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"
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.
I feel like there's still niggas that owe me checks
I feel like there's still bitches that owe me sex
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.
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.
Made this week's Hot List in Rolling Stone, which means some editors there like it a lot.
2. Lil Wayne - "Lollipop"
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."
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
Again with the auto-tuning... seriously, cut it out.
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.
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"
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).
Niggas heard I fuck with Dre
Now they wanna show me love
When you sell like Eminem
And the hoes they wanna fuck
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.
Repetitive, rumbly bass with fake-horns and fake strings slipping in there now and again. The highlight? The aforementioned handclaps.
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.