Last night, Ke$ha appeared on Late Night With Conan O’Brien in a dress printed with images of Conan‘s face. She reminisced about the first time she put Conan’s beard in her mouth, discussed her fondness for chomping on beards in general (“I wouldn’t ‘let him’ [put it in my mouth], I would request it” she corrected Conan) and made a self-deprecating joke about how she can sometimes take things too far. She also talked about going to a beard contest (“it was like porn”) and discovering a guy with the best beard ever, one which was filled with tiny dinosaur figurines (Ke$ha loves dinosaurs). “Did you start dating this guy?” asked Conan. “No, but I did make out with him for two seconds.” “Did you get a dinosaur in your mouth?” “That’s like, my fantasy.”
After watching this clip, I wondered once again how anyone can hate this sparkly garbage lady, and began to write a nice post about her. Unlike many haters out there, I do not think Ke$hasuxx. (A refrain so common she made it her Twitter handle.) I think Ke$ha rulez! And even if you find her music annoying, which you might, so should you. Here are some reasons.
1. Ke$ha is a pop auteur.
So I realize authorship is a thorny question in popular music these days. Some people don’t think it matters whether pop stars write their own songs, as collaboration or straight up people-writing-songs-for-other-people is a tradition that goes back to Elvis. Others think it matters a great deal, and anyone who doesn’t write their own songs is “inauthentic.” (This argument is often flavored with misogyny.) I’d like to popularize a third opinion whereby we don’t shit on people for doing what Elvis did, but we can still respect the craftsmanship and badassery that goes into writing and performing your own songs. Ke$ha writes or co-writes most of her songs, and furthermore, she works on other people’s songs, too. She has written music for The Veronicas and Britney Spears!
It’s clear that Ke$ha (born Kesha Rose Sebert) cares about the authorship question too, as her breakout moment (and she wanted very badly to be famous) could have come when she sang the hook on Flo Rida‘s 2009 hit “Right Round,” but she refused to take credit for the part or appear in the video, because she wanted to succeed on her own terms, and not as a sexy girl who sang a part in someone else’s song.
2. Ke$ha goes after the things that she wants.
One time, Ke$ha bribed Prince‘s gardener to let her into his house, just so she could give him her demo. If that’s not tenacity, I don’t know what is.
3. Ke$ha is fucking honest about the things she does.
I don’t know about you, but I kind of hate it when I hear someone singing about poppin’ bottles in the club or whatever, and then I find out that person is actually really boring and stays at home with their kids all the time. Meanwhile, I have reason to believe Ke$ha has done pretty much all the things she sings about doing, including brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack. Case in point: her love of beards is not just a gimmick she came up with to seem quirky. She really loves to put those beards in her mouth. She says she has cute boys she hangs out with in every city, and that’s true, too. She has hooked up with at least three guys I know (two bearded). She could probably have fucked a lot of famous dudes by now (and if she had, I’m pretty sure we’d know about it), but she seems to prefer regular people. She seems like the kind of person who would come to a party in Brooklyn with me and my friends, buy us a bunch of beer, pay for all the drugs, and be nice to me not because she wanted to fuck my friends, but because she is nice. And then she would fuck my friends. Ke$ha is our most honest pop star.