Chew on This! Erykah Badu & 3lw’s Kiely Williams are selling Shock Value – Who’s Buying??

Sex sells; we all know this. Whether it is Beyonce popping her hips in a tight leotard, Usher grabbing a dancer’s buttocks in his latest video or Lady Gaga prancing around in a thong and not much else; skin, sex, simulation of sex and lust is everywhere in today’s entertainment industry. Being an adult, I have no gripes with these artists promoting their sexuality; there is nothing wrong with it, in essence. And since music is a form of art and entertainment, I believe it is important for Artists to be able to express themselves fully. The thing is, this is 2010 and the music industry is not as it was. Contemporary artists in the 90s like Whitney Houston and Celine Dion were able to sell tens of millions of albums without playing the sex card; they were more known for their classic voices. In today’s industry, talent is not enough. Even seasoned artists are finding it necessary to stir the pot of controversy to stay relevant.  It is not just enough to have a hit record – it has been a while since we have heard a really good hit record! Artists are finding they have to build a buzz, expose their personal life or downright act a fool to sell a record!

Two weeks ago, R&B’s rebel Erykah Badu released the video for her new single Window Seat from her new album, New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh. Watch the video:

First off, I like the song! It is mellow, easy listening with meaningful lyrics. As for the video I can get past Erykah stripping nude; I could care less, she looks good. But when I heard she actually filmed the video in broad daylight, walking nekkid past tourists and their families at the site of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, I was shocked. I thought she had filmed the video in front of a green screen. My first thought was, this is in bad taste. Erykah not only used her body, she used the lack of sense and common decency and disguised her actions as ‘Art’. In my opinion, I did not see what message I was supposed to learn from her being ‘shot’ in the end as she lay butt nekkid on the pavement in front of a crowd of white people. Later, the Dallas police charged Erykah with disorderly conduct. Of the incident, Erykah remarked,

My point was grossly misunderstood all over America. J.F.K. is one of my heroes, one of the nation’s heroes. John F. Kennedy was a revolutionary; he was not afraid to butt heads with America, and I was not afraid to show America my butt-naked truth.

Ummmm ok.

Window Seat peaked at #95 on the Billboard 100 in the US, #26 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs and #50 on the charts in Japan. #WhenHoeSh*tGoesWrong

You can read a more thorough explanation of Window Seat’s message here.

Barely a week after Erykah’s fiasco died down, Kiely Williams, former member of 3lw (whose biggest hit included No More *Baby I”mma Do Right) and Disney’s Cheetah Girls (where she experienced much success) also released a controversial video. Titled Spectacular, the small-budgeted video features Kiely doing the walk of shame after a night of ‘spectacular’ sex where she slept with a man she met while intoxicated the night before.

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Chew On This!: Estelle Causes Controversy with FREAK video

British songstress Estelle has returned after the success of her American debut, her last album, Shine. Estelle is gearing up to release her newest effort, All of Me, with this song Freak, being the lead single. Estelle appears to be taking a page out of Lady Gaga’s dance-hop style of music, but to be fair, Estelle probably has a closer ear to the ground of dance music being from the UK.  The song is pretty hype and is a good look for Estelle who could use some love up in the clubs. Toronto Native and friend of Estelle’s, Kardinal Offishall also raps on the track.

The biggest story I noticed with this video is the portrayal of Estelle in black face and bright pink lips, which created an uproar on the Blogs, many citing the racial insensitivity due to the previous portrayal of black people in the American media as black faced, pink-lipped, nappy-haired fools many decades ago.
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There was a video floating around showing the making of the video where Estelle had the black face paint on with bright red lipstick, but that video is missing and her lipstick is now pink….

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Oldie Butta Goodie Bar/Chew On This! Aaliyah sings about a Choosey Lover – Where dey at?

After leaving Jive Records in 1996, Aaliyah teamed up with producers Timbaland and Missy Elliot to produce her next album, One in a Million. For that album, Aaliyah recorded a remake of the Isley Brothers’ 1983 hit, Choosey Lover (track 6 on the album).

Here are some lyrics:

Choosey Lover, Boy I’m So Proud Of Ya.
I’m So Glad You Chose Me, Baby.
And I’ll Make You So Happy.

Thought I Had A Love, But I Was Kidding Myself, Baby.
By The Time I Learned The Truth About It,
He Was Sleeping With Someone Else.
But Not You, Baby.

………

Cause You’re givin Me…..givin Me Security, Baby
And You Proven What You Said…(Ohh)
Never Worried About You Baby, Jumpin In And Out Of Bed.
Ohhhh, But Not My Baby.

I used to bump this song all the time, but really began to fully understand the real meaning of the lyrics during the past 2 or 3 years.  According to this song (and my own definitions) a Choosey Lover is someone who simply is a selective or picky person who takes much thought and effort into choosing a mate. They weigh the benefits and negatives aspects of a person, whether it be their past (it matters), their ambitions in life, their morals (very important in my opinion) or the way they treat people in general.

I find with a lot f my friends or acquaintances – men and women, happen to wave or ignore the pursuance of these admirable qualities in a mate and offer various excuses for doing so. These include: ‘hey its hard to find a man/woman out here!’;  or, ‘hey, beggers can’t be choosers!’; or my favorite, ‘I don’t want to die alone!’

To counter these arguments I would argue that when you take care in the kinds of people you choose to bring into your life, you can save yourself from extra drama being brought into your life. And yes, you do have to take a chance, a leap of faith if you will, when choosing to enter into a relationship with someone, I think taking more care into the actual choosing of your mate will determine the level of drama, happiness and heartbreak you will endure as a result of the union.

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Chew on This: Rihanna Talks to Diane Sawyer about Abuse

rihchris

I watched this video and was quite taken aback. I expected to see Rihanna reading a rehearsed script orchestrated by her Publicity team. Not to say, this interview was not arranged in certain ways.  I will definitely check out the remainder of the interview when it airs Friday night on ABC.  Rihanna was actually fighting back tears – that really got to me! I’m glad she is able to finally say her piece and I’m glad she is choosing to speaking out. My favorite line: “Eff Love….because Love is so blind“. Ladies. I hope some of ya’ll are listening.

*Sidenote: Now that Rihanna has spoken out, she does realize she cannot take Chris back right?  Career-wise, people would never let her live it down if she took him back at this point. What did ya’ll think??

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 4:14 am  Comments (1)  
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Chew On this: Tameka Raymond is “Pretty For a Dark-Skinned Girl”

usher-tameka

Loyal reader BabyRo passed this article over to me last week so I’ve been meaning to post it. It is actually a very good read. Tameka Raymound exhibits some very mature, articulate writing in this article/blog post that explains how she views the light-skin vs. dark-skin stereotypes black people place on ourselves and the stigmas that result from it. She admits that she has be called, “Pretty, for a dark-skinned girl” as if it it rare for beauty to exist in a darker-skinned Black woman. According to Tameka, “dark-skinned women are considered mean, domineering and standoffish” as opposed to their lighter counterparts and are also “deemed ‘less desirable’ “. Upon reading the article, I agreed with many of Tameka’s points, including where she mentions that black people tend to suffer from self-hate and loathing that causes us to demean each other in ways other races would never bother to. As a darker-skinned ChokLit lady, I thankfully cannot attest to being highly discriminated against since I was fortunate to grow up in a part of Canada where black people were more scarce and if you were black, you were just black. As I moved to areas with higher Black populations, I began to see more differences and prejudices amoung my own people.  Still, I can imagine it is still not as disruptive as the situation in the United States where the Slave mentality of light-skin vs. dark-skin has been instilled for hundreds of years. Needless to say, it is a good read. Check out a snippet below.

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Published in: on August 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm  Comments (1)  
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Chew On This: Mario feat. Sean Garrett & Gucci Mane – Break Up

Mario & Audra break up

I peeped this new video for Mario’s ensemble track for Break Up featuring singer/song-writer Sean Garrett and ATL trapper of the moment: Gucci Mane, over at ConcreteLoop.  When I first saw the video I was immediately entertained by the visuals and intrigued by Mario’s newly  bald head the concept of the song. The video is really slick (directed by Chris Robinson) and features Audra from RichGirl playing Mario’s love interest. In the song, Mario sings, “When I kiss you so good/Why would you wanna break up? When this lovin’ is so good/Why would you wanna break up?” The song also has Mario confessing that he is unfaithful, lies and doesn’t come home at night but also adds “Don’t I lace you with the Gucci?/Don’t I deck you in the Louis?”  Now, there are many things wrong with those lyrics and the concept behind it, and since the commenters over at CL got very heated on the subject, I thought I would add my two cents as well. But I will reiterate, I Love the song! Bangladesh does a great job on the beat, and Mario sounds great on this track! Also, even though I think Sean Garrett comes across as extremely arrogant, you cannot deny his song-writing skills and talent. And the scene with Sean boxing is …nice.

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Chew on This!

Materialism: Ladies, if a man is treatin’ you badly, cheating on you constantly, disrespecting you in public (ie. talking to other females) and downright being a dog, but he is ‘lacing you in Gucci’ and you are asking yourself if you should leave, please do not pass Go and go straight to School! Not literally, but please note that nowadays guys love a girl who ‘got her own’ (well, Ne-yo, Jamie Foxx and Fabolous sure do!) so anything you can do to better yourself and to allow yourself to buy your own Gucci one day, is always a plus. Mario can stop right there with those lyrics!

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