I watched the last hour and a half of the BET Music Awards. I really need them to caption folks. I'm old and needed a cheat-sheet to figure out who half the performers were. I do know that Trey Songz trying to wail his way through Purple Rain hurt my feelings on a deeply personal level. My personal highlight was the return of El Debarge. Yes, that El Debarge. He was out of jail and presumably sober. That was my happy moment.
Watching an awards show on Twitter is like color commentary on speed. Everyone has an opinion on everything and people tend to take sides… with a vengeance.
Alicia Keys is one of lightning rods right now. She appeared on stage all glowingly pregnant flashing her engagement ring from Swizz Beatz (a man that she allegedly began a relationship with while he was still married to another woman). Some folks feel betrayed seeing as she spent most of her career singing about superwomanhood and respect for your common man. Others feel like that has nothing to do with her music. Personally, I just don't like her latest album. I found Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart a tad whiny and I was too through with Empire State of Mind months ago.
Chris Brown (I have come to call him The Bow-Tied Boy Wonder) is battling to regain his stature after the assault/battery/domestic abuse charges surrounding his tumultuous relationship yodeling pop diva Rihanna. Chris Brown is twelve years old in my mind. I heard his music when my nieces played it in the car. I thought he had some talent but I wasn't running out to buy his music. I have Wall to Wall on my iPod for no discernable reason and thanks to my eldest niece I know all the words to his duet with Jordin Sparks, No Air. That's all I got.
So fast forward to this award show Sunday night. Chris Brown danced his way through an MJ tribute. He can dance. I acknowledge the talent. But folks on Twitter acted as if MJ himself rose up out the grave and anointed this boy with the "Future King" crown. After the dance tribute, he took a crack at singing Man in the Mirror. Half a verse into the song, he broke down in tears. I wasn't feeling it. In fact, I called bullshiggity. Half of my timeline (that's a Twitter crew) was thoroughly disgusted that I wasn't feeling Chris' pain and the other half co-signed with me.
Alicia was all up and through the show. She came out during a Prince tribute to sing Adore. At some point, she was really feeling it and climbed her pregnant behind up on the grand piano. I was forced to call bullshiggity again. Half of my Twitter crew thought I was hatin' because of her home-wreckin' reputation and the other half thought I wasn't hard enough on her.
Here's the deal on both of these situations… There is one Michael Joseph Jackson and Chris Brown is nowhere close. So no, I wasn't feeling his tribute. Truthfully, I wouldn't feel anybody's tribute and since I'm not a huge fan of Boy-Tied Boy Wonder, I was not pleased. The tears just struck me the wrong way.
Similarly, there is but one Prince. A fitting tribute to Prince would have been Prince standing up and doing a medley of Prince hits. And Adore is a special, special song. For me, no one else needs to sing it. It is a quintessentially Prince song that only he does justice to. These are my opinions. I'm allowed to have them. You may agree, you may not. Welcome to free speech.
What I really detest is this public wave of feeling that Chris or Alicia need some flavor of forgiveness from me, you or anyone else. I don't know either one of them personally. Sure, I have my opinions about their behavior but what difference does it make? Both of them are millionaires a few times over and neither of them is cutting me a check. Chris didn't hit me and Alicia didn't sleep with my man. So when I say I'm not feelin' either of them, that is my personal preference based on my feelings about their product and performance. No more, no less.
People, none of us are in a position to "forgive" either of these artists. That's not our role. You can either buy their music or not. You either enjoy their work or not. Period.
Thoughts? Comments? Opinions? The floor is yours…