You cannot blame people like Usher, Prince, Madonna or even Michael Jackson for getting pissed off. They have, after all, risked their careers trying to form newer and fresher musical styles only to see them plunder by other shameless artists.
“Music is colorless and music is universal” should be the mantra of the likes of Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys and Britney Spears since they practically did nothing new, and stole every other “colorless” and “universal” music out there.
Let’s begin with the king, Mr. Justin Timberlake who went from popsy, cutesy “Bye, Bye, Bye” to a full-fledged, unapologetic Usher/ Michael Jackson clone. With his “Justified” which should be renamed as “Wiggerfied”, Timberlake took Usher’s voice, Jackson’s moves and girly shrieks and brought them to the suburb preteens. With a weak, feminine voice, an almost austistic set of lyrics and of course, cashing on the fame of being Mr. Britney Spears, no one is more undeserving of fame than Timberlake. It is no wonder that Usher is practically screaming for a share of his royalties.
Next come, Christina Aguilera. Is Aguilera confused or is she just being a little too opportunistic? Firstly, she was whiter than Julie Andrews crossbreeding with Barry Manilow, but when the Latin wave hit shore, she quickly dons a Spanish dress and a fake accent, and started Latino. Sensing the premature death of the Latin wave, Aguilera once again, immediately changed sides and turn “sista” and “home gurl”, Pittsburg style for her Stripper album. Next album? Watch her turn Martian.
Alicia Keys is new millennium’s interpretation of a Mariah Carey. She looks white, sings black or does she look black, sings white? But anyone with a pair of working ears and some old Motown album will tell you that Alicia Keys has not written a single original note. Just check out a Temptations album and a will find all the music for Key’s next 10 albums.
Surprising to say, Britney Spears turned out the most original of them all, musically at least. Bouncing back and forth from pop to RNB, dance to ballads and even techno to trance, Britney made the smoothest transition from album no.1 to her “in The Zone” album. No doubt she looks to Madonna, Blondie and even Bjork for lots of inspiration, but at least she managed to do it tactfully.
In the end, is pop music going color blind, where artists are free to explore musical stylings regardless of their ethnicity? NO!!! It’s still the same game of the talentless aping and dreaming for a sliver of the original and gifted ones.