Sunday, August 26, 2012

Prediction for the 2012 VMAs

Much has been said about the fact that MTV has so unashamedly abandoned its initial purpose as a television channel to the point that it has officially dropped the word "music" from its logo to make it just a combination of letters. But what to make out of the fact that it is still giving out awards for music videos?

Not much, since said awards carry less weight than ever before. First, because they have stopped awarding videos that are actually interesting and visually striking in order to nominate far more mainstream and popular performers. Secondly, because they've become an awards whose winners are defined by popular vote in all categories, which makes it more a measurer of popularity than quality. 

Trying to predict who wins a "moonman" might be a stupid enterprise that requieres only to look which nominee has the most followers on twitter, but you know award shows are my thing. And since people can vote for this thing, I shall too.

Best Pop Video
fun. feat. Janelle Monae - "We Are Young"
Justin Bieber - "Boyfriend" (will win)
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa - "Payphone"
One Direction - "What Makes You Beautiful"
Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris - "We Found Love" (my vote)

If people were truly voting for the best video, I think Rihanna would have this in the bag. I can't start to tell you how many people have told me how awesome that video is. And here's the thing, that song is incredibly superfluos and stupid, but also incredibly fun to listen and party to, whereas the video is trying to be all self-serious and dramatic. The only shot in that video that is as ridiculously fun as the song itself is that cigarette changing colors. Even if don't like the video except for that one bit, the song is fun enough to get my vote. (Although I almost voted for all the slow-motion in "We Are Young" if only to see the amazing Janelle Monae win an award).
As for who will win this thing, it's a fight between the two biggest tween-idols canadian Bieber and the brit guys in One Direction. I must say Bieber's song isn't entirely bad and he seems to be working hard enough to channel some kind of Usher in his musical persona lately. He doesn't exactly rise up to the challenge, but at least he's trying.

Best Rock Video
The Black Keys - "Lonely Boy" (my vote)
Coldplay - "Paradise"
Imagine Dragons - "It's Time" (will win)
Jack White - "Sixteen Sltines"
Linkin Park - "Burn It Down"

Both in terms of the best song and the best video of the bunch, The Black Keys' "Lonely Boy" is miles and away superior to the others. That sadly means they probably have no chance of winning the actual award, but they have my votes and I'll be crossing my fingers for them.
So, if not the Black Keys, then who wins? Jack White certainly doesn't seem like the type of artist who could win, especially at this point in his career. Linkin Park have been MTV favorites for years, but I refuse to believe the world isn't over them yet. Just rewatching Coldplay's video made me want to puke, but they have a reasonable chance of winning by having that elephant costume. I think Imagine Dragons will benefit from its pop-friendly track and seemingly artistic video, although Coldplay could easily win this too.

Best Hip-Hop Video
Childish Gambino - "Heartbeat" (my vote)
Drake feat. Lil Wayne - "HYFR"
Kanye West feat. Big Sean, Pusha-T and 2 Chainz - "Mercy"
Nicki Minaj feat. 2 Chainz - "Beez in the Trap"
Watch the Throne - "Paris" (will win)

As far as the winner is concerned, it's a question wether Nicki Minaj has enough fans and star-power to beat the collaboration of the two biggest names in hip-hop. Kanye and Jay-Z's "Paris" (as MTV.com calls the song) is one of the biggest songs of the year, my common sense tells me they should win this easily, but that sneaky Minaj has me second-guessing. Well, "Beez in the Trap" hasn't been as big as "Superbass" (or "Starships") so I'll stick with the Throne.
My vote, however, goes for Donald Glover's alter-ego Childish Gambino who probably wouldn't be here weren't for Glover's acting career. Still, I'm glad he's here.

Best New Artist
Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe"
Frank Ocean - "Swim Good" (my vote)
fun. feat. Janelle Monae - "We Are Young"
One Direction - "What Makes You Beautiful" (will win)
The Wanted - "Glad You Came"

Hey, I just looked at this category and is it crazy that smash-hit and meme-generator "Call Me Maybe" won't win this category? It is certainly the biggest hit of this bunch, but you would be underestimating teenage fangirls if you thought One Direction is going to lose this one. I personally am not a big fan of this boyband resurgence not only because I don't particularly care for the music they make, but because they have neglected one of the most essential parts of boybandism: the dancing! Anyway, as much as Jepsen's song is the biggest ear-worm since "we like to party", the better artist in this category far and away is Frank Ocean. I haven't liked an R&B artist in a long time, but Ocean's album is certainly worth a listen.

Best Female Video
Beyonce - "Love on Top"
Katy Perry - "Part of Me"
Nicki Minaj - "Starships"
Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris - "We Found Love" (will win and my vote)
Selena Gomez and The Scene - "Love You Like a Love Song"

Wait a second, I thought we all were in agreement that "Love You Like a Love Song" was just one of the worst songs ever recorded. Well, MTV certainly didn't think so. Anyway, this gives me a chance to prove I'm not completely crazy in my appreciation of "We Found Love", just compare the two songs. Selena's is incredibly stupid AND boring, while Rihanna's is incredibly stupid but the most fun you'll have this week. So, there you go.

Best Male Video
Chris Brown - "Turn Up the Music"
Drake feat. Rihanna - "Take Care" (Wil win)
Frank Ocean - "Swim Good" (my vote)
Justin Bieber - "Boyfriend"
Usher - "Climax"

I see what you did there nominating all Drake, Chris Brown and Rihanna in the same category MTV! I guess you're expecting the ultimate fan-response to the whole controversy surrounding these popstar's romantic life. Well, next try you want to try something like that you shouldn't have Justin Bieber nominated in the same category, no matter how many voters are against (or for) beating up your girlfriend, there will always be more fans of the Biebs.

Best Electronic Dance Music Video
Avicil - "Levels"
Calvin Harris - "Feels So Close"
Duck Sauce - "Big Bad Wolf" (my vote)
Martin Solveig - "The Night Out"
Skrillex - "First of the Year (Equinox)" (will win)

As I understand it Skrillex is the biggest name in electronic music because he plays weird noises in his itunes and still has people dancing, so I suppose he wins for having his video look like The Matrix thirteen years after that movie came out. The video I like the most in this list is Duck Sauce's, but the best bet to beat Skrillex is probably Avicil's "Levels" which finds the middleground between being a hugely popular song and having a fun video.
(Also, I don't know how Martin Solveig's song falls in the same category as the other nominees. Not that it is better or worse, but it just doesn't feel like the same genre).

Best Video with a Message
Demi Lovato - "Skyscraper" (will win)
Gym Class Heroes feat. Ryan Tedder - "The Fighter"
Kelly Clarkson - "Dark Side"
K'Naan feat. Nelly Furado - "Is Anybody Out There?" (my vote)
Lil Wayne - "How To Love"
Rise Against - "Ballad of Hollis Brown"

I already detest this new category. I think music "with a message" doesn't translate precisely to "obscure song that is clearly about something depressing or inspirational by an otherwise popular artist". All good music has a message. Some messages are worthier than others, but this category pretends something like Simple Plan's "Perfect" is a good song because it is so obviously about feeling depressed as a teenager. That being said, Demi Lovato wins for having the most popular song of the bunch and my vote goes to K'Naan for being an otherwise interesting artist.

Video of the Year
Drake feat. Rihanna - "Take Care"
Gotye feat. Kimbra - "Somebody That I Used To Know" (will win)
Katy Perry - "Wide Awake"
MIA - "Bad Girls"
Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris - "We Found Love"

For many years this category has had an existential crisis not deciding if it wants to honor the best video or the biggest artist. As of late, it has favored the artist over the visual, but this year might just be the year in which the two meet as there is the chance to honor a hugely popular song and pretend that it became a hit precisely because of its video and not because of it being featured on Glee. If MTV wants to pretend it is still connected to the world of music videos (or even pretend that television is still were people watch music videos instead of YouTube) then giving the top prize to "Somebody Thay I Used To Know" is the thing to do.
As for my vote, at this point I start to feel the shame, but I'd go with "We Found Love".

The MTV Video Music Awards air Sep. 6 at 8pm EST on MTV. You can still vote for who you want to win on MTV.com.

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