On Friday, Madonna officially integrated BET's 106 & Park, sitting down with what seemed like a star struck Terrence and Rocsi. While I haven't watched 106 & Park in years, I think my IQ would take too many blows and my political side would get too riled up by the endorsement of the worst stereotypes, I couldn't help but catch Madge. I knew urban press was inevitable with her album supposedly being R&B/hip-hop, but I didn't think she would go the 106 & Park route.
It was interesting to see the return of Negress Madonna—void of a British accent! This is a chick who once rocked a gold tooth, walked the streets of Harlem and worked with legendary R&B producers (Nile Rodgers, Stephen Bray, Dallas Austin, etc.). On the flip side, she received tons of criticism for "stealing" from black culture. I guess by the time Justin Timberlake, Eminem, Fergie, Gwen Stefani and Nelly Furtado (all who get tons of urban airplay) came around that argument got a bit old. Someone tell me the difference because those artists “stealing” black culture and Madonna. I think Madonna's early work or 1995's Bedtime Stories album was much more authentic, interesting and sincere than any Fergie record.
Some are ranting Madge seemed "uncomfortable" and "out of place" on 106 & Park —as if she thought someone was going to snatch her gold chains! But, what many folks don't realize is that Madonna has seemed uncomfortable and out of place in every interview for the past five years or so. Therefore, with a fidgety Terrence and wide-eyed Rocsi, Madonna came off even more awkward at times. Plus, Lawd knows I haven't seen her that close to a live audience in years. She was giving me Diana for a moment, "Don't touch me! Don't touch me!"
What I did find interesting was Madonna's attire... those endless gold chains. Funny thing is she wore endless gold chains on Arsenio Hall's show years ago. Is this what Madonna thinks urban is? Yeah, just like Mariah thinks urban equals bad grammar!
How about the random white people who were tossed in the front row? Where did BET pluck these folks from? Did the producers do some Jim Crow seating rearrangements and say, "Put the white people up front!" I've never seen that many white folks in any BET audience and it was embarrassing how the camera kept turning to them, as if they are saying, “Look! Look! White folks is here!” I'm sure Madge rolled her eyes at the one.
There are some rants from folks who are angry at BET (there are more important things to be angry at BET!), saying, "Why was she there?" As if 106 & Park has any type of social relevance—106 & Park is not the Black State of the Union, it's a television show owned by Viacom. Hell, I'd rather see Madonna on BET for 24 hours straight than another shuck-n-jive Lil' Wayne video.
What many people don't know is that at the very beginning of Madonna's career people thought she was a black artist (would've been great if Terrence or Rocsi brought up that point). Even as she became more mainstream, she continued to chart on the Billboard R&B charts up until 1995 with "Human Nature" (#57).
Madge would abandon everything urban and go electronica (yawn!) when her 1995 Bedtime Stories album was bashed by mainstream critics. Sure, she didn't do a huge amount of urban press in her heyday, but when she was more R&B, urban press was very different. I heard rumors of Madonna wanting the cover of VIBE and Quincy Jones gave a hardcore, "No!". Can my music gurus out there confirm this one?
I remember the days (late '80's/early '90's) when you would rarely catch Prince, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and especially Michael Jackson on BET's Video Soul (damn, I miss that show with Donnie Simpson's ballpoint pen blue contacts!) or any black-oriented music show. So, why would Madonna show up? Anyone remember when Madonna was in the audience at the Soul Train Music Awards?
Lawd knows, 1995 Madonna would've been much more enjoyable on a show like 106 & Park than 2008 Madonna —she would've cussed a few times, recited her favorite hip-hop lyrics and say who she'd like to f*ck. But, I think people would've had a problem with that too.
Well, I don't think Black Madonna is going to be a hit this time around. She is back to black, but this time she is missing a bit of the soul she once had. But, the woman will be 50 in August, so she is still a baaaaaaaaaaaaad bitch!
Take a trip down memory lane to one of my favorite Madonna songs. Don't you dare tell me this
wasn't hot! When I first moved to New York I would rock this song as I was walking through Harlem.
Posted by Clay ::
12:00 AM ::