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Miko on the mic

Mills College Weekly

As I write this, I am listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the
Moon. Great CD, I will not deny this. However, there’s a song on
this legendary album that has a special trick like many albums
today. Honestly, I must admit it’s a trick that’s not very unique
and I only say that because it’s based on a certain trick that is
in no way hard to do. It’s the trick of forgetting to identify the
female vocalist.

Consider for a moment, if you will, all the great songs you’ve
heard in the last 20 years. I’ll pick a specific genre of music to
make my point more clear. Hip hop is a mostly male-dominated genre
of music. Often times in this male-dominated musical art form, the
artist singing the hook in the background is a vocalist. Now,
depending on the sex of that vocalist, there is a possibility that
the artist may not be mentioned as a featured artist alongside the
name of the main group. Usually this great trick in music is
performed using a female vocalist.

Now there are exceptions to this rule, the main one being the
popularity of the female vocalist. Consider Beyonce’s feature on
Jay-Z’s Bonnie and Clyde. Beyonce’s popularity got her name put
alongside of Jay-Z’s when you saw the video on MTV. However
consider two other songs by Jay-Z. The first being Excuse Me Miss.
Who was the featured vocalist in that song? Pharrell Williams. Not
only was he featured in the song, he was also in the video. However
remember the video for Jigga What, Jigga Who? Exactly who did the
vocals for the hook on that song?

Do you think we’d know that Beyonce was Jay-Z’s “Bonnie”? Don’t
you find it odd that Sleepy Brown is all of a sudden popular for
his hook in Outkast’s “I like the way you move?” Who is Sleepy
Brown? Why does he get mentioned alongside with Outkast?

Naturally the CD booklet is going to tell you the name of the
artist, but ponder something for a moment. Who buys CDs anymore?
Most people just burn them so the names of these used and abused
women of the music industry are being forgotten. However, the real
problem isn’t the artist who didn’t mention some insignificant girl
as his featured artist. In all honesty, the artist probably didn’t
even have any say as to who would sing the hook in the first place.
The real problem is no one ever even asks who these women are.

So, I say I support any woman who might sue an artist for not
recognizing them in a video. All female vocalists should be
mentioned right next to the main artists. Otherwise they may as
well be at the same level as a video ho. In fact, maybe we should
give a new title to these unnamed featured artists. Don’t get me
wrong. Pink Floyd? Great band. Legendary. But they fell prey to
using vocal hos on their CDs.