I tried to ignore it. I really did. It all started with the promo cover shot for Nicki Minaj's new single, "Anaconda". The singer is squatting with her backside toward the camera, wearing something akin to pink dental floss on her derrière. The image itself was disturbing in its vulgarity. I actively avoided it but it was everywhere: trending on twitter, the cover story of a major search engine, and on various major news sites. When Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" video finally debuted I watched it to see what all of the fuss was about.
To say that the video shocked me is a vast understatement. Ms. Minaj writhes, grinds and twerks her way through nearly 5 minutes of a robotic song about, you guessed it, her buttocks. Mixed with samplings from the 1992 hit, "Baby Got Back," by Sir Mix-a-lot, the song itself is completely dire, plagued with raunchy, dumbed-down lyrics with a chorus that exclaims, Oh my gosh, look at her butt, over and over again. Sigh.
I came away from watching the video feeling slightly nauseous. I have two daughters, ages two and four. If music videos are this sexually explicit and devoid of merit now, what are they going to be like when my girls are teenagers?
I decided to see what the public had to say about it. Surely they were outraged that this soft-core porn passing off as a music video broke records on Vevo as its most watched debut. People must have been up in arms!
Au contraire. Minaj's video was praised on twitter by millions of adoring fans. Cosmopolitan magazine tweeted that Anaconda was "EXACTLY what your Wednesday needs". Really, Cosmo?
Cut to a few weeks later as J-Lo and Iggy Azalea joined in on the booty fever with their track titled, (what else?) Booty. It's another uninspired, vapid song whose chorus reads: Big, big booty, What you got a big booty.
I mean, it embarrasses me to even write these words in this article, how on earth do these artists go around singing them with a straight face? Iggy and J-Lo flash and grind their greased backsides all throughout the video, leaving me to wonder, what on earth has happened to pop music?
Have we fallen so far? Have our standards for what we constitute as art dropped so low that when we hit lower and lower depths we become desensitized to it all? Where do we go from here? Is this vulgar lowbrow popular music the new normal?
I certainly hope not. There is so much good music performed by talented artists out there. We need to support them. And while we're at it, tell these pop stars, as many did on Jennifer Lopez's facebook page, that we are disappointed in their sad, classless attempt to climb the fame ladder. Shocking vulgarity will only get you so far. The sad thing is, these ladies do have talent. I hope they realize they don't need to degrade themselves in this way to get attention. Let your talent speak for itself. These days, it's much more noticeable to be a class act than a trash act.