Thursday, November 29, 2007

Word Up! Snoop Dogg in the Blog!

Whatever happened to Motown?

The Supremes. The Temptations. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Gladys Knight and the Pips. Marvin Gaye. The Jacksons - BEFORE Michael got all "weirded-out." (When he tried to buy The Elephant Man's bones, it was all over.) The Commodores. Earth, Wind, and Fire.

They're all gone.

They've been replaced by - Snoop Doggy Dogg, er, Snoop Dogg; Sean "Diddy," nee "P Diddy," nee "Puffy," nee "Puff Daddy" Combs; Da "Brat; " Marshall "M&M" Mathers; Ludacris; Ol' Dirty Bastard; Ghostface Killah; the Wutang Clan, etc.

Speaking of Gladys Knight and the Pips. Wouldn't that be a great job, being one of the Pips?

What exactly IS a "Pip," anyway?

Moving right along.

Artists like Frankie Valli, Elvis, Bad Finger, The Grass Roots; rock bands like The Who, Led Zeppelin, Styxx; folk singers like Arlo Guthrie, Neil Diamond, Seals and Croft; and yes, even groups like The Carpenters. (What can The Flying Curmudgeon say? Richard wrote some beautiful songs, and Karen had a voice like an angel - she is probably serenading God right now.) Along with others, these artists, together with Motown's stable of tremendously talented writers, singers, and performers, provided the sound track for TFC's formative years.

They just don't write music like they used to.

Sure, there are some exceptions.

Though TFC doesn't care much for his music, Prince, or, "The-Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Prince," or "The-Symbol-for-a-Man-and-a-Woman-Combined-That-You-Can't-Pronounce," or simply, "The Artist," is a talented fellow.

Some of the "Old School" rappers, like Grand Master Flash, and The Sugar Hill Gang, had some talent. Cameo had a catchy tune with Word Up!

(One question - what's up with that red jock-strap/cup thing?)

What we blasted out of those tiny, AM radios was far superior to much of what passes for music today - even when heard through the finest Bose sound system currently available.

And much of what is heard today isn't even original. If it weren't for "sampling," most of today's "artists" would have nothing.

The Flying Curmudgeon has a theory about this. It's all Rick James' fault.

Rick, God rest his soul, was a very talented writer and musician. Unfortunately, he was in "the slammer" when MC Hammer, (hey, that rhymes!) heavily "sampled" Super Freak when Hammer recorded U Can't Touch This.

Had ole Rick been able to sue MC Hammer for copyright infringement, he could have nipped all of this in the bud. Instead, the genie has been let out of the bottle. Now, anyone with an old record player and a microphone, along with a heavy dose of chutzpah, can be an "artist," and be showered with praise and accolades at the MTV music awards.

In the humble opinion of TFC, when it comes to most rap "music," the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes, but no one has the courage to call him naked. Besides, everyone is getting rich from it.

Maybe The Flying Curmudgeon is just getting old. After all, one of Michael's first hits without his brothers was a song about a boy and his pet rat.

(In that context, maybe trying to buy The Elephant Man's bones doesn't really seem all that strange.)

All the same, The Flying Curmudgeon will leave Snoop, Nelly and the rest of the boyz to all the homies and wannabes out there, pop in a Marvin Gaye CD, and remember Motown the way it used to be.

Word to your mother.


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