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?).