Features | Awards

The Ashlee Simpson Award for Saturday Night Live Vocal Performance that Should Have Been Lip-Synced

By David Abravanel | 19 December 2008

Kanye West :: “Love Lockdown (Live on SNL)”

Surprise surprise! It looks like someone who just released an album with ostentatious pitch-correction on his vocals can’t sing live to save his life. If you were dreaming of seeing a futuristic hipster sing a drunken karaoke version of “Love Lockdown,” has SNL got a treat for you! Donning Laurie Anderson shades, Mr. West struggles his way through “Love Lockdown,” one of the halfway decent singles from the enigmatic misfire 808s and Heartbreak, clearly just realizing that there will be no overdubs to save this performance from the SNL best-of blooper reel.

Like 808s and Heartbreak, it’s pretty clear that Ye’s decision to sing “Love Lockdown” live can be blamed partially on the cadre of foaming yes-people surrounding him. He thinks he’s the messiah, and so does his posse. So, take a page out of Ashlee’s book, swallow your pride, and lip sync it. No one is expecting that you can actually sing anyway, and the instrumental wasn’t bad. But unless you’re going for some sort of dada spin on this whole singing thing, best to leave the untampered-with overtones to the pros.