Is it an unspoken rule that every blog post has to have a picture on top? I mean not to seem like I have a creative block with that or anything...
Anyway, I figure I'll have a more in-depth post about my thoughts on current music, politics, life and all that happy shit one of these days so this blog's more than straight album reviews and talking about how The Neptunes and Timbaland are better than your favorite producers, but what can I say, I've been busy, school's starting, and since summer's ending (even though it's gonna be retarded hot in LA for a month or so more...I miss Bay Area weather,) I thought I'd take some time to look at what could be considering this season's signature song. Enjoy.
The candidates...drumroll please.
Katy Perry -- "I Kissed a Girl" for being this year's obnoxious "My Humps" except worse;
Usher feat. Young Jeezy -- "Love in This Club" for being the summer's ubiquitous kinda club kinda slow jam, complete with another Timbaland for Dummies Polow da Don beat and a terrible Jeezy verse;
Estelle feat. Kanye West -- "American Boy" for its overall smooth summer vibe and Kanye having the most fun he has since "Drunk and Hot Girls;"
Lil Wayne feat. Static Major -- "Lollipop" for being the lewd club jam of the summer that every girl likes and guys act like they're too cool for;
Chris Brown -- "Forever" for playing every time I turn on the radio despite being corny as shit (can you tell I'm not a big Polow fan yet?;)
Rihanna -- "Take a Bow" for being this summer's "Irreplaceable" except more eye-rolling (no disrespect ladies of course;)
Rick Ross feat. T-Pain -- "The Boss," David Banner feat. Yung Joc and Chris Brown -- "Get Like Me" and Plies feat. Ne-Yo -- "Bust It Baby, Pt. 2" for being the shitty Southern rap singles du jour;
Lil Wayne -- "A Milli" for being completely ridiculous;
Young Jeezy feat. Kanye West -- "Put On" for being the latest requisite too-big-for-your-speakers Jeezy banger;
Mack 10 feat. Birdman and G. Malone -- "Big Baller (Remix)" for being the slightly generic gangsta jam of the summer that they probably only play in LA or something;
The Game feat. Keyshia Cole -- "Game's Pain" for Game trying to get you all nostalgic;
N.E.R.D. -- "Everyone Nose (All the Girls Standing in the Line for the Bathroom)" as Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo's bizarre choice of a lead single off Seeing Sounds;
and of course, Kidz in the Hall -- "Drivin' Down the Block" for making driving around while bumping your favorite music sound like the most boring thing ever. Was this released way earlier than summer? Ah, whatever.
Well damn. This isn't really hard considering there's only a few songs on this list that I really even like, but let's take a look anyway.
First off, we gotta get rid of "Love in This Club" and "Forever." "Love" isn't awful or anything, but the beat's too stiff for its own good, made worse by the fact that Polow apparently made it from two Apple GarageBand presets. And Jeezy really shouldn't try chick rap. "Forever" meanwhile is just plain fruity. And I've been known to enjoy my share of debatably fruity songs on occasion. See: "SexyBack," "Umbrella," songs involving the castrated singing of Pharrell Williams, etc. etc. But if I liked "Forever" I'd really have to start questioning my manliness. The fact that Polow's beat is basically an overly glossy, streamlined/Euro-ized version of "SexyBack," complete with the same drums, doesn't help matters.
Jeezy's "Put On," Wayne's "A Milli" and Mack 10's "Big Baller" remix I'm more sympathetic to. I mean they're all prime driving around in your car material while feeling badass material. However, "A Milli" blowing up aside, they don't really have that broad summer appeal. And I mean summer's supposed to be about good times, not amped the fuck up/angry shit. Though rapping along with "A Milli?" Good (potentially embarrassing) times.
"Game's Pain" and "Drivin' Down the Block" pretty much fall under the same category for me. Songs with middling beats and emcees of questionable talent that are liked based on reasons that don't seem to have a lot to do with the actual music. The former for The Game trying to give us another nostalgia trip, and the latter as Naledge's intentionally dorky (not in a good way) spin on rapping about your car. Kanye should freestyle over that beat sometime to show dude how to do goofiness right. And I wonder if Game thinks he's slick or something for grabbing Jay-Z's "Can't Knock the Hustle" producers for his album's lead single when he's been constantly dissing the guy for no reason. Damn, he showed him...
I'm not gonna say anything about the Rick Ross, Plies and David Banner singles, except that their shittiness should be self-evident. You know rap's in trouble when those are some of its biggest hits this year.
"Take a Bow" and "I Kissed a Girl." Now don't get me wrong, I can definitely tolerate Rihanna's song better, but put it like this -- when she performed it at Kanye's Glow in the Dark tour and followed up with the even more contrived "Unfaithful," it was cue for me to get more drinks. Clearly I'm some kind of chauvinist who doesn't understand women's pain. "I Kissed a Girl" meanwhile shouldn't need an explanation. Well OK -- there's guilty pleasures, and then there's songs that manage to cross that "different strokes dude" line into objectively awful territory. So I guess you can at least say "I Kissed a Girl's" helpful for better understanding the difference.
While I appreciate Pharrell's cutting analysis of cocaine-snorting girls on "Everyone Nose" and the song's grown on me, again it's not something I really associate with the whole summer vibe. I'm still not really sure why it was picked as the lead single, other than the fact that it's one of only three tracks on the album that has both Pharrell and Chad Hugo's input, or Pharrell wanting to maintain N.E.R.D.'s eccentric image. Seriously, they need to drop one of those chick tracks as a single already, those are the jams.
So that leaves us with "American Boy" and "Lollipop." Both songs that I happen to be a big fan of, and no not just because they both involve two of my favorite rappers, although yeah that helps. Now before anyone starts to roll their eyes at my inevitable choice here, let me just say that "American Boy" definitely has more of a summer and beach vibe. "Lollipop" meanwhile makes me think more of people drunk at a party looking stupid mimicking Weezy's autotuned singing. That said, the song was ubiquitous this summer, and I think anyone who even parties just occasionally was eventually won over at least somewhat by just how bizarre the whole thing is. Am I right? I mean c'mon, us bloggers are all around the 20-something range right, let's not act too cool for this stuff just yet.
Which means our winner is...N.E.R.D.'s "Windows." OK, so "Lollipop." Predictable yes, but hey sometimes the masses are right. "Windows" really should've been a single though, that song automatically gives me images of hot SoCal girls on the beach. Alright, I'll stop talking about that album.
I realize I included some songs here that probably shouldn't've qualified in the first place, and maybe left out a couple as well. But what can I say, Rihanna's "Disturbia" is no "Umbrella" or even "Don't Stop the Music," Ne-Yo's "Closer" is no "Because of You," and "Whatever You Like" = worst T.I. single ever? Then again I guess he did do that one single with Jazze Pha a few years back... As for Madonna's "4 Minutes," it's not bad but a) it's Madonna and b) Timbaland needs to come with something fresh on the pop front before Polow tricks people into thinking he's better than him. Not sure if being slightly involved with the new Pussycat Dolls album's gonna cut it.
As for songs of the fall and winter? Hopefully nothing involving T-Pain or Chris Brown. Or both.