As I was telling my old man yesterday, over a case of Mich Ultra (better than I remembered it!), I recently had to give up watching MTV’s the Real World after having spent literally most of my life watching it.
The shit hadn’t been quite right since the Hawaii season, in 1999, but this most recent season, in Key West, managed to take the series to a whole new level of teh gheyness. I wonder if even the newer generation of fans who picked up on the show during its fabled Las Vegas season could even be made to give a shit at this point.
As such, I basically never watch MTV anymore, but I figured I’d better put this year’s VMAs on in the background on the outside chance anything happened. After all, I watched last year, right as Hurricane Katrina was poised to strike, and all kinds of shit was popping off. Jigs were getting shot, dissing each other from the stage. It was anarchy.
Come to find out, hardly anything worthwhile happened all evening. If it wasn’t for new best band evar the Killers, who kinda rocked it right there at the end, the show would’ve been almost entirely not worth watching. And besides the over-all shitty nature of the presentation and the performances, I noticed something else that struck me as fairly bothersome.
If you notice, Thursday night’s show must have had the heaviest rock presence of any VMA’s since the early ’90s. Jack Black who’s still working that same Tenacious D schtick from 1998 hosted; Jack White’s Raconteurs, who really don’t do it for me at all, played the house band for the evening; and Panic! at the Disco seemed to take all of the big awards.
Nothing against rock (I saw the Gin Blossoms again this weekend), but I wonder if this is as much a matter of rock making a genuine comeback as it is a matter of the network purposely attempting to distance itself from hip-hop. Now that hip-hop has entered a period of definite commercial decline, I wouldn’t be surprised if MTV decided to turn its back on it.
To be sure, there was a certain amount of hip-hop on display, but it seemed like the least amount they could possibly get away with. After all, they had to give the best rap video award to an actual rapper. But if you notice, they gave the best hip-hop video award to the motherfucking Black Eyed Peas, which is just wrong on so many levels.
Hype Williams was presented with one of those dumbass video vanguard awards, which struck me more so as MTV closing the book on the era of hip-hop videos being prominently featured on the network than any genuine acknowledgment of his contribution to the form. Otherwise, why even trot his irrelevant ass out in the first place?