Monday, December 06, 2021

Ty's Corner


The Beatles.  Briahna Joy Gray and a number of other self-appointed Black and 'Black' voices decided to rank on last week.  They're not all that, we were told. Really?  People like that don't know music.

Bri-Bri reminds me of the crowd crowing as ROLLING STONE put the lousy album WHAT'S GOING ON by Marvin Gaye as the number one album of all time.

Bulls**t.  That garbage album will fall with 'wokeness.'  It's a b.s. album where Marvin steals credit for song writing.  The much applauded title track -- the one his name is listed first on as a songwriter -- is also a song that Marvin didn't write or co-write.  He learned at MOTOWN how to steal credit.  He did it very well throughout his career.  He accomplished nothing of lasting value with that album -- a fact I acknowledge with sadness.  I was a senior in high school when I saw WHAT'S GOING ON in a used CD store.  I was so excited.  Thought not considered the best album of all time at that time, it was considered a good album.  I bought and I played it and I thought, "Garbage."  That's before I found out that he had cribbed songwriting credit -- stolen, actually.

Marvin's not a songwriter.  That's why there's so little that matters in his career.  Personally?  His affairs with men matter and maybe when his homophobic sister dies and people feel like they can talk about Marvin's bisexuality (applause to Quincy Jones for helping to start that conversation), maybe then there will be some way to add a bit of relevancy to the nonsense that he wrote?  


Maybe not.  He'll still be the man who abused women, beat them, harassed them, physically and verbally harassed them, treated them with such contempt.  Hell, even Diana Ross had to complain to Berry Gordy that Marvin wouldn't stop smoking (pot) around her.  She was pregnant at the time and couldn't put up with the smoke in the recording studio.  Marvin refused -- even under Berry's orders -- which is why the bulk of the album (1973's DIANA & MARVIN) is not the two singing together in the studio.   

Perfect people aren't artists.  But if he can't be made into a bi-hero, he has to survive on his work.  And it's just not there.  He steals credit for songwriting and idiots give him credit for singing on that album.  "OH, he really sings, he really shouts!"  I've heard people say that.  No, he doesn't. There's some wailing going on, but that's not Marvin's voice, idiots.  In addition, what passes for Marvin's vocals are multi-tracked vocals -- the way you fix a bad vocal -- or the way you did back then.  The whole album is multi-tracked.  

The album is a wimp album that wimps out.  I wasn't at all surprised to learn just a few years ago that Marvin was trying to crib from his brother's life -- his brother who had gone to Vietnam, his brother who says that Marvin wished he'd gone to Vietnam.  

That's such an admission of truth.  And so revealing.  People -- idiots -- praise WHAT'S GOING ON as some sort of peace and pro-world statement but it plays like a little boy who wishes he'd seen something.  The war haunted Marvin's brother but Marvin wished he could have been there.  That tells you everything about Marvin.

And while saluting a superficial album, people could instead be using the energy to instead get the word out on actual artistic statements.  Isaac Hayes' HOT BUTTERED SOUL and BLACK MOSES, Lauryn Hill's THE MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL, Stevie Wonder's TALKING BOOK and SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE, Diana Ross' THE BOSS and diana, Prince's SIGN OF THE TIMES, 1999, CONTROVERSY, LOVE SEXY and PURPLE RAIN, Janet Jackson's CONTROL, THE VELVET ROPE and RHYTHM NATION 1814, Millie Jackson's IT HURTS SO GOOD . . . 

There are a lot of benchmark albums that African-Americans have created.  We could be using our time to champion those or we could be stupid like Bri-Bri and make ridiculous arguments (the Beatles didn't have talent!) or use all our energy to defend someone like Marvin Gaye's whose gifts just weren't all that.

I guess it's about how you choose to live your life and whether or not you choose to live it in truth.

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