shock value

[Eng 2000 essay]

Most artists today are, unfortunately, in the business of entertainment for shock value. Very rarely will a person come across a new music artist with actual singing talent. I was unable to watch the Grammy’s live, but I did update myself with blogs, news, and video posts. Among the performances I saw, one stuck out and not for its talent. Nicki Minaj’s performance of her new song “Roman Holiday”. Not only did the images of demon possession, exorcism, and flames from hell make me uncomfortable, but Nicki’s performance was down right terrible. She tried to out do GaGa when in reality she probably turned several of her own fans away. Negative tweets were pouring in about how upset people were towards her performance.

Fierce: Nicki was surrounded by dancers in monk robes, as she dominated the stage

It was religiously offensive. She started out in a confessional pouring her sins to a priest, ultimately freaking him out. Next is a pre-taped mockup of the old horror flick Exorcism. As if that wasn’t disturbing enough, she appears on stage bound to a leather stake, with a monk choir dancing and singing around her as flames shoot up in the background. The song ends with her in the air “levitating” by black harnesses. The entire time she was on stage she looked deranged, completely out of her mind. While Nicki sat in her seat not accepting any awards during the night, artists like Adele, the Civil Wars, Tony Bennet, Bon Iver and many talented others did win Grammys without an exorcism, a dress of meat, or flame throwing involved.

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