Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Boys Examine Rap Music, Vol. I / Plus, A Hipster Contest!

"Country music reflects my values, but when it's time to grind with the shorties, I need me some B.I.G." --Chip

For a long time, the boys thought rap music was a passing fad. But since it's seemingly here to stay, perhaps it deserves our attention?

Actually, both Richard and Chip have a little rap in their pasts. In his high-school days, Richard had a brief infatuation with NWA and Public Enemy, and occasionally still gets drunk and performs "Straight Outta Compton" in its entirety at parties, making everyone nervous due to his insistence that censoring the 'N-word' takes aways the work's artistic integrity. In Chip's younger years, the one black kid in Forttt Scottt gave him a present of an Ice T CD, featuring the song "L.G.B.N.A.F" (which, for the unitiated, stands for "Let's get buck naked and fuck"). Chip memorized the song and performed it in the school talent show, believing that it's lyrics were universal truths ("If you're a guy you want it / if you're a girl you tease him and flaunt it"). His teacher disagreed and called his parents, who then forbade him to listen to rap music until college. He heard no more until Quinton's.

The boys find rap as fascinating as it is frightening, and in this new series they will attempt to penetrate (!) its mysteries and probably get accused of being both racist and misogynist in the process.

Today's song: "Therapy" by T-Pain, whose new album just dropped last week (Chipnote: "To drop means to be released.").

"Remember those nights on the kitchen sink
I was choking you in a good way, good way
Now we in the streets and I'm choking you in a hood way...

Show me your Janet Jackson's if you nasty
You said you want to cut my nuts off like Jesse Jackson, classy
Ooh, why she say that, OUCH
Bitch, give me back my couch
And that same couch cashed in
Now listen to T-Pain ass sing

1, 2, 3, 4
Y0u can get the hell up out my door
5, 6 , 7, 8
I don't need your sex, I'll masturbate
9, 10, 11, 12
You can go to hell all I care, yeah"

Richard: "Note the brilliant use of metonymy here, as the speaker uses 'Janet Jackson's' to stand in for breasts. But that quickly gives way to the fear of emasculation so common in rap music, as Pain references a different Jackson's (Jesse's) statement about Obama, cleverly adding a political element to the mix, suggesting his continual oppression not just by 'bitches,' but by the dominant culture at large."

Chip: "The reference to rough sex in the opening lines here is very troubling but also quite powerful, a commentary on the intermingling of domestic life and neighborhood violence. It gives me a boner, yes, but not necessarily in a good way, but more like when I see a homely girl bend over on campus and I'm attracted despite myself."

Richard: "The closing verse seems to find empowerment alongside Pain's anger. It can be read as his masculine response to the feminist refrain of 'I don't need a man.' But at the same time the fruitlessness of masturbation can be seen as a reflection of a culture stuck in limbo, unable to evolve."

Chip: "This is a provocative work, and I could also totally grind to this shit at Abe and Jake's."


One of our reader's yesterday sought further clarification on the exact definition of 'hipster.' We now invite our readers to send in their definitions of this term. The one that makes the boys' laugh the most receives a free beer from Richard (at the TapRoom of course, which is where hipsters hibernate in the winter when it gets too cold at the Replay and which happens, tonight, to be playing host to one of its first ever rap events, featuring "Spence / Crazy T / Def Ear [Richard's ex-student!] / Godzilla / Square Jordan." Can hipsters truly like rap?).


Dr. S-- said...

And the Hipster remains ill-defined.

--I think it has something to do with drinking shitty beer and needing a good solid ass kicking from we Grunge-savants!

a hipster said...

As soon as you "define" something, it's no longer hip, Dr. S(quare).

Now make us a blog of your own and tell of us of your shenanigans down South!

Dr. S-- said...

I'm considering it...

But, I just can't see myself shooting ducks in a barrel like that. Likewise, a positive adventures of Sommers... uh, that's not really mer either. I need a focus. Besides wanting to smote Kip.

Although that is a lovely focus!

a blogger said...

Chip is indeed a rich source of material. As is Larryville liberalism and hipsterism.

But what America really wants is cute baby animals!

hipster wannabe said...

"Can hipsters truly like rap?"

The short answer: No. And here's why...

Hipsters don't actually "like" anything, at least from an aesthetic standpoint. Hipsters only value those things which seem to add to their "hipster-ness." Do hipsters "like" the taste of PBR? Nope. Do they "like" the cultural currency drinking Pabst gives them. Yep. Do you think your average hipster would chill at home by themselves, drinking a 6 pack of PBR and listening to the Transmittens' EP ("Strawberry Shortcake and the Casio Queen") if they couldn't regale their friends with the tale at the Replay the next day? Hell no. In some ways, this makes hipster culture much more shallow than the cultures they often mock (note N.ggle's frequent use of "sorostitutes") - at least you could argue the overpriced "martinis" sorority girls drink at Ten actually TASTE GOOD!

Ultimately N.ggle, I believe I'm just reiterating an argument you've already made repeatedly.

That being said, I can't wait for the rap show! I'm gonna score some big hipster points!

n.ggle said...

Luckily, it's an argument that remains vital to Larryville life (which I will continue to argue until I get bored with it and find something more "hip" to ponder).

Dr. S-- said...

Hipster Wannabe: that is some of the most forthtelling journalism I have ever read. Fair. Accurate. To the point.

It makes me wanna blog, and I may blog about this today!

Anonymous said...

I'll give this hipster contest a try. I have a tendency to win free shit.

by Beth

Hipsters were once a part of American subcutlure of the 1940s and 1950s. In fact, Jack Kerouac used the word "hipster" in attempting to define the Beat Generation. Hipsters of today are largely young people who enjoy "independent" things (like movies and music) and they also enjoy wearing skinny jeans. A recent trend I've noticed in hipster culture is to take things that were once seen as "uncool" and regurgitate them with a sense of mocking admiration and authentic irony. Neil Diamond and Hall & Oats are two example of hipster "rediscoveries." In truth, "hipster" does remain ill-defined because popular culture is constantly changing. Liz Phair, for example, was once seen as a Hipster goddess and is now seen as a sell-out. There is nothing worse that selling out to a hipster. Hipsters hate her now.

The end.