Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Hip Hop Seduction that Wasn't

I really like Jason Derulo's music.  I liked that he sampled an Imogen Heap song in his first big hit.  But his next song, In My Head, got me thinking.  Everybody knows that hiphop isn't realistic.  Most people don't actually have yachts with the women-in-bikini's to man-in-suits ratio of about 26:1, and money flying around the dining rooms.  Jason Derulo seems to know the one 7-11 in the world that turns into a club after dark.    Where is that?  There's supposedly a 7-11 like that in West Hollywood, but I think that's an urban legend.  I'm not buying it that any 7-11 parking lot is that much of a party, slurpees or not.

But those are the videos.  The lyrics are usually at least somewhat identifiable.  People are being tough, or they're talking about how great they are, or they're trying to seduce a woman.  But is this seduction going to be successful, I wonder?  If you just went up to a girl on the street, no yachts, no money, would she buy these lyrics?

Take our friend Jason Derulo.  In My Head is about a sensitive guy looking for love, noticing the girls going home with the wrong guys, and he's determined to "show them a side of love" they've never known.  Which is all hot and romantic until this verse:

Some dudes know all the right things to say.
When it comes down to it, it’s all just game.
Instead of talking let me demonstrate. Yeah.
Get down to business and skip foreplay.

You had me at "skip foreplay".  That's what every girl wants to hear, Jason.  You have such a way with words.  Please, let's leave this 7-11 parking lot right now.  Let me just finish my slurpee - wait, give me a sec - ice cream headache, you know - ok.  Let's split this scene and go somewhere private, and you can not take care of me.

So Jason's got me thinking about other "seductive" hip hop songs.  I looked at the Billboard top hip hop and R&B singles for 2010 and randomly selected the ones with somewhat romantic-sounding names and checked out the lyrics.

Here are some of the funniest "romantic" lyrics I've found.

From Chris Brown's Your Love
no, just wanna get you to my sex room
and do my shit and i don't mean restroom
first class, takin' bubble baths
tell her throw it in the bag like she takin' out the trash

I guess that, for someone who beats up his girlfriend, this is high class romance right here, but for the rest of humanity... is that supposed to do something for me?  I'm sensing that this is all about you here, Chris.  Maybe if you're going to sing a song about how great my love is, you can give me a reason to give it to you first.

Next up: Usher, There goes my Baby:
It wasn't too bad, actually, on the romance scale (sweet-sounding lyrics like:
you don't know how good it feels 
to call you my girl
there goes my baby
loving everything you do
oo girl look at you)

until we get to this keeper:

baby loving you feels better than
everything, anything
put on my heart you don't need a ring
and i promise our time away won't change my love

Yep, you're right, Usher.  Nobody needs a ring.  Of course I don't need a ring.  But seriously?  If loving me feels better than everything, and time isn't going to change your love, then you can damn well put a ring on it.  Enough said.

Usher's back again, with Jay-Z, in Hot Tottie:

I'm a wild boy
You tryin' tame me, baby
To the were I get it from the high
Can you keep me faithful
Got a lot of girls
Got a lot of flava
That's why when I hit 'em they all need to return the favor

Ok, I like a challenge as much as other girls, but yeah, actually, I think I'll pass.  Life is too short to try to keep you faithful, to be honest.  Especially now that the new season of Glee has started.

Finally, we have Miguel featuring J Cole on All I want is You:
This tells the story of a guy who lost his girl, and would like to have her back.  You'd think he'd pull out all the roses and romance, right?  

All my new bitches seem to get old real quick
Could it be you everything these plain bitches couldn’t be
Is it a sign from the Lord that I shouldn’t be
Lost in the Player way sorta get old to me

Got me on layaway, Girl you gotta a hold on me

Ok.  So.  Coupla things.  1:  If you're trying to win me back, don't talk to me about your other "bitches."  Talk to me about me.  And how great I am.  And how you suck for not seeing it before.   I don't want to hear about your other bitches, sign from God or not.  And 2:  I know it's a rhyming thing, but layaway?  Seriously?  That's the best you can come up with?  I got you on layaway?  So you're telling me I got you on a blue-light special at a discount store, and I couldn't afford you, so I took you back and filled out some paperwork, and I paid a little bit over 8 or 12 weeks, and then I got to take you home?  If you want me to come back to you, you've got to do better than that.  

So, in just a few songs we have:
Skipping foreplay, potty humor, me not needing a ring, you challenging me to keep you faithful, and you apparently being for sale at a discount store a few aisles down from where I get my toothpaste. 

Yep, if you took away the hot suits and money and yachts, I bet girls would be all over that.  Actually, I think some would.  But that, sadly, is another topic for people with more education than me to try to work out.

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