Jump to content
  • Dear Internet: Please Stop Bandwagon Hating White Bands


    Skinny Legend

    bands.thumb.png.515d2fc9b5c24ec95dfb02d4As with all pandemics, the virus started out small. In November 2011, Nickelback - the same band who has sold 50 million albums worldwide and whose single 'How You Remind Me' was listed as the fourth best selling single of the 2000s - was voted the "biggest musical turnoff" by Tastebuds.com, a music-oriented dating service. A fair enough result - the dulcet tones of 'Photograph' could hardly be considered an aphrodisiac - but the poll triggered a tidal wave of negativity that continued through the months and years to haunt the quartet. Later that month, a petition began to stop the band from performing at the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving football game half time show. Memes poking fun at lead singer Chad Kroeger's 2004 hairstyle popped up like weeds (just you try making one about Rihanna's weave - we'll see where the Navy leaves your body). And the bands Twitter became a hub of hatred for those who disliked them, with only 69% of their mentions being positive and 31% being negative in February of 2012. Even when they tried to get in on the joke themselves, making fun of the situation in a satirical Funny Or Die video, the perception of the group remained as lame dads who were trying too hard to be cool. The infection of criticism was well and truly established; but at least it was contained.

    But it wasn't long before the virus began to spread. It's next target was Irish band U2, who faced scrutiny after Apple - you know, the company whose phone, tablet or computer you're probably reading this article on - added their latest album, 2014's Songs of Innocence to millions of iTunes libraries for free. Yes, people were complaining about free music. Many journalists jumped on the newly ongoing discourse of sexual abuse to vent their frustrations  - Bob Lefsetz was most straightforward said that the move was "no different from a rape or a murder, but with even less legs", but the fact that almost every article on the Internet about the release described it as a "violation of user consent" effectively painted the band as harassers who destroyed the virginal sanctity of millions of iTunes libraries. The same band who was instrumental in the organisation and promotion of the (RED) campaign, which raised over $350 million to combat the spread of AIDS; the same band who wrote 'Miss Sarajevo' to bring attention to the underreported Bosnian War in 1995; the same band who brought Mary J. Blige to international attention after collaborating with her on 'One'; was now being criticised for their presumably minuscule part in an Apple marketing campaign. The disease continued to take over.

    It's latest victim has been Coldplay, whose completely passable performance at last week's Super Bowl halftime show has received predictably vitriolic reception online. Despite the fact that they were humbly willing to take a back seat for a video tribute of past performers, shared the spotlight graciously with Beyoncé and Bruno Mars (thus including both women and people of colour in what was really a celebration of their own music), and alongside Lady Gaga were the only artists to actually sing live this year, the band was universally slammed for a performance considered "dull", "lame" and "middle-aged". Commenters disregarded the bands entire history of past success in order to call for another show with Beyoncé as the headliner. Ironically, they saw no sense of that elusive "edge" in Coldplay - the same edge they felt after watching Bey sing yet another percussive song about girl power and it's accompanying formulaic dance routine. Alongside the Super Bowl itself, the disease has gone global.

    Of course, online vitriol is hardly a new occurrence, and is definitely not exclusive to white male performers - look at any speech by the Dalai Lama hard enough and I'm sure you'll find a troll if you try hard enough. But the bandwagon of hate afforded to white bands is harsher and more symptomatic of a wider trend in which visibly white celebrities are regularly ridiculed for little to no reason and with no consequence whatsoever. When Zendaya is told she smells like patchouli oil for sporting dreadlocksGiuliana Rancic loses her job; when Snoop Dogg tells Iggy Azalea that she looks like a character from White Chicks, she is told to get over it. These were artists that we once loved, enough to produce spawns of #1 hits for each (see 'Far Away', 'Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' and 'Viva La Vida' for just a few examples). These are artists that we shaped through our establishment of supply and demand. And yet now we shun them for failing to conform to the racially-specific standards we have introduced in just a couple of years, or sometimes just a couple of months.

    When Lady Gaga tells her fans to spread online kindness, or Demi Lovato advocates against bullying, it is not simply to females or people of colour that they are referring to - it is to all people regardless of sex, race, age, class or even musical genre. In the endless search for tolerance of diversity, we have somehow lost the ability to tolerate the least diverse members of our society - white rock bands.

    Let's all cross our fingers that The Beatles will reunite with Beyoncé as a lead singer - it looks like that's the only way to keep their good name untarnished.



    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.



    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


    data-matched-content-rows-num="1" data-matched-content-columns-num="6" data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked">

  • Similar Content

    • By Skinny Legend
      In some ways, 2008 was pretty similiar to 2018. A shock candidate had just entered the White House, bypassing Hillary Clinton who people thought was a sure thing. The worldwide economy was still at breaking point, there were still tensions in the Middle East, and global warming was still hugely under-recognised. Betty White was still popular, and O.J. Simpson was still headed straight for priosn.
      But in other ways, 2008 was a completely different time from the one we're now living in. Politically, things were much more liberal - we had Barrack Obama in office instead of Donald Trump - and musically, we were still exploring the genres of folk and rock concurrent with the R&B revival taking place. Trap wasn't even a thing, and Cardi B was swinging on a pole somewhere without a dollar to her name.
      In this list, we'll be looking at fifteen of the biggest songs of ten years ago. Some of them are probably still played at whatever New Year's Eve countdown you listen to, but others will definitely be forgotten gems. Check them out below and let us know what you think in the comments!
      15. Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful of Sunshine
      I'd always assumed that 'Pocketful of Sunshine' only became a hit in 2010 after it was memorably featured in Easy A; but it turns out the song actually first found it's success back in 2008, when it charted at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. As Easy A's Olive remarks, 'Pocketful of Sunshine' really is the "worst song ever", but like most of the singer-songwriter style songs released in 2008 it's also incredibly catchy. Prepare for this to  be stuck in your head for the next week.
      14. Jazon Mraz - I'm Yours
      Speaking of annoying singer-songwriter songs, let's take a look back at the breakthrough single from one hit wonder Jason Mraz. Along with Colbie Caillat's 'Bubbly', 'I'm Yours' led the charge for summery, acoustic pop songs to offset the overproduced dance pop on the radio, and it found huge success among the "middle aged women who post Minion memes" crowd. Even though it only hit #6 on the Hot 100, it stayed on the charts for an insane 76 weeks, becoming the longest charting song at the time; and it now holds the honour of being the tenth best-selling digital song of all time in the US. It's easy to understand why, but that doesn't make the song any better.
      13. Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown - No Air
      Remember when people still admitted to listening to Chris Brown songs instead of playing them in their wireless headphones in dark alleys and dead-end streets? 2008 was definitely Brown's year, and he found success not only as a solo artist with 'Kiss Kiss', 'With You' and 'Forever' (all of which have to be strong contenders for the most annoying song ever - this is becoming a trend, 2008), but also with his duet with American Idol alum Jordin Sparks. The song is bang on trend for the year, featuring the same R&B beat which had blown up in 2007 and the icy synths that Timbaland had been pushing for the past few seasons.
      12. Mariah Carey - Touch My Body
      It might be unfair to refer to Mariah Carey as the female Chris Brown, but it's obvious her star has fallen quite a bit in the decade since she released 'Touch My Body'. Back then, MiMi was praised for her frank take on sexuality and her funny self-parodies - such as in the video above, where she seduces her Wi-Fi installation man - but now it seems that she's criticised for trying too hard to be sexy and taking herself way too seriously. Mariah could definitely learn something from the success she back in 2008.
      11. T.I. - Whatever You Like
      'Whatever You Like' is actually the name of two T.I. songs - one Nicole Scherzinger attempt he featured on which was a huge flop, and one solo effort which blew up internationally and effectively launched his career. 'Whatever You Like' was the song of the summer back in 2008, and went on to be the sixteenth most successful song of the decade. It's stood up relatively well over the years, although we have to say that our personal favourite version of the song is Anya Marina's chilled out cover.
      10. P!nk - So What
      Although R&B and hip-hop was huge back in 2008, the power-pop vibe mastered by stars like Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff was still grasping on to it's last moments in the sun. Case in point: 'So What', which was the first single from P!nk's Funhouse album, and which marked a huge return to the US charts for the singer after she failed to sell in the country during her I'm Not Dead era. It's sad given that 'So What' is actually incredibly trashy and a shameless cash grab compared to that previous album, with some of the laziest songwriting including lines like, "So what/I'm still a rockstar/I've got my rock moves/And I don't need you tonight". That said, the song is still a P!nk and Max Martin collaboration, which means that it's as super catchy and feelgood as you'd expect from the team that brought you 'U + Ur Hand'.
      9. Flo Rida - Low (Feat. T-Pain)
      There was a time back in 2008 when you couldn't turn on any radio station, visit any shopping mall, or tune into any episode of whatever trashy MTV reality show you were trying to watch without having to endure yet another spin of Flo Rida's 'Low'. Rida has vanished into obscurity in the last few years, but up until then he had a penchant for writing incredibly catchy songs, and 'Low' is no exception. Bolstered by a placement in Step Up 2: The Streets (yes, it was that long ago), 'Low' was such a huge hit when it was released that it went on to become the highest selling single of the 2000s decade. If only someone could explain what "apple bottom jeans" actually are.
      8. Rihanna - Disturbia
      Rihanna was telling us she was a "good girl gone bad" from the time 'Umbrella' was first released, but it wasn't until 'Disturbia' dropped that we actually believed her. 'Disturbia' follows in the footsteps of 'Thriller' in presenting an image of mental anguish, paranoia and anxiety which is nevertheless surprisingly fun to dance to - and in a weird coincidence, it was even penned by future ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, who clearly had is own issues with mental anguish. With one of the catchiest executions of "bum bum be dum" ever created, 'Disturbia' also happens to have one of the best music videos Rih's ever released, featuring tarantulas, wolves and S&M eyepatches. It's a total classic that still makes our Halloween playlists to this day.
      7. Madonna - 4 Minutes (Feat. Justin Timberlake)
      Madonna is one of the few artists who's probably had a hit no matter how many decades back you go, but back in 2008 it had been a while since she'd released a true chart topper. Everything changed with '4 Minutes', a Justin Timberlake and Timbaland collaboration which launched her back into the public's consciousness. Featuring a call and response chorus and some vague lyrics about the apocalypse perfect for the increased talk of global warming, the song was the perfect way to bring Madge into the future. We just wish she'd been able to be as successful with any of her singles since then.
      6. Sara Bareilles - Love Song
      Following in the trend of Bedingfield and Mraz is Sara Bareilles's 'Love Song', a laidback folky bop which made the perfect easy listening for 2008. The story behind the song is that Bareilles was becoming frustrated with her label's refusal to release her music, so she wrote an archetypal "love song" dedicated to her executives in a passive aggressive attempt to impress them. Regardless of the feud, it seems that both parties won in the end because 'Love Song' ended up spending 19 weeks in the top ten and becoming one of the biggest hits of 2008.
      5. Timbaland - Apologize (Feat. OneRepublic)
      'Apologize' was actually first released as the first single from OneRepublic's debut album Dreaming Out Loud, but when it failed to make waves the band hit up Timbaland for a remix (and an impressive name check) to blow up the radio. The only real thing Timbo added was a much-parodied line of "eh eh, eh eh" background vocals, but that didn't stop the public from eating the new version of the song up - it stayed in the top ten for twenty five weeks which made it the longest song to hang in there so long since 1999.
      4. Alicia Keys - No One
      Alicia Keys' 'No One' is probably the quintessential song of 2008, combining the Timbaland style of R&B, the OneRepublic style of acoustic rock and the Jordin Sparks brand of irritation into one fusion of a track. The fact that everyone in the world thought they could hit the high notes that Alicia masters just made matters worse. Nevertheless, 'No One' became the most listened-to song on US radio in 2008 with over three billion listeners, while also becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.
      3. Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl
      It's weird to think that just ten years ago nobody knew who Katy Perry was, and that the world's first introduction to the heretofore Christian pop star was a song all about flirting with bisexuality (something we're sure she'd be too "woke" to do now). 'I Kissed A Girl' has to be one of the most manipulative, disingenuous and trashy songs ever written, but thanks to the stylings of super producer Dr. Luke (there's another sentence that just wouldn't be written in 2018) it managed to become a hit anyway, topping the charts for seven weeks in a row. If nothing else, it launched the career of Perry (who, after all, brought us 'Teenage Dream') and it added to the conversation surrounding LGBTQ rights, so it can't be all bad.
      2. Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love
      If you've ever had a break up, you'll be all too intimately familiar with this song and the precise playthrough during which your tub of ice cream begins to run out. 'Bleeding Love' is the quintessential heartbreak song - heartfelt and wrenching, and with a climactic note which no one can actually hit during karaoke but which everyone tries to. There's clearly a lot of sad people in the world, too, because the song hit #1 in 35 countries. Sadly, it's a success Leona has never quite been able to match - while the follow up 'Better In Time' was moderately well received, every single since has been a flop, at least outside of her home country of the UK.
      1. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
      Before Coldplay was being unnecessarily bashed for their Super Bowl Half Time Show performance in 2016, they actually enjoyed a successful career which largely climaxed with the release of 2007's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. The titular single from the album was 'Viva La Vida', a rousing, grandiose statement of glorious intent for the rest of the album which never fails to put a smile on people's faces or a tear in their eye. With references to love, death and war, 'Viva La Vida' really has it all, and it succeeded not just as a onetime popular single but as an enduring testament to the band's legacy.
      What was your favourite song of 2008? Let us know in the comments! And for a trip down memory lane, check out the ten biggest hits of 2007 here.
    • By Skinny Legend
      Taylor Swift made headlines last year when she pulled her entire back catalogue from music streaming service Spotify just months before holding back her latest album 1989 from Apple Music until she was promised the royalties owed to artists during a three month streaming period the company was offering customers. This year, she officially reconciled with the company when she appeared in advertisements for Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio.
      Now, she's aiming for another week in the news by setting her sights on another music streaming service: YouTube.
      Along with over 180 other artists - including Christina Aguilera, The Band Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Elton John, Yoko Ono Lennon, Paul McCartney and U2 - Swift has signed a letter which will appear this week in publications such as The Hill and Politico urging lawmakers to change the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to reflect changes in the media landscape.
      The DMCA, initially passed in 1998 with the rise of the Internet, was created to protect works from infrigement, but has a "safe harbour" provision that protects ISP's and websites from copyright violations so long as such services take down content when they are notified of the existence of copyrighted works. This was put in place to protect social media websites like YouTube, which cannot reasonably be expected to trawl through the thousands of videos uploaded in search of copyrighted material.
      However, according to Swift and others, the safe harbour provision has become unfeasible now that YouTube has become a go-to source for illegal music uploads. According to the letter:
      Music Mogul Irving Azoff, who manages artists like Aguilera, The Eagles and Steely Dan, also signed the letter. In an article last month for Recode, Azoff said, "You have built a business that works really well for you and for Google, but it doesn't work well for artists. If you think it is just the labels and publishers who are complaining, you are wrong. The music community is traditionally a very fractured one, but on this we are united."
      The musicians are hoping to catch the attention of the US Copyright Office, which is currently reviewing the DMCA. Earlier this year, music trade groups such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and American Federation of Musicians (AFM) told the Office that the RIAA has noticed more than 175 million illegal music uploads online since 2012, and sent over 280 million infringement notices to Google. 
      Christophe Muller, head of YouTube's international music partnerships, referenced the movement in April when he posted an article on The Guardian. "Music matters. Musicians and songwriters matter. They deserve to be compensated fairly," he said at the time. "We believe this deeply and have partnered with the music industry for years to ensure it happens on our platform."
      In a time of unprecedented gun violence, racist and prejudiced rhetoric against Hispanic and Muslim people, and the incredibly upsetting cancellation of CBS's The Good Wife, we find it surprising that Swift is choosing to focus her celebrity on such a minuscule issue. Artists have long known how to use YouTube to their advantage - take Justin and Selena's lip sync video to 'Call Me Maybe' which sent the song up the charts, or Cody Simpson's YouTube discovery - and we'd be shocked to hear that Swift and the other celebrities listed have never searched YouTube in order to hear their favourite pop song.
      Regardless of the outcome of the petition, one things for sure - the Internet has a way of getting what it wants. Whether it's Napster, Limewire, or YouTube, we have the feeling there will always be an easy and accessible way of hearing music for free online.
      Thoughts?

About #PopHatesFlops:

Since our start as a blog called #PopHatesFags in 2012, PHF has consistently provided you with the latest pop culture news and hottest new releases. Join us as we analyse everything pop culture, build new friendships, and discuss the latest news and tracks exclusive to #PopHatesFlops!

Member of the Month:

Congratulations to coolaideonfire, our Member of the Month for the month of March! coolaideonfire is one of our longest running active members and has been with us for over five years, making almost 400 posts since they joined us in January of 2014. We've loved every second of having them around and we look forward to another five years together!

×