2014 BET Awards: The Praise of Mediocrity

 

There was a time when there was excitement about the BET Awards. Now it just seems like a tolerable enough show just for laughs for the viewing audience at home and via social networks, and there was actual anticipation of who was going to perform. The majority of the night, I had to keep asking “Who is that again, he raps/sings?”, and the most important question one was “Who are these people, and why are they performing right now? These were all critical questions that still have not yet been answered. Clearly some of these artists’ music are for people not in my age bracket, but it would still be nice not to speculate and think why these artists received a recording contract in the first place every time I watch a performance.

 

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Now, isn’t that picture just precious? Three mainstream “R&B artists” on stage performing together. It could have actually been monumental of a performance if any of these artists had any lyrical content worth repeating or vocal presence to a song. I mean, not one breakout in harmonies or anything. It was just a lackluster performance all around. I mean when you are in the presence of the greatest legendary songwriter of all time Lionel Richie, who is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement award. You could just imagine his opinion of the lyrics being said. It’s just ironic how this man mastered making great love songs, and the artists of today have managed to make their lyrics and music sound like everything popular on the radio. No originality, no creativity. It’s just mediocrity at its finest.

There is just not enough time to focus on the other artists that performed, in all honesty they are all the in the same boat. I think it’s shameful that the actually vocally gifted and have albums out to promote themselves, get reduced to just performing other people’s hits and classics only during the tribute parts of the show, while those of us who actually like real singers and quality performers have to be succumbed to listening to underwhelming mediocre sets.

 

Even though this entire show was full of mediocre performances, BET is good for just giving you just sprinkles of actual talent. Artists like, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend and Robin Thicke. Reminding us how much Usher has changed since the Confessions album, and then giving us a little bit of fresh air with letting us reminisce about our favorite 90’s R&B groups by giving them a little 2-3 minute set. Just enough to let us know how far or how much the music industry has changed since these artists were out. Back when you had to actually have talent to be on anybody’s kind of stage. Now mind you, some of the lyrics were raunchy and edgy in 90’s R&B, but there’s one thing that they all had in common. They all had talent. It’s amazing how the standards of quality music have changed, as long as you can hold a note. You might have a chance to make it, or at least on BET’s stage you do. This post isn’t made to bash any of your favorite current artists that are out at the moment. It’s made because as a listener, you should hold performers accountable for the music they put out. Stop settling for songs like “These Hoes Ain’t Loyal” and “I Luv This Shit”. It’s objective, because can you honestly see these songs 10-20 years from now being honored for a Lifetime Achievement Award? This is all to say, just simply demand better product. The artist making the music has the responsibility to give their best to the art form. Don’t settle for what’s popular and praise mediocrity, if you want feel good music back, then expect better from these artists.