If you can call yourself a n***a, why can’t I?

January 19, 2010 at 7:35 PM | Posted in Just Pinks | 4 Comments

Editor’s Note: The words and opinions expressed in this entry are solely of the writer, Pinks.

In the wake of the death of Mr. Teddy Pendergrass, one of the greatest soul singers to ever grace the planet, I actually became quite saddened when thinking of how just two days before, my mother and I were listening to his greatest hits CD and cooking together. Although we’ve bumped heads in the past and still share different (if not opposing) viewpoints on a number of topics, one thing my mother and I share indefinitely is our deep love for good R&B music. There is a VHS (remember those?!) of me at 3 years old on Christmas singing “Just Be My Lady” by Larry Graham while holding tightly onto my grandmother’s leg. To this day, when I hear this song, I have to blast it and sing to the top of my lungs because even though I’ve never been in love with a woman, I can feel the emotion behind his lyrics and in his voice.

Browsing through my Ipod, you’ll find a great array of musical genres, from alternative to punk rock to some metal, Christian rock, gospel and even some rap. The only time I listen to the radio is in the car on the way to and from work, and I usually end up switching between stations furiously because I can’t stand most of the garbage filtering through the airwaves. As I prepare for the arrival of my son, I think about what type of music he will like, whether or not he will inherit his father’s beautiful voice, and whose rhythm he will have – his father’s Kompa vibe or my soca and parang fast wine. I also can’t help but to wonder what artists he will look to for his throwback fix when the tunes of the time just don’t satisfy his tastes. As I clean, I usually have some old soul playing – Teddy P, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, The Temptations, Betty Wright – and I plan to do the same when he comes along.

I’d like my son to sing along to The Manhattans’ “Kiss and Say Goodbye” the way I did when I was 6 years old and the rest of the kids were singing Bel Biv Devoe. I’d like him to feel how much Lenny Williams loved that woman in “Cause I Love You” when he belted out “OH, OH, OH, OH, OH, OH…” My mother wasn’t trying to keep me from popular music as I grew up, but she knew that there was a time when artists valued their craft, and they didn’t need $1 million video budgets or scantily clad hoes to sell records. They sang from their hearts about crucial topics (Marvin Gaye – What’s Goin On, The Temptations – World of Confusion, Aretha Franklin – Bridge Over Troubled Water) and had timeless, distinctive voices to match their simple but powerful ballads, dance tunes or whatever else.

These people were legends and many recent artists credit them as influences because of the impact they had on specific genres and music in general. I believe the last legend of our time was Michael Jackson and with his recent death, I must admit that my faith in the future of music probably died with him. Honestly, think about the “stars” we have today and the quality of stuff they are putting out. Who can you say will continue to live on past their name and be played for years to come, or credited as a major contributor to music in the future? Please, spare me the nonsense about Beyonce; as much as I adored her as a teenager, as I’ve matured I realize that she is merely a machine designed to make commercial hits, gross millions of dollars, and rally hoodrats all over the world into thinking they can upgrade someone. What has she really done to influence anything besides wear lace front wigs and leotards?

Don’t even get me started on Bird 5-Star Bitch Extraordinaire, Nicki Minaj. This Lil Kim knockoff calls herself a Barbie and has many young girls (and women) doing the same, simply because she has implants, a ridiculous weave, and wears too many damn colors at the same time. “Put this pussy on your sideburns?” I’ve heard of some kinky shit in my day, but that’s not even arousing; that sounds painful and quite disturbing. Lesser-minded fools have told me to listen to her freestyles, because that’s supposedly where her true genius shines, but I think I can just about guess what they’re about – being a boss bitch, “takin niggas’ money,” stuntin on deez hoes, and getting her pussy licked, all of which are heavily revered by members of the HCOUI (Hoodrat Coalition of Unfocused Individuals).

As for the males, I can say that R. Kelly has made some memorable stuff, but that’s all been overshadowed by his love for pissing on minors and making ridiculous videos about homosexual cops. Trey Songz, who is an R. Kelly ripoff, claims that Kelz needs to give it up. I agree, but Tremaine needs to sit his young ass down somewhere and grow some hair on his balls before claiming any rights to R&B greatness. Unfortunately, commercialism sells, so many of the greatest artists never get the shine they are supposed to because they’re not talking about bitches, money, drugs and illegitimate children #nolilwayne. Kindred the Family Soul are a BEAUTIFULLY TALENTED husband and wife duo akin to a Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, but many people have never even heard of them. Dwele and Raheem Devaughn are beautiful singers who have some critical acclaim, but their record sales don’t suggest the same. Algebra Blessett has an amazing voice, but she wears her hair natural and doesn’t have Lola Luv’s fat ass, so no one wants to see her.

Call me a musical snob, but I can’t even listen to most rap these days without cringing and wanting to vomit. From Soulja Boy to the array of Lils and Yungs (Wayne, Boosie, Joc, Berg, Jeezy), I can’ t help but to weep for the future, my son included, who will be exposed to this garbage and ever-increasing sexified media that degrades women, further stigmatizes the Black community, and makes it OK for White people to call us niggas when we behave as such.



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  1. Yeah…I can’t feel on this one at all Pinks. I mean I would figure this to be a “Critique” heavy blog but… I mean a whole paragraph on Nicki Minaj and a complete omission of Lupe, Musiq Soulchild, Erykah Badu, Maxwell,Common, Chrisette Michelle, Wale, Jay-Z etc….like u don’t have 2 look 2 hard 2 find quality from those artists, or 2 find the artists themselves. I actually think urban contemporary has been recently improving. I’m always down 4 a musical debate but… this seems like ur just venting about what u don’t like rather than really trying to analyze anything appropriately. But let me stop b4 I start sounding like u. LOL!!! 😛 but nah 2 each his own i guess? (I do conquer about Trey Songz 4 the most part…his music is just really shallow 2 me)

  2. To be fair, Pinks did point out there are “good artists” but note they are not revered because their content is null of bottle popping and slapping hoes, or whatever these kids do today. And Pinks hates Jay-Z (from what I gather)

    • Thats what I was saying though all of the artist i mentioned are revered it’s not like we’re talkin about some underground mix tape artists here. Everyone I mentioned is a pretty big deal.

  3. You know Burr, I actually grappled with including a bunch of those artists, but #tobehonest, I was really just trying to finish my jerk shrimp pasta and the unfinished document sitting on my computer just needed to be finished lol.

    A good amount of the post may have been “venting” but isn’t that what a blogpiece is supposed to do? My exact problem with music today is that most of it I don’t like, can’t appreciate, or just don’t want to hear because I’m so tired of the run-of-the-mill stuff being put out on the daily.

    Dash, I actually don’t hate Jay-Z, just the fact that people stan after him as if he’s the second coming of the Messiah. Sure, he’s a lyrical genius at times. Since I’ve recently become “interested” in football, Rick just explained to me that what Peyton Manning was doing was calling audibles, or switching up the play style of the game. I just realized what he was saying in “Upgrade You” when he said “They call shots, I call audibles,” and I thought it was quite clever. However, I won’t be sucking him off any time soon…he has Beyonce and most of the rest of our generation to do that for him.

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