dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The "Featuring" Dilemma

I was elated to come across Andrew Collins' Guardian column revolving around what he deems to be pop music's "new 'F' word"—featuring. I'm so there with you, Andrew!

He goes on about how many songs in the charts feature "featuring" these days, as well as the different spellings (feat., ft., etc.), and laments the underuse of plain old "and" when it comes to duets. Think Estelle featuring Kanye West, Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake (despite the actual single sleeve saying just Madonna & Justin), Timbaland featuring OneRepublic.

My own constant dilemma with "featuring" is with my iPod. For instance, when one downloads or upload Madonna's new album, if you leave the Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake billing as is for "4 Minutes," the song gets knocked to the bottom of the tracklisting. Actually, it gets knocked to the end of all Madonna songs overall.

One shady way around this is to retype it as "4 Minutes (feat. Justin Timberlake)," leaving just Madonna in the artist column. Lame. That's not what the song is really called. And you're messing up my LastFM mojo by doing it that way.

There's always the option to leave out Justin's name altogether, theoretically solving all problems of song title and rearranged tracklisting. Again, total bullshit. Justin's on there singing. I can hear his nasally voice. Plus, it's like erasing part of history, man!

Then sometimes you get these out of the blue billings like "No Air" by Jordin Sparks "duet with" Chris Brown. Which Captain Obvious came up with that?

Life's a constant struggle when dealing with duets and iPods. And screw "featuring." I like the other "F" word much better.

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  • At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just featuring?

    - D-Mob introducing Cathy Dennis "C'mon And Get My Love"

    - D-Mob with Cathy Dennis "That's The Way Of The World"

    - Brothers In Rhythm present Charvoni "Forever And A Day"

    - C+C Music Factory presents Freedom Williams & Zelma Davis "Here We Go"

    - Eurogroove with Dannii Minogue "Boogie Woogie"

    - Legacy Of Sound feat. Meja "Happy"

    - The KLF feat. The Children Of The Revolution "3 A.M. Eternal (Live At The S.S.L.)"

    - David Morales & Albert Cabera present MoCa feat. Deanna "Higher"

    - The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. introducing Michelle Visage "It's Gonna Be A Lovely Day"

    - Legacy Of Sound starring Lori Perry "Wait (For Our Love To Find Us)"

    - True Steppers And Dane Bowers feat. Victoria Beckham "Out Of Your Mind"

    - Truelove presents The Source feat. Candi Staton "You Got The Love"

    - Culture Beat feat. Lana E. and Jay Supreme "I Like You"

    - A.T.F.C. presents OnePhatDeeva feat. Lisa Millett "Bad Habit"

    - C+C Music Factory feat. Q-Unique & Deborah Cooper "Keep It Comin' (Dance Till You Can't Dance No More!)"

    - Michael Jackson With Siedah Garrett "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"

    and the topper...

    - David Morales presents The Face feat. Juliet Roberts with James 'D-Train' Williams & Sharon Bryant "Needin' U II (I Needed U')"

    ... and you think you have problems.

  • At 9:11 PM, Blogger John said…

    Daaaaaaang! It's gonna be a cat fight FEATURING a bitch smack!

    I think I had a point to share, but after the above list, I'ma just throw in the towel.

  • At 8:12 AM, Blogger Adem With An E said…

    I'm guilty of placing the "featuring" after the track title in brackets.

    It's not right, but it's okay.

  • At 9:14 AM, Blogger Scott said…

    Let us not forget 'versus' which is often used interchangeably with '&' as it is on iTunes with Ida Corr vs Fedde Le Grand. To my knowledge 'vs' and '&' do not mean the same thing.

    Anyways, it's good to know that I am not alone with this anal-retentive pet peeve! Thank you!

  • At 10:57 AM, Blogger D'luv said…

    Anonymous, oh, yeah? Well how about...uh... fuck it, I got nothin'.

    John, meow.

    Adem, that's how I roll, too.

    Scott, Vs. usually seems (these days at least) to be a song that samples or uses a hook from another song as its main melody. At least that's what I've noticed.

    I've also noticed that the neighbor broad likes to walk around without their front window with a thong on each night.

  • At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    New St!nk sucks! Been there, done that.

    How could I forget versus? For the most part, versus (or "vs." or "vs" or "v." or just "v"... can't they just fucking make up their minds?) is used for official mash ups:

    - Mylo vs. Miami Sound Machine "Doctor Beat"... which "features" (there is that damn word again) the first ever mash up promo/music video.

    But versus has also been used to release a song as a single, sung by two different artists separately:

    - Loveland feat. Rachel McFarlane vs. Darlene Lewis "Let The Music (Lift You Up)"

    And there's the occasional useless "vs." used to revive the career of a has-been. Why, it's... grrr! Betty Boo!

    - Jack Rokka vs Betty Boo "Take Off"


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