I could not call myself a pop culture critic if I did not give you the best of pop culture in 2013. And boy, did 2013 give us something to talk about! From rape lyrics to guys with beards making the gays mad, we had a little bit of everything. For my last post of the year I would like to present Pop Culture Awards 2013:
Lip Syncing for Your Life Award goes to Mrs. Carter aka Beyoncé. Some of you might have forgot about this. President Obama invited Beyoncé to sing the National Anthem at his inauguration. Beyoncé performed and you know the stans were on Twitter giving their "Yaaasssssssss!!!" Just a few days later, news hit that Beyoncé lip synced her performance. Even the Beyhive was ready to come to her defense. The always tight lipped team of Beyoncé was ready with a
Rapping about Rape Award goes to the double Ds having Rick Ross. Rick Ross can't claim most infamous lyrics of all time but he can for 2013. Back in March, Rocko put out a single titled U.O.E.N.O. While nobody probably remembers the rest of the song, everyone can remember Rick Ross saying
“Put molly all in her champagne/She ain’t even know it/I took her home and I enjoyed that/She ain’t even know it.”For some odd reason this verse was able to bypass all record executives to all major radio stations. Needless to say, when the controversy hit this version was pulled from the radio. When asked about it Rick Ross said he was not meaning rape in the verse but he never cleared up what he did mean. Mr. Ross, I was born at night... not last night. You do not have to be an English major to interpret what you were saying. Simple Rick, you can rap about gold chains, fancy cars, or your favorite fried chicken restaurant but let's leave rape out of Hip Hop.
Wanting to Bring Back the Old South Award goes to the butter loving Paula Deen. During a trial where Ms. Deen was being sued by a former employee for.... well I can't actually remember what the lawsuit was about (apparently the case was dismissed) but it was what was said during the court proceedings that sparked a national conversation. While under oath, Paula admitted to using the N-word in the past (heck, at this point who hasn't?). Believe it or not, it's gets worse. For an event that Paula and her brother, Bubba, were catering, Paula came up with the bright idea to have the black men dress up like slaves. Because you know, what would a southern wedding be without slaves shucking and jiving and entertaining the white folks? To add salt to the wound, the southern chef was dropped by her 11 year employer, Food Network. Even after a very emotional apology, she was dropped by most, if not all, of her major sponsors. Paula has been able to make a little of a comeback on a couple of shows, but only time will tell if Ms. Deen will be able to make a full comeback to TV.
Hip Hop's First Public Mental Breakdown Award goes to Kanye West. Mr. West has always been known for being outspoken (Remember the Taylor Swift incident?). But this year Kanye wanted us all to know that he isn't just the best rapper alive but a creative genius that should be compared to only Shakespeare and Walt Disney. Kanye released an album titled Yeezus. He claimed he named his album this because he is the Jesus of Hip Hop. Major side eye. He started doing these interviews where it seemed like he was having a dialogue with himself and cameras just happen to be on. He would go on these passionate rants about how the fashion industry was trying to keep him out. He even said that him and Kim Kardashian were more influential than the President and the First Lady. While during Sway's radio show things got really intense when Kanye decided to holler the infamous line "YOU DON'T HAVE THE ANSWERS, SWAY!" at Sway. The Compton Native let Kanye know that he needed to calm his voice down and Kanye did just so. I know we haven't seen the last of Kanye's antics. I can't wait to see what he going to do in 2014.
The Murder of Twerking Award goes to Miley Cyrus. At the 2013 VMAs, Miley performed her hit single We Won't Stop. During her performance, she decided that she wanted to single handily kill twerking for everyone. Nothing or no one was safe from Miley's behind, not even the married 40-something singer, Robin Thicke. After this performance, the news became obsessed with the new (but really old) dance move. ABC News even came out with a news story titled (and I'm not joking), The Science of Twerking. Later, twerking (along with selfie) would be added to the Oxford Dictionary. I'm not even going to talk about how black women have been "twerking" for years. Then when Miley's does it (horribly), it makes headline news. Nope, not going to talk about it. Anyways, Ms. Cyrus, do your thang. Ride that twerking train as long as you can.
The Justice System is a Joke Award goes to the state of Florida. What will be seen as the case of the decade started a conversation around the world about race, gun laws, and hoodies. George Zimmerman went to trial in June 2013 for the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin. It was an emotional case and had the country divided. One side was disgusted about how a grown man could shoot an unarmed child and the other side saw Trayvon Martin as a thug who should have went along with Zimmerman's questioning. What made this case even more bizarre and complex was Florida's Stand Your Ground law. Under this law, anybody who thinks their life is in danger (even if they follow the so-called dangerous suspect) can shoot first and ask questions later. Zimmerman was found not guilty. This was the first time I found myself ready to cry for a family that I have never met. And this leads me to another award. World's Strongest Women Award goes to Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother. Throughout the whole trial, Ms. Fulton never uttered a curse word or anything vile to the public about her son's murderer. Even when the verdict was given, Ms. Fulton kept her cool. I will never understand how she was able to remain so strong but she has my complete respect.
Crazy doesn't even begin to explain what 2013 has been. It has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. And I have enjoyed sharing my perspective with you all. I want to take a moment to thank you for following my blog. I know there are thousands of blogs out there but you choose to come by and read this one and I really appreciate that. This year I have gotten to do some cool things with my blog and I promise to keep it going in 2014. Again, thank you!
What was your fav pop culture event in 2013?