Posted tagged ‘vh1’

My 2011 Resolution: Meet Someone Named Chloe.

December 30, 2010

Chloes: Real Women or Creations of the Jim Henson Children's Television Workshop?

NOTE: It’s the last week of December and you’re undoubtedly aware that all those other blogs are wrapped up in “Best of 2010” hoopla. As some of you know, that’s not how we do things around here. The staff here at Popular Opinions met last week over a Pizza Hut Cheesy-Bites Pizza and unanimously agreed to once again reserve our “Best of 2010” lists for the cultural dead zone that is January. Fear not my boy, you will be told how good things were in convenient list form very soon. Until then, here’s more of our celebrated hard-hitting journalism.

I went from Phoenix, Arizona, all the way to Tacoma, Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A. Northern California where the girls are warm, and in 24 years I have never met a single person named Chloe. Ever. There isn’t one in all four of my High School yearbooks. There’s not a single Chloe in any of my workplace directories. Even at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, which presumably would be a National Chloe Preservation, did not one endangered Chloe cross my path. Do Chloes really exist? Some say “maybe,” others aren’t so sure.

A movie I not only haven't seen, but didn't mention at all in this article!

Now I have friends, and that’s a fact, like Agnes, Agatha, Jermaine and Jack Treasure, Henrietta, Memorie and Jed, but this one name seems to have eluded even my quaintest of acquaintances. I was first introduced to the concept of someone actually being named Chloe in the summer of ’99. I had become obsessed with VH1’s premiere non-Pop-Up related program “Behind the Music” to the point of having favorite regulars in the form of wistful groupies. Apparently, if you were in a band in the 80s, chances are you at least did shots out of the autopsy of someone named Chloe. The wild Los Angeles Chloe was a fascinating creature, often an aspiring actress (re: stripper / porn star / mobile bar fly) who would be decked head-to-toe in tight black leather, accessorized by either a torn neon t-shirt, pendulum earrings or hair more teased than the kid who had to sit in the hallway during the sex talk in grade school. They were looking for nothing but a good time, someone to talk dirty to them and to further investigate whether every rose did indeed have a thorn. I’ve always been of the belief that it’s always a good time for a good time, so this programming built up the legend of Chloes in my mind to the point where I knew the second that one unskinny-bopped into my life it would shift my rock and roll lifestyle* into overdrive.

That day has yet to happen. As of December 29th, 2010 at 6:34 PM I am Chloe-less. Of course I’ve seen motion pictures with Chloë Sevigny, cheered the swimming of Chloe Sutton and ignored Khloe Kardashian**, but these have all been through the same glowing picture tube that saw [insert instance of a politician being less than 100% truthful and accurate in their public statements] so I simply don’t know if I can take this as evidence. Perhaps the problem here is that I’m of the age where most of the wild party Chloes’ children would be, so they opted not to name their daughters after themselves in hopes they can escape their mothers’ decadent past. This would explain why I’ve also never met a Bambi, Candi or Adolf.

The very Chloe I would see week-in week-out on Behind the Music. I assume she was the first Chloe and all other Chloes are the result of her asexual reproduction.

But why let such a glamorous name die? According to the internet, the name “Chloe” has an even richer history than extras in the “Home Sweet Home” video. It was an alternate title for the Greek goddess Demeter, who represented fertility, the harvest and the sanctity of marriage. The connection to the name can be found in the literal Greek translation; “Young Black Teenagers” “Young Green Shoot.” Yes, that first little glimpse of a seedling’s flourishing promise is the basis for a name of such extravagant decadence. Oddly enough, the name is also found in the New Testament’s first letter to the Corinthians, as the title of the house of those who were contesting which God they were baptized under.

The name had a tremendous resurgence of popularity in the early 2000s throughout both the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, so it could be hypothesized that the “wild Chloe” gene skips a generation. Being ridiculously impatient a motivated person, I’d rather meet a Chloe before stories of Chloe encounters become as mind-numbingly ubiquitous as “so, have you seen Donnie Darko? What does it mean?” Thus my goal for the new year that I’m not referring to as a resolution because New Year’s Resolutions never get accomplished, is to meet at least one person named Chloe. You ever meet one? What was it like? What should I prepare for? How do they compare to Olivias?

*Sometimes at Taco Bell I’ll buy an extra Chalupa and heat it up for lunch the next day. I know, I’m out of control!

**Who I don’t recognize as a real ‘Chloe’ because she spells it with a ‘K,’ making her the exception to the Mortal Kombat theorem that replacing the letter ‘c’ with a ‘k’ in anything automatically makes it ten times better.

VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2010 – Reporting Live!

June 4, 2010

Best 2010 Hip-Hop Honors Ever!

It’s the early morning of Friday, June 4th and I’m writing this having just returned home from the 2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors event. This year’s theme is The Dirty South, honoring such legends as Master P, J. Prince (founder of Rap-A-Lot), 2 Live Crew, Timbaland and Jermaine Dupri. Thanks to the homie Adam Bernard, I was invited to witness the festivities firsthand and let me tell you what a rare treat this was. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and would spend my weekends hopping from music store to music store. Due to the North Star state’s geographic location, rappers from every region eventually had their material matriculate back to us. I got a fever for several simultaneous flavors and really learned to love rap music for its various variants. Now was my first opportunity ever to see many of my heroes in the flesh, so of course I had to be there.

Seriously.

Before I begin, I want to point out that the entire show was shot “out-of-order” so if anything in this recap happens in a different sequence or doesn’t make it to air, you can chalk it up to the magic of television. I’m going to attempt to avoid spoilers, but knowing VH1’s track record you’re going to be bombarded with commercials of all the surprises so unless you have the will-power to not watch the numerous “What Chilli Wants” marathons over the next 72 hours I’d advise you to proceed with caution.

After hours of standing, the night began with a tribute to Rap-A-Lot Records’s founder J Prince. Rap-A-Lot’s string of releases from 1990-1994 is my favorite period of any record label’s output ever. The medley of the label’s biggest hits began with Geto Boys member Willie D and The Game performing “Mind Playin Tricks on Me.” Say what you will about The Game’s music and penchant for name-dropping, but his love for Hip-Hop really shines through in his live performance as he knocked Bushwick Bill’s verse out of the park. The medley also included Juvenile doing “Nolia Clap” and Drake dueting with UGK’s Bun-B. None of these acts were announced beforehand, so you can imagine how the place exploded when they just appeared on stage one-right-after-another.

We were then treated to the opening vignette and an incredible brief (We’re talking 2-3 jokes tops) monologue from Craig Robinson, best known as Daryll from “The Office.” His dry wit was quite a change from the playfully obnoxious partying of Tracy Morgan in years past, but with the flamboyance of the talent being honored and doing the honoring he made an effective straight man, making the presentation palatable for the not-so-country attendants at hand. Also on hand were comedians Eddie Griffin and “Community’s” Donald Glover, the latter of which’s introduction of 2 Live Crew got the biggest laugh of the night.

I thought it was a smart move to divide the tributes by region, allowing the night to work as something of a crash course in “Country Rap Tunes.” Odd as it may sound, Jermaine Dupri got the biggest reactions of the night. For whatever reason, whenever his name was mentioned, the crowd erupted. Odder still is that he got this warm reception yet his tribute video and performance was the only one audible heckled. The only thing I found jeer-worthy of his segment was Diddy giving the worst performance of the night with arguably the least convincing lip-syncing ever publicly performed. What made it so bad was that during his “Welcome to Atlanta” verse, Dupri was still backing him up with a live mic resulting in awkward audio for all.

As for the second worst performance, it fell in the middle of an otherwise great No Limit tribute. Romeo came out dressed like his father circa-’96 to do “I’m Bout It, Bout It” and his tremendous attention to detail in the attire made it work. Off to a great start, things come to a screeching halt when this transitioned with the smoothness of a parking break into Silkk the Shocker’s “That’s Kool.” Despite being the final “hit” of the original No Limit Records, Silkk gave-up midway through the verse repeating one bar four times and then half-finishing the rest, just in time for Trina to miss her cue, do the second half of the chorus, and exit. Gucci Mane then came out as he and Kid Capri attempted to reenergize the crowd getting them just barely ready for MYSTIKAL to do his “MAKE ‘EM SAY UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” verse, saving the night. It’s really great to see Mystikal back on the scene and as energetic as ever, but his appearance just made the choice of “That’s Kool” all the more baffling. Here you have a chance to reunite Silkk and Mystikal for arguably the label’s third most well known song (“It Ain’t My Fault”) and instead you opt for “That’s Kool,” a song nobody really liked or wanted to hear in the first place?

While Silkk Lupe-ing himself will most likely still make it to air, one thing you won’t see is the Serato breaking down during 2 Live Crew’s performance, resulting in them restarting three times over. Sadly, this means you’re going to miss the night’s most genuinely touching moment. After “Me So Horny” and “Hoochie Mama,” the opening notes of “Banned in the USA” suddenly went silent. With the show stopped and countless technicians rushing the stage to fix the problem, Luke walks out and says “No Music? F**k it then. Let’s do this.” He then goes into the Crew’s old “One and One” routine (their reinterpretation of The Kinks “All Day and All of the Night”) as each member joins in with a “just like old times” look in their eyes. Moments like this are what a show like Hip Hop Honors should be about and it would be a shame if you never got to see it.

With the bulk of this show set to be made in post-production, the lineup’s randomness really drained the crowd. The real star, however, was the tremendous set design and art direction. Every artist had a distinct motif that really captured who they were. It helped give each region a distinct look to match the sound and added a grandiose touch of theatrics. Both VH1 and the artists involved really went out of their way to make the night as comprehensive as possible, from Cool Breeze (the man who coined the phrase “Dirty South” on Goodie Mobb’s 1995 album Soul Food) performing the Organized Noize tribute to Mannie Fresh grabbing the mic in between 2 Live Crew technical difficulties to acknowledge Suave House and other southern icons that VH1 forgot.

While I really have no idea how this is going to look on air, I had a great time. The Rap-A-Lot medley was the best performance and believe me when I tell you it is not to be missed. If you check it out, be sure to look for me. I’m the one white guy who isn’t wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses indoors or has a flat-out embarrassing tattoo. Seriously caucazoids, step your game up!

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!