Is it just me, or does someone ALWAYS yell “they just don’t make music like this anymore!” when either:
- a Beatles song
- Don’t Stop Believing
- a MoTown song
- an ABBA song
- a BSB/NSYNC/98 Degrees/ 90’s love ballad
- More Than Words
- a disco song
- the National Anthem
- a Michael Jackson / Prince song
- a pre-cougar Madonna song
- Sweet Caroline
- a “classic rock” song that anyone born after 1995 only knows from playing Rock Band
You’ve noticed it too, right?
Have you also noticed how nobody says that about songs that came out 5 years ago? Yeah? That’s because NO ONE MISSES circa-2007 pop songs! It’s been awhile, so let me remind of you hit songs from that year. In 2007,we let songs such as:
- “Glamorous” by Fergie ft. Ludacris
- “This Is Why I’m Hot” by MIMS
- “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne
- “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston
- (the death of Daft Punk genius) “Stronger” by Kanye West
I did a lot of soul-searching with my iPOD during my last road trip, and think I’ve stumbled upon the answer: music is confusing these days.
Remember when Mariah Carey and Enrique Iglesias would sing beautiful love poems? Remember “Sweet Fantasy” and “Hero?” Whatever happened to that? How the hell did they, 10 years later, regress in maturity and crank out lame lyrics about soft porn being on Youtube? How is yelling “baby, I LIKE IT!” 250x in a song considered music? THEY ARE THE BENJAMIN BUTTONS OF MUSIC.
This all dawned on me when I was jammin’ to Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” (which, IMO is one of the greatest songs of all time) with Lindsay and Judy, when I accidentally asked out loud “do you think this is Jay-Z’s idea of romance? Is this a love song for Beyonce?”
Okay, think about it. The whole song he talks about how difficult, demeaning, and frustrating (ARGH! Couldn’t get one more d-word in for ultimate alliteration!) it is to be a victim of racial profiling and discrimination, but in the chorus, he pretty much says that even though he faces all these struggles on a daily basis, he feels bad for anyone who has “girl problems” because he doesn’t have to experience that pain. So pretty much, he’s saying that Beyonce is awesome, and he never has to worry about his relationship with her because they’re so committed to each other, and that he’ll go buy ice cream and tampons for her at 2am if she ever needs or even wants it.
Oh Jay-Z, you’re such a romantic!
(never mind that he calls her a BITCH… I’m sure it’s his cute wife-nickname for her.)
(We are also ignoring the fact that “99 Problems” was originally written by Ice-T in 1993 about his sexual conquests. Let me swoon over Jay-Z, damnit!)
Fast forward 7 years and we get things on the radio like Jason Derulo’s “It Girl,” where he does things like compare the love of his life to this oversized paperweight:
Oh, you love me more than THAT broken mini record player? Gee, thanks.
And what do you mean by “you could be my it girl / this is it girl / give me 25 to life” ?!?!
AM I A LIFETIME PRISON SENTENCE?!
So you can see my confusion with today’s lyrics. I can never tell if a song is about him loving a girl, him ironically loving a girl, him satirically loving a girl, or if all these mentions of a “girl” are actually code for something else… like the secret treasure my mom told me I had to guard until the end of time… or a super fancy hot pastrami sandwich.
Take a love song writing lesson from Jay-Z, Jason Derulo. I’d rather you just lovingly call me a bitch.