Monday, 21 April 2014

#MusicMonday TALK ON CORNERS: CONTROVERSY! NICK CANNON vs. IGGY AZALEA - Rappers, Celebrities, RACISTS?!


As I was trying to decide which of these two albums would be more controversial to cover, a strange realisation dawned upon me; here you have Nick Cannon – a self-proclaimed 'entrepretainer', currently being vilified for his latest album, White People Party Music. The title has incited anger across the Continent for reasons I hope that we can uncover over the course of his album review

On the flip side, we have the whiteAustralian-native, Miss Iggy Azalea, currently being condemned for attempting to 'act and rap black' on her latest album out today, entitled 'The New Classic'. What exactly constitutes 'acting black'? Well we shall take a moment to examine, and decide whether the accusations are justified, or are all just a bit of noise.

First, let’s take a look at each album, track by track if necessary, until we get a clearer picture. Ladies first, so Ms Azalea is in the #ESPspotlight

I tried very hard to go through each track, and in all honesty, I found it just about impossible. The Australian's 'American' accent threw me the whole time, and when I was finally able to get past it for long enough to listen to her lyrics, I'm afraid I found mostly no sense at all. The sad thing about it, is that if she was herself, ie. Rapping with the Australian accent that she was born with, then I'm sure she would actually be more appealing, even with the gibberish. It was certainly amusing to hear her cite the line 'never forget my roots' in Walk The Line, because when she doesn't seem to know where hers are.

By Lady Patra, when she migrates to a Jamaican accent, I plain don't know what to think. I rescind that statement. I think Iggy Azalea is not the kind of role model that I want my young nephews, and nieces especially, listening to. It's funny that she should talk about being in love with herself in F*** Love. If that were true, we wouldn't be hearing about how much she disrespects herself in the way she puts herself across. And we most certainly wouldn't be seeing it…


PARENT'S BE WARNED THIS VIDEO IS NOT FOR CHILDREN




Confused Female 1 Racism 0

…And now the turn of Mr Carey *ahem* Cannon

From the moment Looking for a Dream drops its first bar, it’s obvious that short of being David Guetta, someone around here is most definitely, a regular club DJ. Which Cannon is, in case you didn't know that. In keeping with the #WPPM Festival scenario in which the whole episode takes place. Though not my cup of Tetley's, it’s a fitting kick off to the set.




Definitely one for the surfer dudes, follow up Unbelievable leaves you thoroughly confused throughout the entire three minutes and nine seconds. Is that really Nick Cannon singing? We all want to know?! The only thing we are sure of is that this track belongs in a spoof film with Alison Hannigan doing something silly, for your laughing pleasure. Leaning towards the affirmative on that singing question, it's a very sweet ode to the Mrs, and his undeniable love for her. Très cute, like a mini-Cannon twin

Here is where things definitely get confusing. Because I just do not understand America. I initially thought that we were going in the same direction as the previous track, until we established the 'chick' in question was the Country. Or is there 'a girl in skintight stars and stripes' who is actually called America…I am a huge Nick Cannon fan, but I just really do not get it! And I'm not even going to discuss Pitbull. We've already established I'm confused by the Dance track - let’s leave it at that.

There comes a moment in Pyjama Pants, when the words: 'Grandma twerkin out her bloomers' are uttered, and that is when you realise that okay, he’s got me, this really IS a comedy sketch album. Ok, now everything makes sense, and we can all twerk away, til our hearts are content, or we pull a muscle (whichever comes first).

I will not pretend to hide my bias here, I don’t have to, it’s my blog (perk)…this is the only track so far, that I can genuinely say that I 100% get, like, and understand. Cannon is applying a different type of comedy, one growing up through the pre-teen, to puppy love years that every single one of us experienced, can relate to and therefore grasp the nostalgic comedy infused throughout. Kudos also needs to go to Kehlani, owner of the beautiful vocals, applied over the R.Kelly sample. If she ever releases anything, I will be sure to cop it; her voice is as lovely as her name. Please take a moment to enjoy the adorable works of a husband so obviously devoted to his wife – he makes a girl wonder if he has any brothers (Google says YES ladies - queue starts behind me)




Connor Smallnut's appearances invoke no more racially charged themes, than an improv character performing a skit. Why does no-one remember that Cannon is a Comedian first? The only moment that I feel an audience may have a justifiable issue with, is the song OJ. Let me preface this by saying that I understand where Cannon was going with it, but I'm afraid the track never got there in time; and as such, poured vinegar on old wounds. The world is about as ready for an OJ sketch, as they are one about Oscar Prestorius.

Phreakin Awesome is where the comedy comes back, and we know unequivocally – or at least you should by now – that no part of this project could ever be serious! We’re back to that spoof soundtrack for Scary Movie 35; as a whole litany of characters introduce themselves in the musical equivalent of a Madea family tree. As oddball as the dyed hairdos Mr C has been sporting of late, but hey, isn't that why we love him?

Birthday Interlude is actually good enough to be a real track, right up until the part where Tammi, or Pammi, or something hyphenated with a Sue, ruins the moment, by shrieking for her favourite song for her birthday, until she gets the slap that every DJ has wanted to deliver at some point. It's less a comedic moment, and more delivering a public service, in my humble opinion, but hey, that's just what I think...

The fact that F Yo Birthday is actually a genuinely good track, is actually laughable, in and of itself. Over a backing track that will be immediately recognisable as a massive hit on the European continent, even Fatman Scoop gets in on the act, alongside DJ Class, as the party wave continues into the next track.

Stadium brings us back to DJ Cannon, and is essentially another genuine track that would not be out of place on many a nightclub playlist.

Pete's Rap gives you the chance to sit in the judge’s chair of any talent show in America…or even the rest of the world, y’know, where Nick doesn't host the show. This interlude is for EVERY talent show fan who is even thinking of participating in the next series. DO NOT. DO. IT. Okay? Just DO NOT. We WILL laugh at you, and we WILL NOT be ashamed when you get upset, and cry. That's our favourite part as the audience. You have been warned.

When Right Said Fred came out with 'I'm Too Sexy' all those years ago, those born at the time, mocked the siblings mercilessly in the open, but secretly, were closet fans. Well nothing has changed in 2014. You don’t want to like Me Sexy, even though you know that the entire production is entirely in jest. Nevertheless, you just cannot help it; you’re on an intravenous intake before you know what’s happening. For a proper, accurate understanding, imagine if Salt'n'Pepa and Right Said Fred had a Baby. That Baby would be Nick Cannon.



And then it happened again. I didn't want to like it, I swear I tried not to, based on the appropriate indignation such a title should incur, but White Lady is such a great track, I think I may have just found my next ringtone. Now, this could very well be one of the tracks getting people so upset, what with Cannon making comedic light of the long running myth, that white people have no rhythm and thus, cannot dance. But consider this, if the notion is so unacceptable, why did Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes make a film based on the sporting equivalent of the hypothesis? Did anyone call Phil Collins a liar when he said he couldn't dance in song form? I think not. Therefore, I'm sorry, but I must confess, it's my track of the album!

By Feel The Music, and So Turnt Up, you realise that the point of the entire album, is to poke fun at himself, and some of the clichés that he is exposed to on his varied, everyday travels. The F Nick Cannon hashtag across social media for the past year at least, finally makes sense to me. It's another realism that he encounters so much, that he decided to take the insult, turn it on its head, and fire it back at his naysayers, by rubbing their faces in what they hate about him the most. That my friends, is what is known, as having the last laugh.

That wasn't the last laugh of the album however. Famous is an extension of F Nick Cannon. This time calling on Akon for backup, over a beat that finally defines Electro Hop. Well Nick has always been big on education, and with #WPPM, we learned today.

The joke that many like to apply to Cannon, is that he's not 'Black enough' (see Rapper Cam'Ron's Instagram feed for proof on that one). So seeing as Nick the DJ is not black enough for the 'black community'; he may as well go on over to his fully mainstream side and embrace it, in the only way that Nick Cannon could do – by being comedic on his own terms.

Thematic Album 1 Racism 0.

All in all, both have proved that neither is inherently racist. Azalea claims she raps with a Dirty South accent after moving to the Continent as a teen. That would be believable…if she didn't speak with her original Aussie accent. If anything, that young Miss is suffering from a complete loss of identity; how can you be racist when you clearly don't know who you are?



And as for Mr Cannon, I think that we've established he is simply coming from a place of improvisational comedy, where a variety of characters are the stand up equivalent of his bread and butter.

Well I’m off to slumberland. I hope you enjoyed the first #MusicMonday of 2014, and that you will continue to join me!

Nighty-Night Folx!
ES ;)