Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mary vs. Beyonce

So Jay-Z had his big concert the other night and Mary J. couldn't be there so Beyonce sang her part on "Can't Knock the Hustle." I know the whole debate over who did a better job has been discussed thoroughly already, but I've been crazy busy and now that I have a spare minute I'm putting in my two cents dammit.

Here's Bee's version:

Here's Mary's version:

I sympathize with people who are in their teens and twenties and basically grew up on Bee, but sorry, she doesn't have it in her to do that song or at least not pull off the emotion that speaks to having lived through the old-school New York hiphop scene. Bee's an entertainer. A great entertainer. Her voice is fine, but there's no emotional depth there. Let's face it, she's like Madonna with parental supervision.

Mary, on the other hand, technically isn't really that good of a singer. I remember once I saw her perform at some diva's concert with Whitney--before her voice got wrecked obviously--and I was stunned to hear how weak Mary's pipes were in comparison to the Whit. It was like Whitney was up there practically filing her nails, putting in almost no effort and yet still completely FILLING the room with her voice. While meanwhile, poor Mary was up there sweating and strutting and you could still barely hear her.

Still, none of that matters. People who love Mary lover her cause she understands the hurt that women feel and is able to translate that into a sound that's pure gut feeling. And as tough as she is, she still wears her damn heart on her sleeve. If you don't believe that, check out this video and watch her face when she discovers that K-Ci is an ignoramous:

As for Mary's fashion, I have very mixed feelings. Many times she wears stuff that I simply do not get. BUT, I always respect her choices. I never look at her and think, oh man, Mary needs to hire a new stylist because I get the feeling that she makes a lot of her own style decisions. Get this, she has an actual point of view--crazy, isn't it? And I never look at her and think, is that Mary or is that Rhianna or Christina or whoever the hot r&b chick of the moment is because her look is distinct. Mary always does HER thing, and if you don't like, well too bad.
Here are just a few of the many faces of Mary:

^^Adorbable Mary

^^Bad-ass-chick-from-the-hood Mary

^^Yes-I-am-STILL-the-queen-bitches! Mary

^^What-the-fuck-fashion Mary

And one more thing. Yes, there are people who can't stand Mary. And it's not about being too young to understand her. She just rubs some folks the wrong way. They don't care if she sings from the heart. The fact that she often sings off key and is still a massive success not only boggles their minds, it angers them. But even those haters begrudgingly tip their hap to Mary's contribution to one of the all-time greatest hip-hop loves songs of all times. Go ahead old schoolers, click on the video and take a stroll down memory lane. You know you love it: "You're awwwl I neeeed, to get by-eye-eye." Lol--if you don't nod your head to that song, you just might be dead.

1 comment:

Butterfly Jones said...

Now see, THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT! Mary is just Mary, love her or hate her, she is that girl from the Real Love video, that made it cool to wear baseball shirts and leggings. Her fashion is always a bit off, but that's just Mary. And I for one love her, and always will, cos she's like me, a from the hood girl who made it through. As for Mary and Meth - THATS THAT REAL SHIT RIGHT THERE *nods head ferosciously* sorry am a bit pissed and just can't spell that word right now!