Friday, September 26, 2003

MOBO WASHES WHITER: There's already gathering discontent with the Mobo awards, announced last night. This year's prizes were given out with more emphasis on the "O" - the second O, Origin, not the 'of' than the "B" - which while remaining true to the supposed spirit of the prizes (recognition for black music's influence on all music), prizes for Christina, Tim Westwood and - ahem - Justin Timberlake are causing rancour; especially in fields where there were plenty of, you know, actual black artists to choose from - most of whom are better than the more headline grabbing winners. (Justin Timberlake the best R&B act in the world? You really are having a laugh, aintcha, albeit one which garner extra tabloid space.) Maybe it's just the effect we've already seen with the Brats - that every award ceremony set up to work for a section of the music industry supposedly ignored by the Brits will, over time, tend to drift towards giving the same awards to the same people as the Brits anyway.

We've always been confused as to exactly what Black Origin means anyway - all rock is rooted in black music, so why aren't, say, The Strokes nominated? Or the White Stripes? Or do they have to restrict themselves to "Genres that were almost exclusively made by black artists a couple of years ago until it started to be popular, whereupon the industry started to foist watered down, white-faced versions onto the market?" Because the set-up at the moment, where Justin Timberlake is given a prize for being the best R&B singer on the planet, is satisfying nobody. Maybe they should just rename them the Elvises.

Oh: and three awards for - and the ceremony constructed for the convenience of - 50 Cent? Confirming for us: he's the Annie Lennox of rap.

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