Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dueling Divas-- Current and Throwbacks

R&B divas Rihanna and Ciara kept themselves busy over the past week, with both unveiling new looks up top. Designed to play up their increasingly "edgy" personas, Ciara cropped her long and faithful weave into a punky pixie cut, complete with a face-framing bang much like the one Rihanna was sporting in the early stages of her short do. Meanwhile, Little Miss Princess took her short cut up a notch, shaving both sides off to create a rooster-inspired mohawk of sorts. Celeb bloggers have been pitting the two singers against each other for the past few months now, claiming that Ciara's attempts to upgrade to fashionista status is a calculated move to bite Rihanna's title as fashion tastemaker in the R&B game. Industry insiders have accused Ciara of "stealing" Rhi Rhi's stylists, hair gurus, and make up wizards, as well as her producers, beatmakers, and video directors. Oh, the dramaz!

Of course, the face-off between Rihanna and Ciara is nothing new. R&B Divas have been dueling since the dawn of Mowtown, it's just the nature of the beast. It was a feud that split up the Supremes, an epic cat fight that ripped apart the Mariah and Whitney's friendship, and time still hasn't told us who's won in the throwdown between Aretha and Tina! These commonly cited feuds are all fine and dandy, but there is one tumultuous battle that often goes overlooked in the annals of diva history, one that still continues (to some extent) to this day...

Brandy VS. Monica

In this throwdown, Brandy would appear to be the obvious winner. After all, the songstress enjoyed a few platinum records, the starring role on the long-running Moesha, and the hairstyle that launched a thousand micro-braids. Brandy was the wholesome diva, the kind that sang about innocent crushes, sittin' up in her room, and desperately wanting to be down. Brandy's toothy smile and droopy hats were so cute, that you couldn't help but want to pinch her cheeks and utter an "awww, look at the kid trying to be grown!" every time she crooned about loving someone so much that it made her cry. Flash forward to a disastrous car accident later (Brandy was charged with manslaughter, but settled out of court) though , getting bounced by her record label, and a weave so horrendous we're still suffering whiplash... it seems that Brandy's lost her footing in this uphill battle!

Monica is the underdog in this battle, but like any good underdog, she eventually clawed her way to the top. The diva in this corner currently has a top 20 R&B single on the charts, a duet with Keisha Cole, and a BET series set to premiere later this year. The road wasn't always so easy for her though. Unlike Brandy, she never had the "wholesome girl" thing going for her. Monica was more of a hard edge, the girl from the hood that would take a hammer to your Honda if you crossed her! Romancing a jailed rapper, singing about getting her man out of the streets, and being forced to cover up her tatts all made Monica the wild child, at least in comparison to Brandy's PG persona. Although she never hit the big time like Brandy, jams like Angel of Mine (don't even try denying that you bumped it in the 8th grade, you know it was the song of the year!) solidified her steady climb to the top.

Who is the victor? Rhi Rhi or Ci Ci? Brandy or Monica? Whoever ends up taking the prize home, we are pretty sure that there will never be a shortage of divas ready to yank the weaves off each other! Enjoy Brandy and Monica taking it to the streets with their "Bitch, please" duet, The Boy is Mine!

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