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How to succeed in music without really trying Last night, in an unprecedented and horrifying display, ABC aired a violent, graphic rape last night for upwards of two or three hours.
Music, the universal language, was horribly, horribly raped last night. And they had the gall to call it an awards show.
Yep, the 2011 Billboard Awards went exactly how you think it went: Fucking horribly. They let you know what you were in for right off the bat, as Rihanna (a domestic abuse victim) sang her hit song "S&M" ("chains and whips excite me") only to be upstaged by a somehow even more talentless Britney Spears (who has had a lucrative career as an entertainer for 13 years, despite lacking the ability to dance or sing). The two then each took to stripper poles. Music in 2011.
Maybe the rapture should have happened on Saturday and spared us, because that was hard to watch. The night was punctuated between the two most self-satisfied bands of the past 30 years, U2 and the Black Eyed Peas. The Peas, of course, are a fucking horrible band of a bad rapper and a lady that can't sing and two other people who you can't name. They overcome this through 2011's 4-step secret of successful music:
1. Write shitty music. 2. Put it to a beat that sounds like Pokemon. 3. When it sounds fucking terrible, call it "futuristic." 4. Make millions of dollars.
It's just that easy. U2 replaces step 2 with "Make it really loud and serious-sounding" and step 3 with "tell people you're changing the world" but it's the same basic blueprint.
During the show, there was a tribute to Beyonce (legitimately talented) with video vignettes from people like Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder. Needless to say, the applause that Gaga got absolutely dwarfed poor Stevie – only adding further insult that he has to be blind, and not deaf. Because if there’s someone who’s a winner from the music scene this year, it’s a deaf person.
The show was hosted by Ken Jeong, a medical doctor who took to piano early in the show and proved himself more talented than most of the “artists” who would go on to win awards, especially Justin Bieber, a 17-year-old whose “Never Say Never” motto totally unironically fits the fact that he, like most artists, had to wait all of fifteen fucking years of life before he became rich and famous.
Seriously, how can he push this shit on little kids with a straight face? People told me I would never be rich and famous but I proved them wrong! Never say never! Dude you were born in 1994. No one had a chance to tell you anything. You got signed before your voice changed. How the fuck does that mean no one took a chance on you?
But I respect the Biebs, I really do. He’s doing him and that’s cool. And I do think that he has some talent that doesn’t require making his faux hawk light up (actual thing done by will.i.am last night). I even respect Gaga, because she writes her own music and produces her own beats and shit like that. Even though her career has devolved into this strange rip-off of Madonna, I still respect her. But I mean Christ, is it too much to ask for like, one good artist to come out post-2000?
Eminem won artist of the year last night, and that might be the most damning thing of all. Because while I love Em (as any white guy who was 11 when Real Slim Shady was on TRL does), he’s been signed to a label for the past 19 years. Seriously, Em has been around for two decades. And maybe it speaks more to how awesome he is, but no one could come and upstage him since then?