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Janelle Monae makes us wonder about the fate of the vuvuzela

By Chris Richards

Not since Auto-Tune has a music-making device been debated as hotly as the mighty vuvuzela. With the World Cup almost a week in the rear view, funnyman Will Ferrell kept the buzz alive on last night's ESPY Awards, playing the role of Jeff Vuvuzela, alleged inventor of the glorious plastic horn.

Watch Ferrell's fairly hilarious routine above, and make sure you stick around for the 4:30 mark. That's when sci-fi R&B chanteuse Janelle Monae arrives on the scene for a duet with Ferrell. Again, fairly hilarious, but if we may quote an bit from ESPY host Seth Meyers, "Really, Janelle?" You don't have any Phil Niblock or Tony Conrad albums in your collection?

Of all the pop stars in our cosmos, Monae is one of the last we would expect to find having a laugh at the expense of the vuvuzela's meditative drone. In fact, we're hoping to hear more of its droney influence on pop music in the near future. Locally, we've heard trickles. During a recent set by DJ Dave Nada (full disclosure: he's a buddy) at U Street Music Hall, Nada occasionally interrupted the evening's loping cumbia rhythms with a sample of the vuvuzela's sonorous BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Will we hear more vuvuzela in pop music this summer? Vote in our poll below.

By Chris Richards  |  July 15, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Polls  | Tags: Janelle Monae, Phil Niblock, Tony Conrad, vuvuzela  
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Comments

It could work-- as long as the song is in the right key. Check out the Vuvuzela Man app which lets you play together with your iPod music.

Posted by: 9designs | July 15, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I dunno...this joke seems a little one-note.
*rim shot*

Posted by: jawblo | July 15, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

So now we find what music Chris Richards actually likes--the vuvuzela.

That explains his caustic reviews of mere rock and pop artists.

Posted by: krickey7 | July 16, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The vuvuzela needs to be banned, not just because it is annoying, but for the same reason that cigarette smoking is banned in stadiums, or other places, indoors or out, where it can adversely affect the health of people unwillingly exposed to it. A vuvuzela being blown by the person next to you can cause hearing damage. To say that it can't be banned because it is part of the culture in some parts of the world is ridiculous. Cigarette smoking was a deeply entrenched part of American culture for much longer than the vuvuzela has been in wide use, drinking & then driving was also a long accepted part of our culture at one time also, but no more. As were lots of other negative things such as racism, slavery, wife beating, gay bashing, etc. Cultural behaviors are not eternal, they have a beginning and and end, nor are they a one way street once they begin. They can end, or be ended by law when it becomes clear they are negative & harmful.

Posted by: peeje | July 18, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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