In Defense of…Ke$ha
This post has been way overdue, I know. But, in the wake of her much discussed, glammed up red carpet appearance at last month’s AMAs, I feel that my ode to Ke$ha finally needs to be sung.
(Image via http://justjared.com)
Ke$ha might be kind of rough around the edges, and her, um, yodelrapping might be seen as grating by some naysayers, but all in all, she is a ball of happy vibes and a beacon of boundless energy. Best of all, she does not let her chart-topping position get to her head. As silly as she might look, Ke$ha is actually in a way better place than the majority of her pop star contemporaries. If measured against the likes of RiRi, Gaga, Katy, or Nicki, or even heavyweights Xtina (<3 <3 <3) and BritBrit, Ke$ha takes the ¢ake.
She lacks the deeply rooted, flagrant self-absorption of Gaga.
(Image via http://music.aol.com)
She has her shit together way more than RiRi. She keeps her private life under wraps much better than BritBrit. She trumps Ms. Perry with both talent and the kitschy technicolor overdrive schtick. She takes her oops-I-look-like-shit candid shots with more panache than Xtina. And, while she shares many similarities with Nicki Minaj (a penchant for funny voices and lyrics, a sartorial style that could best be described as parrotilian, and an inclination toward synths and theatrics), Ke$ha manages to make her point sans the diva attitude (though, arguably, Nicki’s diva attitude is yet another thing that makes her so lovable). In the end, beneath the unkempt veneer of the hoodrat chic thing and the excessive glitz, she’s just a nice kid with a sense of humor armed with a truckload of spandex and a GLITTER GUN. What’s not to love???
(Image via http://reno.metromix.com)
Concerned parents lament that Ke$ha encourages promiscuity, lewd behavior, and public intoxication. Riiight. If your kid thinks that brushing one’s teeth with a bottle of Jack is a line to be taken literally then there are probably some larger and more pressing issues at play than the need to police the Top-40 list. Critics say that her lyrics are abysmal and her tracks are overproduced. And that’s a fair point, but look at everyone else! Music today is atrocious across the board, in every category, where making a hit is wholly contingent on autotune, synths, and relying on a producer whose nome de plume is derived from a sportswear brand. Snarking on Ke$ha for quality is unfair if the same standard is not applied to everyone else.
(Image via http://justjared.com)
Sartorial snobs rag on Ke$ha for looking like a street urchin who’s been living in a pile of David Lee Roth’s discarded duds and rolling around in glitter fairy dust for too long. At least she doesn’t rely solely on her wardrobe choices to make a name for herself, she doesn’t take her collection of wrestler mania gear too seriously, and her continued reluctance to shed her diamond in the rough persona for something more sleek and commercially friendly is way more admirable than the actions of various half-baked pop tarts (see that shortlist above) whose ideas of originality, risk-taking, and trend-setting are all decidedly stunted. Ke$ha doesn’t give a Ke$hit, and that’s okay.
(Image via http://entertainmentinafrica.com)
The rat’s nest on her hair is as tongue-in-cheek as the $ in her name, and, while her style choices are obviously made, at least in part, with the intentions of getting attention, I think that deep down she just does what she wants because it makes her happy. Ke$ha is not afraid of being herself, and I don’t think that she’s really a product (or a victim!) of some marketing ploy led by a team of PR masterminds; she is who she is (erm..“We R Who We R” …har har) on her own terms. Same can be said for other pop stars, yes, but Ke$ha’s presence has an almost puerile innocence that is absent among her contemporaries. Maybe it’s because she’s positive without being pretentious or preachy. She doesn’t act batshit crazy (mostly not, anyway) or try to start some sort of a ludicrous multimedia revolution. She doesn’t flirt with disaster (sartorial disaster notwithstanding) or turn her shows into some sort of a sexualized Hansel & Gretel smorgasbord of WTF. Ke$ha just possesses a confident, carefree aura and hopes that everyone else around her will enjoy the ride as much as she does. Hats off to Ke$ha for sticking to her [glitter]guns!