Is Kanye West is the new King of Pop? Kanye West thinks so

 

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The new King of Pop is Kanye West, according to sources named Kanye West.  Apparently, this was said a month ago– on June 29– but Bossip picked it up off an obscure website yesterday, and it’s just now making the rounds on the blogosphere.  It should be noted that there are some doubts that this story is for real.  But there are also some legit publications running with this, publications that have a better fact-checking department than we do.  Anyway, here’s Kanye on Kanye:

“You know everyone loves and respects Michael but times change. It’s so sad to see Michael gone but it makes a path for a new King of Pop and I’m willing to take that on.  There’s nobody who can match me in sales and in respect so it only makes sense for me to take over Michael’s crown and become the new King,” said West. “First there was Elvis, then there was Michael, now in the 21st century its Kanye’s time to rule. I have nothing but respect for Michael but someone needs to pick up where he left off and there’s nobody better than me to do that. I am the new King of Pop.” …

West has reportedly tried to make contact with members of the Jackson clan to obtain official permission to use the title but has thus far received no response. It is believed the family is mourning the death of their loved one and have given little thought to the line of succession.

I promise you, I Googled and re-Googled this, I even checked Snopes, because I just can’t believe this nonsense went down four days after Michael Jackson’s death.  On June 29, I was still in a daze, with Human Nature playing on a loop on my laptop.  Apparently, Kanye was busy phoning the Jackson family in the midst of their funeral arrangements to lay claim to a fake title.  Put that autopsy on hold and wipe away those tears, Janet, I’m calling you to confirm that I’m the new Mayor of Munchkin City.

It’s true that Mike likely bestowed the title King of Pop on himself (according to his Wikipedia entry, Elizabeth Taylor popularized the term at an awards ceremony).  But when he did it, it was already obvious that he was.  There were no challengers.  No one had the ammo to say, “Yeah, you made Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad, but I made…”  When Michael Jackson took the King of Pop title in the late ‘80s, everyone’s reaction was, “Oh. Well, yeah, obviously.”

Which brings me to the King of Pop Rule for all future applicants: If it isn’t obviously apparent who the King of Pop is, then there isn’t one.  This isn’t a title that should be awarded by default; I say Mike keeps the title until someone takes it from him.  And that someone is not Kanye West– a talented rapper and performer (though not the best in the biz at either), but a horrific singer, even with the aid of Auto-Tune.

True story: I downloaded Love Lockdown (*cough* legally) back when that song was blowing up the air waves.  I listened to it for ten seconds and stopped.  Kanye was so badly out of tune, I literally thought I had downloaded an MP3 of some dude singing in his basement and trying to get some shine by labeling his song under Kanye’s name.  I went back and downloaded another (*cough* legal) version of it and it sounded exactly the same.  Slowly, the realization hit me.  Kanye West is a really terrible singer, and we simply do not have the technology to fix it.

Anyway, back to the King of Pop title.  Some people think it’s Usher.  Chris Brown’s name was thrown around the discussion before he threw Rihanna around his car.  I think Justin Timberlake has a legit claim to the throne– if the ladies and gentleman of the jury would consider his brilliant musical and comedic work on Saturday Night Live.  But if we’re being serious, the new King of Pop is most likely a Queen of Pop.  ‘Cause Beyonce is probably the most current artist who’s even approaching the sales and swagger and artistic diversity of Michael Jackson.  But is she “Oh. Well, yeah, obviously” the Queen of Pop?  Not as long as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey are alive.

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5 Comments

 
  1. tigger500
    2009-07-29
    15:58:07

    I'm going to skip right on past all the Kanye stuff...

    Michael Jackson sold 50 million copies of Thriller. More importantly, to do that, he had to stay at the top of the charts - CONSISTENTLY - for over a year. Which means that everyday for over a year a ton of folks were running out and buying a Thriller.

    Which means you have to be in the public consciousness for a year AND everyone love you and not get sick of you.

    Which means you have to have enough hot fuckin songs on your record to make people want to go buy it. And the singles as well.

    This just doesn't happen anymore. There aren't artists right now that everyone just loves and supports consistently.

    Mike created a lane and then basically made it impossible for anyone to get into it.

    Interestingly, in terms of cultural, creative, and commercial impact the only person who is even similar to Mike is Mary J. Blige. She's beloved by a lot of people (although it being overpopulated by black woman is what keeps her from being truly Mike-like), loved by the industry, and makes consistently good music. Her impact on how women sing popular music is unparalleled. I don't think she's quite Mike, but her impact on the game is similar (albeit on a much much smaller scale).

     
  2. You_don't_know_shit
    2009-07-29
    16:51:30

    JANET JACKSON IS THE QUEEN OF POP...PERIOD.

    If Beyonce can't surpass all that Janet Jackson has accomplished then what makes you think she is anywhere near MJ? What a joke LMAO

    when is Beyonce gonna do this ......

    Janet Jackson Firsts

    First female artist to have the #1 selling album of the year (Rhythm Nation 1814, 1990)

    First female artist to debut atop the Billboard 200 in the SoundScan era (Janet., 1993)

    First black artist to be nominated for the Producer of the Year Grammy

    First black female artist to be nominated for an Academy Award

    ***griffn edit: Really appreciate your feedback, but in the future please just post a link to the page you're referring to instead of posting the entire thing verbatim (you can use HTML tags). Your point is taken, and I agree Janet belongs in the discussion. But she's sold half the albums of Mariah and Whitney. As for putting her up against Beyonce, I haven't heard Janet on the radio in, like, ten years. I heard Beyonce on the radio this morning reading the newspaper. Not really, but you get my point. If anybody's gonna get in the Queen of Pop discussion without having been on the radio in ten years, it's Whitney, not Janet. And Mariah was just on the radio last year, so... That's all I'm saying. Janet's in the discussion, but she doesn't get the crown.

     
  3. negrostotle
    2009-07-29
    22:56:04

    Dag...that was long. Although I'm glad Jermaine Dupri reads the site. We appreciate all comments.

    All jokes aside, I agree with the comment. The same way Mike wasn't killing it with every album at the end, but was still the king of pop, is the way Janet is now. She's not killing it with every album (no Janet lovers, just because you think every album is banging, its not) but she holds the title till she gives it up.

     
  4. griffn
    2009-07-29
    23:11:20

    @tigger500 - Nobody's ever gonna sell 50 million again though. Not with the advent of downloads and with media (TV/radio) becoming more and more decentralized. There's no way to push an artist like that now, no matter how great an album is. We may never see 25 million again. So we have to lower that bar, I think.

    And I'm a fan of Mary J. too. Big fan. But I don't think she's in this discussion. You could ask 100 people on the street and not find one who could name one of her songs. Or point her out of a lineup. Part of being the Queen of Popular Music has to be having music that's popular.

     
  5. [...] a small country.  Sure, it turned out to be a hoax, but last week when the rumor went around that Kanye West was calling himself the king of pop?  Everyone’s first thought isn’t whether or not he said it, but how harshly he should [...]

     
 

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