White People Stay Winning: A Minute By Minute Breakdown Of The VMAs
Welcome, everyone, to this year’s VMA recap. My name is Damon Young, and I will be your host for the evening. And, by “My name is Damon Young, and I will be your host for the evening.” I mean “The only reason why I watched every minute of this shit was to recap it for you ungrateful bastards. I hate you all.”
Without further ado…
9:01: We start the festivities with a vision of Lady Gaga that will definitely give me at least five nightmares over the next two weeks. Whenever I watch her perform, I feel like I haven’t evolved enough yet to understand it.
I will say, though, that it did kinda seem like her opening was throwing a bit of shade at the rest of the pop diva collective, including Beyonce. Who’d win in a deathmatch between the Beyhive and the Little Monsters? God. And lacefront.
9:10: New Yorkers: “Wow. I can’t believe how surreal it is to have the VMAs in Brooklyn this year.” Rest of the world: “Shut the f*ck up, New Yorkers.”
9:12: After getting over the shock that The Weeknd is just one person, it started to dawn on me that the VMAs were just one big ass metaphor for cultural appropriation.
1. They’re taking place in Brooklyn, the gentrification capital of the world.
2. They prominently feature Justin Timberlake (a man who, well…more on that later), Robin Thicke (a man whose biggest hit is a blatant—and possibly illegal—ripoff of a soul icon’s song), Macklemore (more on him later), and Miley Cyrus: aka The White, Ass-Less, Twerker (T.W.A.T. for short).
9:20: During the Thicke/T.W.A.T. performance, the camera pans on Rihanna making a face that can best be described as “the face you make when one person is making a terrible argument and you’re just waiting for them to finish” combined with “the face dog owners make when trying to determine if that new smell is a dog burp or a dog fart.”
T.W.A.T. also cements her status as the first person to officially be “post-appropriation.”
9:30: It has officially reached the point where Lil Kim has become impervious to snark. There’s absolutely nothing funny you could say about her that wouldn’t be equally sad, so you just acknowledge she exists, shake your head, and send some more flowers to Lil Cease’s grave.
9:40: I have a lot to say about Kanye. So much that if I said it all, it would dominate this recap. That said, I still have two Kanye-related observations to share.
1. His personal descent into where ever the hell he’s descending to has made me realize how selfish of a music fan I am. As long as he continues making great music—which he is, btw—I don’t really care that much about what is “happening” to him.
2. Yeezus is officially my second favorite Kanye album. (MBDTF is first. College Dropout is now third.)
9:45: There was a performance featuring a group of big-bootied dancers with football shoulder pads. I have to say, that image plays much better in my dreams than it does on TV.
9:50: On the list of people no one dislikes—or at least, will publicly admit to disliking—who’s first: Pharrell, Jill Scott, or Janelle Monae?
(My guess? Janelle Monae. No one dares say anything even remotely bad about her. She’s basically the Candyman of music right now.)
9:53: Apparently, Macklemore and “Definitely Not Adele” had an anti-homophobia song this year that was pretty popular. This song won an award. During the speech for said award, he said something about how we’re “on the forefront of equality.” I’m 99.2% sure that did not make any sense.
9:58: As my favorite part of every awards show—the commercial break when a couple local businesses/parties get their own spots—occurs, I’m reminded to ask you all something: Do other cities still use “for the grown and sexy” in their promotions for nightclubs, or is Pittsburgh the lone holdout?
10:00: You know, whenever some popular artist or entertainer makes a serious public gaffe (i.e. Russell Simmons’ Harriet Tubman Sex Tape Jam, Kevin Hart’s recent rant against Black women, etc), an apology is probably the worst way to get back in the public’s good graces.
Why? Well, as Justin Timberlake—and us “forgiving” him for throwing Janet Jackson completely under the bus during the Super Bowl—proves, there’s a four point plan for getting that done.
1. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever admit to any wrongdoing.
2. Be White.
3. Produce shit people like.
4. Produce shit people like, and make cute faces while doing it.
That said, J.T. rocked the house. Which, apparently, is all that matters.
10:12: The camera pans on Taylor Swift watching Timberlake’s performance and experiencing her very first orgasm. I’m officially getting uncomfortable.
10:20: Big gay Jason Collins and A.S.A.P. Rocky combine for the most awkward award presentation ever, giving America a hundred thousand different opportunities for inappropriate (and inappropriately corny) jokes. (My favorite: Collins sure is riding this gay thing. Get it? Riding this gay thing? Ha!)
10:24: Yeah, this shit by Macklemore and Definitely Not Adele is the worst rap song I’ve ever heard. (Yes, even worse than K.O.B.E.)
I think I just have a strong distaste for Public Service Announcement rap; a distaste only rivaled by Gospel rap (“Dont stop, pop that Bible!”) and “rap played on an episode of CSI Miami when the plot involves the murder of a rapper” rap.
That said, Macklemore seems like a very nice guy. I will root for him and continue to never listen to his music. Basically, he’s the White Wiz Khalifa.
10:27: Some White guy I’m too lazy to google just shouted out God and his single mother in his award acceptance speech. First, they take our music. Now, they’re taking our speech cliches???????
I didn’t read a tweet about someone watching the 50th anniversary of the March of Washington on MSNBC this weekend for this shit!
10:37: As Drake starts his performance, I’m reminded of the fact that if he wasn’t a rap star, he’d be a perfect #7 on the haircut poster in every Black barbershop.
BTW, I know Jermaine “The Human Itis” Cole made some headlines last week after saying he thinks he wouldn’t be as popular if he were light-skinned. While that may or may not be true, I do think Drake’s complexion has made him less popular. (Yes. Less. )
Why exactly? Come back tomorrow.
11:00: The rest of the show involves Bruno Mars doing Bruno Mars things, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, more T.W.A.T., and more proof that 2013 is the year of White people winning at everything, including being Black.
I was going to end it with “See you all again next year” but the way things are going, I’m kinda nervous they’re going to take VSB too.
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)