We, the undersigned, think you're untalented.
August 21, 2002 11:07 AM   Subscribe

We, the undersigned, think you're untalented. Why do over 20000 people think that RnB singer Ashanti didn't deserve her Soul Train Lady of Soul Entertainer of the Year award? What does Soul Train make of all this?
posted by monkeymike (76 comments total)

 
Soul Train says: While not, in any way, intending to promote racism, we must concede that we are also, quite, amazed that such a large group of individuals, undoubtedly, mostly African-American, can be provoked toward such vivid expressions of disrespect and hateful speech (against a young, Black recording artist, as well as Soul Train), under the leadership of an individual whose foreign-sounding name (Rommel Zamora), may be an indication that he is not African-American.
posted by monkeymike at 11:09 AM on August 21, 2002


Also from Soul Train:
It is our view that (with the exception of the majority of such e-mails received, which are in, full, support of our position) all such e-mailers should, not only be concerned but outraged, over the fact that a people, whose ancestry suffered 400 years of slavery, can be herded, so easily, into a, virtually, bottomless mud hole and be taught to sling such mud therein, on command, at parties who, essentially, mean them no harm, whatsoever.

To paraphrase another entertainer whose ancestry suffered 400 years of slavery, "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Soul Train?"
posted by ColdChef at 11:12 AM on August 21, 2002


[HOMER]
Play the race card! Play it!
[/HOMER]
posted by mrmanley at 11:16 AM on August 21, 2002


It has collected 10 times more supporters than a petition opposing a military invasion of Iraq, which had more than 2,300 Tuesday.

You know, facts like that are when I stop wondering why the terrorists all hate America, and I start getting more concerned about how much I do.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:16 AM on August 21, 2002


I think the funniest responses are the people who SIGNED the petition to ARGUE AGAINST the petition.

16987. LISA ALL YALL SOME MESSED UP MATHA FUCKERS WIT YALL DUMB HATEING ASSES YALL NEED TO GO TO HELL. THE GIRL DOES HER GOT DAMN THANG AND YALL BITCHES SEEM TO HAVE SOME SHIT TO SAY. AND ALL THE SHIT YALL SAYING I KNOW YALL ANIT GOT THE BALLS TO SAY IT IN HER FACE AND IF YOU DID . I KNOW SHE'LL CRUSH YO ASS WITH HER WALLET. BITCH AND YA MOTHER

Hmmm. She makes a good point, I think.
posted by ColdChef at 11:18 AM on August 21, 2002


how can you be entertainer of the year when you just released your debut album and you only really have one hit about accidentally losing articles of clothing?
posted by grabbingsand at 11:19 AM on August 21, 2002


Soul Train's response is disgusting, invoking slavery and 9/11 to defend themselves is reprehensible.
posted by McBain at 11:20 AM on August 21, 2002


R. Zamora Linmark is the author of Rolling the R's, an experimental novel set in a small 1970's Hawaiian community. Born in Manila and was educated in Honolulu, Linmark's work has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including the Best Gay American Fiction of 1997 and Charlie Chan Is Dead. He has finished his second novel, Leche, and is now working on a third novel.

I'm on a wonder here...
posted by y2karl at 11:21 AM on August 21, 2002


Is Soul Train, the organization, always so quick to play the race card? Especially in a situation where it is completely irrelevant?

Plus Ashanti really can't perform when compared to artists like Alisha Keyes, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill.
posted by sid at 11:23 AM on August 21, 2002


Umm, it's not as if this guy threw a tantrum and insisted that some white chick get the nomination. He suggested several other black women for the award. Or is Soul Train just suggesting that non-blacks' opinions of black music are irrelevant?

Zamora's web site also includes a screenshot of a much more fevent denunciation that he says is from the Soul Train web site. The page isn't there now, of course, but it's interesting that the same plethora of commas are scattered through both the current Soul Train web site messages and the screenshot text. (The whole message from the e-mail -- also comma rich -- is here: it shows up fine in IE but I don't know about other browsers).

(Oh, and I don't think that poet is the Zamora you're looking for. EOnline says he's a California high school student.)
posted by maudlin at 11:26 AM on August 21, 2002


In other news, the total sum of signatures for this petition and this one against the war on Iraq is a 1/7th of the total signatures against Ashanti...Hummm....

I propose a petition supporting Alicia Keys for the awards and attach a rider saying that SHE herself will personally combat American militarism, reveal secrets about extraterrestrials living on this planet and give Britney the recognition she deserves.
posted by phyrewerx at 11:26 AM on August 21, 2002


McBain: Soul Train's response is not only correct, but breathtakingly wonderful in light of the entire concept of PetitionOnline itself. The final passage of ST's rebuttal statement:

May we take this opportunity to make it very clear, that during an era when a number of Internet Web sites are visited or clicked onto by tens of millions of persons, worldwide, every single month and many, many TV outlets are viewed by tens of millions of viewers each day and each week, eighteen-thousand (18,000) responses to anything, on the worldwide Internet, cannot and must not be construed, in a relative sense, as a large number.

literally made me crack up, as I think back in te long history of all the change and effects PetitionOnline has ever made in its existence.

Oh, yeah, that's right, they have no impact on anything whatsoever. This is a site that once collected over 100,000 signatures of people protesting the name of "The Two Towers" in the LOTR fim series because it "offended the victims of the Twin Towers attacks." If this web site was a horse it would be deemed to stupid to stand on its own and shot.

The point ST was trying to make was, if you're the type of person who cares enough about this yet only cares enough about it to the level of clicking a link, then you're the exact type of person who's opinion is insignificant.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:27 AM on August 21, 2002


...but she's hot!
posted by mcsweetie at 11:28 AM on August 21, 2002


...you only really have one hit about accidentally losing articles of clothing?

I think you're mixing her up with Tweet.
posted by monkeymike at 11:29 AM on August 21, 2002


Oh, exactly. 20,000 people signed because there are are many other OBVIOUSLY qualified people who deserved that award.

Ashanti didn't do the song about losing articles of clothing, by the way, which turns out to be about masturbation (if you listen carefully enough). The only two songs worth any mention are "Foolish" and "Happy," of which only the first is memorable.

Alicia Keys can play the hell out of a piano, and has a better voice. India.Arie plays her own guitar, and her songs have a better message, if we're going to get into that - women, anyone - love yourself. As opposed to Ashanti's anthem for the perpetually victimized, which ends with her still a victim. Woo frickin' hoo.

How ridiculous is it to tell 20,000 people that they shouldn't complain about an issue because it involves someone of the same race. Why am I reminded of the critic who couldn't even show up at her own book signing for criticizing Maya Angelou's latest piece?
posted by precocious at 11:33 AM on August 21, 2002


From ST's alleged original response:

We are extremely annoyed and angered over the fact that some thoughtless idiot, in the extreme, free-speech rights notwithstanding, has been allowed, through www.petitiononline.com, to thoroughly misappropriate a perfectly sound principle such as each American citizen's "right to petition"...

Love it. Someone woke up on the wrong side of bed that morning, with a stuck comma key to boot. Sounds like Johnny Asscroft being told he's going to have to let someone out of jail.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:33 AM on August 21, 2002


The only thing stupider than petiononline.com are award shows. (I guess that is not true, but both are pretty stupid).
posted by stifford at 11:36 AM on August 21, 2002


The thing, that I, feel like I, must say about, the whole, unfortunate, Soul Train debacle is how, commas, and their usage, not to mention, importantly, sentence construction, was lost on the, from Soul Train, author of, the original, document. Now, I'm not the, type, of guy to knock on, someone else, for their punctuation, skills, but the guy, or gal, opened the door, wide, by self-publishing something, obviously, meant for mass consumption. It was, so, impolitic, in terms of the, Soul Train, organization, that I, suspected, a, rogue, webmaster, acting without, proper, consultation of the Soul Train, higher, ups, which, could also, explain its, near, illegibility, which suggests, no editors, no feedback, no afterthought. Sure, you think, that makes sense, but then you read, the related documents, currently posted to the site, and it doesn't, get, any better. It just, astounds, me that the relevant, people, here function, professionally, with, this level, of written, discourse, politics aside. (And, we all know, corporate, America, is full of writers, this bad, and worse, but the difference, being, that they, avoid, posting such, tirades.)
posted by blueshammer at 11:38 AM on August 21, 2002


Count me in(#21887). Alicia Keyes/Mary J. Blige would have been better suited for this award.

*I do like Ashanti, but not her winning this award over more deserving artists.
posted by Gargantuan at 11:39 AM on August 21, 2002


You wanna know what I said when I heard about this?

"Who the Hell is 'Ashanti?'"
posted by NedKoppel at 11:44 AM on August 21, 2002


Okay, I love this:
From the original post by Soul Train:
As for the, grossly, uninformed moron who came up with the, totally crude and clumsy, idea to initiate his own hate campaign and Internet rock-throwing attack against a perfectly honest, time tested and time honored process, which he very obviously has no knowledge or understanding of, whatsoever, we urge you to cease and desist from your malignant abuse and misuse of the services being provided by www.petitiononline.com and to, immediately, take steps, with the help and support of all Ashanti petition signers, to open your own Internet website, which should, appropriately, be entitled, "I'm a fucking loser, I'm not talented or successful, I don't know shit about the music industry and I need to get a motherfucking life!!"
Now that's what I call professionalism.
posted by ColdChef at 11:44 AM on August 21, 2002


I saw Ashanti on Carson Daly before I knew who she was. He was making a big deal because she had 3 top 10 songs at the same time. That is probably one reason ST gave her the award. (3 songs, Always On Time, Foolish, What's Luv. Yeah two of those are just featuring her but they included them. Compared her to the Beatles.)
posted by Andrea at 11:49 AM on August 21, 2002


I don't think it's a stuck comma key as gottabefunky suggests. I think someone at ST is being payed to use excess commas. I smell a grammar conspiracy.
posted by cowboy at 11:49 AM on August 21, 2002


blueshammer: damn, straight.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:53 AM on August 21, 2002


NedKoppel,

Neat!
posted by hackly_fracture at 11:55 AM on August 21, 2002


What I get from the comments so far:

*Expressing your poinion is bad if it contradicts my opinion.

*Opposition to the impending military action in Iraq is insignificant.

*Soultrain has really bad PR people.

*Rommel Zamora now owes Ashanti reperations for creating a cloud that will hang over her for the rest of her career.


--------

I now breathlessly await part two of this P.R. train wreck, in which allegations of corruption are tossed around, followed by a flurry of lawsuits.
posted by BGM at 11:55 AM on August 21, 2002


You wanna know what I said when I heard about this?

"Who the Hell is 'Ashanti?'"


Amen, nedkoppel. I wouldn't know an Ashanti song if it smacked me in my big ol' booty.
posted by alou73 at 11:55 AM on August 21, 2002


*Rommel Zamora now owes Ashanti reperations for creating a cloud that will hang over her for the rest of her career.

heh.
posted by ColdChef at 11:59 AM on August 21, 2002


In order to become a Soul Train dancer, recruited by a visiting Soul Train coordinator at a night club, dance class, high school or college.

Can't parse...please help.

You know, I remember when the only things that mattered on Soul Train were the afro puffs, platform shoes, and line dance.
posted by gummi at 12:00 PM on August 21, 2002


Soul Train has an awards show?
posted by haqspan at 12:00 PM on August 21, 2002


Please, stop with the commas! It's like, Christopher Walken, is talking, to me, in my head!
posted by phyrewerx at 12:06 PM on August 21, 2002


Today I learned who Ashanti and Soul Train are, respectively. All I can do is agree with sid that Ashanti can't touch Lauryn Hill.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:07 PM on August 21, 2002


Way to keep it real soul train... I saw Ashanti in concert back in March. She appeared between Nappy Roots and Beanie Man with Busta headlining. The crowd loved her and the line of people of a wide age range were lined up to get her autograph. If you listen to any hip hop radio from atlanta to miami, her songs are always on. Way to go Ashanti!
posted by bmxGirl at 12:11 PM on August 21, 2002


It's fine to dump on petitiononline, but may I point out that few MeFi threads on Iraq get 30 comments over their lifetime, while this thread has hit that in just a few hours.

(Hmmm ... I guess, that should, have ended, with a question, mark.)
posted by chipr at 12:18 PM on August 21, 2002


"...very saddened to learn that, during an age when suicide terrorists have been able to level skyscrapers, in America, more than eighteen-thousand (18,000) mud-slinging, petition signers and a handful of, hateful and negative, e-mail writers, have nothing better to do with the precious time they all have left on Earth."


I just love love love it that they are playing the terrorism angle. I think that should push the point further that she sucks.....
posted by mkelley at 12:22 PM on August 21, 2002


"...very saddened to learn that, during an age when suicide terrorists have been able to level skyscrapers, in America, more than eighteen-thousand (18,000) mud-slinging, petition signers and a handful of, hateful and negative, e-mail writers, have nothing better to do with the precious time they all have left on Earth."

Hey, they make a good point. Our time on this beautiful planet is limited. We should live it up! We should celebrate life! We should dance! We should watch people dance. On TV. We should sit alone at home and watch people dance on TV. And we should give awards. We should all watch really long, redundant award shows. Because time is precious.
posted by ColdChef at 12:34 PM on August 21, 2002


R & B used to rock.People played instruments and actually wrote songs instead of riding piggyback on someone else's hook.Sly Stone, come back!

These days it's just samples and machine noise. It's absolutely faceless and useless.

Ashanti? Who the hell is that? Let me guess, she's got a big smile and she looks good on camera.

She's just this month's "oooo, baby, baby" video, complete with dumbass choreography and fancy cars.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 12:35 PM on August 21, 2002


i thought Ashanti was a guy.
posted by tolkhan at 12:48 PM on August 21, 2002


I agree with grabbingsand. She's only been around for a short time. She has an advantage because she's endorsed by none other than "Tippy The Turtle", JaRule and she barely wears anything (except for those hirsute sideburns). It pisses me off when chix that lack talent get deals like that.
posted by Aloe23 at 12:51 PM on August 21, 2002


HELL YEH BARNEY!!!!!

So true. Sampling bastards!
posted by Aloe23 at 12:57 PM on August 21, 2002


I thought Ashanti was that wine that came in a box.
posted by mathowie at 12:58 PM on August 21, 2002


Does Ashanti come in White Zinfandel?
posted by alou73 at 1:03 PM on August 21, 2002


OK, I just realized that these folks are all upset because of 5 nominations Ashanti received. The awards show does not happen until August 24th.

...and she barely wears anything (except for those hirsute sideburns).

Yeah right, as opposed to the all well clothed Destiny's Child and 3LW winners of last years awards? These are entertainer of the year awards folks.... geez, give the girl a break!
posted by bmxGirl at 1:08 PM on August 21, 2002


I think George Clinton should drop the Funk Bomb on Soul Train.
posted by mrmanley at 1:18 PM on August 21, 2002


But they can sing bmxgirl. DC and 3LW have raw singing talent. Just listen to a few a capella tunes by DC especially. When you have a great voice, you have every right to win an award (and get half naked at the same time).

When you have no talent (like Ashanti), you get away with being pretty and half naked...NO TALENT.

Perfect example: Shakira

That hussy couldn't croon her way out of a paper bag, but she's effin' gorgeous.

(I know I stepped on the toes now..lol)
posted by Aloe23 at 1:19 PM on August 21, 2002


"You know, I remember when the only things that mattered on Soul Train were the afro puffs, platform shoes, and line dance"

Gummi,

Oh yeah, those were the good old days.
posted by RGarraud at 1:33 PM on August 21, 2002


OK, so Ashanti has been on the Billboard 200 charts for 19 weeks now and still holds steady at number 16, from a previous debute number 1 and she does not deserve nomination? And we are talking about R&B, soul, and rap categories. Have you heard the song "Foolish"? 4 of her 5 nominations were because of that song. She really flows smoothly, and the video is good too.
posted by bmxGirl at 1:36 PM on August 21, 2002


Popularity does not equal quality.
posted by ColdChef at 1:47 PM on August 21, 2002


If the whole point of an award show is to reward the people who sell the most, she deserves the nominations. If award shows are trying to factor in talent into their choices of nominations, she deserves it less than others.

I really, really, really don't care who Soul Train puts up for awards because their choices do nothing to diminish the pleasure I take in music. Let them nominate as they please. Let the fans respond with approval or disapproval.

But for God's sake, Soul Train should not publish barely literate, race-baiting, insulting and hostile screeds about the fans who actually watch their shows and care about their music. How clueless do you have to be to be less mature, clear-spoken and gracious than a fifteen year old kid?
posted by maudlin at 1:49 PM on August 21, 2002


Sorry, that sounded pompus and shitty. Let me say it another way:

This award is given in the name of someone who has provided quality entertainment over a long and distinguished career span. To hand it to a (seemingly) flash in the pan seems like a poor choice. Even if a lot of people like her right now.

Vanilla Ice was popular once, too. (on review, what maudlin said.)
posted by ColdChef at 1:51 PM on August 21, 2002


Maudlin - Haven't you figured out by now that award shows have no point?
posted by wsfinkel at 1:56 PM on August 21, 2002


And BMX girl - Do you enjoy losing arguments? Because you have absolutely no chance here, jumping into an argument that is 50 posts long.
posted by wsfinkel at 1:57 PM on August 21, 2002


What? There is not one award... Ashanti's album is up for R&B/Soul Solo Album of the Year, and her song Foolish is up for Best R&B/Soul Solo Single, R&B/Soul or Rap Song of the Year, Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Solo Artist, and Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video. I sound like such a fan on this thread, but I feel that she deserves nomination for at least best new solo artist.
posted by bmxGirl at 2:00 PM on August 21, 2002


wsfinkel: Dude. That's a little harsh. She's allowed to speak her mind. A variety of opinion is a good thing.
posted by ColdChef at 2:01 PM on August 21, 2002


Don't you all have anything beter to do? Right now our nation is fighting terrorism and you are bitching about Soul Train???

Well, that's what Soul Train has to say.
posted by DragonBoy at 2:04 PM on August 21, 2002


Who is Ashanti?
posted by DragonBoy at 2:09 PM on August 21, 2002


Best R&B/Soul or Rap Song of the Year".....

Is that like" Outstanding Soul, Spoken Word, or Barbershop Album of the Year"?
posted by signal at 2:10 PM on August 21, 2002


What I love most is that the Murder Inc page for the lass is titled 'Welcome to Adobe GoLive 5'. Webmaster, where art thou?
posted by atavistech at 2:11 PM on August 21, 2002


What I love most is that the Murder Inc page for the lass is titled 'Welcome to Adobe GoLive 5'. Webmaster, where art thou?

I'm glad somebody pointed that out.
posted by monkeymike at 2:23 PM on August 21, 2002


Just to clarify, as there seems to be some confusion: it has already been announced that Ashanti will win the "Aretha Franklin Award" as Entertainer of the Year. She is also nominated for five other awards. The winners of those five awards will be announced on 24 August. The controversy is over the Franklin win, although I don't doubt Mr Zamora thinks her nominations in the other categories are dubious as well.
posted by hilker at 2:36 PM on August 21, 2002


21,000 signees, 60 posts on metafilter.

Ashanti is mad large apparently.

And why anyone cares, I have no idea. Nobody watches the Soul Train Awards.

or is it Nobody listens to techno?

How does the song go?
posted by negroplease at 2:40 PM on August 21, 2002


The webmaster is busy writing the editorials, maybe?
posted by insomnyuk at 2:41 PM on August 21, 2002


soul train is STILL AROUND?!?!?!?! the 1970's blaxploitation rip of amurkan bandstand?!?! THAT soul train? boosty save us from this evil!
posted by quonsar at 3:03 PM on August 21, 2002


shit. i can't spell in preview either.
posted by quonsar at 3:04 PM on August 21, 2002


All these comments, not one: Sooooooooooooooul Train!
What the hell is wrong with Mefi nowadays?
posted by owillis at 4:12 PM on August 21, 2002


Congratulations!

You have just been nominated for the Best Thread of the Week award in the Humorous/non-monkey Haiku category.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:19 PM on August 21, 2002


Datta. Dayadhavam. Damyata.
   Ashanti ashanti ashanti

No, wait, that's not right...
posted by evanizer at 5:05 PM on August 21, 2002


And why anyone cares, I have no idea. Nobody watches the Soul Train Awards.

No one cares.They posted because they know today's R & B is neither rhythm or blues.

It's garbage.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 7:02 PM on August 21, 2002


A variety of opinion is a good thing.

since when?
posted by tolkhan at 8:44 PM on August 21, 2002


Dude, Soul Train jumped the shark when Hall & Oates appeared. Maneater, my ass.
posted by whatnot at 8:55 PM on August 21, 2002


appeared, on the, show, I mean.
posted by whatnot at 8:56 PM on August 21, 2002


I have no opinion on soultrain

...now Solid Gold and them fine Solid Gold Dancers is a whole nother thread!
posted by Mick at 9:06 PM on August 21, 2002


I think most people missed the point. It's not that Ashanti sucks (I never heard of her personally), it's that Soul Train PR people seem to be nothing but a bunch of racists who can't take the smallest bit of criticism.

The White-Owned BET??? They sound like the KKK, just in different colored robes.

PetitionOnline may be stupid, but you can count me as an undersigned on THIS petition:

Boycott SoulTrain

Not that I watch anyway....but it's the principle of it damnit!
posted by lasthrsman at 10:45 PM on August 21, 2002


No peace, no love, no soul.

*shakes head, clears throat as spotlight narrows on him*

"Where have you gone, Don Cornelius? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you. ..."
posted by allaboutgeorge at 1:23 AM on August 22, 2002


You know, I've never heard of her before this post. The Top 20 doesn't matter to me and many others anymore, since everything out there is just corportate image machines. I did hear her this morning and would perfer the girl who got kicked off of American Idol last night.
posted by mkelley at 10:19 AM on August 22, 2002


The response of Soul Train seems like the kind of thing a hacker would do to a site. You'd think they'd be smart enough to claim that's what happened when it hit the fan.

I saw Ashanti sing live on some awards show. She actually sounded much better than the radio songs let me think she would, especially since she's only 18/19. But I do think there are more deserving artists. However. They need to make money from advertisers, so they need stars, so they need stars to win awards....
posted by Salmonberry at 2:32 PM on August 22, 2002


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