From memorable hit singles to important moments in music, 2012 has given us a lot to be thankful for. Here are the top eight music-related things we should be thankful for this Thursday:
8. Snoop Dogg’s “Reincarnation”:
Most fans thought Snoop Dogg renaming himself Snoop Lion was some elaborate joke or publicity stunt when he announced the change back in July. Although the latter is highly plausible, Snoop stated the name change was the result of being rechristened “Snoop Lion” by a Rastafarian priest in Jamaica. Although fans will always remember Calvin Broadus Jr. as Snoop Dogg, Snoop’s reincarnation is an indicator that the hip-hop icon will continue to bring good vibes for years to come.
7. Frank Ocean’s “Courage”:
In July, hip-hop singer and rapper Frank Ocean revealed on his Tumblr that he had a love affair with a man four years ago. The publicity of Ocean’s coming out letter was the result of his place in a genre known for being hypermasculine and homophobic. But once Ocean came out, a handful of rappers (50 Cent, Jay-Z, T.I.) voiced their support for him and brought a conversation about sexuality to the forefront of hip-hop. The genre remains very heteronormative, but Ocean’s courage has
6. The Beastie Boys:
Earlier this year, Beastie Boys co-founder Adam “MCA” Yauch died of cancer. With Yauch’s untimely death came praise and remembrance for his long-lasting influence. From Radiohead’s Thom Yorke to rapper Eminem, multiple artists voiced their thankfulness for Yauch’s musical impact. The Beastie Boys’ future is still uncertain: fellow Beastie Boy Michael “Mike D” Diamond stated in an interview with Rolling Stone in May that the group may disband.
5.Thomas Gabel, of Against Me!:
Having dealt with gender dysphoria since childhood, Against Me! frontman (now front-woman) Thomas Gabel, came out as transgender in May. The move was a courageous one for Gabel, now known as Laura Jane Grace. Against Me! will continue to perform with Grace in the lead, and most recently performed at Fun Fun Fun Fest.
4. The birth of Blue Ivy Carter:
Excitement has been brewing since singer Beyonce Knowles revealed her baby bump at the MTV Music Video Awards last year. Blue Ivy Carter was born in January, resulting in many congratulations for Beyonce and rap mogul Jay-Z. The best part of it all? Jay-Z dedicating a song (“Glory”) to his newborn child.
3. “Call Me Maybe”:
Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit single originally dropped last year but did not premiere in the U.S. until February. Whether listeners liked the song or not, its pop cultural relevance was inescapable. From radio stations and YouTube to “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” — Jepsen was everywhere. Jepsen recognized that no human can ignore relatable lyrical content and catchy and upbeat melodies. People can pretend to dislike “Call Me Maybe” as much as they want, but they can’t deny that it’s catchy.
A memorable beat and an easy-to-learn dance move propelled Korean pop artist PSY to worldwide popularity earlier this year. His song “Gangnam Style” has been called a “force for world peace” by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. And it makes sense: no matter what, whenever “Gangnam Style” comes on, people cannot help but gallop around and simultaneously yell, “Hey, sexy lady!” With its formulated commentary on the dangers of flaunting wealth, “Gangnam Style” is much more than just a catchy pop song.
1. Pussy Riot’s Protest in Moscow:
When several members of Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot staged a protest in opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church, the outcome was catastrophic. Three of the group’s members — Yekaterina Samutsevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina — were arrested, with Samutsevich eventually being freed, but Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina will be serving two years in prison. Pussy Riot’s bravery incited activism on a global scale, with people banding together not only for the members’ freedom, but for justice for all.
Printed on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 as: Music moments stand out in 2012