The Internet can be a cruel and unusual abyss of half-cocked opinions and bargain basement analysis, especially when it comes to Black wom...
It's So Hard To Say Goodbye
Apparently, I’ve made some kind of impression with my 2’s of 3’s of fans when it comes to award shows. I tried to let my Facebook updates serve as my commentary for this year’s BET Awards but I’ve been told that I need to give up the ghost. To reward your loyalty, I’m going to try to find the interest in this event that barely held it the 1st time.
I’ll start by saying this: honestly, I had NO INTENTIONS of watching this year. If not for Prince receiving the Lifetime Music Achievement award, I’da been undressed for sleep success early. Surprisingly, BET almost impressed me, as opposed to other years, with their hostess who wasn’t drunk, their appropriately dressed guests, as well as the intelligence and forethought of most of the award winners. Usually I walk away from these things with the WTF-face. There were still some WTF moments, but they are neither here nor there at this point. We’ve all guffawed at Monica’s space aged wonderment with the crotch-high boots (in Cali summer & under stage lights no less). Every woman worth her salt questioned Alicia Keys' pink 5 inch platforms with the teetering baby bump early in the show and then wondered if we should call Child Protective Services later on when she thrashed about the top of a piano in Prince’s honor. And of course we’re all still confused on what pomade meets shoe polish type helmet Jermaine Jackson is passing off as hair.
Those moments aside, and the 1’s where you wonder if Musicians/Entertainers ever write anything ‘cuz they sho’ cain’t read TelePrompTers (really how this word is spelled), there were some stand-out moments as well. Diddy washed all in 90’s Nostalgic Glow as he remixed the “can’t stop, won’t stop” Dirty Money Style. Who doesn’t love to see Diddy dance? Kanye reminded us he’s on top of the world and the rest of us are his lowly minions and you were either enthusiastically loving to hate him or happily hating to love him. El DeBarge also proved that drugs don’t have to rob you of your voice and jail time provides just the right amount of forced focus for comeback dreams.
It wasn’t El DeBarge’s campaign to launch light skinned falsetto brothers back into the limelight [after Al B. Sure dropped the pass] that moved me most. It certainly wasn’t the mark-missing tribute to Prince. As adorable as Janelle Monae is, her seizure-like dancing a rocker inspired contribution didn’t do it for me. Esperanza Spalding lost focus on her string instrument and opened her mouth to attempt some notes that she’d not been introduced to. Alicia Keys, talented tinkler she is, does nothing for me with her singing. As my sister and I say, she’s a snoozer, and even her roll-about didn’t inspire any excitement for me. She was followed by Patti LaBelle. You can’t really hate on Patti. She’s classic, timeless, a Diva where few are left and few to follow. That doesn’t mean she can handle everything. Just once I’d like to see Ms. Patti keep her shoes ON (Louboutins this time) and ease us through the notes of a song. Prince has been known to do his own screaming but… This tribute fell shorter than Prince without his pumps on. Like a friend asked, where was Sheila E, Morris Day & the Time? Hell, even D'Angelo?
Like I said, none of this was the highlight for me. I bought deeply into the moment that others in the blog-o-sphere and other social media are saying was a media ploy for comeback purposes. I admit Chris Brown was no one I was really checking for. Yes, the boy can dance his ass off. His vocals haven’t caught me as being awe inspiring yet, but he does his thing & he has a couple songs I like. The point is I’m 35. I’m not out here listening to the Jonas Brothers or Justin Bieber or any of their black counterparts (though not sure who they are). Chris Brown is a child to me, and so mattered very little. It wasn’t until he and Rihanna had their domestic situation pop off behind butterfly doors that I started to pay some attention. As a woman, of course I formed an opinion about a man putting his hands on a woman. As a realistic woman I also recognize that there are times when women do some not so smart things that leads to unfortunate circumstances for all involved. Also not a Rihanna fan, I paid loose attention to this story more from the perspective of someone concerned about the way young people are dealing in relationships. It’s scary to me.
Eventually it became clear that there was going to be some unfair dealings going on. Record sales turned it all into a vehicle to be pimped for scantron numbers. C. Breezy was being blackballed for doing something not nearly as heinous as the things R. Kelly has been accused of and yet he manages to make hit after hit (depending on what your taste is) and avoid jail time. Kel’s Dirty Old Man to C. Breezy’s 1-time Batterer doesn’t add up to me and I’m willing to forgive and move on. If young people can’t mess up, seek guidance and forgiveness and show us they’ve changed, what does the future hold? How many of you can look back on some thangs you’ve done that if only more than 1 other person knew, your whole spot could be blown?
That’s what I thought. So, when Chris Brown took the stage for the Michael Jackson 1 yr anniversary celebration, I was ecstatic. No matter how many people say Usher or Sisqo or Omarion could’ve pulled it off instead, I offer you a big plate of Hell No with a side of GTFOH! The choreo was flawless and the crowd was hype. If Chris Brown never attempted to sing 1 note of a Michael Jackson song, the tribute still would’ve gone down as incredible, hands down. When Chris attempted to sing Man In The Mirror the weight of the past year and some changed came down on him. He’d lost his idol, he’d messed up on the world’s stage, he’d been blacklisted by his industry, music fans turned their backs along with their ears and their wallets. He’s been shut out from so much, spent a lot of time fighting to get back, all the while watching the woman he once loved turn their issue into a 3rd reincarnation of her short career. Chris was on that stage to say “goodbye,” to beg forgiveness, to be accepted, and to see the man in the mirror. His childhood tried to pick up a man’s weight and broke. He was looking for freedom and discovered just how expensive it is.
No matter your feelings about his music, see him for the young man he is. What young [black] man [especially] doesn’t require our support to stand tall in this life? Tell him you don’t dig what he did to Rihanna, but tell him you love him and will lift him up when he falls the same way you expect those that love you to do for you. Give him some room to grow…
…So he can move.
*posting without editing. sorry if this wasn't what you were looking for. it's what it is.*