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Bee-otched For: buying Chris Brown's latest album
Five years ago this month, the world quietly said goodbye to the pop star who never was.
When Hilary Blake died at the age of 57 in July 2007, the media never paid tribute to her. Most commercial radio stations kept playing the hits of today and yesterday and for some - if not most - of her fans, they didn't even know that she died maybe months after she had passed.
Born in Los Angeles, Blake studied acting as a kid; one of her teachers happened to be Agnes Moorehead of Bewitched fame. In the 70's, Blake moved to England where she got emerged in the punk and new wave scene, especially in synth pop. She mixed free verse poetry with danceable music, and when she moved back to America in the early 80's, she brought her music with her. She cut two EPs, both called Kinetic and eventually, her two A-sides, its title track and "Drop Your Pants" got airplay on several early alternative rock stations such as WLIR New York and KROQ Los Angeles. Her music was a hit at nightclubs, especially in the age when new wave was thankfully replacing disco.
Hilary's music was well-lauded by critics and what fans she did have, especially for mixing both likeable melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. "Kinetic" was about wanting humans to change to survive, "Drop Your Pants" talked about people's fear of sex, "I Live" was about living in the house of your own making and "Goose Step" talked about the reemergence of the Nazi party. Needless to say, she was well ahead of her time.
However, sales of Kinetic were far from perfect, and Hilary was dropped by her label, Blackstreet Records in 1984. She spent the rest of her life very quietly and privately. It was rumored that she was fighting a lung ailment in the late 90's, since it was posted on a Gary Numan fan page. But Hilary lived another decade or so.
What's amazing is that while Blake is very forgotten in the world of music, the world is gaga over Chris Brown. His latest album, Fortune debuted at #1 last week, selling 135,000 copies. Even though the album received trashed reviews from critics, people still love Breezy, Rihanna's bruises or not.
The sickening part is how the album had 32 different producers (and some of them were teams, so the number's yay higher), yet Kinetic only had one producer, Stephan Hague (who also produced other early alt-rock acts such as a-ha, Erasure, Public Image Ltd. and New Order). Hague has shown that one man can do a better job than 32.
Ya see, this is why I hate Top 40 music. You've got songs that have six writers, 32 producers and no real intelligence. Yet there's lots of artists like Hilary who were thrown under the bus who had more talent than good 'ol Chris Beat-her-down. I wish people would grow a fucking brain and realize that there's lots of great music out there that's worth buying instead of filling the pockets of a loser who puts his hands on an innocent woman. It's sad that a man like me who has never hurt a woman can't even get a date, yet these same girls date losers who hurt them, but they're pretty boys with muscles and no body fat.
But, if I had it my way, Chris Brown would be the one who would Drop His Pants... And take it from behind from an inmate.
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