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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Is Pete Wentz an Evil Genius?
Thursday, February 04, 2010

Some of you may remember my feature on last year’s Warped Tour and the not so glowing review I gave of an act called Millionaires. I referred to them as “The Powerpuff Girls attempting to rap over pop-techno beats,” and compared them to 2 Girls 1 Cup. The group’s EP had the Decaydance imprint on it, and their video for “Alcohol” featured Decaydance label owner Pete Wentz in it. Many assumed this meant Millionaires was part of the Decaydance roster. Wentz went to some lengths to deny that, but in retrospect, was deciding to release Millionaires’ EP in the summer of 2009 the favor Wentz later claimed it to be, or the mark of a man who could foresee what was on the horizon in pop music?

Let me be clear about this, Millionaires are not music to my ears. They are clearly aimed at a younger crowd and I actually think they could be potentially damaging to that crowd because their audience may still be at the point of being influenced by everything they hear. I don’t consider myself conservative in the least, heck, I love Akinyele, but his work is aimed towards adults. Songs about getting “fucked up” and sleeping around aren’t something I’d want my 12 year old listening to (if I had a 12 year old). The door has been opened for Millionaires, though, thanks to a club going dirty blonde named Ke$ha.

The emergence of Ke$ha and her hit “TiK ToK,” which is all about the joys of drinking and clubbing with no respect to one’s wallet, has proved that as long as a song is crafted properly, ignorant white girl rap will not only be accepted by the masses, but embraced. Heck, I’m not immune to it, I know half the lyrics to “TiK ToK.” The first time I heard it, however, my jaw dropped because I though Millionaires were getting airplay on Z100 (I quickly figured out it was too clean to be a Millionaires song). Ke$ha’s follow up, the even more shallow “Blah Blah Blah,” is currently climbing the charts and the more I hear it the more I realize the scary fact that Millionaires might very well be next up to bat.

This brings me back to Pete Wentz. He may have denied signing Millionaires to his label in 2009, but he did press up their CD, even if he claimed, at the time it was simply due to the fact that they all happened to be in the same place at the same time. Does that reasoning sound a little fishy to anyone else? Perhaps he was just trying to distance himself from a group that was getting ripped by every critic from here to Timbuktu and that he didn’t have to have an affiliation with. Oh what a difference a year, and one trashy pop-singer hitting number one on the charts, makes.

Now Millionaires look like a potentially bankable act, and something tells me Wentz, despite his denial of signing them, knew about this all along. He now has an established relationship with them, he pressed up their first album, and he was even in one of their videos. With all that laid out it’s hard to imagine he didn’t have a feeling they would go somewhere. I think this is all the mark of an evil genius. OK, so maybe it’s not technically “evil,” but I think that prefix makes it sound a lot cooler. The point is, Pete Wentz clearly knows what he’s doing.

As an aside - I wonder how many of these pop-rapper chicks realize they all owe a large portion of their checks to Gillette? I know you didn’t forget about her!


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:30 AM  
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