TV Review: MTV’s Video Music Awards

by Omar Mazariego

It’s officially official: MTV is no longer relevant to the music world. We should’ve seen this coming when they created MTV2 to handle music videos and left the original MTV channel to spew out reality TV shows by the millions. Then, before you knew it, MTV created MTV Hits so that MTV and MTV2 could share the reality load. It was a slow process but it was processed nonetheless.

But something that they’ve always had was the grand spectacle that is the MTV Video Music Awards. Great things happened during these awards. In ’99, Dre and Snoop got back on stage together for the first time since Dre bounced from Death Row. Christina Aguilera ripped it down in 2006 with her live performance of “Hurt.” And who can forget Britney, Madonna and Christina lip-locking it on stage? Given, they all looked chopped that night, but it was good for shock value. Little did we know that would be the moment that would turn Britney out and lead her down a path of sexual experimentation and Sinead O’Connoring it with the wig piece.

Still, like the music industry, the VMA’s have been on a downward spiral for years: one wack show after another. Last year having the performances in suites in Vegas hotels and whatnot was just as dumb as whomever thought Russell Brand would be a good host for the 2008 VMA’s. But what I saw last night was the nail in the coffin. Aside from having the unknown and really just a cornball of a host, Russell, it was obvious that this was the 2008 version of the Black Sox scandal. All I wanna know is what kind of promises did Jive Records make to MTV??? For the first time in her career, Britney Spears (looking mighty fly, by the way) won a Moon Man. And not just one, but three. And not just any three, one of them was for video of the year. Are you kidding me? That put-together-at-the-last-minute video damn near epitomizes her fall from grace. Her vocals were horrible, she barely danced in it and when she did you could see so many jiggles in her little frame that you’d think it was one of those “artistic” Jell-O commercials. My girl Katy Perry should’ve won best female video. Best pop should’ve gone to them five bum birds Danity Kane, and video of the year should’ve gone to Gnarls Barkley for “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul,” hands down. (Sure, they weren’t nominated, but it’s the best video I’ve seen in years.)

That’s just one of my beefs. Then you got that annoying ass Brand comparing Britney to Jesus and her resurrection. Huh? Has she sold a record since her collapse? Didn’t her last album flop? Just because she confuses wine with water doesn’t mean she’s about to sacrifice her life for anyone except Ben & Jerry. Take this man back to London and deny him any visa, please. Deport him and Dane Cook. Those are two people I can do without. I’m pretty sure that Dane was born in the US, but until I see a birth certificate, his work visa is expired. Get him outta here!

Some of last night’s performances was cool. Rhianna kind of freaked me out with her Mad Max look and those barbarians with the glow sticks moving like zombies. I was feeling a little ivory when I saw this so that didn’t help. Her haircut was horrible. I don’t get why dudes act like she’s the hottest thing since the Super Soaker back in the early ’90s. Her duet with TI was pretty dope, though. I can’t front on that. Not to mention that dope song that Leona Lewis did with Lil Wayne’s dumb ass. The song was bananas, but I couldn’t get over how much of a cornball Wayne is. White jeans? Who are you? Don Johnson? And were all those red bandanas hanging out the back pocket really necessary? I know he’s supposedly a blood and all, but come on, he ain’t even repping it right. And word to everything, those jeans were so tight I could’ve sworn I saw a camel toe.

And maybe it was just me or maybe it was the Puerto Rican rum, but didn’t the audience seem to have a larger number of middle aged white folk than young adolescents? It’s obviously not about the fans anymore. It’s about corporate America.

Just look at the performances. Most were on the back lots of movie sets. Far and away from the reach of fans who could get a glimpse of their favorite artist doing it up just a few yards away from them. That was soooo corny to me. When Madonna did her infamous “Like A Virgin” performance, it was shocking ’cause people were in the same room with her witnessing her sin in many different ways. When Dre and Snoop reunited, it wasn’t in a hotel suite five floors above the audience. Eminem brought hundreds of lookalikes down the aisle with him in Radio City Music Hall. Feel where I’m coming from?

Even the biggest stars won’t come out for it anymore. I ain’t see Jigga there. I ain’t see Nas. I ain’t see any of the music game’s OG’s.

I did see Paris Hilton (too bad Remy ain’t clap her). I saw Kobe Bryant. (In a suit for the VMA’s? This ain’t the Oscars.) And I saw Bob Saget (WOW). Even Michael Phelps made an appearance. I haven’t seen a man more uncomfortable since the time I was standing next to Ethan Hawke on the train. Michael walked in with these huge headphones on for no apparent reason, talked about listening to hip-hop while training at the Olympics and then introduced Lil Wayne.

It was a disaster. The host was horrible. The performances were mediocre. And worst of all, the awards themselves seemed bought. Does it strike anyone as odd that four of the biggest awards went to artists on Jive Records? Britney had three and Chris Brown got one. Chris did have the more popular video of any of the other nominees tho. But Britney winning in all the categories she was in?

Whoever’s running the VMA’s needs to stop being wack. They’re obviously trying to think outside of the box, but it’s just not good thoughts. It’s taking away from the spirit of what the VMA’s used to be: A celebration of music and the connection it has with the masses. Now it’s nothing more than a shell of what it used to used to be.

MTV sold out big time. It used to be a brand that kept people young at heart, but now heart is what it’s missing. Until they correct more than a handful of things, I’m done with MTV.