The 15 Most Obnoxious People In Music Part III (The Return of the Howie Mandel)
As you might be able to tell from reading this blog, I like music. However, one of the biggest problems inherent in being a music junkie is that, in trying to discover new bands you like, you often come across bands that you don't. I suppose I could ignore them, but sometimes it's hard when these grating musical figures stare at you from magazine covers, television screens and various blogs. Besides, it's fun to make fun of musicians when they're lame. With that in mind, I present the First-Ever Passion of the Weiss List of the 15 Most Obnoxious People in Music, in honor of Howie Mandel. Because let's face it, nothing says obnoxious like Howie Mandel. Except for that Micro Machines guy. He was pretty fucking annoying too.
5. Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas
Billy Madison was wrong. Peeing in your pants is not cool. And Fergie is definitely not Miles Davis. In fact, Fergie is a talentless pants-pissing Fraggle. Watching the video for "London Bridge" is like looking at a gay man in drag trying to imitate Gwen Stefani. The truth is that every Black Eyed Pea should have their own spot on this list, but I'm pressed for space and
Fergie is the most wildly obnoxious of the bunch. Before Fergie, the Peas were mediocre "conscious" hip-hoppers from LA who every know and then dropped a really good single. After Fergie, they're a sign of the apocalypse, the Color Me Badd of the Myspace generation.
If I had a Delorean, I wouldn't buy Grey's Sports Almanac and become a world-wide gambling phenomenon complete with a Pleasure Palace. No, if I had a Delorean, I'd travel back to 1990 and bring forth the ruin of the Disney Channel. Sure, there wouldn't have been Ducktales , but by shutting down Disney, I'd also get to thwart Kids Incorporated and The Mickey Mouse Club from perpetrating their various evils. In the process, I'd be aborting the careers of Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Fergie. The psychic ramifications of this move would create an alternate 2006, one where everyone lived in peace and harmony. 9/11 wouldn't have occurred. And Fergie would be just another woman you'd walk past, uncertain of whether or not she was a trannie.
There's a scene in Zoolander where Mugatu played by Will Ferrell flips out at the fact that nobody but him can realize the obvious fact that Zoolander's Blue Steel, Magnum and Le Tigre poses are all the same look. This is how I feel about Pharrell. The guy's been making the same beat for the last decade and nobody seems to realize it. I feel like I'm taking crazy
Yet in some sort of inverted Kafka-esque logic, as Pharell has only gotten lamer, his celebrity has expoentially increased, to the point where you can't turn around without seeing his smug and arrogant leer. Without looking at production credits on Jay-Z albums, I always know which songs Pharrell produced because they all suck ("I Just Want To Luv U"excempt). And don't even get me started on "Wamp Wamp," I'd pay money for him to fucking "stop stop" producing and singing on every piss-poor song on the radio. Hasn't anybody informed him that that reedy falsetto he uses on EVERY song is the same one that every man does when they're trying to imitate a woman's singing voice.
Yeah, he's a NERD. I get it. Now can someone please throw him in a locker?
3. Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers
Somebody Told Me....That You Wrote a song that ripped off Blur's "Boys and Girls" and somehow no one pointed it out. And sure, that song might've been catchy, as were several other singles off Hot Fuss, but rarely has rock music had so little substance and style, as every move, every note and every cheesy synth riff seemed ripped right from the New Wave playbook. But "You're Mr. Brightside." Isn't that sweet. And deep. I hope that optimism comes in handy when Sam's Town turns out to be biggest flop since Pinkerton. Except for one crucial difference: Pinkerton was a great album. Sam's Town sounds like what would happen if the guys from Dude Where's My Car? tried to write a Bruce Springsteen album.
The most hilarious thing about Brandon Flowers might be how fantastically and transparently insecure he is. How else to explain his need to mercilessly attack bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco! and The Bravery. God forbid, his poppy synth crap rock gets lumped in with them (which it should). It shows a lot about Flowers when he decides to go after those sad sacks. Was the Gimp from Pulp Fiction unavailable for insult?
In truth, if Brandon Flowers shut his mouth and just went about making bad pop rock albums I wouldn't have a problem with him. But it's this pathetic need for self-validation that drives him to constantly make statements like "with Sam's Town, we've recorded the best album of the last 20 years." Keep in mind, this is an album with a song called "Bling (Confessions of a King) and another one called "This River is Wild." Well, here's hoping, you guys get caught up in that wild river and never record another album. That would be awesome.
Question: What's wrong with this picture?
Can someone please put some clothes on this woman. She's 47 years old, a mother of two children and looks like a graduate of the Fergie School of Sex-Changes. At this point in her career, Madonna's like that aging woman you'll see in the corner of the bar, trying to make eye contact with every man that crosses her path, desperate for attention from anything that moves. This is very different from the earlier part of her career when Madonna was the slutty chick at the bar, who'll show you her tits for a bottle of Miller High Life. Either way, she sucks. And always has.
Yet somehow Madonna has fooled the world into thinking that she's some sort of deep image mastermind, conscious of her decisions to switch up her styles to keep the people guessing. This would make sense if Madonna had a true identity. But she doesn't. I'm sure in junior high, she had a different "look" each year. It wasn't because she was any sort of great mind. It was because she was desperate for an identity. It's nice to know she hasn't changed.
From her fake English accent, to her Kaballah prostylizing, to her oh-so-poignant anti-war screeds, everything about Madonna is a not-so-clever facade, masking the fact that the emperor has no clothes. She can't sing. She's never written a song with even a modicum of intelligence. And she doesn't produce. In short, she's the perfect star of the 80s. The substanceless icon of a substancelss decade. Because nothing lacks substance like Madonna. Then again, you may think differently if you've read the Sex book. I'm sure she had to be on a lot of substances to sleep with Vanilla Ice and then take nude photos of him.
1. Kanye West
Kanye West is the Paul Haggis of rap. He can't rap. He doesn't write a lot of his lyrics (ask Rhymefest if you think Kanye wrote "Jesus Walks") and he's not a very bright guy. I'm not sure why everyone regards Kanye as some sort of conscious rapper. Is it because only 80 percent of his songs are about shallow materialism?
Think Kanye's different from the rest of mainstream hip-hop. Then check out his recent collaborations with Rhymefest"I Only Want it If It's Brand New," (and no, that title isn't a joke), or his collabo with Pharell "I'm #1." Is it because he makes "conscious" statements like AIDS is a government conspiracy against black people? Or is it because he makes such incredibly insightful proclamations that George Bush doesn't care about black people (which is why he nominated two black Sec. of State's).
Meanwhile, the beat-making that everyone lauds Kanye for is basically a watered-down version of the Rza's sound, all strings (that Jon Brion arranged) and chipmunk soul samples. Even Kanye's greatest beats are all straight up samples with a drum beat added to them (think "The Takeover"). And then on top of these beats, you have to hear Kanye's flow which can be charitably described as stranded somewhere between Mase and Puff Daddy in terms of its mushy mouthed monotone.
But the real reason to hate Kanye West isn't for the fact that he's wildly overrated, nor is it because he's arguably the most materialistic and shallow person working in hip-hop today, it's the fact that he's just a flat-out bad person. Don't believe me? Than think about these comments Kanye made about the girl who he lost his virginity to at 17
"She had great tits even by my standards today. She had a bit of a gut though. I wouldn't fuck with that shit now."
Or how about how West insists that the girls he falls for these days "are porn model types, and he likes to test them on first dates by putting his favorite X-rated films on TV when they walk through the door. "
Class act. And definitely obnoxious. In fact, if there's anyone as obnoxious as Howie Mandel, it would be Kanye West, making him the recipient of the first ever Howie Mandel Most Obnoxious Person in Music Award. Tune in next year to see if Pink, Nelly Furtado, Rick Ross, Bow Wow, or others can crack this elite list. Until then, keep hate alive.