on Danity Kane and Day 26…and a bit about Usher.

Let’s be clear.

D. Woods is a fuckin star, kids! I’m not really into Danity Kane, but whenever they pop up in magazines or on TV or on a blog, i’m always drawn to D. It started with how she dominates the single Ride For You with her vocalizing at the end.

But then it really picked up with the recent King pictures and how she handled Robert from Day 26 on the infamous "bitchassness" episode. She was real calm with hers. She wasn’t trippin off him but she wasn’t berating him or belittling him. She just had madd flavor and composure that seemed innate.

Side note: Said episode is the first full episode of anything I’ve watched on MTV in 10 years. I was in a hotel and election-coveraged out! Sue me.

The other thing is, she seems like a regular down chick. None of that unattainable high fashion whitified shit that Beyonce and nem are doin.

I was talking to a friend about why Danity Kane sorta exists in the periphery of my musical field of vision. I sorta respect the multicultural thing, but then you run into the awkwardness of the white girls talkin bout how they "ride slow" and it’s just unconvincing (nevermind, the inherent silliness of the lyrics in the first place). But when I listen to them, the only voices that really stand out are D. and Dawn. They are fuller, they are richer, and they tend to not be forcing anything. ’

That, and their music (mostly) sucks. That they didn’t release Right Now, from the first album, as a single is criminal. And the new album is an unmitigated disaster that makes Janet’s album look like Aaliyah. It’s overprocessed, silly, juvenile, and buries the genuine beauty of the singing (particuarly Dawn’s voice…CRIMINAL!). Hey Puff – pop music doesn’t have to be moronic and cheesy, brotha.

So I kinda want Puff to ditch the white girls and make D. and Dawn into a 21st century Zhane/Changing Faces with the Total image and appeal. HOTNESS!!!

I am endlessly fascinated with how much I am diggin these cats.

They can really sing and the first single is about as perfect as a pop song can get. That said, I think what’s funny is that even with his "bitchass" attitude (though Puffy callin other people "bitches" is ironic beyond belief, so this tag is dubious in my mind) Robert is clearly the best singer in the group. So it was fascinating to watch him struggle with fitting in when frankly his voice is way more dexterous than any of the material really requires (hence his struggle).

Even so, I’m really feelin these cats and if Puff don’t mess it up they could be major.

Peep the video and listen to Robert’s voice. Flawless!


my favorite photo of Mr. Raymond

Let’s just get it out of the way and say that Usher is the premier black pop artist of his generation. Cause…well, it’s true.

And what I love about Usher is on display beautifully on a couple of songs floating around the internet. The one, I Can’t Win, written by Ne-Yo is a perfect example of how great a Ne-Yo song can sound when you get a true, real vocalist to sing it. I love Ne-Yo, but listening to Usher sing this song immediately made me think how much better an album Because of You would have been with a true vocalist. Ne-Yo is a terrific artist, a brilliant songwriter, but as a singer, he’s still finding himself.

After 4 years, it’s nice to be reminded what pop music can really be about. Usher has never been about the dancing, at least not for me. He’s a singer in the classic sense of the word. He understands, intrinsically it seems, how to communicate the emotion in each song. On I Can’t Win, Usher injects real emotion (in this case, sadness) into a beautifully understated vocal.


USHER- I can`t win – MyVideo

About tlewisisdope

I write. I live in DC.
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