Last Thursday, pop music’s elite gathered in the Staples Center to celebrate the year’s best videos. In the past, infamous MTV VMA moments were created–Kanye West reminded Taylor Swift her videos will always be subpar compared to Beyoncé’s, Lil’ Mama crashed Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ set and became the butt of all jokes, Lady Gaga killed herself onstage, etc. This year, nothing of the sort happened, making the awards show a snooze fest for most. Despite that obvious fact, let’s recap some buzz worthy moments.
Rihanna was pretty much queen of the night. Before opening the show with “Cockiness,” she lit up the red carpet in a simple, yet elegant, white gown. A$AP Rocky, her guest performer, fulfilled every man’s dream by groping the Bajan beauty’s soft romp and kissing her on the neck.
After patting her vagina on stage in front of 6.1 million people, Rihanna publicly reunited with her ex (or current) boyfriend Chris Brown (watch here). Drake, who wore a tight v-neck, was also in attendance. He didn’t perform, but he took home a moon man. During his acceptance speech, he exposed his lameness and overzealous desire to fit in by unnecessarily using profanity. A shaded Brown didn’t fly off his handle and hurl bottles of Pharrell’s Qream at the “Take Care” singer like many expected. Damn!
Speaking of awards (I keep forgetting that’s why they gathered), Rih, Chris and Nicki Minaj all took home awards. On the red carpet, Nicki revealed she was beckoned to perform by her “great friend” Alicia Keys at the last minute. Interesting.
Luckily Nicki obliged, because their performance was undoubtedly the classiest moment of the night. Keys debuted her empowering new record, “Girl On Fire,” which was highlighted by a touching appearance from Olympic Gold medalist Gabby Douglas. Considering VH1 has pretty much defamed the face of black women, it was refreshing to see three sistahs selflessly share one stage.
Frank Ocean is unquestionably a unique artist, but the VMAs was not a proper platform to highlight his artistry. The bandana-wearing crooner sang under the moon next to a burning fire. A guitarist assisted him while he sat barefoot in the faux wilderness. I’m sure his core fans can appreciate the set, but it may have left non-fans disconnected. Although intimate and soothing, the performance lacked entertainment. It seemed like he was singing to himself, as opposed to the audience or whoever he’s thinking ‘bout. I don’t expect him to start dancing like Usher, but he has to implement something memorable in his live shows. Like André 3000 told John Legend on “Green Light”: “even Stevie Wonder got down sometimes.”
Pink had the most impressive performance, but no one cared. There is something about Pink that causes people to easily overlook her. Granted, her radio-friendly singles are usually smashes, but they don’t age well. She hyped the crowd with “Get The Party Started,” while tapping a drum machine and keyboard. She braced herself in a harness and acrobatically soared across the stage. Mid-air, “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” began playing. Large lips, well women dressed in lingerie, paraded around the stage, blowing kisses. By the end of the performance, she had re-ascended on a pair of luscious lips. It was quite a sight, but like I said, no one cared.
Lil’ Wayne may have delayed the release of his worthless mixtape so it wouldn’t outshine 2 Chainz’s debut album, but that thoughtfulness was not present at the VMAs. After playing in Kanye West’s closet, 2 Chainz performed his verse from “Yuck.” This wasn’t wise, considering he has more widely known songs on his album. Nevertheless, Wayne skated to the stage, literally, with his shorts sagging exposing his ass. He mimed his verse (yes, rappers are still lip-synching) and proceeded with “No Worries.” Deuce’s golden moment was stolen and black men of America were yet again stereotyped.
Overall, the show was just bad. The excessive censoring was distracting; the directing was atrocious; the echoing audio was annoying; The red carpet was pointless; Kevin Hart was an awful host; MTV failed to recognize Whitney Houston’s death… The 2012 MTV VMAs was possibly the worst awards show I’ve ever witnessed (BET Hip Hop Awards included). The 50% dip in ratings was justified.
Did you watch the MTV VMAs? Were you entertained?