This one deserves to be debated for awhile. In a somewhat shocking proclamation, Spin Magazine, recently named current Miami resident Lil Wayne as Rock Star of the Year. It's a nice gesture but you've got to wonder if he's really earned it?
Before everyone jumps and curses Spin
for trying to stir up a little controversy, there are clear reasons on
why Wayne is most likely deserving of the title. And it has nothing to
do with his guitar skills (or lack thereof). For starters, Wayne's
approach to hip-hop is about as conventional as Shawn Marion's jump
shot. He's showed no fear of crossing genres -- sometimes switching
between, rapping, singing, electro, and rock in his concerts.
Considering how conservative a lot of hip-hoppers are, you've got to
respect him for that.
There's also the sex, drugs, and
rock'n'roll lifestyle Wayne is synonymous with at this point. He's
usually high 24/7 and flaunts it at will. In a lot of ways, he's a lot
more like Jimi Hendrix (again, let's not talk guitar work) due to his
freedom of artistic expression and the public loves him for it.
Thom Yorke of Radiohead had a great year as did Chris Martin of
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Coldplay. And plenty of other rockers did as well. It's a risky pick,
debatable for sure, but based on his sheer impact on pop culture in
2008 alone, I'd name Lil Wayne as rock star of the year as well.