2020 In a Nutshell
With the music business and the entertainment industry on life-support, I think the time is ripe to reintroduce ‘class’ and kick ‘crass’ to the curb. Cardi B was just awarded 2020's “Woman of the Year” by Billboard magazine. The subhead of the article on Billboard.com reads, “I like justice. But I also like popping my P*ssy.” There’s your woman of the year, world! The music business is in gutter so I’m not surprised, but it’s a shame integrity and talent don’t matter anymore. In many ways, the choice to award Cardi B is a microcosm of the year 2020 and all the disastrous trappings that came with it.
Taylor Swift's Bold Stance
There were better choices. You could argue that Taylor Swift’s decision to publicly stand up to heavyweight Hollywood talent manager Scooter Braun, who wouldn’t sell Taylor back the rights to her own original music(masters) unless she would agree to his proposition, was much more empowering. Swift boldly went back and re-recorded her entire back catalog of music, just to stick it to Braun who she and many others felt was hijacking her artistic property.
Alicia Keys > Cardi B
How about the ever-classy Alicia Keys, who in 2020 hosted the Grammy Awards for the second year in a row, performed a moving tribute to the late Kobe Bryant at the same show, presented a student being bullied for wearing dreadlocks with a $20,000 scholarship to university, and has been active in urging people to get out and vote? Not for nothing, but this is a woman who graduated valedictorian of her high school at 16 and immediately accepted a scholarship to Ivy League “Columbia University”. Alicia had a crazy tough upbringing in Hell's Kitchen, NY but never resorted to stooping as low as this Cardi character has.
Just So You Know...
The foul mouthed “rapper” has admitted to drugging and robbing men, being a Blood gang member, throwing a high-heeled shoe at Nicki Minaj’s head, and is in no parallel universe---a role model for anyone. I’m not a boomer or a prude that hates rap music, either; it’s one of my favorite genres. As a matter of fact I can name several female rappers off the top of my head that can rap circles around Cardi B: MC Lyte, Lil Kim, Eve, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot, Remy Ma, etc...At least I can understand what they’re saying and could find a real message in their rhymes(i.e. “Love is Blind” by Eve) . She’s a mumble rapper’s favorite mumbler, who is as hard to understand as Lil Yachty is. Even in a casual setting, listening to her voice and delivery is grating and hearing that for about two minutes, you’re left with a stupidity headache; the unintelligence makes your head throb. Your duly elected “Woman of the Year” who self stylizes herself as a ‘feminist’ posted a particularly nasty video(in line with her public persona) in rebuttal to an interview involving conservative commentator, “Candace Owens”, where Owens laid out her critiques and criticismsof Cardi being propped up as an actual political player and policy advocate. Simply put, Cardi has a gutter mouth and if you’re a shrinking violet you may not want to listen to it.
Cardi the Policy Advocate?
You might feel Owen’s criticisms were a bit harsh, but anyone with an iq over room temperature can probably agree, that if you get an interview with the Presidential nominee Joe Biden and ask him for free college tuition and Medicare for all while simultaneously begging for him to lower taxes...people are going to question your credibility and/or qualifications to secure and conduct such an interview. The Billboard article takes the slant of, “...The world needed Cardi B’s ‘unapologetic voice’ the most in 2020…” I’m not so entirely sure about that, however.
No More Drama
It seemed to me that with all the chaos and strife that 2020 brought, people were looking for an escape from nastiness and chose to explore wholesomeness instead. Interest piqued in figures such as Bob Ross, the painter who can pacify you with his disarming personality and lullaby voice and Mr. Rogers, the red sweater rocking tv host who just wants you, “To be his neighbor”. People fell in love with “Grogu” or “Baby Yoda” from the Star Wars program, “The Mandalorian” because of his adorable appearance and cute personality. Winsome childhood activities such as skateboarding, card collecting, painting, and other active hobbies of the like are exploding in popularity, with everyone depressed and in lock-down. The award-winning “Calm” apps’ download numbers have exploded, leading one to believe that people want to reduce stress;not fuel it. Cardi B is the opposite of calm and certainly not the “Woman of the Year” as Billboard has anointed her.
We should raise the bar for standards in this country and we better do it quickly. Saturday Night Live used to have Norm Macdonald doing the weekend updates; now they have Michael Che...The Daily Show used to have Jon Stewart; now it has Trevor Noah...Jimmy Fallon hosts the Tonight Show; it should be Conan O’Brien...movies used to be good; now they suck. We used to be able to laugh; now we can’t...I know this article beat up on Cardi B pretty good but as the cool kids say, it was ‘no cap’. I immediately thought of the female artists of the past like Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Queen Latifah, Stevie Nicks, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Celine Deion, Cher, Janis Joplin, Anita Baker, Janet Jackson, etc. All these ladies outclass Cardi B by ten miles when it comes to talent and grace. Where have all the good artists gone? Have women rappers forgot to be clever with their bars? Is rhythm and blues a lost art form? Have female entertainers forgotten how to meld sexiness with classiness? I ask these questions rhetorically because talent keeps eluding me every time I look for it, particularly in the arts and entertainment spaces. Cardi B being awarded “Woman of the Year” should frighten you and sober you to the reality of a watered down society.