Oh, Say Can You Remember the Lyrics?
Oh, Say Can You Remember the Lyrics?
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
What a week! I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's day. I've been debating on which hot topic to write about this week. Between the reactions to Ryan Coogler's Black Panther release and the entertaining remixes of Fergie's not-so-flattering rendition of the National Anthem at the NBA All Star Game, there are so many thoughts running through my head.
Unfortunately, I have yet to see Black Panther, but I am enjoying the opinions and memes flooding through my social media. I did, however, catch a couple video snippets of the preshow that was held at select theaters on the night of the premiere. Whether it was an African fashion show or an actual African drum performance, fans were really showing their excitement. This made me wonder if their expression could be categorized as simple cosplay or is it deeper than that? If you're a fan of Marvel Comics, then you are aware of the lack of heroes of color. The Black Panther was the first superheroes of color to appear in a mainstream comic series. When? In 1966. Over 50 years ago. To top it all off, this film is also directed by Ryan Coogler, an award winning, African American film director. I'm going to leave that topic there for thought, and naturally I will go with the topic that I am more informed on, Fergie.
You must be exhausted with talking about the National Anthem. Sometimes, to me, this performance seems to be bigger news than the game itself. I wonder what criteria is considered when selecting a performer for the national anthem. I wonder who is responsible. If you haven't heard Fergie's rendition of our Star-Spangled Banner, go listen to it. Now. I'll wait. I'll start by saying that after further discovery I would like to issue Pink a pass on her National Anthem performance. The Flu is not a friendly virus. Fergie's performance was at best "different" in my opinion. Once again, this goes back to analyzing what would be considered appropriate. There are videos flying around the internet with content such as facial reactions of the players during the performance all the way to musical remixes accompanied by humorous clips. I'll be honest. I've never been a huge fan of Fergie as a solo artist, but without bias, I will say that she has built an amazing career for herself. She found her legs when she was originally a singer with the group The Black-Eyed Peas, a group that I still enjoy. Since leaving the group she has still had much success, but I considered her to be more of a singer/rapper hybrid. Right? All jokes aside, can we all agree that maybe she wouldn’t be the ideal candidate for an a cappella performance? Agree or disagree, clearly the euphoria wasn't enough for "Fergie", "Disastrous", and "National Anthem" to stay out of multiple headlines.
As most things do, this peaked my curiosity for who some of the best National Anthem performers were. I narrowed it down to one. Whitney Houston.
After watching her performance of the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXV in 1991, I only had one question: how did I miss this video? Her effortless delivery of each note is intoxicating. Of course, with the good comes the comparable bad. I also found myself thinking that maybe the media was being harsh, as they often are, when they described Fergie's performance as disastrous. So, in order to find the good in the bad, I looked for the worst.
And the winner is...Christina Aguilera. I have a hard time getting through embarrassing content so, for my likeminded readers, I thought not tease you with a link. If you're curious to find a video of the performance I am referring to, simply YouTube "Christina Aguilera Super bowl XLV". In my opinion, Christina has an amazing voice. Her range, although often seeming out of control, impresses me. That aside, this might have been the worst performance of the Star-Spangled Banner I have yet to find, although, R. Kelly's contemporary rendition came in as a close second. Not only were some of her notes questionable, but she also forgot some of the words. That's tough. I've always thought the most nerve racking parts about performing the National Anthem anywhere would be nailing the high note and remembering the lyrics in the correct order. What's the lesson here? Simply put, I would say less is more. Practice makes perfect or for my southern friends, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I'm looking forward to next year’s performances.
As I mentioned earlier, I have not seen the Black Panther Film yet, but I do have plans to view it this weekend. To those of you that have already seen this movie, is the hype about this film justified in your opinion? What makes it so special to you? What Artist had the best performance of the National Anthem so far? Who would you consider to be a great candidate?