November 8, 2011
They came, they sang (or rapped), they won our hearts. They broke through barriers, and--in some cases--changed music as we knew it. Then they....disappeared? WTF. They’re now on the list of Made Woman’s Most Wanted, and here’s why:
Andre Benjamin, 3 Stacks, Cupid Valentino, Ice Cold.....whatever you choose to call Andre 3000, one fact remains: he’s one talented brother. Anyone who could have a part of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994)--which arguably laid the foundation of southern hip hop as we know it--and go on to make the more commercially palatable, yet equally genius The Love Below (2003) has forever earned a place in my heart. What I don’t love, however, is the fact that we’re now forced to experience samplings of his genius through random verses on pop songs. Get your money, 3k, I get it. The industry has changed, and I’m sure being the sole feature on albums like Beyonce’s 4 isn’t hurting your pocketbooks. But please, for the sake of all that is fair in this world, come back! While it’s cool to see you on the big screen in movies like Idlewild or Four Brothers, what we really want from you is music. I hear whisperings that we may get an Andre 3000 album as early as 2012, with an Outkast LP to follow, and I am waiting with bated breath. For now, I reminisce with some throwbacks: Behold a Lady, Jazzy Belle, Spottieottiedopaliscious.
As someone who grew up on a fair helping of soul, R&B and hip hop, Gwen Stefani (as part of her band, No Doubt) single-handedly made alternative music cool in my life. What other chick could rock out like her and steal the spotlight from 5 plus dudes? Don’t Speak became the break up anthem of all anthems. And the fact that she made a song telling off the man she just broke up with and had the poor shmuck play the bass on the track was pretty damn bossy if you ask me. She’s since gone on to build a highly successful solo career, a fashion empire in L.A.M.B. and pretty much transformed herself into a cultural icon. We haven’t had a solo project from her since 2006’s The Sweet Escape, when family matters began to take precedence--she’s had two children with husband Gavin Rossdale (one in 2006 and one in 2008). But while she did go back on tour with No Doubt in 2009, she confirmed earlier this year that she will not be continuing her solo career, much to our dismay. But who knows, maybe she’ll have a change of heart? While we’re not holding our breath, we can still rock to her upcoming No Doubt album, and of course her past hits: It’s My Life, Hella Good, Luxurious.
Oh, D’Angelo. Oh, D’Angelo’s abs (and more). Let’s take a moment of silence. *sigh*
Man. I could stop there, but I won’t. In addition to having a body that rivaled the fine specimens of the movie 300, the man could SANG. And write. And make (marijuana induced) 10 minute jam sessions into classic album-worthy tracks. Don’t believe me? I’m gonna need you to revisit VooDoo. His career: Brown Sugar, Untitled (How Does it Feel), Africa.....the list of classics goes on and on. It seems like the rock star lifestyle got the best of him, though; he’s had legal issues throughout the 2000s (soliciting a prostitute--ew, possession of an illegal substance, etc.), which I’m sure have contributed to his absence from the music scene. There were rumors that he was back in the studio last year, with an album slated for sometime this year--but it’s hard to be sure. So I’ll just say this: D, for the sake of women everywhere, please get your personal life right, hit some crunches and get back in that studio!
Justin, Justin, Justin... He’s had a PSA dedicated to urging him to “make music again,” but it’s looking like Mr. Timberlake will continue to keep us on the edge of our (movie) seats. Sure, we’ll watch him take a turn in acting with movies like Social Network, In Time, or Bad Teacher--okay, maybe not Bad Teacher--but we really just want to watch him sing and dance around while subtly seducing us with his white boy swagger. Is that so wrong? We’ve all but forgotten the fact that he used to cuddle with his male band mates, and that he’s probably the one that sent Britney into her downward spiral. What more does he want from us? I say we stage a boycott until he’s forced to give in. But first, some selections for your listening pleasure: LoveStoned/I Think She Knows, What Goes Around...Come Around.
Mya came on the scene in the late ‘90s with a girl next door demeanor (with some sass) that caused girls everywhere to relate--and guys everywhere to swoon. The singer/songwriter’s crisp, smooth vocals and natural beauty catapulted her to stardom, earning her a Grammy and a spot in the critically-acclaimed blockbuster, Chicago. It sounds like issues with her label may have (at least partially) caused her lengthy break from the music scene. Whatever the reason, mixtapes aren’t gonna cut it, Mya! I’m so ready for her to embrace her grown woman and bless us once again with those one-of-a-kind vocals. Some of my personal faves: Best of Me Remix, Movin’ On, It’s All About Me.
So who'd I miss? Let me know in the comments!