Cybercritics Blast Kevin Federline

Kevin Federline performs at the 2006 Teen Choice Awards in Universal City, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006. AP Photo/Phil McCarten

Kevin Federline's TV debut as a rapper is getting derided as a not-ready-for-prime-time disaster by critics in cyberspace and the hip-hop community.

On Sunday, Federline — also known as K-Fed and Mr. Britney Spears — performed his new single "Lose Control" to the peppy crowd at the eighth annual Teen Choice Awards, which aired on Fox. Introduced by his wife, who was dressed in a cleavage-baring mini-dress despite her late pregnancy, Federline stalked about the stage with attitude as he rapped about his bling, popping Cristal (obviously oblivious of the whole hip-hop Cristal boycott) and his amazing rhyming skills.

"Don't hate because I'm a superstar! And I'm married to a superstar! Nothin' come between us no matter who you are!" he declared, as dancers pop-locked as his side.

It was the most anticipated performance of the night — and the most ridiculed. By morning, videos of it were splashed on Web sites like YouTube.com and various blogs, accompanied by catty comments mocking both Federline and his wife.

"I couldn't even sit through that K-Fed performance even for the so-bad-it's-hilarious factor. It's just bad," wrote a Gawker.com reader. More blunt was feedback by YouTube users kimsue9035 ("IT WAS AWFUL!!!! GAG ME") and heartleigh ("Um, the backup dancer had more talent").

If the Web world isn't exactly accepting of Federline's rap-star ambitions, the hip-hop community is even less so.

Elliot Wilson, editor in chief of XXL magazine, hadn't seen Federline's TV debut. Still, he called it a "YouTube disaster" — something to be laughed off in hip-hop circles.

"I just think we ignore him," Wilson told The Associated Press on Monday. "He's a joke, basically. ... I just don't think he gets it. He doesn't get that he's Britney's man and it's hard to take him seriously."

Jermaine Hall, executive editor of King magazine, echoes that sentiment.

"The thing that really hurts him is the fact that he's perceived as Britney's husband," Hall, who had yet to see the performance, told the AP. "You know, kinda like Britney's second — I don't even want to say second in command, but — he's like the Britney Boy. He's like Mrs. Spears, and it's kinda hard to get over that perception."

Federline is expected to release his debut hip-hop album "Playing With Fire" in October. Hall said that despite the barbs K-Fed is getting, he still has a shot at success.

"All you can do, is really just keep on plugging," Hall said. "He's definitely going to have a teenage female fan base. So, you know, make songs that cater to them. Keep it clubby, keep it hoppy, keep it happy."
Erin Carlson
  • Judy Faber

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