All Articles Tagged "Elton John"

The Homophobia Continues: Is Eminem Getting Another Pass With “Rap God”?

October 21st, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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"Eminem PF"

Source: WENN

Early last week, Eminem dropped “Rap God,” a six-minute long highly-offensive and homo-antagonistic cry for help, also known to some as a song, and the world was kind of indifferent about it.

Actually, that’s not entirely true: A number of folks, mainly gay rights organizations, supporters and entertainers, including Boy George and Elton John, who once performed alongside the controversial rapper, have publicly denounced both the song and the rapper for dropping “f*g” numerous times on the track and for using the term “gay” in general as an insult. But in many respects, the outrage, specifically in the media, has been tempered – if not blatantly absent. Even former ’80s “Karma Chameleon Boy George took to Twitter to note, “Isn’t it sad how the media just accepts abuse of gay people? F**ked.”

Indeed, especially when you check out a sampling of the song’s lyrics below:

I attempt these lyrical acrobat stunts while I’m practicing that / I’ll still be able to break a motherf**kin’ table / Over the back of a couple of f*ggots and crack it in half / Only realized it was ironic I was signed to Aftermath after the fact…”

And then there is this:

Even though I walk in the church and burst in a ball of flames / Only Hall of Fame I be inducted in is the alcohol of fame / On the wall of shame /You f*gs think it’s all a game ’til I walk a flock of flames…”

Followed by:

Little gay-looking boy / So gay I can barely say it with a straight face-looking boy / You witnessing massacre like you watching a church gathering taking place-looking boy / ‘Oy vey, that boy’s gay,’ that’s all they say looking-boy / You take a thumbs up, pat on the back, the way you go from your label every day-looking boy.”

Even as the Hip-Hop community continuously bares the brunt of accusations of being a bastion for homophobia, and society as a whole starts to understand how words like “f*g” are hurtful and just not polite, Eminem clearly has no interest in caring about either. And why should he? Not when TIME magazine can overlook the homophobia completely and instead just call the track “divine.” And not when Rolling Stone magazine also didn’t bother to mention the homophobic tirade at all, instead focusing on his warp-speed delivery and whom he might be paying homage too. Even the New York Daily News, who mentioned the controversial stuff, still didn’t see the need to quibble over the song’s homophobia, nor its misogyny, and saw it as nothing more than a “throwback to rapper’s playful prime.” Also noticeably absent is the lack of critical op-ed pieces not only denouncing, but also deconstructing what a song and its homo-antagonistic lyrics means to mainstream youth – and more importantly, how Eminem himself is a reflection of that culture. Instead, it appears to be an ambivalent undertone within this reaction – or lack thereof – to the song.

In some ways, it is understandable: Mr. Slim Shady has been using homophobic slurs and imagery in his music for more than a decade now, drawing all sorts of controversy and protest in the process. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, declared Eminem’s lyrics on The Marshall Mathers LP as “the most homophobic and hateful that GLAAD has ever seen in the past 15 years” and even protested the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards, which gave a platform for the Detroit-native to perform his now infamous duet with Sir Elton John. Not only did Eminem receive a standing ovation and a hug from the gay musical legend, but he managed to show how little he gave a crap about the GLAAD protest or the awards in general by raising both middle fingers to the audience.

And that has pretty much been the gist of how society has responded and dealt with Eminem’s homophobia. In essence, the Great White Hope of Hip-Hop, who has been a darling of the music and cultural critics, has sort of received a pass from the same level of scrutiny and flat-out hostility as some of his equally vile, and browner homophobes and misogynists. Somewhere, Chris Brown is listening to the track, whining and probably angrily punching a wall, or a puppy, at how his horrible transgressions warrant, on average, a public declaration a week on how much everyone should hate Chris, while some defensive music critic is once again, trying to convince us that Eminem’s abusive gender and sexual politics (as well as his past, which involves domestic violence incidents with ex-wife Kim) are all just a matter of clever wit and ironic wordplay, which us Philistines are incapable of processing (and yes, those articles exist too). And on that account (and only on that account) Breezy would have a point.

Outside of the realm of Hip-Hop and more into popular television, music and film culture in general, there does appear to be a tendency to ignore or excuse and even normalize misogynistic, homo-antagonistic and phobic deeds and words, which come by way of white entertainers and their even whiter writers. It seems that when they do it, it’s ironic or artsy. But when brown-skinned folks do it, it’s a cause. In no way am I suggesting that black rappers should get a pass as none of it is right. I’m just saying that the standard should be raised, applied and held for all, including the real Slim Shady.

“You Will Obscure Your Talent By Allowing Yourself To Be Pimped”: Sinead O’Connor To Miley Cyrus

October 3rd, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Sinead O'Connor

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While young girls around the country are going “gaga” over the new Miley Cyrus, it seems older folks aren’t too impressed–especially an array of musical legends. From Elton John to Cher and now Sinead O’Connor, many seem to think she’s a tacky meltdown waiting to happen. O’Connor shared her opinions on Cyrus in an open letter she wrote after the 20-year-old recently told Rolling Stone that her video “Wrecking Ball” (where she appears unclothed on a wrecking ball and licks a sledgehammer) was inspired by O’Connor’s very tame video for Nothing Compares 2 U (written by Prince). O’Connor has made it clear that she isn’t afraid to tell it like it is (remember her remarks on the Trayvon Martin tragedy?); so I guess you could say O’Connor didn’t want her classic video compared to the former Disney star’s, and she felt it was time to give Cyrus the real. Here are a few quotables from her lengthy open letter to the former child star:

“I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be unclothed and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether it’s the music business or yourself doing the pimping.

Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.
I am happy to hear I am somewhat of a role model for you and I hope that because of that you will pay close attention to what I am telling you.

The music business doesn’t give a s*** about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think it’s what YOU wanted… and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.

I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying f*** about you. They’re there for the money… we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.

Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that it’s somehow cool to be prostituted… it’s so not cool Miley… it’s dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers… that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherf***er who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.”

Wow. She didn’t hold back did she? But O’Connor definitely makes some good points. What do you think? Check out the full open letter here and share your thoughts.

We’re Glad They’re Still Here: Celebs Who Survived Suicide Attempts

June 7th, 2013 - By Iva Anthony
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With millions of adoring fans and millions in the bank, celebrities may seem to have it all but behind closed doors, they have their dark moments too.Here’s a list of stars who have survived suicide attempts.

"Paris Jackson pf"

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Paris Jackson

Paris Jackson lived a life relatively outside of the spotlight until her very famous dad suddenly passed away in June 2009. Since then, the King of Pop’s only daughter has struggled to deal with his death. To make matters worse, the 15-year-old is expected to stand trial at the lawsuit her family has filed against Jackson’s concert promoter later this month. Early Tuesday morning the younger Jackson was rushed to the hospital after trying to take her own life. She reportedly slit her wrist and took a large amount of aspirin pills. Grandma Katherine’s rep has released a statement on the teen: “Being a sensitive 15-year-old is difficult no matter who you are. It is especially difficult when you lose the person closest to you. Paris is physically fine and is getting appropriate medical attention. Please respect her privacy and the family’s privacy.”

‘She Is The Most Beautiful Girl In The World:’ Chris Brown Says He And Rihanna Are Definitely An Item

February 26th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

On Oscar night Chris Brown revealed to Page Six during Elton John’s HIV Foundation party that he and Rihanna have rekindled their romance and that they have officially entered into an exclusive relationship with one another.

“We are really happy. We are back together. She is the most beautiful girl in the world. But I’m sad she couldn’t be here tonight; she is rehearsing for her tour,” Brown said to Page Six.

Not that anyone with two eyes and an internet connection was unaware of this, but its cool to see him gush and actually admit it. Rihanna also discussed her relationship with Brown in an interview late last month.

“He doesn’t have the luxury of f***ing up again. That’s just not an option. I can’t say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I’m pretty solid in the knowing that he’s disgusted by that. And I wouldn’t have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility. He made a mistake, and he’s paid his dues. He’s paid so much. And I know that’s not a place he would ever want to go back to. And sometimes people need support and encouragement, instead of ridicule and criticism and bashing,” she said of the 2009 assault that ended their relationship.

Brown described the incident as his “biggest mistake” in an interview with The Mirror.

“That night was the deepest regret of my life, the biggest mistake. But she loves me – what can I say? I’m forgiven… but, yes, I worked hard for it.”

Chris went on to dish on the bond that he’s formed with Elton John, who he says has shown him tons of support regarding his reunion with Rih Rih.

 “I met Elton about a year ago, and he’s been a good friend to me. So it is great to be here tonight to support him,” he said to Page Six.

Chris also expressed his desire to work on a musical collaboration with John someday.

 “Music is music. It transcends everything, so I would love it if we could work together,” the singer revealed.

Despite Chris and Rihanna’s tumultuous past, it is nice to see how happy they are with one another. As for that Elton John-Chris Brown collaboration, that could be interesting.

What are your thoughts on Chris and Rihanna’s reunion?

Move Over Ruby Woo: Rihanna Inks Parternship With MAC Cosmetics, Dropping “RiRi Woo” And More

February 20th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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By John Aquino

By John Aquino

Well isn’t Rihanna just delving into a little bit of everything these days? When she’s not doing the music thing, she’s trying to act, when she’s not acting, she’s collaborating on fashions with River Island (whether critics like it or not), and when she’s not doing that, she’s partnering with MAC cosmetics. Where did MY life go wrong??

Just kidding!

Anywho, according to Women’s Wear Daily, the Bajan singer and the famed makeup retailer have teamed up to create a variety of color collections, including her own take on the famed red Ruby Woo color, a personal favorite of hers, calling it “RiRi Woo.” What will RiRi Woo be like? “She wanted RiRi Woo to be slightly more blue-red and retro matte — a matte with moisturizer finish we’d used in a collection years ago and currently only have in one product, “says Jennifer Balbier, senior VP of global product development for the brand. “She was especially adamant that the color be suitable for every skin tone.”

She told WWD that she’s been riding for MAC for so long, it only made sense to put her own stamp on their products. “When you think of makeup, the brand that pops into your mind — for something legit — is MAC. Whatever color you want, it’s like ‘Let’s go to MAC.’ I’ve been using MAC on tour for such a long time it was a natural fit for me. I have always loved makeup, and I always said that if I do it, I want to do it with a credible brand.”

And while MAC is known for teaming up with celebs, including Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper and Elton John for its Viva Glam products, John Demsey, the president of MAC’s parent company, Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., tells WWD that they want to make this a lasting partnership, so homegirl’s contributions won’t be temporary. They’ll be working with her on “four distinct color initiatives,” AKA, four different collections.

“These four collections are like four tracks on a Rihanna compilation. Each one has its own vibe, look, special makeup packaging and flavor. This is really the convergence of pop culture, fast fashion, and iconic style and makeup.”

If you’re a big fan of Rihanna and will be in Brooklyn during her Diamonds tour stops on May 4 and 5 at the Barclays Center, according to WWD, MAC will be doing a pop-up shop to sell her new collection, including the RiRi Woo. If you’re not there, you can catch all of her products in a MAC store later this year.

Hmmm, I might be hellas of late, but I guess it’s safe to say that her CoverGirl status is dead? Oh well, this collaboration is definitely an upgrade either way.