Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 VMA Noms, Predictions and Commentary!

When these nominations were released, I was so bored by them I couldn't be bothered to even make a post making predictions. BUT Bambi and I were analyzing pop culture today and decided to dissect the nominees and I was able to queue up some interest.

Originally I was disintersted because almost all the power players in music are absent! It's been so female dominated for the past few years-powerhouses like Gaga, Britney, Nicki, Rihanna, Adele, etc, and even secondary position females like Katy Perry (in my mind she's not *really* a powerhouse) Ke$ha, etc... where the hell are they this year?? Even the powerhouse men- although Kanye and Jay and Drake do have some nominations, I feel like Jay and Kanye's year was last year (They performed Otis); They can't really be riding the same album 2 years in a row, right? Hm. No Lil Wayne really either.

Granted, Riri and Drake have the most nominations, so there's that, but it still feels like this lineup and nominations leave something to be desired..

So without further ado, here are the nominees, and my predictions and musings about them.

Best Male Video

Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend"
Frank Ocean, “Swim Good”
Drake feat. Rihanna, “Take Care”
Chris Brown, “Turn Up the Music”
Usher, “Climax”

     I'm not the biggest Justin Bieber fan; I've always felt I was too old to get into it but upon watching the Boyfriend video.. I'm sold. He was giving some sexy looks into the camera. I dig it.

    Swim Good is just an amazing song and video. I watch it with my eyes squinted like I'm an intellectual trying to get into the feelings it's supposed to evoke or interpret the deeper meaning. It's such a stark contrast to the feeling you get when you watch a Chris Brown video where you're energized and just want to dance. Swim Good makes you insightful and try to appreciate the emotion Frank Ocean is putting out there with it. When I watch this video, I get a feeling, I can't really articulate exactly what it is, but I'm quiet, trying to figure it out. I kind of love how that video makes me feel and think.

    Take Care is another one of those videos that isn't about the pumped up party-time energy or ooh-ing and ahh-ing over choreography. It's beauty is in its restraint. When I first saw it, I was like ugh, another weird-ass Drake video. But the more I watch it, the more it makes perfect sense to match the song. It's a melancholy song, about a lover who isn't ready or able to be loved and is damaged. And Rihanna could not be more perfect to guest on the song. Obviously they've worked together before and have some past love connection, and fucking obviously, she's damaged. Not to say Drake isn't either. Not to say we all aren't damaged in some way! But you know. The somber looks RiRi gives in this video say it all. Someone wants to be loved and to love but can't and the sorrow that comes with that lonliness! The artsy-ness of the video just makes sense. All this cutting to birds, mountains, a buffalo.. random but it makes sence. All the slow-mo, like you're in a dream, no control.. it's just perfect to match the tone of the song. The video conveys everything the songs does. And I think it's great.

     Turn Up the Music IS that video that makes to want to dance and makes you think of that best night you had dancing, or that best night that you aspire to have. As much as I can't get past Chris's domestic violence past, and condemn him and wish that his career never recovered.. I. cannot. stop. myself. fromlikingthisvideo!! It's amazing in every way. I feel like it reflects our time somehow..The energy of it is just..so.. now. Again I can't articulate how it does this any more than say, a Party Rock video or the  HYFR video (that's a whole other story..) I just feel like this video resonates with this current generation of people who do enjoy that kind of lifestyle. Is it the techono-add-in noises that are so trendy right now? I don't know. I guess not, becuase there's obviously a thousand other songs that have that but don't have that same.. feeling that this video gives. And his choreography is probably the best of any other male artist right now. AND he carries the video. Everything you're amazed and enchanted by in this video, is all him. Yes, he has backup dancers but your eyes are never off Chris. And towards the end he starts giving these really fierce looks like he's a crazed dancing MACHINE. That kind of aggeression should, in theory, put me off because of his past but I can't resist it and I'm under a spell by it. If Bey is Sasha Fierce, Chris is whatever male fierce counterpart there is to her in this video. I can't deny.

Climax? Not wasting my time on that stupid shit.

Who SHOULD win: Take Care or Turn Up the Music. And they are total opposites. Again, Take Care is great because its restraint and subtlety, but the VMA's are typically more about the dance/fierce/party-time, feel-good stuff.
Who WILL win: Turn up the Music, but I guess I wouldn't be surprised if Boyfriend won. I would be disappointed however.

Best Female Video

Rihanna, “We Found Love”
Katy Perry, “Part of Me”
BeyoncĂ©, “Love on Top”
Nicki Minaj, “Starships”
Selena Gomez & The Scene, “Love You Like a Love Song”

     I have a love/hate relationship Rihanna (mostly hate) but I haven't been shy about proclaiming my belief that We Found Love was, in my opinion, the best song of 2011, and the best video. By far. I love how the song was released and we all thought it was such a cheerful, triumphant song about love. We found love in a hopeless place! But the video came out and it was actually real. Yes, it shows the happy, ecstatic side of love with an obvious drug parallel, but then also the dark side. Yes it's happy and euphoric but what happens when it goes bad, you overdose, or get withdrawls?? BAD TIMES! She's a wreck in the video and I love that. And it does restore my faith in her a little by showing she's actually self-aware of her unhealthy relationship with Chris Brown. She's very honest and raw in this video. She lets it all hang out and it's just real and I do appreciate that. At least she knows how fucked up that whole thing is and isn't trying to hide that. Props.

    Part of Me- Random as hell, Adam wondered if the Marine's paid her for it! But you know I do love a good strong-woman theme.

     Love on Top- Yes it's low budge but how can you not love Beyonce seeing this video? My fave is the first set-up with the daylight and her just in her leotard and big hat. She is so bouncy and bright and shining and glowing. She just looks like she's radiating warmth and love! But still with swag. But Friendly-girl swag. Love it. It's very early 90's to me. Almost like an early Mimi song.

     Starships..ah what can I say here.. I love Nicki, and I love how she *really* came out with her body in this one.. Nothing was hidden! Shy of any legit nudity, we really got to see errythang she's working with under there. and it's a lot. and I love it. But a music video masterpiece, Starships is not.

     Love you Like a Love Song.. that's childsplay, what is it doing in this category? Best pop category MAYBE.

Who SHOULD win: We Found Love
Who WILL win: We Found Love

Best Pop Video

One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”
Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”
Rihanna, “We Found Love”
Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend”
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, “Payphone”

   I've already analyzed We Found Love and Boyfriend I'm not going to bother with any of the other videos. Waste of time.

Who SHOULD win: We Found Love
Who WILL win: We Found Love, or Boyfriend. Never underestimate the Biebs.

Best Rock Video

Coldplay, “Paradise”
The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”
Linkin Park, “BURN IT DOWN”
Jack White, “Sixteen Saltines”
Imagine Dragons, “It’s Time”

The only thing I know about this category is that the Black Keys video is just a black guy dancing Carlton-style to the song the whole time. One shot. How in the fuck is that qualified as the best rock video of the year. Honestly.

Best New Artist

Fun. feat. Janelle Monae, “We Are Young”
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”
Frank Ocean, “Swim Good”
One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”
The Wanted, “Glad You Came”

Best New Category has been fucked since someone named Esperanza Spalding won that award at the 2011 Grammys. And yes I am still bitching about it. Glad they nominated Frank Ocean, but Where the hell is Azaelia Banks? Iggy Azalea?  LANA DEL REY ???? Absolutely ridiculous.

Who SHOULD win: Frank Ocean

Who WILL win: No hope for MTV's dignity

  Best Hip-Hop Video

Childish Gambino, “Heartbeat”
Drake feat. Lil Wayne, “HYFR”
Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz, “Mercy”
The Throne, “Paris”
Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz, “Beez in the Trap”

      Heartbeat is interesting, with the dysfunctional relationship, and metaphorical shift between who's in the drivers seat, interspersed with (brief) passionate lust. So I get it and appreciate it, but I'm not blown away by it.

      HYFR is a random mess of a Drake video. WHY was this nominated, rather than The Motto?? Really? I know it's supposed to be the video, and not the song's popularity but come on. This video is a Jewish clusterfuck mess. The only intersting thing about it is the Jewish theme.. it still has the necessary (?) imagery of people partying and dancing, slow-mo, focusing in on curvy ladies in dresses.. but instead of being at a crackin club, it's a a bar mitzvah. Interesting, but not interesting enough to override the corniness of the whole concept.

     Mercy was at first boring to me and it kind of still is. The only redeeming qualities about it are the sick fashion and the fact that these guys are jumping out of thin air, doubling, and tripling themselves and then disappearing. It's hard to keep who's who straight. It's alright but I don't think the video matches the power and swag of the song.

     Paris is a cool video- doctored concert footage that does a really great job of capturing the energy of the live show. It's real footage and sound too, not the official CD version of the song but one that was really performed live. Although, I do suspect some of the shots of the gorgeous women dancing in the audience were probably shot at a sound studio in Studio City. Great energy and it captures the swag of the two rap powerhouses together. Great video, and it evokes energy like the Turn Up the Music video does, but who put more work in and which is a greater video? Whereas Chris Brown and the director/producers/choreographers/dancers, etc etc put in WORK to create their video, Jay and Kanye basically just put already existing footage together to create theirs. Again, great video and it pumps you up but not nearly as much effort went into this one as the other nominees, IMO.

     Beez in the Trap!!! Nicki is such a bad bitch in this vid, I love it. Yeah it is kind of one-note but male rappers get away with that all the time. Does a rap video really *need* to tell a story and evoke emotions? Nicki is just fierce drippin swag in the video and I freaking love it. I love the women she featured in it too. These are not exotic models from LA or Miami, these are some other ghetto ass bad bitches you'd find in some shady ass strip club in Atlanta. The ones sitting beside her aren't glam, they look tough. One looks like Tiny, T.I.'s wife! And those donkey bootys...! Male rappers feature that shit, with the girls bouncing their asses too, but Nicki features them, and she's right up there alongside them! I love it. And again, I know it's about the video, and not the song, but this song gets played in legit hip hop clubs and people love it, the men and women. She's holding her own out there. I feel like it would be ground breaking if the lone female won the best Hip Hop category. Has that ever happened before? I'm rooting for her.

Who SHOULD win: Beez!!
Who WILL win: Mercy or Beez

Best Electronic Dance Music Video

Duck Sauce, “Big Bad Wolf”
Calvin Harris, “Feel So Close”
Skrillex, “First of the Year (Equinox)”
Martin Solveig, “The Night Out”
Avicii, “Le7els”

       Feels so Close is boring, and that makes it my favorite because the rest I saw of these are just fucked up. Bulging boner-faces in Big Bad Wolf and some gross child-predator chasing a little girl in First of the Year. At that point I'd seen enough.

Best Video With a Message

Demi Lovato, “Skyscraper”
Rise Against, “Ballad of Hollis Brown”
Kelly Clarkson, “Dark Side”
Gym Class Heroes, “The Fighter”
K’Naan feat. Nelly Furtado, “Is Anybody Out There?”
Lil Wayne, “How to Love”

     This is a new category that was only created last year for the sole purpose of awarding it to Lady Gaga for the Born This Way video and now that they've done that they should just do away with it. How to Love is nominee with a message? Jokingly contradictory to some of this other choice lyrics about women. Get real.

And the Biggest of the night!..

Video of the Year..!!

Katy Perry, “Wide Awake”
Gotye, “Somebody That I Used To Know”
Rihanna, “We Found Love”
Drake feat. Rihanna, “Take Care”
M.I.A., “Bad Girls”

     Wide Awake is just all over the place. Doing way too much in some Snow White/Alice in Wonderland themed shit. This video is just way too much.

       Somebody That I Used to Know.. I really do like this video. The song got so big this year and I think the accompanying video is going to go down as iconic. The images and closeups and nakedness.. it's just going to be one of those that you'll always remember because it's different. And I feel Gotye's distressed wails and his grimaces convey the pain of the song. And the nakedness. You know what I mean. It matches up and it's "artistic" and different and I like that.

       Bad Girls is the same thing for the whole video, I kept waiting for it to change scenes or show some different action other than a female driving a car in Sri Lanka. Besides going up on two wheels, nothing else happened and that was the entirety of the video. I don't know why people were shitting themselves over this song or video. I just don't get it. It's so weak and I feel MIA could have gone so much harder in a song called Bad Girls. Disappointing.

Who SHOULD win: We Found Love, or Gotye

Who WILL win: We Found Love or Gotye.

Sidenotes: Not too psyched about the performers they've announced.. Pink, Green Day, Alicia Keys (next year we can maybe look forward to her signing about her divorce after Swizz cheats on her ass). Although, Pink always surprises me with a really good performance. Last time Pink was at the VMA's she was doing acrobatics, flying around above the audience singing and getting drenched with water and it was kind of magical. She always turns it out. But GREEN DAY?? You're too old for the VMAs at this point. As Bambi said, "Go home to your families!".

  I am very excited to see my favorite famewhore couple KIMYE walk the red carpet and hopefully present an award and lots of priceless gifs of shots cutting to them in the audience fame-whoring it up.

And lastly I am very interested in seeing how Drake and Chris Brown are going to stay away from eachother while in the midst of their beef, and the lawsuit from that club their crews wrecked up. With Riri in the middle of it all! Riri and Drake have the most noms out of everyone and they are nominated quite a bit for their collaboration so I can see how they might be sitting together.. But at the same time she just gave that interview telling Oprah she and Chris still love eachother, even though they aren't together. Oh, the drama! Maybe there will be a fight? We need something to shake this ceremony up. I'm still hopeful that someday, something will happen to top the Kanye mic-snatching moment and live on forever in infamy (My favorite pop culture moment of all time).

Stay tuned!!

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