Biyernes, Marso 23, 2012

The Gaga Wars: Ladies on Gaga

Videos in point:
*STUPID HOE - Nicki Minaj
*BIG MOUTH - Santigold

Within the week, Entertainment Weekly released Madonna’s latest 20/20 interview in which the Queen of Pop finally commented on the heated comparisons with Lady Gaga. Her remarks about Gaga being “cool” back in 2009 seemed to fade when she called Gaga’s gay anthem “reductive”. It isn’t quite odd that some of Madge’s collaborators on her new album (titled MDNA) added fuel to the fire in the same week as well. Two frustratingly bizarre videos (at least in the perspective of a regular Vevo music video subscriber) from Nicki Minaj and Santigold sliced and diced the nature of being a pop star - to be more precise, the nature of being Lady Gaga.

The two songs are about noisy girls by noisy girls. “Stupid Hoe” at first seems to be pinpointing at Lil Kim and it’s quite a painful listen. It doesn’t have the swagger of “Super Bass” or the eerie mystery of “Did It On ‘Em”. It’s a mean bully of a song. “Big Mouth”, on the other hand, is better. A playful experiment of synths and bass, it’s more like the Santi-penned Christina Aguilera song “Bobblehead” (which, in a better world, is a celebrated pop anthem) only this time the annoying bobblehead is bigger. Regarding their visuals, both videos reject current pop star trends. Both are animated, often funny but never fun. They’re very serious in their starbashing while remaining puerile and literal, which would mean they bring nothing new from the artists. But quite possibly these are their most absurd videos to date.

By now, music lovers (except Gaga’s loyal Little Monsters) share the annoyance felt by these two artists and how they seem to perceive the whole Gaga phenomenon as something terribly absurd. Just look at the artist’s humongous success in 3 years, and then question her sincerity - how she takes away millions of dollars while declaring that she’s a savior for the oppressed. And most importantly, just imagine her numerous “homages” that spark controversy and question her artistry. Her success is now being scarred by her critics, and Nicki Minaj and Santi White are ready with their knives. Their satire of Ms. Germanotta’s business is striking and is not so subtle indeed. Take Minaj’s imitation of Gaga’s locks and Santigold’s flashing of animated mermaids and monster tits. And in a more obvious move, take Santi’s line “Ga-ga-ga or slightly off”. This lack of subtlety straightly reflects Gaga’s artifice since her work was never discreet in its intentions even at the slightest bit.

It should be noted that Gaga’s videography is known to escape pop’s standards while still dwelling in it, and she produced some remarkable ideas. Her fast growth in the industry opened the gates for artists whose musical ideas, like her own, are far from pop’s status quo and more on something most would label as “freaky”. Gaga made the outlandish such a cool thing to do in the vein of pop stars, and Nicki will not be as out and about as she is now without Gaga. Santi and Nicki now slap Gaga’s ideas to the face, taking the cream of her three-year harvest and eating them up like real mother monsters. Gaga’s perception of the “fame monster” applies to this case now that her peers suddenly get up as pop cannibals ready to eat her.

Then again you might ask: All this fuss for silly old pop? It will not be relevant anymore after the flame of the conflict fades (especially since it’s just some silly attempt on a consumerist cat fight) but then we’ll come back to this and remember how fast-paced pop music has been since the arrival of Lady Gaga, and how her fellow artists - despite ripping her to shreds - also benefit from it. - Gio Potes, January 2012.

View the videos here:
Stupid Hoe -
Big Mouth -

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