Pierced Ears: Great Terrible Singers And You

Once upon a time in the projects, singers used to be able to sing. Hell, for a whole slew of ugly mofos, singing and musicing was their only way to guarantee the continuation of their family name.

Ike Turner, I’m looking at you. Or at least I would be if you weren’t dead.

Suge’s married nah? You’s dead nah. R.I.P.

So I’ll just look at Al Green, who based on the Soul Train re-runs BET’s Centric is running, looked like a slick talking pimp and was the posterchild for celebrity-based panty procurement. What a voice though.

Ah yes, the voices. So back in the day, ninjas could sing. Nowadays, a certain look and a voice that sounds like a** being sandpapered can get you by. Now it’s not to say that non-singing arse ninjas weren’t cutting records, because they were. The dusty vinyl racks in most thrift stores can attest to that, but it seems like the singing folks were the stars in the 50s through 70s. We’re talking Aretha, Aretha’s areolas, David Ruffin and his drug habit, Al Green, whatever a Vandella is, Marvin don’t call me Pence, Diana, etc. The list goes on.

Nowadays? Well, nowadays we get…

1. Rihanna

If I could ever pick a voice not to have and still claim to be a singer, it would be hers. Lucky for me I don’t sound like a robot that ran away from home who just ate glass on a Tuesday after a hurricane. You know who does though? Rihanna. She’s bad as hell though. Though I kind of guess she’d have to be to come back swinging (no pun intended) from the beat down of the century, cut her hair, and realease an album with less certified hits on it than crackpipe at the Pope’s house and still stand out as a force to be reckoned with.. In case, I’m not clear though, she cannot sing.

2. Ashanti/Ja Rule

I include them as one entity since well, where would he be without her? Exactly where he is now, more absent than Penny’s parents on Good Times. While Ja Rule is technically a rapper, his biggest hits came with him attempting melody. I say attempting because he sounded like Cookie Monster with a recording deal. And while I do like Ashanti and loved a few of her songs, the fact is, nobody would call her and ask her to sing a solo just because. Not in a car, not at a bar. Not on a train, not in Spain. Thing is, what they did worked. Folks LOVED their songs. Great terrible singers.

3. T-Pain

Has anybody actually heard his real singing voice? Let me say this here, I always found it odd that T-Pain would take issue with folks using auto-tune when he basically jacked Teddy Riley’s schtick who jacked Roger Troutman’s schtick. Anyway, despite any discernible actual vocal talent, T-Pain has crafted some of the best damn songs of the past 5-years. “Buy U A Drank” was poetry in motion and let’s not even talk about the grandiose complexity of “Bartender”. Oh I can’t contain myself. Let’s talk about it. “She made us drinks…to drink…we drunk ‘em…got drunk.” Shakespeare was a mere dolt compared to Tedddy Pinnned Her Ass Down.

4. Carl Thomas

Carl Thomas is the posterboy, mascot, and CEO for great terrible singers. He somehow duped an entire legion of diehard fans into thinking that “Summer Rain” was a good song and that it’s okay to be a b*tch a** ninja (“Emotional”). I’ve had full blown arguments with women people trying to convince me that he can sing. He cannot. Stop it. Especially not with all his s-curl juice running down the side of his face during shows because of the heat from the lights; yeah he’s from Chicago.

Controversial pick time:

5) K-Ci/Wanya Morris

I love these guys as much as the next man – I grew up on Jodeci and Boyz II Men. But have you ever seen naturally good singers (like Johnny Gill’s oversinging behind) have to actually shake their heads up and down to get the vibrato effect? That was K-Ci and Wanya’s calling card – head just a bouncing all over the stage like two strippers who spotted a dollar on the ground in a K-Mart parking lot. Just saying, they can sing, but they can’t sing either. It’s a fine line. They were the inspiration for bobbleheads – who sang great bobblehead songs.

6. Ciara

Oh wait, she just sucks all around.

Good folks of the VSB kingdom, its Friday, make it rain on these hoez, who are some other great terrible singers?



Admin Note: Next Tuesday, April 13, 2010, from 530-10pm at Sutra Lounge in Adam’s Morgan, Panama Jackson will be one of several DC-area bloggers hosting a happy hour brought to you by Elevated Entertainment and Usual Suspectz. Come hang out with VSB P the Certified 3 and a slew of other popular DC bloggers like Leon from Listentoleon.net, etc. Admission is free. The address is 2406 18th Street NW. Come one, come all…holla at a playa when you see me in the street trick. Nuts.

Eternal Sunshine of Carl Thomas to the Future

It’s Friday.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Everybody’s had a person in their life that they wish could have be erased from memory. This movie depicted this concept and theory flawlessly to me.

Not to mention, you get Kirsten Dunst in her undies for a good segment of the movie. Not that I find her particularly attractive, but whatever. Skin is skin. Unless said skin belongs to Grace Jones or Angela Lansbury, in which case, you can have it.

Carl Thomas also felt this way and did his best impression of a person who could sing in his first single, “I Wish I Never Met Her”. And despite the fact that Carl Thomas sounds like ass vocally, the sentiments are quite apropos. Been there done that. Wish I never did what I done done. Like Shawty Lo, except spelled “dun dun”.

Thing is, I have maybe one person that I wished I’d never met. Hell, I’m pretty sure I told her at some point. But there was no crying for her Argentina. Truth is, though I wished I’d never met her, in some way, she helped to contribute to the sexxy beast that I am today. So perhaps wishing I never met somebody is a bit extreme.

However…there are definitely SITUATIONS that in retrospect I wish I would have changed. Hell, if I had my current wisdom I wouldn’t have made many of the mistakes I made early on. Like the time I knew my ex had cheated on me but I chose to “not believe it”. If I had the chance to go back, I’d have just dropped her ass that day I figured it out instead of hanging around for more months of insane boredom and inexperienced domegame. Sh*t, I could have had a V8. Because of that chick I ended up passing up a chance to have my way with Beyonce before she met Jay. And that’s not true at all, however it made for a better story than it started out as.

For the hell of it: Butteryfly Effect.

So, good people of VSB.com in the Kingdom of Smartness, what would you do differently? Any blemishes from the past that you’d like to Proactiv away or decisions that probably just weren’t so hot that your current wisdom wouldn’t let happen even if Mel Gibson was directing your life’s story?