On a night set to recognize musicians past and present, Kanye makes it solely about himself


There’s a formula to most awards shows — especially the Video Music Awards. You would think Kanye West knew that, considering he’s a self-proclaimed expert on pop culture. Case in point: Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” beat out Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” for Best Female Video. However, “Single Ladies” won for Video of the Year. Simple logic states that, if “Single Ladies” is the Video of the Year, it should also be the Best Female Video since Beyonce, as we know, is a dame. But the VMAs don’t work that way. They never have. When MTV lost its edge over 10 years ago, the network turned into an advertising agency instead of an important voice covering all things music. It wouldn’t be good business to have Beyonce win both awards. By spreading the love around, MTV is essentially recognizing the artists that have been the most lucrative to their business. Last night, nobody walked away with multiple trophies — because there’s a formula.

I always assumed Kanye was privy to this knowledge. When he jumped on stage and forced the mic out of Taylor Swift’s hands, the younger generation was undoubtedly excited. More stars! More stars! To those who think of Kanye as a trouble-making crybaby, they could sense he was up to no good. Shouting that his friend Beyonce’s video was “one of the best videos of all time,” he proved he doesn’t “get” the give-and-take ethos of pop culture at all. He’s just as clueless as the millions of adolescents that stayed up late to root for Taylor Swift.

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2009 MTV Video Music Awards Preview


The 2009 MTV VMAs are only a few hours away and, for the first time in years, I’m excited to watch. Say what you will about MTV’s stance as a reality network as opposed to a music showcase, but this year I think they’ve helped bridge the gap between what classifies “pop” and “indie.” Inspecting the list of nominees, there are artists — primarily in the Breakthrough Video category — who have a rabid indie following. While music nerds and indie advocates may tend to crap on the network, I respect MTV for giving groups like Bat For Lashes, Matt & Kim, and Cold War Kids a chance to shine during their renowned ceremony featuring the typical heavyweights.

Russell Brand, who’s just about reached his peak in popularity, will once again host the show. Viewers can also expect performances by Taylor Swift, Muse, and Green Day, the premier of the “New Moon” trailer, and of course, a tribute to Michael Jackson.

The VMAs will air tonight at 9 PM PT/8 PM CT on MTV and affiliates.

Click below for the list of nominees and assorted videos.

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