The MTV 2002 Video Music Awards (by Pizon)

I know some of these points have been made previously, but this is the official “Pizon’s thoughts on the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards” article, so deal with it. For those of you thinking it’s uncharacteristic of me to even turn on MTV, get to know me better. I love music – period. But that simple fact will not stop me from letting my true feelings be known about an awards show that is admittedly generally entertaining to watch.

And this year’s was no different, though certain things did irk me right off the bat. For starters, what the hell was up with that slow motion quasi-cinematic camera shit? Was that really necessary? Did it do anything to add to the show? It felt like a really bad acid trip, and provided an uneasy feeling throughout the night.

That, of course, was offset by the sight of Ashanti and Christina Aguilera, which made me grateful that we were moving in slow motion. Damn, they are fine. Wouldn’t it be cool if Christina kicked Eminem in the balls when he came up to accept his second of four awards? Speaking of Em, I found his altercation with Moby hilarious. It was refreshing to see Eminem get some heel heat for once, and it definitively proved that he can dish it out, but can’t handle it being thrown back at him. I thought he was about to lose it.

But we already knew Eminem’s an asshole. What about his performance? On a night where the hip-hop/R&B performances were the worst of the bunch, his was probably the best. The whole “White America” set was dope, even though he only did one verse. He also handled the first two verses of “Cleanin Out My Closet” fairly well, though I could have sworn he was giving head to the microphone rather than rapping into it. Oh, well. At least he wasn’t lip-synching.

Guess whose mics weren’t even turned on? P. Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Ja Rule, and Ashanti. At least the Ja/Ashanti performance will serve to confirm in everyone’s mind that they both absolutely suck. And why was Ashanti up for an award? Are the standards really that low these days? As someone recently put it, “Anyone who can’t hit the proper notes without utilizing the tuning slide on the mixing board should not even be considered for an award. Ashanti shouldn’t have been nominated – her audio engineers should have.” And that’s the simple truth. I can look at her all day, but can’t stomach her awful singing. To make things worse, Nas’ part of the set was pretty unimpressive as well. I think somebody needs to stop smoking so damn much – it affects your lungs more than you may realize. Though I’ve seen Nasir perform live before, and his stage show is pretty much always weak. It’s the fact that his songs themselves are so dope that saves it, and hearing just a portion of “One Mic,” even if it was recited poorly, was nice in juxtaposition with the absolute crap that came before it. And again, at least he was actually rapping. But someone should have turned his mic off before he had the chance to say, “In 2003, I’m bringing peace to hip hop.” Yeah. Good luck doing that on a label called “Murda Inc.” jackass.

Oh yeah, the P. Diddy Circus was also in town. Yawn. Why does Puffy rap? I don’t get it. He’s a very talented producer – stick to that, please. I mean, we all know he doesn’t write his own rhymes, but when you can’t even recite them on stage (no, moving your lips to the words while the record plays doesn’t count), what’s the point? And can someone tell me what Usher was doing on stage with no microphone? At least pretend you’re singing! Props to Pharrell for being the only member of that set with a live mic.

Needless to say, I was fairly disappointed with the hip hop/R&B segments of the show. But the worst of all had to be the award for Best Hip Hop Video. Now, I realize these awards don’t exactly carry much credibility and should be taken with a grain of salt. But, uh, don’t you think it’s about time someone tells MTV that there is no difference between rap and hip hop music? And that Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule are singers, NOT hip hop artists? That shit would be like if Eminem were to win the award for Best R&B Video. Though I’m kinda surprised he didn’t – it seemed like he took home every other damn trophy.

But seriously, wasn’t it great to see Rudy’s reaction after being kissed by J-Lo (who looked horrible, by the way – what happened?). “Thank you, Jennifer” about six or seven times in a row. I don’t know what was more entertaining: that, or hearing his stank ass get BOOED by the New York crowd. Sorry Rudy, our attention span may be short, but not short enough to forget that you were a pathetic excuse for a mayor. Booooo.

Looking back at what I wrote so far, you probably have the impression that I absolutely hated the show. Well, that’s not entirely true. Granted, I was over-attentive to the hip hop stuff, but I think it’s fair to say I have a bias when it comes to that. Ironically enough, I thought the segments of the show that didn’t deal with hip hop (I guess I don’t have to mention R&B anymore since MTV apparently thinks they are the same thing) were superior. The TLC tribute was truly touching, and hands down the most important moment of the night. The surprise performance by Guns ‘N Roses was also cool. As were the mini mock infomercials they incorporated into the nominee montages. Unfortunately, I have to point out that the automobile anti-theft device bit before the Best Rap Award montage was disgusting, and shows to prove that after all this time, MTV still views us in a negative light.

All in all, the 2002 VMAs were not much different from what I expected. There really weren’t many surprises at all, which isn’t necessarily a good thing – but then again, when MTV shocks you, it’s usually for the worse. The final verdict is that there was a little bit of everything, which made for an overall enjoyable few hours. There was the good (Ashanti’s legs), the bad (Ashanti’s voice), the ugly (Pink), and the “what the hell was that?” (Jimmy Fallon).

And then there was me, one of the millions who tuned in whose opinion is worthless in the larger scheme of things.

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