Tuesday, October 23, 2007

AvBro GuestPost: From Akeelah and The Bee to Lil' Kim?!?

[AverageBro isn't the only blog I read, of course. Sometimes I'll come across a post elsewhere that says what I can't say, and far better. So, I now present to you the latest installment of our newest feature: The AverageBro GuestPost.]

Since I'm on assignment (read: Day Job) this week, AverageSis is pinch hitting for me again. Her blog is coming soon. If you're tired of your kids listening to odes to ejaculation and would rather hear something more positive in their iPod, you might just wanna pay attention.


Keke Palmer vs. Hip Hop : Round 1


I'll be the first to admit that I ride the "blame-the-artist" bandwagon for all that is wrong with hip hop. I'm so OVER hearing about booties, breastises, hustling and killing. And I'm not just singling out the male artists (although many lyrics and video scenes have literally brought me to tears). I criticize female artists just as much, if not more. But after reading an article I ran across last week about how Atlantic Records has essentially black-balled Keke Palmer's debut CD, well, I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but I actually agree with the likes of Nelly and T.I.- that the industry is forcing artists to create this derogatory race-killing style of music.

Ya'll know Keke- she rocked the lead role in the modern classic, "Akeelah and the Bee". Well, the girl can SANG too, so, like so many other celebrities, she has decided to cross over into the music industry. I know we have some naysayers in the in the audience but TRUST, she is the truth- a triple threat- actor, singer, song-writer. But she's getting hemmed up against the ropes.
Keke Palmer is the poster child for what's wrong with the music industry. Imagine being 12 year's old and Atlantic Records trying to mold Keke in the mold of Lil Kim or Foxy Brown.

The problem is that the record label wants to market the 14 year old as a sexpot but she does not want that image. Keke admits "From the very beginning Atlantic's A&R representative tried to get me to record inappropriate music, and my parents and I resisted."

Keke is urban. So as long as [she and her parents] refused to record the raunchy tracks that [the A&R Rep] sent them, he refused to pay for the good clean music they brought him. At one point he even stopped Keke from recording by not paying for studio time, we will not promote her unless she records urban music.

Just for the record Keke is from the south side of Chicago . She grew up listening to Brandy, Aaliyah and TLC, so it was not like she was recording rock music! She was recording good music, with great beats, with good positive lyrics, her music is what all kids want to hear no matter where they live.

Keke's parents tried to promote the release in Chicago( her hometown), they called the press on their own, and managed to get on some morning shows, but that was only in Chicago. Her debut cd that she worked so hard on sold 1,325 copies, the label supposedly shipped 69,000 copies… She was disappointed that the label refused to promote Keke , and now they are blaming her for poor sales, the label will not spend a dime to promote it because she refused to sing raunchy lyrics, and dares to call herself Pop/R&B and not urban / Hip-Hop.
So, after reading this, I was ecstatic to learn that a clean, high-quality hip-hop CD actually existed! I had to check it out for myself. Twelve tracks later, I vowed to do whatever I could to promote this CD. And here we are.

I'm not gonna' lie. I was skeptical at first. After all, what can a 13-year-old tell ME about life?

A Track by Track Mini-Review:

"Keep it Movin" feat. Big Meech - Great start. But Bow Wow would have been her best choice. Probably a mistake for a newbie to try to break a no-name. Especially a no-name rapper. However, Keke's swagger overshadows his mediocre rhyme.

"Game Song" - Genius. Plain and simple. Ladies, if your man spends more time on X-Box than with you, you'll love this one.

"Music Box" - The first of two tracks that brought tears to my eyes. I was blown away by the political commentary she offers.

"First Crush" - This one will take you back to puppy love. Classic.

"Friend Me Up" - Cleverly gettin' at all those fair-weather friends.

"How Will I Know" - Straight up, this one had me strollin' down memory lane.

"Footwurkin" - Repping Chi-Town. Mike Baisden, Kanye, Common- where you at? Pub your girl! I'm curious to see what the dance looks like.

"Rainbow" - Simply beautiful.

"Bottoms Up" - Admittedly, I had a problem with this track. The title says it all. BUT, the beat is TIGHT!!!!!!!!!

"Skin Deep" - This one showed me how special she is. It's saying something when a 13-year old is able to focus on inner beauty.

"Wake Up Call" - Simple, light-hearted, feel-good track.

"Hood Anthem" - The second song that moved me to tears. The best, most uplifting description of the ghetto I've ever heard in my life. My favorite track.

This CD is a breath of fresh air. No skips.

So yes, Nelly and T.I., I agree with you but you clearly need to take a lesson from Miss Palmer. Stop selling us out. Man up and make some meaningful music. After all, aren't you SICK of pimpin' ho's and poppin' off glocks? Sorry, T.I. I guess that punch was below the belt. Hope you're surviving on the inside. Like AverageBro says, don't drop the soap!

Round One goes to Keke "the Truth" Palmer.

There is no belt to be earned from this bout. The purse is comprised of record sales, so go cop the CD like, now. And buy the kids their own copy.

Atlantic Records Tries to Turn 14yr Actress Into Lil Kim [DaveyD.com]

Listen to album snippets at KekePalmer.com

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