Nina Sky is fantastic, but their record company is on my shitlist
Whose bright idea was it to release "Move Ya Body" with an instrumental -- and no bloody a cappella? Instead we get "In a Dream" -- fine track, sure, but useless for a house or techno set. What about the DJs? What about the bootleggers? This is nothing less than a slap in the face of pop cultural self-determinism. I demand satisfaction!
July Addendum; or, read the following before posting a comment:
(Updated July 3, 2004) I suppose I should be pleased that somehow, all of Nina Sky's fans are finding my site -- how, I have no idea, since I'm way, way, way down in the Google rankings. But whatever, since you're here, make yourself cozy. But before you go adding an inflammatory comment in the comment field, as several dozen readers have seen fit to do, let's get a few things straight:
1. Maybe I should have clarified in the above post from six weeks ago, which was tossed off in a state of record store fatigue and buyer's remorse. I'm not hating on Nina Sky, "Move Ya Body," Latinos, Nina in the Sky with Diamonds, moving bodies, bowel movements, or anything else really. The whole point of the quip was "Gee, I sure love that song 'Move Ya Body.' In fact, I love it so much that I really wish there were an a cappella version, because I'd love to be able to play those vocals over, like, every other record in my entire collection. That's how much I love it."
2. So ok, actually, yeah, I may have been "hating," as so many of my commentators have so astutely pointed out -- on the record company executives who declined to release an a cappella (that means purely vocal -- the opposite of the instrumental; a fact I wouldn't think I'd need to point out except that several of my readers proceeded to ream me for my post before asking, "What's an a cappella?" So there you go). See, that's what drives shit these days, kids. It's certainly what gave Jay-Z's last album such long, long legs. And I'm sure it's at least partly behind Missy Elliott's success -- or at least her ubiquity and longevity, since the many a cappella versions of her singles were available for bootlegging and remixing in any number of contexts. Perhaps someone, maybe even Nina Sky (though I doubt they have this much say in their context) didn't want there to be a bunch of "Move Ya Body" bootlegs floating around. Fair enough, although as an armchair record exec I'd say that's a mistake: if a bunch of bootleg versions of the tune suddenly cropped up, I'm sure this would be the tune of the summer. And anyway, as I noted, they did include the a cappella of "In A Dream," so they can't be against the concept in principle. They just bet on the wrong dang horse, because "Move Ya Body" is throwing up clouds of dust and "In A Dream" is, well, fit for glue.
3. I'm racist? Because I dared to say something negative even in the general vicinity of a group that happens to have two Latina frontwomen (a fact I did not know until it was generously pointed out to me)? Some of you are clearly much closer readers than I. You have a career in literary criticism ahead of you, I'm sure. (Those of you unfamiliar with my work may be intrigued to know that I've been covering music by many Latino musicians, notably Chileans, Argentines, and Mexicans, for years, though I'm hesitant to point this out for fear of lapsing into a "But some of my best friends are ____" stance. If you're curious, read the pieces and then judge.)
4. Did I mention that I love Nina Sky, or at least "Move Ya Body"? Man, whatta tune. Somewhere that point got lost; just figured I'd reiterate it.
5. I'm told that Nina Sky are hot. That's great. That's really cool. I'm glad for them, hope it gets them dates. Really had fuck-all to do with what I was talking about, but whatever. Worked for Britney, I guess.
6. Diana, thanks for the link to the reggaeton tune -- you rock.
7. This concept of "hating" has really got to go. A critic is not necessarily a "hater" -- though I hate lots of things, among them lost luggage, bad coffee, buying records for an a cappella but finding out that the a cappella included is for a different track than I thought when I plunked down my six bucks, and people who accuse me of being a hater. People, "hating" is a bankrupt concept. A capacity for argument, logic, persuasion -- now that shit puts money in the bank.
8. Please don't go accusing me of making up words if you spell right "ryte," because "bkuz," fucking "fuxiin," etc.
9. In private correspondance, one of my readers accused me of sounding like "a snotty white rich kid" for using the phrase, "a slap in the face of pop-cultural determination." The phrase was ironic. As for my own demographic of one, I'll help you out: snotty, yes; white, yes; rich, no; kid, no.
10. Did I mention how much I like that tune "Move Ya Body"? Wow, I sure wish someone would press up the vocals on vinyl so I could play that shit over, like, every other record in my collection. That would be neato. (Thanks, by the way, to the astute reader who gave a step-by-step explanation of how to make your own a cappella. You also rock, and your audio engineering skills are so far beyond mine that it makes me ashamed I even bother owning a computer.)
11. If you have read all of the above and feel like you have mastered some basic grasp of my stand on Nina Sky, "Move Ya Body," a cappellas, orthography, the Latino takeover of the Billboard charts, bootlegging, and the curious ecology of the summer jam, feel free to leave a comment below.