I’mma Let You Finish But This Is The Most Ridiculous Video Of All Time

I didn't start my day intending upon ripping a video by a relative unknown to shreds, I promise. It's just that after watching--I cannot make this up--"Herbal Tea" by France's Maty Soul, I just couldn't contain my utter disdain. After watching this video, several things became apparent to me. Please do yourself a favor and watch the video below before you take a gander at my critique after the bounce.

  • Is it just me or does her voice bring to mind the bird known as "a warbler?"
  • Yes, she really is rocking red, green, and gold earrings as her "homegirls" sit on a blanket in the park and replay every Neo Soul and Afrocentric marketing image that McDonald's shoved down our throats in the late '90s.
  • And yes, she really is singing about sipping "herbal tea" because that's what all of us Afrocentric boho people still do when we're not walking around the office with a lit incense in our mouths.
  • Did anyone catch that budget-looking French version of Darien in the clip?
  • If you listen very closely, you can hear Teena Marie crying and rocking herself back and forth in a corner.

There are some of you who believe I am being too hard on her. After all, she felt brave enough to share her vision of herbal tea drinking with the world. And if you believe that, chances are that you'll be interested in this video where I rhyme about something incoherently and includes lots of hot girlz and shiny, bright colors.

All jokes aside, the bigger issue that this video brings to light is the fact we are no in an age where not only do you not have to be able to sing one note convincingly, but you can rehash a fad from the decade before last and have it be released to the masses without batting an eyelash. Will this song go anywhere? Likely not and definitely not in even in Maty Soul's native France. Is this video evidence of how bad things have gotten? Possibly. Let's all hope that this is the music industry's collective "bottom"--to use the language of addiction--and hope we can look ahead on the horizon to what the next great new fad will be. 

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36 Responses

  1. I am mildly disturbed by her Lauryn Hill-esqe bops in the nighttime scenes.

  2. Good to see the French music industry haven't copied their British counterparts by trying to shoehorn talentless white singers into the soul bracket.
    What's that?
    Once upon a time, it was black singers who had to be soul singers because they were, well, a certain skin colour. Pigeon hole, rather than allow them to be simply singers or musicians.
    Now it seems you have to be white to fill that role (ie sell records), if the AR people are to be believed.
    These days, the UK media immediately brands a young African-American as a rapper, no matter what. Thus Chris Brown is described as a rapper, rather than a woman-beating purveyor of euro-trash music.
    As for the video, are they trying to bag some free Adidas?
    Is herbal tea some sort of amusing drugs reference? Cos all black people like it herbal, don't they?
    I guess at least we can take heart that the French are even more clueless than we British.

  3. Compared to the crap american artist are putting out, this isnt THAT bad, it also isnt THAT good. As for the video it is what it is, it doesnt offend me in anyway, I mean if Beyonce can prance around half naked then this french woman can wear trunk ear rings and ride her bike. I aint got nothing bad to say about France, especially since I am can drive into france from Germany is half an hour. Viva la france Mami:)

  4. Yall really being hard on her. She probably worships R&B and soul music. She probably should have had an english immersion course. It's all too surfacy and fake...and comes off as making fun of all of our r&b cliche. But on the real her diction sucks...

  5. I can dig her appreciation of the neo soul era of music. That was my coming-of-age period so its nice to reminisce, but at the same time, it's like she is trying to get it "just right", with the picnic blanket, tea drinking from the thermos with the au naturale sistahs. And the bike riding and all that. I don't know. It's like a parody of the real thing. But if that's what she's into, then that's cool. Hopefully her next musical offerings will be more genuine in terms of sound and image.

  6. I think it's easier to judge her because she sticks out as being a white woman. Yes, she is cliched, and not the best vocally, but she is one from a crop of indie acts, mostly black, who got the neo-soul memo back in 99 and still pandering to the Maxwell, Jill Scott and India.Arie of yesteryear, swinging from the coattails of someone else's sound and image. Personally, I hope this type of fanboy behavior is a wake-up call to indies and soul acts who refuse to grow artistically and rest on their laurels after minute success, similar to what hip-hop is enduring.

  7. I didn't care for the song personally but I can't kill her for it. What's so different about her than some of the other African-American artists who have mild to weak songs that some cats on here really dig? Everything isn't for everyone. This might be her first attempt and she might get better who knows. I find Weezy, Gucci and the non singing R&B robots far more offensive to this clearly forgettable song.

  8. This video is to Soul as the movie CB4 was to hip hop

  9. Oh god, this HAS to be a MadTV parody! Tell me it is! I agree with CJ, I think by "herbal tea" she means heroin laced mary jane or something. I mean it has to be, because what else besides whiskey would make her slur her words so incoherently? What are the French thinking?

  10. Didnt read all that extra into it... At most I thought 'looky, a French Amy Winehouse". I think she was a little heavy handed w/ the black folx all over the place... seemed a little too contrived, like 'look, Im cool, I got black friends, I live an BREEVE this sheeyut"... other than that... naw, I didnt read all that extra stuff.

  11. What do the French say? Well I'm French and I agree with Manamongst Hussein: her accent and her diction suck. This is a mistake that French soul or neo soul singers often make: they want to sing in English to sound like their idols but their English is sooo bad.
    She cannot sing either. It is said on her Myspace that the drum programming has been made by Rashad Smith who has worked with Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu, Notorious BIG.
    All of the video is very cliché: the Black folks, the nappy sisters, the red-green and yellow outfit... A poor imitation!
    This is what I say but for many people here outside the Soul or Neo Soul listeners, this stuff will look cool and fresh because it is new, because of the "reggae-like, exotic" touch. To you she seems ridiculous but according to what most of the people here in France are used to see, this is new and cool and they will not see it as a cliche. But as far as I am concerned this video will not be widely broadcast. The album and the single are new so I haven't yet found reviews about it among the French Soul community. Wait and see.

  12. This video isnt the problem

  13. OMG!!!
    My EARS!!!!!
    My EYES!!!!!!!

  14. First off - she's not good. But she fits right in with everyone else too.
    Second - Teena Marie is not good either. Make her Black, and people would have never paid her any mind. She's a novelty, and that is her appeal. She's no Aretha, Whitney, Gladys, etc... You know she only got to where she is because of her 'being down' and her affinity for Black people. Because her singing is contrived, and not that great at all. Sorry.

  15. i culture vulture, NO DOUBT.... i can't believe u subjected yourself to this rubbish more than once!! i think she got the herbal tea reference from Badu's On & On

  16. v (check lyrics) & sadly she thought she could go On & On...tehe. on a up note : i just heard that new Jaheim - Til It Happens To You & i'm anxious to know your feelings on the single.

  17. The song wouldn't be so bad if the woman could sing, but her voice is all over the place.. I don't care if the person is black or white, as long as the groove is there.
    That said, she is not any worse than some of the R&B "singers" that are out there today. Sure, the girl is all cliche in this video, but would y'all down her so much if she were black?
    Someone mentioned Teena Marie. She does some howling, that is true, but she has also penned some very good jams (check out Portugeesen Love Song). Back in the day, we also jammed on AWB and KC, without a second thought. And today? Some people are stuck on Robin Thicke.

  18. What happened to live and let live? 😀
    In my younger days when my friends and I went clubbing, we would diss all the people on the dance floor that moved to a beat that no one else could hear. The ones who had been studying MTV videos and did the moves without paying any attention to the beat and with no rhythm.
    Today I make sure everyone is dancing, even the ones complaining about having two left feet and no rhythm.
    When I see people who just enjoy themselves on the floor, moving to the music in their own way, no matter how ridiculous it might look to those of us who can actually dance. Their love for dancing makes me happy, more so than the good dancers with a bad attitude.
    Just recently Justin Bieber released a song with Ludacris. And I heard so many dissing both Luda and that little 15yrs old boy from Canada. They dissed Luda for being a sellout and that boy for being a wannabe and being 15 and talking about love.
    But are we really that narrow minded? This young boy thought himself to play instruments and grew up being a fan of Stevie Wonder, Usher and Justin Timberlake. People should be able to do what they love, not everyone will be Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson or Curtis Mayfield.
    Do what I do; just click away the site, switch the channel or turn off the radio 😀 Or just accept the fact this one track sucks and after 4 minutes something better will air.
    but ehm yeah... this video sucked! 😀

  19. ummm... wow. I do believe this is the worst song I've heard ever. There is nothing appealing about it. Nothing.
    Her image is very contrived but I'm not judging her song based on that. If she looked like, and was as easily "cool" as Lalah Hathaway, this would still suck! The lyrics are saying absolutely nothing. And she can't sing. Period.
    I think she found the infamous "brown note" though. A minute of listening to that deep warbling made me sh*t myself.

  20. That was hilariously painful. I think everyone has pretty much said it all... so cliche and she can't sing at all. She put me in the mindset of Teena Marie, and that is NOT a good thing (sorry)

  21. Wow. That was bad. It's kinda like the European version of this . . .

  22. "I'mma Let You Finish But This Is The Most Ridiculous Video Of All Time" -- the title alone had me rollin'.
    Now *sigh* I couldn't even get through it. It was like an 'In Living Color' parody. I was waiting for Kim Wayans to appear out of nowhere. lol It was TOO many cliches within seconds. When the whole 'neo-soul' ship came around, just about every singer that fit under that umbrella did the same thing she did, video wise. Only thing though, they could actually sing...

  23. I agree that this song is silly, in lyrical content and how it was sung but I have to say something about the Teena Marie sentiments. I understand the comments people have made about how she can overdo it. She can and does at times but in my opinion her musicianship is solid. Back in the day she was one of the first to have an all female band. She is not just a singer but a talented composer and songwriter. The woman can rock out a guitar and she's a mulit-instrumentalist. As for her singing, there are some examples of her going straight overboard yodeling but man, have you heard her cover of 'Every lil' bit hurts?' It's one of the best versions of that song I've ever heard. She's pitch perfect with it and it was one of her earliest recordings. I think, when she sticks to that way of singing she shines; also there use to be a clip on Youtube of her singing 'all night long' live, it was great but someone yanked it off. She is not a fake, she's talented, when she's not trying to 'prove' she's can sing; actually Beyonce reminds me of her. She can sing but sometimes she tries to hard to prove it.

  24. so you could take the time to hate and cover this, or you could be putting people up on the death of VH1 Soul. soulbounce aint my blog but, i kinda thought losing an outlet for soul would be way more important than hating on some french chick.

  25. I think it would be interesting to see the responses had the introduction been positive. I honestly dont believe they would have been as negative... some yeah, but not to this extent.

  26. If it's so damn bad, why even muster up the energy to cover the song? And I know you aren't a journalist, our you'd let us formulate opinions vs bombarding us with yours (which can't help but influence likeminded comments). I expected more from this site, but I guess not. Can't wait to see you rip "Pants on the Ground" tomorrow.

  27. I would not buy or download this song...nor do I believe that people would be so small minded as to take ONE person's perspective for their own. I expect more out of people and respect and appreciate gaining insight from ill Mami's POV. What jumped out at me was all of the Black people, but what if those are her friends and they wanted to be in the video? I hate to assume, but I can understand where people are coming from who are a bit offended.
    This woman does not represent soul music, she seems to love it, but not totally understand it yet. She's still surface.
    To me, she fits in with A LOT of the current "singers" out there who are trying to make a buck and get in the game. What ever happened to the idea of proving yourself a good singer? Where's the Apollo when you need it?
    As lovers of soul music, we have new music at our finger tips, but we have to be more cautious with what we buy and more importantly who we support.
    It's cool that we can have this dialogue and uncover some issues that are simmering and not quite to a boil yet. I am getting restless with the lack of innovative soul music...and I know I'm not the only one...but when we buy juat anything, we are telling record companies that we will settle for mediocre.
    It's time to demand more...and support (my opinion!) Eric Roberson, Ms. Badu, and spend some time with the classics until Soul Music can move us the Curtis Mayfield, Ohio Players, EWF, Aretha, CHAKA, and the Isleys have done!

  28. Come on now people..."it ain't that bad compared..." and "it she wasn't white and it was a sister singing that bad we wouldn't be complaining"? Oh wow, piss or get off the pot. You either stand up and tell the truth about this video or back up and allow honesty from those who aren't afraid to tell the truth to this young lady. I mean, to let her go on and think that this is good music would be an insult to real artist out there. Oh and by the way, Teena Marie is a real artist. Of course every artist is going to have their following and their critics and Teena Marie has a huge following. She has proven herself. That needs to be respected whether you are a fan of hers or not. This person, Maty Soul, is talent less no matter her race. And the cliched images and colors is an insult to African Americans. If she grew up around black people like some people suggest then she would be absolutely clear on what would be offensive and what would actually be expressing her individuality. Gosh people, don't be fooled. Don't let the wool get pulled over your eyes. It takes time, thought, and planning to do a music video. No one just produces a video out of thin air. A song, yeah, it has been proven anyone can write a song but to gather up the people, the scenes, the camera crew, the lighting crew, producer(s) etc., takes thought, time and planning. So no, I do not think anyone is being too hard on Maty Soul. Just brutally honest. I believe it is much needed. Peace and Blessings to all.

  29. Oh and by the way. I actually looked, listened and formed my own opinion way before reading anything that was printed on this site. I do not have to nor need to be influenced by anyone or anything to see the truth for myself. Peace and Blessings

  30. i didnt wanna but......lmfao

  31. So here are my thoughts.... first, you have to evaluate this video in the context of the French music scene, not the American. I find it amusing and somewhat of a compliment that she would want to "pay tribute" to the NeoSoul style. I get the impression this is something somewhat rare in France. However, good thing there are only about 6 lines to the song that she sings over and over or I could have had no idea what she was saying -- and I studied French for years and have been to France a few times! So, yes, I agree with previous commentors, poor diction. Secondly, the lyrics are pretty lame --" I just want to drink some herbal tea.... and eat chocolate organique... and make my music... from my soul.....and wait for unity....." I am pretty sure that French people would not settle for French lyrics that we so lame. Pretty sure, anyway.... Is it a good song, no. Is it a great video, no. It is pretty trite and unoriginal. But, it is nice to see black people in a French video. Doesn't happen very often

    Don't think having a white person in your entourage, having The Police cd in your bedroom takes you out of the racist list. This is some high level of racism, that I'm reading here.
    "Neo Soul and Afrocentric marketing image that McDonald's shoved down our throats in the late '90s". Bullshit!!! Show me your pic! 🙂
    I'm putting myself at your level, 'cause I really do not think you would have understood my words if I had adopted a smoother style.
    How can you be so sarcastic about someone who's already making fun of herself. Damn, she's on a bike drinking herbal tea! 🙂 Who does this? Of course it is to be taken as humour, she is clearly caricaturing herself, reducing her personality to drinking herbal tea, eating organic food... It didn't make you smile, well fine, but don't think you are so important your point of view should be everyone else's. You'll hear it if you listen to the full version of the song on her myspace page, but she says the same way some people smoke she has her drink, and I believe people all over the world smoke. So again, in NO WAYS she is caricaturing our "Black" community.
    I don't understand what is wrong with her riding her bike with 2 beautiful sisters? Does this mean you can't be white and have 2 "Black" friends and just ride on a bike??!
    We all have different tastes, so I could understand you not liking the singing... But come on, this can not be the worst singer ever either 'cause I'd have to say you are having EAR MALFUNCTION.
    As for the words; simple theme, simple lyrics. All she does is drink Herbal tea, do her music, eat organic food when all they make is brain pollution , money illusion... Basically, Maty Soul sings she is living a simple life and at the same time denounces what is going on.
    And it is pretty obvious this video was not meant to be THE VIDEO OF THE YEAR. Low budget; BIKES, NO MAYBACH. LOL I'm also pretty sure this video has no light crew, the only crew is the Sun itself.

  33. "And yes, she really is singing about sipping "herbal tea" because that's what all of us Afrocentric boho people still do when we're not walking around the office with a lit incense in our mouths."
    First time I've LOL after reading a blog in a while!

  34. Avatar

    OMG. First of all, the hubs and I were asked to check out your blog regarding Maty from our friend Dave because he thought it was something we should see. After taking a look at it I really didn't think the video was that bad considering what constitutes as good these days. It is the content and the execution of the song that I am most shocked about. I honestly thought it was a joke or some comedy hour spoof of a music video. I kind of feel like I was being punked for a minute. The song is so poorly sang that I thought that something was wrong with my PC...that's real talk. I asked the hubs if this was a joke? I see that it is real. I am saddened and hopeful. This just proves that there is always room for improvement. My husband is an amazing musician and I think he needs to get to submitting material overseas. They need some help....seriously. Love your blog BTW.