This is a new—this is a new mentality. We’re not gonna control our kids with brands. We’re not gonna teach low self-esteem and hate to our kids. We’re gonna teach our kids that they can be something. We’re gonna teach our kids they can stand up for themselves. We’re gonna teach our kids to believe in themselves. If my grandfather were here right now, he would not let me back down. I don’t know what I’m gonna lose after this. It don’t matter though, because it ain’t about me. It’s about ideas, bro. New ideas, people with ideas, people who believe in truth.
Kanye West, speaking more public truth to power than any musical icon before him. Where are Michael Jackson’s polemics? Did Cobain elevate any of us? Who, historically, compares?
I wrote this on one friend’s FB status today and then copy-pasted it to another which I guess is as good a sign as any that I liked what I wrote.
What if Miley had co-opted metal culture rather than hip-hop? What if she suddenly started namedropping Mastodon and posting Instagram photos of her kicking it with Dimmu Borgir, but doesn’t bring either of them into the studio? And onstage at the VMAs and in her videos she insists on headbanging but keeps her neck stiff, then throws up the m/, thumb included. Sure, all the real metalheads know she’s a joke, but now you have to contend with a swarm of 13 year olds who ape her and start claiming to know everything about metal, which is only furthered by One Direction going out of their way to follow in her footsteps and release an over-produced metal-tinged LP. And then everyone in pop does it.
But if watching clueless giggling children shit all over a genre with decades of history isn’t enough, you have to remember that other people who dislike pop/Miley will begin to associate metal with her rather than the real metal acts. Folks who might’ve listened to metal (like, say, cool 13 year-olds like we were), will be turned away from it, while people who didn’t really care about it will begin to actively hate it. (“Miley was so sweet until she started listening to that damn BLACK metal MUSIC”)
And then watching it all go down, you realize that the pop music machine is bigger than most other cultural forces in the country, and there is literally NOTHING you can do to protect the music you once loved. (Or I mean, you can try, but people will call you a snob and you will accomplish nothing).
I imagine that’s what cultural appropriation feels like. And, on top of that, Scandinavia was never enslaved by the people who would be adopting their music and style.
I watched the VMAs last night! Lots of different ones! Which, according to most folks, was a better idea than watching the live show!
I’m not a devotee of any artists included here, but I had constant cold tinglies racing around my spine for MJ’s 15-minute god-mode performance and Nirvana coming to terms with their fame.
The Late Movies: 9 Iconic VMA Performances