Opinion

R. Kelly, Ashlee Simpson piggy-back their way to success

Nothing in this world comes easily. At least, it doesn’t if you are a normal person. We normal folk have to put in extra hours of studying to get A’s. We have to be super-committed to our jobs to get ahead. We must sacrifice now in order to achieve future greatness. But what if you’re not a normal person and these concepts don’t apply to you? What if your name is R. Kelly or Ashlee Simpson? Well, you would piggy-back your way to millions, of course!

Every time I turn on the radio it seems as though there is another song that has been ripped-off by R. Kelly on rotation. I can picture it in my mind: R. Kelly chillaxin’ pool-side at his multi-million dollar mansion, being fanned and fed grapes by a bevy of beautiful women while listening to the radio when he hears an already successful and over-played Ciara song.

Suddenly, he jumps up and exclaims, “I can remix this song, make it ten times worse than it already is and then make billions more dollars!”

Not too long ago, I heard a DJ make the statement that R. Kelly “Is the most talented singer/songwriter of our time.” I couldn’t disagree more considering the last piece of original work I heard from him was a piece of something else, too: the “Trapped in the Closet” series. One word: Garbage.

Ever since then, his voice has been littering the radio on pre-existing chart toppers in the form of remixes. R. Kelly needs to stop using others to achieve success because part of being an artist is being creative, unique and original; a description he has not been embodying.

In R. Kelly’s defense, he had been well-established as an “artist” until this point. That is very much unlike Jessica Simpson’s piggy-backing kid sister, Ashlee. I feel as though this girl was walking through life completely misguided and questioning her future. I can picture it in my mind: Ashlee chillaxin’ on her sister’s private jet, reading “In Touch” while Jessica brushes her hair and Nick enjoys a Miller Lite. Suddenly, she jumps up and exclaims, “I want a hit record and I want a hit record now!”

Perhaps you were as confused as I when Ashlee got her own reality television show on MTV and even moreso when you realized she was using it to promote a music career. But perhaps you were most confused by her appearance on SNL that entailed a lip sync debacle and a hoe down. I have a hard enough time taking Jessica Simpson’s talent seriously when compared to artists like Beyonce and Christina Aguillera, let alone Ashlee Simpson.

I’m sick of “artists” being famous for seemingly no reason. R. Kelly is not revolutionizing the music industry with his remixes. And Ashlee Simpson might actually make our IQs drop when we hear the sound of her talentless voice.

Here we find ourselves in the daily grind, fighting tooth and nail to succeed when what we should really be doing is jumping on someone’s back while asking, “Going up?”

Alicia Montalvo is a first year graduate student concentrating in sports medicine. Arguments can be forwarded to a.montalvo@umiami.edu.

March 2, 2007

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.