Friday, January 18, 2013

mariah: pre-skank vs. post-skank

Me: American Idol is coming on!
The Lovely Steph Leann:  I know!

American Idol is coming on!
The Lovely Steph Leann:  I know!

American Idol is coming on!
The Lovely Steph Leann: I know!

Me: Are we going to watch American Idol this year?
The Lovely Steph Leann:  I dunno.  I guess we can see.

And here we are again.  We actually had an open discussion on the benefits of watching American Idol... that took up a few minutes we'll never get back.  However, we have decided that we will watch it... for a few weeks.

The commitment level is low.  Not only is the flesh weak, but the spirit is totally unwilling... because of two words:  Nicki.  Minaj.

There are two things I'm proud of in my life right now... well, a number of things, but specifically, I have never heard a One Direction song... nor have I ever heard a Nicki Minaj song.  I don't know what she sounds like, and frankly, I don't even know what her voice sounds like.  And I'm okay with that...

Gone are the past two years of feathers and tight dresses and the like... Crazy Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler has left, now that he has used American Idol to benefit his career and re-invent himself... Jennifer Lopez has also left the building, doing much of the same.  Together, they had two pretty good seasons, giving us both Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips (which is a far better result than Lee DeWyze and whoever it was that beat Crystal Bowersox).  Now, they are gone.

Who is here now?  The aforementioned Minaj... Keith Urban, though he oddly enough likes to say "keith urban", not Keith Urban.  Somehow, I can dig that.  Anyway, keith is a country artist, with songs like "Sweet Thing" and "You'll Think of Me" and "Making Memories of Us"... I like keith urban... also known as Mr. Nicole Kidman.

And of course, Mariah Carey.  Now, this is Post-Skank Mariah, let's not forget that, but this is Mariah nonetheless. 

Picture this walk down memory lane, if you will indulge me.  Band bus.  1990.  Fall.  On the way to Georgiana, where Samson High is going to play G.W. Long High in football.  I'm sitting with Tonya Windham, in front of me in the seat is Chris McCall and Regina Lassiter, who are turned around talking to us, and over our shoulders are a few other bandy people... we are discussing music, as high schoolers are want to do...

This is how I like my Mariah. Simple.  Pre-Skank.  Frizzy headed.
Tonya asks, "Have y'all heard that new Vision of Love song?  By that Mary girl... whats her name?"  Chris says he hadn't heard it, Regina grins and says she has.  I know the song.  I really like the song.  I actually had already bought the cassette tape.

Regina says, "Who sings that song?  d$, you know who sings everything!"

I simply reply two words... "Mariah Carey." 

I was in love with Mariah back in the day... 1990, 91 or so... I had the poster of Mariah in her "Emotions" pose.  She was a goddess... she was glorious... she was wonderful... "Vision of Love"... "Someday"... "Emotions"... even her tepid remake of "I'll Be There" (which also featured Trey Lorenz, who's one hit "Someone to Hold" was a favorite of mine back in the day) was good enough to keep me around... she got a little sexy going on a few years later, with "Always Be My Baby" and "Fantasy" and possibly my favorite Mariah song, "Dream Lover".  So, so good.

And then, 1997... "Honey".  A decent jam, to be fair... but this is where the turn was made.  Suddenly, she wasn't the cute, hot looking starlet with the big voice... somehow, she got a little bigger up top, she got a little weird, and she decided that she was not white, but black.  She's actually somewhere in the middle, but you didn't know that.  From the "Butterfly" album, it was the album that she decided "I'm a bad girl now" The video for "Honey" has her surrounded by black dudes while she romances a white guy. 

Finally, her Skankdom took over when she released "Rainbow" in 1999...  Pre-Skank Mariah, fabulous.  Post-Skank Mariah, eesh.  Yikes.  "Glitter", both the movie and the album came in 2001, "Charmbracelet" in 2002... everything had samples, everything had rappers behind it, tracks would come with "ft Da Brat & Ludacris" and "ft Jay-Z" and then Cam'ron and Fat Joe and Snoop Dogg and... who cares.

She had her breakdown in 2003 or 2004, went a little nuts, and "rebounded" with her acclaimed album "The Emancipation of Mimi" in 2005... but by then, I just didn't care.  Apparently there is one called "Triumphant" and another album called "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel"... but I just found that out when I looked on iTunes. Had no clue.

I checked out on Mariah in 1999 with "Rainbow"... I ended up getting "Glitter", "Charmbracelet" and "Emancipation" just because that's what big fans do.  But while I cherish my Pre-Skank Mariah memories, I have no use for Post-Skank Mariah...

And now, she's on Idol.  American Idol.  What do I do?

I'm almost afraid to watch it... I'm almost afraid I will become a Post-Skank Mariah fan.  I don't want to.  I don't want to at all.  But what if I do?  I just don't know.

Nicki Minaj?  Not worried about being a fan at all. 

I just checked... I have 138 Mariah Carey songs and/or videos in my collection on iTunes.  I have 17 keith urban tunes.  Nicki Minaj?  Zero.  For a reason.

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