Soapboxing: Why We Need To Stop Making The "Next" One Happen

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

If you've ever seen the movie Mean Girls, you know there is a scene where "Plastics" member Gretchen uses the word "fetch". After using the word an abundance of times, to "Plastics" leader Regina's chagrin, Regina gets upset and screams at her: "Stop making fetch happen, it never will happen!" This is how I feel about everyone sudden urge to try and "replace" Michael Jackson. Stop. Look at what you said. It's a little stupid. It's not going to happen so please stop trying. Well, stop right now...

I have promised myself that this will be the last post I'll do about Michael Jackson for awhile, but I got an itch and I need to scratch. This itch popped up when on my Twitter timeline, a few retweets from my lovely followers popped up to clown on Chris Brown's mother on her tweet that read specifically like this, in all caps (because caps make ish official):

MICHAEL JACKSON DIED SO THAT CHRIS BROWN COULD LIVE!!!!!!

(At the time of this post, Momma Breezy has since deleted her tweet...so read my retweet.)

First off, she is a walking PSA for why I have Twitter blocked on my parent's computer...I don't need to see an avatar of Audio Mama glossed up in a Glamor Shot titling her shades down the bridge of her nose seductively. Second, she's jaded,...but she's not the only one who walks around thinking like this...we all know about what crafts a "stan". While I'm not going to sit and decode her message like a Twitter Twit Analyzer, because who the hell really knows what she meant, but on the surface, she sounds like a lot of people, a lot of people who try to replace something with another in order for there not to be a blank space. Blank spaces are agitating, I guess. Plus I thought we were sort of over this? I thought we had been through the five stages? Do we need a 12 step program now? I love Michael Jackson and will continue to love and cherish his legacy, but I'd just like the new breed of artists to stop trying to believe that they can be the "next" whatever and for their fans/stans to stop thinking they will be the "next" whatever. What happened to just being yourself and creating your own legacy? Michael did it, why not you? Is it that hard?

There is a thing called influence and another called straight up jacking. Which is what we've been sort of seeing nowadays. Remember the attacks on Christina Aguilera for all her "resemblances" to Lady GaGa and Madonna? I have dubbed this phenomenon the "Valley of the Copycats" as it's sort of an addicting habit that has just kept going deeper and deeper as months went by. Where we see less of an influence and original style and more of blatant copying and even "selling out" (I hate that term) for the sake of a radio hit. Most of this copying has been used to stay afloat in the music industry.

It's a mystery how this all sort of started, and though it's nothing new, it's just been flourishing lately. Now I'm all for homages and influence, we must remember that Michael himself was influenced by the likes of James Brown and Jackie Wilson...but it's called take a little, and gain a lot. Not be greedy and take the whole damn cake and even claim that you baked it from scratch when you really just bought the Betty Crocker mix.

I had a discussion with lo and behold, Audio Mama, about Usher. Since my mother knows I have a music blog she's always telling me about music stuff she sees, she's like my unpaid intern if you will. Anyways, she saw Usher on one of those news morning shows dancing away like he normally does, and she noticed his footwork and someone mentioning him as the "next" Michael. She said, "Is Usher trying to be like Michael? You know replace him? If he's doing that, the boy needs to stop." While I don't think Usher intently tries to be like Mike, fans, stans, critics and the like, try to make people like Usher, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and every R&B man happen like a re-incarnation of Michael Jackson. Sort of a build me up buttercup...then letting me down type deal. Even when Michael was alive and wasn't making music on the regular, there were people claiming that so-in-so was the next "one".

Once again, I will probably have the unpopular opinion on this, or maybe reading too much into the growing discussions I have heard whether through friends, blogs or Twitter timelines. I also admit that there are some artists that I like that try and make "fetch" happen every day. I'm not one to sit on a high horse, because I also know that music itself evolves and morphs each and every time we press the play button so we are bound to see repetition. Still I just think some artists need to just be themselves, stop proclaiming they are the "next" whatever, take a little influence, and stop trying to fill shoes that obviously cannot be filled. If they can prove it, prove it, but stop the cheap talk if you can't deliver, please.

1 comment:

  1. OMG!!!! You are sooo right on the money with this post. i remember not long ago kanye had said Beyonce is the next Tina, Jay-Z the next Sinatra and Lil Wayne the next Jimi Hendrix! HENDRIX!!! Hendrix and Lil Wayne should in no way be in the same sentence!

    i notice the term "icon" and "legend" is being bandied about a lil too much for my liking too.

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