Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and, albeit sometimes awkwardly, tie it to a bit of Houston rap. It's five videos and occasional cussing. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
First, a qualifier: When we talk about Mo'Nique, same as when we talk about anybody, we're referring to her as an entity, not a person. (That is not a fat joke.) We have absolutely no real way of discerning what type of person she actually is. In regards to her as a human being, she might be just about the best. Who knows? That said, Mo'Nique, who brings her "Spread the Love" tour to Reliant Arena Saturday, is just about the worst. Ack. It's hard to explain exactly what it is that makes her so unbearable - it likely has something to do with how she overlaughs at everything, and how she coasted through the early part of her career content to reinforce stereotypes; or maybe it's because she gave thought that making her name into a contraction would somehow make her more interesting - we just know that she is. Matter of fact, we hear that in important Hollywood entertainment-industry circles she's referred to as "The One We Do Not Speak Of," like an actress-version of those monsters from The Village.
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If you've not bothered to pay her any mind, here are a few movies she has holstered in her filmography: 3 Strikes Baby Boy (This is actually a better movie than you'd assume it to be, but not because of her.) Soul Plane Hair Show Phat Girlz Beerfest It's not exactly a powerhouse lineup. Still, we are not so nearsighted that we can not recognize that Ms. 'Nique, clean off what can only be described as a splendid performance in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, which landed her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, has the entertainment industry's ear at the moment. Which is why it was a noteworthy accomplishment that Houston's Sentury appeared on Mo'Nique's BET program earlier this week.
Sentury is a four-man-strong R&B group. According to their single "Lose Control," a buzzy dancetastic track that's fun if you don't try to dissect it at all, they like to dance while wearing white gloves (which is remarkable), they have no trouble rounding up a room full of attractive women (also remarkable) and they might not be the best drivers ("As soon as we get in the [Range] Rover, we gon' lose control, we gon' lose control"). And being the closet R&B aficionados that we are, we took the opportunity to cut it up with them. Here's five songs that will get a girl to make out with you if you play them and then say that they remind you of her, courtesy of Sentury. Boyz II Men, "End Of The Road" Sentury says... "The song is a classic... the plot of the song and the overall lyrical content." We say... Agreed. You're not going to find very many songs that B2M did between 1991 and 1994 that weren't incredible. After that, though, it was a total shitstorm. Oh, it should also be noted that, with regards to this song, the "Get A Girl To Make out With You If You Play It And Say It Reminds You Of Her" trick is not infallible. In 8th grade we tried to get Jackie G. to makeout with us at a dance when they played this song. She looked at us like we asked her to top off her top. Michael Jackson, "Pretty Young Thing" Sentury says... "It's a feel-good song filled with energy." We say... It is that. This song also became loads and loads creepier as Michael's life went on. Remember how R. Kelly was kicking himself for making that "My mind is telling me no, but my body is telling me yes" line in "Bump N' Grind" after his scandal hit. Mike was probably doing the same thing. Jodeci, "Love You For Life" Sentury says... "Love the harmonies on the song and is similiar to a Sentury ballad." We say... Oh, man. Jodeci has to lead the Sexy Guy Group League in "Illegitimate Babies Conceived While Listening To Their Music." Second probably place goes to Boyz II Men. Third place is Shai. Last place is La Tropa F. Stevie Wonder, "Ribbon In The Sky" Sentury says... "Always looked up to him as a premier vocalist in the industry." We say... Yeah, that about sums it up. We always wondered if he would've been a better or worse musician if he wasn't blind. And if it would've made him worse, and he knew it would've made him worse, would he still want to see? If we ever get the chance to talk, that will be the second thing we ask him. The first: Why oh why did you do that "Wild Wild West" song with Will Smith at the MTV awards a ways back? It was like watching Jay-Z do a commercial for Mattress Mack. 112, "Cupid" Sentury says... "Great group and a classic song. Great harmonies with beautiful lyrics." We say... Yes. We've written about our appreciation of this group before. Even to this day, we will answer "Where do you live?" with "Room 112, where the players dwell." We are praying for the day a group like this from Houston breaks it big.