Soul Train

Soul Train

2002 Music Awards

MCA

Growing up in the white-washed, Reagan ’80s, where MTV had a “Whites Only” sign posted on its satellite, it was hard to find many black faces in popular culture (with the notable exceptions of Prince, Michael, Eddie, and Coz). But every Saturday afternoon, you could find me jamming to Soul Train, putting faces to the souls on the radio and carefully scrutinizing the notorious Soul Train shot (camera carefully angled just below every woman’s skirt, innocently shooting upwards).

I don’t know exactly when the sea change happened, but now the ghetto of black (“urban”) music has made it to the White House (who can forget when Daddy Bush received Eazy E. at an official White House dinner?). So, with rap and R&B being pop, there really isn’t much reason for Soul Train or their awards. Back in the day when the Grammys ignored the genius of George Clinton and the only rappers you’d see on TV were in cuffs, Soul Train was the outlet for the music. However, now, when MTV actually shows videos, it’s this music and Alicia Keys has more Grammys than Prince.

So, what you have here is strictly pop and an excuse to sell more CDs. Of course, it’s fun pop and a cool CD (as far as that goes) with Jagged Edge and Nelly, Angie Stone (to give the disc “positive” legitimacy), Alicia Keys and Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, Usher, Jaheim’s incredibly morbid “Just In Case,” and the abysmal O’Jays for the Old Schoolers. It’s a good way to catch up with what was hot last year without having to buy all those discs (most of which are disposable, anyway).

MCA Records: http://www.mcarecords.com

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