Catching Up With the Kids 9/8/10

Occasionally I browse the pop music world/charts/blogs and see what the kids are listening to.  Sometimes I am pleased with what I find, most of the time I am not.  This is a journal of my discoveries.
Catching Up On: Nicki Minaj

This chick is straight up crazy.  Hailed by many as the next ODB, the new female rapper payed homage to the late Wu Tang legend in Diddy’s “Hello Good Morning.” As you’ll see, Nicki steals the show.

She’s one of the better new hip hop artists to emerge this year, mainstream, indie, or otherwise. Her biggest hit, “Your Love,” while significantly more low-key, is still a great example of her flow, wit, and unique voice characteristics. The song peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit the top spot on the Rap Chart, making Minaj the first female to hit #1 on the chart unaccompanied since 2002. Her debut album Pink Friday drops November 23.

Catching Up On: Taio Cruz

Not much to say about this guy – Taio had moderate success in the UK, but thanks to 2009’s Rokkstar album and its subsequent singles, he was gained worldwide fame with some of the most generic-sounding radio hits accompanied by arguably the dumbest music videos ever. Cruz is just another footnote in a bad pop trend, milking the R&B-does-electro thing everybody is digging nowadays. Still, it never hurts to give Ludacris a verse in your song, in my opinion.

Catching Up On: B.o.B.

B.o.B. initially had mild appeal with the “indie” crowd due to some relevant collabos, but once the album dropped, the world discovered the entire thing was collabos. Be it the tolerable Bruno Mars-assisted “Nothin’ On You,” the overplayed “Airplanes” with Paramore’s Hayley Williams, or the atrocious “Magic” featuring, yeah, Rivers Cuomo (God, I really have grown to hate that guy), B.o.B. is one of the stalest rappers the kids enjoy today.

Catching Up On: Katy Perry

Though she’s never been one for subtlety or taste, and more for cliche taboo topics (as history will show), I’m presently disenchanted with this starlet, whose new album is a musically stale and sexually cringe-worthy display.  “Peacock” in particular, if you recall.  The newest hit, “Teenage Dream,” is a snooze-fest.  Still, “California Girls” packed a punch, and was easily the pop song of the summer, even if the video was full of eye-roll-worthy sexual camp.

Catching Up On: Usher

Remember when Usher ruled? Remember when he made us boogie? Well, those days are apparently over. The new singles are instantly forgettable, save for “OMG,” which is only memorable because of its horribly catchy and simple “oh-oh-oh” hook. Ursh is a vet among these peers, but he sounds a bit washed out.

Bonus Catch-Up: Cali Swag District – Teach Me How to Dougie

It seems like every summer has a hip-hop dance all the youth is learning, but the “Dougie” is by far the most complicated one yet. While crankin’ dat soulja boy, walking it out, chicken noodle soup, leaning back, and the A-town stomp were all pretty standard, easy-to-learn dances, the “Dougie” has many variations with some major flexibility requirements. Still, the song is addictive.

I especially enjoy this new mashup from the Hood Internet, incorporating Toro y Moi into the mix.

The Hood Internet – Dougie Vision (Cali Swag District x Toro Y Moi) by hoodinternet

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