As Vince Staples once said (to the tune of 135,00 retweets and 258,000 likes), “The national anthem don’t even slap.”
Over the years, various efforts to rectify this state of affairs have met with mixed results — Marvin Gaye’s rendition at the 1983 NBA All-Star game came close, Fergie’s effort at the 2018 All-Star, not so much — but the fact remains that the “Star-Spangled Banner” is kind of a dud, extolling virtues that the nation still hasn’t come within waving distance of since its writing.
That hasn’t stopped folks from trying, though; the latest was Atlanta R&B singer Jacquees, whose insistence that he’s the “king of R&B” over the past few years (he even named his 2019 album King Of R&B) has already made him subject to pushback and ridicule. Ahead of the recent NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, Jacquees opted for a laid-back rendition marked by his signature melisma and vibrato — i.e., “vocal runs” and that warbling quality singers’ voices sometimes have.
A tweet capturing the video of him singing the national anthem has gone viral on Twitter as folks debate his performance choices comparing it to the aforementioned Fergie debacle as well as Carl Lewis’ 1993 miss at another NBA game. Basically, the consensus is that Jacquees did way too much, but somehow also still not nearly enough to save that dreadful song from its built-in limitations. Jacquees himself was less than amused at the response, posting an apparent response of his own:
Internet < Real Life.
— King Of R&B (@Jacquees) December 7, 2021
Seriously, would it kill anyone for us to update the national anthem? Like five major musical genres have been invented since America’s inception, and literally, any of them would save countless future generations from suffering this sort of embarrassment. Check out the responses to Jacquees’ performance below.
Yess the people realizing Jacquees can not fucking sing. Great day for music
— The Great Negro (@jiggyjayy2) December 7, 2021
What’s crazy is people thinking Jacquees sounded good. It’s time we start to address the crack continuing to take over our communities.
— ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀ (@callmedollar) December 7, 2021
Mayne bruh.. did y’all see Jacquees sing the National Anthem at the Lakers game?! I know Whitney in heaven like.. pic.twitter.com/2cebaDwy8W
— I’m a Vessel! (@DjamarV) December 7, 2021
just watched jacquees sing the national anthem and now i can’t think of nothing but, this damn meme pic.twitter.com/AcExdV83H3
— moody bitch (@fairyprncesa) December 6, 2021
Jacquees and Fergie hate this country https://t.co/lu5qYEY8tZ
— Jill (@SillyJilly131) December 7, 2021
Jacquees always sound like he singing through a fan https://t.co/QXWsprXSRc
— MASTER NELSON rates everything (@themasternelson) December 7, 2021
Y’all really let Jacquees call himself the King of R&B while singing…LIKE THIS?!?!!! https://t.co/g9ZExQ5bdn
— Malory Archer’s whiskey glass (@charmdiddy) December 7, 2021
Jacquees sing like that dude at the school talent show that can’t sing but thinks he can https://t.co/HGsNvm6zcs
— JMcGill (@IamJMcGill) December 7, 2021
Jacquees singing the national anthem has me in tears man. That nigga be singing in bullet points.
— KT (@key_chaotic) December 7, 2021
Granted I’m not a singer by trade, but I really want Jacquees to tap into some vocal lessons.
I feel like he could have a decent voice if he didn’t sound like he had a vibrator on his neck.
— Everybody’s Uncle (@Its_UncleDonDon) December 7, 2021