The Island Def Jam Group, Mariah Carey
Yesterday morning I listened to Mariah Carey’s 43 Best Songs playlist on Spotify. I’ve always been big on classic, pop-ballad Mariah. You know, the artist her first husband, Tommy Mottola wanted her to be. I’ll admit that is kind of selfish on my part since she has always been influenced by hip hop artists. But as I listened past those songs she created in the early years of the 2000s decade, I (re)realized something. No, Mariah’s voice isn’t up to the same par it used to be when she released “Vision of Love” in 1990. It’s not even at “Hero” level. But she’s found away to utilize her voice in other ways. Integrating rap/urban/club (read: black) elements in her music means she gets to be a vocal actress. Breathy vocals and rap-sung verses do her favors on the non-single “Migrate” from 2008’s “E=MC²”.
Looking back though her discography, it’s easy to see that Carey has always tried to tread the line between maintaining a pop audience but still being authentic to herself and the kinds of tunes she wants to reflect her. Rap mixes pepper her collection. Fused with club songs are the revamped style of ballads she’s adopted within the past decade or so. Continue reading
When I was younger, I never used to listen to Hip-Hop/Rap. You could say that I never grew up, but while most of my peers had moved on past the era of 2000s bubblegum pop, I stayed with it and continued listening to the genre and found myself listening to, and liking my local hits and top-40 radio stations. During this time period I even found myself moving into country music and liking it as well. I didn’t think this was a bad thing until my peers started talking about artists I knew nothing about. Lil’ Fizz–who is that? Hip-Hop and R&B were out of my realm. The only time I was exposed to R&B was in the car when my mom had it on those stations (that was when R&B was good. I still prefer ’90s R&B over today’s any day.)
When I would ask “Who is that?” I would get a flurry of “You don’t know who____is?!” It made me feel embarrassed. Then when the conversation came to “Who is your favorite singer?” or “What kind of music do you listen to?” my answers would be criticized. Don’t let me bring up the fact that i listened to country music, because as many people know, apparently country music is a forsaken genre. It just doesn’t have the mass appeal that other genres do. But I did bring it up and that pretty much stopped the conversation. Unless there was a “Why do you like it? I can’t relate to it.” It’s not about relating to it, I don’t related to agriculture being my way of living either, nor do I relate to drug dealing and lusting after women. And since that had such a terrible reaction, I dare not tell them who my favorite singer is. (See my twitter and you will quickly find out who it is.)
Recently, however I have liked Hip-Hop and R&B mostly due to me just being exposed to it more. Undoubtedly the best artist out right now is Eminem. simply because he is so refreshingly honest and raw at the same time, plus, there are not antics. Em just is. And now I like the Hip-Hop genre and R&B too. There is room for Pop and Hip-Hop both in my repertoire.