Tuesday, 6 April 2010

30 Days of Music: #025

day 25 - a song that makes you laugh

This is probably the most open category yet. I considered Los Campesinos!, Amanda Palmer's Oasis, Richard Cheese, The Smiths*, Funky Dee**, Dre and a load of other hip-hop before settling on...

Ludacris - Cry Babies (Oh No)

Some sample lyrics (edited to fit the family-friendly remit):

"I got people scared as funk like when condoms break."

"Todger to mouth recisitation/A tight squeeze but it stops the lengthy conversations."

And my personal favourite:

"I'm Doctor Love, I close curtains and hug patients."

It is, frankly, a ridiculous song. Ludicrous, if you will. This is a song which features a grown man making chicken noises to taunt his (imagined) opponent. It's adolescent through and through (see: "Catch me in Rome, macking some broads and stickin' 'em/And you'll be at home picking yo' boogers and flickin' 'em" which elegantly sums up the whole song's tone pretty well). I really should be looking down my nose at this...

But those lines, they get me every time.

"You frosted like a flake and Ludacris feels GRRRREAT!"

See, I don't know that much about Christopher Brian 'Ludacris' Bridges, and I think that's for the best. I'm not sure if, deep down, I want this to be a self-conscious slice of ironic genius or if I'd rather he was genuinely trying his hardest on lines like "Y'see I'm ambidextrious, I slap ass with both hands."

And that's always my problem, with hip-hop that makes me laugh. Should Dre's Dee-Barnes-pushing record hurt my enjoyment of his more misogynist lyrics?

I don't want to be the hipster scum sitting there ironically snickering. But I don't exactly suppot ridiculous boasts of violence ("Bullseye, I stunt growth and stop lives.") materialism ("My cars got big TVs and satellites") and hyper-machismo ("I got big balls, I'mma sack king"), if they're genuine***. And regardless of intent I know, somewhere, right now, there's a boy listeing to this and nodding his head and thinking, yeah, that's right, tell 'em.

Nevertheless, I know I have a tendency to get a bit moral and over-analytical with comedy - ask me about how The Office and Nathan Barley ruined my life sometime - and, frankly, Cry Babies strikes that perfect line between naff and brilliant that means that, either way, I'll always find it funny. You can't argue with a man who can smell puss from fifty yards.

*Who are funny, though I don't think that's at the expense of being sad. There are, as I understand it, three schools of thought on The Smiths: that they're depressing, that they were just having a laugh (with overtones of irony to their melodrama) or that they're one of the best bands of all time, which is to say both.
**You might disagree...But are you gonna bang doe?
***See my reaction to 50 Cent's lyrics, for example.

4 comments:

Alex said...

And then Erica mentioned Princess Superstar's Bad Babysitter. Can I change my answer, plz?

Miles said...

How did The Office and Nathan Barley nearly ruin your life?

(Also: Is it just me or is all Ludacris's best work in guest verses on other people's shit? I... I realise that having said that I suddenly can't think of any examples, but I think it is true)

Alex said...

Okay- this is a big one, and is always best over a pint but... essentially, Nathan Barley made me question every bit of irony I've ever handled.

And The Office means that if someone says anything Brentian (especially in the c'mon-laugh sense), I just sort of treat them with suspicion for a while until I'm convinced they're not infected.

The sum total is stuff like this... It made me aware that when someone (or me) makes a racist joke, there's a lot going on to reach that laugh, and I have to do a bit of soul-searching sometimes.

Which, actually, doesn't sound like it ruined my life. It sounds like it made me a better person. But they're essentially the same thing.

(I'm not all too aware of Luda guesting, but I suspect I disagree.)

Miles said...

Well that all sounds excellent. Irony's basically terrible a lot of the time, espescially when it comes to taste (I'll write an essay some time. Short version? Anyone who has "guilty pleasures" should be shot in the face) and matters LIKE racism. There's a good episode of Ill Doctrine (BRILLIANT hyper-intelligent hip-hop news analysis YouTube stuff, I think you'd enjoy it a lot based on this post)about the problem with Vice-magazine style being-ironically-racist-to-prove-your-not-racist and the ideological holes one has to jump through to justify it.

I really liked Nathan Barley. The one with the underage models was, in the best possible sense of hte phrase, horrifying. I'm afraid my lack of knowledge of The Office (UK. I am all OVER that US Office bizniz. One of my favourite shows) means I don't know what "Brentian" means.

But it sounds like (and here's a chapter title for your autobiography) "Cringe Comedy Saved Your Soul".

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Videogames, film, music, comics: feed them into the Alex-Spencer machine and out come neat little articles. Like the ones you're looking at here.