All Articles Tagged "miguel"
When Your Favorite Songs Are Deemed Disrespectful To Women: Am I Wrong For Jamming To Miguel’s “How Many Drinks”?
It was an ordinary Tuesday afternoon in the office I work in, and we were having a conversation about who we would have sing at our wedding and wedding reception if we could afford it like some of these famous celebrities. After saying I would love to have Miguel sing “Adore” at my wedding reception, and having others agree, we randomly decided to have a Miguel jam session. The chosen song to play first was the very popular “How Many Drinks?” and once it started, we were grooving (when we probably should have been busy completing some form of work). A few of us sang the chorus with not a care in the world, trying to reach Miguel’s falsetto at times, and just having a good time:
How many drinks would it take you to leave with me?/Yeah, you look good and I got money/But I don’t wanna waste my time/Back of my mind I’m hopin you say two or three/You look good, we came to party/But I don’t wanna waste my time…
Just a few seconds into winding in my seat, I was surprised to find that a few of my co-workers weren’t feeling it at all. They knew the song, but aside from the beat and his crooning on the track, they hated everything else about it, and they were literally dumping on it while a few of my colleagues and I were still grooving to it. I can’t tell you what both women said word for word, but the gist of their complaint about one of my favorite songs was that it was extremely disrespectful to women, and condoned the idea of getting a woman drunk, taking her home, and taking advantage of her. In a way, they compared the promotion of a date rape culture by Rick Ross in his “U.O.E.N.O.” controversy to Miguel possibly promoting a culture of getting chicks drunk to get to the last base–disrespect to women.
During this debate, my colleague and I disagreed with our other co-workers, saying that there’s a difference because Ross described drugging his companion for the evening when she didn’t know it, and then taking her home, “enjoying that,” when she didn’t even know it. That’s not giving someone a choice. Miguel might have been extremely forward and crass in his delivery to this fictional woman, but he wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything they weren’t down for. They still strongly disagreed, claiming it makes a lot of these men out here believe that it’s okay to step to a woman in such a way, as if they, along with their ladybits, can be bought.
After much consideration, I could understand what my co-workers were trying to say, and I agree with them a little bit. A lot of today’s music can be mad disrespectful to women, and I’m one of many women who unknowingly jammed to, or ignored lyrics in songs that are all about foolery that I wouldn’t condone from a guy in real life. I certainly wouldn’t want a man stepping to me at the bar, asking how many drinks it would take to take me home and get me out of my clothes. And while we can all say that it’s just music, as my co-worker said, music can be a powerful force that influences people’s behaviors. Maybe we shouldn’t be telling our friends and DJ’s to “RUN THAT BACK!!!” on songs that parade around the idea of getting women drunk or high off their behinds so that they can get loose as goose and make regrettable choices. And that can go in the same vein as backing away from songs that call us ho*s, b***hes, and everything other than a child of God.
But on the other side of the fence, I have to ask, when are we going to stop blaming the music of a few for the foolery, lack of sense and lack of manners of others? To each their own. My co-worker and others can shun this particular Miguel track, or the artist as a whole because they don’t agree with the song, but I don’t necessarily believe it promotes or pushes folks with free will to let a man buy them drinks to get them in bed, or men to step to women in a disrespectful manner. These are things both women and men have been doing and allowing for years, and I doubt they got their courage by listening to Miguel’s Kaleidoscope album. Besides, as my colleague would say, not every song is about romance, just as every new encounter between a man and a woman is not romantic and sweet. Were people having this same conversation when Wreckx-N-Effect’s “Rump Shaker” came out and Teddy Riley told the ladies, “All I wanna do is zoom-a-zoom-zoom-zoom and a poom-poom” in ’92?
I’m not a fan of music that glorifies sexual and physical assault of women, and on a sidenote, I’m not a real fan of Rick Ross because he’s had a history of saying questionable things and stealing other people’s lives for his music. But as for Miguel, a man who I would still ask to sing “Adore” at my wedding reception (if he was doing it for free.99), this particular song will continue to get played on my iPhone. If Miguel came up to me at the bar and said, “How many drinks would it take you to leave with me? Yeah, you look good and I got money, but I don’t wanna waste my time,” I would probably laugh in his face and two-step in the opposite direction. But to say so in a simple song, with some insane vocal arrangements, strings, and all-around awesome production to it? I’m sorry, but that’s my jam, and I’ll continue to bow my head, lift my hand, and snap my finger to it. Is that so wrong?
While I wasn’t necessarily feeling “Triumphant,” Mariah Carey’s last single with Rick Ross, nor was I crazy about her track “Almost Home” for the movie Oz, The Great And Powerful, this new joint I can rock with. Just a few days ago, “#Beautiful” dropped and I could groove with it, but wasn’t 100% sure if it was a winner in my book yet. But now that the video has been released, I love it! Carey debuted the video during American Idol yesterday, which was directed by Joseph Kahn, and in the clip, the iconic singer rides along on a motorcycle with the very handsome Miguel as they sing and let the “wind” (fake) blow though their hair (and in Miguel’s case, bouffant). Later in the video, Mimi writhes around and dances in a tiny yellow dress in front of Miguel in a barnyard. And yeah, that’s pretty much the gist of it. But I can say that the visuals match the song well. The song was co-written and co-produced by Miguel, and we’re digging it.
Even if things don’t work out as a judge on American Idol (and I hope she leaves on her own accord after the hot mess of a way she’s been portrayed through the show), she’s got a great summer to look forward to, because we’re sure this jam will be a winner on the charts. Check it out for yourself and let us know if it’s a pass or play for you!
“R&B Is Like High School Right Now”: Chris Brown Talks The Drama-Filled State of R&B, Why He Hopes To Change It, And His Bond With Miguel
Chris Brown is still out and about promoting his new album, X, which will come out in July, and he stopped by the Houston radio show 97.9 to speak on why he’s hoping to change the game of R&B again, and why he’s not about all the drama people think he is.
Opening up, Brown spoke about his hope for his future videos, and going for a Michael Jackson cinematic type of approach with them from now on, instead of the same big booty girls, big bootied cars thing everybody is doing right now:
“Hopefully I can make every video for this next album something like a movie, or something eventful. You know, capture the audience instead of doing the same ol’ big booties in the video, pull up in a nice car, and I’m rapping in the front. I would rather do a feature film type thing… Once the album is released I’m going to have at least 10 videos, so people can actually see and experience the songs they fall in love with by the visuals. I just want to switch it up and have a different approach.”
And Chris says that he wants to see other musicians in the game step it up. But he does think that out of everybody in R&B, he’s most impressed with Miguel:
“I’m in a good frame as far as music so I want everybody to do dope stuff. Like Miguel is doing great to me. Everything he does that’s dope, because it makes us as entertainers work harder. It’s just a whole bunch of people doing the same ‘ol bull and you don’t got a chance to elevate or work on your talents or crafts. So I commend all these new artists and everybody that’s really out here grinding. Showing all the old veteran artists that look man, your spot ain’t solidified. You take a hiatus it might be over…”
And of course, he discussed the state of R&B, which he claims is only focused on drama and personal scandals instead of actual music right now. Frankly, homeboy is sick and tired of it:
“People don’t even know, me and Miguel are good friends. Usually when you have R&B artists in this world, it’s always a competition or a back and forth because of who is better than who…But me and Miguel are close friends. I can’t say that about EVERY person in the industry [laughs], but definitely as far as the game is concerned, I’m more excited to see what’s going to come this summer. What’s going to happen with all the big, big events and awards in general. Because it’s time to make the music industry exciting again. Only thing that’s exciting about the music industry right now is the scandal and the B.S. You wanna see “Love and Hip Hop” or you want to see somebody fighting on TV, or who slept with this person and who cheated on who. It’s like high school to me. Mentally, I don’t even want to deal with it, I just want to put my music out.”
Seems like we’re seeing a new side of Chris, which is refreshing, because he’s got too much talent to constantly be embroiled in the drama. But alas, let’s see how long this will last.
What do you think of his statements about the state of R&B? Does he have a point?
One Of These Names Is Not Like The Other…A Look At TIME’s Interesting ‘Most Influential People’ Picks
TIME magazine just released its annual list of the Most Influential People in the World, and as these things go every year, there are some people who unquestionably should be on this list and others who we’re scratching our head over. After a lively and heated debate in the office this morning, I’ve come to the conclusion that influence means different things to different people — and perhaps TIME should revise this list to be called the most influential people of the week, month, or quarter, as some of these pop culture choices appear to be hot right now — as in April 18, 2013 right now — but hardly for the entire year.
But before we debate, let’s shout out the black folks who made the list:
- Jay-Z : Not only did the Jigga man make the list, he snagged one of the mag’s covers and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, no less, wrote his profile. #Winning
- Valerie Jarrett
- Shonda Rhimes
- Lebron James
- Barack Obama
- Omotola Jalade Ekeinde
- Michelle Obama
- Joyce Banda
- Frank Ocean
- Joaquim Barbosa
- Mario Balotelli
And now for the interesting/confusing ones:
- Christina Aguilera: In the world? Perhaps the singing competition world, and I’m not even sure that assessment would be completely accurate. This seems like a wild card, we need one more influencer who’s female addition. Can we say reaching?
- Jennifer Lawrence: Is it just me or is Jennifer Lawrence just the different white girl flavor of the year? You know the innocent, aloof blue-eyed girl who acts like she doesn’t really want to be famous but doesn’t mind hitting every red carpet to pick up an award. I’ve yet to understand her mass appeal…but I also haven’t seen ”Silver Linings Playbook” yet, maybe I’d understand her magnificence afterward.
- Justin Timberlake: I know Justin’s album just sold a bazillion copies and I have noticed a couple of big band, rat pack redux copy cats since he came back…OK so maybe he is influential. But the boy just came back after a 10-year hiatus. Can we see how much of the attention is based on consistently hot music as opposed to his hyped up return to music. This just seems a bit premature.
- Miguel: I’m not denying Miguel’s artistic prowess, but the reality is on a mass level people just don’t know who he is. Remember Kelly Clarkson at the Grammys? Plus Miguel just said so himself on The Breakfast Club, acknowledging not enough people are hip to who he is yet. I feel like someone who just got word of who Miguel is last month thought, “yeah, let’s add this guy.” At the end of the day this is still a great look for him though.
- Hello, Hillary Clinton! The former U.S. Secretary of State hasn’t sat down since leaving her latest post, and everyone knows she’s gearing up to run for president in 2013. She’s got a heavy influence right now.
- Rihanna: I’m not really mad she wasn’t on the list, but with all the accolades the great people of Europe have just bestowed upon her (the new Princess Diana?), TIME might be slipping by not acknowledging her global influence.
Check out the full list of influential people here. Who would you add or remove?
‘I’m Not Weird Enough For Underground And Too Weird For Mainstream:’ Miguel Discusses His Inability To Be Labeled
Yesterday popular singer Miguel took to his Twitter page to somewhat gloat about his inability to be categorized due to his unique style. Some even mistook his tweet for a stab at other artists.
Today the “Adorn” singer stopped by Power 105.1′s The Breakfast Club, where he chatted it up with the show’s hosts. During his interview Angel Yee questioned him about the tweet and whether or not there was any shade intended by the ambiguous message. The Los Angeles native expressed that the tweet wasn’t directed towards anyone, but a reflection of his inability to be boxed in or labeled.
“Yeah, that’s just how it goes though. That’s how the world works. This is just growing up, I’ve always been like- this is about to get real and become a therapy session, but I’ve always been like… my Mom is Black, my Dad is Mexican. My Mom is religious. My Father is not. It’s always been walking this line, like where do I stand amongst what people expect and what they see. I’ve always had to define myself in that sense. That’s what that tweet was more about. It’s like hipsters will be like ‘Well, you’re not weird enough.’ Or even certain blogs pretend like they f*** with you, but they really don’t. I know that where my mind is at as a musician may not be expected or conventional, but I think and I hope that people will catch up to me,” he said.
He also went on to discuss the statement made by Kelly Clarkson during the Grammy Awards, where she revealed that she didn’t know who he was. It was a statement that many perceived as a snub, one that prompted his rapper pal Wale to come blasting Clarkson for what he took as a back-handed comment. Miguel, however, says he wasn’t offended at all.
“I think Kelly Clarkson represents a specific demographic and in general, just not knowing. You know, I think a lot of people didn’t know and still don’t know who Miguel is. I actually took is as a compliment because she took the time to bring it up during her own Grammy speech. She thanked her husband and then she brought that up,” he continued.
Turn the page for footage of Miguel’s full interview. Do you dig Miguel’s unique style or is he too far left for your taste?
Yesterday, I caught a couple of clips of Miguel on Saturday Night Live and I still can’t tell him apart from Bruno Mars.
And I’m not saying that because they are both are…er…well, brown singers in a field dominated by black or white folks. I am well aware that they don’t look anything alike. In fact, both singers do have their own distinctive appearance. Mars has an old-school Elvis Presley at a Sock Hop-type of flare about him, whereas Miguel’s style reminds me of an extra from The Fifth Element. My issue is that they both have that soft, airy voice reminiscent of El Debarge, and both perform this R&B-lite type of music, which while entertaining, is not the R&B we are most familiar with. And that means, vocally, there is not much that sets them apart.
I have had a hard time distinguishing between the two vocally since Miguel first came on the scene and dropped “All I Want is You.” I was at work and a co-worker, who was working but not really “working” at her desk at the time, was watching music videos. Familiar with the song from the radio, I walked by quickly, glanced at the screen and said, “Why does Bruno Mars have on a cowl neck shirt?” My co-worker laughed. She said it wasn’t Bruno Mars but Miguel and I was like, “What’s a Miguel? And she said, “He’s the guy that sings some of those songs you think are Bruno Mars’.” A couple of months later, I’m Google searching for my favorite campy song at the time, “Beautiful Girls” – except that was not the name of the song, and I had no idea who the rapper on the track was. I did, however, know that Miguel was on the chorus, but that was until Google responded, in that highlighted and italicized snarky sort of way, asking, “Nothin’ On You” with Bruno Mars?
Google you smart a**, of course that is what I meant! Shortly after, Miguel stopped getting radio play and kind of faded away into the musical background and I was relieved – not that I didn’t like him as an artist, but at least I wouldn’t have to go through the torment of trying to distinguish between the two anymore. To me, the music industry had spoken and Bruno Mars would be the token El Debarge-esque sounding brown-skinned singer on the scene from now on. At least that’s what I thought…
Fast forward to a few months ago when I’m out having drinks with the same coworker and she says, “You know whose album you need to get? Miguel’s!” I said out loud, “For real? Damn! I thought we got rid of him for good.” And then she responded saying, “I thought you liked Miguel? You are always around the office, humming the chorus to “Lotus Flower Bomb.”
From that moment on I was thoroughly confused, because after all of that time I was singing the song, I was thinking that Mars was on the hook. I tell her she is a liar. She pulls up the discography on the phone and proves it to me. Later that night, I’m driving home, still reeling from the shock, and “Adorn” comes on the radio. I instantly become completely frustrated and dismayed. Is left really right? Is up really down? Who the hell sings this song: Miguel or Mars?
Maybe it is an age thing. Perhaps I am too old to relate fully to today’s R&B music. Admittedly, as much as I try, I just don’t jive completely with the unromantic and non-committal hookup parties, which makes up a large portion of today’s musical landscape. This is particularly true of today’s R&B. I like to hear songs about love and the complications of love. To me, a one-night stand doesn’t need a song. Not to mention that everyone does sound alike. This is pretty much true of many top-of-the-chart singers outside of Mars and Miguel. I also think that the industry back in the day used to work on making sure their artists had their own distinct sounds. You might have compared Teddy Pendergrass with Marvin Gaye, but you never confused the two. The same with Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle. In high school, my friends and I were all about the hip-hop/R&B New Jack Swing with Mary J Blige and Faith Evans leading the pack for the ladies. I remember when we first heard their remake to Rose Royce’s “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.” We had a loud boisterous conversation about whose verse was better than whose. It’s a debate that still largely remains unresolved today. The irony is that if we had Miguel and Mars on the same track, would we be able to tell the difference?
Miguel Does Rock Versions Of “Adorn” And “How Many Drinks?” On “SNL” And Mariah Carey Says “R&B Is Alive” Thanks To Him
I know what you’re thinking? Punk rock and “Adorn” though??? While it doesn’t sound like a match made in heaven, Miguel made it HOT while being the guest performer on Saturday Night Live this past weekend (hosted by Vince Vaughn). The crooner took to the stage with his wavy pompadour, leopard tank and white microphone to remix two of the best songs on his must-play album, Kaleidoscope. With a white hot guitar player and band backing him, he still managed to make “Adorn” soulful and sexalicious while giving it a new sound. And during “How Many Drinks?” during the breakdown, he turned up the energy and started jumping around the stage for a true punk rendition of the song, before bringing it back to its sensual side and slaying all the ladies with those high notes. He even slayed Mariah Carey, who took to her Twitter to let the world know that “R&B is alive” and well thanks to Miguel, and that his performance was a slam dunk.
I’m not all that surprised by Miguel’s unique alternative take to his jams, especially since he’s made it clear in the past that he’s actually more of a fan of rock (“Honestly, I don’t really listen to R&B music. I’m much more into lots of rock’n'roll”), so while it took a little bit for me to adjust to what I was seeing and hearing on Saturday, he definitely killed it in the end. Check out both performances and let us know what you think!
“How Many Drinks?”
Kendrick Lamar and Miguel set sparks with their stellar projects, and the initial flames are only catching momentum. The two rising stars share cover duties for VIBE‘s new issue. Dubbed “The New Classics,” the sensations with substance span three covers, with spreads showing off their individually fly fashion sense.
When asked about to define musical genius, they both nodded each other’s talents:
Kendrick: “Somebody that don’t really have any boundaries, that’s not confined to the traditional structure of a song or traditional sounds. When you listen to “Adorn,” it feels like he’s not even trying to structure a radio j-oint. He just felt the music, felt the instrumentation and wrote the track.”
Miguel: “Good looks, bro. My favorite artists always took whatever they loved out of music and made it their own. It was their take on it. Kendrick is one of those people where I can hear Ice Cube’s first two albums’ influence. I get the street edge, but then I hear like the poetic player, smoothness, creativity and smart street savvy of Andre on Aquemini. That juxtaposition is what I hear in Kendrick, but it’s his own take. If you listen to my Isht, you’re gonna hear Prince, Marvin Gaye, Led Zeppelin or a little bit of the Beatles. That’s where I’m pulling from.”
Read more on StyleBlazer.com.
Will You Tune In? Miguel Set To Perform On Saturday Night Live; Chats About Grammy Exposure And Losing To Frank Ocean
Can I say that I’m pretty impressed with all the black faces that have been popping up on Saturday Night Live as of late? Now if we could just get some more black female faces on their stages then we’d be all set.
But anywho, one of our favorite crooners, Miguel, has been picked to perform on the show on April 13, and it’s safe to say that when you get that call to perform on the show, you’re becoming a mainstream darling. Miguel will be the musical guest to Vince Vaughn, as the actor will be returning to host the show for a second time in his career, a few days before your taxes are due (just thought I’d slip that reminder in there…). We don’t know which songs the singer will tackle for his two performances, but I’m betting “Adorn” will be the first one he does. As for the second…it might be “Do You…,” but if not, what jam would you like to see him perform from his new album, Kaleidoscope?
Speaking of Miguel, TMZ caught up with him in Los Angeles while he was coming from The Grove for an “Extra” taping to give him his props for his awesome Grammy performance of “Adorn” alongside Wiz Khalifa. But they also wanted to ask him why when Frank Ocean won the award they were battling for at the show, Best Urban Contemporary Album, why he didn’t stand up when it was clear everyone around him was trying to give his fellow singer a standing ovation. We all know Chris Brown didn’t stand, though that was expected seeing as how they physically fought weeks before the ceremony. But Miguel said he wasn’t trying to stand because he’s mad competitive.”I’m competitive but congratulations to Frank though!” But ironically, when asked if he could do it again, would he have stood, homeboy turned as he walked away and without any though said “NO.”
Hell, I can’t say I would either. It’s already hard losing in front of everybody if you feel your work is better than the winner’s, but then you have the camera all in your face too!? No thanks. But on the topic of when you should stand, it’s kind of like doing so in church, don’t jump to your feet unless you’re really feeling it. Even if the people around you are standing and making you feel like a Negative Nancy.
I know, I’m random.
Will you watch Miguel perform on April 13 on SNL?
Miguel Does Billboard, Talks His Grammy Performance, Beyoncé, And Why His Lady Doesn’t Like His Song, “P**y Is Mine”
While Wale was somewhere talking to MTV about why he didn’t appreciate Kelly Clarkson’s comments about Miguel and his performance at the Grammys on February 10 (“Miguel, I don’t know who the hell you are, but we need to sing together. I mean, good God. That was the sexiest damn thing I’ve ever seen.”), Miguel was somewhere NOT tripping, and in fact, hobnobbing with his idols and soaking in the success of his Grammy night. Billboard magazine crowned him the Breakout Star of the whole star-studded evening after he captured everyone’s attention and admiration with his stripped down performance of “Adorn” with Wiz Khalifa. It was so well-received that sales for the single were at their highest thanks to a 229 percent increase. Plus, he won best R&B song for the track.
Billboard caught up with the singer a few days later to speak on how his performance in the aisle came to life (which some thought was a downgrade *cough* Wale *cough*), breaking down whether he did or didn’t work with Beyoncé recently, touring with Alicia Keys soon, and why his popular song “P**y is Mine” from Kaleidoscope Dream had his girlfriend giving the side eye. Here are a few highlights:
When asked about how his last-minute performance came to life and how he ended up in the aisles and not on the stage, and he says that in the end, his performance placement was genius:
“A week-and-a-half out we knew that we could perform. I wanted to make an intimate thing but I had a bigger vision about the crowd. I got to tip my hat to [telecast producer] Ken Ehrlich-he really had the vision. I did want it to be a stripped-down performance, and it really was genius of him to put us in the aisle.”
He also discussed how “Adorn” almost became a deep cut on his EP last year, until his A&R said he should release it as a single:
“In late 2011 I was like, “I’m going to put out a series of micro EPs.” I just knew I wanted to put out free music and make it very quality vs. quantity, very personal. Make the whole thing a personal creative process from the artwork to the painting to the design to the production and writing-just for the people who discover music like I do online or my favorite blogs. We put out the first one at the top of February of 2012, and “Adorn” was on that and it got quite a buzz. It got a great response and Mark Pitts, my A&R, was convinced that it should be a single and I was excited, but I was like, “Are you sure this could work?” He was like, “Man, that s**t is going to kill.” And he was right.”
Out of all the love songs and jams on Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel was asked what influence his girlfriend had on them, and what she thought of ‘em. One song in particular didn’t necessarily light her fire off the top, but the meaning behind it is pretty beautiful:
“P**y Is Mine” was not her favorite song. That whole song was freestyle. What makes it interesting is the juxtaposition of ego and vulnerability. It’s kind of rolled in this vulnerability, wanting to claim it — “Tell me that it’s mine” — but it’s also out of this vulnerable need: “I want to feel I’m the only one in this moment.” I’ve really been there. It felt like such an honest moment.”
Lastly, Miguel opened up about the rumor that he was working with Beyoncéon her next album after he snapped a pic with the singer and put it on his Instagram. While that time in the studio together never really happened, he would love it:
Have I worked with Beyonce? [laughs] I was really nervous to ask her, that was all, I just asked her to take a photo with me and she was really sweet about it. That’s all I can say. I’ve honestly never worked with Beyonce. It would be awesome, though, I would love that.
Check out the full interview at Billboard.com and pick up the newest issue to run your fingers through it.