You know, 2013 is getting to be quite an interesting year.
All those people who thought Gotye and Carly Rae Jepsen were this wondrous godsend are now deleting their tweets and Facebook posts mentioning them. Cause at this point, both artists seem like future VH1 one hit wonder material unless they get their act together.
And everyone is on the fence wondering if "Royals" will face the same fate.
When asked what he thought of modern music, David Lee Roth was quoted as saying "Here today, gone later today".
Spend a good couple of months in a retail environment playing the latest pop 40 hits, and you will agree with this sentiment.
But now, the most interesting thing about 2013 is that both Kanye West and Lady Gaga have made unpredictable turns with regards to their careers.
Yeezy. Bound2. A part of me wonders if this going to be my generation's "Here I Go Again" in the worst way. And a part of that "worst way" deals with the fact that you can still listen to Whitesnake in your car without acknowledging the sex life of a Mr. West.
It's not the present state of Kanye's relationship with Kim that's interesting. It's the future of it.
Like, no matter what happens, it's going to be interesting.
Cause Kanye West does not sound like the kind of person who would take a divorce well. And you have to wonder where that will take him artistically. I mean, George Lucas produced The Empire Strikes Back when he got divorced. What's going to happen to Yeezy if that happens? How is Kris Jenner going to manipulate the press to destroy him? And how will he respond? Would Hova get involved? There's a lot of questions.
And I know I'm sidetracking a bit, but I feel like the music industry as we think of it no longer exists. We're dealing with some bizarre subgenre of musical tabloid at this point. We speak in terms of beef and controversy and sex tapes, and a whole lot of things that distract you from making music well.
Cause I know a lot of musicians who deserve a lot more credit than they currently get. But they're not getting it cause they're not getting in the enabling circus that is losing control for fame.
Kanye's on weird footing now. Part of that weird footing is due to the fact that his biggest source of controversy, Taylor Swift at the VMAs, isn't so much of a big deal as an incident. And that's mainly Taylor Swift's fault. You can't go on dating guys, breaking up with guys, and writing songs about them.
It's the same reason you don't talk smack about a former employer: All future prospects wonder what will happen to them if they end up in similar circumstances.
So, society's over that now for Kanye. But, Kanye is always willing to make new controversies for himself. Cause that's how he sells records. That's what artists at the top spot do. Cause selling hundreds of thousands of copies in a downward spiral of an economy where you can get it for free is going to take everything you've got creatively to do it.
So you might as well act a fool about it.
Lady Gaga has tried her best to find a loophole in the media machine. And that loophole is fashion. Always having to do something crazy to get in the tabloids.
And that worked. It worked for a good three years.
But we kind of got used to it. That, and Miley's own little episode is a drama of its own. I mean, she's willing to lose a Hemsworth over this thing. She picked foam finger and teddy bears over living an actual Nicholas Sparks novel from the seeds planted filming a Nicholas Sparks novel.
This is beyond meta. This is like meta-alpha-omega.
I don't blame her. You put your daughter out there like that, these things are going to happen. It all comes back to Poltergeist (another sad tale of child stardom), you moved the headstones, but you didn't move the bodies. You thought it was okay to have your daughter pole dance to "Party in The U.S.A", and you have no say to these new antics.
When you do negligent things to your kid for the purpose of stardom, the child will learn that morality is only an option when it comes to their career. Michael Jackson learned that lying about being younger than he was in the Jackson 5 was an asset. He learned that it was important to be young. And it left an impression on him.
I also think that society has to look inside it's self with regards to antics.
Lady Gaga tweeted #popstarscantgetfat
She got a lot of hatred.
So, she got a little chubby.
She got a lot of hatred.
In life, you will learn that any decision you make will face criticism by people who don't like you. It wasn't a failure in policy, it was a failure in politics. All the theory and wishes about how the world should work goes down the toilet when it comes to execution and executioner.
In these situations, you have to trust yourself and do what you think is right for yourself in the long run.
In the long run, all that matters is the long run.
Mozart spent so much time composing his music that his fingers could no longer hold the quill.
And for his dedication, he lives forever. In the long run, we're all dead unless we find a way to live forever.
One must have this line of thinking when they venture. Time is an ocean that washes the minor anxiety creators away.
Look at any comments section at any news story.
A lot of people are pissed off at nothing. Doesn't matter what it is. And they never offer a practical solution to the problem.
You're a bunch of talentless losers.
You complain about the perverse invasive nature of social media without realizing that you've forfeited your information to a corporation.
And personally, I don't think anybody who doesn't hold a job should call for someone to lose their job. Job holding is hard. And the last thing society needs right now is a person losing their job due to lack of a sound mind and plotting revenge because of what society did to them.
People losing their mind is the next logical step when society forgets common sense.
Now, let's talk Artpop.
Artpop is not having the numbers it projected.
A lot of people want this to be a big scar on Gaga. But, it's not. At least, it shouldn't be.
It's still 250,000 copies.
Yes, millions were spent on it, but to call it the end of Gaga is ridiculous.
Lately, it feels, that as far as the entertainment industry goes, you're either really really winning or really really losing.
And that destroys creativity.
It creates arrogance and despair. It forces onlookers into this trend watching mentality.
For those keeping score at home: You don't follow trends, you make them.
And that involves risk. And you cannot risk when failure is not an option.
And a message to all the anti-corporate hipsters: If you don't want the music industry to be run like a corporation, why do you analyze sales results like a corporation? Food for thought.
Do you know how many albums from popular bands bombed? Kiss's Unmasked underperformed dramatically. Same can be said with a bunch of Aerosmith's work in the early 80s.
None of these bands would record some of their greater works in the current media mindset.
Aerosmith would have never had the time to get Permanent Vacation off the ground, let alone be ready for their 90s comeback.
If Aerosmith had to compete in the current media environment, there's no way they could have made the soundtrack to Armageddon.
Now, I know someone who inadvertently is reading this article to procrastinate on whatever it is we should be working on to get our life together (that thing we all have to do) is wondering why I'm giving such a deep analysis of this thing we call pop culture.
The short answer to this question is "the current state of politics is @#%$, and I can't add anything to it"
The long answer begins with a question:
Do you what the origin of fashion is?
For those of you who have not read Seth Godin's Linchpin, I will tell you: fashion was something that was created by the French during the colonial era so that they could a competitive hold on the other European nations.
All the other countries were taking claim to all the raw materials in the New World, and the French could not compete.
So, the French decided to compete inwardly. They took the raw materials from these countries, and they made their own clothing. But it wasn't any clothing. It was their design. It was their brand.
And different noble houses made different brands. And they did their best to balance exclusivity and popularity. Too exclusive, and the house loses money. Too popular, and the designs are no longer desired. They become the fast food of what they are.
It was from fashion that France had an economic hold on other European countries. It was sort of a con, really. But a country with a legacy with losing wars needs anything it can to stay afloat.
Now, look at modern day economies.
The United States currently owes trillions of dollars to China. Other Asian countries are mere powerhouses that pride itself on its work ethic while the European countries have lazy workers who want to be paid to drink wine.
This current standing cannot hold.
Except for one little thing.
The thing separating the Asian countries from destroying West is the Kanye (West).
The Asian elite covet the Western countries culture. The Chinese Princelings have spoiled children who drive sports cars and blast hip hop while the country tries to blast Mao's message of power to the peasants.
There really isn't anything that's preventing the Chinese from replicating these goods. But replicating them won't make it couture.
The Kardashians have convinced all of us that they are somehow better than the rest of us. But it won't last for long.
And the West has done the same, Kanye or otherwise. And that won't last for long.
So until then, let's all do our best to be people of substance.