2013 Soul Train Awards Review

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The 2013 Soul Train Awards has come and gone and it’s time for us to talk about the good, the bad, and the wait…wait…whut!?! moments. Welp let’s get started!

This year’s pre-show was hosted by Wendy Williams. She was assisted by R&B singer/songwriter Sevyn Streeter and Janelle Snowden. I must say I enjoyed the red carpet special because it did not seem like it was all over the place like previous red carpets. It was edited well and seemed that all the unnecessary stuff was removed. This was actually a good idea. Wendy Williams was her usual messy self, and I didn’t expect anything less from her. She delivered! Good job Wendy, Sevyn and Janelle there were not many side eyes needed here. Now let’s move on to what you really want to hear about, and that is the performances.

Jennifer Hudson opened the show performing her new single, I Can’t Describe, the song features T.I. and to add a little magic to the performance she brought out Evelyn Champagne King and Chaka Khan. Auntie Evelyn came out and dropped it like it was hot JUST to let y’all know that she still can! Auntie Ev performed, I’m In Love, and gave us a vintage vocal. Next up Auntie Chaka came out and performed, Do You Love What You Feel, which is a Rufus classic, and did a great job. Whoever planned and staged this performance did a great job. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and I didn’t feel like Jennifer was hollering at me, like she normally does. Evelyn Champagne King and Chaka Khan bridged the gap between the younger and older generations.

Next up, Anthony Anderson came out and  did the requisite comedic opening, which is a necessary evil at all black awards shows. It was entertaining and garnered a few laughs. Anderson was just enough as the host. He did not do too much, he did just enough.

Wale and Stokley (Mint Condition) came out and gave a rousing rendition of Wale’s song, LoveHate Thing. Stokley slid on this song, it wasn’t Mint Condition’s, Pretty Brown Eyes, but it will do. I am honestly never really wowed with Wale’s live performances; he just does alright to me. I’m sure many will disagree with me, and your entitled to your opinion.

Soul Train highlighted the contributions of our Caucasian friends have made to soul music. The performance featured Jon B, Bobby Caldwell, Dave Koz, and Vanilla Ice. First let me say that, They Don’t Know by Jon B, used to be my shit, and I have the CD single to prove it. Second let me say that I had no idea that Bobby Caldwell was Caucasian. It was kind of like that moment when I discovered that there was not a female singer in After 7, and in fact that supposed woman was actually a man. Thirdly let me say y’all can try to act like y’all didn’t know the lyrics to and go crazy for Ice Ice Baby. Y’all know damn well that y’all requested that video on Jukebox, and waited with baited breath for it to come on, and hoped that your Mama didn’t find out that you called in to request a video. I enjoyed this performance.

Love and Hip Hop’s Resident Hood Mouse K. Michelle ( I affectionately call her that, stand back Rebellious Ones) performed a medley of (Can’t Raise A Man & V.S.O.P.) One thing you cannot deny is the fact that K can really sing! I could have done without that heavy ass wig she was wearing, but I’ll let that slide, because she gave a very solid performance. This is the K. Michelle that I like to see, and not that ratchet “I’m from Memphis” foolishness that she portrays on reality TV. I think the best thing K. Michelle said during an interview with The Skorpion Show was, “Shut up and sing!” *taps K’s shoulder* take your own advice, and do just that! I promise you’ll go further.

Ok let’s talk about Keith Sweat’s tribute to himself. So you’re telling me that Trey Songz, Avant, J. Holiday, and the “Light Skin Keith Sweat” himself, Drake was not available? I mean Drake did say he would make it last forever. I would have even taken Elijah Blake or Mario I mean damn! There is no reason that Keith Sweat or any performer should have to get up and perform their own tribute. You can say what you want about Keith, but whining and begging aside he has receipts for days, check his resume! He pioneered the New Jack Swing Era and deserves his props! Keith performed all your favorites, and even brought out a slenderized Faith Evans for, Make It Last Forever. Faith did an awesome job! I enjoyed the performance, but Centric in the future please find at younger singers to do these tributes.

As much as it pains me to have to do this, because I heart her, we have to talk about She!Me!Her! AKA SlayMar AKA Tamar Braxton’s performance. Ok let’s first start with this flower covered swing. This could have worked had she actually been suspended above the stage and lowered as the song progressed, but I guess that wasn’t in the budget.  Next let’s talk about this terrible ass jumper, with the piece of material that barely covered Tamar’s purse. Terrell Mullins and whatever that young man’s name is that styles, Tamar need to be taken out back and water boarded, because y’all had my girl up on stage looking a hot boo boo mess. Did the team really look at that ensemble and say, “This looks good!” I hope the hell not! Then let’s talk about how Tamar singing along with the track ruined the performance for me. Vince please audition some background singers to go along with this band STAT! The only good thing I can say about the performance is she hit that note in, All The Way Home, but that is about it. Team Tamar, please DO BETTER! You are one of my favorite up and comers, but performances like this one cannot happen! This performance really saddened me, because I want her to win!

Dionne Warwick was honored with Soul Train’s Soul Icon Award. Her musical tribute included: Ronald Isley, Chrisette Michelle, Ruben Studdard, Candice Glover, Eric Benet, Bobby Valentino Gladys Knight, and Eddie Levert. The group sang some Auntie Dionne’s classic songs. This was a great tribute. The song selection was great, and everyone did an awesome job covering her classics. Dionne Warwick does not get her just do! You can act like, Do Make Me Over, and I’m not talking about Sybil’s version, doesn’t knock! You will respect Auntie Dionne. The group closed out the tribute singing, That’s What Friends Are For, which is a timeless classic. This was a great performance.

Another highlight of the night was the Hip Hop throwback moment featuring Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, and Slick Rick performing a medley of hip hop classics. This performance had me standing up on my couch reciting the lyrics to all the songs performed, especially Big Daddy Kane’s portion. Before there was a Jay-Z or a Notorious B.I.G there was Big Daddy Kane, please know your hip hop history! This performance was stellar! I was on my feet for the whole thing.

The show closed out with a celebrity Soul Train line. The creative director for this show needs to be signed for all shows going forward( BET Awards and BET Hip Hop Awards) The production quality of this show is leaps and bounds ahead of the EBT(BET) Awards. He or she needs a raise and a bigger budget, I was impressed with the show overall. All in all this was a solid show. I was not bored and I wasn’t tempted to change the channel to the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Good Job Centric!

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