Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015 VMAS


Since when has a MTV Video Music Award been worth fighting over?

First, Nicki Minaj was offended that her video wasn't nominated for Video of The Year (despite earning three other noms) and complained that it was because she wasn't skinny or white enough. Then, Taylor Swift (rightfully assuming Minaj was referring to her) took the bait and publicly defended her honor against the rapper's slam for her receiving a nomination. Recently, this year's host, Miley Cyrus scolded Minaj (through the New York Times, of all places) about her comments while alluding to the performer's well-known unpleasantness.

All this childish drama over nothing has lead to this year's VMAs. It was another spectacle of raunchy irreverence, wacky excess and some old-fashioned weirdness. The one and only Nicki Minaj kicked off the show with a performance of "Trini Dem Girls" and "The Night is Still Young" and guess who made a surprise appearance during the number? The one and only Taylor Swift, proving to the world that they have squashed their fifteen minutes of beef. However, it appears a new one has started after Minaj's win for Best Hip-Hop Video when she calls Cyrus out on stage for her NYT comments. I'm not sure if this bit was staged but if not, I strongly urge Cyrus to watch her flat backside.

The evening had a few other solid musical moments with my favorites include a video recreation on the streets of downtown L.A. by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis of their new single, "Downtown", The Weeknd worked the crowd with a fiery take of his hit, "Can't Feel My Face" and an amped-up version of "Should've Been Us" by rising talent and vocal powerhouse, Tori Kelly. I have never been a fan of Justin Bieber with a performance of his comeback single, "What Do You Mean" and an overly emotional outburst at the end still left me feeling unimpressed. But I will admit that the boy can dance.

And then there was Kanye. He's the recipient of this year's Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and guess who presented the volatile artist with this honor? The one and only Taylor Swift who gave a touching tribute, proving to the world that they're on good terms after the rapper drunkenly interrupted her award victory six years ago. West, who virtually issued a public apology to Swift without ever uttering the words, gave a semi-coherent speech that went on about his career and impact as an artist before ending with an announcement of a future run for president. In the age where Donald Trump is considered a serious candidate, why not?

I nearly got whiplash over the rapid speed of how Miley Cyrus went from a sweet, Disney pop princess to a pot smoking, tongue wagging, profanity-laced, sexually outlandish provocateur. I'm not really buying this act. Her wild antics don't feel organic. I seem to recall when Cyrus mentioned Jay Z in her hit, "Party in The U.S.A.", it was revealed that she had never even heard his music. Now, the hardcore stoner is hanging out with Snoop Dogg and other rappers. The whole thing comes across more like another costume, like her previous Hannah Montana one. Perhaps the real Cyrus falls somewhere in the middle or perhaps we will meet another "Miley Cyrus" sometime down the road.

Our host closed out the show with a extravaganza of a performance. It was a new song (part of a free album that Cyrus is giving away to her most fervent fans) that featured a parade of colorful drag queens made famous on RuPaul's talent show. Although the constant sight of Cyrus' tongue got on my nerves, it was fun, bizarre and over-the-top. Just exactly how you expect an evening of the VMAs to be.

Oh, and Taylor Swift took home Video of The Year, proving to the world that she was actually skinny and white enough to win.

TAKE TWO: TEDDY PENDERGRASS

Back in the '70's, if you wanted to create a sexy mood, all you had to do was turn down the lights, pop open a bottle of wine and...