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The Awkward Scientist

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“Triple Entendre, Don't Even Ask Me How”
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Lauryn Hill quotes Nicki Minaj and thoughts arise within me
Friday, April 1, 2011 || 3:56 PM

I would have liked to have posted yesterday afternoon whilst at home but the post that I'm working on is long. I was doing a little piece compiling Hipster/Experimental R&B which seems a trend in music at the moment but also I was thinking about The and their recent post on Lauryn Hill's usuage of a Nicki Minaj catch phrase. So I'll try and post both tonigh if I can. Plus I want to say something about this Snooki/Toni Morrison stuff.

So here's the message

First, why can't Lauryn Hill be on time for shows? A lot of people think that her star power should cut her some slack but that's not at all justifiable. Michael Jackson wasn't late for shows. I'm not saying she's Michael Jackson but a performer's timeliness is a sign of respect. It's happened at far too many shows. The show she did here in Philly was very late on a weekday night, the crowd wasn't unsettled by being there at 12 am because the show started at 11pm but in some cases people have a place to be, Ms Hill. Okay so she shouldn't be persecuted for arriving late but at some point you would think her ways would change.

Okay onto her quoting Nicki Minaj....Gosh that 'Monster Guiseppe heel that's the Monster Shoe' , I can't even listen to Monster anymore. We played that song to death this Fall and Winter and really probably it's best we let it rest. I'm not saying I wouldn't dance to it in the club. My real reason for this post is to compare and contrast the career paths of these two ladies.

Ms  Hill blew up with Miseducation, an amazing album that people my age and maybe a couple years younger are fortunate to say we "grew up on". Unfortunately, our children today will have Lil Wayne's and Gucci Manes to say "oh that was the music of my yesteryear! Brrr!". But that's another post. She made her millions, collected her Grammys and then disappeared from the scene only to reappear with clear mind, a brand new baby afro, a guitar and some attitude. It left us giving side eye but at least she's performing again. Her lyrical stylings in The Fugees were unmatched then and they're still unmatched now. A little 16-year old girl would probably like to go at my head about how crazy gaudily dressed Lauryn of this decade would lose in a rap battle with Nicki but I'd refer her to The Score and send her on her merry way.

I told my sister, Nicki and Lauryn did similar numbers and both reached the youth. It's amazing what kids respond to. Lauryn Hill had a melody that made sons, daughters, mothers, grandmothers and fathers respond to her music. Nicki is mostly image but people respond to her because she has a sound that attracts. In my personal opinion much of the appeal of Nicki is drawn from her lyrics which are really like some zainy nursery rhymes. In no way am I throwing shade at Nicki. I think her personality switching is good, she's a fun performer and rapper but her album provided a different side of her. It would however be cooler if she were to drop some knowledge like Lauryn did such as..."I wrote these words for everyone who struggles in their youth..." Because the youth are struggling. Correct? Especially the black youth in schools especially. The 106th crowd can quote her rhymes front to back, in and out and round and round and sideways. Wouldn't it be amazing if she said something prolific and deep? I mean I know that's not what the Young Money crew normally expresses but it'd be cool if she could make a record like that while she has the ear of the young people. And I mostly speak about young people myself included because it's not the responsibility of those older than us.

This is some soap box stuff...So back to the careers of both ladies. Ms. Lauryn is both more natural and a little deeper but Nicki Minaj has an amazing story because she came from the ground up with ambition. She has seriously earned her top spot because of dedication to hip-hop. It bothers me that a lot is made over whether her posterior is real or fake. I wish her image was a little bit toned down, but in a way similar to GaGa , it's what people like the most. Lauryn Hill had an image too "deep artsy meets a little pop" she wore dreads and was quite fashionable. No one ever wondered about her butt though. I think we should love our bodies and celebrate our curves but is she selling sex or the music? Probably a little bit of both. That show Love and Hip-Hop wanted one of their female rapper/singer to walk that fine line and surprisingly she wasn't having it. I say surprisingly because very few female rappers besides Ms. Hill haven't done so. It's a real testament to the quality of  music when you can be a female artist who does not reveal some skin. Now I'm not being a prude. I think artistically done, showing some skin can be beautiful and celebratory but when it's raunchy and over the top in your face, it's noticeable and even some of your young peers have to wonder. Why can Rihanna show me her boobs but she can't step up her live performances?

I'm done. I just think the variation in what we're consuming is clear in this decade but the message has clearly changed. I wonder if I am I the only one scared and bothered a little by that.

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