Archive for the ‘nicki minaj’ Tag

MTV VMA Best Female Video Series: 2012   1 comment

2012

In order to acknowledge that next week will be Tit for Tat’s Emmy nomination coverage, we’d be doing this our weekly MTV Best Female Video Series earlier for this week. Since we’ve already tackled one from the 80s, 90s, and the 00s, it’s fitting that we’d go with the current decade, so I decided to go with the 2012 line up.

And there’s no better way to start it than Beyonce. Well technically it’s alphabetical order, but whatever. At this point in MTV VMA history, it’s clear that Beyonce will be nominated for simply farting, so this is pretty much expected. It’s her fourth consecutive nod in this category, and I have to say that it’s actually a deserving nomination. Not only is Love on Top one of the better songs from the underrated 4, but the video gives a perfect throwback with all the vintage group choreography and whatnot. This is far from the  usual provocative Beyonce dance steps, so that’s refreshing as well.

If Beyonce is on her 4th consecutive nod, well Katy is on her FIFTH(!) continuous nomination in this category. Still winless in this category, Katy dons the military get up to show the story of a woman moving on from a failed relationship and finding herself instead so she decided to join the military. Since this is a Katy video, of course everything has to be taken literally as if we’re toddlers, so she does everything in a step by step procedure. It’s a fun video, but I think she had better ones during the Teenage Dream era.

Then we have Nicki Minaj who gets her second nod here after 2011’s Super Bass. In Starships though, we go all the way to Hawaii to see a starship (talk about literally. Now beat that Katy!) dropping this creature which turned out to be Nicki Minaj as she brings the life in the people of that island and they go partying and dancing non stop while Nicki changes her glittery looks as she dances in the shore or in top of a volcano. Clearly, common sense isn’t required in this video.

Now as for her initial single from her Talk the Talk era, Rihanna surely knows how to stir controversy. She surely gets people rallying against her with the depiction of violence between lovers and some pertaining to drug use here, especially since it reflects so much of her personal experiences circa 2008, but that’s what actually made me love this video more. In here, Rihanna just wore her heart on her sleeve to go back to a private (yet not so private) moment in her life. But more than the video’s theme, I also appreciate the visual choices in here in the treatment and shots used.

And lastly, there’s Selena Gomez. If I remember correctly, this was a surprise nomination that year and few to none were predicting it to happen. That said, it’s clearly deserving of a nomination. I really love videos that are just playful and catchy and fun. Selena’s wig changes from the big hair to that one of drag looks matches the ridiculous over the top beat of the song. I feel like in here, Selena clearly acknowledges the stage in her life where she’s in between being a teen while also oozing up her sexiness to some extent.

No doubt about it, Rihanna has the best video in the line up and a worthy Video of the Year winner that year. That said, I’m all for spreading the wealth and I’m likely voting her in another year that I haven’t tackled yet. So I’ll spread the wealth and give it to another video which I think is a fun embodiment of the Best Female Video category. I’m going with Selena Gomez here, as it’s the video that made me hit the repeat-peat-peat-peat-peat. It’s really unfortunate that Nicki Minaj won this year, and definitely one of the weakest winners in this category’s history.

Personal pick: Selena Gomez, “Love You Like a Love Song
MTV VMA pick: Nicki Minaj, “Starships

Full Rankings:
01. Selena Gomez, “Love You Like a Love Song
02. Rihanna, “We Found Love
03. Beyonce, “Love on Top
04. Katy Perry, “Part of Me
05. Nicki Minaj, “Starships

Now it’s time to vote for your own pick in the poll below

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

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15 Messy but Entertaining Live Performances   Leave a comment

In this day of autotunes and recorded mash up music, it’s really hard to figure out what good music is.  One good indication can be the live performances of the artists. However, sometimes even the best in music can have a bad day or be ruined by technical difficulties during their performances. Now this one is a fun list that was inspired from an online forum. I came up with my own list of the mostly awkward, mostly messy but still entertaining (both in good and bad ways) that makes live performances still the best means to identify talent when you see one.

As always, click the name after the picture to lead you to the YouTube clip of the said performance.

15 christina aguilera

15. Christina Aguilera, “Medley“, 2008 American Music Awards

In 2008, Christina Aguilera was out to promote her greatest hist album entitled A Decade of Hits. So technically, it is ideal that she’ll perform some of her most prominent hits together with the lead single. So yeah, she did Keeps Gettin Better. However, as the performance keeps gettin longer, the audience keeps gettin bored. It literally just won’t stop. By the time Dirrty was being performed, the audience was already up on their feet to an applause, only to find out it’s not yet over. By the time the performance was actually over, most of the audience were too lazy to stand up anymore.

14 mariah carey

14. Mariah Carey, “Touch My Body“, Good Morning America

Good Morning America has been the primary venue for performers to promote their latest singles and albums. In this one, Mariah Carey performers her lead single off her then latest album Touch My Body. But as soon as the music played, the song kept on skipping to reveal a recorded back track version of the song. It kept on repeating the next few seconds, though you have to commend Mimi for handling it like a pro so she moaned some of her classic “Oooohhh ooohhhh” until the DJ figured out what to do with the situation. But it was quite a bummer that even before the song started, it was already revealed that it was just a back track.

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13. Lindsay Lohan, “Rumors“, Good Morning America

On the eve of her album launch, Lindsay Lohan visited Good Morning America too in order to promote her new album. She sang her song Rumors in front of mothers and their little kids who are still probably holding on to the fact that the girl in front of them is still the same from the twins in The Parent Trap. But once the music started, Lindsay started to dance herself awkwardly like a baby prostitute (Ooh Mean Girls reference. Sorry can’t help it!) The worst part started in the 2:07 mark when she started to miss her lines only to reveal that she was lipsynching all along. The camera kept on panning to the audience where you see the mothers and daughters whose faces were painted with Gotcha!  The kid in 2:20 summed our expression all along.

12 lana del rey

12. Lana del Rey, “Video Games“, Saturday Night Live

Usually Saturday Night Live is what propels someone’s career to fully blast. Take the case of Adele whose Grammy victories in 2008 were credited to her huge exposure from her SNL performance during the middle of the Grammy voting that year. It seems another new artist was about to have the same fate… until the actual performance kicked in. Lana del Rey sang the song beautifully; however, she was standing like a dead log and her presence is that of watching paint dry. She then awkwardly turns and it gets less enthusiastic that it was just all kinds of awkward until the performance ended. General consensus was that it was not the sole reason why her career did not really went through as promise, but it gave the impression to casual listeners.

11 nicki minaj

11. Nicki Minaj, “Starships“, The Today Show

When performing Starships over at The Today Show, Nicki Minaj got so comfortably weird when she already missed the first line of the performance. Then she suddenly turned and made those weird faces as if she’s talking to a spirit in front of her. By 2:28, it seemed as if the spirit already possessed her as she shouts at the mic in a commanding voice then she showed you dance steps of what NOT to do in a Zumba class. Ah Nicki. How can one take thou seriously? LELZ.

10 cassie

10. Cassie, “Me and You“, BET

Cassie is one of those one-hit wonders that tried to establish a career in the midst of the one named R&B female artists that were in demand during that time like Ashanti and Ciara. As much as Me and You was a catchy song, she can’t even catch a break with this performance. If not the DJ, the back up singers are overpowering her vocals here. Much to her chagrin, it was also the perfect metaphor to her career. Everyone upstaged her that her career did not sky rocket at all.

09 beyonce

09. Beyonce, “Baby Boy“, MTV Europe Music Awards 2003

During the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards, Beyonce made a slight homage to the Queen of Pop Madonna by starting her performance with something similar to Material Girl. The performance will then cross over her Baby Boy performance. Everything is doing fine, and Sean Paul even appeared, but starting at 2:50, the prerecorded track started to skip and as much as Beyonce hoped it will soon be back so she danced for quite some time, even she gave up when the music kept on repeating to “Baby you;re so damn fine.. Oh!“. This led to an early exit by the pair with Sean Paul probably pissed as he tried to insert his rap thrice but to no avail, and he wasn’t able to perform at all except for his “Uhs.”

08 katy perry

08. Katy Perry, “Firework“, American Music Awards 2010

Firework is probably one of the most inspirational mainstream songs of the past few years. So it is just fitting that when Katy Perry performed it at the 2010 American Music Awards, she even had a children’s choir do it with her. Sad thing though was while Katy was coming down from below, Katy was struggling so hard not to reach the note, but any note AT ALL. You know it’s a bad performance when the kid choir who are supposed to guide you actually upstaged you. So the picture above is the one that depicts a woman of a real struggle.

07 jessica simpson

07. Jessica Simpson, “I Wanna Love You Forever“, Billboard Music Awards 2000

Back in the 2000s, before she was even seen as a reality star, Jessica Simpson was actually a vocalist, and a good one at that. Among the four female youngsters of their era, Jessica was categorized into the vocalist category together with Christina Aguilera. However, even vocalists have bad days as well. During her performance of the emotional I Wanna Love You Forever, Simpson pulled in all the emotions needed. With that said, her vocals struggled come the bridge part and it was like hearing a goat to be killed. It was so embarrassing that even Jessica knew it and she couldn’t contain her tears (of embarrassment) in the end. She’s lucky to have a supportive audience though that they still gave her a standing O despite that disaster of a performance.

06 ashlee simpson

06. Ashlee Simpson, “Lala“, Orange Bowl 2005

Speaking of Jessica, having messy live performances seem to be a hobby over at the Simpson household. This one is of her younger sister Ashlee. Performing in front of thousands of live viewers, Ashlee treated the fans of the Orange Bowl with her performance of her song Lala. It seems though that what the actual audience was hearing is what the whole of America is hearing as well. The moment she finished her performance, a resounding shouts of Boo was heard all over the place. Poor Ashlee. She was really rockin out to the song thinking she nailed this one.

05 rihanna and britney

05. Rihanna and Britney Spears, “S&M Remix“, Billboard Music Awards 2011

In the only live performance of this collaboration, vocal powerhouse  Rihanna and Britney Spears did a live duet of S&M Remix over at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. The concept is probably yin-yang, battle of the better portrayal of a cheap slut or anything that’s opposite. Rihanna is in white while Britney is in black. They were both tied to chains in two adjacent poles. The funniest part of the performance (aside from Rihanna’s vocals, which was already a given) happened when Britney appeared hissing like a snake and then they started doing a pillow fight. It seems as if a) Britney was not informed, b) Britney was not interested c) Britney thought Rihanna was one of the dancers or d) all of the above. Rihanna was giving her best trying to create a fun pillow fight while Britney was really not into it at all. Spell awkwardddddddd.

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04. Just Stand Up Women, “Just Stand Up“, Just Stand Up Telethon

In their live performance, 12 different female singers of different genres all came up with a wonderful idea to help raise finds for cancer survival. In theory, this is the project that is to die for. Nearly each and every female singer must be a part of this. But then again, watching the live performance of the song makes all the other female singers happy that they’re not a part of this collaboration. First, you have Beyonce’s hair. Second, Miley Cyrus waiting for Beyonce to look for her as she keeps on making all the cute faces starting at 0:25. Third, Rihanna obviously pissed she had to share all her parts with Miley Cyrus yet Miley gets the longer lines. Fourth, Mariah standing like a dead log only to have her microphone turned off when it was her part already. Ugh. This was just weird on so many levels.

03 fergie

03. Fergie, “Barracuda“, Good Morning America

There’s probably something about Good Morning America that makes singers go cray cray when they perform here. Now, in 2008, Fergie performed the Heart original Barracuda in front of the live studio audience. The Fergie Cray Cray Show started at 1:11 with Fergie touching herself. Then starting at 1:46, Fergie became a little too flirty and clingy to the lead guitarist by hanging on his keychain. Poor guitarist don’t know what to do and left in the middle. But wait, the best is yet to come because come 2:18, she started gyrating her body in front of the young kids in the audience. From then, there’s nothing stopping her and she gave cartwheels and crawled and shouted all in one. Whether she wasn’t laid by Josh Duhamel prior to that, no one can tell.   Let’s just say we don’t think Fergie is a morning person.

02 britney spears

02. Britney Spears, “Gimme More“, MTV Video Music Awards 2007

It was supposed to be the performance that will have everybody raving. Well, it actually did… but for all the wrong reasons. Britney was probably at her lowest moment, and even she was not into it. Everything about it was really cringe worthy, and I felt that even she did not like to be there. She wasn’t dancing, she wasn’t even barely moving at all, and the whole audience from 50 Cent to Rihanna were also uncomfortable while watching. To give her credit though, Blackout was her best album to date.

01 ashlee simpson

01. Ashlee Simpson, “Pieces of Me“, Saturday Night Live

Well you have to at least give credit to the 14 prior performances above because they had the balls to finish it. But the same can’t be said in this iconic SNL moment when the wrong song was played when Ashlee Simpson was “ready” to sing Pieces of Me. While waiting for the right song to be played, Simpson candidly showed some awkward dance movies which she thought was cool and would erase the readers’ perception regarding the mishap. So sad because not only did it fail to recover her performance, it basically was also the start of the demise of her music career.

What was your favorite from the list? Are they all bordering on embarrassing? I’d shamelessly admit that i was entertained by all of them though.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

12 Best Live Musical Moments of 2012   Leave a comment

Hi everybody! It’s back to work day today. Luckily for me, I’m not required to go back to work yet (I still have my work from home card on me. Hahaha). January is a busy month for me as an awards prognosticator, as we’ll have the American award giving bodies steamroll one after the other. On January 10, nominations will finally be unveiled. So expect my last update for the nominations and the final predictions in the coming days.

As for now, forgive my late posts, but I’ll post the remaining 2012 year-end lists that I had. I still have three lists remaining (this one included), so just for effort’s sake, I’ll still be doing a write up of each. For this one, we’ll be focusing on the different musical moments that were created the past year. A live performance can make or break an artist. Think of Ashlee Simpson in Saturday Night Live or Lana Del Rey, who was once poised to be the next big thing… until we saw her SNL number. Then we have the likes of Lady Gaga who tops each performance she have bringing her artistry with each live performance that she does.

With that said, here are 12 musical moments that we’d sure remember from 2012:

You can click the name of the performance and it will bring you to the YouTube clip of it. 

pink

12: Pink, (“Try”) – American Music Awards 2012

Pink has already solidified herself as one of the best live acts among her contemporaries. Who can ever forget her Grammy performance of Glitter in the Air in 2009? That definitely is one of the best performances to ever grace the Grammy stage. This year, she did the whole acrobatic thing once again, but with a different approach; Pink, barefooted and with patches of paint all over her body, with a partner were just doing random catching and splitting and lifting in an interpretative dance-like number of her new single, Try. And to top things off, her vocals was spot on during the whole number. Amazing, really.

alicia keys
11: Alicia Keys, (“Brandy New Me/No One”) – 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Concert

New York native  Alicia Keys was one of the hundreds of singers who volunteered to be a part of the Hurricane Sandy concert last December 12. Belting out a crossover of the songs Brandy New Me and No One, it was such a delight to hear her just like how she used to slay them all off. And don’t you just love how she invited the whole audience to raise their phones during the No One part? Plus, her intro about how she was raised and how she’ll forever love New York is just the icing on top of this sweet cake.
rihanna
10: Rihanna, (“Diamonds”) – Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is probably the meanest event of every year, as it makes all women worldwide feel bad about themselves. But if there’s one good thing that it has given us this year, it’s Rihanna’s performance of Diamonds.  Clad in a Adam Selman creation with Chanel vintage pearl sungless from Depuis to boot, Riri is every inch a model herself as she belts out one of the catchiest songs of 2012.

esperanza spalding

09: Esperanza Spalding, (“What a Wonderful World”) – 84th Academy Awards

Grammy Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding led the In Memoriam segment at last year’s Academy Awards with her rendition of What A Wonderful World. Together with the Southern California Children, this jazzy yet really touching performance as Esperanza served as background voice while pictures of the departed from Sidney Lumet to Elizabeth Taylor were flashing is one of the best highlights of the year.

psy

08: PSY and MC Hammer, (“Gangnam Style”) – American Music Awards 2012

Definitely the biggest song worldwide this 2012, Gangnam Style by Korean singer PSY has been literally everywhere the past few months. From CNN to the Europe Music Awards, it was also the most overperformed song of the year. What makes this number a stand out among all the endless versions of this is that it has MC Hammer in it. It can be credited as a number of one hit wonders, but I’m sure everyone was up their feet during this closing number at the American Music Awards.

christina aguilera

07: Christina Aguilera, (“At Last”) – Etta James Funeral

It was January of 2012 when we  lost one of the many music legends the past year. Etta James, more known as the singer of classics such as At Last and I’d Rather Be Blind, passed away due to a hepatitis C. Of course, there’s no one more fitting to perform her instant classic than one of the best vocals of the younger generation and a self proclaimed fan of the late Etta James herself, Christina Aguilera. Christina belted out At Last in true Etta fashion, and leaking spray tan issues aside, this performance got a standing ovation even before it ended.

jessica sanchez jennifer holliday

06: Jessica Sanchez and Jennifer Holliday, (“And I am Telling You I’m Not Going”) – American Idol Season 11 Finale

Despite the fact that Jessica Sanchez wasn’t crowned the Idol title during its eleventh season, this goosebumps performance of her and one of her most vocal fans, Tony winner and Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday, of the iconic diva song And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going sent shivers all over the world. It was one thing to do a number of it, but it’s another to diva-off with the original singer herself. Now if only they invited Jennifer Hudson as well, all roofs would have been blown after that performance.

The Voice

05: Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Christina Aguilera, (“Hallelujah”) – The Voice Finale Performance Night

The aftermath of the Connecticut shootings left the whole world in shock, but more so, in tears. Thus, it was expected that all shows would pay tribute to the countless lives that we lost there. Probably the best tribute that I’ve seen was the two minute version of Hallelujah by the four The Voice coaches. Together with the rest of the finalists (both eliminated and not), hosts Carson Daly and Christina Millian, each of them holds a name tag with the names of the victims of the shooting. Then we’d hear Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Christina Aguilera belt out this Leonard Cohen classic. It was simple, heartfelt, and I bet there’s not a dry eye in the room that night.

adele

04: Adele, (“Rolling in the Deep”) – Grammy Awards 2012

Yes, we’ve all heard that she was under operation because of too much smoking during the last year of 2011. But like a true pro, you know that we’d still hear that voice back. And there’s no better way than to showcase it to the world with a performance of her Grammy winning song Rolling in the Deep at the Grammy Awards itself. Not only was she the Queen of Grammys that night (winning a perfect six trophies out of six nominations), but this performance received a long standing ovation with everyone from Rihanna to Sir Paul McCartney cheering for her.

Spice Girls

03: Spice Girls, (“Wanna Be/Spice Up Your Life”) – 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony

90s kids, represent!!!! London did a really good job hosting the Olympics this year with their showstopping opening and closing ceremonies. What takes the cake though is the reunion performance of the Spice Girls doing a medley of Wanna Be and Spice Up Your Life on top of cars as they go around the huge stadium. It might take a long time before we see this again, so I guess we’d have to cherish this performance as if it’s the last.

Jennifer Hudson

02: Jennifer Hudson, (“I Will Always Love You”) – Grammy Awards 2012

A day before the actual Grammy Awards ceremony, the whole world was stunned when news broke out that The Voice herself Whitney Houston passed away. That’s probably the most difficult thing to hear on a day before music’s biggest night. So with no time left to do a tribute, it was just a simple number. But Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson made sure that it will be a tribute that will never be forgotten. Just Whitney’s picture, a mic stand, and her soaring vocals in one of the most popular songs ever, Whitney definitely was smiling up from the heavens after this performance.

Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

01: Madonna (with LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, MIA, and Ceelo Green), (“Vogue, Music, Party Rock Anthem, Sexy and I Know It, Gimme All Your Luvin, Like a Prayer”) – Superbowl 2012 Halftime Show

And let’s all bow down to The Queen. Proving that she is still a force to be reckoned with, Queen of Pop Madonna showed all these artists how it’s actually done when she performed at the halftime of the Superbowl this February. With matching visual floors and coming from a throne, there’s no entertainer more fitting to do this year’s job than Madonna. Singing a medley of her most prominent hits from Vogue to Music to Like a Prayer, and inviting friends like LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, MIA, and CeeLo Green, this fourteen minute performance is nothing but a showstopper, all provided to you by Madonna herself.

What were your favorite performances from the list? Did you think I missed something? Pipe them in below at the Comments section.

And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl