Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why did Chris Brown take Sevyn Streeter's radio hit away from her?

There's a new sexy slow jam on GCI and Power 92 that you can't avoid hearing all day - Sevyn Streeter's "It Won't Stop." The rap and R&B radio stations brought it on hot and heavy, which was a clever move to get listeners acclimated to Sevyn Streeter. Before this single, I had no idea who Sevyn Streeter was. When I heard it for the first time I thought a lackluster Aaliyah had come back from the dead to make babies with Ciara.

It didn't take long for me to wrap my head around Streeter's instant hit because they kept playing it over and over like it's a new way of life.

When it was only Streeter singing, I thought, her lyrics about a man she likes because of the way he looks are unimpressive. But at least people are paying attention to a new female R&B singer. I have to admit, I'm sick of the only female voice I hear being the same Rihanna chorus between rappers' verses.

Plus, Streeter's chorus seems forgettable at first, but it grows on you like its swelling harmonies. And she co-wrote wrote the song, along with several other R&B radio hits.

The thing is, someone went ahead and thought it would be a good idea to transform the song into a duet with Chris Brown. Now you can't turn on either station without hearing the diluted duo version of what was simply just, according to Rap Genius, a "heteronormative pop song about how much a woman loves her man."

Nope, you instead have to hear the version someone chopped up and gave some of to Chris Brown.

Brown's timber distracts the listener from Streeter's bright sound that pierces through the whirring of the beat. His whiny belts adulterate the melody. He leaves you with the feeling that he cheated the song out of its potential.

The whole thing was done somewhat lazily too. No one changed the lyrics except for a subtle subject reversal. The only lines that change are:

So I hop up in your ride
Ooh it's hot as hell outside
Got the top down
With the doors off
Put your hand on my thigh

To this:

Baby hop in my ride
Ooh it's hot as hell outside
Got the top down
With the doors off
With my hand up on your thigh


Why did someone have to go and split the song for a man and woman? I don't fully understand why adding Chris Brown to a song makes it more of a hit than it already was, or why Streeter wasn't enough.

Plus, adding a man to the song cheapens the reasons why Streeter liked the guy she was singing to in the first place. When she was the only one singing the love song, she inhabited a version - albeit a maybe twisted or halfway one - of the male gaze. Let's call it "Male Gaze Lite."

But when Chris Brown came into the picture, he transformed the song into a normal duet. A normal duet in R&B tends to be one where two people objectify each other to deflect attention away from the fact that their relationship is actually kind of ickily patriarchal.

The weird forced conversion of the song is also illustrated in the music video, where it seems like a video editor tried to splice footage of Chris Brown - dressed like a hermit who is just ashamed enough of his past mistakes to still ethically inhabit a position of fame - in between clips of Streeter dancing and looking at a camera on a beach.

Musically the song sounds like Streeter and Brown are singing a love song to each other, but in the video he's just sitting there next to her, shady sunglasses draping his face, singing about how he loves some other girl while she's singing to a random model. All around, just weird.

However, I don't want to jump to conclusions. Streeter has written lots of songs for Chris Brown, and he signed her to his label. Their professional relationship might have just led to a collaboration.

At the same time, why take an already good, quality hit jam - a first for an artist who has previously solely been writing for other artists - and pile your name on top of that?

And, most importantly, why would the radio value the duet over the female anthem?

I love when you pulling up in your Jeep
Bumpin' all your beats
J's on, with your shades on
Just to bring me something to eat

Ok, maybe female anthem is taking it a little far.

Streeter posted an acoustic version of the song that showcases her voice stripped down so you can really hear her raw, shaky vibrato. And her vocal runs at their best are definitely reminiscent of Aaliyah's. The version is more personal, and straight from the person who wrote it in, according to her co-writer, a short half hour session in the studio.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Suburbs

There are some songs that are like someone exploded the concepts of time and life so all that's left is that music feeling you get, and The Suburbs is one of those songs for me.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The 6 best Rap Genius annotations of Kendrick Lamar's "Rigamortis"

If you are not familiar with it, Rap Genius is a new site started by a couple of start-up hungry dudes from Yale who wanted rap to be "understood" by "everyone." These site curators add annotations to rap lyrics explaining the deeper significance of each verse or phrase so people of all races, creeds and backgrounds can enjoy the genius of rappers, whose language sometimes needs "translation" for the "other folks." Site visitors also have the opportunity to suggest different interpretations of a verse, if they see something that they think is a blaring mistake. And believe you me, they do see these mistakes. You might call Rap Genius democracy at its purest and most advanced stage.

Rap Genius has made its way up the ranks of Google within the last few months. So I've found myself going there way more often than before, when I just want a good chuckle because race relations. In, fact it's sort of become my go-to for rap lyrics (I mean, it wasn't like I had a problem parting with AZLyrics or LyricsFreak or SongLyrics.com, who always had at least three catch-the-bug-on-your-screen-interactive-ad campaigns on the first scroll.) So, earlier tonight when I googled the lyrics to K-dot's "Rigamortis" so I could try to memorize them and get some street cred, I came across some particularly wonderful comedic gold:

1.) "I'm Marilyn Manson with madness."

2.) "Now just imagine the magic I light to asses."

3.) "I'm Morpheus, the matrix of my mind."

4.) "I rapped him and made him Casper."

5.) "Recognize Kendrick in the battery/and I'm charged up."

6.) "Don't ask for your favorite rapper."

Kudos, Rap Genius geniuses. I hope you get more investors so you can invest in some graphic design or something 'cause right now your site kinda looks like Geocities hopped in a DeLorean to 2013 and was very put off by it.

Bagel places that should exist

Bagels, Inc.

Bagels 'n' Brothers, Inc.

Bagels of the World United, Inc.

Bagels 'n' Things

The Bank of Bagels

Bagel's Cafe & Deli & Co.

Baggel's Cafe & Deli & Company Restaurant

The United States of Bagels

Bagel Astrology

Facebagel: An Online Experience

The Politics of Bagels: A Schmear Campaign

Forever Bagels

Freedom American Brother Bagels

Bagels With a 'Tude

Not Your Grandma's Bagels


Bagel Bros 'n' Sons & Companies

Bagel Steeze

Fuck Them Other Bagels 'Cause I'm Down With My Bagels

Airport Bagels


I <3 New Bagel

Fuck Bagels

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The literary devices of Lil Wayne

Too often we take the brilliant nuance of Weezy's raps for granted. His literary and rhetorical devices enhance his literature by making it rich with connotations and double entendres. We all know that Weezy F Baby is not your average Trinidad John James Doe. So what makes him so special? Well, let's find out.

For purposes of this list, definitions for literary devices were found on Wikipedia and the dictionary.

Metonymy: A figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated. 

Weezy Example: “But I swear with these 50 shots I’ll shoot it out with 5-O.” – Rich as Fuck

Metonymy is when you use a part of a whole to describe a whole. It’s like saying The White House to describe our whole body of government, or “lend me a hand” to mean “I need your help.” Here, Weezy is referring to all of law enforcement by calling them the names of what their patrol cars used to be. This originated with Tu-Pac’s lyric, as he described the cars cops drove in California in the late 80’s with 5.0 engines. Many also believe 5-O originated with the 70’s television show “Hawaii Five-O” about a fictional division of cops in Hawaii whose section was named after the state becoming the 50th of the U.S.

Antanaclasis: The stylistic scheme of repeating a single word or phrase but with a different meaning.

Weezy Examples: “But it’s like as soon as I cum, I come to my senses.” – Love Me ft. Drake, Future

Weezy uses the word "come" to mean two distinctly different things - to "cum" during sex and to "come" to his senses. He employs this antanaclasis to emphasize the contrasting parts of orgasm: the build up, which is a foggy haze of euphoria, and the climax, which presents the opportunity to return to reality.

“I’m rollin’ on a pill, rollin’ up some reefers.” – 30 Minutes to New Orleans

Here, "rollin'" first connotes an intense high, a word usually associated with Molly, a purer form of ecstasy. Then it means the literal act of rolling up a joint of marijuana. A teachable moment here: Weezy shows us that antanaclasis is the perfect way to express that one is under the influence of multiple drugs at once.

“Shawty say she wanna lick the wrapper, and she gonna lick the rapper.” – Lollipop

Once again, Tunechi hits the jackpot with an antanaclasis. He utilizes a candy "wrapper" to suggest fellatio - both activities that require the use of the tongue. This example doubles as a homophone, as "wrapper" and "rapper" sound the same but have different meanings. Interestingly enough, it could be argued that through the use of this antanaclasis, Weezy has set up direct ties between himself, the "rapper" and a lollipop, essentially objectifying himself. Has Lil Tune turned hip hop's objectification on its "head," telling chauvinism to go "suck it," or is he simply "lolli"gagging around? Jk, the song's totally sexist.

Anthimeria: The use of a noun as if it were a verb.

Weezy Examples: “I, I, I all night it, I every day it.” – 100 Million, Birdman ft. Weezy

An anthimeria has the power to create anthems. You can "every day" anything you fucking want, and like, in my opinion, "every day"ing anything is way cooler and more profound than just doing something every day. But that's just my opinion. Thanks, anthimeria. You're some Space Jam shit.

Antimetabole: The repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed order (e.g., “I know what I like, and I like what I know.”)

“All my bitches loves me, and I love all my bitches.” – Love Me ft. Drake, Future

“I tried to pay attention, but attention paid me.” – She Will ft. Drake

Clearly, the second example is the more accurate antimetabole of the two. Here, Weezy F. Babiecakes expresses his failure to concentrate in school, which resulted in his stardom and eventually being paid by fans who totally appreciate that he is a literary genius.

Epanalepsis: A figure of speech in which the same word or phrase appears both at the beginning and at the end of a clause.

W.E.: “Bitch, I’m hood, bitch.” – 100 Million by Birdman ft. Weezy

Without the last bitch of this exclamatory sentence, Weezmaster would not be nearly as hood. Epanalepsis to the rescue.

Epizeuxis: Emphasizing an idea using one word repetition.

W.E.: “Weezy F., Weezy F., Weezy F. Baby.” – Every song ever

WEEZY F BABY WEEZY F BABY WEEZY F WEEZY F YA YA YA YA WUTUP I wonder who was the first rapper to use epizeuxis? #probablythefirstrapperever

Non Sequitur: A conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.

W.E.: Better turn to God, ‘fore I turn to Godzilla/how the fuck you gon’ talk shit to diarrhea/Muthafucka it’s on, I’m just rubbing ‘em wrong/Put a bug in my ear, but not in my phone. – Trigger Finger

Ok, so, I'm not exactly positive that this is a non sequitur; Tunechi has a purpose for everything. But, I just have no idea what it means or how the verses are related to each other.

Paramoisos: Parallelism of sound between the words of two clauses approximately equal in size, i.e. “Open to gifts and open to words.”

W.E.: “Got a red ass bitch with a red ass pussy.” – Rich as Fuck ft. 2 Chainz

A red ass bitch should always have a red ass pussy, hence the paramoisos. These two clauses are, indeed, parallel in sound and equal in size, aka importance. 

Metaphor: A figure of speech that desribes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object.

I'm sure Weezy would agree that metaphors are like breasts: they come in all different forms and they can be in different positions, and they have the potential to be super beautiful, even when you have no idea why they're there.

W.E.: “I let two women ride me, that’s car-poolers.” – 4 My Town by Birdman ft. Drake and Weezy

“She ride this dick, her titties jiggle, that’s my pillows/That’s because I sleep in that ho.” – Tapout by Future ft. Weezy

“They throw dirt on my name, well that’s why they still dig me.” – No New Friends by DJ Khaled ft. Rick Ross, Drake, Weezy

“And you already know you’re too fly/But baby, don’t get your hair caught in the propellers.” – Beware by Big Sean ft. Weezy

Doubles as homonym and metaphor: “These hoes want that hose pipe, so I give all these hoes pipe.” – Rich as Fuck ft. 2 Chainz

Barely a metaphor: “Met a female dragon, had a fire conversation.” – HYFR ft. Drake

Simile: A figure of speech that directly compares two things through come connective, usually “like,” “as”,” “than,” or a verb such as “resembles.”

Similes are like the double-D breasts of metaphors: they're more obvious and explicit, also they need some more support from the body, but that doesn't make them any less beautiful.

W.E.: “Pussy like a sea shell, dick like a V-12.” – Tapout by Future ft. Weezy

“She get on that dick and stay on, all night like porch lights.” – Rich as Fuck ft. 2 Chainz

“What goes around comes around like a hula hoop.” – She Will

“My nuts hang like ain’t no curfew.” – HYFR ft. Drake

“She give me brain, brain like trivia.” – Cashed Out

“Put that bitch out like a house fire.” – Rich as Fuck ft. 2 Chainz

Rap Genius says this house fire line could reveal 2 similes:

1.) “Wayne is implying that this “white girl” is so hot, he had to put her fire out by spreading his “juice” on her.
2.) Also, he is suggesting that she had to leave his house right after the blow job, hence “put that bitch out.”

A personal favorite: “We pop ‘em like Orville Redenbacher.” – A Milli

Paraprosdokian: A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.

W.E.: “We fucked up, we truk’d up, no ifs, ands or butt fucks.” – Rich as Fuck ft. 2 Chainz

Weezy throws us off with this one. This paraprosdokian also serves to emphasize the idea that there so strongly are no buts allowed that they have morphed into the painful human counterpart of their lowly grammatical standing. Weezy reminds us that we might as well be penetrated anally if doubtful conjunctions get in the way of our self fulfillment. 

Epiphora: The repetition of the same word or words at the end of successive phrases, clauses or sentences.

W.E.: “I feel her heartbeat, I chest to chest with this bitch/Now turn around, face down, I’m arrestin’ this bitch.” – Love Me

“It’s Weezy F., the monster, even F your mama/Even ex your mama, leave you next to mama.” – 30 Minutes to New Orleans

Hope you enjoyed this bitch/It took a long time to research bitch/Now log off, go to sleep and fucking dream about Lil Wayne's genius, bitch.

But wait, no, we're not done. Here's 3 analogies in a row about pussy:

“Pussy like a oven, too hot to put my tongue in
All I had to do is rub it, the genie out the bottle
Pussy so wet, I’mma need goggles.” – High School ft. Nicki Minaj

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I know you want it, good girl

The new Drake song came out a few days ago, and a specific lyric really caught my attention:

'Cause you're a good girl and you know it
You act so different around me
'Cause you're a good girl and you know it
I know exactly who you could be

After ruminating and clickin my feets on the ground for several minutes, I realized there's another song in my life (well... in everyone's lives right now, whether they like it or not) that mentions the concept of a "good girl." Blurred Lines!

And that's why I'm gonna take a good girl
I know you want it...
You're a good girl
Can't let it get past me
You're far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it...
But you're a good girl

Rap Genius, a website that takes rap lyrics and has users annotate them to explain their "real" meanings, had this to say about the Drake lyrics:

The idea that girls are "good" deep down but they fake being bad "to keep him interested" really rubs me the wrong way because it puts the woman in the category of good or bad. Virgin or whore. It doesn't take into account the nuances of her emotions.

The Daily Beast's Tricia Romano said Blurred Lines "is about how a girl really wants crazy wild sex but doesn't say it - positing that age-old problem where men think no means yes into a catchy, hummable song."

Pigeon-hole-ing women into the virgin and whore categories isn't a new phenomenon, by any means. But what concerns me is the fact that the phrase "good girl" might be getting trendier than ever before.

Even more troubling is this annotation from Rap Genius on the lyrics, "'Cause you're a good girl and you know it/I know exactly who you could be" :

In this annotation Rihanna supposedly "went bad" when she fell into a relationship with Chris Brown, a man who verbally and physically abused her. This sets Rihanna up in the position to be blamed for how her relationship with an abuser polluted her cleanliness. How is she the bad girl for being tied into a relationship in which someone she loved for a long time manipulated her? Abusive relationships are vicious cycles. The idea that domestic violence can "turn a good girl bad" is what keeps women around the world from telling a friend, a family member, legal officials, anyone about her suffering. Every day another woman feels guilty for staying in a relationship that hurts her. Every day another woman feels she deserves it. She's a "bad girl."

What the two song lyrics have in common is both of the men are sure they know what's best for the woman. No matter what she says or does, she is still a "good girl," and she still wants sex.

An argument can be made that these artists are simply trying to push the boundaries of what's acceptable, to be sexy, to be masculine and confident. But what would happen if the term "good girl" became everyday vernacular? "Yeah, she was trying to act all flirty, but I know she's a good girl. I know she wants me, but she's a good girl." It fetishizes the idea of that woman's moral compass and has the potential to rob her of the opportunity to express how she really feels in the midst of a sexual and highly emotionally elevated situation.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"I'm no slut shamer, but these video hoes were asking for it!"

Three women in Tyga's video "Make it Nasty" are suing him for $10 million each because they claimed their contract said their nipples would never be shown in the video. I have to say, I'm appalled by how this issue has been covered so far. On GCI the announcer called them "video hoes" and said "they shouldn't get a single penny." Since when are professionals allowed to use the word "hoe" uncensored on the air?

On hiphopwired.com a blogger wrote they were each looking for $5 million per boob in punitive damages - classy.

HOT 107.9 in Atlanta wrote on its site:

What’s with video chicks suing for stuff in their job descriptions? You’re a video chick in a NASTY video and you’re shocked and outraged it wasn’t “tastefully shot”?

And the comments on the YouTube vid of the explicit Make it Nasty vid:

ShortTimer403: These chicks wont get shit from the settlement...shoulda of just stayed being a rappers play thing...maybe could of got lucky and got preggo...I mean that's what these video girls want right?

Christofer Delgado: Lmao they retarded as fuck 10million a piece?!? FUCKING LOL these hoes ain't no where near worth that much including they're pussy's xD

Roxiee V: There suing for nudity of their nipples, yet they are okay basically making a sex tape with a bra and panties on looking like sluts. On another note, They had a choice not to take off bras and or fix their bras. Just going for the facts, IM on tyga's side here the girls aint getting nothing from him

Being a "video vixen" is a profession. It's a job. These women claim they signed a contract which said their nipples wouldn't be shown. Tyga posted the explicit video on his twitter yesterday, breaking that supposed contract. A famous rapper BREAKING A CONTRACT is worth punitive damages. It has nothing to do with what other parts of the dancers' bodies were shown in the video.

I don't care if you say you are "no slut shamer," if you use the music video as evidence against these women in their own law suit, you are being unreasonable.

Some poetry from your neighborhood lady hitta

for some reason I got the urge tonight to honor the creative genius of up-and-coming pop artist Bonnie McKee with an interpretive poem mixing the incredible words of her newest single, "American Girl" with the renowned lyrical works of feminist scholar Nicki Minaj. please enjoy.

I fell in love in a 7/11 parking lot
Sat on the curb drinking slurpees we mixed with alcohol
Shitted on ‘em
Man, I just shitted on ‘em

Hot blooded, all-American girl, I was raised by a television
Every day is a competition, put the key in my ignition
Who got the baddest pussy on the planet?

I wanna see all the stars and everything in between
I live where the motherfucking pools and the trees is

I just keep moving my body, I’m always ready to party
I used to be here now I’m gone - Nair
No I don’t listen to mommy
You got me mistaken for your mother, hoe

I wanna see all the stars and everything in between
Broke bitches so crusty, disgust me
I wanna buy a new heart out of a vending machine

Every day is a competition, put the key in my ignition
All these bitches is my sons and I’ma go and get bibs for ‘em
He asked me my sign, I said a Sagg’
‘Cause it’s a free country, baby, and we can do anything

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Caught out there with Kelis and Jodi Arias

There's a Kelis song I can't stop listening to called "Caught Out There" about when she catches her man cheating on her with a lady in a red coat who doesn't dress well despite her wealth. The video showcases Kelis' anger, and the narrative is supposedly that she kills him.

She says she took care of him while he was sick and throwing the fuck up (an alcoholic? sexy) and he still cheated on her with a girl who has gaudy-to-no personal style.

The opening scene of the video is her little horrible dude on the operating table with doctors trying to bring him back to life and Kelis behind the glass being awesome.

This song is for all the women out there
That've been lied to by their men
And I know you all've been lied to
Over and over again
This is for y'all
Yo, maybe you didn't break the way you should've broke, yo
But I break

WTF Kelis' man? Seriously? If Kelis' man betrays her at the peak of her career, I think I literally stand 0 chances at finding everlasting love.

It's pretty clear in the song that she either wants to or does shoot her man and his other lady (there's a gunshot sound effect in the last verse leading up to the chorus.) Which is KIND OF an overreaction, AMIRITE Jodi Arias?

But because it's my jam when Kelis screams:


I want to get up and fucking dance.

Also the chorus is just her screaming. Just wanted to reiterate that.

(side note: wikipedia says this yell was sampled and used in a Calvin Klein ad for CK One in 2011 lol)

I want to celebrate her killing him, does a catchy bass line make me want to do that?

Jodi, your live tweeting didn't assemble enough fans, next time produce a jam with The Neptunes.

But in all seriousness, why do I dance and not cringe? Is it because the song's narrative isn't life but merely art reflecting how livid Kelis is? Is it because she was in her neon afro phase where her afro was perfectly neon and perfect?

Is it because we as a society are fascinated with women being angry? Is it because I'm angry? Is it because men have all been shitty variations of Don-cheating-lying-pieces-of-shit-Drapers since monogamy entered our collective consciousness?

My whole Kelis thing right now is timely considering how much Americans are fucking obsessed with this Jodi Arias trial (although the verdict happened so maybe we'll all lay off a bit), the case of a woman who was so mad she needed to see her boyfriend die 30 times 'cause supposedly she was jealous or obsessed or evil or a witch or Amanda Bynes' most avid follower on twitter.

But we can't stop watching it and offering our own theories about it and hiring beautiful actresses to play her in a giant movie on Oxygen about it. She looked better when she was blonde, right? She's not hotter than Casey Anthony so she totally did it, right? That bitch deserves to get locked up, right?

Because of Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias, there are a lot of ideas floating around right now in the media about women and anger.

A lot of them are antiquated but disguised as trash so we don't have time to realize that our feminism is slowly dying along with our brain cells.

Of course what Arias was found guilty of was disgusting and horrible. But historically people have legitimized chauvinism by linking women to irrational feelings, and Jodi is such an easy way to revert back to those outdated misogynistic mental pathways by making them new again.

Sometimes all this equality takes its toll on a media, whose every un-PC move is being outed all the time. It must be nice for them to finally be able to gawk at an unstable broad with a penchant for live tweeting her own court case!

In journalism it's rare and difficult to get a great, quality story so it's easy to join the ratings orgy instead.

As for Kelis, it's all fiction. She'll never talk shit about Nas.