The Grammys 2012: How High Is The Bar Set For Black Artists?

*Marlon Wayans Voice* “Help me, help me please!!”  Upon reading about Nicki Minaj’s recent disclosures that she feels burnt out and stressed about this massive celebrity she’s created, I can’t help but feel that this is what she’s thinking in this snapshot.  Nevermind the fact that all the theatrics of her performance were just a cover up for bad music, because I want to find the answer to a deeper question.  On a certain level, she did create the whole Barbie image, but she didn’t just take it and run with it, SHE FLEW WITH THE SHIT!!  It’s not even about her talent (loosely used)  anymore, but about some constant pursuit of shock value to hold the audience’s attention.  Why can’t the music alone hold the audience’s attention?  Why does dancing, explosions, and high wire trapeze acts have to accompany Black artists’ performances?  Why does Lil’ Kim and Janet Jackson have to pop a titty out?  I mean, look at Chris Brown:

Yes, the body you see in mid-air in this picture is none other than Chris Brown doing a double-back-flip-360 pirouette-twist-somersault-cartwheel off of  a tall-ass box and managed not to break his neck on the landing.   What’s not shown in the picture is a small speech bubble by Chris Brown’s head that reads “PLEASE LIKE ME, I’LL DO ANYTHING!!”  He shucked and jived non-stop for 5 minutes, just to get this simultaneous reaction from White people across the nation:

Meanwhile, Adele who just had throat surgery, was one of the biggest stories of the night.  She’s an undeniably talented singer/songwriter, and her performance was nothing short of awe-inspiring.  With that said, she just stood there and sang.  Literally….Did not move…The entire time…Her foot tapped to the beat…a little..maybe rocked back and forth…a little…And this was the simultaneous reaction from White people across the nation:

Most of the time she just plops down on a stool and she’s good to go.  Now her vocal ability is a major part of her success, and I completely see why.  But I will say that Beyonce is vocally on her level, if not better.  But would Beyonce have the same mainstream success if she just stood there and sang a song, and that was all she did?  No complicated dance numbers, no extra shit goin’ on in the background during her performance, and no titties almost poppin’ out?  If Beyonce sat on the Adele Stool, she would get one of these: