Britney Spears’ ‘Slave 4 U’ turns 18 years old: Feel old?

While some remember 2001 as a dark time, there was one gleaming light in the darkness, and her name was Britney Jean Spears. Yes, I bolded her name because you put respect on her name when speaking about the queen of pop. On this day, September 25, in 2001, Britney Jean Spears taught America about sexuality and invented music with her iconic song, “I’m a Slave 4 u.” Britney Jean Spears brought the country together with sexy dancing, moaning, and pure pop goodness.

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I know I may be young, but I’ve got feelings too

“I’m a Slave 4 u” is the first single off of her third album entitled “Britney.” It was written and produced by The Neptunes, Chad Hugo, and Pharrell Williams. “I’m a Slave 4 U” is proof that Pharrell doesn’t screw up everything he touches. The song was Britney Jean Spears sexually awakening. At the age of 19, it was Britney shedding her good-girl image and starting a more mature path in music. Fun fact: this song was written for Janet Jackson, along with another song off of “Britney” entitled “Boys.” What bops.

Frankly iconic

Lyrically, the song talks about being in the club and letting the music control you and being a “slave to the music.” In an interview, Britney Jean Spears said that the song is “about me just wanting to go out and forget who I am and dance and have a good time. That’s kinda where I am now right now. I love working, but at the same time, I love having a good time.” Let’s be real, it’s about having sex with someone hot.

The song also had a strong R&B and urban feel to the song. There’s also a lot of breathing, panting, record scratching, and moaning in the song. Most don’t know that it’s a federal offense if you don’t breathe heavy, pant, or moan with Britney. That’s why most people go to jail. “I’m a Slave 4 u” is frankly a hypnotic banger that you can’t help to dance to when it comes on. It’s the 2000s equivalent Janet Jackson’s “Nasty,” which you need to hear if you haven’t already. I’m still waiting for the Britney Jean Spears and Janet Jackson duet.

“I’m a Slave 4 U” because iconic at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. Britney Jean Spears performed the song, and a special guest came on stage: a live albino Burmese Python. There was also a white tiger, but no one cares about that tiger. You have seen one tiger, you have seen them all. She also rode a male dancer like a horse. It wasn’t as dirty as it sounds. But it was risque for the time.

Throughout the years, Britney Jean Spears has even made it more sexually charged and dirty. She’s added whips, stripper poles, rainforest/jungle chic, and also remixed it with Busta Rhymes and The Nuptune’s song “Light Your Ass on Fire.” Such an iconic remix that all need to hear. “I’m a Slave 4 U” is a timeless classic that all should enjoy and respect. Without it, we wouldn’t have music.

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Lizzie McGuire and the International Music Video Awards

2003 was a year that will live in music history infamy. Beyoncé dropped her debut solo single, “Crazy in Love.” The concert festival Lollapalooza returned after a six-year absence. iTunes launched worldwide. A teenage girl killed one of the most prestigious awards shows with one performance. It’s time to revisit a little trip to Rome where a clumsy blonde girl from a typical small-town USA went on stage and performed at the world-famous award show. Think like the VMAs but even more significant and weird. It’s time to remember that iconic yet strange performance of “What Dreams Are Made of” by Lizzie McGuire.

Goodbye, Lizzie McGuire. Hello, fabulous

Editor’s note: If you are taking this seriously then please GTFO. See you next week brah.

It was the 2003 International Music Video Awards. All the Italian music stars were there. They were soaking up each other’s Italian awesomeness while drinking awesome Italian shooters. Italian pop icons and their version of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, Isabella Parigi and Paolo Valisari were set to perform. They were going to set their regional hit ballad “What Dreams Are Made Of.” It was a big deal. Such a big deal in fact that Isabella pulled a Britney Jean and split on the adorable tan and slightly muscular cannoli, Paolo after they broke up. It wasn’t full level Britney “I’m going to shave my head” Jean level, but still, she pulled a Britney.

“We’ve been voted “best pop duo of the year” again,” Paolo stated, “But I want to do more serious music. And when I told this to lsabella, she said flat-out ‘no.’ I was forced to tell her, ‘This is it. This will be our last CD together’.”

Lizzie McGuire and Paolo Valisari

Paolo saw Lizzie on the streets one day and thought, “That looks like my lovely Isabella.” So he told the impressionable blonde girl from America “I can make you a star baby” and she didn’t find it sketchy or creepy. This is why we don’t have beautiful things. The two prepared for the International Music Video Awards event of the year that feels like in a few days. Lizzie was only in Italy for two weeks. Literally, it was probably within a week to rehearse and prepare this for the world, aka Italy, to see.

The Performance

On the day of the performance, Lizzie’s best friend David Zephyr Gordon, aka Gordo, ran into the real-life Isabella at the airport. It’s that Lizzie learned about the true intentions of Paolo.

“That whole story about Paolo doing his own music and going solo. That’s lsabella,” Gordo said, ” She’s the one that sings live. Isabella wants to quit the act. Paolo is just a liar. This has all been some scheme to set you up and embarrass you onstage.”

It was then that Gordo and Isabella plotted and changed the game on Paolo. Paolo arranged for Lizzie’s mic to be live and to have her take the fall for Isabella. Gordo and Isabella hijacked the audio board and had Paolo actually sing live while Isabella sang live for Lizzie. As a result, Paolo was blindsided.

You’re grounded for the rest of the summer, sweetheart. But we’re really proud of you

Sam and Jo McGuire, Lizzie’s parents

“Sing for me, Paolo” Isabella said to Paolo before he ran in embarrassment. Isabella had exposed Paolo for the biggest lip-sync scandal to hit Europe since the Milli Vanilli incident in 1989. After Isabella explained what just happened to the thousands in attendance and the millions watching at home, her and Lizzie went on to perform a more pop and upbeat version of “What Dreams are Made of.” Isabella then let Lizzie make her solo musical debut continuing on with the performance that wasn’t ever rehearsed nor planned out.

It was during this performance that the first weave was snatched. It flew out of the country once Lizzie’s backup dancers pulled her tear away her skirt to reveal pants. Lizzie got a standing ovation from all her fellow classmates, family members in attendance, as well as the people in attendance.

The Aftermath

“While it was the usually Paolo and Isabella performance we have been accustomed to,” Italian music critic Alonso Veracruz wrote in his review of the performance in a 2003 article for MTV Italy, “American new comer Lizzie McGuire did very well in her first performance after the initial nerves.”

“The Technicolor finish was the best part of the entire performance,” Aleece Butera of Entertainment Tonight Italy, ” I don’t know what I just watch but I hope that I never have to see that again.”

International Music Video Awards were quietly canceled as no one could ever top that performance, as well of the fact it was the lowest-rated award show in the history of European television. The performance has become a cult classic among the LGBTQ+ community as a song celebrating coming out and being true to yourself. Lizzie McGuire became a gay icon.

Since the performance, Paolo has been exiled from the spotlight and been living off the grid. No one has seen him since the camera caught him leaving on that night. Isabella had a successful solo career before going off and starting a family. She is currently starting in as a host on Disney Channel Italy. Lizzie McGuire will be starring in an upcoming show on Disney + named after her.

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It’s a whole new world with the new ‘Aladdin’

In the fall of 1992, Walt Disney Pictures released the animated feature film “Aladdin.” Based on the Arabic folk tale “One Thousand and One Nights,” the film went on to become the highest-grossing film of the year, as well as have an animated series, two direct to video sequels, and a Broadway adaptation. And like everything in this world, it’s time that to remake the classic Disney film that made an estimated $504 million in the box office because of money.

A Whole New World

“Aladdin” was directed in Guy Ritchie (“Snatch,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “One of Madonna’s ex-husbands”). Guy also wrote the screenplay with John August (“Charlie’s Angels,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”). Like stated and mocked above, this is a remake. While I wouldn’t call it a modern retelling, it is a different version of the movie that we have gotten. There’s a lot of what we loved about the original film, as well as some updated elements that help add more depth to the story.

Mena Massoud (“Jake Ryan”) stars as the title character Aladdin, a young thief from the right side of the tracks that end up falling for Princess Jasmine, played by Namoi Scott (“Saban’s Power Rangers,” upcoming reboot of “Charlie’s Angels”). Aladdin gets trapped in the cave of wonder after Jafar, Marwan Kenzari (“Ben-Hur,” “The Mummy,” the remake king), send him in after Aladdin meets the Genie, Will Smith (“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Men In Black”), and the Genie helps him try to win over Princess Jasmine’s heart before Jafar’s master plan comes into light.

Honestly, this movie isn’t horrible. It’s not the most magnificent remake in the world, especially went it’s compared to the source material. “Aladdin” is overall little over two hours and ten minutes or 128 minutes. 1992 “Aladdin” is about an hour and a half, or 90 minutes. That’s about 38 minutes longer than it needs to be. I get that it’s different when it comes to live-action vs. animated. If they could have chopped off 10-15 minutes, then it wouldn’t have dragged toward the end. Most of that is more depth in parts to add to the plot. Some of that does work, but a lot of it doesn’t work. It just feels out of place and drags the movie.

The acting in the movie is excellent. Everyone in the film does an excellent job as portraying the characters. I’m not a big fan of Will Smith as the Genie, but that was always going to be a hard act to follow. I’m also sad that Gilbert Gottfried didn’t reprise his role as Iago, but it works as Iago didn’t have that big of a function like in the animated works. The music in the film is also well done. It’s all the songs from the original movie, plus one new song that honesty is everything. Mena, Naomi, and Marwan are the ones that shine the most in their roles.

Production-wise, this is a beautifully shot and produced film. Some of the directing is a little wonky at times, but you can look past it at how they brought this film to life. Parts of it was produced in Jordan, and those deserts scenes are what really make it feel like “Aladdin.” The CGI is okay but for a Disney film in 2019, it could have and should have been better.

Verdict

“Aladdin” isn’t a bad movie; if you didn’t know it was a remake, it would be a fun Disney movie. As a remake, “Aladdin” doesn’t stack up to what we got with the “Beauty and the Beast” remake. While I appreciate them trying to add to the overall plot and story of “Aladdin,” the changes don’t do anything for the movie. I do recommend checking out the film, because like I said, it’s a good movie on its own merits. But as a remake of a beloved classic, it falls short of being in the same class.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Taylor Swift|”Lover” review

Are you ready for it? Taylor Swift released her much anticipated seventh studio album “Lover,” on August 23, 2019. The album comes two years after the release of her sixth album “reputation.” It’s time that we put away the snakes and leather for some pastel colors and a heart over our eyes. “Lover” is here and it’s time to review it.

I promise that you’ll never find another like me

“Lover” is a pop album that is vastly different than her electro-pop ode to her “bad reputation” that we got when Taylor proclaimed the iconic line that “Old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now because she’s dead.” “reputation” was full of bangers and bops that rocked during her stadium tour for the album back in 2018. “Lover” is a more upbeat and happier and brighter album.

The common theme of the album is romance. The lyrics on the song are the typical Taylor Swift well-done lyrics and cover a wide range of topic under romance. Taylor stated in an Instagram Livestream on June 14, 2019, that “Lover” is ‘not just simply thematically, like it’s all love songs or something. The idea of something being romantic; it doesn’t have to be a happy song. You can find romance in loneliness or sadness or going through things in your life… it just looks at those things through a romantic gaze.”The album relies heavily on synth-pop melodies. Like Taylor’s fifth studio album, “1989,” it makes up most of the songs on the album.

Because of this, it doesn’t create some of the songs sounding too similar to each other. During my listen, it sometimes felt like I’ve already heard this song before. The flow of the album is good, especially with an 18 song tracklist. I wish that they would have spread out “ME!” and “You Need to Calm Down” to help break up the sound a little more. There’s only one song in-between them. I’m glad they aren’t the first songs on the album.

Let’s talk about the snake on the album as Taylor removed a lyric from the album’s first single “ME!” After months of having the song overplayed, she removed the lyric “Hey Kids; spelling is fun!” from the album version. Doesn’t seem like a big deal but it honestly just sounds weird. Sure, the fans have a new thing to yell during the inevitable tour. It feels like something is missing when you listen to it. Was it essential to remove the lyrics? No. I’m hoping that the fans go “Hey bitches; spelling is fun!” That needs to be a thing.

“Lover” is a phenomenal album that is well-produced and well written. It just suffers from having songs sounding too similar and not being spaced out enough with songs that help break it up. “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince,” “Cruel Summer,” “Daylight,” “The Man,” and “You Need To Calm Down” are some of my personal favorites off this albums. I honestly wish it had more bangers like “reputation” had. But I did enjoy “Lover” and recommended it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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