that I just refuse to buy. In fact, there are some that I wouldn't take if they were free. I'm not going to ever play 'Lean wit it Snap wit it' in my car and that song by Bubba Sparx, 'BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY EVERYWHERE' (I write it in caps because he yells that line), will not get airplay on my station.

The sad thing is that alot of these 'artists' are grown men and really should know better. Come on, how old are the Yin-Yang Twins. Shouldn't they be rapping about 401K's or taking their kids back to school shopping? Are they really living what they are singing? And if they are, should they be embarrassed? People always joke about the old guy in the club. But, in effect most of the popular rappers are just 'that old guy'.

And the women are no better. I don't want to see Toni Braxton try to outdance Beyonce. As impressed as I am with how fierce these older women look, I wish they'd just mature gracefully. Maybe give the young girls a glimpse of what longevity looks like. Pass the torch and keep it moving.

I would like to bring about a new rule in the music industry. Since most singers claim to write their own lyrics these days, I think they should only sing about things they are going through or have gone through within the last 5 years. So, if you don't have a license, you can't rap about your whips. If you are a 15 year old boy, then your songs could be about video games or pimples. If you are getting mail from AARP, stop rapping about hanging at the club.

Another new rule would be that two singers can NOT have the same image at the same time. I mean come on, where exactly IS Tearra Marie? She and Rihanna came out at the same time. Rihanna's image was all island girl. Then all of a sudden she broadened her image and bumped little TM out of the way. The record execs had to know that would happen. Why cannabalize your own profits? But, I digress...

Maybe my parents felt this way back in the day when the new music was hip-hop. Maybe they thought it was just as ridiculous as the song, 'Shake Somethin for the Camera Phone.' Nah, that song is just stupid.

I tried to get into it, but maybe I'm just too old for Top 40.


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