Well-seasoned R&B and hip hop veterans Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, and Sandra “Pepa” Denton are spicing up VH-1 with new reality shows. *chortle, guffaw* Their saucy new shows are going to feature them heating up the airwaves as they both seek to curry the favor of eligible men in their quests for true love. Woo-hoo-hoo. This sage career move for both ladies couldn’t have come at a better thyme. Hardee-har-har…
Do I scoff at the above info? Sure. Because what we certainly need in this world is more reality shows. Especially more relationship reality shows, which are only exceeded in their complete assness by fat celebrities trying to lose weight for ratings. What does it mean when a celebrity finds oneself headlining such a show? That they’re over. Oh sure, they may get an initial career boost, and make some coin, but what it’s really saying is that, “I was relevant once and now I’m slumming it on a Bachelor ripoff…and not even a network Bachelor ripoff…” Why does this annoy me in the case of the two ladies above? Because I was and am a fan of both TLC and Salt-&-Pepa. Both musical acts were groundbreakers: the former being one of if not the most unique and original girl groups in recent musical history and the latter the pre-eminent female rappers ever.
Whether you realize it or not, hip hop is caught in a quagmire. More and more acts with less and less to say. I can’t even keep up with them all any more. What I do know is that there’s an over-preponderance of sameness in the industry. You can probably run down the current top ten songs on the R&B / hip hop charts and find a sickening overuse of the words “shawty,” “party,” rolling on whatever size tires happen to be in fashion, and hitting up on the social networking site du jour. Slap a hooky beat on it and you’ve got your hit.
Salt-&-Pepa’s heyday was over a decade ago, so I suppose I can understand Pepa getting back out there any way she can. She was also a cast member on The Surreal Life a few years ago. But I’ve especially missed TLC since the death of Left-Eye in 2002 in a car crash in Honduras. And this isn’t Chilli’s first go-round with a reality show either, having co-starred with bandmate T-Boz in 2005’s R U The Girl, which sought out a replacement for Left-Eye that ultiamtely amounted to nothing. Of course if you follow music, you know that girl groups are transitory at best. And successes like TLC are very rare. So I guess I also can’t blame Chilli for making a buck while she can. I just wish that she and T-Boz could maybe stop wasting their time and their considerable talent and maybe get back out with some new music. Instead I’m here writing up deliberately lame condiment-related quips.