If it’s about ass and titties, shut up and take my money

It seems to me that every time a mainstream artist releases songs with meaningful lyrics, some self-indulgent haughty audience member or conceited layman will proceed to point out their hypocrisy. I remember when Jessie J released Price Tag, she was criticized for reeling in big bucks for her single hit as many of her fans requested a “free concert” since she sang that “it’s not about the money, money.”

Recently, Katy Perry performed Chained to the Rhythm on various stages and award shows, criticizing the complacent lifestyle that the majority of us led and our willing blindness towards the problems of our society. We are all “chained to the rhythm” and cannot break free from the pattern. And she was criticized for reeling in big bucks and working for a “large corporation”, being fake and all.

It’s like, if you are preaching, or if you have some kind of a message-automatically you are supposed to be doing it for free. It’s like you’re not entitled to the material compensation that you gain from your creative work if you’re an artist seeking to raise awareness about something–anything–in the world. But hey, I guess they’ll go back to singing about teenage romances, drugs and alcohol, asses and titties, right? You’ll pay for their concert, then? You’ll purchase their MP3 so you can “get down”? You’ll buy their tracks and not speak up about your displeasure when the truth somehow rubs you the wrong way, and you’ll be totally okay with it?

That is so fucking dumb. I mean, this phenomenon doesn’t represent the majority but I just find it annoying how people are so eager to display their critical thinking skills and their ability to deconstruct social phenomena only when they are rudely slapped in the face by the reality. Or at least when they feel that way. You’re charging money for meaningful lyrics! This is an outrage and I will not stand for this bullshit! What the hell? I want to laugh my head off because it’s like, for me, I would actually be willing to pay more to support good art instead of cashing out on yet another meaningless songs about clubbing or a woman’s butt. Isn’t it funny that hypocrites are pointing out hypocrisy with their own fake fingers?

That’s what bugs me about mainstream music these days. The other day, I was just thinking to myself that: maybe I have a bad memory or maybe I’m just not good at remembering lyrics, because these pop songs or dance tunes have such simple words–they’re designed to be catchy and easy to sing along–but I just can’t do it for some reason. I can’t sing along, even when I like the way the beat drops.

But I actually realized why. I can’t remember those words  because they’re meaningless. It’s just the same shit over and over. Let’s get down tonight. Girl you’re so fine. Something about the dance floor. Something about shaking that thang. Something about Friday or having a good time. Something about a guy missing a girl or the other way around. Getting down. Putting your hands up. Blah blah blah. Yeah, whatever. Those songs I don’t remember, although I don’t mind the beat, or “getting down” with it blasting from my Logitech speakers with a meagrely adequate subwoofer.

These are the songs that I remember: My lover’s got humour; she used to giggle at a funeral. Your lipstick stain on the front lobe of my left side brain. I used to rule the world, seas would rise when I gave the world. And I know that he knows that I’m unfaithful and it kills him inside.

These lyrics actually have a story in them. They have a narrative, presented with specific vocabulary and dialogue. Those lyrics are meaningful and those are the words that I remember. I don’t know how people’s brains work but I don’t understand how they can manage to memorize meaningless lyrics and sing along with them? Does that actually work? Honestly, I am inclined to believe no because, to give a random unverified and unscientific example that is based on my sole observation and opinion–one of the reasons why Katy Perry is so popular (despite her hit-and-miss live performances) is that her lyrics are very story-driven and very unique. They’re not just easy-to-remember one-liners about partying or sex or fairytale love. Dark Horse, E.T., California Girls. For me, those songs are memorable because the “world” it’s created or the specific “scene” it’s set up. Dark Horse is about falling in love with dangerous magic. E.T. is about the fatal attraction of two people from two different worlds. California Girls is a fun candy-pop with great imagery such as “sun-kissed skin so hot we’ll melt your popsicle”. This one is sexually charged but I like how it’s said in a creative way through a candy filter.

But yeah, going back to my original point: it seems that people expect “free” when they see something that is supposed to do the world some good. Like some positive message. Spiritual work. Charity. It’s like there’s this unspoken understanding that to be of service to the world, you’re not supposed to ask for support and validation through material means. Otherwise it somehow taints you and mars the message you are trying to send out. As soon as you start charging, people would bitch about that one cent they have to pay to get into your concert.

But, if you’re singing about parties, the fullness of a pair of breasts or the amount of fun you are able to have on a Friday night, shut up and take my money!

Speaks volumes about what we care about as a society, doesn’t it. Just like Katy Perry said: we’re all chained to the rhythm.

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