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Today’s roundtable topic is the…
2016 MTV VMAs Review
For me, this year’s VMAs were a titillating touchdown with Beyonce and Rihanna as its undoubtable MVP’s.
Rih obviously watched the BET Awards and borrowed their approach to the Prince tribute, which if you remember was also split up and interspliced across the evening’s festivities.
In doing so, she was able to effectively and entertainingly celebrate the various layers of her sound and success narrative. The Bashment and ballad segments were especially enjoyable, as was her speech. It all legitimately had me wondering…why so hard on her?
And then I remembered attending the ‘ANTI Tour’ in London and watching her lazily go through the motions; which in turn reminded of Ms. Fenty’s primary problem.
She’s inconsistent and only seems to pull her finger out when she knows there’s weight of expectation. In reality, she’d be much more compelling if she insisted on slaying everyday.
To her credit though, her stage wins are becoming more of a regularity, so kudos to her.
Beyonce, as ever, owned the evening from a performance standpoint.
At 15-minutes long, her live rendition of ‘Lemonade’ re-affirmed her as this generation’s most daring, most bold, and most envelope pushing. Like, who does that? She does. And that’s what cements her brilliance.
I recall watching an interview with a manager at Parkwood following the release of the self-titled album. She said, moving forward, the singer was only interested in signing on to things she could do differently. Looking at her moves since then, from co-owning Ivy Park to showings like last night, it’s clearly a thread that’s been present in everything.
Already an icon, denying Queen Bey’s impending legend status is like denying water is wet.
Speaking of Pop icons, Britney Spears was a welcome surprise. Having fallen for the okey-doke one too many times, these days I go into her performances with zero expectation. But oh did she deliver. Sure her mic was off, but her energy and choreography were “on.” It’s warming to see there’s still mileage in her engine.
Elsewhere, Ariana and Nicki’s showing fell somewhat flat. Primarily due to Grande’s oddly shaky vocals. Kanye‘s rant was incoherent waffle and is beyond redundant at this point. Although I’d gladly sit through it again knowing that Teyana Taylor‘s epic performance in that ‘Fade’ video would crown it off.
Still, all in all, a great show with many a memorable moment!
Another awesome showing from the MTV VMAs! Going into last night’s ceremony it dawned on many music lovers that this year’s show could legitimately boast of having an all-star lineup. Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Beyonce and Nicki Minaj.
Unfortunately, I’d say only three of the aforementioned acts lived up to the hype. The first? Rihanna. Undoubtedly under pressure to deliver performances worthy of competing with Beyonce’s the star broke ground by honouring her Caribbean roots with a set and tracklist built to celebrate the dancehall parties that birthed so much of what is trending in Pop today. Was it as groundbreaking as it should have been? No. Did it see the vocalist push herself out of her comfort zone to execute choreography and an enjoyable theme? Yes.
Britney Spears’ delivery of ‘Make Me’ served as another highlight for me. Though she’s far removed from the dancer she was when she first touched the VMA stage, her performance was a reminder that even at her worst she still stands head and shoulders above the choreography-shy newbies she’s often compared to.
Beyonce? Nailed it! Eagle-eyed viewers would have noticed her performance’s emphasis on water’s relation to fire (see blue and red lights during ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’) and the return of Anthony Burrell who joined the performer on stage to recreate their ‘Flaws and All’ ‘Angel meets girl’ piece at the end of ‘Pray You Catch Me.’ Quite interestingly, after years of coming under critical fire for being repetitive, it was Bey above anyone else who offered the most subversive showing of the night. Steering clear of her moves of yesteryear, the icon introduced MTV’s viewers to some of ‘Lemonade’s African-inspired imagery and a performance style rooted in contemporary Hip-Hop and Blues Rock.
As for Ariana? She should have spent more time in rehearsal.
The 2016 VMAs were easily the best rendition of the show in years. Kicking off as promised with a show-stopping performance from Rihanna, the Bajan diva reminded every hater that she indeed was more than deserving of the Vanguard honor being bestowed upon her. By the time she performed her slower numbers, she proved herself worthy of every compliment Drake lent when he was presenting her the award.
The most anticipated performance of the night, Britney Spears, may have exceeded many-an-expectation but if you asked me, it’s all too little too late. Yes, she deserves all the praises she has received for stepping her game up lately. But, after ten years of making excuses for her absent gaze, dry a** hair whips, and Tinman-inspired two steps, the moves she is pulling now should’ve been done at least 5-7 years ago.
And, to disservice her by putting her directly after Beyoncé was simply a foul play by MTV to Brit and her fans.
Without going on and on about what’s already been said, Bey’s performance was not only the performance of the night, but it easily goes into her top 5 of her entire career. This is an amazing feat for someone 20 years into her career who has set the standard for what constitutes good performances over the last 13 years.
Can y’all join me in agreeing that this was the best VMAs in years?
Wow! From the get go, last night’s extravaganza looked like Pop’s biggest night on paper. It was a stacked bill. And it didn’t disappoint.
First things first, it was very interesting to see how MTV not only managed to get both Beyonce and Rihanna on the same bill, but also gift them “15 minutes to slay” each.
Since Rihanna caters to many flavors, it was clever to split up her time in 4 different segments. And with Bey being all about servicing bodies of work, telling stories… and selling concert tickets, the full-on quarter hour she was awarded was put to good use.
Both ladies were fantastic on the MSG stage. Neither serviced anything we hadn’t seem from them before, yet still they played to their own strengths. Spectacle and vocals for Mrs Carter; fun and charisma for Ms Fenty.
Sadly, Ariana and Nicki couldn’t replicate the fierceness of their newly released ‘Side To Side’ video. All that bike movement had Ari sounding shaky. Still, singing live is always commendable. Especially when other components are factored in.
A great segue-way to Britney Spears.
As of late it seems the diva is regaining her past abilities, both musically and visually. And last night she seemed on a mission for the world to see she’s “back.” A mission she achieved. For the most part.
For me, it could have been perfect, if it wasn’t for the unapologetic lip-syncing. She looked “present” and “woke” and her chemistry with G-Eazy was off the richter. But that “not-even-pretending-to-sing” nonsense won’t stick in 2016. I’d highly recommend a solid pre-record for her future performances.
Still, “it’s Britney Bitch, as we can see on iTunes at the moment where ‘Make Me’ is #2.
Alicia Keys’ beautiful poem, the overall camaraderie that seemed to be reigning, and Kanye’s upbeat attitude were warm touches as well. But was I the only one thinking MTV did Taylor wrong by placing emphasis on THAT particular line in ‘Famous’ any time ‘Ye West was seen or mentioned? Overkill.
Nonetheless, MTV redeemed themselves from last year’s mediocre madness thanks to an A-list line-up of artists, who delivered show-stopping performances. There was a palpable air of one-up-man-ship, which was a treat for the viewer. I’m so here for that flavor of friendly competition!
Honorable mention for the dark horse of the show: Teyana Taylor. What a SLAY!
Do you agree with our points? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and 2016 VMAs!