Thursday, January 3, 2008

Snappin' Shawtys

Most of my friends here in NYC don't listen to commercial radio, by simple default of not having to commute in cars, which partly explains why no one knows what's going on in commercial hip-hop. The other part of that exaplanation is that none of my friends fly JetBlue as early in the morning and as often as I do, which is where I get my one and only opportunity to see music videos on MTV.

Anyway, a few months ago, I watched a music video on just such a flight, and thought at first it was a new video by Stevie Wonder, until I saw scantily clad women trampling hundred doller bills. Though I've explained the video in exact and un-embellished detail to anyone who'd listen, no one, not a single person, knew who or what the fuck I was talking about.

"I don't understand. The rapper looks like Stevie Wonder, but just dances and throws hundred dollar bills at people the whole time?"
"Wait, the symbolism is the image of hundred dollar bills floating down over a snifter of whiskey?"
"Champagne funneled in a cleavage funnel?"

So, it came with some vindication but no surprise that T-Pain's "Let Me Buy U A Drank" was the most frequently played commercial radio hit of 2007.

Now, after watching a bunch of T-Pain videos, I have realized the simple genius of the conceit. It's like a Sesame Street version of porn. If female sexuality can be infantalized, male sexuality can most certainly be oversimplified (and infantilized in a weird way) also.

Let's look at another hit by T-Pain, "Im N Luv Wit a Stripper." I don't even know where to begin. One of the lines, by another rapper guest-featured in the video, says something like, "I like it when she takes out my cock and sucks it because I'm Twister." It's so genius. Super-simplified rap. Basically taking the middle man out of music, transforming it into porn. Really bad porn. The genius here for me is the simple fact that they're singing about strippers, so OF COURSE the "dancers" in their music video are going to look like, well...strippers!

I hope his next song will be "Let Me Buy U 2-Nite For a Lay" and then he can throw money at a stripper-like dancer and show the moon to signify nighttime, which will fade back to them in bed, to signify the lay.

Such a video would ease the pain of realizing there really never was a point for feminism. We were never not going to be objectified.

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