Friday, December 3, 2010

Red Light Special

Two of your favorite artists have just shaken up the Internet and ignited the airwaves with their new singles and videos. The tones are very mature Raheem Devaughn’s “She’s Single” and Keri Hilson’s “The Way You Love Me.” They have all the ingredients to be hits and not just become hot topics on your daily news. These two video showcase the racier side of the aforementioned artists. Mr. Devaughn easily transitions from socially conscious to flawlessly pleasing your woman. “Break out those 12 -count, gold packed magnums, I’m going to make her melt like ice cubes.” Ms. Hilson is simply letting her edgier side be shown to the masses by boldly screaming “I have the type of p---y that’ll keep you out of the streets.” In a recent interview with Perez Hilton Keri says that "this song is for those times when we (women) don’t want to be held or caressed. I want you ‘thug’ me. The sentiment is there whether I use a curse word or not. ” Raheem recently told “I wanted to create an image that was tasteful, but cutting edge, provocative, grown… real,” Mission accomplished. While both videos command attention, I am willing to bet that Keri’s will be scrutinized more. Raheem’s video is intended for promotional use and Keri’s will be banned from music video stations soon. As we know, music is still very much a boys’ club and full of double standards. A man be he a singer or rapper, can flaunt his conquests and sexual prowess without fear of judgment, but once a woman decides she is comfortable with her sexuality it’s an issue. “She’s setting a bad example; she’s slut, whore…” and every other negative term one can think of. This couldn't be further from the truth. Both are free to express how they live through their art. Hence the phrase “art imitates life.” Contrary to that thought the question of How does one go from “Pretty Girls Rock” to “The Way You Love Me” and “Bulletproof” and “She’s Single” in such a short amount of time ? The answer: Easy. It’s the growth and progression of art and an artist. Both artists have displayed their love of the opposite sex in other songs and the events that take place between them (albeit a little more subtle depending on the track). They both may be seen as overtly sexual but that was the intention. All of an artist’s work is not and should not be for all ages. The songs themselves are what we’ve come to expect from artists like them. They are well written, sensual, raw, real, contain catchy lyrics, bed rocking and dance floor ready beats (Devaughn and Hilson respectively) and yet beautiful in their simplicity. They have all the ingredients to be hits and not just become hot topics on your daily news. These themes cover adult subject matter and should be treated as such. These two videos will no doubt be downloaded virally and talked about incessantly but just remember music is what feelings sound like, and some feelings need to be sounded out more explicitly than others.
Links to both videos are below:

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