Thursday, June 26, 2008

The old college try.

Apparently this "rap music" thing is pretty popular these days. Who knew? Certainly not I. So, armed with this week's Rolling Stone as my guide, I hit YouTube for a little sample of what the kiddies are listening to.

1. Young Jeezy — "Put On"

Synopsis
Starts with gunshots right off the bat, then into a drum beat that could've been copped from a Bananarama single. Apparently he "put[s] on for [his] city," whatever that might mean. More gunfire in the middle, and it just keeps going for about five minutes before its merciful end.

Lyrical Snippet
I feel like there's still niggas that owe me checks
I feel like there's still bitches that owe me sex

Vocal Stylings
Auto-tuned about eighteen thousand percent worse than Cher on that song "Believe," about a decade ago. You thought that was over-the-top? Listen to this song. Apparently Kanye West stops by for a bit and raps something, but all these guys pretty much sound the same to me.

Musical Description
The guy sitting at the keyboard that churns out fake synthesized orchestra notes just keeps stabbing away at the thing, in amongst the jittery fake drums. I always read about these hip-hop producers who are apparently good at this sort of thing... is this one of them? I can't tell.

Verdict
Made this week's Hot List in Rolling Stone, which means some editors there like it a lot.

2. Lil Wayne - "Lollipop"

Synopsis
The background beeping could've been brought to you directly from my Atari 2600 in 1985, perhaps from "Pole Position" or "Chopper Command". Stretch Hummers in the video add a new dimension to the lyrics, which are thinly veiled references, repeated ad nauseam, of fellatio being like "licking a lollipop."

Lyrical Snippet
Man I ain't never seen an ass like hers
That pussy in my mouth had me loss for words
Told her to back it up like berp berp
And I made that ass jump like jerp jerp

Vocal Stylings
Again with the auto-tuning... seriously, cut it out.

Musical Description
The beeps hint at a melody, but it's simple and looped and kinda stupid. The bass sounds like it's coming out of the thousand-watt subwoofer in a Honda Civic of some greased-up Italian from Woodbridge.

Verdict
Currently #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, #2 on the iTunes Top 10 Tracks.

I thought that maybe this was just a bad stretch for hip-hop, so I went back a couple of years to one of the biggest hits in recent memory.

3. 50 Cent - "In Da Club"

Synopsis
This song was horrible, but not quite as horrible as I'd feared. I'm convinced the sole reason for that is the handclaps, which could save pretty much any song (except perhaps William Shatner's screaming rendition of "Mr. Tambourine Man," in which Shatner "screams as if he just found out someone knocked up his 12-year old daughter," someone in Golden Words once observed).

Lyrical Snippet
Niggas heard I fuck with Dre
Now they wanna show me love
When you sell like Eminem
And the hoes they wanna fuck

Vocal Stylings
He could be speaking Croatian for eighty percent of this song and I wouldn't know. Whatever language he speaks must have about six consonants and two vowels.

Musical Description
Repetitive, rumbly bass with fake-horns and fake strings slipping in there now and again. The highlight? The aforementioned handclaps.

Verdict
This was a huge hit?

The moral of the story here, as far as I can tell, is that I should just go back to obscure cuts from Santana's debut album.

3 comments:

Eve said...

"It has been _0_ days since JTL has made a post about the kids these days"

JTL said...

Not once did I mention that "the kids these days" listened to this. I mean, yeah, they probably do, because kids are dumb. But these albums sell so many copies, it can't just be skewed-baseball-cap-wearing 15-year old kids buying them (although I know that, yes, no 15-year old actually buys music, they just steal it). The adults are just as culpable as the kids... maybe even moreso, because THEY SHOULD FUCKING WELL KNOW BETTER.

Dan said...

Boy, J, you've been taking a lot of sass these days.

But, I do agree that the state of hip-hop these days is pretty bleak. It's kind of hard to believe that interesting rappers like Atmosphere or Pharoahe Monch are being blocked out in favour of such tedious "artists".