Sunday, March 06, 2005

Music Thoughts

-At the moment, I am sick of 50 Cent. I've never been a big fan of his. If there was ever a person who used beef to get ahead it's him. Many of his fans might not remember that before he ever hooked up with Eminem and Dr. Dre, he made a song called "How To Rob An Industry Nigga" which got him in trouble with various hip-hop artists at the time. Jay-Z even put in a one-line diss against 50 back on his Volume 3: Life And Times Of S. Carter album. Then, once he got his deal with Shady/Aftermath, 50 used beef to get ahead again with his "Wanksta" single that dissed Ja Rule. Now, just as his new album hits stores, 50 has another beef...with his own "protege" The Game. Then, his song "Piggy Bank" proceeds to diss even more people. It's funny how Eminem has gotten sick and tired of beef but 50 apparently needs it to survive and sell records.

I don't have a problem with beef in hip-hop, provided it actually makes the artists better. By starting the beef with Nas, Jay-Z single-handedly rejuvenated him. During their beef, each of them produced some of their best lyrics since their debut albums. LL Cool J proved he still had some relevance during his beef with Canibus. However, 50's beefs seem coldly calculated and completely unnecessary. It also doesn't help that his music hasn't gotten better. I like "In Da Club" and "21 Questions" much better than I do "Candy Shop" or "Disco Inferno." I guess it remains to be seen if 50 Cent can produce music that is good enough to stand on its own...without any outside controversy or beef.

-One thing I am enjoying about the On Demand cable service is the music offerings. I've been able to see music videos that I otherwise would not have seen. For example, who knew that Fatboy Slim had a video for the song "Wonderful Night"? It's a silly video that depicts a night on the town that takes a twist. I won't spoil it, but it's suitably strange. I also saw the video for the Grammy-nominated song by The Chemical Brothers "Get Yourself High." It takes clips from an old-school Kung Fu movie and modifies them using computer magic. The characters mouths suddenly move exactly with the lyrics (like Alanis Morrisette's "8 Easy Steps" video) and kung-fu masters are wearing boomboxes around their necks. Another video I saw was "All Caps" by Madvillain. It has a very cool comic-book look to it. The video for RJD2's "Exotic Talk" sucks, but the song is good. I saw these videos in the Havoc Television and Music Choice areas. And if you needed any further proof that MTV is de-emphasizing music, check out the MTV On Demand area. It has no music videos...they are in the MTV2 area.

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