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Black Sky Thinking

Why Whitey Needs To Get Off Lou Reed's Dick And Onto Lady Gaga
The Quietus , February 24th, 2010 09:53

"Grand" Mof Gimmers gives it to us straight - whitey is just too damn afraid of Lady Gaga... and would rather take refuge in fucked old codgers Reed, Osterberg Jr and Jones... but isn't that missing the fucking point?!

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Between the grizzled threesome of Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and David Bowie, bad sex, worse drugs, androgyny, alienation and good times found a good home in song. All of these artists went through pretty lean times whilst people tried to cotton on to what was going on. Iggy was too dumb and too blond. Bowie was too hungry for fame and Lou was just plain weird and distant.

These artists all struggled and plugged away until Warhol effectively sponsored the Velvets like a football team, Iggy got his dick out and Bowie stopped trying to look like a Yardbird and decided to look like a sex nymph from space. Then, the world slowly began to realise what the deal was.

If only they’d known that, if they’d formed like Voltron to make one super freak, they would’ve conquered the world in a chicken minute.

Of course, these days, we’re too jaded and cynical to let anyone strut around the place straight off the bat like they own it. Pop stars still need to earn their stripes if Whitey is going to start singing their praises.

That’s why Whitey - ostensibly, the thirtysomething guy who still likes to buy heavyweight vinyl and secretly wants to stab people who talk incessantly through gigs [This is me to a tee, Ed] – is on the run from Lady GaGa.

See, GaGa came along with Iggy sluttishness, Bowie’s pretention and Lou’s Warhol wet-dream and decided to make music that was equally pompous and knowingly dumb as the aforementioned canonised rock stars. However, GaGa suffers from being too brash and too brazen in her quest for fame. She’s hungry for it to the point where it's borderline perverted.

Whilst it’s okay to be, say, a fame-hungry music mogul like McGee or McLaren, some star-chasing popster is always going to be dismissed as throwaway trash. In GaGa, we’ve finally been granted a pop star who can play the game and, if you want, pretend that the neediness is borne from some art-school statement... something that a punk won’t ever have the audacity to confess too.

Excitement doesn’t come too thick or fast in the world of music and when it does, it’s feverishly grabbed at in chunks of flesh. GaGa is chastised in the dreariest way possible for offering, quite literally, the skin we desire. However, what Whitey can’t accept is that she’s doing a thing that is still so admired in the likes of Iggy & Co.

At long last, after years of landfill shmindie and anti-pop groups in white suits obediently awaiting the key-change, we have someone who is single-handedly trying to redefine the very notion of what a pop star can be in The Noughties and beyond. As a project, it’s bold and brilliant and going to require a whole lotta shaking of the tail-feather.

Whitey has for too long, sat around talking about the lack of influential pop stars on the planet. I was one of those guys too. Where are the likes of The Beatles, casting a hand over the whole of popular culture and making people readdress the way they go about their business? You want a maverick spirit?

We’re slap-bang in the middle of a pop era which is seeing singers knowingly redefining themselves and creating personas. Every single one of them is aping GaGa’s moves. Pop’s most important people have fallen like trees to be more like The First Lady of Pop. Beyonce wanted a piece of the GaGa action and Rihanna went from being the archetypal ghetto hustler to someone between the two. Between the three, we’ve got the glitterball adrenaline rush of the embryonic days of Glam when Bowie, T-Rex and Roxy Music.

Whilst Whitey will heap praise on the Sainted rock of yore with the usual Trad. Arr. spiel of wondrous androgyny and inventive, hooky pop, GaGa arrives similarly to her own fanfare with the weirds and everyone dismisses it as cheap, whorish and Rizla-thin. Whilst it may be all of those things, Whitey won’t let on that those three things are three of the greatest things a pop-star can be.

Speaking as someone who caught the opening show of GaGa’s Monster Ball Tour, I could draw the parallel between her and the rock of ages. She out-Queened MUSE and out-weirded Marilyn Manson. Dancers vomiting paint, flaming pianos and 15ft high Angler fish all appeared out of a show so dazzling that only a fool would deny the bombastic fun... which, incidentally, is music’s raison d'être.

Musos probably collectively sneered at Madonna when she started to aim high with her pointed bra way back when, only to find themselves looking back (from a safe-distance) and sagely nodding in agreement that she was "pretty good" and how "we could do with another one of her like right now".

However, GaGa is here and now and to be celebrated and enjoyed. In ‘Just Dance’, we’ve got her call to arms. It’s her ‘Into The Groove’. It isn’t a mark of her talent, but rather, the track that was released to acclimatise us all at the entrance of The Haus of GaGa. It’s simple and direct and echoing the original sentiment of rock & roll.

It wouldn’t be until ‘Bad Romance’ that everyone would suddenly begin to understand what GaGa was doing. The kids went wild for it and the older fans went from adoring to infatuated. If Whitey could have let the pop-snobbery go for one second, they would have realised that GaGa was effectively realising the future of pop as imagined by Human League when they made Dare.

She sends that great message of "dance like there’s no-one watching, sing like there’s no-one listening and fuck like you’re being filmed". Something you won’t hear in the pointless noodling of Rock Critic Approved Animal Collective.

And so, if Whitey appreciates the trash-aesthetic, he certainly won’t accept that there’s something deeper to be found. To the braying know-it-all, she’s little more than some dumb-bitch in hotpants singing Europop. However, that’s the opinion of someone skating the surface like a cultural pond-fly. You don’t have to dig deep to find an entire world of scarred-bravado, melodramatic camp and vulnerability. While “Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah, roma-roma-ma-ah, gaga-ooh-la-la” is tossed to the side by idiots to short-sighted to see that a line like that could’ve been from the frenzied pen of Little Richard, elsewhere, she’s creating great rock & roll lyrics.

The words of ‘Poker Face’ in a retro-futuristic setting are easy to miss, yet split it from the irresistible synthpop and it’s a classic shit-kicker ‘50s greaser county track. “I wanna hold em' like they do in Texas, please... fold em', let em' hit me, raise it baby, stay with me... Luck and intuition, play the cards with spades to start.” Elsewhere, “Some men may follow me... but you choose death and company”, which would be praised to the point of parody if it came from the mouth of Morrissey or Dylan.

Like Carole King before her, GaGa is a one woman Brill Building.

Of course, all of that is missed because the easiest thing to do in the world is to hate a famous pop-star. GaGa is weird and an attention seeker... sure... but you gotta imagine that pop-conservatists were exactly the same when Ziggy Stardust emerged from his glittery pod and played guitar with Weird and Gilly.

GaGa is more than just a famous singer-songwriter. Whitey’s brain scrambles at the mere mention of her name. They don’t get it... they’re not even getting near the ballpark of it. All the while, those who have climbed on board are reliving that great moment in music when fans stopped caring about what some dumb critic or nay-saying catholic record buyer thought and hopped on the train dressed in weird clothes and strange make-up. As last seen in Glam, Friday night conjecture is out of the window in favour of the beautiful and weird blossoming of the suppressed thoughts in people’s minds. T-Rex got boys in feather boas. GaGa is bringing back punk S&M and mirrored tits.

So next time you hear the dumb lyric of your favourite garage punk 45 or listen to anything produced by Vince Clarke... the next time you dig the strange Phil Spector track or thrill at the oddballery of Grace Jones, ask yourself why you aren’t fizzing with undiluted excitement at a star that combines all the weird forward-thinking aesthetic and battered and bruised tenderness of a pop-star that matches all those things on her own terms and managed to shit out a pop-art Faberge egg the size of a juggernaut.

The suicide blonde train-wreck has got the kids onside and Whitey on the run – some of whom will invariably relent and accept that we’ve got The Real Deal on our hands. So big is Lady GaGa’s star is that it doesn’t need defending. The only people who need addressing are those dismissing her act on principle.

You really ought to enjoy this phenomenon while you can because we’re not due one for another 20 years. While Whitey skulks with his John and Beverley Martyn long-players, the rest of us will just dance, “half psychotic, sick, hypnotic” (and if that’s not a garage punk sentiment, I don’t know what is).

Wanna know where all the proper rock stars have gone? Well there’s one who has decided to camp in the pop hemisphere and you were too precious to even notice.

Bonno Crox
Feb 24, 2010 3:09pm

Laughable.

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Tony
Feb 24, 2010 3:35pm

I'll see your laughable and raise you a risible.

Let's not go down the contrairian comment-whore route, please. It just demeans us all.

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John Doran
Feb 24, 2010 3:46pm

Even though Whitey in this instance is me to a tee - I'm a record collecting, gig shushing, uptight, 'serious' music fan - I agree with the sentiment of this article entirely.

The disconnect between what is old and acceptable and what is new and acceptable is massive.

And for the main part 'serious' music fans *hated* The Stooges, VU and Bowie back in the day.

I think it's rather up to you to explain why his thesis is 'laughable' and 'risible'.

I'd certainly take Gaga's last single over Animal Collective's last EP.

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Bonno Crox
Feb 24, 2010 3:53pm

So why can't the writer be happy with the fact that Lady Gaga sells lots of records rather than setting up a strawman to get angry about? Why is a general audience that just likes novelty any better than a more selective audience?

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Whitish
Feb 24, 2010 3:53pm

By Whitey I assume you mean music critics? Don't they all love Lady Ga Ga?

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Brianna
Feb 24, 2010 3:54pm

Got way turned off by what was sure to be an interesting article by Ellie Goulding ad in the middle of it. GaGa's amazing, Goulding can please fuck off now.

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Echelons Morris
Feb 24, 2010 4:27pm

I don't really go for any of them. Sounds like TV Thinking.

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Tony Badgers
Feb 24, 2010 4:39pm

In reply to John Doran:

"And for the main part 'serious' music fans *hated* The Stooges, VU and Bowie back in the day. "

So? Presumably 'serious' music fans hated Little Jimmy Osmond too. Should we like him too?

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Moe
Feb 24, 2010 4:52pm

The irony is that the moment that so-called Whitey capitulates and embraces Lady Gaga is the moment that she moves from cultural pop warrior to laughable has been. If she's not controversial and contrarian, she loses her cutting edge and her grip on the fascination of the kids. Her talent lies in her holding up a cultural mirror, and then smashing that mirror and reassembling the pieces as she sees fit. The image that confronts Whitey is one that is distorted, unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Once that image becomes acceptable and commonplace, she becomes just another pop singer and, well, good luck with that.

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ian mulligan
Feb 24, 2010 4:58pm

In reply to Tony Badgers:

Obviously, you dont understand the music business, or the history of sonic art. Your intent of comparing influential icons with a multi-image producer asset, who is filling a void right now, is really laughable. get your head in the freezer and pray Mokutu to turn it whitey. Maybe Krupps can do the trick.

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MrLukowski
Feb 24, 2010 5:11pm

Slicked in Barley-ism it may be, but the whole 'I dare to like a pop artist' things is old as the fucking hills. The whole article just seems to be this lengthy explanation of why the writer believes he or she is some sort of iconoclast for liking a hugely popular artist, as if they need some sort of elaborate intellectual justification to do so. Gaga writes some good choons, a lot of people have known this for quite a long time, inventing a mythical 'The Man' figure and suggesting you're rebelling against him by liking her is a bit excruciating. I think The Fame is a bit too long and could do with a prune - does this mean The Kids are going to lamp me?

Also I have a feeling that the fact that she's on the front cover of Q this month probably serves to undermine whatever's being argued here.

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John Doran
Feb 24, 2010 5:34pm

In reply to Tony Badgers:

You're onto something here because many 'serious' music critics back in the day would have seen Bowie as not much more than LJO because of his previous incarnation as Swinging Carnaby Street's Anthony Newley.

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tenbenson
Feb 24, 2010 6:23pm

ooh! a "think piece" on lady gaga!

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Jim Woodward
Feb 24, 2010 6:27pm

Calm down lad! You'll do yourself a mischief. I think one of the interesting things that's happened in music over the last few years is that the gap between what's regarded as serious music (a nonsensical term really) and disposable pop has narrowed, to the extent where there's nothing all that surprising about unpleasantly bearded types like myself listening to both, I dunno, the Horrors and Little Boots. If you want to top this article your going to have to come up with a theory that posits Demi Lovato as a major countercultural force.

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Rich M
Feb 24, 2010 7:04pm

But who's your favourite Spice Girl?

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Griffin
Feb 24, 2010 7:06pm

This author seems to be making the argument that "whitey" should stop dissing GaGa, and the reason we should not dismiss her is that she is doing the same kind of work as Lou Reed, David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Yet for all of this author's barely coherent passion, he has still NOT come up with a convincing counter-argument for the very criticism that underlies his thesis - that GAGA IS BALDLY DERIVATIVE OF DAVID BOWIE and the others. Yes, she does what she does with great competence, but there is NOTHING NEW OR INNOVATIVE about what she is doing - it has all been done before, and better, by the very threesome that the author seems so keen on dismissing.
You cannot substitute a lengthy rant for a coherent argument. Go to grad school or shut up.

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Sam
Feb 24, 2010 7:55pm

In reply to Griffin:

I don't think I've ever received the weekly Quietus newsletter, despite signing up for it numerous times.

Lou Reed was crap once he lost his bandmates, ditto Iggy Pop (except when Bowie helped him out). When I heard Lady Ga Ga she sounded like Madonna i.e. boring (I think it was 'Poker Face'). I can't see any connection between them at all, apart from fab outfits.

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billbaggins
Feb 24, 2010 8:18pm

I'd agree that white middle-aged musos are way too closed-off to the marvels of modern pop and Lady Gaga, arguably like Eminem before her, was sent to f*** with what's risque and beyond the pale for the music consumer. But I don't think she's what you paint her as. If you can give me someone who combines the invention of Queen, the outrageousness of Gaga and the lyrical weight of Reed I'll take it. She's not it.

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John Doran
Feb 24, 2010 8:20pm

In reply to Sam:

Hmm. That's odd. Can you send your email address to info@thequietus.com and we'll try and sort this out. We're a pretty small opperation and the site creaks a little bit.

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Jim Woodward
Feb 24, 2010 8:37pm

In reply to John Doran:

what Sam said.

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Claire
Feb 24, 2010 9:05pm

" and Rihanna went from being the archetypal ghetto hustler.."

are you kidding me with this racist crap? do your research before you spout off this nonsense.

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Jessy
Feb 24, 2010 9:09pm

Gaga repeats the same lines over and over again, has an octave range of a craptastic 2.2-5 octaves at max, EVEN WHEN SHE HAS BEEN TRAINED, and she has copied everything her fans see as original from other artists. The famous hairbow? Done in Japan already in 2002. Her clothes are designed and created by people who work for her, her name was something her producer came up with...So what has she done, exactly? Except talk about sex every other minute to remind us that she is "independent?" Oh, and personally spark rumours that has a dick so that she could get attention?

You also can't be independent when you have someone like Akon and other people standing behind you in the shadows, can you?

I was hoping that after Madonna retired real MUSICIANS would take over, but entertainers are once again getting all the attention.

The fact that she is seen as the "best thing ever" reveals a lot about our society as a whole and how stupid the majority of people are.

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Marie T
Feb 24, 2010 9:34pm

" and Rihanna went from being the archetypal ghetto hustler.."
Rihanna was never ghetto or a hustler, she's always done pop music. She's not even American, but she is black....I guess that's all it takes for Quietus "Whiteys" to consider someone a ghetto hustler aping. So ridiculous. Her style is completely different from this lady.

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John Doran
Feb 24, 2010 9:34pm

In reply to Claire:

Yeah, how in God's name could you ever apply such a blinkered term to someone who's recorded with Jay-Z, signed to Def Jam, collaborated on an Memphis Bleek album named after a housing project, released an album called 'Good Girl, Gone Bad', sings about killing a boyfriend in 'Unfaithful' and the wholesome 'Rehab'.

Quite obviously this article is referring to what is perceived as genre-typical posturing - of course she's not a ghetto hustler. Neither, believe it or not, was the son of a lecturer, trained drama student, gifted ballet dancer Tupac Shakur - well not at the outset of his career anyway.

So while she's obviously not fucking ODB - you can still jam the accusations of racism up your arse.

(I don't believe the ghetto hustler thing is applicable either but you can drop that other shit immediately.)

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Some Guy
Feb 24, 2010 9:37pm

I bet Peaches must be well pissed off.

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Gloria
Feb 24, 2010 11:16pm

@John Doran,

So signing to a rapper's label and collaborating with a rapper makes your image that of a Ghetto Hustler? I guess you can add Mariah, Gaga, Madonna, Fergie and a host of other non-black women to that mix. Yes, it was racist. Being afraid of the word doesn't make it less so. It makes you a coward. Rihanna's first album was Carribean poppish ("Pon de replay" anyone). And Gaga, Britney, and Madonna have produced MUCH more vulgar and even violent music than "unfaithful" or "good girls gone bad" (with a first single about fucking umbrellas). Seriously, I don't even believe you believe your own bullshit. Wanna do something for race relations? Don't be a childish prick when someone points out the obvious. Rihanna isn't even American...how she fits into the author's idea of "ghetto hustler" is strictly based on her race and the *decision* to associate her with it. It's practically a pop prerequisite nowadays to associate with hip hop in some ways\ because hip hop IS pop music now. Rihanna hasn't used half the "urban imagery" that Fergie or even Ke$ha has used. Yet they aren't "ghetto hustler-ish". Please.

The article is really lame by the way.

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Moon
Feb 24, 2010 11:28pm

In reply to Jessy:

Come now: if poptacularity was measured by vocal range then Celine Dion would be the best popstar ever.

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John Doran
Feb 25, 2010 12:32am

In reply to Gloria:

Congratulations on ignoring what I said. It doesn't matter how wrong you think the person is - this is not racism.

Oh, and this would be Rihanna who has collaborated with Ne Yo author of the mainly forgettable 'Ghetto Love Story'.

And Rihanna who features on the Cham album 'Ghetto Story'. She duets on the track Boom Boom. You may have heard it before.

Go to bed little troll. You're making yourself look like a fool.

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Claire
Feb 25, 2010 1:11am

In reply to John Doran:

Babe, we still aren't seeing where you're justifying a claim that RIHANNA herself is a ghetto hustler. All you're doing is naming people she's associated with, not actually saying things SHE'S released to deserve that moniker. Please, we're waiting for more of your bullshit.

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Hugo
Feb 25, 2010 1:42am

In reply to Claire:

When I was 15, I loved VU, Bowie, and The Stooges...(having loved Floyd, Genesis, Can, Who, whatever...)
Now I'm 54...and my 10-year old daughter and I love Gaga.

Who gives a fuck if "it's been done before"...what hasn't since 1980?!

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Gloria
Feb 25, 2010 5:14am

@ John

Every artist who has said the word "ghetto" is now a "ghetto hustler"? STRONG analytical skills there, lmao. Again, count ALL of those women I mentioned. . And arguing for the sake of arguing doesn't make you right. The article said: "Rihanna ***went from being*** the archetypal ghetto hustler to someone between the two" This implies she STARTED off like a thug (LMAO @ the thought), and she was and has been far from that. Just because dummies like you and/or the author can't distinguish her from a rapper doesn't mean we're all that dense. Want to peg everyone associated with Jay-Z and Kanye as ghetto hustlers...well that's half the industry INCLUDING LADY GAGA. Rihanna doesn't write her lyrics-everyone knows this- so crediting her for Ne-Yo's writing is a serious stretch. Having the word "ghetto" in your song doesn't make you a "ghetto hustler", and that certainly isn't her image. It was simple writing supported by simple thinkers. Google any number of Fergie collabos and you will hear the same thing.

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confused
Feb 25, 2010 8:53am

In reply to Gloria:

"Wanna do something for race relations? Don't be a childish prick when someone points out the obvious. Rihanna isn't even American...how she fits into the author's idea of "ghetto hustler"

America is the only place in the world that has Ghetto's and hustlers? I don't think the author has defined what is meant by this and you seem to be imposing your own rules onto it. The hustler part is more tricky to justify (I admit to knowing little of her music or background), but a brief use of the interwebz and knowledge that ghetto's, and hustling, has the square root of fuck all unique to the US kind of woke me up.

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John Doran
Feb 25, 2010 9:04am

In reply to Gloria:

*sigh* I didn't said that anyone who uses the term ghetto is a ghetto hustler - I'm not entirely sure what one of those is. I said - and please pay some attention this time - that you can't accuse Mof of racism. You haven't read his/her piece carefully (the fact that you've mistaken me for the author kind of suggests this) s/he is talking CLEARLY about an artist positioning themselves within typical genre boundaries. S/he no more thinks Rihanna is a con artist who lives in a dilapidated neighbourhood than he thinks David Bowie is a transexual from Mars. So she's from the Caribbean - they don't have ghettos there? What a fucking risible suggestion. Look up the root etymology of the word ghetto and you'll see that it's taken from Borghetto, a slum on the outskirts of Venice (that's Venice Italy not Venice Beach) in the 1600s. Since then it has gone through several meanings, some of them in the 1940s through to the 1980s - pretty appalling by anyone's standards but this is not - IS NOT a word that has always had a solely black American interpretation.

But if you want to use the main meaning that this word has had since the mid-90s then ghetto has more of a fashion connotation than a housing one. Check Cassells Dictionary of slang (this is an etymological text book not some shit website): ghetto thing - subject pertaining to black culture. Hustler has (and has had) multiple meanings including sex addict, hard worker, survivor, blue collar worker, thief, prostitute, beggar, drug dealer and, more prevelantly here: player/playa.

Do you think the well bred white boys from Simian Mobile Disco are suggesting with their amusing neo-rave hit from three years ago Hustler that they are A, put upon sex workers, B, con artists who earn money through card tricks, or C, are indulging in self-aggrandizing posturing.

I'm up for a discussion on anything (for the record AGAIN I don't even agree with this article as I clearly state in a comment up top - this article attacks me as a white, 30-something, vinyl fetishizing, 'serious' music fan - it just made me laugh) but I will not stand for accusations of racism against my writers or my site.

Now man up and explain clearly what you mean without whingeing or trolling or FUCK OFF.

Now, either tell me how, exactly

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Tim Russell
Feb 25, 2010 9:08am

Articles like this are why I love this site & why I gave up on the music press years ago. By which I mean articles with which I completely disagree (Gaga is a poor man's Madonna, and if you knew how I feel about Madonna, you'd realise what a damning criticism that is) but to which I have to doff my cap for their articulacy, wit and intelligence all the same.

She dresses funny, affects an "I AM WEIRD" persona and makes decent chart pop. There is nothing original in this, people have been doing it for years. To set her up as some kind of year zero antidote to supposedly "boring" old white guys is ludicrous in the extreme - first to suggest that an antidote to Bowie/Iggy/Lou is even needed, second to propose such a musically safe, mediocre artist to do the job.

But the fact that the premise is a bit silly doesn't mean I can't enjoy this for what it is - a cracking bit of music writing of the kind that is now as rare as decent new Bowie albums.

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Ubaghs
Feb 25, 2010 10:07am

Gaga's real strength, and this is where she stands out from the pop pack, is that she's a brilliant art director masquerading as a pop-star.

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Mark Cullen
Feb 25, 2010 11:55am

I heard 'Bad Romance' for the first time on a friend's radio driving to work. Here I have a song that takes elements of MIA and electronica into the pop realm. I can actually hear Bernard Sumner singing the same lyrics without stretching my imagination. This is an amalgamation of things I love, and yet...

Here we have a pop freak who is presented in virtually every media outlet (you know, those one's run by 'whitey'?) as the savior of pop. She's David Bowie, Kate Bush and Britney rolled into one ball of breakthrough experimentalism. She's an artist! And yet...

The music is just not there.

Listen to Lady Gaga without concern for her persona and you'll leave empty handed. I feel as though I'm being cheated by a corporate 'bad cover version' of freak music. She's less bowie and more Jobriath. A cynical creation of big label mimicry.

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LRH
Feb 25, 2010 12:03pm

This seems to have caused a fair old rammy.

All I'd say about Lady Gaga is that I quite like her, I'll not be buying any of her records or anything but I think she's at least interesting.
Someone mentioned Marylin Manson which is exactly what I though of her, some kind of "pop" (whatever that means these days) version of Manson.

I think the problem though is that all the music Channels, radio stations and magazines are saturated to the point of breaking with her.

I don't care how much you like something to begin with, hearing a song twice an hour every hour of every day for over a year, backed with the 4 other songs she has out at the time also being played in that hour ... that'll suck the fun right out of it.

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tenbenson
Feb 25, 2010 1:34pm

is there room in all this to suggest that lady gaga's music is bad?

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Some Guy
Feb 25, 2010 2:43pm

In reply to Ubaghs :

Man, I can't imagine how much of a dipshit someone would have to be to come out with stuff like that.

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andrw
Feb 25, 2010 4:45pm

In reply to Mark Cullen:

absolutely right...the music just is not there....bowie was a revolution as was the velvets. gaga is just britny in drag. but personally i like her image its fun, but before i read this article i had never heard one of her songs.

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Tony Badgers
Feb 25, 2010 4:56pm

Pretty much what Tim Russell said. End of.

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Jon Dough
Feb 25, 2010 7:43pm

The hyperbole in the story and comments only serve to obscure the whole Lady GaGa phenomenon further.

The truth, as usual, rests in a rather dull middle ground. Lady Gaga's imagery and ideas are a neat post-modern pastiché of pop, but when we get down to the music, and only the music, not the costumes, the make-up, the gender bending or the lyrics, but the music, we are left with rather impotent sounding synth bombast.

It appears less that Lady Gaga is worth paying attention to, and more that she is the only thing to pay attention to. A last ditch marketing smart bomb, sent from the mainstream record industry to fight back the seemingly untameable, unmarketable, yet increasingly overwhelming tsunami of independent music on the internet.

All we hear is Radio Gaga. But not for long.

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Gloria
Feb 25, 2010 9:38pm

Glad you read (and deleted) my post. It's one thing to be wrong-it's another to be wrong and cowardly. LMAO. I'm sure this won't be published but as long as you see it, it's cool.

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John Doran
Feb 25, 2010 10:03pm

In reply to Gloria:

If you go back and answer my points I'll leave the post published. If not I won't. We have a no troll rule. Sorry.

And we tend to delete dull-witted internet literalists and selective readers. If you're not old enough for actual debate you're not old enough for this site.

I'm sorry I told you to fuck off but I'm not going to have my writers called racist when there isn't a shred of evidence.

As an experiment go away and google "ghetto" and "fashion label" and then google "hustler" and "fashion label" and then report back on how many hits you get. Then google "dictionary", "meaning" "ghetto" and let me know how many different current usages that word has now. If you've got time check out how many different uses it's had over the last 100 years.

Ghetto thing, ghetto fabulous and many such terms have nothing to do with slum dwelling and everything to do with certain types of aspirant lifestyles and social groups and fashion.

Now you may not like this and you may not like me or my website but this is incontrovertible.

You're ignoring a central theme here which is people like Clipse and 50Cent are (as the real deal, does what it says on the tin, generally from the underclass singing/rapping in the manner of reportage) in the minority here.

And once we're past that (Puff Daddy - privately educated comes from money, Tupac university educated, Doctor Dre a pre-gangsta electro star in a homo-erotic health care themed electro dance act) then we're really on to etymology and usage.

Now, if you think that the words ghetto and hustler have only one logical and literal interpretation in the world of modern R&B (yes, yes, from a Carribean/Barbadean moneyed perspective) and hip hop, then yes, you're right Mof is racist.

But as we know, as with all Afro American slang, the meaning of words will always be fluid and in this instance the meanings referred to pertain to fashion (in its literal sense and musical sense).

And then add to this the fact that even though the words ghetto and hustler in 2010 don't have a racist connotation in music, we're talking about someone who appears on an album called 'Ghetto Stories' and you can see why I'm annoyed.

Now. I've been polite and laid out what I mean as clearly as I can. Please stick to what I'm saying and stop trolling. Answer what I'm saying not what you're pretending I'm saying or I will delete your reply.

Thank you.

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John Doran
Feb 25, 2010 10:07pm

In reply to John Doran:

And no, I have no idea what age, gender, orientation, race, creed or colour Mof is. Why should I have? They submitted some work. I liked it. I printed it. I'm 100% unconcerned about any of that stuff.

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Gloria
Feb 26, 2010 1:42am

John,

I answered your points, but you didn't agree, so you deleted it. If disagreeing with someone makes a poster a troll, perhaps we have another difference in definition. Also, you can't address people with disrespect and expect politeness back. Telling people who disagree with you to "fuck off" or "jam their accusation up their arse" is immature to say the very least and sets the tone for the discussion. A discussion like this can be had, where 2 parties completely disagree, with no personlized animosity involved. But I will address your points (again). Either way, this will be the very last time I respond to it, because from the very beginning your fear of the word "racism" has prevented you from actually dealing with my responses rather than talking *around* them. Deleted or not this post is mostly for your eyes. Since you run this site, you have every motivation to "save face", which is why you deleted my other post. So here it goes:

1. There is a difference between categorizing AN ACTION as racist versus A PERSON. If you reread my post, I said IT WAS racist. Which means: the categorization of her as an ghetto hustler is rooted in nothing more than the fact that she is black. Regardless of her callobos, she is, nor has she ever been, a ghetto hustler. If here mere association with a song or album is enough for the classification, again I ask, what about EVERYONE else-including Beyonce and Gaga or Timberlake and Fergie. Ghetto Hustler was used in the article as a descriptor of HER. I don't know the author or his/her reputation. I can't say that person is racist or not. But the categorization was weak and I said that much. ALL people are capable of doing/saying racist things, maliciously or not, intentionally or not. It doesn't make it less racist. Again, if the word scares you, you have some growing to do.
2. The evidence is in the quote. "and Rihanna went from being the archetypal ghetto hustler.." The word WENT, implies that she started with a persona. Even if you make the argument that she behave that way now (which she doesn't), she certainly didn't have that image when she started. She was a reggae infused pop singer. A slightly chubbier Carribean version of Beyonce. Ghetto hustler? Sorry, it's not there. The author doesn't even make an attempt to justify or explain the categorization-so your attempts to fumble for a rationale seem contrived, and can hardly represent the author's intent.
3. I've already told you that the multiple meanings of the word don't matter-we ALL know what the usage was about in THIS context. Focusing on the fact that the meanings of words change over time is a way to obscure the argument. Nearly every word evolves. That's not new. I googled Ghetto Fashion-NOT ONE PICTURE OF RHIANNA. I googled Hustler fashion-SAME results. Why? Because you see Rihanna at Fashion weak in Milan, not at the Rainbow in Harlem. This is 2010, and when you google the word ghetto, guess what color the people are who show up. BLACK. So despite the word's multiple meanings, we know that in a contemporary context, when you use the word ghetto-one race of people are overwhelmingly associated with it, DESPITE the fact that any group of poeple living in isolation live in ghettos. Denotative v. Conotative. It makes the author's statement no less race-based.
4. Rihanna's style also does not constitute as ghetto fabulous. Again, reference google or google images. Personally I think she tries too hard at the Avant Guard thing, but she does not dress like Nikki Minaj.
5. Non of your examples regarding Dr. Dre, Tupac, or Puff Daddy suit this argument. TuPac and Dre specifically cultivated urban and ghetto personas, and Diddy maintained association by claiming that origin. Even if they weren't of those backgrounds, they CLAIMED it. Rihanna as of yet, has not. None of the definitions you gave apply to Rihanna. And if your only argument is that all words evolve, it STILL simply doesn't fit. And associating with it through pop music is not claiming it, as it seems most pop acts do at some point. As I said, if that were the case you can tack a list of Black and White artist onto the "ghetto hustler" label-including GaGa.
6. You said " as with all Afro American slang the meaning of words will always be fluid and in this instance the meanings referred to pertain to fashion (in its literal sense and musical sense)"
No it didn't. The quote stated that Rihanna STARTED OFF as some sort of "ghetto hustler", and landed in between Beyonce and Gaga. Meaning she moved to something other than ghetto hustlerness. I'm still trying to figure out how the author came to that conclusion. Your history lesson simply doesn't provide that. Even if you take into account a song she did years after she came out, Rihanna of 2004/2005 doesn't fit that persona. And correct me if I'm wrong, are you basically trying to say the word Ghetto has no real meaning in that context? Then my next question is, why use it?
7. You said: And then add to this the fact that even though the words ghetto and hustler in 2010 don't have a racist connotation in music, we're talking about someone who appears on an album called 'Ghetto Stories' and you can see why I'm annoyed"

I say: You haven't shown that the word ghetto has no racist connotations. In fact, many of the references you listed support my assertion. Many of the source you asked me to check show that the ***contemporary association*** has racial connotations. There is no album called ghetto love stories. It's a song on an album, and she Rihanna is featured on that album as well. Not on the song. Celine Dion has also worked with Ne-Yo, is she a ghetto hustler? If a mere collaboration on an **album** (not even the song) makes her a "ghetto hustler", then as I said, there are a list of artists that could fit that place, including the likes of Timberlake, Fergie, Gaga-all of who have worked with artist who have labeled themselves or their songs as ghetto in some respect. Fergie takes the White urbanite persona to another level at times, and I've only read one article that ever acknowledged her ability to "play ghetto" without being labeled "ghetto". Is your position that, the mere appearance on an album or song with the word ghetto makes you a ghetto hustler?? I think you're annoyed because some people are just annoyed by the word racist and the concept. But deciding that I'm a troll because we disagree doesn't make your position more sensible than mine. You talk about genre-typical posturing and ALL of the examples you listed (jay-z, memphis bleek, rehab etc)-with exception of being signed to Jay-Z's label-has been done by plenty of white artists who evade the ghetto label...why? Again, what about Rihanna's starting imagery or persona was ghetto or translates to ghetto husler??? Heck, even Phil Collins worked with Bone Thugs in Harmony! Is he a thug now??

Again, NONE of this addresses the fact that she simply did not ***start with that image*** as the author suggested. Why did he/she suggests that she did. What was it exactly, about Rihanna's early image, led the author to conclude that? And I (along with a few others) have our suspicions. That's all.

Again, I did not call the author racist, I said **the statement** was racist. And juding from the responses to this article tracked on another blog, I'm not the only person who caught it. So if you or the author can politely answer MY question, "what about Rihanna's **starting imagery or persona** was ghetto or translates to ghetto husler, as opposed to say....the artist PINK's initial persona?????" I have no problem changing my opinion. But none of your history lessons or all around irritability has proven anything. Also, I'm not concerned about the person's color either. They could very well be Black and make the same race-based assessment about another Black person. The point is-it was a stupid and race-based assessment. And the article was weak overall IMHO).

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toby hardback
Feb 26, 2010 7:12am

In reply to Gloria:

I think she's more gateaux than ghetto.

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John Doran
Feb 26, 2010 9:22am

In reply to Gloria:

1. "Which means: the categorization of her as an ghetto hustler is rooted in nothing more than the fact that she is black" We'll have to agree to disagree. I see it as nothing more than the fact that she is an R&B artist who has appeared on an album called Ghetto Stories and has collabed with various artists, sung songs about murder, drug use, using sex as a weapon and even has an album called Good Girl Gone Bad. I agree with you that the point Mof makes is wrong - but there is too much potential evidence to call it racist.

2. It's not really clear what you're saying.

3. Google Rihanna and ghetto: 876,000 hits. The first is from a blog called www.hotghettomess.com The subject being discussed: how money doesn't stop rhianna from being "ghetto" because it's not to do with money any more. By the way - they're talking about the two massive tattoos of guns she has. You are making wild accusations. It's up to you to prove which context of the words Mof was using. I'd say in a context of describing pop singers of all differet styles - it's in the context fashion and pop, not race.

4. We're not OK magazine. If you stick to googling words rather than pictures we may actually get somewhere. And it's avant garde - from the French meaning ahead of the mass. Very few people are avant garde these days and I'm in total agreement with you again, she is not one of them. This however does not make Mof a racist.

5. That's a good point but all of these people helped set up and codify the genre conventions. Conventions which are set up in place now. It would be just as daft to say that everyone who is in a Satanic Metal band actually praises Satan. A lot of them such as Tom Araya from Slayer are practising Christians. They, as I, expect a more nuanced intelligent interpretation from their fans. Rihanna deserves the same respect. She has tattoos of guns - we know she's not an assassin, she sings songs about murdering her boyfriend - we know it's a metaphor for ending their relationship, she sings on an album called ghetto stories - we should understand implicitly that the important word here is 'Stories' not ghetto. Plenty of white and Asian artists do trade under ghetto and hustler and other such post gangsta styles. Where black innovation in music leads, the white and black mainstream will always follow.

6. No, in this instance it is indicative of an R&B lifestyle or aspiration. Even the completely fucking useless Urban Dictionary shows you that the most modern mutations of the word relate to urban Black American youth culture in general not to living in slums. This has not been it's primary usage since the 80s/early 90s. There are countless examples: to talk ghetto does not mean to talk like you grew up in an unfurnished tenement building with no hot water. It means to talk like a gangsta rapper. The difference is mildly subtle I'll grant you but still distinct. The biggest fan base - in terms of purchasing power - for a lot of R&B and hip hop that trades in ghetto hustler stuff (a complex mix of aspirant ambition, reportage, fantasy, urban myth, replacement fairy tale warning to youngsters) - is suburban and white in America and has been for some time so to dismiss it as purely a black thing is too simplistic an analysis anyway.

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John Doran
Feb 26, 2010 9:34am

In reply to John Doran:

7. You've answered your own question. Yes, lots of white artists can and do associate themselves with a 'ghetto' 'hustler' personality. Mof didn't mention Fergie. I don't see any reason why he should have done. We don't cover shit bands like Black Eyed Peas. Timberlake is a classic example however. Massive Whitey hit last year by the none-more white SMD: "I'm a hustler baby, that's what my daddy made me." No you aren't you're both Geology undergraduates with a taste for MDMA. Does it make the record racist or even dislikable? No.

8. Bone Thugs is not 'Thug' in any sense of the word. Unless you admit that language is more complicated than you're giving it credit for there's no point in carrying this on. No, Phil Collins is not a 'thug'. He's a fucking cunt but not a thug. But then comparing a bald middle aged prog rocker to an R&B singer is kinda disingenuous right?

9. You're right that I shouldn't have associated racist comment with meaning the person who said it was racist. But other than on that point I think you're wrong. Sorry.

So, no, it looks like we're going to have to agree to disagree here. If you won't accept that a very current prevalent meaning of both ghetto and hustler have everything to do with youth culture (and not even solely black youth culture at that) then we've got little else to discuss.

Google Justin Timberlake and ghetto and just look at how many people (half a million) are talking about just how ghetto he is or isn't.

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Gloria
Feb 26, 2010 12:24pm

1. As you've noted, plenty of music acts (black and white) have done the same-I never here them referred to as ghetto, even if what they *do* seems "ghetto". Drug use? Gaga bragged about it in real life. Murder? Gaga's video. Suicide? Gaga's performance. Drug use, sex, and violence are all pop industry standards. Does not "ghetto" make. And when does "good girl gone bad"=ghetto? Im not seeing the connection. Bad and ghetto aren't interchangeable.

2. The author implied that Rihanna *started* her career as a "Ghetto Hustler". I'm simply waiting for evidence to support that. To say that someone went from A to B, means you believe they started at point A. In the article, that point is "ghetto hustler". The Rihanna of old (and new) was far from that.

3/4. I just googled my name with the word ghetto, and 700,000 hits came up. This is why I'm not a fan of quantitative research. Google Lady Gaga and Ghetto, you will get 861,000 hits. Considering her career is half that of Rihanna's I would say she's winning the ghetto race by your standards. Truthfully though, those numbers mean nothing. Unless you actually check every site (plenty of which aren't even active websites), the mere number only tells us how many sites *might* have both words appearing on it. Not necessarily appearing together in a meaningful sentence. The website hotghettomess was targeted by social activist groups for focusing **black people specifically**. Look through the site. They even attempted to make it a show, which was quickly canceled (BET was the channel btw). While they may not overtly say it's aimed towards blacks, browse through the site and see how many white people are featured. Again, the connotation is still there-even on the site you referenced. This may not be OK magazine, but I put more stock in the effects of repeated "black=ghetto" imagery than google hits. People generally don't read. They love to listen and watch.
5. I understand your points, but it still doesn't end, in my mind, to a descriptor of her as ghetto any more than any other female artist with multiple collaborations. I've heard artist like Ke$ha or some other Indie White female artist (can't think of her name) claim that label in so many words, and still seem to evade the stereotyping nonetheless. And the reality is, very few (if any) of the European persuasion are ever categorized as such. No matter what they do. I can't deny those men helped cultivate a genre, but I find it interesting who is placed under it and why. And there seems to be little rhyme or reason to it. Gaga has songs called "paper gangsta" and "I like it rough"...conclusions? Very few will be made about her, even if she came out on stage with a doo-rag and a bamboo earrings.
6. Even in the beginning of her career, how could the author gage her "aspirations"? That's what you're saying the article said. She **went from** ghettoness to some hybrid of gaga and beyonce, and that's false-unless one of the other two are also ghetto (I wonder which one). Why quote a source you deem useless? But for the record, I checked the site, and they make no specification about "ghetto" culture being associated specifically with youth. But every racial reference appears to indicate black as the racial foundation of ghetto. I don't dismiss the affinity for the ghetto fantasy as black-it is most definitely young, male, and American. BUT, the imagery and association is overwhelmingly Black. And as we've noted, most of the pioneers of that genre are black, but every black person in the industry is not of that musical genre. That's what I see happening in that article. When I hear ghetto frequently used as an adjective for white artist (and white people in general), I will gladly relent.
7. So where are the references to Timberlake or SMD as hustlers or ghetto pushers/hustlers?? Not just on this site, but in general? You just won't find it. At the very least least SMD **classified themselves** as such, whether we agree or not is another debate.
8.I've already acknowledged that language is fluid, I'm just illustrating the silly the label by association is. It's the same thing you're doing to Rihanna. BTW, she is hardly R&B-and the classification of her as such is proof of how stupid these genres are to begin with. Virtually every black female singer is classified as "R&B" or "soul" by media standards, regardless of their style. Truthfully she couldn't be anything other than Britney-esq pop if she tried. How are bone thugs not really thugs? I think two of them were in jail before their first album debuted. Sounds pretty accurate for at least some of the group.
9. I really hate when I get into these internet "internet things", but seriously: you acknowledge language is complicated, and can carry multiple meanings. Rihanna hasn't done anything image-wise distinctly different from GaGa or Beyonce, so what exactly makes her what the other two are not. All three have long histories of musical and personal association with rappers. So what is the distinction. Often, I find that journalist who lack creativity simply use words/descriptors to fill spaces. I would say that was the case here. But why ghetto? I've already explained my views on that one. We both agree the ghetto cliche permeates almost every facet of pop music, but it seems to be an overused descriptor for one racial group (unless they do country or rock). I would love to see/hear the day we call Ke$sha a "hot ghetto mess". She raps. Public drunkenness is okay with her. She name-drops rappers. Hell, HER NAME IS Kesha with a dollar sign... how has she not gotten SOME "ghetto" flack for any of it yet? It boggles my mind.....

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MBNBN
Feb 26, 2010 12:50pm

you know, I originally misread the headline of this article as Whitney...needless to say I was confused.

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John Doran
Feb 26, 2010 1:30pm

In reply to Gloria:

Look, you're asking for stuff that's outside of my responsibility. People are out there discussing whether Timberlake is ghetto or not. If you google timberlake and ghetto you get half a million hits and the first twenty I checked are culture and music websites like Vice and Rolling Stone and AOL discussing whether he's ghetto or not. The evidence is there right under your nose. Stop asking me where is my evidence. You can't move for evidence of what I'm saying. You're starting to sound like a flat earther or 9/11 truther.

So there is a debate, meaning Timberlake has been called ghetto by many people and it's not a pejorative. So has Gaga. So has Rihanna.

I'm in total agreement with you (ONE MORE TIME!) that Mof's argument is weak in this sentence. It isn't however racist.

I've made my case as clearly as possible. I think if you still believe we've got a racist agenda - you should contact an anti-fascist, anti-racist organisation.

This is what I'd do. I write about metal a lot and on many occasion I've got in touch with the police about certain bands. This has earned me nothing but grief. In one case the guy a Nazi skin mounted a year long hate campaign against me including self-releasing a single called 'We Hate You John Doran' which contained the charming sentiment "you're a disgrace to your race". I've still got hours worth of taped death threats that he sent me which I'm happy to post on here if needs be.

He's currently held in a secure psychiatric unit because after the last time he read something I wrote about him and the dregs of Nazi scum in this country he attacked someone with a samurai sword. I've been punched in the face and in one case stabbed during an interview standing up to bands with less than savoury politics.

But these people are racists who make racist statements rather than people who make clumsy statements that don't reach your completely subjective politically correct demands.

This is my last word on the subject. Feel free to carry on in my absence. Anything that strays into libel will be removed.

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grit
Feb 26, 2010 5:25pm

aww... is that it?

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Coke Talk
Feb 27, 2010 2:52am

This article was like being hate fucked by the ghost of Hunter S. Thomson in a bed of vintage Rolling Stone magazines. Delicious. Loved every minute of it. Keep up the good work!

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MF
Feb 28, 2010 9:33am

In reply to Coke Talk:

Rihanna was on a Memphis Bleek cd, yo!

Fight the power, Doran.

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Hackspotter
Mar 1, 2010 1:32am

How awful is analysis? Idiotic point of view, garbage writing. Ugh. Writer is some Gonzo-wannabe-Lester-Bangs-no-talent-hack.

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Herd Shearer
Mar 1, 2010 1:35am

Is it even possible to be original anymore or is every numbnut music writer going to copy Lester Bangs. Get your own personality --- Baaaaaaaaaaah! <--->

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Matthew Lindsay
Mar 1, 2010 5:20am

More boorish, neurotically subjective masquerading as journalism . More wrenching figures from their cultural context and inappropriately and inaccuracutaly using them as a frame of reference. Lady gaga's telletubby europop is in no way analogous to little richard's awapbap , a genuinely orgasmic outburst compared to inane gobblygook. And inane gobblygook is just fine but don't try and elevate it to something it's not. This smacks of the worst kind of cultural desperation akin to people of another generation trying to say Oasis are on a par with the Beatles or Suede with Bowie The Smiths . It may be retrogressive and a little depressing but it doesn't mean it ain't true; they are simply not as good.
And sorry but Lady gaga is hardly similar to any three of this artists. she claims to exhibit a Bowie influence and i guess you could see it but it's alittle tenuous. surely she is far more in the vein of Madonna. Maybe musically a more quantifiable talent but yet to produce anything quite as immaculate as La ciccone's early hits (no i never sneered at Madonna at the time. Lady gaga is the consummate, perfect modern pop phenomenon -same old thing in brand new drag , to quote Mr Bowie. Britney in a slightly hipper, quirkier veneer reconfigured by Diesel. I only care about how a record sounds and yes, it sounds like incessant , 'I like to move it'motivator europop .
Your assertion that these three men were reviled by the whole of the music journo intelliangentsia is also an erroneous one. the denim clad strand were hostile to the obvious charms of Bowie and Roxy but plenty of smart people were susceptible to them. Lady Gaga may well morph into something interesting. She sounds like a great idea on paper but the sound emanating from the speakers is tinny and ghastly. I find your accusatory tone somewhat misplaced as Lady Gaga is the one making an awful lot of money. and that, it seems, is all that matters these days.

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The Intl
Mar 1, 2010 9:43am

Aww, BULLSHIT. The thing is her music sucks. Period. So get off MY dick, whitey.

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Vibe
Mar 2, 2010 7:10pm

@53 - I'm way past your "Whitey" stage and more or less hooked on Gaga in much the same way I was hooked on The Who for over 30 years. There are definite flaws in your assumptions...though most of your observations were pretty close.

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Cannerus
Mar 3, 2010 2:44am

"There are two kinds of people in the world; those who love Gaga and those who are yet to love Gaga."
There's something bigger going on here than many of you are willing to admit and it's because you feel threatened. Check the Wiki on "Rockism" for more details.

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Tom O'Bedlam
Mar 14, 2010 6:04pm

I completely agree with the sentiment in this article, I've been having exactly the same conversation with my music nerd mates for a while.
Little surprised at the comment thread here, I fully expected there to be those that disagreed with it, which is obviously fine. but I'm really confused by the racism dialog and the "neurotically subjective masquerading as journalism" comment, its in the Opinion section. If it wasn't subjective it would be doing a pretty poor job of being an Opinion piece. Just saying...

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Miguel
Mar 17, 2010 11:50am

Let's put it this way! In a couple of years NOBODY WILL CARE ABOUT LADY GAGA!!!! LOL Lou Reed, Iggy and Bowie will always be remembered.

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Isaiah
Mar 20, 2010 3:50pm

More pathetic over(read:pseudo)-intellectualizing from an insecure white kid who who falls outside the Gaga target demo.

Why read the classics when cliff notes are so much cheaper

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Kristian Goddard
Apr 3, 2010 6:40pm

Nice article, I couldn't agree more really but the music just isn't good enough, is it?

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Tim Russell
Apr 17, 2010 5:38am

In reply to Kristian Goddard:

There's also an 's missing from the end of the article title

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Johnny Nothing
Apr 19, 2010 4:33pm

I'm so not getting this. Just had a quick listen to her singles on iTunes and I really didn't hear anything to get excited about. At all. And yet look at all these comments. Mine included. We all need to get out more.

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RockerFace
Aug 4, 2010 12:48pm

OK... I admit this was eye opening. For the 1st time I was ready to open up my mind, look and listen to Gaga without prejudice.

I agree about Gaga's show being the modern day Bowie/Queen/Visage/Human League. As a huge Bowie-the-chameleon-of-rock fan I must admire that. Hat's off to her on this one.

I also agree some of the words are much better than the average rock band produces.

But - damn-her! Why does she do Pop?
I hate pop. I love rock.
Had she been a rocker - I would follow the crowd cheering.
But as it is - the show is great, the words are fine, but the bottom line's the music, baby - and this just ain't my style.

---
Trivia footnote:
Q: How was Lady Gaga called before she was Lady Gaga?
A: She was called Miss Gaga, of course!

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Oct 16, 2010 6:21am

Who cares.

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jfnz
Nov 4, 2010 4:22pm

I really fail to see how race was brought into this equation when Gaga, last I checked, was a WHITEY.

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Amrita
Dec 31, 2010 3:21pm

Gaga's music is bland, certainly not a proper rockstar either (did you see the laughable preppy fan Lollapalooza wannabe rockstar ish ? cringeworthy)

No one is sulking, they just have better taste than you

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Amrita
Dec 31, 2010 3:24pm

In reply to RockerFace:

"As a huge Bowie-the-chameleon-of-rock fan I must admire that. "

how can you even compare them ? ???????????

her dancers look like ed hardy metrosexuals and 3rd rate dancers
she can't even dance properly
her styles are often styles from other artists
nevermind the music

you must be off your tits, if you think it compares ANYWHERE NEAR a Bowie

*taps head*

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G
Jan 7, 2011 4:01pm

COMPLETELY agree with this article. Only I wish she did more rock than pop. Her BEST songs are the ones that arent released on the radio because they arent electro enough. Like "Disco Heaven" "summerboy" "Retro Dance Freak". You can hear guitar, piano, drums all over those tracks and they are amazing. I dont get why she only releases the electro ones as singles. You need to buy her album and hear the hidden gems to understand this article. Her singles dont do her justice. Shes choosing them wrong. Hopefully she has more rock in her next album. She should have been a rock star not pop. I also love when its just her on the piano.

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hans kulisch
May 31, 2011 1:26pm

great article!!!!

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Jeffrey Prosser
Jun 7, 2011 10:04pm

In reply to Tony Badgers:

Yes

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Sarah
Jul 15, 2011 7:01am

In reply to Mark Cullen:

"Listen to Lady Gaga without concern for her persona and you'll leave empty handed."

Yes. Who gives a crap if she wears Gap or Maison Martin Margiela? If you overlook the distracting sparkly smokescreen there's really not a lot there. I've just put on Bad Romance after Space Oddity and the difference, after reading this article, is actually quite amusing.

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Mars
Feb 25, 2013 3:52am

Fuck you, Quietus.

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May 17, 2013 12:55am

I don't know who Whitney is and have heard lady gagas three hits and danced to them at a party a few years back. I think I will keep it that way. Just turned my son on to velvet underground. He loves them. He already knows iggy and dave

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McDonalds
Sep 15, 2013 5:08am

Her music is fucking shit.

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McDonalds
Sep 15, 2013 5:21am

Who on earth wrote this shit ?

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Dec 30, 2013 1:56pm

Lady gagagaga

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Aug 18, 2014 1:24am

Mof IS "Whitey": pretentious, porcine old queer, ripping off the VICE-writing style to draft this sycophantic vomit praising a plagiarist hack who will be washed up & forgotten in 10 years.

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