It's not often that we hear of Grace Jones in the media, but when we do, it's sure to be something that stops you in your tracks. Gearing up to release her own memoir, the icon had the world's eyes in the palm of her hand as she criticized some of pop music's leading ladies, basically saying, "I'm their motha."
In an except published in Time Out London, Jones said she sees the current music landscape as a stomping ground for a bunch of trend-jumping opportunists who got rich by ripping off her style. Targeting Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna first, she says that they reach their peak too quickly, calling them "middle of the road" pop stars who try to recreate looks she's created. Ouch!
"The problem with... the Nicki Minajes and Mileys is that they reach their goal very quickly. There is no long-term vision," she writes. "They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo, but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and breasts, singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats — that is the status quo. You are not off the beaten track, pushing through the thorny undergrowth, finding treasure no one has come across before. You are in the middle of the road."
Also, Ms. Strangé doesn't appreciate being copied and she doesn't intend on following a trend, especially ones she's considered to be the originator of. She recalled this one moment in particular where RiRi copied a trend that she was famously known for introducing.
"Rihanna... she does the body-painting thing I did with Keith Haring, but where he painted directly on my body, she wears a painted bodysuit. That's a difference," she writes. "Mine is on skin... I don't even know if she knows that what she's doing comes from me, but I bet you the people styling her know. They know the history."
As her criticisms continue throughout the piece, Jones's most in-depth assessment comes when she shares her opinions on a performer she calls "Doris," who cited Jones as a major early inspiration and even wanted to collaborate with her. "Everyone around me is going: 'You have to do it, it will be so good for you, it will introduce you to a whole new audience, you will make a lot of money,'" she remembered. "No! It will be good for her; she will draw from everything I have built and add it to her brand, and I will get nothing back except for a little temporary attention."
Further dissecting "Doris," she said she only sees "a baby in a closet full of other people's clothes, a little girl playing dress-up, putting on shoes that don't fit... She looks lost, like she is desperately trying to find the person she was when she started."
So, who is "Doris?" Many believe she could be referring to Lady Gaga in her assessment, but seeing as she never blatantly names the subject, the guessing game will have to do for now. As for the new school of pop singers, Jones says she's a teacher and some of her pupils include FKA Twigs, Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West.
I'll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones will be released in full on September 24.
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