5 Bizarrely Specific Things Musicians Keep Singing About
I don't want to blow your mind too much here, but I kinda like music. While I have respect for the classics, I also like to keep up with what the kids are listening to these days, whether that's trip-trap, Hop on Pop, or whatever you call the following garbage. Yeah yeah, everything's subjective. The sad truth is that shitting on today's pop music is my way of making amends for the fact that I once asked for and received a Backstreet Boys CD for Christmas.
And now that you can't un-know that, here are some other things about musicians which, once you see or hear them, you can't ever look past ...
Avril Lavigne Clearly Hates Cars
Most people probably haven't thought about Avril Lavigne since 2004, when she topped the U.S. Department of Immigration and Homeland Security's list of "Canadians We Accidentally Let Through," but she's still kicking around. Amazingly, she stayed with Chad Kroeger of Nickleback for a while, and she still makes music and (thankfully, for comedy purposes) music videos.
Remember that weird "Hello Kitty" thing from a couple years ago? The year before, she put out an arguably stranger video for a song called "Rock N Roll." It appears to somehow be a ripoff of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" (even though this came first), in that it features a bunch of badass females pretending to be comic book action heroes while winking at the camera the whole time, but it pretty much fails completely at being a parody. It opens up with her tongue-in-cheekily exclaiming that her new Sony phone is ringing, ignoring the fact that Sony actually sponsors product placements in all her videos. So how is that a joke? That was just product placement that was somehow even more annoying.
Anyway, at one point she fights a BearShark, because get it? Sharknado or something.
If this doesn't become the new "Thanks, Obama!" we have failed as Americans.
In one scene, Avril and her friend find an evil bug-man in a restaurant hiding behind a mustache. He throws a baby at her, which she smashes in the face with a food tray. After momentarily being slowed down by a lobster left on the floor, the two heroines and their alcoholic dog chase down the bug-man and drunk-drive headfirst into a tree. The women lament the dog's untimely death and then make out. I swear to fucking god none of that was a joke.
Trust me, I watched it so many times that I was automatically added to her fan club.
I thought that was pretty weird (the car accident part), and started watching other videos of hers. Unbelievably, I discovered there are a solid handful of videos in which she crashes some kind of vehicle. In 2011's "What The Hell," Avril plays a sociopath who sleeps with some guy, kicks him out, and then leads him on a wild goose chase through the city. Or maybe he's just a huge creep for chasing her. Either way, they are both awful.
At one point, she Grand Theft Autos a taxi for a joyride, and then "parks" it by letting it casually roll into another car. So in 12 short years, the record industry's stance on auto theft apparently went from "You wouldn't download a car" to "Jacking a real one right in front of the owner, possibly destroying his livelihood in the process, is an attractive sign of a carefree and rebellious lifestyle."
"This confusing mixed message brought to you by Sony."
Going even further back in time, both the "Girlfriend" and the "Complicated" videos include a scene in which Avril crashes a fucking go kart head-on into a wall. (In both cases, she's playing some sort of rebellious teenager, which is really showing her acting chops.) This happens twice!
Why even include that part? It's literally a half-second.
So now we're at four videos out of 20-ish total over her career which show a head-on collision for some reason. That's three too many. And I'm being conservative here, not even including "Sk8er Boi," wherein she rebelliously smashes a car window with a guitar. Maybe there are even more, but I just can't bring myself to keep watching them, because my YouTube recommendations list is extremely confused as it is.
Pitbull Keeps Trying To Drop References And Failing Miserably
As a Cuban rapper, Pitbull has it tough. He's an outsider in a crowded field. I'm assuming. Are there any other mainstream Cuban rappers? I don't really listen to that stuff.
When did I search for "Chinese rappers" on Wikipedia?
Some have criticized Pitbull's lyrics as being 90 percent "ass and titties" and 10 percent made-up Spanish words, but if you squint really hard, you can read past that into what he was really trying to convey. Mainly, that he doesn't know who a lot of these other celebrities are.
So Tom Cruise is your friend? Are you saying it's news that you met up with him in Mumbai? Why would seeing a woman who looks like Halle Berry make you think of a fruit? Did you just call a different woman "Ringo Starr"? Is that a compliment? Have you ever seen a picture of him? I'm starting to think that maybe these folks just made for some convenient rhymes and literally nothing else. At least (based on the song titles) Pitbull acknowledges the overwhelming scientific evidence for global warming, even if it doesn't actually come from sexy mami's bodies.
For some celebs, Mr. Worldwide seems to know in general who they are, yet relegates them to one broad aspect:
Yeah, I'm pretty damn sure Alfred Hitchcock did not direct snuff films. Then you make a basketball reference, and the one guy you think of is Dennis Rodman? At the time this song came out, Rodman was way more famous for visiting North Korea, but I guess nothing sexy rhymes with "totalitarian." Finally, are you talking about the most recent version of Tiger Woods and this Jesse James, as in the 1800s bank robber? I'm not sure it's such a good idea to wake up the president and the first lady just to let them know that you fuck like a 19th-Century sexaholic. Or maybe he's talking about Sandra Bullock's fuckboi ex husband? Either way, ew ... and also, what?
Weirdly, P-Billy's insane references do not end there. He has routinely plagiarized popular nursery rhymes for content, which ... well, I was gonna say that would be something a child would do, but that seems redundant. If you're sexy and you know, it clap your hands? That's like the ramblings of a toddler who was left alone listening to a Kid's Bop Spotify playlist.
I like to picture his mom hanging these on her fridge.
No One Can Figure Out WTF Train Is Talking About
I'll admit I kinda used to like Train. Their stuff from the late '90s / early zeros was actually pretty solid rock. If you ever wanna blow someone's mind, remind someone that "Hey, Soul Sister" is by the same band that wrote "Drops Of Jupiter." That should distract you from the fact that I just admitted to way too many people that I liked Train.
Even though they scored some hits, at some point, they must have realized they'd have a lot more success by just releasing really simple pop songs and reinventing themselves. (This is called "pulling a Maroon 5.") "Hey, Soul Sister" was the test, and it passed with flying colors. Primarily green.
I'm also convinced that no one hearing Pat (he's the singer) croon on the radio has ever actually listened closely to what the hell they were singing along to. In fact, there's a whole Tumblr dedicated to his nonsense. It was such a soul-sucking experience cataloging all his language transgressions that the creator gave up after about 12 posts.
Let's break down the logic here. You start off with a solid message to appreciate the things you have, but then conclude that one of the most notoriously horrible penitentiaries sounds like a grand old time, because worst-case scenario, you can always make some prison wine with your buddies. How are those two thoughts even related? That'd be like singing about how lucky we are to have such stocked grocery stores, but the desolate plains of sub-Saharan Africa can't be too shitty, since they get to kill their own food. At least Johnny Cash had the balls to admit that prison sucks, and he did it right to the faces of a whole bunch of fucking prisoners.
I hope that Pat wrote that lyric as a reminder to himself not to drink perfume.
God, everything is so literal yet nonsensical. It actually really, really annoys me for some reason. Like he's mocking me personally for how successful he got off this crap.
It's always either random word combos like above, or just regular rhyming sentences that sound like they are coming from a dad joke-rapping with his kids. He puts in references to cellphones, Justin Bieber, getting a mortgage on a house, Mr. Rogers, eggplant ... it's all just a mundane, and yes, mayonnaisey mess seemingly designed to become obsolete on purpose. That way, he makes his money now before people forget about him.
Some of those terms I mentioned come from one song which I didn't even have time to analyze, called "You Can Finally Meet My Mom," and goddamn it, I'm done. In fact, I'm starting to think that just maybe their early stuff wasn't that great after all.
Bowling For Soup Really Wants You To Know They Are Totally Not Gay
You probably know pop-punk band Bowling For Soup for that song "1985" or some of their earlier singles. I distinctly remember writing in my AIM Buddy profile that it was my current favorite song, even though I wasn't even alive in 1985. It should be no surprise, based on the fact that the band is comprised entirely of adolescent males, that a lot of their lyrics have to do with girls and sex. What is surprising is how many of their damn songs go way out of their way to basically say "no homo" any chance they get.
Let's talk just about the album from 2004 that "1985" is on. Here's how it opens:
Yeaaaah ... file that under "That Happened." Disregarding the grammar at the end, I think it's pretty clear that this guy "almost" fucked the prom queen as much as Donald Trump "almost" has two black friends.
In "My Hometown," the singer belts out an ironic tale about how when the band first started out, no one in their town cared, and now look at them, guys! But he throws in this awkward paragraph about thanking his brother:
Imagine if his brother didn't know about this until hearing this song.
In the next song, "Smoothie King," he talks about a crazy girl that he's in love with, and justifies his infatuation by saying And she's all I can think about, so I must not be gay. Well that proves it, guys. Let's pack it up.
This keeps going. In another song, he laments a breakup with And I'll be happy and my couch is gonna miss me / And all the girls will wanna kiss me. In another, he talks of a relationship in which all I remember is making out constantly. Even in the hidden outro track, where the entire band is just shooting the shit, they make a joke about showering together, and say at the end that if the listener is "still here, then you are more queer than us."
In "Next Ex-Girlfriend," the singer just straight-up says what we've been thinking this whole time. I just want to reiterate that this is all from just one album out of many.
The only thing I can think of that would be more homoerotic than this album would be John Travolta reading an audiobook comprised entirely of his Scientology auditing sessions. Or maybe the Bowling For Soup song that's titled "I'm Gay." I dunno. Maybe he's just being ironic. Even if that's the case, he seems really, really bad at it.
Or possibly the EP cover in which all the band members of Bowling For Soup are licking the same penis. Maybe that.
Lil Wayne Loves Poop, Apparently
Again, I really want to stress that I don't regularly listen to hip-hop or rap. So I hope I'm not offending anyone when I say I think Lil Wayne talks about poop too much in his songs.
Lil really likes to remind other dope-ass rappers that he is the shit, and then more often than not follows that up with a reference to actual feces.
Oh my god, HE SAID POOP! I've never heard that word used in, well, ANY song I have ever heard. Also, did anyone else notice that he just bragged about smelling bad? Am I missing something there?
And don't forget the toilets, Weez!
I just love how the first thing he imagines doing in a mansion is sitting in the bathroom for 24 hours. That would be the most amazing episode of Cribs ever. By the way, totally stealing "Planet Earth is my toilet" for my hardcore band that exclusively sings songs about the benefits of upcycling.
Throughout the course of his career, Weezy has dropped lines about Pampers, potties, assholes, shit stains, toilet paper, having a stomachache, flushing, and goddamn Metamucil. I can't even keep up, there are literally hundreds of lines about crap. Especially after that last thing about Train, it's so refreshing to see someone with more teardrop tattoos than me really break down what life is all about into a workable metaphor. There is just no better word to describe life's cultural shortcomings while still remaining nuanced enough to celebrate the reason we live. It's just ...
Feel free to use this on Tumblr.
To build the ultimate playlist of hate check out 6 Musicians Who Made Entire Albums Just To Say F#@k You and see who deserves a little more credit in 4 Musical Geniuses Hiding in Unexpected Bands.
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