|(I promise you. It's not [just] because of the thighs and curves. Photo Credit: People.com and Demi Lovato's IG)|
Ok, ok. That's a weird title, I'll admit--especially since I'm (mostly) a hip-hop chronicler. What the hell am I doing about to sing the praises of a former Disney star? Someone, quick! Get the pitchforks and the Game of Thrones-esque restraints to strap me in and blast nothing but Public Enemy, Illmatic, TPAB, and Rakim to me in a "real rap" waterboarding experiment so I get "back to my roots." And if that doesn't work, Rap God forbid, may I be struck down by masses pelting me with copies of Reasonable Doubt, while my screams echo the melody of "Rapper's Delight," something akin to the Shame Walk.
Are the trolls, GoT purists, and the panickers gone? Ok, let's begin.
It started a couple years back. I was never entirely keen on most Disney stars doing music. It was the same way with, for instance, LL Cool J attempting to be a serious actor after the last couple seasons of In The House pretty much became Fresh Prince: The Later Years because Alfonso Ribeiro (who is great comedic relief, even if the Carlton Banks role left him typecasted) and/or his run in the late-90s/early-2000s rendered him as Will Smith-lite. But, I digress. My sons' mother's kid sister, at the time, was a Disney girl through and through. So, whenever she'd come to visit Raquel, the channel would almost always be tuned into Disney Channel. I happened across Demi's voice one afternoon and, legitimately, even within the confines of Disney, was taken aback. And it wasn't like an Ariana Grande taken aback where it's like "oh, ok. She's got some Mariah in her," no slight to Ariana. Both artists are great in their own right.
No, it was something that legit made me go out and buy a couple of her tracks. Yeah. Me, the lateish-20-something rap critic who blah blah blah listening to Demi Lovato, with not a single fuck given, connecting to her 2013 release more than a lot of hip-hop albums that year (that speaks volumes). And, while a beautiful, curvy young woman, me rocking with her didn't have much to do with her being...well, a beautiful, curvy young woman. Although, admittedly, it did (and does) help.
It more so, along with the music, has something to do with her activism for mental illness and body image issues. That alone, especially with her activism for mental illness (specifically bipolar disorder) gives her a plus one in my book. From personal experience, it takes a lot to go and put yourself out there like that. No, I'm not a Lovatic. Not even in the slightest. But, she's got talent and seemingly legitimate intentions. And, well, poppy or not, I rock with anyone who has talent and actually speaks in their music and actions. So, yeah. Kudos.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go stay cool for the summer (see what I just had to do there?) in this weird-ass below-80 degree weather in the DMV.