Behind The Music has been populated by some of the greatest music stories and artists ever since its inception 15 years ago. Pretty much, if you had a Behind The Music special you’ve made it to the land of music royalty. However, since re-airing in 2009, the quality of featured artists has been dismal.Not even the distinctive and eargasmic sounds of Jim Forbes could save some these dreadful documentaries. Even though some of the artists featured recently are reputable the bad still outweighs the good. DMX, 50 Cent, Pink, and Nas definitely deserve an hour special based on their topsy-turvy careers, but do Pitbull, T-Pain, Fantasia Barrino, T.I., Game, Brandy and Jennifer Hudson really deserve the once-esteemed honor? Absolutely not.
These honorees are no question talented, but still haven’t garnered the alluring heights or accomplishments that artists like Bon Jovi, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, or LL Cool J have achieved. No, not every artist was actually a genius. Vanilla Ice and Milli Vanilli were hacks, but you can’t deny that these guys had short, but huge careers and people were interested in their backgrounds and colossal collapses.
Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson have both accomplished much, but their careers hatched less than a decade ago and they still haven’t proven longevity in the game. Brandy had a few hit songs and had her own UPN sitcom, Moesha, but what has she done in the last five years? Pitbull is the ultimate swagger jacker and probably one of the most talentless and successful guys in music. He can be heard jacking nursery rhymes and tweaking pre-existing production as his own in the exciting world of Electronic Dance Music. His selection is baffling. If they wanted a Latino star Hip-Hop star at least get someone like Fat Joe or Cypress Hill; people who are critically accomplished with a long history in the culture.
Game is cool, but he still hasn’t garnered crossover appeal and his endurance still hasn’t been tested. T-Pain, where do I start? I understand VH1 did a special on Akon and Pain was there to give some insight on ‘Kon, but just because Pain is a somewhat accomplished singer and he was available to answer questions does not mean you take the opportunity to film an-hour long segment about his life.
Once upon a time, if you made timeless music and/or overcame a host of life-altering obstacles, you merited a Behind The Music special. Now the show is merely a tool for VH1 to serve the young urban audience. Let’s face it, all their reality shows correspond with each other perfectly. Basketball Wives, La La’s Full Court Life, Love & Hip-Hop, The 40 Greatest Moments Yo! MTV Raps’ Moments, Mob Wives and Couples Therapy are all shows that are geared toward the 18-45 year old range. Don’t be surprised if next season’s Behind The Music features, Soulja Boy, A$AP Rocky, Iggy Azalea, Drake, Big Sean, and Ke$ha.
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