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VMAs 2013 Review

VMAs 2013 Review

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The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards took place last night in Brooklyn, NY. Unless you live under a rock, don’t believe in social media, or are just that arrogant, you probably already knew about it. The event, created by MTV to hand out awards for best music videos, has changed drastically over the past few years. Focus on the music videos has been lessened, mostly because MTV doesn’t actually show music videos anymore. Still, the event is one of the biggest telltales for the current landscape of the music industry each year. It gives artists the opportunity to make a statement about themselves, their brand, and the future. Each year, artists go for the shock and awe factor to try and boost sales. One of the best examples is the West vs. Swift controversy of 2009. I’m going to let you finish, but the following year, Lady Gaga wore a dress made entirely of raw meat. See the pattern yet?

The 2013 awards proved to be just as entertaining, if not more than the previous years. I’ve compiled a list of things we took away from the show this year. As you read, keep in mind that voting is based entirely on the public, so you really have to throw talent out the window in a lot of cases. The NY Times also wrote a fantastic article on the current state of the VMAs that I will be referencing quite a bit.

  • MILEY – This was the second most anticipated performance of the night (hold your breath ladies, we will get to your favorite here in a second). In the past few months, Miley Cyrus’ image has undergone drastic changes. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, take a look at her video for her single “We Can’t Stop”. I wont go into full detail, but her performance was over the top. At one point, I just couldn’t stop gawking at my TV (Will Smith & fam seemed to be in the same boat). The most memorable part of the performance was her putting in #twerk on Mr. Thicke, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy the moment. A lot of people are hating on the performance, but it doesn’t matter. You are all still talking about it. That’s exactly what Miley wanted to accomplish. She won the night. As of today, she has two singles in the Top 10 on iTunes, and a pre-order album sitting at #3.

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  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis running the game – I absolutely love this story. Independent artists that are completely dominating the industry right now. The duo received five nominations for VMAs and won two (Best Hip Hop Video & Best Cinematography). The duo had their video “Thrift Shop” nominated for Video of the Year. The real kicker? The video barely cost $15k. I’ve seen local bands spend more on a music video. To me, there is no one that better understands the changing music industry than these two. The video became a viral hit on the Internet, causing many FM radio programmers to add the song to their playlists. The chain reaction drove sales of singles to 6.8 million copies. 6.8 MILLION. The song also charted out at #1 on four Billboard charts for weeks and weeks.
  • Most Awkward Presenting Duo Goes To: Jason Collins & A$AP Rocky – Jason Collins was sentimental about the meaning of Macklemore’s “Same Love”. A$AP? He was just trying to push his new album.

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    THE WEEKND WILL MAKE YOU FEEL THINGS
  • “Same Love” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis then performed their single “Same Love”, featuring Mary Lambert. To me, it’s proof of what music has the ability to do: be something bigger than one artist or and, open eyes, and empower. To prove their point even more, the duo performed the song under a ring of American flags. The icing on the cake was when Jennifer Hudson made a surprise cameo towards the end of the song. Watch the performance HERE.
  • Who the F***K is Austin Mahone? – Aaron Carter 2.0. Sit down. You know The Weeknd should’ve won “Artist To Watch”. (sidenote: how is The Weeknd still considered an artist to watch?)
  • Kanye West – I will forever be a huge fan of Kanye’s creativity and music. This performance was simple, but extremely powerful. Kanye performed “Blood On the Leaves” in front of “Lynching Tree”, a photograph by Steve McQueen. The tree pictured is somewhere near New Orleans, and used to serve as the lynching tree for slaves, with many buried underneath it. Once you learn the whole story, the performance becomes unbelievably intense. This is a MUST WATCH.
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  • T-SWIFT – I tweeted last night “I really love Taylor Swift up until the point that she opens her mouth to talk” (follow me @bdesseyn, I’m HILARIOUS). Last night was rough. She just doesn’t know how to dance. And the cameras are always on her. And then her acceptance speech featured a fan-girl moment, followed by calling out her ex in the crowd. WOMP WOMP.

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Last but not least, Justin Timberlake. Ladies, you can scream now. The total performance time was 15.5 minutes. That number is impressive in itself. After the first four I would’ve given up and taken a nap. In that 15 minutes, Timberlake revisited all of his hits, before being promptly joined on stage by NSYNC. At this point, girls everywhere lost their minds. In thirty seconds, he reduced twenty-four year old women to fourteen-year-old girls. Overall, the performance was nothing short of legendary. I found myself applauding the TV as “Mirrors” ended. In the seven years that Timberlake was away from music, he achieved a cult-like following that has turned him into a legend. To top it all off, Timberlake walked away with “Video of the Year” for “Mirrors”. Click the photo for full performance.

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If you’ve read this far, I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me ramble. Here are a couple final points. In the end, this year’s VMAs will go down in the books as one of the greatest. The real winners for the evening were Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake. Expect both of their new albums to easily go platinum in the first week. Katy Perry was just OK, which is sad, considering “Roar” is the best song of the summer. Finally, aren’t we just all tired of Lady Gaga getting naked?

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