K2K7- NOW MINT-FLAVORED!!!
Beast of the Month - February 2007
Kevin "K-Fed" Federline & Nick Lachey, Dubious Pop Singer Celebrities
"I yam an anti-Christ..."
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"
On the floor, and move it real fast
I want to see your kitty and a little bit of titty
Want to know where I go when Im your city?
Girl, dont you worry about all the dough
Because a cat is coming straight out of the 'no'
Ready to rock those shows all the way to Rio
Bring that Brazil booty on the floor
Up, down, all around
Work that shit to the funky sound
Going to see where Im going, oh
Po, po, po, po, popozao, popozao
Po, po, po, po, popozao, popozao
Po, po, po, po, popozao, popozao"
Actual lyrics to K-Fed's "Popozao"
Never mind the War in Iraq, the US Military's torture of prisoners, Bush's illegal attack on civil liberties, and the rejection of the GOP in 2006, clearly the two most important stories of the year were the soap opera personal lives of Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears.
At least that's what the korporate media would have you believe if you compare the coverage Brit & Jess received over, say, the fact that deaths of American soldiers in Iraq reached the magic number of 3,000, or more than died on September 11. (No doubt when he heard of the 3,000 deaths, Bush's initial response was, "Does that mean we're going to Cooperstown?")
Still, far be it from The Konformist to turn its nose up on writing about the tawdry, sensationalistic tabloid tales surrounding Ms. Simpson & Spears, especially when there are compelling villains in these stories. And we're not talking about the ladies here.
In retrospect, Desi Arnaz, Yoko Ono and Sonny Bono, three true talents, have all gotten a bum rap. Even Tom Arnold, a man of minimal at best comedic and acting skills, must at least be applauded for being able to get an erection in front of a naked Roseanne Barr. When it comes to deadbeats of more famous and talented spouses, even Courtney Love must take a back seat to Nick Lachey and Kevin "K-Fed" Federline, The Konformist Beasts of the Month.
Let's start with Mr. Lachey, best known as the former husband of Jessica Simpson, co-starring with her on the MTV "reality" show Newlyweds 2003 to 2005. Granted, the "talents" of Ms. Simpson are rather dubious at best (her "acting" in both the film version of Dukes of Hazzards and the Dane Cook vehicle Employee of the Month were Razzie-worthy, and her singing voice, while technically proficient, is bland) but she certainly comes closer to Lucy than Nick approaches Desi. And while the whole Jessica Simpson media parade is filled with Beastly characters (starting with Jessica herself, whose only redeeming feature amid her intellectual density and inane attention-grabbing celebrity antics is that she is incredibly hot-looking; her sister Ashlee, whose embarrassing turns lip-synching on SNL and "singing" live at the 2005 Orange Bowl have ruined an unconvincing musical career, and whose own wooden acting was featured in the atrociously lame TV series 7th Heaven, leading her to the only talent she seems to have mastered: looking arguably even hotter than Jessica after extensive plastic surgery; and undoubtedly worse than the sisters combined, Papa Joe, who has to be the most creepily suspicious father this side of John Ramsey for crudely exploiting the sex appeal of his daughters for personal profit) Nick deserves special recognition for being such a decided non-entity. After all, before hooking up with Jessica, Lachey was known for being a singer in the boy band 98 Degrees. Think about that one for a minute: a bunch of guys who aspired to the level of The Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, but just weren't good enough. Aside from his boy-band work and Newlyweds, his only cultural contributions have been appearing in ads for the metrosexual deodorant Axe, infomercials for "celebrity trainer" Gunnar Peterson (who can't hold a candle to truly great infomercial fitness kings like Billy Blanks or Tony Little, but that's another story) and solo musical output so wimpy he was named by Blender Magazine the second biggest wuss in the history of pop music. Isn't this guy's fifteen minutes up already?
Speaking of fifteen minutes being up, poor little Britney. The Konformist staff has had a thing for her (pun intended) ever since seeing her video "Baby One More Time" on MTV. Okay, so maybe Britney lacks the vocals of Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston: actually, some would say her singing is on par with the acting of Chuck Norris. But just as Chuck compensates his thespian skills with certified butt-kicking, at her peak, Ms. Spears was the craftiest pop maven to come around since Madonna. Still, when "Image Is Everything" becomes your personal motto (as Andre Agassi would wisely understand) if you live by this sword, you die by it, and now Brit isn't viewed as a jailbait pop queen but rather a washed-up, twice-pregnant hillbilly. Maybe she can pull a comeback, but somehow we suspect partying with Paris Hilton sans panties isn't the best way to repair your public image.
When oh when did sweet little Brit jump the metaphorical shark? Some would argue it was her January 2004 two-day marriage to childhood pal Jason Allen Alexander that burst her bubble. Others would place it on her gum-smacking performance in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 (which won her a Razzie) declaring obtusely: "I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes." Nice theories, of course, but most would likely place her downfall on her second 2004 marriage, to the now widely despised K-Fed.
K-Fed, as Federline-Spears is usually referred to, had been a background dancer for Brit before their marriage, and appeared in the break-dance film You Got Served, considered to be one of the worst movies of the decade (though it competes with Britney's own atrocious flick Crossroads in this category.) After their wedding, they appeared together in the UPN reality show Chaotic, which is widely considered to be one of the worst shows of the decade as well (no small feat in the era of Temptation Island and Joe Millionaire.) Then, last year, he released a single titled "Popozao", which was widely lambasted as the worst rap song since Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" (though Rob Van Winkle's tune at least had the honor of being a number one hit.) Thanks to the song's derision (aided by an embarrassing YouTube video of K-Fed doing bizarre hand movements while listening to it, and a spoof reading of its lyrics by Inside the Actors Studio's James Lipton on Conan O'Brien) it was scrapped from his debut hip-hop album, but it didn't help. Released on Halloween, Playing with Fire was a critical and commercial bomb, debuting at number 151 on the Billboard album charts by selling a mere 6,500 copies despite the widespread publicity hype, then disappearing from the charts altogether its second week. Entertainment Weekly described it as "a concept album about squandering Britney Spears' fortune." K-Fed was voted "Worst Act" by Rolling Stone readers and "Douche Bag of the Year" by Blender readers (beating out George W. Bush and Mel Gibson) in their 2006 polls, and both "Popozao" and Playing with Fire are considered among the worst music of the decade. Gee, film, television, music: all K-Fed needs to do is write a book - or have a ghostwriter do it for him - and he will achieve a grand slam for lousy artistic output.
(About the only thing K-Fed appears to have talent at is impregnating women, having done it twice to Spears in their barely two-year marriage, and twice to his previous girlfriend Shar Jackson. In the process, he has unwittingly promoted the eugenics movement more than anyone since Hitler.)
Okay, fine you say, Lachey and K-Fed suck. We know that. What's the bigger picture?
Here it is: after being dumped by Jessica, Lachey has been linked to luscious MTV TRL host Vanessa Minnillo. Since dumping Nick, Ms. Simpson has dated noted wimp-rockers John Mayer (who previously dated the ludicrously sexy Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Adam Levine of Maroon 5. (Actually, if the rumors are true about her sleeping around during her marriage, there's a lot more names on this list, but we digress.) Her sister Ashlee has dated puss-pop singer Ryan Cabrera and emo band Fall Out Boy vocalist Pete Wentz. Britney's most noted relationship before K-Fed was wussy former 'N Sync-er Justin Timberlake. Among Timberlake's other alleged conquests: Alyssa Milano, Cameron Diaz, Jessica Biehl and Scarlett Johansson. Even Desperate Housewives babe Eva Longoria (the first two-year champion as Maxim's hottest woman on the planet) has a boy-band singer in her past, dating Justin's fellow 'N Sync member JC Chasez before she wised up and dumped him for Tony Parker.
Granted, connecting these dots does not reveal a conspiracy on the level of the JFK assassination, but it is telling of the times. The decade may not be over, but the zeroes have been, hands down, the weakest decade of pop music since the rock revolution of the 50's. True, hip-hop has had an impressive show (most notably OutKast, Kanye West, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Usher and sometimes Eminem) but when it comes to rock, what do the zeroes have to show? Dylan, the Boss, and U2 (when Bono isn't out campaigning for a Nobel Peace Prize) still got it after all these years, but aside from them, the pickings are slim: Radiohead, Green Day, Dave Matthews and maybe The White Stripes are among the few acts to regularly deliver quality rock since 2000. Indeed, the real bright side of the decade in music isn't from hip-hop but the ladies, who have picked up the slack while the guys have gone to boy bands and moping emo whiners: Beyonce (either solo or in Destiny's Child), Gwen Stefani (either solo or in No Doubt), Pink, Alicia Keys, Nelly Furtado, Christina Aguilera, M.I.A., Fiona Apple, and Mariah Carey (who has exceeded Frank Sinatra in the greatest comeback in pop music history) all, like Stacy's mom, have got it going on. (We'd include Fergie on this list, but we're afraid she might pee her pants again.) Still, with all due respect to Joan Jett, it takes gonads to really rock, and the women can't fill the void the boys have left in testosterone deficiency.
Which leads back to Jessica, Britney and co. There was a time during Vietnam when the antiwar movement was tied to rock. This was by design: counterculture activist Abbie Hoffman made sure that at antiwar rallies, there were lots of good-looking women involved. That way, he figured, the guys would be sure to show up. He was right, and the rock stars joined the babes at the forefront of protest. Even twenty years ago, pick a babe and more than likely she was hooking up with Prince, Billy Idol or any member of Motley Crue. Artists that were rebellious in image, dangerous, even lewd. Enough trouble to challenge the establishment. No wonder Tipper Gore was freaking out.
Cut to the Dubya years, and the music scene has been largely impotent in the face of war in Iraq. When men have as their models for success with chicks deadbeat losers like K-Fed and pouting posers like Nick Lachey, is it a surprise that music has become such a castrated field? When Rick James' "Superfreak" has been replaced by Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds as makeout mood music, aren't we all doomed?
Perhaps things will change: after nearly four years of Iraq and five and a half since 9/11, they really need to. But until Lachey and K-Fed have been replaced with something slightly more dangerous and daring, The Konformist won't be holding its breath.
In any case, we salute K-Fed & Nick Lachey as Beasts of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, dudes!!!
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