music / Columns

411 Fact or Fiction Music 02.15.13: Post Grammy Edition

February 15, 2013 | Posted by Joseph Lee

New 411 Music Fact or Fiction Banner

Welcome to another edition of Fact or Fiction: Music. I’m your host, Joseph Lee.

This week we have Tony Acero taking on Joseph Lee.

Round 1
1) Mumford & Sons “Babel” is the right choice for album of the year. Joseph Lee: FICTION.

Well, given the choices, I’ll have to vote no. I really enjoyed Babel but Blunderbuss was my personal favorite album of 2012 and it has everything you could want in an album. As I said when 411 did the top albums of 2012 list, Blunderbuss is very eclectic and has something for everyone. It has some incredibly catchy music and I can put it on no matter what mood I’m in. I did really enjoy Babel, but not as much as I enjoyed Jack White’s first solo effort.

Tony Acero: FACT.

Nominees were Black Keys’ El Camino, Fun.’s Some Nights, Mumford & Sons’ Babel, Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange and Jack White’s Blunderbuss. Of these albums, I truly only listened to Fun.’s, Frank Oceans, and Mumford & Sons. Within those three, I can easily see how M&S were chosen. Frank Ocean’s album is still contuing to get plays on my iPhone, but the album is noticeably unilateral. It’s a great album within the confines of R&B and I have nothing but good things to say about it. Fun. is….well, it’s fun. A solid new voice in their genre and a nice way to spend 45 minutes just chillin to thier album. Mumford & Sons, however, just felt deeper and felt like it hit numerous other synapses in the mind. I’m not saying it blew my mind, but it definitely took me on a trip; and y’all know my arena is hip hop. So yeah, I’ll gladly give it to them.

Score Card: 0 for 1
Round 2
2) Fun are the best new artists of 2012.
Joseph Lee: FACT.

Out of the choices, I prefer fun. I am a big fan of the band’s Some Nights album, as well as the title track from that album. I’ve heard them compared to Queen and while I don’t necessarily agree, they do have that sense of epic (no pun intended) fun about them. Of all the breakout acts of 2012, this is the one that I see having the most longevity.

Tony Acero: FICTION.

This is tough man. On one hand, you have the super infectious Fun. who, at first listen are actually kind of annoying – then they grow on you. The skinny version of Mark Whalberg really has somethin here. Still, I can’t help but give the nod to two dudes that have been on repeat over on this end and that’s Miguel or Frank Ocean. Both R&B but both so freakin unique, you can’t help but love them. From the vulgar “Pussy is Mine” to the bad ass “Adorn,” Miguel harkens the days of Prince back to the forefront of the 2010’s! And Frank Ocean, I can’t say enough about his album channel ORANGE. He took some risks and he was very true to himself and made a great album. Either of these two really beat out Fun. for me.

Score Card: 0 for 2
Round 3
3) You’re glad Frank Ocean won Best Urban Contemporary Album for Channel Orange. Joseph Lee: FACT.

Given his competition, I can’t see why he shouldn’t have. Chris Brown should never have been nominated and Miguel is better than Brown but not by much. Ocean was hands down the best choice here.

Tony Acero: FACT.

There were only three nominees, and two of the three had great albums. I try my best to separate Brown from his music, but when practically every song has his real life laced into it, it’s kind of tough. He is also very one-note, talking about the same shit in the same way. In R&B, sex and love will almost always be topics of wonder and prominence, but it’s finding a new way to explore these topics that make them feel new. Both Frank Ocean and Miguel have done that. It’s a shame The Weeknd couldn’t get no love, though (although understandable, considering his releases are “mixtapes”.

Score Card: 1 for 3


Round 4
4) Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” was the Record of the Year.
Tony Acero: FACT.

Whether you loved it or hated it, or loved it THEN hated it, this song was everywhere and was more infectious than a 20 year vet of the prositute world. Gotye’s wide ol grin was blasted everywhere, and for the first time in a long time, that ONE song made me buy TWO albums. True, they left something to be desired, but Gotye and Kimbra definitely saw a bit of a rise in sales due to this song, and I can’t say it wasn’t deserved. It’s a shame that 2013 may very well be the year that they’re somebody that we used to know.

Joseph Lee: FACT.

I still listen to this song over and over and can’t get tired of it. The only real competition was Fun. and Thinkin Bout You for me, but I’m not as big of a Black Keys fan as everyone else. I get why Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift were nominated, but I’m glad it was Gotye who won the prize. Gotye is a very interesting musician who I hope comes back in a big way after this smash hit.

Score Card: 2 for 4
Round 5
5) Drake’s Take Care was the best rap album of 2012
Tony Acero: FICTION.

FUUUUUUUUUUCK NO! That wasn’t even a RAP album, let alone the best. We had Lupe Fiasco, whose album truly was a bit too political, but still solid. Then there was Nas, who truly gave an amazing showing in his deeper than usual album Life is Good. I saw the list and I really assumed 2 Chainz was going to take the cake, which would have only slightly upset me more than this. I’ve said this before, but I’ll repeat it here. I don’t dislike Drake as a rapper. I think he’s got the chops, and he’s blown some people away with particular verses. I dislike this album, though, and all that it’s been sold as. It is simply NOT a rap album, it’s an R&B album by a rapper. In one song, Birdman is telling us just how gangster this shit is. It’s not, it’s crooning and it’s Drake’s niche that he’s comfortable in.

Joseph Lee: FICTION.

I’m not even a big rap fan and I can see that Drake was the wrong choice here. Sure, he’s better than Rick Ross by a wide margin (that album shouldn’t have even been considered) but compared to Nas and Lupe Fiasco he was the wrong choice.

Score Card: 3 for 5
Round 6
6) You enjoyed the performances at the Grammy Awards.
Tony Acero: FACT.

I watched the Grammys with my two little sisters. One, 19, and the other 14. It’s very, very interesting to see who they react to versus my 26 years, old school mentality. 19 was upset that Bruno Mars was in the Bob Marley tribute, while 14 was upset that Katy Perry didn’t perform. LL Cool J constantly shilling “Grammy Moments” was a bit much, but by and large, the performances were solid. Clarkson belted some good shit, Miguel did his thing, Ocean kind of sucked – but he won! ha! Had I watched alone, I probably would have turned the award’s show off, but having them there really opened my eyes that my age group is slowly becoming the old hat. Not to say I am getting old – far from it – rather, that it used to be a generational gap in music lasted a good ten to fifteen years, but today things move so fast that a simple three years can cause such a divide in musical tastes and expectations that it’s astounding! But yeah, I enjoyed the performances.

Joseph Lee: FACT.

I enjoyed more than I didn’t like, so I’ll have to go with FACT. For the most part I liked the tributes, but the acts I don’t like I didn’t enjoy any more because they were live (well, live for everyone else…I watched clips).

Score Card: 4 for 6

Anything you agree with? Disagree with? Sound off in the comment section.

article topics

Joseph Lee
comments powered by Disqus