Alright, I told you way back in February, and then again in June, that the young rapper Brian Bradley aka the Astronomical Kid is a force to be reckoned with! He’s got the lyrical skills beyond his years, a good message, style, passion, swag (as the kids would say), and definitely some X Factor to spare. And all of this was validated again tonight on the show, appropriately named, yes, that’s right the X Factor.
For those of you who are not familiar with it, The X Factor is a show, created by Simon Cowell, where he and three other judges (L.A. Reid, Paula Abdul, and Nicole Scherzinger) are not just looking for the next “good voice” or plastic pop star. They are looking for someone who has that special something that goes beyond a great voice, nice moves, and good looks. They are looking for a stand out artist who has, that thing people often have trouble describing, the X Factor. And for the highest reality television prize ever, the winner will be awarded a $5 million record deal.
Tonight was the fourth episode, and the last of the audition phase. I had seen a quick shot of Astro on the very first commercial, where he looked slightly timid; not his normal M.O. I watched for him last week and though he wasn’t on, he was on the commercial for this week, where he seemingly lashed out at Simon saying, “What’s your problem, son?!” My excitement for him turned into nervousness. Then, earlier this week, I saw a clip of Simon on the Jimmy Kimmel show where he was speaking about the “most obnoxious person” ever to be on the show, which he said was Brian (Astro). But in the same breath he said that he’s “destined for greatness”. I was not sure what to expect for tonight’s show.
Alas, when the show came on tonight I did not have to wait in suspense, because Astro was the very first artist up. He spoke confidently and maturely in his preliminary interview, and then took the stage, immediately greeting the crowd like a pro. He seemed cool and calm as the judges asked him various questions. They seemed to really like him. Simon leaned over to L.A. Reid (responsible for artists’ careers such as Justin Bieber, Usher, Rihanna, etc.) and began saying Astro was like a younger version of him, when suddenly, the kid lost it. “What’s your problem, man?!” Simon looked completely shocked, and was literally speechless. My stomach dropped, as Astro continued with his seemingly unprovoked attack on Simon.
And then, he called for the sound man to “drop the beat”, as Simon sat there like a deer caught in headlights. The beat started immediately.
As the music began to play, and Astro entered into an attention demanding performance of his Youtube hit song, “Stop Lookin’ At My Mom,” I realized his little tiff with Simon was just a genius, yet risky, intro to his song, pretending as though Simon had been making eyes at his beloved mother. The Astronomical Kid gave a strong performance, winning over the crowd, and the judges. As the song went on, I saw Simon’s scowl melt, and he realized what was going on. In the end, Astro won over the praises and the votes of all four judges, putting him through to the next round.
The question is not whether or not Astro has the X Factor, because it’s plain to see he’s got it. It’s just a matter of waiting to see if the judges continue to recognize it and keep him in the competition long enough for him to win, in this type of show that usually does not favor hiphop artists as much as singers. Whatever happens from here on out, The Astronomical Kid has represented hiphop and made it proud, not to mention making himself known as a fierce competitor on the X Factor! Make sure to tune in next week and support this young, talented Astronomical Kid.