Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2013 VMA Nominees, Predictions and Commentary

I'm back!!! It's been a year since I posted; It was for the 2012 VMA predictions post..! And here I am again to give my two cents.. I haven't been posting much lately as I have been experiencing different stages of an identity crisis for the past 8 and a half months since Kim got pregnant and had that baby. I can't really say I'm her anymore because of that...pretty much everything else lined up with her before but now there's this huge disparity between my values and desires for my life and what she has done in hers! I don't want kids!  I won't get into all of that but that is what I've been going through.

On a brighter note I AM so excited for the VMA's this year! Just like last year, I was NOT excited about the nominees and wasn't going to make a blog but I watched all the videos and mustered up some insights. My excitement this year comes not from the nominees but from the scheduled performances!! GAGA is returning to the VMA stage (she's the opener!) to perform her new single Applause from her new album, ArtPop. Gaga always shuts it down!! My favorite performance from a VMA ceremony EVER was when she did Paparazzi back in 2009, AKA the best VMA ceremony that I can remember (Kanye mic-stealing, Beyonce's Single Ladies performance..the best!!). Then she performed as Jo Calderone, doing a monologue and singing You and I to open the VMAs in 2011. So obviously I am beyond excited for that.

Kanye is going to perform Black Skinhead, which I'm actually pretty surprised they are going to let him do. Between his and Gaga's performances, it sounds like there's going to be a lot of theatrics and drama. Other confirmed performers include: Bruno Mars (I LOVE his performances, esp. at the VMAs), Justin Timberlake (with rumored N*Sync reunion?), Miley Cyrus (please spare us the twerking), Katy Perry, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and Robin Thicke. It's going to be gooood!

JT and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the pack with 6 noms each, followed by Bruno Mars and Robin Thicke. It looks like the pendulum has swung back the other way to be very male dominated this year! Last year was in the middle I guess (uneventful and not very notable) and before that it was heavily female dominated. When Justin is around he brings it, because the last time it was male dominated (in my mind) was back in 2007 when it was JT, Kanye, 50, Timbaland, etc.

Anyways, let's talk!!

Video of the Year

Macklemore &Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz, "Thrift Shop"
Bruno Mars, "Locked Out of Heaven"
Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell, "Blurred Lines"
Taylor Swift, "I Knew You Were Trouble"

Thrift Shop is just such a fun music video! I'm going to have a Seattle bias anytime I'm talking about one of his videos since he always seems to feature the city in some way.. But the track and the video are just so creative and different. it seems pretty low budget and I'm impressed by how much they were able to do with it! This was our (or at least most people's) first time ever seeing Macklemore and I think it was great; we got to see how much swag he's got!!

I love the Locked Out of Heaven video too because it's also so different! Love the retro effects and Michael Jackson-y feel.. and Bruno is just too perfect in this video!!

Blurred Lines.... where do I even start. I loved the song but was so disappointed when I saw the video. I just have a lot of problems with the subtext of the video. Was it really necessary to use three naked women dancing and bouncing around you, TI and Pharrell-fully-clothed, dressed like gentlemen? Showing that you have acheived success because you have multiple naked women at your beck and call to just prance around like little girls, bouncing their tits without a care in the world, having fun? At the end of the day, when one person is naked and another is fully clothed, it's a power difference and it shows who's in control and who's vulnerable.  The line sung "You're an animal" followed by one of the guys brushing and stroking a naked girl's hair like she's literally a creature from the animal kingdom. Super passive, the girls are just nodding along to whatever the guys say or do, meowing like a cat, having toy cars roll over their bodies, having smoke blown in their face and coughing.. I really do find it disgusting, what they're conveying in this video. Which is sooo disappointing because there are a lot of things I like about the video!  All three guys look so good in their suits! I love their weird looks into the camera, the dancing, moseying around.. if it was just them, or perhaps with some fully-clothed women I'd like the video a lot more.

I knew you were trouble..girl please. Thank you at least for giving me a good laugh by giving us a glimpse at your acting skills trying to look strung out and confused for the first minute and a half of the video.! Overall, she just ripped off Rihanna's We Found Love video! Starting it with a retrospect, wiser self-narration, looking miserable from what she just went through, then showing the back and forth flashes between the good times and the really bad, complete with obvious drug metaphors, strung out scenes in a motel with her boyfriend, tattooing, intense scenes in the cars.. I hope you got Rihanna's permission to steal her whole video concept !

Who SHOULD win: Thrift Shop! He did the most with a small budget and it was his grand entrance !! he didn't have to rely on stealing anyone's video concept or resorting to some cliche, cheap sexism. My second choice would be Bruno though!

Who WILL win: Ughh.. I'm fearing Blurred Lines.

Best Hip Hop Video

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, "Can't Hold Us"
Drake, "Started From The Bottom"
Kendrick Lamar, "Swimming Pools"
A$AP Rocky feat. Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, "F--kin' Problems"
J. Cole feat. Miguel, "Power Trip"

Can't Hold Us- How many countries and continents did they even film this video in?? If Thrift Shop made it work with a smaller budget, this made it work with obviously bigger funds! This video is pretty epic, I must say. And it ended on the Space Needle! Before I even knew it was going to feature Seattle, I first saw the view from the top of the needle and immediately recognized it. Love it!

Started from the Bottom- What a terrible video! From last year, thinking Drake had one of the best videos of the year with Take Care, to this mess! This video is all over the place with no focus. He doesn't even look good in it. And all the drug store scenes were wack. Terrible video.

I love Swimming Pools as a song but the video didn't do enough for me. It was trying to be a artsy but it just came across boring and slow.

Problems..you would think a video with that many guys on it would be kind of epic but it looked low budge and LAME to me.

Power Trip was whatever for me too. Damn last year's nominees were wayyy better!! These are all a let-down.

Who should win: Can't Hold Us. The only nominee that put in effort! They gave viewers a magical trip around the world!! 

Who will win: Can't Hold Us

Best Male Video

Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors"
Robin Thicke feat. T.I. and Pharrell, "Blurred Lines"
Bruno Mars, "Locked Out of Heaven">
Ed Sheeran, "Lego House"
Kendrick Lamar, "Swimming Pools"

Mirrors was a mess too, but this could evade you if you were distracted by the smoke and mirrors (no pun intended). I was so not amused by the slow-moving older couple and their flashbacks. It didn't have a full story, right? Like you didn't know what their story really was? It was just an old couple and flashing back to when they were young. And I think it was poorly done. The period they flashed back to didn't seem believable or look accurate. It didn't look like it was a flashback; It just looked like a retro-styled modern shoot. Not convincing. But thanks for all the artsy mirror metaphors on every wall, JT. The only good part was at the very end when the song slowed down and it actually showed Justin dancing in between all the mirrors. The only good part. Mirrors is a bad video disguised as a good video.

I already shared my thoughts on Blurred Lines, Locked Out of Heaven and Swimming Pools.

I don't care much for Lego House. Why did that video even make the list?

Who should win: Bruno

Who will win: Mirrors. You low-brow people will be fooled by anything shiny (Pun not intended!!).

Best Female Video

Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko, "Stay"
Taylor Swift, "I Knew You Were Trouble"
Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop"
Pink feat. Nate Ruess, "Just Give Me A Reason"
Demi Lovato, "Heart Attack"

Everyone seemed to love Rihanna's video for Stay but I don't get it. It's just her in a bathtub with less makeup than usual, looking sad. THAT'S it. I kept waiting for it to flash to another scene or show something else to add to the story... nothing.

I was a mild Miley supporter back in the Party in the USA days but she's turned into something terrible. I hate it. The song is wack to me and the video is just gross. Why is she trying to act like some hood chick? Twerking anytime there's a camera on her, including this video, surrounded by all black women as her props (to give her cred or make her seem more legit), wearing a grill and all those stupid faces she makes..She's trying to convey that she doesn't give a fuck, she's tough, she's edgy..by adopting the styles, trends, dance moves of black people. She's a privileged white girl  " 'playing' at being a minority specifically from a lower socio-economic level.
"  I could get into some more cultural appropriation analysis here but I'll spare you.

Just Give Me a Reason..just give me a break.

Heart Attack.. I actually like the track a lot but this video looks too much like a Kelly Clarkson video. The shots where she's wearing less makeup with the black hands is just weird.. she looks like an alien and the shots where she's all done up she just looks like Kelly Clarkson!!
 I do like Demi, but this video is a mess.

Who should win: None !

Who will win: Disappointment.   (Taylor or Miley)

Best Pop Video

Bruno Mars, "Locked Out of Heaven"
Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors"
Fun., "Carry On"
Miley Cyrus, "We Can't Stop"
Selena Gomez, "Come and Get It"

I've reviewed all of these except Carry On (which I will not even review because the sight of that lead singer makes me want to vomit, he is grotesque!!) and Come and Get It.. which I surprisingly liked!! I've never seen Selena as pretty; I've always thought she looks like a little rat or other rodent, but this video helped me to see her as beautiful for the first time! She is GORG in this !! The whole video is gorg-the scenery, beautiful wardrobe, the close-ups of her mouth, the slow-motion of her beautiful dresses blowing in the wind and moving with her..omg. This video officially won me over.

DISCLAIMER: YES I know I was on Miley about cultural appropriation and this video has elements of that too..with the Indian stuff, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. I don't even think she was wearing a bindi. So just out of fairness I do have to acknowledge that as an impartial judge and deduct a few points... but still!! The video is exquisite!

Who should win: Locked out of Heaven or Come and Get It

Who will win: Mirrors, ugh.

Artist To Watch, Presented by Taco Bell

Twenty One Pilots, "Holding On To You"
Zedd feat. Foxes, "Clarity"
Austin Mahone, "What About Love"
The Weeknd, "Wicked Games"
Iggy Azalea, "Work"

Is this a new category? I'm confused.. because the VMAs aren't about the artists themselves or even just the song..it's about the Music Video. So.. the fact that this category is Artist to Watch makes me think they are confused and just talking about the artist? Or maybe the artist to watch in this case is represented solely by this one selected video?  That's how I'll be evaluating, anyway.

Holding On To You- You know I get irritated when people get nominated that I have never heard of.. but this one was surprisingly good. I like the song and the video. It wasn't so good that I'm about to look into their other songs, but I did appreciate the video.

Clarity has been all over the radio this year and I do like the song a lot actually, though I've never been compelled to check out the video.. I'm so glad I did for this review! It was so good! It conveyed the feeling of the song so well.. I was mesmerized watching and totally felt the feeling of helplessness, powerlessness of this force you have no control over. The images of light bulbs or other objects colliding and breaking, the image of the guy being thrown though the air.. powerless against the forces of gravity or inertia or LOVE or anything else. Props!

What About Love.. this video and especially song belong in 1999! This song has N*Sync written all over it! I can't review this.

Wicked Games.. if this was general Artist to watch, then I'd say the Weeknd definitely has the most momentum going to be considered the most worthy of "watching", but this video didn't do anything for me, sorry.

Iggy Izalea Work!! Now Git this Work!!!! Her twang is a bit much for me but this video is the shit. My best friend Rachel/Bambi showed me this video when it first came out and I was like Okayyyyy! Some of Iggy's video's/songs in the past have been too much for me and reek of cultural approriation (see: Pu$$y, Bounce) but this one strikes the right balance between fab glam and honest and real. It's her story!!

Yes she has black women twerking around her.. but she wasn't born into wealth living a life of privilege from the start like Miley, who has no real connection to that life.  I feel like she has the background to be about to feature that if she wants to and it's not out of place.. Go watch it right now, click past the slow part in the beginning where you hear her speak, ow that hurts my ears.. Start at 00:27; the rest is good!!

Who should win: Clarity or Work!!

Who will win: The Weeknd? I dont know!

And that's all the relevant categories I feel are worthy of review! Stay Tuned ! Can't wait for the red carpet and performances!! The VMA's air this Sunday, August 25th, 2013!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Work it, girl!