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What Ever Happened to Talent?

Updated on January 15, 2012
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And the award for the most untalented performance goes to.... (fill in the blank).

What ever happened to talent? It seems as though they are giving away free record deals with the purchase of Charmin toilet paper. Where's the ethics? The responsibility, The class... the TALENT?

When I turn on the radio or video channels I see and hear a cornucopia of garbage. It doesn't make sense to me because there are so many good examples to follow. There was a time when a person had to have talent. If one wanted to be a singer, step one was: You have to know how to sing. Now, step one is: What does he/she look like? Step two is: How much does he/she weigh? Step three: Is he/she willing to do to make a total and utter fool of himself/herself?

Technology is a gift and a curse. A gift because it allows us to communicate more broadly, to store great amounts of information into small areas and so many other things. But when it comes to the music industry, its a curse; because it allows computers to replace what humans should be doing. For example: When I buy an mp3 or a CD, I expect to hear a REAL human being singing or rapping; or I expect to hear a REAL band playing. That doesn't happen anymore unless I buy old skool music (which is pretty much what I do) . Is this what we have come to?

There are plenty of people who possess raw talent as singers, musicians, and rappers; but many times they don't make it due to appearance. A perfect example of this is Kelly Price. I'm not saying that she didn't make it, but I will say that she did not become what she should have become. Kelly Price was a large woman with a large voice when she entered the music industry. And though I can't prove it, I believe that we would have heard more from her if she was smaller in size. She lost a lot of weight and tried it again; still, sales were slow. I believe that her new problem was, right size, wrong look.

When it comes to black women in entertainment, the status quo is: Light skin, perfect body, long hair. That ideal is not realistic; so Black women get weaves, breast augmentations, and dangerous diets. Women of all ethnicities are having this problem. We do these things not only to be in the entertainment industry, but to walk the street. The media set the standard for what is acceptable in society, so we do what we have to do in order to fit in.

So after we have mutilated and damn near killed ourselves, we're all ready for our big premier as an entertainer, right? The answer should be WRONG, but its not. Some chump with dollar signs for eyeballs says, "yes I can make you a star". Can't sing; can't act? Don't worry, you can fake it til' you make it. Then the faking it goes on until the next pretty face and well manufactured body comes along. In the meantime, I'm supposed to listen and watch this. Did I forget to mention that if I have some kind of mental melt down and like their song I'm supposed to buy it? And if I have some kind of serious head injury and want to see their movie, I have to pay for a ticket to see it?

Somehow I don't think that Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight or Natalie Cole had to reinvent themselves to sell records. But I do think that they had to know how to sing. If they were just starting out right now all they could sell musically is gospel. It's a shame!!!

Both male and female performers get an "F" in the subject of customer responsibility. I hate to hear about performers getting caught up in an act of stupidity and then saying, "I'm not a role model". BULLSHIT!!! The second you stood in public before a crowd you became a role model. Entertainers need to take responsibility for the good and the bad that they do!!! And to the rappers: You cannot make one "for the kids" song and claim that you are a positive influence. Not when the rest of the album is about drugs and violence. I'm not saying that rappers should stop making street music, but don't straddle the fence. Rap artist know who their main audience is- the kids! That means they have to be role models!!!

Speaking of rap music; there was a time when, in order to be a rapper, there was one main rule: You had to know how to rap. Putting words together rhythmically does not make one a rapper. Any fool with a pen and a pad can do that. What ever happened to lyrical content? Rappers like Rakim, KRS-1, Mos Def, Common, and Kool G Rapp had something to say. Now its all beats and booties, No talent.

What ever happened to bands? Oh, I know; sampling happened to bands. Have we run out of ideas? Thousands of musicians are out of work because there is no need for them. Computers and sampling have replaced them; can't that be compared to out-sourcing?

Bottom line; if you're talented, it really shouldn't matter what you look like: Short, tall, heavy, or thin. I buy music based on what I hear. I may be the only one who is this way, but I can't hear what a person looks like!!! This is killing music; and I don't blame the sellers, I blame the consumers. Why do we keep paying to insult our daughters, nieces, mothers,aunts and friends; or to hurt our sons, nephews, fathers, and uncles? Every time we patronize these acts we are perpetuating destructive behavior.

If you love music, then demand music; not a substitute. If you go to a restaurant and order a steak; you wouldn't let the waitress bring you chicken, would you? No, You would demand a steak!!! Let's start demanding quality, not just quantity in music that WE are expected to purchase!!!

Just my opinion....

Talk to you soon!


ethno musicologist


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    • Rob Lattin profile image

      Rob Lattin 6 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

      Finally someone tells it like it is! "Cornucopia of garbage" would be a perfect song title, by the way. Where's today's Bill Withers, Edwin Starrs, and Four Tops? I miss soul and funk music (not too keen on rap, sorry). I grew up on hard rock, soul, and good old fashioned pop. Each genre satisfied a different need and a different feel. Now I can't find any of that stuff except on the oldies stations or in my record collection. Keep up the good work!

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      I totally agree. It is a total tragedy that often the most talented of people fall by the wayside while the mediocre rise to the top. The name of the game in Hollywood is what sells and how important appearance is to the public. In other words, beauty sells or if the person is not conventionally beautiful, she/he must have animal magnetism. This is the name of the game and has been for a while.

    • profile image

      lil wayne ring tones 8 years ago

      For the rap genre, who else but Lil Wayne deserves to be included in the list. He has the style and the charisma as well as the entertainment that his audience loves. He is the intelligent rapper that this generation loves. :-)

    • chrystalsguitars profile image

      chrystalsguitars 8 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I love the older music 70's 60's and no one makes that anymore my generation (1980's) missed out. Aretha Franklin is simply the best.

    • Lifes Joke profile image

      Lifes Joke 8 years ago

      Me and my friends joke about people peforming bullshit songs and getting away with it...and how there is no variety now a days in looks of performers and the content that they perform...Personally i listen to anything..don't know much about old school..but definately am not against listening...i really like how you wrote this very entertaining and eye opening...

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      That's Because Great Minds Think Alike!

    • Wyldflow3r profile image

      Wyldflow3r 8 years ago

      Thank you Hmrjmr1!!! Thank you! you have alway supported my blogs, and really appreciate it!!!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 8 years ago from Georgia, USA