Thursday, October 20, 2011

Catchy, but offensive as hell...

Welcome to rant week.

Apparently, I am all kinds of pissed off these days.  I've got reasons, and lots of them.  Real ones, even.

Of course, knowing me, I am not actually writing about the things that have my panties in a wad the most, so I'm singling out the other things that chap my ass one at a time.  Up today, music.

I've written about a few songs in the past that irritate the hell out of me, this is true.  It's not my first trip to this rodeo.

Lately though, I have noticed a really disturbing trend in music.  I don't know if anyone else has, or if it is just me and my short fuse getting all lit up about it.  Either is equally plausible.

I've been in a really bad mood lately.

I know that I haven't quite boarded the crazy train yet because I've talked about both of these songs with my husband.  He knows how much they irritate me.  He knows that when they come on the radio, it's just better if he changes it quickly before the smoke starts coming out of my ears.

There are always a few songs on the radio that manage to mislead people about what they are really about.  The one that comes to mind right now is Foster the People's Pumped Up Kicks
This one tricked even my husband, but he is notorious for falling for a catchy beat.  He thinks all songs that sound happy must be so, especially if one of the choruses is whistled!  No, not so much.  This song isn't a happy one at all, it's about the gun toting revenge of a kid who's been bullied.  Me?  I love this song.

Songs aren't always what they seem.

The two that are currently pissing me off are both in heavy rotation on the pop stations.  They have nothing to do with schoolyard anger, and they aren't hard to interpret at all.

A decent amount of music has, for decades at least, been in large part about the sexual attraction between people.  This isn't news.  What I'm noticing though, is the blatant offensiveness of the lyrics, getting worse and worse and worse.  Misogyny is okay as long as it's got a catchy beat, right?  Or maybe it's not misogyny if it's intended to be a compliment, even if it's the most ass backwards compliment in the history of time.

The first one is Jason Derulo's It Girl.  This song seems to be a flattering one, sung about the girl he wants to be with forever and all that.  I just struggle with this part (which is sung repeatedly throughout the song):

You could be my it girl, 
baby you're the shit girl, 
loving you could be a crime, 
crazy how we fit girl, 
this is it girl, 
give me 25 to life.

Wow.  If I was the girl he was after, I'd be so flattered.  I mean, what is more romantic than being compared to feces?  And who doesn't want their future relationship held up to the mirror of a prison term?  Crazy thing is that I'm sure this guy has women throwing themselves at him daily.  Barf.

Higher standards, ladies, for the love of God.

The other song, the one that grates on my nerves even more is Better with the Lights Off by New Boyz, featuring America's favorite girlfriend beater, Chris Brown.  Apparently, if you can entertain the masses, domestic violence can get wiped off your reputation almost immediately.  Amazing how that works.

This song is another backhanded compliment, so I guess it's only appropriate for it to be sung by a guy who has this pesky habit of hitting his girlfriends.

The line that makes me want to kick my radio?

Hey, shorty, I hope you don't take this the wrong way,
But you look better with the lights off.

Seriously?????  WTF is wrong with people?  I've never met a woman who would take that anything BUT the wrong way.

Maybe if more of us start changing the station when these horribly offensive songs come on, they will stop playing them.  Maybe if we demand better things for our daughters to listen to, they won't make the mistake that all the women throwing themselves at these performers are doing.  Maybe our society shouldn't be so quick to forgive acts of violence against women just because the offender can sing.

I didn't include links to these songs intentionally.  They don't deserve anymore views on YouTube because of what I've written here today.  


Just because it's catchy doesn't make it okay.


  1. I read your title and was hoping it would be this song. I think it is catchy, but you like it for the lyrics? What has me even more upset than them playing this song on the radio is the fact that Ellen had this group on her show yesterday! Ellen of all people! She is one of few people in hollywood that seems to have her shit figured out, but alas, there they were. And it is true that it is tricky to figure out b/c most of the words cannot be understood and it is catchy, but while on Ellen, they were clear as day. I was yelling at the tv. Ugh! Not the best message for our students, the ones that COULD come into my workplace any day of the week and blow all of our brains out...

  2. I agree with your rant! Why is Chris Brown even allowed to make music anymore??


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