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 411mania » Music » Columns

411 Music Fact or Fiction 06.13.14: Beating a Dead Musical Icon
Posted by Joseph Lee on 06.13.2014

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

This week we have Joseph Paige Jr against John Downey.

1) A new G-Unit album is a bad idea.

John Downey: FACT. The majority of G-Unit's appeal, at their height, hinged on 50 Cent being the biggest rapper on the planet. Those days are long gone, though, and it doesn't look like they're ever coming back. They're free to make more music, of course, and I'm free to make fun of the inevitably shitty dud they unleash on the marketplace.

Joseph Paige Jr: FICTION. G-Unit coming back together could either be the best thing for Hip-Hop or the worse. I'm sure we're all tired of the Lil' Wayne & crew dominance on radio right now. So if G-Unit can come back correct than I'm all here for it.

Score: 0 for 1

2) You're not a fan of Lana Del Rey's "Brooklyn Baby".

John Downey: FACT. Lana Del Rey songs make for great drinking games. Vaguely sad string? Take a drink. Vocal performance that sounds like a sample of a sample? Take a drink. Lyrics that tug at the heartstrings of overly nostalgic dummies? Finish the drink. I'm pretty much done with Lana Del Rey's brand of pop, and "Brooklyn Baby" did nothing to change my mind.

Joseph Paige Jr: FACT. This new sound Lana Del Rey is playing around with may appeal to some, but everything I'd liked about her original sound is sort of absent. I think she's taking herself a bit too serious these days. I'll give the whole album a listen still, but this track doesn't have me excited for it.

Score: 1 for 2

3) A 50th anniversary edition of Woodstock could be great.

John Downey: FACT. The key word is "could". It could also be a really bad idea and devolve into an embarrassing fiasco like the 1999 edition. That said, I think Woodstock could have a great 50th anniversary with the right combination of talent, time, and the right place. Ask me to bet on the chances of it being a worthwhile endeavor, though, and I'll give a much more negative answer.

Joseph Paige Jr: FACT. Why should this legendary tradition be stopped forever because of one bad incident years ago. I say bring it back with some good talent and reasonable prices to make us all forget about Cochella.

Score: 2 for 3


4) PSY and Snoop Dogg's "Hangover" is a waste of time.

Joseph Paige Jr: FACT. Anything including PSY is a waste. End of discussion.

John Downey: FACT. It feels surreal to be saying this about the guy who made "Gangnam Style", but PSY's "Hangover" is too ordinary for its own good. The beat isn't challenging, fun, or infectious, and most of the song consists of Snoop doing the bare minimum to collect a paycheck. I'm one of those weird people who thought "Gentleman" was decent, so when you've lost me, I think it's fair to call it a waste of time.

Score: 3 for 4

5) We'll eventually get another Black Sabbath album and tour.

Joseph Paige Jr: FACT. If we can kidnap Sharon Osbourne and get her from meddling in the affairs of her husbands music career we may get more than one album.

John Downey: FACT. They put out a surprisingly-good album last year, and they're just about to start touring Europe, so the safe money says 13 will not mark Black Sabbath's last album and this tour won't be their last. Heck, I'd be willing to go as far as to say that the new album will be out in the next eighteen months. The only thing that might put a canker in the plans would be a member of the band passing. I repeat: might.

Score: 4 for 5

6) It's ridiculous to release eight more posthumous Michael Jackson albums.

Joseph Paige Jr: FACT. Everyone knows I love Michael! But these albums have to stop. The material was never released for a reason. Let the man and his legacy rest in peace. Besides I know that's really Latoya singing on some of the tracks.

John Downey: FACT. Real talk: we all knew that MJ's passing would not mean the end of MJ albums. Heck, I think most of us guessed that Jackson's productivity would rise after Jackson's death. I can put up with one posthumous Michael Jackson album—it is clearly a cash grab, but if there's a public willing and stupid enough to buy it, whatever. Two posthumous albums? Okay, maybe the dude did record enough music before he died to justify another album. Three posthumous albums is stretching it because that's when Epic stops just prodding a dead horse and starts beating it with another dead horse. But eight albums? And that's not including the two posthumous albums that are already out. This is time, money, and effort that could be spent building up another artist who has talent and wants to become a star and, um, hasn't been dead for half a decade. And people wonder why the music industry isn't making as much money as it used to.

Score: 5 for 6

Thoughts? Comments? Animal? Vegetable? Mineral? Reply in the comments below to give your own take on this week's topics!


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