A Look Back At Justin Timberlake's Love Life YourTango
justin timberlake ft. janet jackson - rock your body ...
Justin Timberlake – International japanese dating site online
3 ways Justin Timberlake went wrong, and 3 reasons it ...
Justin Timberlake says Janet Jackson not part of Super ...
LONDON: Justin Timberlake caused a national controversy when he performed the Super Bowl halftime show with Janet Jackson in 2004, and the pop singer said on Thursday not to expect his partner in crime to appear this time around. As history goes, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's narratives are intertwined - albeit controversially. And while the pair largely avoid discussion about the other following the now infamous ... Outkast - The Way You Move DANCE-EDIT (Sweet Dreams Remix) ft. Justin Timberlake, Michael & Janet Jackson. chazatlas. 1:17. Justin Timberlake & Janet Jackson Super Bowl. Christophe. 4:11. Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake. Futurelover. 0:44. Justin Timberlake made peace with Janet Jackson. ... About Us What’s New Help Center Jobs API Become a ... The blame on Jackson comes on a second day of fallout after pop idol Justin Timberlake tore off half of Jackson's black leather bustier while the pair were singing a duet, exposing her right ... LONDON Justin Timberlake caused a national controversy when he performed the Super Bowl halftime show with Janet Jackson in 2004, and the pop singer said on Thursday not to expect his partner in crime to appear this time around. Except it didn’t actually affect Timberlake, who went on to become an even bigger superstar while his stage partner, Janet Jackson, reportedly was blacklisted by TV networks and radio stations. Surprising Facts About Birthday Boy Justin Timberlake's Love Life. Alexandra Churchill. Contributor. Love. Jan 31, 2013, 10:25 EST ... like that time he let Janet Jackson's boob pop out for the ... When it was announced that Justin Timberlake would be performing at the 2018 Super Bowl, fans mentioned that they are still waiting for the singer to apologize to Janet Jackson. In 2004 Timberlake accidentally exposed Jackson’s breast at the super bowl half time show. The incident became a huge controversy and resulted in Jackson leaving the scene for a while after the negative publicity. Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s performance in the 2004 halftime show might go down in the history books as something outrageous and unthinkable. But the ramifications on both their careers tell a very different story. Over time, the public has been able to reflect on the matter and take away their own conclusions. Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears dated from through The duo started dating in , years after meeting on The Disney. Fill out the form below, or call us at When it comes to chronicling the Justin Timberlake relationship timeline, his romantic partners are a varied bunch.
Time for Howard Stern to Retire? Stacking Up the Miles Davis of Radio to the Miles Davis of Jazz
2020.10.12 07:14 danielsper0Time for Howard Stern to Retire? Stacking Up the Miles Davis of Radio to the Miles Davis of Jazz
In 2015 I wrote two off-the-wall comedy film scripts. After giving them to a friend for feedback she asked, “Do you listen to Howard Stern?” I said no. From 1998 to 2002 I lived in Providence and caught him on the radio from time to time, and what I heard was hilarious, but he’d go to commercial for a never-ending block of ads so I’d search the dial. My friend concluded emphatically, “You’ve really gotta check out Howard Stern – he’s right up your alley.” The next week I nabbed a torrent for The Howard Stern Show and the following day cleaned the house while Howard berated his producer Gary Dell’Abate for placing a Christmas card he didn’t want in his man purse. Interspersed with this browbeating were songs mocking Gary relentlessly, a parody of a Justin Bieber song called I’ll Suck Your Ween, and a caller with a gravelly, shrill voice screaming about her love for all things Howard as a sound-effect of crow’s cawing repeated over her. This is Mariann from Brooklyn, a regular caller who’s concurrently lampooned and loved on the air. After what must’ve been an hour of Howard dressing down Gary he took another call and the caller asked what Howard’s wife Beth’s vagina looked like. And the guy requested specifics too, like the amount of lip meat and tightness, and the color and general aesthetic. I thought, man what an inappropriate question. You can’t ask something like that. If Howard yelled at Gary about putting a Christmas card in his bag he’s gonna destroy this guy. Well, he paused; he took a deep breath and sighed… and then Howard calmly described how nice his wife’s vagina is in extraordinary detail. I was hooked. I listened to entire years of The Howard Stern Show, mostly from his new Sirius catalog; 2006, 2009, 2012, 2014. Any show I could find I listened to, even specials like Wack Pack History and Sternthology. I listened daily, for hours. There’s just so much brilliance in Howard’s takes on contemporary news and culture, his interactions with the Wack Packers and callers, his musings about celebrity gossip, the interplay with Robin, the zany characters on the staff, the phony phone calls, the parody songs, the interviews, the silly game show premises and more. The Howard Stern Show is a radio masterpiece. So enthralled I did something I never do: I joined a Facebook group for The Howard Stern Show, and two things happened afterward. First I received a friend request from Wendy Pack. I did a little digging to uncover that this is Wendy the Slow Adult, a prominent Wack Packer from the show. I may love listening, but did I want to get personally involved? Maybe if Howard wants to be friends, but Wendy the Slow Adult? She’s such a moocher, as I’m sure Wendy would agree, right Wendy? “Yes.” The second I accepted that request she’d have a sob story about how she needs money to buy food for her mom and nephews when in reality she’d waste it all on scratch-off lottery tickets and Mt. Dew, then come back for more. I had to ignore that friend request, or as Wendy would put it, “Ah… no.” The second thing I experienced in this Howard Stern fan group was the vitriol they had toward Howard. A large amount of the posts were about how badly Howard sucks. The show was better when they had more strippers, the show was better with Artie, Howard’s gotten soft, Howard’s sold out, Howard doesn’t have it anymore, he’s a liberal, yada, yada, yada. For a fan group they are insanely overly critical, even claiming they’ve stopped listening as they shit all over Howard, but obviously when they comment about specific details from that day’s show they’re still tuned in. With that in mind and since Howard’s contract expires at the end of this tumultuous year it seems like a good time to put his career into perspective. Not what he is now, but what he’s always been and always will be; the GOAT of radio. He’s Radio Zeus. If you take Howard’s career as a whole there’s only one modern entertainer whose comes close to doing what he did for his medium and that’s Miles Davis, the single greatest jazz musician to ever live. Miles career, his music and his influence went way beyond jazz. That cat was a navigator of sound for half a century, keeping jazz relevant through the rock revolution. When Miles Davis died jazz was left in his wake and hasn’t been the same since. Well, the same types of accolades apply to Howard Stern. He’s the Miles Davis of radio. Consider this: when Howard got to Sirius in 2006 it was universally agreed that he took a massive payoff to leave terrestrial radio for satellite where he’d fade away into obscurity. Sirius had less than 400,000 subscribers and was far behind their satellite radio competitor XM. But Howard didn’t go away and his show didn’t become a daily porn orgy as predicted either. Instead he improved in a multitude of ways and his fans followed him, bringing more than 6 million new subscribers by the end of his first year. By 2020 Sirius has nearly 35 million subscribers, acquired XM after they couldn’t compete with Howard and completed the acquisition of music streaming service Pandora, making SiriusXM Pandora the largest audio entertainment company in the world. Sure there are other business parameters to consider, but Sirius’s remarkable level of success happened on the back of Howard Stern. There must’ve been some pegging going for that Cocktober. However, that’s just the business side. It’s really their craft where a comparison of the Prince of Darkness to the King of All Media is most apropos. Miles started in the 40s playing bebop jazz that was popular at the time, yet discovering individuality with his muted trumpet sound, whereas Howard started out in the mid-70s on WRNW, WCCC and WWWW mostly being a DJ common for the time, but learning the craft and showing signs of finding his exceptional radio voice through humor and human connectivity. By the next decade Miles experimented with more space in the arrangements, using different lineups as he explored the boundaries of swing, hard-bop, post-bop and cool jazz. His skills peaked around modal jazz on 1959’s Kind of Blue, widely regarded as the greatest jazz album of all time. By the next decade for Howard, the 80’s, he headed to WWDC and actively tested the boundaries of the traditional radio format, adding radio partner Robin Quivers as news presenter and gradually molding the program into something more authentic to his vision. His gamble paid off as he shot up the ratings and was offered a sizable contract by WNBC. While a turbulent stop that tested Howard’s mettle, WNBC helped him refine his abilities and provided great fodder for the air. From 1963 to 1968 Miles Davis put together a prolific quintet that released numerous albums showing how developed and distinctive his sound had become. It was near the end of this period that electric instruments were introduced, ushering in a whole new period for jazz with the melodically spacious and rhythmically contained fusion jazz albums, 1969’s In A Silent Way and 1970’s Bitches Brew. After WNBC Howard moved over to WXRK at the end of 1985 and by the following year dismantled his radio competition for ratings while expanding into syndication, making TV appearances, doing PPV events and increasing his popularity with video releases. Howard Stern was moving well beyond the frontlines of thought and decorum in comical and creative ways, elevating him to a position of national recognition. As the decade changed to the 70’s Miles imbued his sound with elements of rock and oriented heavily toward funk, as evidenced by the 1971 release Live-Evil, while 1972’s On The Corner Miles mixed in avant-garde with classical features on a foundation of funk-jazz. This was a massive peak for Miles, similar to the one Howard experienced in the 90’s as he put together his own TV show, The Howard Stern Show, released the album Crucified by the FCC, appeared on the MTV video music awards as Fartman, had a New York Times bestseller with his book Private Parts, and even found success in a 1994 run for governor of New York. After a 5 year hiatus from music to focus on sex and drugs Miles returned to jazz with 1981’s The Man with the Horn and 1982’s double live album We Want Miles, which earned him a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by a Soloist. In the latter half of the 90’s Howard scored a huge success with his second bestselling book, Miss America, and in 1997 a film adaption of Private Parts was released with Howard as the star. The movie topped the US box office in its opening weekend, won Howard awards and turned him into a household name. As the 80’s wore on Miles experimented with elements of soul music and electronica, culminating in the 1984 release of Decoy. He spent the next few years performing concerts all over the world as an ambassador for jazz. For Howard, as he entered a new century, on top of his radio program, a feature film, comedy albums, bestselling books and more, he had numerous television shows being broadcast or in some stage of development. He truly was living up to the satirical moniker he gave himself as the King of All Media. However, after Justin Timberlake gave America a glimpse of Janet Jackson’s breast at the 1994 Super Bowl the FCC began a campaign of removing indecency from radio and television that targeted Howard and cost his employers millions in fines. As a result Howard eventually left terrestrial radio and took a career gamble on a new medium, subscription-based satellite radio. It paid off as Howard, finally free to format his content the way he’d always envisioned, made this period from 2006 to the present the greatest radio experience ever, highlighted by Howard’s growth into the best celebrity interviewer of all time, which inspired his latest book and bestseller, 2019’s Howard Stern Comes Again. Now, why use thousands of words to lay out this comparison? Because it doesn’t do justice to how unparalleled these two men’s impacts are without being this thorough. Where Miles controlled the chaos of jazz, Howard steered the entire radio industry. Where Miles innovated the use of the mute, electric instrumentation and the blending of musical styles, Howard revolutionized the role of the DJ, the interviewer, the news presenter, the game show host, and being a researcher of babysitter porn. Where Miles had a career spanning 5 decades never absent of growth, evolution and experimentation, so too does Howard. The point is, love him or hate him, Howard Stern is a titan at what he does. So before Howard’s legion of critics, sorry fans, claim he jumped the shark, and before Howard considers retiring it should be said that while Howard might be close to the end he isn’t there yet. Yes he’s reached the final years, but for Miles that meant albums like 1986’s Tutu where he incorporated synthesizers, drum loops and sampling, or 1992’s Doo-Bop, a hip-hop album recorded shortly before his death and released posthumously. These might not be considered Miles best works, but their contributions are vital to his career arch and the current direction of music. And this is where I see Howard’s career. He might not have strippers on the Sybian anymore and he might not have the piss and vinegar he used to, he might be more interested in celebrities or the blueberries he puts in his yogurt, but he’s not done. He’s still evolving, still creating, still immensely entertaining and still checking the pulse of contemporary culture with a two fingered cul-de-sac, just like the way his mother took his temperature until he was the age of 35. So to you fans who don’t get the version of Howard you want, don’t diminish the growth and gifts of what Howard still gives. Just because you’re stuck listening to Kind of Blue, I’m okay with listening to Howard craft his equivalent to You’re Under Arrest, a 1985 Miles album that mixed in pop and political statements. We can only be so fortunate that Howard re-signs for one more contract so we can get his swan song version of Tutu and Doo-Bop, so don’t push him away. There will never be another Miles Davis, and there will never be another Howard Stern. Once he’s gone, ‘it’s over Johnny’. Finally, to you Howard, don’t rob us of the home stretch. Give us those last few albums. Sign another contract so we can be there for your Zepplin’s Coda. Let us listen as you lose your timbre and stroke-out and give us a Dick Clark ending. Come on Howard, you can hate things at home alone for only so long and then you need to get behind a mic and do your one thing a day, The Howard Stern Show. Look Howard, you can tell this is a genuine plea; I haven’t mentioned Fred once. For more go to danielspero(dot)com
For each year in our tournament, I took the top 16 songs from Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 chart (which measures a song’s overall popularity over the course of the year), and seeded them appropriately (so that the more popular songs have a slight advantage). Then, I took the output of the 16 years, and ran a tournament to find the best song of the 90s, the best song of the 00s, then pitted those two winners in the grand final. Note: In the filled-out bracket, we were mostly in agreement. When we absolutely couldn’t agree, we had to split. Splits are denoted by slashes; the song on top is d8uv’s choice, and the song on bottom is antarris’s choice.
Notes from the tournament
1992—Winner: “Under The Bridge”
End of the Road - Boyz II Men vs. I'll Be There - Mariah Carey
Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers vs. All 4 Love - Color Me Badd
Baby-Baby-Baby - TLC vs. To Be with You - Mr. Big
Save the Best for Last - Vanessa Williams vs. I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred
Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton vs. I Love Your Smile - Shanice
Jump - Kris Kross vs. Black or White - Michael Jackson
My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It) - En Vogue vs. Just Another Day - Jon Secada
Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-a-Lot vs. Achy Breaky Heart - Billy Ray Cyrus
d8uv: Note: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”–you know, the song that changed the entire rock genre—only got up to 32. And yet, “Just Another Day”, a song that you have never heard of, was the 10th most popular song. What the hell was wrong with the people of 1992? antarris: Not everyone was an angsty white suburban teenager, you know.
1993—Winner: “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang”
I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston vs. Dazzey Duks - Duice
Dreamlover - Mariah Carey vs. Rump Shaker - Wreckx-n-Effect
Freak Me - Silk vs. In the Still of the Nite - Boyz II Men
That's the Way Love Goes - Janet Jackson vs. Don't Walk Away - Jade
Weak - SWV vs. Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang - Dr. Dre
Can't Help Falling in Love - UB40 vs. Knockin' da Boots - H-Town
If I Ever Fall in Love - Shai vs. Informer - Snow
Whoomp! (There It Is) - Tag Team vs. Lately - Jodeci
antarris: I don’t even know who like a third of these people even are. “I Will Always Love You” nearly won my bracket.
The Sign - Ace of Base vs. Without You / Never Forget You - Mariah Carey
All for Love - Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting vs. All That She Wants - Ace of Base
Hero - Mariah Carey vs. Again - Janet Jackson
The Power of Love - Céline Dion vs. I'll Remember - Madonna
Stay (I Missed You) - Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories vs. Bump n' Grind - R. Kelly
I'll Make Love to You - Boyz II Men vs. Whatta Man - Salt-n-Pepa and En Vogue
Breathe Again - Toni Braxton vs. Don't Turn Around - Ace of Base
I Swear - All-4-One vs. Wild Night - John Mellencamp feat. Meshell Ndegeocello
antarris: The Sign was the first album I ever owned. I sang “Don’t Turn Around” in the shower through my mid-twenties. Sorry-not-sorry. d8uv: This was the year of Ace of Base, and as much as I love my trashy eurodance, the sound hasn’t aged particularly well. antarris: I live for my trashy eurodance. Fight me.
Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio feat. L.V. vs. Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? - Bryan Adams
Take a Bow - Madonna vs. Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days) - Monica
On Bended Knee - Boyz II Men vs. Water Runs Dry - Boyz II Men
Kiss from a Rose - Seal vs. Freak Like Me - Adina Howard
Another Night - Real McCoy vs. I Know - Dionne Farris
Creep - TLC vs. Run-Around - Blues Traveler
Fantasy - Mariah Carey vs. This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
Waterfalls - TLC vs. I Can Love You Like That - All-4-One
antarris: “Waterfalls” is just a touch behind for me, probably because my little sister played it incessantly. She was seven. d8uv: Antarris called “Gangsta’s Paradise” out as “the only rap song every white person knows”. This was meant as a compliment, but I know better.
1996—Winner: d8uv: “Tha Crossroads”, antarris: “C’mon N’ Ride It (The Train)”
Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix) - Los del Río vs. Sittin' Up in My Room - Brandy
I Love You Always Forever - Donna Lewis vs. You're Makin' Me High / Let It Flow - Toni Braxton
Always Be My Baby - Mariah Carey vs. Missing - Everything but the Girl
Nobody Knows - The Tony Rich Project vs. Ironic - Alanis Morissette
Give Me One Reason - Tracy Chapman vs. C'mon N' Ride It (The Train) - Quad City DJ's
Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion vs. Exhale (Shoop Shoop) - Whitney Houston
Tha Crossroads - Bone Thugs-n-Harmony vs. Twisted - Keith Sweat
One Sweet Day - Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men vs. Follow You Down / Til I Hear It from You - Gin Blossoms
d8uv: When pressed for comment, all antarris said was “... it’s a choo-choo train.” antarris: Pure fucking lyrical genius. “Tha Crossroads” is my second favorite, though. d8uv: Still, I found myself honestly surprised at how much I liked “Tha Crossroads”.
Something About the Way You Look Tonight / Candle in the Wind 1997 - Elton John vs. Nobody - Keith Sweat feat. Athena Cage
Return of the Mack - Mark Morrison vs. How Do I Live - LeAnn Rimes
Can't Nobody Hold Me Down - Puff Daddy feat. Mase vs. MMMBop - Hanson
Un-Break My Heart - Toni Braxton vs. For You I Will - Monica
I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly vs. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) - Backstreet Boys
I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy feat. Faith Evans and 112 vs. You Make Me Wanna... - Usher
Don't Let Go (Love) - En Vogue vs. Wannabe - Spice Girls
Foolish Games / You Were Meant for Me - Jewel vs. Bitch - Meredith Brooks
d8uv: This—like 1994—was a surprisingly weak year. Every matchup other than the final was super easy, and even the final wasn’t that hard. antarris: “Semi-Charmed Life” was #17. It would have won my bracket. I probably should’ve bought it instead of recording the video off MTV.
1998—Winner: “How’s It Going To Be”
Too Close - Next vs. My Way - Usher
Candle in the Wind 1997 - Elton John vs. Nice & Slow - Usher
How Do I Live - LeAnn Rimes vs. No, No, No - Destiny's Child
Truly Madly Deeply - Savage Garden vs. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
Together Again - Janet vs. How's It Going to Be - Third Eye Blind
You're Still the One - Shania Twain vs. Gettin' Jiggy wit It - Will Smith
All My Life - K-Ci & JoJo vs. I Don't Want to Wait - Paula Cole
The Boy Is Mine - Brandy and Monica vs. You Make Me Wanna... - Usher
antarris: This year was also surprisingly weak. Lots of “this is my third favorite song from this artist.” d8uv: Elton John cheated with a mediocre song that made into two years of this tournament.
1999—Winner: “Livin’ la Vida Loca”
Believe - Cher vs. I'm Your Angel - R. Kelly and Celine Dion
Every Morning - Sugar Ray vs. Nobody's Supposed to Be Here - Deborah Cox
...Baby One More Time - Britney Spears vs. If You Had My Love - Jennifer Lopez
Heartbreak Hotel - Whitney Houston feat. Faith Evans and Kelly Price vs. Slide - Goo Goo Dolls
Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer vs. Where My Girls At? - 702
Angel of Mine - Monica vs. Have You Ever? - Brandy
Genie in a Bottle - Christina Aguilera vs. Livin' la Vida Loca - Ricky Martin
No Scrubs - TLC vs. I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys
d8uv: This had the hardest matchup in the entire tournament. The seeding was unkind, and forced two songs that would have won the year if they didn’t have to clash. “No Scrubs” vs. “Livin’ la Vida Loca”. But, in the end, Ricky Martin just barely beat TLC. I’m still not sure if this was the right choice. antarris: If “No Scrubs” had won, it would have made it just as far as “Livin’ La Vida Loca” did. It’s that good. My mom thinks we made the wrong choice, though.
Breathe - Faith Hill vs. There You Go - Pink
Amazed - Lonestar vs. Bent - Matchbox Twenty
Everything You Want - Vertical Horizon vs. Try Again - Aaliyah
I Wanna Know - Joe vs. Jumpin', Jumpin' - Destiny's Child
Say My Name - Destiny's Child vs. Higher - Creed
Maria Maria - Santana feat. The Product G&B vs. Thong Song - Sisqó
I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden vs. He Wasn't Man Enough - Toni Braxton
Smooth - Santana feat. Rob Thomas vs. Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down
antarris: I honestly thought d8uv would fight me on this one. I remembered him saying he absolutely hated “Smooth”. d8uv: My dad only listens to Classic Rock. So, when Santana came out with new music, of course he had to Limewire it, and he loved those singles. I heard “Smooth” so many times my teeth fell right out of my head. Turns out, it’s actually a great song. Who knew?
Hanging by a Moment - Lifehouse vs. Where the Party At - Jagged Edge feat. Nelly
Thank You - Dido vs. Again - Lenny Kravitz
I'm Real (Murder Remix) - Jennifer Lopez feat. Ja Rule vs. It Wasn't Me - Shaggy feat. Rikrok
Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) - Train vs. Stutter - Joe feat. Mystikal
If You're Gone - Matchbox Twenty vs. Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!) - Blu Cantrell
All for You - Janet Jackson vs. It's Been Awhile - Staind
Let Me Blow Ya Mind - Eve feat. Gwen Stefani vs. Independent Women - Destiny's Child
Fallin' - Alicia Keys vs. U Remind Me - Usher
antarris: A garbage-ass year. I’m pretty sure I rounded third base listening to that Staind song, though. d8uv: I thought Dido would win, since I love that song and still play it. antarris: I think you mean “Stan”.
2002—Winner: “In The End”
How You Remind Me - Nickelback vs. U Don't Have to Call - Usher
What's Luv? - Fat Joe feat. Ashanti vs. U Got It Bad - Usher
Wherever You Will Go - The Calling vs. Always on Time - Ja Rule feat. Ashanti
Dilemma - Nelly feat. Kelly Rowland vs. Ain't It Funny - Jennifer Lopez feat. Ja Rule
A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton vs. Complicated - Avril Lavigne
Hot in Herre - Nelly vs. The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
In the End - Linkin Park vs. Blurry - Puddle of Mudd
Foolish - Ashanti vs. I Need a Girl (Part One) - P. Diddy feat. Usher and Loon
d8uv: Hybrid Theory is the rare album that became better over time. antarris: Seriously. I hated this in 2002. Love it now.
2003—Winner: “Crazy in Love”
In Da Club - 50 Cent vs. Beautiful - Christina Aguilera
Miss You - Aaliyah vs. Picture - Kid Rock feat. Sheryl Crow
When I'm Gone - 3 Doors Down vs. Baby Boy - Beyoncé feat. Sean Paul
Crazy in Love - Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z vs. Shake Ya Tailfeather - Nelly, P. Diddy and Murphy Lee
Unwell - Matchbox Twenty vs. Get Low - Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz feat. Ying Yang Twins
Get Busy - Sean Paul vs. 21 Questions - 50 Cent feat. Nate Dogg
Right Thurr - Chingy vs. Bring Me to Life - Evanescence feat. Paul McCoy
Ignition (Remix) - R. Kelly vs. All I Have - Jennifer Lopez feat. LL Cool J
antarris: I had somehow never even heard “Crazy in Love” before. Wow. d8uv: This did not win because it was novel. Lord knows, these pop charts are filled with random songs that we’ve forgotten. Almost every single one was forgotten for a reason. antarris: To be fair, I think 2001 made me give up on pop music for like a decade.
2004—Winner: “Hey Ya!”
Yeah! - Usher feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris vs. Slow Jamz - Twista feat. Kanye West and Jamie Foxx
Hey Ya! - Outkast vs. Goodies - Ciara feat. Petey Pablo
The Way You Move - Outkast feat. Sleepy Brown vs. Confessions Part II - Usher
This Love - Maroon 5 vs. Slow Motion - Juvenile feat. Soulja Slim
The Reason - Hoobastank vs. Tipsy - J-Kwon
If I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys vs. Freek-a-Leek - Petey Pablo
I Don't Wanna Know - Mario Winans feat. Enya and P. Diddy vs. Lean Back - Terror Squad
Burn - Usher vs. Here Without You - 3 Doors Down
d8uv: Outkast was as popular as they deserve, for once. antarris: I was promised Enya. I got baby Adam Levine instead. What the actual fuck.
2005—Winner: “Gold Digger”
We Belong Together - Mariah Carey vs. Mr. Brightside - The Killers
Candy Shop - 50 Cent feat. Olivia vs. Don't Cha - The Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes
1, 2 Step - Ciara feat. Missy Elliott vs. You and Me - Lifehouse
Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson vs. Don't Phunk with My Heart - The Black Eyed Peas
Gold Digger - Kanye West feat. Jamie Foxx vs. Disco Inferno - 50 Cent
Let Me Love You - Mario vs. Lose Control - Missy Elliott feat. Ciara and Fatman Scoop
Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day vs. Behind These Hazel Eyes - Kelly Clarkson
Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani vs. Shake It Off - Mariah Carey
antarris: That’s not even the best song named “Shake It Off.” d8uv: Kanye can be very VERY good when he tries.
Bad Day - Daniel Powter vs. Run It! - Chris Brown feat. Juelz Santana
Ridin' - Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone vs. SexyBack - Justin Timberlake feat. Timbaland
Hips Don't Lie - Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean vs. Grillz - Nelly, Paul Wall and Ali & Gipp
You're Beautiful - James Blunt vs. Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray
Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield vs. Be Without You - Mary J. Blige
Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland vs. Me & U - Cassie
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley vs. Check on It - Beyoncé feat. Slim Thug
Temperature - Sean Paul vs. Buttons - Pussycat Dolls feat. Snoop Dogg
antarris: “Crazy” vs. “Ridin’” was hard for me. I’m still not sure if I made the right call. d8uv: Are you sure you weren’t thinking of the Weird Al version? antarris: Yes. Fuck off.
Irreplaceable - Beyoncé vs. This Is Why I'm Hot - Mims
I Wanna Love You - Akon feat. Snoop Dogg vs. Say It Right - Nelly Furtado
Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin') - T-Pain feat. Yung Joc vs. Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne
Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie vs. Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5
Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood vs. Don't Matter - Akon
The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani feat. Akon vs. Party Like a Rockstar - Shop Boyz
Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's vs. Glamorous - Fergie feat. Ludacris
Umbrella - Rihanna feat. Jay-Z vs. Smack That - Akon feat. Eminem
d8uv: Here it is, the weakest year of the tournament. There’s like one, maybe two good songs in this list.
90s Grand Tournament—Winner: “Under The Bridge”
d8uv: This was harder than the individual years, because we love every single one of these songs. “Under The Bridge” vs. “Nuthin’ but A ‘G’ Thang” was particularly brutal for me. antarris: We started listening to high-quality versions of the songs here instead of just streaming YouTube. Coolio going over Ace of Base in my bracket surprised me.
00s Grand Tournament—Winner: “In The End”
antarris: “Umbrella” over “Crazy” and “Gold Digger”? Really? It’s like I don’t even know you! d8uv: Should I pack up and leave? Maybe head to the train station? antarris: I picked the song about choo-choo tr--oh, I see what you did there. Not cool. d8uv: This song was always great, it just took a few years for people to forget the stank of nu-metal.
The Grand Final—Winner: “Under The Bridge”
d8uv: They tried so hard, and got so far. But, in the end, it didn’t even matter. antarris: Afterwards, I looked up some of the history on “Under the Bridge”, and this makes sense. A funk-rock band wrote a song based on a poem and had it produced by Rick Rubin. It’s like catnip to both of us for completely different reasons. d8uv: The thing that clinched it for me was the realization that this song builds so beautifully. It’s dynamic in a way most pop songs are, but maintains being interesting even during the subdued opening. antarris: Yeah, I used an orgasm metaphor when I advocated for it. d8uv: Most of the songs on this list were pop songs that became art. This song felt like art that became a pop song. That’s pretentious to say, so just remember—I almost went with “Umbrella”.
I chose these years because I needed to cut 4 years to get 20 years down to 16. Because of this, I excluded the two lowest-revenue (according to the RIAA, adj. for inflation) years from the 90s (1990 and 1991), and the two lowest-revenue years for the 00s (2008 and 2009). It might have been better to include them, but I didn’t want to. Because the Billboard year ends in November, if a song is released during the winter, it’s likely that it won’t show up as a smash hit for one year; instead, it will show up as a mediocre hit across two years. Some songs can pull off charting highly in consecutive years, but that’s really rare. It’s important to remember the wise words of Binary Star: Everything that glitters ain’t gold, and every gold record don’t glitter—that’s for damn sure. The Hot 100 measures popularity, not cultural relevance or quality. A lot of very good, very important songs didn’t make the cut for this tournament, while a lot of long-forgotten dross did. Ultimately, I’m fine with this. Most of the fun of filling out the bracket was running into songs I don’t remember and going “What the fuck are YOU, song?” For singles with an A-side and a B-Side (ex: “Follow You Down / Til I Hear It from You - Gin Blossoms”) I chose the first song. This is a little arbitrary, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. Some additional caveats (because antarris is an academic pedant): this obviously has too small and homogenous a viewing audience to be objective truth. While both of us have pretty broad taste in music, there are some genres—mainstream country and slow R&B in particular—that neither of us is super into. This probably skews our results significantly, especially in the 90s bracket. Also, a better way to determine our sample of songs would be to take a page from Good Mythical Morning’s cereal tournament and set up a poll for each year. However, getting a survey sample that’s representative of the population at large would be extremely challenging with an internet poll and, let’s face it, we’re not getting grant money for this shit.
If you disagree, you should fill out your own bracket:
“I can't believe this is my eighth studio album and I know I keep telling you that it is my most personal record yet, but its true and I'm really proud of that”
This quote from The Legendary Miss Britney Spears would most likely haunt her for the rest of the career, especially because it came in the eve of the release of her infamous 2013 album Britney Jean, whose title anticipated a rare introspective look into a star with over a decade on the spotlight (most of the times for the wrong reasons)… also, it came right after her previous album, 2011’s Femme Fatale, became her first full-length effort without any songwriting input from the Princess of Pop, although a Japanese bonus track features a co-writing credit from her. Of course Britney Jean deserves most of the criticism it receives and yet, it also deserves way more than just being outright ignored even by most of Britney’s diehard fans: Britney Jean is more than just Work Bitch and 13 b-sides, is more than Brit’s most dated-on-arrival release… Britney Jean is a case study of what was pop in its time, what changed and why it stopped being as popular as it once was….
POP BEFORE BRITNEY JEAN
https://preview.redd.it/p5ecdbd9ce221.png?width=1500&format=png&auto=webp&s=d0662fd24b364cf6cf25b1961e9d15f98d9d39b6 Early 00s pop music was being left aside by the general public during the heydays of gangsta rap, Timbaland/Pharrell-infused R&B and rock/nu-metal… at least until around the period between 2007 and 2009, the start of the Golden Era for popheads: The anthemic choruses, the prominent synths, the light and care-free nature of the lyrics, everything was there to pump you up and make you dance… however everything would change in 2013, when streaming was finally introduced to the Billboard formula. After the satirical K-pop track Gangnam Style by Psy took the world by storm, it was noticed how in the United States the song was blocked from the top spot by the inconsequential One More Night by Maroon 5, even if Stylehad the lead in sales for most of the 12 weeks it stayed at the Top 10 (as you might have guessed, radio had something to do with that), pushing Billboard to update their methodology and add streaming to the mix. The first song that benefited from the change in the tracking methodology would prophetize what would come next for the charts in general: Harlem Shake, a nearly-instrumental meme song debuted at the top spot and stayed there for 6 weeks total. Another novelty song, Ylvis’ The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?) would visit the Top 10 later in the year based on virality alone. Although rap, indie music and more traditional pop music found their way during this year, the presence of outliers like Lorde’s Royals, genre-defying tracks like Avicii’s Wake Me Up! (a country/folk tinted EDM anthem) and Florida Georgia Lane’s Cruise (considered the grandfather of the bro-country genre, made popular on pop radio thanks to a tackled-on rap feature by Nelly), and the aforementioned viral hits not only showed that general audiences were craving something new, but their success would pave the way for a big change in pop music.
BRITNEY BEFORE BRITNEY JEAN
"Sometimes you don't need to use words to go through what you need to go through, sometimes it's an emotion you need to feel when you dance, that you need to touch. And the only thing that can touch it is when you move a certain way." Britney Spears on the For The Record documentary, one of the rare glimpses she gave us on her life before Britney Jean
Britney, of course, was partially a pioneer and a tail-rider of the maximalistic electro sound of the era, as proven by the influence and cult following of what most people consider her magnum opus, or at least her more direct and honest album, 2007’s Blackout, which is ironic considering that Britney only has two writing credits in the whole project and how even The Unstoppable Danja called it ‘impersonal’. After Blackout, Britney would continue to ride the same sonic palette with her follow-up, 2008’s Circus and then move onto Femme Fatale, which, in spite of its “forward-thinking” nature (as described by the label-appointed producer and current persona non grata Dr. Luke) and slick production, it was heavily criticized for its anonymity and lack of input of the singer in the record, which led to Britney to defend herself stating, rightfully, that she had nothing to prove.
THE MAKING OF A PERSONAL ALBUM
https://preview.redd.it/tzfh8fqsce221.jpg?width=600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2e7bf1a1a7f9469be632470e1d6bb53397ff2f62 The mastermind behind Britney Jean was none other than hitmaker will.i.am, whose involvement on the record came as a surprise to no one given how they have collaborated twice at that point and get along really well (you can read more about it in this post I made a couple of months ago), however, the Black Eyed Peas frontman doesn’t deserves all of the credit for the record as Britney herself decided that she would be more involved and had a pivotal role into the making of this record. Although the early stages of the album pointed towards a more hip-hop release, will.i.am’s involvement and her chemistry with Britney put her forward into the recording and making of the album. Realizing that she wanted a more straightforward release that wasn’t as bouncy and genre-hopping as her predecessors, Britney searched with will.i.am a series of collaborators that could help her bring her ideas to life, as she didn’t wanted to sing impersonal songs that her team just happened to receive; this, unfortunately, ruled out the involvement of the Saint Patron of pop production Max Martin, although it relegated Dr. Luke to a sole bonus track so that’s a win in my book. Britney Jean is her only release in which she’s credited as a co-writer in each track, including bonus tracks… her closest before that was In The Zone in which 9 of the 14 (including bonus) tracks sported a Britney co-write.
THE PERKS OF BEING A PERSONAL ALBUM
I have been through a lot in the past few years and it has really inspired me to dig deeper and write songs that I think everyone can relate to […] I want to show you the different sides of Britney Spears. I am a performer. I am a Mom. I am funny. I am your friend! I am Britney Jean. Britney Jean Spears
Britney has never been the kind of performer that would pour her soul into her lyrics, and even have occasionally distanced her private life from her lyrics (she famously rejected the Timberlake-bashing Sweet Dreams My LA Ex, later given to ex-S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens as her debut single), although in the few glimpses we have gotten from her real persona (the stunning Everytime and the dubious My Baby for example) have always leaved her fans with the idea of her getting more involved with the subject matter of the tracks… I mean, the exploration of fame in tracks like Circus and Piece of Me are great, but what about explorations of who is Britney? Britney Jean is her first album released in her 30s, and after finally deciding to get this involved in the songwriting department 15 years into her singing career was no fluke: chalk it up to coincidence, to the fact that it was long due given her background (Britney had lived A LOT of unwanted stuff during her career, married twice, had two kids, survived the most public mental breakdown unimaginable and more while being one of the most successful female performers currently working… also, that year she had ended her engagement with her manager Jason Trawick) or to misogyny (if you wanna go there) but female singers seems to go personal and/or mature in their 30s, with some popular examples including Madonna’s Like A Prayer (described by her as being "about my mother, my father, and bonds with my family"), Mariah Carey’s post-divorce genre-bender Butterfly (if her birth year is believed to be 1969), Beyoncé’s whole post-Matthew Knowles era (4 was released three months before she turned 30), Nicki Minaj’s back-to-my-roots release The Pinkprint and Katy Perry’s purposeful woke pop release Witness (Katy, I love you but 💀) among others. Another thing to consider is that doing “personal” songs have always being interpreted as tracks with stripped-away or piano-driven arrangement, something that Britney, who had sung about being on the club or having sex (or even both on the same track) so many times it kinda become her trademark, is not something she’s might get allowed to do, especially when the current-at-the-time pop scene and Britney’s then-current sound were a far cry from the kind of sound these “confessional” tell-all songs normally have.
(this was a real hashtag that was worldwide trending topic on Twitter in September 2013) With the anticipation of what a Britney-fied personal record would sound like, anticipation was in an all-time high among fans… so it was natural that her most introspective record would be anchored with an EDM song called Work Bitch. In Britney’s defense, will.i.am pointed out almost immediately how the braggadocio track didn’t represented the album but it was rather about Britney Spears herself. Promoted with what was heavily rumored to be a 6.5-million-dollars budgeted video which was supposedly heavily sanitized from its originally sexed-up original version (more on that later), the video itself represented most of the promotion the whole album received, as the album’s second and final single (Perfume) was left to rot in negligence after the album’s release. Outside of a couple of TV appearances (not performances, just interviews), including one to promote her then-upcoming “2-year” Las Vegas residency Britney Spears: Piece of Me, and an E! documentary about the making-of the album and said residency, no actual promotion took place for Britney Jean, which led to the inevitable.
BRITNEY UNLEASHES HER MOST “PERSONAL” ALBUM
https://i.redd.it/1no6q6iqce221.gif Britney Jean was unleashed to the world on December 3rd of 2013, one day after the Princess’ birthday, and was a big commercial disappointment, debuting at number 4 on Billboard with sales of 107,000 copies (a little bit more than a third of the sales of Femme Fatale), even lower than those of her debut album …Baby One More Time; 3 years after its release, BJhad sold less in the United States than FF in its opening week, although it was eventually certified Gold by the RIAA… this February. Internationally, the release didn’t fare any better and debuted at record-low positions for her releases in most international markets, including missing the Top 30 in the UK. As most of you already know, reviews we’re nasty all around, the worst of Britney’s career. Because of the somewhat mean content of some of those reviews, I would instead resume what are the biggest perks critics had with the release:
The album’s production (carried mostly by will.i.am protégé Anthony Preston, who hasn’t done anything ever since) was considered monotone, repetitive, dated, backward-thinking, overproduced and by-the-numbers. The album, full, on EDM beats and synthesizers, doesn’t really have that much of a breathing spot as there’s not that much of musical variety.
Lyrically, the album was considered a disappointment considered its nature as a “personal album”, with the lyricism being considered somewhat superficial given the self-titled naming and Britney’s hype surrounding the content itself.
Vocally, Britney Jean was ripped apart by critics and even some listeners. When the opening track’s autotune-less “warm up” vocal sessions leaked in 2014, critics complained about Britney’s (lack of) vocal talent and added fuel to the debate about wherever she’s actually talented at all, accusations that the song producer William Orbit dismissed.
SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE, MISS BRITNEY SPEARS
After one of the songs leaked ahead of the album’s release, there were accusations that backing vocalist Myah Marie (who had appeared on Brit’s previous two albums) was the lead singer not only on said leaked track but also in a large portion of the album (this is what she sounds like), accusations that Marie herself denied as well as Britney’s reps. Her representatives claimed that Marie wasn’t involved in neither Perfume nor Passenger, the tracks that were the source of most of the controversy, and ultimately she wasn’t credited in none of those songs, although she’s credited as a (not background) vocalist in several of the other tracks of the album (mostly the Preston-produced songs as Work Bitch, Tik Tik Boom, Til It's Gone, Chillin' With You and Now That I Found You), including Alien (in which she’s not credited), who had a vocal steam leak in 2014 which showcases how uncanny is Myah’s impression of Britney is. A credited background singer is Sia in her co-composed single Perfume, which was the source of a weird misstep when Britney was caught lip-syncing to a version of the song with Sia’s vocals forefront in the mix. A lot has been said about how Britney’s signature singing ‘baby’ voice is not her real one, how do they compare and how much damage has done to Brit’s current vocal chops, and even though she can still sing wherever she wants to, it’s quite obvious that she’s not that comfortable with it and, as such, she prefers to enhance her voice with the use of technology and some studio trickery… also, she might have gotten used to it considering how effortless and vivid were her earlier performances… here’sI’m A Slave 4 U at the 2001 VMAs just because how iconic it is.
BRITNEY JEAN… BY BRITNEY JEAN SPEARS
"People can take everything away from you, but they can never take away your truth. The question is: Can you handle mine?" Britney Spears in a song that’s not from this album and not originally from her
Described by critics as “a concept album about the loneliness of pop life”, Britney Jean actually open with quite a promise with Alien, a mid-tempo, melancholic, airy, ethereal dance pop opener that works as a more teenage-sounding version of Ray of Light, which is not surprising considering the involvement of said album’s mastermind (the aforementioned William Orbit) and that sonically picks-up where FF closer Criminal left off, but lyrically is quite different, as it portrays Britney having an intimate and personal realization that she, after years of tumultuous and erratic events, has lost grip of who she was and how she felt like an extraterrestrial in her own world; however she realizes that she’s not longer alone as she looks at the glow in the stars as a light to guide her home away from her insecurities of the past, and to feel safe and finally finding comfort in her true skin, as the chorus repeats the catchphrase ‘not alone’ “until it is pitchshifted up like a departing space ship” Originally intended to include Gaga in the song (and also supposed to be released as a single, which unfortunately didn’t happened), Alien was considered the conceptual and musical highlight of the project by critics, and is easily the most personal, vulnerable and my personal highlight of the project… which made everything that came afterward a hard pill to swallow. Before that, I can’t help to mention THE GLITCH (2:14 in the song), which was apparently, as everything wrong with music of the period, will.i.am’s fault. https://preview.redd.it/sqy5pdvjce221.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fc818c3624856731e041c2380840004b0c8edea6 Work Bitch (alternatively known in censored form as Work Work, or in the explicit version as Bitch Bitch) is a hard hitting EDM smasher and heavy mood-whiplash, which was definitely not co-written by Sebastian Ingrosso, in which Britney gently asks us (over a basic club beat which grows more overloaded as the song moves forward) is we want a hot body, an European luxury car (either a Bugatti, a Maserati or a Lambo skirrt skirrt skirrt) or to sip martinis while partying in a big mansion in France, only to disappoint us by calling us bitches and telling us to better work as if we were supermodels and she was RuPaul. WB is, if you wanna practice some mental gymnastics, more ‘personal’ than its given credit for, as Britney details how much benefits she gets from hustling all these years, and inviting us to dance with that smashing wall-of-sound-laden beat that drowns most of the track. Way more forward-thinking and exciting that everything that comes after it, WB has become somewhat of a new classic for the Princess of Pop, and is pretty much deserved of said designation. Perfume, co-written by Sia, is another album highlight (actually Britney’s favorite from the album) and one of the finest ballads of Brit’s late-catalogue. Written about her ex-fiancé Jason Trawick, the song deals with Britney’s insecurity about a current relationship, with Britney singing with some of her strongest vocals in years about how she believes that her partner is cheating on her and how she puts on her perfume in order to mark her territory. Released with a tie-in with her perfume Fantasy, the song kinda flopped worldwide and halted all of the promotion of the album, however it still remains (alongside the rawer Dreaming Mix, included as a bonus track) as one of the most interesting songs in 2010s Britney catalogue. The music video, directed by known troll and middling talented videomaker Joseph Khan, has an unreleased director’s cut in which the straightforward concept of a cheating partner is changed to that of Britney playing the Angelina Jolie role in a gone-wrong version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith sans the boyfriend who is also an assassin. It Should Be Easy finds Britney’s voice drown in both the auto-tune setting used by Kanye for the Runaway coda and the vocals of guest-star will.i.am in the chorus, all while produceco-writer David Guetta rehashes Swedish House Mafia (which originally broke up the same year in which BJ was released). The song, about Britney imagining a bright-normal-future with a man who had stolen her heart, stating that love “shouldn't be complicated”. Although I like this song, and her team obviously likes it to as it commissioned remixes to be serviced to clubs, it signals when things start to go somewhat downhill. Tik Tik Boom, the T.I.-assisted fifth track, was always dubbed as a potential third single (remixes were commissioned but nothing official ever came up), and it’s not hard to see why: as one of her rare collaborations with a rapper, the static-y, dance-floor ready production presents Britney teasing a male partner with a night of… well… tik tik boom… that means sex, doing so while serving some circa-2001 sexy vocals as T.I. raps about treating her like an animal up to the point that PETA (which hates Britney) should be called in response. It’s fast, it’s straightforward and yet, it’s kinda forgettable and also very disappointing coming from or Princess Urbanney. Guetta comes back with Body Ache, another outdated EDM bop in which Brit (accompanied by vocoder and several dozens of vocal distortion treatments) sings about the kind of ‘I wanna dance so hard it gonna turn you on’ anthem which Miss Spears can do on her sleep, with a backtrack that sounds straight out of the EDM will.i.am was doing with the Peas during the Beginning/E.N.D. era. Also it ends in a somewhat anticlimactic way. Personal Britney makes a return with this track that wouldn’t be too out of place in FF: The Guetta co-written Til It’s Gone, in which Brit realizes that, after losing the love of her life (Trawick), her life would never be the same, or how “you never know what you got 'til it's gone”. Coming some two years to late sonically, in terms of lyrics the track it’s another story, as some interesting imagery pops here and there and it’s nice to leave the dance floor behind, especially when talking about a woman who (at least in the previous albums) rarely shut up about them. Katy Perry arrives on the record but not as a feature, but as a writer, in the Diplo-produced, Sia-co-written and Prism outtake Passenger, in which some interesting EDM beats moves out of the way after the opening (they come back, don’t worry) to reveal a refreshing and very welcome electropop rock song with some great Britney vocals about letting someone to guide her after she’s willing to let herself be his ‘passenger’. Great lyrics, daring production, good vocal performance… it’s not hard to see why critics loved this track so much, and it’s a shame it gets buried among so much underwhelming stuff. https://preview.redd.it/hkdoktqmce221.jpg?width=970&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b349cd2e99a44dc732760b6f131be7dc3be1da38 Chillin’ with You, the album’s most infamous moment, finds Britney dueting with her sister, ex-Nickelodeon star and attempted country singer Zoey Meredith Brooks, about hanging out together and drinking wine (Brit likes red, Chase Matthews' ex likes white wine) while, as the southern white suburban moms they are, they feel they have nothing else to worry about. Although the lyrics are… well… cute, and the subject matter is decidedly novel by Britney’s standards, the mixture of country and EDM doesn’t mash as well as the producers might had expected… also, the fact that their vocals were so obviously recorded in different sessions (as showed by the kind of chemistry you only see in cheesy 70s movies starring John Travolta and Lily Tomlin) makes the whole ordeal so surreal. The album closer in the standard edition is Don’t Cry, a FUCK YOU MR. TRAWICK song in which Britney reassures his man that it’s not worthy to cry as their relationship was always directed to end no matter what they do, and how she’s gonna go to not see him all tear eyed. The bouncy but subdued dubstep back track by pop goblin and producer will.i.am enhances what is arguably Britney’s best vocals in the whole album and some really nice lyrics which still doesn’t work as an album closer. Sia comes back in the first bonus track of the deluxe edition, Brightest Morning Star, and she brings with her current pop Pariah (that would be Dr. Luke, but he’s only in this track) to the mix, on a track about God (or maybe about her kids, according to Dr. Puke), or at least one that implies to be one; in Sia’s words: ‘Britney was extremely sweet. She came in with the title ‘Brightest Morning Star’ and told me that’s how Jesus found his way. She wanted to write a kind of gospel song that wasn’t ramming it down your throat’. Despite the good intentions, BGS is no Jesus Walks and it gets short in the musical department, with a surprisingly weak instrumental which doesn’t do any good service to the song. Britney continues her religious quest with Hold on Tight, a mid-tempo ballad that in which Miss Spears details how God comes into her dreams (or it might be an Incubus?) showing her the path to righteousness, even when the road is not as friendly with her, and… to be honest, this is my least favorite song on the album, it’s just so forgettable even if it’s quite refreshing in the context of BJ. To end the evening, Britney continues her unintentional audition to become a gospel singer with Now That I Found You, a shameless EDM track (with early-10s euphoric drop and everything) about how incomplete she was until she found Him (to be honest, this could also be another love song, but after two bonus tracks about God it’s easy to see where she was pointing towards with the vague lyrics) and how everything is better now. Unlike the forgettable predecessors, NTIFY is fun (dated? Sure… but also fun), it’s bright, it’s colorful, it’s happy, and one of my favorite songs on the record… even if co-writer Guetta basically ripped off his own hit Without You from 3 years before.
Britney Jean is not an autobiography, it’s not a tell-all gossip-venting machine, it’s a clean, overproduced product of misdirection and lack of focus… and yet it’s actually fascinating in several ways: it’s arguably the greatest resume you would find of how pop music sounded in between 2008 and 2013, it’s a great bridge between the impersonal heavily-polished Femme Fatale and the serviceable and engaging Glory, which saw Britney leading the way on how everything would sound from the start. It’s quite ironic how the album’s naming (taking a cue from Janet Jackson’s Damita Jo, her actual middle name) plays against it, as self-titled releases (unless they are debut albums) are associated with being in control of your output or reinventions (pop examples includes Paramore as their first release as a trio, Beyoncé to fit the minimalistic sounds and Janet Jackson’s janet. to showcase independence from the Jackson family) and unless you’re Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel or Weezer, the idea of having a second eponymous release usually means that audiences should expect to experience the performer in a never-seen before way. 2001’s Britney was the album that give a meaning to the phrase “I’m not that innocent” spurred in her previous effort, with lyrics talking about womanhood and sexuality being complemented with R&B vibes and rock/hip-hop elements. Britney Jean, when compared to Femme Fatale, is way behind the difference between Britney and Oops!... I Did It Again, which in retrospective is even worse as the relative freshness and reinvention of Glory leaves the ‘openness’ and ‘variety’ of BJ in shambles. One of the album’s biggest mistakes is in its sequencing: the first three tracks are the obvious highlights, the next three are basically DOA EDM songs, the next four are the most “adventurous” musically speaking and the bonus tracks are all about God. Taking out some of the ‘pure club’ anthems could theoretically create an album more deserving of its ‘personal’ label, going full Spinal Tap and amp up the production values to do something crazier might have given us something that was at least digestible in a single listening. The album, as it is, is not perfect, but it’s far from the dumpster fire more people called it, including some of the most interesting Britney songwriting in years (or even her career) and some tracks that are already started to show signs of cult classic. The only positive thing most people seems to agree with is how short it is: with the alternative mix of Perfume included, BJ is ‘only’ 50 minutes long (the standard edition is just 36 minutes long), which is something most performers (even today) seems to struggle with. Also, she didn’t came to play games with the art cover and aesthetics this era, the album cover and the booklet is her most gorgeous to date, with the former having her most flattering front picture of any of her albums and the neon typography creating a very pleasing contrast with her elegant black-and-white imagery (in the deluxe edition) or the elegantly, milky pastel coloring of the standard edition.
THERE CAN BE 100 LISTENERS IN THE ROOM AND 99 LEAVE BUT ONE... - BRITNEY JEAN THE DAY IT DEBUTED
https://preview.redd.it/hpjl86hfce221.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a01c8129a31203474b2bafbc17ea994d5f83e132 Britney and her team gave up quite easily on Britney Jean and, honestly, they shouldn’t be blamed: the offer to have a Vegas Residency with a salary of $15 million dollars per year seems like the kind of offer a pop star and mother of two with enough money already for several timelines would accept, with the album itself being more of an afterthought. Britney was originally slated to remain on the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino for two years but ultimately extended her run for another two years, before finally touring overseas (without an album attached to the performances) during 2017 and 2018. Because of the lack of promotion, Britney Jean underperformed when compared to Miss Spears’ previous releases, with estimated worldwide sales (as of April 2018) being close to 1.3 million copies, less than a third of Femme Fatale’s sales. Truth be told, BJ flopped hard… HOWEVER, not everything would have turned out that terrible (not even in a million years it would have sold as much a FF but at least the downfall could have been smaller) with some actual promotion and interest from Brit herself.
SOME REACHING… I MEAN… THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BRITNEY JEAN
BJ is, in my opinion, a compilation of the era, the resume of “in the previous episode of” that you get on serialized TV shows, a farewell to the bombastic era of synth-heavy EDM club anthems with gratuitous drops and interchangeable lyrics. During the genre’s opus, some performers tried to bend this sound (and their equivalents) to their benefit, either mixing it with their style or playing with the boundaries of the sound: it could be a Taylor Swift doing a We Are Never Getting Back Together to get a broad crossover hit, a Lady Gaga mixing multiple genres to create a sonically complex pastiche called Born This Way, or even straight-up jumping almost seamlessly from rap/R&B to club bangers like Nicki Minaj did in Roman Reloaded. Britney in Britney Jean did almost the opposite of that. Britney Jean is, in some ways, a time capsule of the era in its rawest and purest form (some might differ and replace those buzzwords with generic and bland), with the average user being able to trace mostly any track to a style, influence, sub-genre or even performer. Listening to BJ is like watching a 70s movie in VHS in an old, square TV, basically an unintentional period piece that reflects the volatile, bombastic and extravagant style of those golden years of 2008-2013, which, within the mindset of Britney Jean sounds kinda tired and bland, surprising no one when that branch of pop went back into obscurity and irrelevance almost as fast as grunge music did when Kurt Cobain died. Britney Jean came up in a time of transition of popular music, with streaming showing the kind of power it had on the charts and more subdued, minimalistic music taking the world by storm. Popular music, as you might already noticed, evolved into a slower, more melodic, calculated, numb, almost anticlimatic entity which was more fitting with our current social and political climate. To paraphrase Todd in the Shadows: 2013 had a hit literally called Happy and 2018 had both a hit called SAD! and another called Happier with a video about a dog that dies. In terms of Britneyology (both the study of Britney Spears and the religion dedicated to her persona), BJ is also a glimpse into Britney the full-fledged artist. Britney has never been the kind of performer that gets heavily involved into her music, with Britney’s role being generally limited to the choice of songs, sequencing, development of sounds and themes with her assigned team of writers and producers, and performing of course; sometimes Britney gets involved into the heavier portions of her music (the classic Everytime is a great example of it) but most of the time she remains quite anonymous, with her voice and choice being overwritten by the men on charge, something that became quite apparent during and after the Dark Ages (2004-2008) with the cancelling of the legendary Original Doll, her lack of songwriting credits in both Blackout and Circus, and her much-criticized anonymity in Femme Fatale. BJ was Britney deciding who does want to work with, what does she wants to sing and even how to equilibrate her musical and visual persona. Britney has always being in control of how is she portrayed on official media, most famously rejecting an animated concept for the video of …Baby One More Time in favor of a Lolita-inspired take on catholic school girls, and then the slow process from jailbait to grownup woman. During the post-production of the Work Bitch video, she clashed with director Ben Mor over the kind of content the video should show, as she was a mother in her 30s now instead of an unreachable male gaze fantasy. With BJ, the Legendary Miss Britney Spears showed us how much she has changed since that controversial 2003/2004 period (the last time she was that involved with an album) in which she received the Kiss of Death from Madonna, suffered her infamous accident and, of course, married twice in a calendar year. This new Britney was a much-different person, and her voice deserved to be heard, and even if the results weren’t the greatest, it was a step into the right director for Britney to get what she always wanted: being a full-fledged artist capable of taking her own decisions and learning from her mistakes.
POP AFTER BRITNEY JEAN
https://preview.redd.it/382f3hucce221.png?width=1500&format=png&auto=webp&s=b270179e2de3c085b7dd38ea838588f2f45d9e4b Coincidentally in 2014 most of the ambassadors of the dominant pop sound of the early 10s were either taking a musical break, flopping or changing lanes, so that year paved the way for the transition of what do we define as popular music, with the winners of the evolution race being trap (Fetty Wap’s Trap Queen), meme music from awful people (Bobby Shmurda’s Hot Nathans) or untalented losers (T-Wayne’s Nasty Freestyle, Silentó’s Watch Me), trop pop (OMI’s Cheerleader, Justin Bieber’s entire Purpose era) or whatever outlier track dared to pass through those filters. What happened afterwards is a horror story most of popheads tells in fire camps a la Are You Afraid of the Dark?
2016.01.29 06:13 JaguarGator9JaguarGator9's History of Halftime- Day 22: Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show (Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Kid Rock, Nelly, P Diddy)
If you know anything about the Super Bowl, then you know that this is one of the big ones. The Michael Jackson halftime show was, arguably, the biggest in Super Bowl history, simply because of the impact it had on future halftime shows, allowing for more prolific artists to get the show. That changed the game. However, in terms of its impact on the country, and even the world, there was no halftime show bigger than the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show. It had nothing to do with the songs performed, it had nothing to do with how bad or good the show was, and it had nothing to do with the circumstances entering the game. It had everything to do with the most infamous two seconds in the history of the Super Bowl. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this is the halftime show where (spoiler alert) Janet Jackson reveals her breast on live television by complete accident (or maybe not, but we’ll get to that later). The aftermath from this halftime show was incredible; lawsuits and fines were handed out, future halftime shows were changed for the next few years to play it incredibly safe, new FCC regulations were created, and even YouTube was created because of it. That’s right- one of the biggest websites in the world that we all probably go on often was created because Jawed Karim didn’t get a chance to watch the halftime show, and wanted to create a video sharing website with a few friends where people could upload their own content. This is one of the most catastrophic and controversial moments not just in Super Bowl history, but in the history of American television… and it only occurred for roughly two seconds. Those are the two seconds that everyone remembers about this halftime show, and that’s the legacy that this halftime show has. However, those two seconds were preceded by an entire twelve-minute show produced by MTV including the likes of Jessica Simpson, P Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, and, of course, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson. Let’s dive in and take a look at not just the halftime show, but the immediate aftermath of it in all its controversy. Background Information The Super Bowl XXXVII halftime show didn’t exactly get the greatest reviews. It’s been largely forgotten in Super Bowl history, and it was a pretty boring halftime show. It seemed as though the NFL, which had struggled finding incredible halftime shows, hit a triple and a grand slam with their previous two halftime shows. Super Bowl XXXV was a hit, and Super Bowl XXXVI was, arguably, the greatest halftime show at any sporting event ever. Might as well stick with the formula that works. Obviously, they couldn’t get U2 to perform the halftime show (they tried getting them, alongside some other superstars in a “We Are the World”-type performance, for Super Bowl XXXVII, but couldn’t get it done), but they figured that they could get MTV to produce a second halftime show. For the NFL, with regards to a lot of the artists that wound up performing this halftime show, the league knew what they were getting (oh, the irony). Janet Jackson was previously booked to do the Super Bowl XXXVI halftime show, but cancelled her entire tour (including the halftime show) after the attacks on September 11. Justin Timberlake had previously done the Super Bowl XXXV halftime show with *NSYNC, and Nelly made a cameo appearance at the Super Bowl XXXV halftime show as well. Combine that with P Diddy, Kid Rock, the University of Houston Marching Band, and Jessica Simpson, and you had seven separate performers (six if you exclude Jessica Simpson, since she doesn’t do a song). That’s the most in any halftime show ever, especially because all six of them perform their own songs at some point in the show. If you thought that Super Bowl XXXV was chaos, then yeah, you’re right. However, Super Bowl XXXVIII was even higher chaos, with the lone difference being that all artists were roughly in the same genre. Despite all of that, there was one artist that got asked to perform at the Super Bowl and declined the invitation, meaning it could’ve been even more chaotic. That artist was Outkast, which declined the invitation because Andre 3000 didn’t want to cut the songs, and wanted to do the full length songs. However, when MTV wouldn’t allow the group to do the full length songs (and for good reason; I love “Hey Ya,” but performing full length songs at the Super Bowl is, usually, the kiss of death), the group backed out. Would’ve been interesting to see how that would’ve played out, to say the least. In an absolutely hilarious bit of irony (and the writer of the article actually had to edit it making an editor’s note after the incident occurred), MTV published an article on January 28, 2004 (just a few days before the Super Bowl; remember that from this point on in Super Bowl history, the game was taking place in February) headlined: “Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl Show Promises ‘Shocking Moments.’” No, I can’t make that up, and here’s that article, which looks absolutely ridiculous in hindsight. The quotes from that article come from Gil Duldulao, Jackson’s choreographer.
“I don’t think the Super Bowl has ever seen a performance like this… She’s more stylized, she’s more feminine, she’s more a woman as she dances this time around. There are some shocking moments in there too.”
There was this article from MTV about the artists at the halftime show and what the atmosphere was like when they first saw the stage; it’s nothing too great. However, what’s interesting about this article is that Justin Timberlake was never mention. There was this article, which was a press release from the first announcement made on December 9, 2003 about the halftime show. Paul Tagliabue, the commissioner of the NFL at the time, had this to say during the press release:
“We’re pleased to work again with MTV, the leader in live music production. We’re looking forward to another MTV spectacular this Super Bowl, and with AOL as our halftime show marketing partner, the stage is set for a memorable event.”
He’s not wrong about the memorable event part. This is one of those times where the press release quote is actually halfway accurate. Anyways, these are some pictures from the press conference of the halftime show. And, there’s an entire Wikipedia entry on this halftime show, which explains in the background that Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson had, let’s just say, a close relationship beforehand. If you’re looking for an in-depth thing about the halftime show, then there’s this Sports Illustrated article which came out in 2016 about the show. However, despite all of this background information, I couldn’t find a single thing regarding a review of the show, since all of the articles in the aftermath focused on you-know-what. In fact, reviews of this halftime show from the time, aside from the ones placing it on best of or worse of lists (and I don’t count those as reviews, because those are, at most, three sentences long; I’m talking about full length reviews), are almost non-existent. How bad is it? If you type in “Super Bowl 38 Halftime Show Review” into Google, this article pops up on the first page. Yes, my Halftime of History article from Super Bowl XX pops up on the first page. While I could find a lot of meaningful stuff in the aftermath of the event from 2004 webpages (and I’m saving that for a different section; I’m not putting it in the background information like I normally do for a reason), I couldn’t find any reviews whatsoever. Before taking a look at the show, remember what era we are in at this point in halftime show history. We are in the Poly-Performer Era, which ends after this Super Bowl. Remember that in this era, multiple performers were the headlining act at every halftime show (with the exception of U2), and a common theme was that at least one artist would perform with another artist on a song at the end of the show, even though it was not a song by one of the artists (ex: everyone at the end of Super Bowl XXXV performing “Walk This Way,” No Doubt performing “Message In a Bottle” with Sting, etc.). After this halftime show, this era would end, and we would enter the sixth era in halftime show history- the Classic Rock Era, which would last from Super Bowl XXXIX up until Super Bowl XLIV. Today, we are in the seventh era, just to give you an idea of where we are in halftime show history in comparison to today. We all know what happens at the end of the show, but what about the first twelve minutes? How does this now infamous halftime show hold up? Was the backlash that came afterwards really deserved? The Show Full Show Amazingly enough, this is one of two halftime shows that I’m reviewing that you can’t find anywhere on YouTube. This link takes you to Dailymotion; for some reason, even though YouTube was created because of what happened at Super Bowl XXXVIII, you can’t find the halftime show on YouTube (or, at the very least, the twelve-minute version of it). The new sponsor for this halftime show is AOL, and the introductions go through who is performing at the halftime show. I’ve got a major problem with the introductions- there’s so much text, and everything flies by so quickly, that you can’t tell what it’s saying. Part of it is the quality of the upload (not the greatest, but it’s the best I could find), but how are you supposed to read all of the information on the cards in half a second? We then get to one of the worst moments in the history of any halftime show, and that is the first two minutes of this one. Everything about the first two minutes of this halftime show is a perfect example of what not to do (even though the final five seconds of the halftime show are also a perfect example of what not to do, especially on live television). It starts off with a video, with the theme being “Choose to Vote.” Keep in mind that the “Choose to Vote” video has nothing to do with the halftime show whatsoever; if you didn’t like the pregame video at Super Bowl XXXV, at least that was entertaining and had to do with the actual performance. This is boring, it’s pointless, and has nothing to do with anything that you’re about to see at the actual halftime show. The background music for this is “Where The Streets Have No Name,” which doesn’t work for a few reasons. Number one, it’s not music from any of the performers. At least make it somewhat relevant. Number two, it’s a song from an Irish band, and you’re talking to an American audience. And, number three (and most importantly), YOU JUST DID THIS SONG TWO YEARS AGO AT THE HALFTIME SHOW. We don’t need to hear this guitar riff again. Couldn’t you get a guitar riff or some instrumental from an artist that didn’t do the halftime show before? You really had to repeat the same song? On top of that, the video itself isn’t that good. There are some weird parts where you hear overlap when there’s no need. The “choose to pursue your dreams” part then has a second vocal track on it for some weird reason. No need for that. Why was the line “to be different” repeated twice? Then, we hear everyone say “Choose to Vote” and “Choose to get involved.” There’s another weird overdubbing on the line “to get involved” that makes no sense, and we get a shot of the American flag. If you want to see another American flag later in this halftime show, you’re going to… in one of the more tasteless ways possible. That pointless video is done, so what happens next? Jessica Simpson comes onto the stage dressed as the marching band leader, and screams, “Houston, choose to party!” I didn’t like the fact that they advertised Lenny Kravitz at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show like crazy, because he only ended up performing one song that wasn’t even his. But they actually advertised Jessica Simpson at the halftime show and promoted her appearance… for that? SHE GOT FOUR WORDS OF DIALOGUE. She doesn’t perform a song. She doesn’t do anything else besides obnoxiously saying those lines. And that’s how you’re going to tie the “Choose to Vote” video in? With “choose to party”? I thought the connections at Super Bowl XX’s halftime show with Up with People were bad, and while they’re bad, this one is a good second place nominee. If that was the connection, and you actually just wasted an entire minute for those four words of dialogue by Jessica Simpson, then talk about an awful decision. Who approved that and thought it was a good idea? I complain about artists performing full-length songs at the Super Bowl (and rightfully so), but I’ll give them credit- at least they’re doing something. At least they’re entertaining, or trying to, at the very least. You just spent an entire minute talking about the importance of voting, and you’re connecting it to the importance of partying. This is so poorly done. The bigger controversy in the aftermath of all of this is that people thought they were getting Jessica Simpson, a very good singer, at the halftime show, and got ripped off because all she was doing was saying four words. Then, we see the University of Houston Marching Band come out. As a quick side note, this is the first time in the new millennium that a marching band has performed with a pop act at the halftime show, so credit MTV for bringing that back into the equation (since it was gone for a while). It would be replicated at Super Bowl XLI with Prince and Florida A&M, Super Bowl XLV with the Black Eyed Peas and Prairie View A&M, and Super Bowl XLVI with Madonna and some high school drum-lines. The difference? All three of those were better than this, once again, POINTLESS appearance by the University of Houston. I’m all for marching bands performing alongside artists at halftime of the Super Bowl, but this one is pretty bad. They do “The Way You Move” by Outkast, and it doesn’t work. For one, they don’t sound very good. The trumpets sound off pitch at times, and that final note is a bit shaky. Number two, the song choice does nothing. It’s just wasting time. Why couldn’t you choose an artist that was performing at the actual halftime show and do their song? Did you really have to stick it in Outkast’s face that they didn’t want to perform at the halftime show and you just really wanted to get an Outkast song in there? They stand in place the entire time, so they’re not exactly doing anything interested while playing. And, this is just wasting an incredible amount of time. Two minutes into the halftime show, and it’s garbage… and we haven’t even gotten to any vocals yet or actual performances. We get a pointless introduction video, then a pointless cameo by Jessica Simpson that has nothing to do with the video, and then a pointless performance by a marching band. Two minutes in, and this is a prime example of what not to do at halftime, simply in terms of time wasting and poorly connecting ideas together. The first vocal performance from Super Bowl XXXV came BEFORE the first vocal performance from this halftime show, and Super Bowl XXXV had a 90-second introduction video. That’s how much time was wasted at this Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show. Finally, after all of that nonsense, we’re able to get on with the actual show (which should’ve just been the show to begin with). Janet Jackson starts off with “All for You,” as she enters the stage by being lowered to the ground off of a platform. I love the song choice here, and the choreography is incredibly tight. You see the fans on the field in one of the shots, which is the fourth straight year of this trend occurring (it occurs for every halftime show of the 2000s from 2001-on; it’s been on and off in the 2010s). While I don’t like the lip-synching by any means (which is weird, because during the final number, she ends up singing live, so I don’t know why she couldn’t have just been live the entire time), I like the composition of the song, as well as the song choice itself. The pauses in the music during the verse are really well done, so props for that. It’s a good opening, and has some very good pacing; not the best (because of the mimed vocals, which are painfully obvious), but it’s infinitely better than the first two minutes of this halftime show. Unfortunately, it’s downhill from here. P Diddy comes on in his fur coat and sings “Bad Boy for Life,” which makes no sense at all, seeing how the single did horrible on the charts. It’s an example of not necessarily playing a brand new song at the Super Bowl, but playing an unknown song at the game. The transition between Janet Jackson and P Diddy is also weird and doesn’t really connect; I know that MTV can create good transitions, because they somehow made it work between *NSYNC and Aerosmith. They didn’t do it here. He’s got a discography that he could do another song, like the opening to “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down.” Instead, he does this really poor song with no energy attached to it whatsoever. The one notable thing about this performance, though, is that it is the first time in the history of the halftime show that a stage has a movable platform horizontally. This is also the only time that there’s been a movable platform at halftime. While I criticize a lot of this halftime show, the stage design here is unbelievable; it’s a larger-than-life stage, and I feel as though the stage takes up the entirety of the field, which is pretty remarkable. All of the different platforms, how everything connects, and the words projected onto the wall during “Rhythm Nation” are incredible. It’s one of the most complex, and even one of the best stages at any Super Bowl ever. The design is unbelievable. After Diddy is done with his song, Nelly and P Diddy just randomly dance to “Mickey” by Toni Basel with some reworked lyrics. You’ve got five different artists at this halftime show that can do things, and instead, you decide to waste time with a video, a marching band appearance, and a cover version of a song that seems horribly forced and poorly planned out. They’re not even singing or performing during this; they’re just standing there, dancing around to absolutely nothing. I have no idea what the point of the song is, or what the cheerleaders are supposed to be doing (second straight halftime show with cheerleaders, by the way), since they don’t really do anything and have no good choreography. Once that horrible cover song is done, Nelly performs “Hot in Herre,” a song that I like, but I’d like a whole lot better if it was actually performed live. It’s another lip-synched performance (either that, or he’s singing over pre-recorded vocals). While this is happening, P Diddy is just pumping up the crowd and dancing with the ladies. He serves no purpose. The music stops at points in the chorus, and Nelly doesn’t even make an attempt to lip-sync over. He’s just standing there. At least other artists have tried to cover up their lip-synching skills; this isn’t even an attempt. He’s just standing there alongside Diddy while the cheerleaders are circling around them. There’s a nice transition into “Mo Money Mo Problems,” which, once again, is lip-synched. While it’s happening, the two artists are just pointing at the crowd. The song only goes on for fifteen seconds, so just to recap- P. Diddy performed an unknown song, then stood around with Nelly, and then performed fifteen seconds of his song while lip-synching the entire thing. What was the point of having him at the halftime show in the first place? It’s just a waste of time, something you’ll find that this halftime show knows how to do. Six minutes into the show, and the most authentic vocals came from Jessica Simpson, who had four words of spoken dialogue. Nelly performed live at Super Bowl XXXV, so why not here? Artists performed live at this halftime show later on, so why not here? The first six minutes of this halftime show, with the exception of a few things in Janet Jackson’s first number, are some of the worst six minutes of any halftime show ever; that’s saying something, considering everything that I’ve had to sit through over the past month writing out these reviews. But, somehow, it manages to get even worse. Kid Rock then enters the stage and starts off performing “Bawitdaba.” As he steps onto the stage, he removes his cowboy jacket and reveals what he is wearing, which happens to be an American flag poncho. If you’re on the “this is incredibly tasteless” bandwagon, I don’t blame you one bit. This, in my opinion, is where the real controversy should’ve come in, and as I’ll point out a bit later, this is the moment where Paul Tagliabue was furious about the halftime show. He saw this, immediately said that he never wanted MTV doing another halftime show, and was furious at Kid Rock for this. It was only when someone from the league office pointed out the Janet Jackson incident that Tagliabue realized what had happened there; Tagliabue was more furious about Kid Rock than Janet Jackson. Can I even call this a performance? He’s literally just screaming into the microphone to the point where you can’t even understand a word that he’s saying. It’s literally just screaming, and at the start, when he’s waving his hat around and screams “My name is Kid,” it’s almost unbearable. Once the verse verse of “Bawitdaba” is done, he performs “Cowboy,” where his hype man performs more and says more than Kid Rock actually does. When he actually has to sing, he’s incredibly off pitch, and his vocals when singing, oddly enough, are drowned out by the backing instruments. Just when you thought the American flag thing couldn’t get any more tasteless, two girls that look like cheerleaders that are standing behind Kid Rock are just waving American flags around. My stance on the entire American flag thing- it’s completely tasteless to use it as a prop. I’m fine with using the flag as a message or as a symbol. Notice how I never criticized the American flags at halftime of Super Bowl XXV, even though that halftime show is, in my opinion, the worst halftime show of all-time. While the patriotism was incredibly overkill, I never criticized how they used and handled the flags. At Super Bowl XXXVI, Bono’s revealing of the American flag from his jacket was incredibly tasteful. He used it as a way to sympathize with Americans and as a way to honor those that died in 9/11. Here? Every American flag at this halftime show is a prop. From the poncho that Kid Rock was wearing that was just waving around, to the cheerleaders waving flags while dancing and circling Kid Rock, those entire two minutes were completely tasteless. The only good thing I can say about their flag etiquette is that the flags never touched the ground, but when that’s the most that this part of this halftime show has going for it, you know it’s pretty bad. Fortunately, it can only go uphill from here, because after a weird five-minute break, Janet Jackson comes back onto the stage. The transition into “Rhythm Nation” takes way too long. I don’t like the robot voice, and the fact that this takes more than thirty seconds to develop; there’s not even dancing during this, but rather, it’s just people dangling from structures. Once her vocals actually start after a minute of just waiting (again, more time wasting), it actually gets better… somewhat. I like the musical composition, but I don’t get the point of the marching band, since they’re not playing anything. This also takes a long time; two verses and two choruses of the song, combined with that long intro, means that you’re listening to more than three minutes of this song. This show has an incredibly weird mix in terms of pacing- you get fifteen seconds of a P Diddy song, but more than three minutes of the same Janet Jackson song. I just don’t understand this halftime show. Again, this part is lip-synched, which is weird, because in the final song, she sings live. In the very next section, she’s speaking live. WHY COULDN’T SHE BE LIVE THE ENTIRE TIME? The next section is another pointless moment, and the only good thing from it is the setup of the stage, where the words are being projected onto the screen. When the stage setup is the highlight of this halftime show for now (obviously, there’s a highlight coming up at the end), that’s a telling sign of how poor this halftime show actually is. That next section is Janet Jackson performing part of “The Knowledge.” It has nothing to do with anything; the song wasn’t even released as a single (and considering how successful Rhythm Nation 1814 turned out to be, that’s a telling sign of, once again, why performing an unknown song at the Super Bowl never works… except for one exception, which I’ll get to when we cross that bridge). It’s just Janet Jackson shouting words like “ignorance,” “bigotry,” and “illiteracy,” with everyone else just responding “no.” There’s no purpose to it, seeing how “Rhythm Nation” stops, and then there’s a transition into this part. It’s not even like there was a flow between the two songs. After that shouting of words by Janet, we get to the grand finale, where Justin Timberlake comes out and performs “Rock Your Body” alongside Janet Jackson. Turns out, they saved the best for last, and I’m not talking about the wardrobe malfunction. This is the only part about the halftime show that I actually really like, and it has nothing to do with the final two seconds. The song choice is great. The pacing of the song is great. Justin Timberlake brings an authentic energy to the show while still putting on a good show. The composition of the song in terms of when the pauses occur and the beat-boxing is brilliant. The chemistry between Janet and Justin is good. He’s actually singing live at times, which is more than I can say about 90% of the show. This part is really well done… except for those final two seconds. The entire uproar about the halftime show came not from anything that I mentioned earlier about my intense criticisms for the show. It didn’t even come from the pointless repetition of the “Choose to Vote” campaign at the very end of the halftime show after the incident (which had nothing to do with anything, but it was worth repeating… because logic, I guess). It came from an incident that took nine-sixteenths of a second. During the line, “I’m gonna have you naked by the end of this song,” it turns out that Justin Timberlake wasn’t kidding. He actually did get Janet Jackson somewhat naked by the end of the song, and the aftermath of that (which I’ll get to later) is about what you’d expect. For what I thought of the moment, I turn to the voice of reason- Dr. Robert Thompson, who said a quote regarding the legacy of the Up with People halftime shows in this ESPN article. He says this about the entire incident:
“All those people [were] complaining, ‘Oh, Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed for half a second! It destroyed all the children!” Thompson said. “Whatever made them think that the rest of what went on during the Super Bowl was really good for children?” “Fourteen beer commercials associating beer with happy times and all those [erectile dysfunction] commercials and the violence of the sport? They made it sound like Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed during the playing of It’s a Wonderful Life. The Super Bowl is not that.”
Hit the nail on the head. My reaction to all of this is the same- so what? You’re telling me that this is worse and more disgusting than those GoDaddy commercials involving Danica Patrick and the office worker kissing intensely? You’re telling me that this is worse than some of your highly questionable advertising tactics? You’re telling me that people that are watching this violent sport and are old enough to comprehend what was going on would’ve been scarred by a breast that you had to be paying incredibly close attention to to even notice? Seriously? I’m not saying that the halftime show was improved by the reveal (it wasn’t; it didn’t make a difference), but I don’t care. I analyze every minute detail about the halftime show and why certain decisions are awful, and even I don’t care about Janet Jackson’s accidental exposure for less than a second. So. What. A lot of this show didn’t work and was really poorly done, but I don’t care about that final second. Doesn’t make a difference to me. My Fix So, how would I fix this halftime show? Remember that I can’t just do whatever I want and get any name that I want, such as Evanescence or Simple Plan, just as hypotheticals. I have to stick with at least one thing that I’ve got, and I can add reasonable artists while, at the same time, removing any artists that I want from the original show. Based on how this review went, you can pretty much imagine what I’m going to do with this halftime show- strip it down (no pun intended… sort of) to just two artists. Less is more. Jessica Simpson is gone. The University of Houston Marching Band is gone. Kid Rock is gone. P Diddy and Nelly are gone. I’m keeping Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, centering this halftime show around Janet. The good news is that this halftime show was thirteen minutes long, so I have some extra time to play with. Scrap the entire introduction video. Simply just start off with “All For You,” then transition from that song into “Miss You Much,” doing a verse and a chorus of that. Go from that into “Love Will Never Do (Without You),” and close the first part with “Black Cat.” Once that song is done, we get two and a half minutes of Justin Timberlake. Start off with “Like I Love You,” doing a verse and chorus of that, then move into “Rock Your Body,” doing the exact same thing from the original show, minus the wardrobe malfunction. Timberlake leaves the stage, leaving Janet Jackson to perform “Rhythm Nation,” with a verse and chorus of that song. She then transitions into “Escapade,” and closes off the entire show with “Together Again.” That’s how you do a halftime show in terms of pacing and not having too much go on. Obviously, my fix may or may not have prevented the wardrobe malfunction, but at least it’s a quality show, nevertheless. It’s better than having just an entire mix of artists that lip-sync and just stand around girls. Aftermath Obviously, we know that the final second or so of this halftime show is the legacy of it. If you look up Google images of the halftime show, the first images that pop up are of that moment. Let’s just say that the aftermath for this halftime show was bad… really bad. We’ve seen the power that the Super Bowl halftime show can have in terms of the good; according to a Forbes report, Bruno Mars ticket prices went up from an average of $150 to an average of $500 the day after Super Bowl XLVIII. It made Missy Elliott relevant again, and it increases the sales of almost every artist. However, it also has the power to destroy. Janet Jackson, literally overnight, went from one of the most successful female recording artists of all-time to irrelevant. It killed her career. For a modern-day comparison, replace Janet Jackson with Taylor Swift, and now imagine Taylor Swift’s career being destroyed in one day. That’s what that moment was like for Janet Jackson. You had the apology by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake for the incident, but it didn’t just stop there. There was this CNN article which talked more about the incident, and how many people didn’t think it was an accident (considering the fact that the final line of the song was “I’m gonna have you naked by the end of the song,” I can’t exactly blame those people who think that; most halftime shows go according to plan, so it must be a mistake when something doesn’t). There’s this USA Today article, where CBS and the NFL apologized for the incident, claiming they had no idea that the wardrobe malfunction was supposed to happen. And again, you’ve got this CBS News report which asks whether or not the halftime show was a PR stunt. There was this article by TIME, which asked the nation what they thought of the halftime show. Some people didn’t care, some thought that punishment should be handed to the artists but not the networks, and some thought that this set a bad precedent. I was also able to find this People Magazine article from 2004 about the incident and the fallout two weeks after. This San Francisco Gate article jokingly said that because of this, they’re going back to Up with People for Super Bowl XXXIX. That was the immediate aftermath of the event. What about after the game? A few weeks after, Len Short, who worked for AOL, actually stepped down because of the halftime show; remember that AOL was a sponsor for the event. In September, the FCC issued a $550,000 fine to CBS; the reaction for the fine was mixed. Some said that it’s too much, and that it’s no big deal, while others said that it’s too little, because it can be paid back with seven seconds of Super Bowl advertising (nowadays, CBS could pay that fine with three seconds of advertising for Super Bowl 50). Because of the halftime show, there was now a delay on live television for events to prevent things like this (which wouldn’t stop another incident from happening at Super Bowl XLVI). It didn’t just stop there, though. The Pro Bowl was played next week, and the halftime show for that was originally supposed to be done by JC Chasez. However, because of what happened at this halftime show, the NFL took no chances and decided to cancel Chasez’s halftime show performance. While Justin Timberlake’s career didn’t take a hit, Janet Jackson got blacklisted from almost everything afterwards, and she hasn’t had a hit song since after releasing hit after hit after hit for more than fifteen years in a row from the mid-80s to the early 2000s; Janet Jackson’s appearance on the Grammys that year was cancelled because of it. And, as mentioned earlier, YouTube was created because of what happened in this halftime show. Finally, there was this article from Sports Illustrated released earlier this year that I linked beforehand. If you want tons of background information about what happened after this halftime show, this article goes into great detail as to what happened. Paul Tagliabue said days after the game, “I didn’t like anything I saw. I didn’t like the flag thrashing. [The entire halftime show was] an outrage. It was way off the mark in terms of what we were expecting.” Remember that I mentioned earlier that Tagliabue, at the time, was more annoyed and angry with the way the flag was handled during Kid Rock’s halftime set than he was with the wardrobe malfunction. As for what happened with future halftime shows, it took a very long time for the league to go back to modern day artists to avoid any possible risk. The next six halftime shows (the Classic Rock Era, the sixth of seven eras) were performed by older artists, who, most of the time, were safer picks that would cause absolutely no controversy. You may have to worry about Janet Jackson doing something, but you would never have to worry about Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, or The Who doing anything stupid or risky. This halftime show impacted not just future Super Bowl halftime shows, though, but the entire world. The aftermath from this halftime show was more than you may have expected; it introduced new regulations and standards for covering events, it created an entire new website that is now one of the most visited websites in the world, and it destroyed the career of a very talented artist. Conclusion The final two seconds of this halftime show were, simply put, disastrous on all levels. Can’t deny that one bit, and even though I had absolutely no issue with it (it made no difference on my opinion of the halftime show), one accidental exposure changed the world as we know it, especially the halftime show. However, the actual show was a disaster in itself. MTV dropped the ball hard with this halftime show; whereas I loved their first halftime show, this one was a mess. The artist combinations didn’t make sense, a lot of the choices made no sense, and only the staging was good. From Kid Rock’s disrespect of the flag to Nelly and P Diddy just standing there and dancing around women to the pointless cameo by Jessica Simpson to the pacing of certain songs to the “Choose to Vote” campaign being force-fed and shoved down our throats, even though it had nothing to do with the actual halftime show… it was a colossal mess. Only the ending, from a quality perspective, was good. This is one of the worst halftime shows of the 2000s. After the awful halftime show and the aftermath from it, the NFL knew that they had to play it safe with the next one. They couldn’t afford to take any chances whatsoever. To make sure that they had the safest possible halftime show, they booked Paul McCartney, which is about as safe as you can get. How did that halftime show hold up, and how did he kick off a brand new era in halftime show history? Tune in tomorrow to find out.
Janet Jackson on Halftime Show Controversy in Rare Oprah ...
Subscribe For All Breaking Music News! http://bit.ly/Subscribe2BBNews Watch The Latest News http://bit.ly/BBNewsLatest Watch two preview videos from JT... CONNECT WITH JANET'S GREEK NATION: https://www.facebook.com/janetjacksongreece https://instagram.com/janetjacksongreeknation Music video by Janet Jackson fea... During the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson's breast to the world, igniting a firestorm of controversy. Did he do it on... [[UNCENSORED]] Justin TImberlake and Janet Jackson at the superbowl... not such a good idea Nipplegate occurred on February 1, 2004 at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, Texas. At the end of the highly anticipated halftime show, Justin Timberlake sings ... According to CNN, people are calling for Justin Timberlake to make another public apology to Janet Jackson, after exposing her breast during a Superbowl Half... justin timberlake & Janet Jackson controversy Video