Dedication to a Fake Thug

Musicology, You Didn't Ask Me, But...

Perhaps this thesis is an unsubstantiated, biased piece of writing. Perhaps I don’t intend to include more than a modicum of evidence to support my case, if any at all. Perhaps all these points are merely the rantings of a nobody millennial with time on her hands. All I know is, what’s done in the dark shall be brought to light, ya heard?

Puff, Sean John, Prince of Persia — whatever moniker he’s parading his millions under these days — is not to be trusted. Aside from the negative vibes I feel radiating from him — I’m all about them vibes, baby —  I want to point out that he is considered to be a premiere MUSIC MOGUL. Sure, he deserved that label in the past, but the sheer fact that he regularly sits atop the Forbes list of richest musicians is laughable when he a) doesn’t personally make music and b) when he does bother, isn’t making anything worth a damn. (Remember Diddy-Dirty Money? Not on purpose I’m sure.) Diddy is a mogul, yes, but his empire is built on conning the (ethnic) masses into drinking his regular-degular vodka and, once upon a time, tricking the people into wearing his clothing — all oversized, ill fitting and damn, I’m glad that era is over — while padding his resume with the talents of others.

Back in the ’90s before the East Coast-West Coast rap rivalry erupted in the deaths of Pac and Biggie (#RIP), Diddy was rolling as Big’s BFF, producer, label head, bad boy for life or whatever the hell, then, boom, Big’s dead. Why, yes, I do believe Suge Knight “did that shit,” but I’m casting a pristine side eye in the direction of Puff Daddy.

Why? You know why.

Then he did his own little rap thing, fine. I’ll give him his laurels, he had them bops — I’ll two-step to “Feel So Good” on request — but he was supposed to be a career maker. A producer, lest we forget, because fast forward to the mid-to-late oughts and I’m thinking he might have.

Then, there is Lil’ Kim — you know what, nah. Kim deserved more from all the “Bad Boys” and imma leave it at that.

I’d like to bring  your attention to “Making the Band 2, 3, 4.” In the early days of television-launched music careers, before that particular industry/path to super stardom felt bloated, Diddy decided he was going to put together a super group(s). There was the group “Da Band” (MTB2), which, although a definitive failure, inspired one of the most hilarious parodies in existence.

Next, Diddy put together “Day26” (MTB3): a group of five (relatively) attractive chocolate daddies black men who could carry a tune. Diddy was supposed to bring them to the musical promised land of R&B milk and hella honeys, yet he led his people astray because we haven’t heard a peep from those boys in years. Except for that time Willie was embarrassing his lady love on VH1, but that’s men for ya. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Then, Puff had the black ass audacity to rinse and repeat with “Danity Kane” (MTB4): a group of five (relatively) attractive United Nations ambassadors variably ethnic women who could carry a tune. Moses he was certainly not because those girls put out a few hits and fell apart faster than soggy bread. While I shall acknowledge that individual personalities certainly matter when considering the demise of these bands, Diddy’s ego certainly plays a part! Because that’s the point of this article.

Then, Diddy found himself a singing “Honey” — seriously, why are there (four) movies — named Cassie Ventura. Yet, with all the powers vested in he, the best he could do for her music dreams was join her on “Must Be Love” and watch her look cute in a dance studio before deciding she’d look better on his arm. I may be speculating wildly, — media, amirite — but when was the last time Cassie — who posessses some semblance of a voice and obviously musical goals — was recognized for being anything other than Diddy’s girlfriend. You would think if your MUSIC MOGUL man cared a lick about your individual aspirations, he might, you know, apply some of that elbow grease in your direction. And on top of that, Puff still hasn’t even had the decency to make you a wife?

Alas.

In conclusion, I’d like you to turn your attention to Sean John’s next business venture: a program entitled “The Four: Battle For Stardom.” For the uninitiated, the series involves (four) judges:

  • Music Mogul – Diddy
  • Music Executive – Charlie Walk*
  • Singer/songwriter – Meghan Trainor
  • Producer – DJ Khaled

who allow (four) people to compete for a contract through which the (four) aforementioned heavyweights will lead them to greatness. (Not the best synopsis, but Google is still free.)

As previously mentioned, the TV-to-fame realm has been oversaturated and a Fergie-hosted competition is hardly going to catapult any careers, but the idea intrigued me enough to watch. Already having qualms about each judge — DJ Khaled’s overbearing hype-ness, Meg’s undeserved GRAMMY Best New Artist win over Tori “She Has the Range” Kelly, Charlie being a cis white male with all the opinions  (*who may be the latest on a list of sexual harassersfun), and Diddy being Diddy — I decided I would soldier on. Watching in reverse, it took three episodes until I made it to the premiere where I saw the so-called MOGUL, who’d already been displaying his egomaniacal tendencies up to this point, decide to annihilate a poor girl’s feelings for no discernible reason other than to make himself look important.

“I think that it’s a cold cruel world out and the truth will set you free and I have to always speak the truth. I didn’t like it one bit,” he said to poor Lorde Jr. As the audience booed his reaction, he clapped back, saying, “You’re all liars.” This, of course, lead to a snowball of negativity headed by Puff bellowing like a toddler.

“Your honeymoon is over,” he said, slamming his palms on the table. “The honeymoon is over America! I want greatness now! Send me greatness!”

It was a ridiculous, unwarranted power trip and the girl was talented (as was everyone who literally stepped on the show — that’s the point) meaning he had nary a reason to berate her before God and man. But he’s Diddy, so, cool?

The essence of his attitude was so dastardly, every clip I’d seen of him dancing in his mansion and being daddy of the year to his daughters and sons — all things that had previously amused me or nearly warmed by perpetually chilled heart — was no longer enough to overcome my distaste for the acidic nature of his personality.

Frankly, my dear, it’s obvious — save your @s for the keyboard — that Diddy is nothing more than a nefarious presence. Not just on “The Four,” nay, but in life, because for any MUSIC MOGUL worth his salt to be rolling in the dough while his mentees aren’t popping by any stretch of any imagination…it’s a crying shame.

The best things Diddy has done, in my humble opinion, include rallying the troops for “I’ll Be Missing You,” featuring Jesse Williams’ hot, educated face in a commercial and producing an assortment of (relatively) attractive sons. And, of course, the one that personally sends me into a tizzy didn’t even come from his own loins.

The knave.

Honestly, Quincy, maybe it’s global warming.

 

 

TS: Return to Sender

Musicology, You Didn't Ask Me, But...

Taylor Swift recently released Look What You Made Me Do, the first single and video from her upcoming telenovela treatise angry diary post album “Reputation.” In the song, she opines how KanyeKimPeopleBoyfriendsHuh forced her to kill off her old personas–essentially, her rebirth from the fires of pop culture. A vanilla bean phoenix if you will.

Well, sis, you can go ahead and kill this edition of yourself too, because we don’t want it either.

Taylor Ssssswift took JAY-Z’s immortal lyrics I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man! to laudable heights. I’ll give her props for making herself into a pop culture icon with millions of album sales, millions of fans, and millions upon millions of dollars. Sure, she’s worked hard and possesses musical talents. And reinventing herself from bubblegum country queen to music maven was merely par for the course. Kudos. But all along, as she built persona after persona, she added more pieces of plastic to her image, wrapping herself in a thick film of fakeness audiences now see through much too easily.

As her contrived victimhood grew, so did our disbelief in her authenticity. It all began with the VMAs (wrong!) awarding Swift the Video of the Year Award over Queen Bey and launching Kanye West further into (sad!) infamy. Although we were all thinking it, West said it (OMG, Brittany!) and turned himself into the public’s King Kong, dragging the helpless white woman to the top of the Empire Building to be saved. I thoroughly believe Taylor would’ve gotten to the top eventually, but I call shenanigans if you think the VMA scandal wasn’t kerosene poured onto the fires of her career.

giphy

The beginning of a grand ol’ time

It was cute and she was dandy in the beginning, and maybe it wasn’t her fault, but ours as the audience, for egging on a mostly paltry conflict. We fanned the flames as West went down a rabbit hole and Swift was uplifted. But then, the perpetual defense of Swift in connection to West got boring. And worst of all, annoying. It could’ve been set aside and overcome and I wouldn’t have to be out here caping for Mr. West, which I am loath to do. But then there was Katy Perry. In this white-on-white gang war,  Swift came out on top surrounded by a #girlsquad that seemed as sturdy as a straw house. And then there was her cries for #feminism, but seemingly only when it proved useful to her victimhood.* The longer you feigned shock at award shows, the more we grew weary and the bigger you got, the less you used your sizable voice to make an actual impact.

And then Kim Kardashian dropped the Snapchat of the year and it was revealed that Taylor Swift was as calculating as we’d imagined.

She was suddenly unmasked.

But instead of taking any onus of responsibility, she asked to be “excluded from the narrative.” As my beloved mother always says, tell the truth and shame the devil. She, unlike Taylor, knew better.

Now here we are. She took a well-deserved sabbatical, but came back swinging swords  she didn’t earn, with a new persona that seems equally as contrived as the old for all of the pomp and circumstance. She’s bringing sexy back or something like that, but I don’t buy it. No one made you do anything. Not to mention, a fair amount of your haters were fans who were simply over it. 

All celebrities have a right to rebrand themselves, but we don’t buy it when you choose not to address the actual reasons why folks are over your personas. Work on that aspect of your reputation and why you think you need to dead them at all, because I suspect you haven’t quite figured it out.

In this new era, you say the old you can’t come to the phone?

Girl, we really weren’t calling.

 


*I will concede that part of this was a result of her being slut-shamed and no woman should go through any kind of sexual assault or verbal abuse because of her relationships. Or for any reason. Rape culture is disgusting.