if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.


on the bus this morning, i listened to disc two of the new beyonce album, i am...sasha fierce. i've realized that having an mp3 player that stores most of your music just does one thing: it makes you sick of all your music. i've played out so many bands that i've resorted to downloading random billboard busters. i also like knowing what the new word/phrase on the street is. that's what's so great about the r&b/hip-hop world. whereas jazz is an acquired taste, indie rock is elitist, and country too republican, r&b/hip-hop unites everyone. eventually, even the old white reactionary you work with is gonna try her best to be funny and say something like, "don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"

that being said, i am...sasha fierce really blows. there's one enjoyable song, "single ladies (put a ring on it)," but that's only because the video is so entertaining. there's a bit of nostalgia to the genre, too, though. i remember being in my aunt's or uncle's cars after school, and the only thing they'd ever be playing was ksfm 102.5. we'd listen to all the same crap over and over again: "on bended knee," "the masterpiece," "always be my baby," "red light special." what was it that made us keep tuning in? why did it never occur to anyone to make a mixtape or something?

it's not quite the same anymore. songs in the r&b/hip-hop genre are good for a laugh. "can you hand me my phone?" "where is it?" "right thurr, right thurr." and then there's, "man, what's this fool looking at?" "i don't know. whoop that trick! get 'im!" it's all about catch phrases now, but i have to admit, i kind of like it. i'm a fan of odd sayings that are a bit of an inside joke. bling bling. drop it like it's hot. i ain't no hollaback girl. who knew that such random phrases would sell gold records?

i was a bit ashamed this morning, though. i couldn't adjust the volume or flip tracks, for fear that the people sitting next to me, two young asian kids, would have seen the cover art on my zune interface. it's weird to care about such things, and i really don't, but i thought i'd just say it anyway. who are we, though? what are we supposed to be listening to? i'm a twenty-five year old kid living in seattle. it's obvious, then, that i've heard of such acts as the shins and death cab for cutie. a thirteen year old black kid living in los angeles probably knows what it means to "get crunk." a thirty-seven year old woman living in brooklyn has probably heard of bjork.

again, i don't know what i'm getting at. just trying to come up with things to say to make a nice, short paragraph. it's weird, though, that we have friends who are usually trying to get us to listen to something. "listen to this," they'll say. "here, i'll burn you a copy." music was meant to be shared. so, it becomes a really bizarre thing, then, when artists sue people who've downloaded their unreleased record. it's just weird to think of, let's say, metallica, suing a bunch of poor college kids, or guys in their thirties. i mean, really picture it. lars ulrich in his armani suit, pouring champagne in the back of his limo, getting pissed that a bunch of college kids, or else white guys who make $300-$400 a week, downloading the b-sides and outtakes to master of puppets.

and there's probably a poor black chick somewhere, ironing her clothes, just listening to jay-z or whoever, you know, because it gives her a little lift in a poor, messed up world, and interscope doesn't like that. they slap her and many others like her with a lawsuit. that ain't right. that shit don't fly. but people will argue, stealing is stealing. and then there's that commercial that starts off, "you wouldn't steal a car..." these anti-piracy ads that you're forced to see before seeing a movie. well, guess what. they're stealing my time by showing me these ridiculous fucking ads. doesn't that count for anything?

i play music. i write. i don't think i'm good at either, but i have fun doing it. i will most likely never make a cent off either, but i'll keep doing it. and the minute i turn into anything resembling lars ulrich, please tune me out. i'll have nothing worth saying then.

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