September 1, 2007

So, it’s a Friday night on Labor Day weekend, and I’m feeling blue. I’m feeling blue because in my heart I am an idealist, a romantic, and a sentimental bastard. I love music, and I often think that if it weren’t for music, I probably would have driven my car head-on into a overpass pylon at 130 mph a long time ago. I love melody. I love innocence and sentimentality – the whole idea of loving a girl and the way she moves, or the way she talks – you know the whole idea of a boy worshipping the ground a girl walks on.

I love the idea of romance, and flirting, and dating, and the mystery of unlocking a girl’s heart and her charms.

And hearing those sentiments conveyed through music.

There was a time in our culture when music was used to convey such sentiments. Tonight, I drove home from our local pizza joint and found myself transfixed by the sheer simplicity and romanticism of Brian Wilson‘s lyrics in the Beach Boys‘ tune from 1965, “Kiss Me Baby”:

Please don’t let me argue anymore
I won’t make you worry like before
Can’t remember what we fought about
Late late last night we said it was over
But I remember when we thought it out
We both had a broken heart

Woah Baby
(Kiss me Baby)
Woah Baby
(Love to hold you)
Woah Baby
(Kiss me baby)
Woah Baby
(Love to hold you)

As I drove away I felt a tear
It hit me I was losing someone dear
Told my folks I would be alright
Tossed and I turned, my head was so heavy
Then I wondered as it got light
Were you still awake like me?

Woah Baby
(Kiss me Baby)
Woah Baby
(Love to hold you)
Woah Baby
(Kiss me baby)
Woah Baby
(Love to hold you)

So what are the youth of our country listening to, and getting their ideas about dating, and romanticism, and fantasy, and mystery from? Check out these lyrics from Lil Mama called “G Slide Tour Bus”:

When I bump up on the track it’s like (Whoop)
There it is
From the block parties to house parties
I gets it in
Imma bump my business
And that’s exactly what I meant
Young beast from the east
So you know I puts it in
I’m that ghetto gorgeous gangsta girl
About to fly east line national
By the way that I bounce on the track (Ya Know)
You ain’t never see a girl like this (Oh no)
My hopes seem fly high
We ri-ide until we di-ie
Run into dudes who be yappin and always trying to get by
But I don’t hear
It goes in one ear and out the other
Told him how to G-slide and he told his mother
Get get down big Mama
I can dig it, you got it
But when my block starts to G
A stampede startin’


Lil Mama get it poppin, put in work (I put in work) (x3)
Lil Mama get it poppin, put in work (Hey!)

New shirt (New shirt)
New kicks (New kicks)
New Pants
G-slide the new dance
No auto maw
We live in the new times
Lil Ma was tha artist for me
Is the new grime
More money, more money
More shine
She the princess of the city
I’m her son boy shine
Top the dime
Shorty got cake like (uh)
Duncan Hines, come on G-slide

They be callin me T in the hood
Cause I bring the pain daddy
And when its time to hold it down
I make it rain daddy
And then you got to feel me
Cause I might make it flood
And if you G-slide slow
You better pick it up
G-slide with me
Be shy do it
See shorty lookin over from the side viewin
I’m ’bout to pick him up
And show him how to do it
Slide right, slide left
Take ya time (do it)


Lil mama get it poppin (yeah)
Stand on the streets so the people yell

If you want to accuse me of being a racist old fart, go for it – I stand both accused and guilty as charged. Anyone who wants to look at why things are the way they are in our culture need only look at the so-called “popular music” the young people of today are lkistening to. Far be it from me to paint a broad brush here – I’m well aware that there is good music out there, just as there was crappy music back when I was growing up. It’s just the coarseness of it all I can’t stand – the whole street-ghetto-gotcha-mama kind of thing. Some people call it street music. I call it crap.

Maybe it’s just the fact we all have lost our innocence along the way. But I’m thinking maybe a little innocence never – and wouldn’t – hurt anyone. And the way it has all been lost, and replaced by what some people see as grim and stark reality and still called “music” makes me sad.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:57 | Comments Off on Coarse Culture
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