10 weirdest music news stories of 2010
2010 has been an aggressively weird year in music news. It seemed like no matter where we turned musicians were saying and doing the strangest damn things. From decrying the most popular thing in the world to talking people off of buildings, it was a wacky year to report. There was so much weirdness we had to take a microscope to the last year in news to find the strangest of the bunch. Click through to find our picks, and be sure to let us know if we forget anything.
In October, rapper T.I. managed to talk a suicidal man off a 22-story building. As the story goes, T.I. heard the news on the radio, called in to offer his help and then shot a video to commemorate the event. Curiously, it was just a day before T.I. was scheduled to be sentenced for drug related charges.
9. Kanye West becomes a meme
Kanye West has always been a spotlight-hogging artist, but when he decided to get himself a Twitter account, things were bumped up to a whole new level. Not only was his constant stream of banality a hot topic for conversation, it ended up becoming a meme in the form of New Yorker style images being coupled with his tweets. Then he released his album to critical acclaim and disappeared, just like a good meme should.
A once no-name band going by the name of Imperial Stars decided the best way to garner some publicity for their act was to block traffic on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles. The result? They were arrested, and their Myspace following jumped from 115 friends to 1660 -- and they ended up earning felony conspiracy charges.
American has spoken and America loves Glee. The show that turns songs into show tunes has been a non-stop hit maker destroying the Billboard charts, but not everyone was into it this year. In fact, the Red Hot Chili Peppers said "hell no," to the show when they approached them about using their songs. Immediately after that Gorillaz/Blur front man Damon Albarn preemptively declined to allow his songs on the show, then went on to record an album on an iPad for no apparent reason.
On August 6, Wyclef Jean announced he would be running for President in Haiti. On September 21, he ended that effort. Why did the former Fugees singer bow out? His publicist said it was so he could promote his new album. Oh, and he was disqualified by the Haitian government.
5. Everyone hates on the Internet
In an interview with NME in April, Jake White claimed, "In my head, I'm still living and working as if there is no Internet." Then came Prince in July. In an interview with the Daily Mirror he claimed, "The Internet's completely over... all these computers and digital gadgets are no good." You'd think that would be enough fodder for the year, but in August, John Mellencamp came out and said that not only did the Internet kill the music business, but that it was dangerous.
4. John Mayer, M.I.A. lose their respective filters
John Mayer and M.I.A. shouldn't ever be put in the same category together, but alas, here they are. John Mayer kicked it all off this past February when he dropped an N-bomb, compared his penis to white supremacist, talked about sex with Jessica Simpson and then went dark for the rest of the year when fans got pissed. M.I.A. kept the controversy alive by sounding off about pretty much everything, from Justin Bieber to video games. She attacked Google, Lady Gaga and, finally, Lynn Hirschberg, whose New York Times interview portrayed her in a negative light. She ended that one by tweeting Hirschberg's phone number in a decidedly childish move before she finally released a lackluster album in July.
Here in Denver we're very familiar with Juggalos. This year, the rest of the nation seemed to learn about these strange and wonderful creatures. The driving force was certainly ICP's ridiculous video for "Miracles," but the chaos that happened at the Gathering of the Juggalos certainly helped, as well. ICP and its fans have always been a part of music's fringe culture, but this year, they truly broke into the mainstream with some of the weirdest and strangest news of the year.
In November, MC Hammer decided to start a beef with Jay-Z by claiming he sold his soul to the devil. The hope was to get his new video to go viral, and it did, but not in the way Hammer had hoped. In fact, Jay-Z made Hammer look the fool by hardly even bothering to respond.
1. The RIAA is still insane
First it was revealed that the RIAA spent $16 million to recover $391,000 from lawsuits and then it changed the rules for Platinum certification to allow for music game sales. Even after the recent fall of Pirate Bay, Limewire and Kazaa, it's clear that the RIAA still has no idea how to go about running its business in the Internet era. It's bizarre that one of the most powerful entertainment industries cannot figure out what to do with its business.
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