Over the past few years, the MTV Video Music Awards seems to get less and less attractive. Whether it is awards given to the wrong person, mediocre hosts, or pop stars whose spark is dying out, the VMAs fail to stay afloat of everyone’s attention on a consistent basis. If you did not watch this year’s VMAs, here is the breakdown of why it was far from being saved.
P!nk taking home the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. However, where’s Missy Elliott’s?
No disrespect to P!nk’s musical artistry — her 2001 hit “Don’t Let Me Get Me” basically described my high school years; however, when I think of a music video icon, P!nk certainly does not come to mind. She is inspiring, humble and creative, but not in the realm of music video innovations. I do not even believe Rihanna should’ve gotten the award last year, as 10 years in the music game is premature in my mind. Missy Elliott changed the hip-hop landscape since her debut in 1997 with music videos of various outrageousness: the inflated trash bag outfit (“The Rain [Supa Dupa Fly]”), choreographed old school-influenced bops (“Work It,”, “Gossip Folks”) and the pink Barbie Dollhouse (“Beep Me 911”). To award Elliott, this honorary award would be to bring back meaning to the Moonman trophy.
Why was Cardi B reduced to the pre-show?
Right now, Cardi B is one of the hottest rising artists. Her major-label debut “Bodak Yellow” is currently the No. 1 single in America, but somehow, she did not perform on the main stage where it matters. However, somehow, she could not perform on, the main stage where it matters. The VMAs were always known for having new artists perform on the main stage to affirms their newly found membership in mainstream pop music (Britney Spears in 1999, 50 Cent in 2003, Paramore in 2008). The lineup this year consisted of the same artist we have known for half a decade, if not more. Moreover, even then the artists become less and less attractive. Whether it was Fifth Harmony needing to inform us they are Forth Harmony (like we didn’t know nine months ago), Miley Cyrus proving how her music is like unseasoned chicken when she’s not appropriating hip-hop culture or Nicki Minaj who comes to every award show to deliver her 45-second punchline-laced guest verse. There need to be more fresh faces to the lineup than being tossed off to the pre-show stage. I never heard of Julia Michaels until my trip to the taping of the MTV’s revival of Total Request Live this summer when I discovered she had a singer a two-time platinum hit “Issues” that just missed the top 10. Nonetheless, her performance was neither breathtaking but more basic and could’ve been replaced by Cardi B. Also, if the VMAs that prides itself in bringing the biggest names to the stage to perform where was Chance the Rapper, Kehlani, Migos and SZA?
Katy Perry as the Host
One quality I look for in an awards show host is a big personality. Black-ish stars Anthony Anderson & Tracee Ellis Ross and comedian Leslie Jones captured the spirit of what it means to host an award show. Katy Perry came off as corny, like the high-spirited 40-year-old mom involved in her son’s school’s events. Perhaps Cardi B, herself, could’ve been the host instead to spice it up.
Gender Neutral Awards = fewer Categories
As gender politics is one of the trending topics in the media, MTV decided to eliminate “Best Male Video” and “Best Female Video” with the “New artist of the Year” award. I do not agree with this move as it decreases the number of diverse categories (what happened to “Best R&B Video?”). Coming from someone who keeps up with popular music, the best male and female categories are a reflection (that is let those know) who is the hottest female (or male) artist of the year.
Wrong Time to Air
There were too many events going on for the public to pay attention to the VMAs this year. Hurricane Harvey continues to affect our country and the season finale of Game of Thrones was on the same night as MTV, which got more viewers — 12.07 million to be exact.
Allowing Taylor Swift to Show Her Comeback Video
I am not here for Taylor Swift’s return to pop music, as I think it was good and inclusive without her. Not only does Swift new [petty] single “Look What You Made Me Do” come short of being a classic, but her music video for it was offensive using black gay guys as props and partially ripping off Beyoncé’s Formation video.