I find myself questioning the idea of true ‘musicianship‘ within the Hip Hop Community & the music industry as a whole. This question hit me when I was watching the 2010 BET Awards on my DVR & seemingly witnessed a professional music artist lip-sync a ‘LIVE’ performance.
To her credit, Nicki Minaj categorically denied delivering the controversial lip-sync performance at 2010 BET Awards. However, to the majority of the people that didn’t have the pleasure of a seat in the Shrine Auditorium during her performance; it appeared very much lip-synced.
Whether or not the audio was added due to the ‘poor sound quality’ of Nicki’s voice within the auditorium and/or other technical difficulties, I can not attest to. It begs to the ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ mentality though. ‘Spring Bling 2010 Performance‘…yeaaaaa
At the end of the day, I like Nicki Minaj and ‘her’ music. My only issue is can we consider these such things as true ‘musicianship‘? Then again in looking back not only have we set the stage for lip-syncing to be a platform for maintaining stardom–it has been a undercover way of achieving stardom a la Milli Vanilli & their 1990 Grammy Award for ‘Best New Artist’.
Even more comical than the idea of Milli Vanilli being so successful at their farce is the world-wide endorsement that was shown to them. Even here pictured smiling with their thumbs up with the (at the time) Grammy President, C. Michael Greene.
I could make a long list of famous ‘musicians’ and/or hip hop artists that have lip-synced their way through performances. Some worse than others…for instance remember the 2006 Teen Choice Awards where Rihanna seemed like she was a trained ‘performer’ lip syncing to someone else’s song? Oddly enough that was a performance given by the Winner of R&B Artist Category, Rihanna, NOT someone lip syncing another person’s song.
The list goes on and on…Chris Brown, Whitney Houston, 50 Cent, Shania Twain, Vanessa Hudgens, Fergie, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, etc., etc. have all lip synced performances (not just once) according to many.
I do think that some people could receive a ‘pass’ for lip syncing. That is the artist that is making such a performance that would not permit them to fully utilize their vocal capacity. Now I made that sound very ‘formal’ on purpose. Because I think that we need to get to a formal point on this. If I am watching a ‘LIVE‘ performance, I expect a ‘LIVE‘ performance. We have disclaimers for everything these days. Would it be too much to ask for a disclaimer on lip syncing?