Just for the record, I’m no highbrow art critic. The only reason I even know about the following songs is because I spend enough time listening to Top 40 stations in the car to heat them on the regular and ponder their lyrics, even as I bump and grind to Beyonce. No shame in that game.
But it seems to me that some pop music has taken song-writing to a new low. I feel like even in a genre known for it’s inanity, there should be some very limited, yet existing, standards for lyrics, and to say that these songs don’t even meet that level is saying a lot. I’m willing to accept with an absolute open heart and mind lines like “if you like it then you should have put a ring on it,” “you and me can write a bad romance,” and even “my chick bad, my chick hood.” But the following lines are lines that I simply can’t get behind. They’re just…too stupid.
1. “Got me like, ‘Oh my God’.” — Usher, what a profound moment that must have been for you, when you first bore witness to this lovely vision of a young lady. I think we can all agree that when one feels like “Oh my God,” it’s really one of the most poignant and important moments in life, and here you have given it voice. Watch out, Hemingway!
2. “I’m a be (repeated over and over).” — Oh, The Black-Eyed Peas. You’re so funky and your beats are so good! But you’ve eliminated two entire words here — “going to” — and while that might be OK for a quick mention in a song, or a text from one tween to another, as people approaching their 40’s and making entire songs that last for several minutes, I feel like this may be a little lazy. And while we’ve all overlooked your laziness (except you, Alanis Morisette! I love you!) for some time now (“Boom Boom Pow,” anyone?) — I kind of feel like with this song, you’re just throwing it in our face that you don’t really use sentences or ideas or even words in many of your songs. And you know what? Ouch.
3. “I wanna be a billionaire, so fricking bad.” — Now this line really distinguishes you, Travis McCoy, from the entire rest of the world. I know I, for one, have never really thought about whether or not I’d like to have a shitload of money. “What would you do with a million dollars” certainly isn’t the concept behind mulitudinous game shows, or the topic of many a parlor chat. You’ve given us all something important to consider here. Bravo on your contribution to the global conversation.
4. “I’m throwing on my Louboutins” — First of all, if you’re throwing on Louboutins, things aren’t that bad. Second of all, no one “throws on” Louboutins. You have to like, strap them up, lace yourself in, zip the behind, whathaveyou. And then you walk, very carefully, out. Also, J.Lo, you and I both know that neither your Louboutins nor any other shoe that you own has ever set foot in the 818. Need we go through this again? You are NOT still Jenny from the block! No one is fooled!
5. (And this one’s my favorite): “I know way too many people here right now that I didn’t know last year. Who the fuck are y’all?….What am I doing? What am I doing? Oh yeah! That’s right. I’m doing me. I’m doing me. I’m living life right now.” — I suppose it is important, Drake, to remind yourself of the little things — “I’m living life, that’s what I’m doing” — especially after you wake up one morning surrounded by a bunch of strangers that you’ve only known for one year and it makes you forget absolutely everything. Like, everything, including the fact that you are a person, and which person you are. I can see where it would be calming to simply ground yourself with that mantra, maybe take a few deep breaths, “I’m doing me. I’m doing me. I’m living life.” It’s a good way to come down from a bad trip. But I’m not sure it qualifies as song lyrics.