All Articles Tagged "lyrics"
Whether they’re rapping too fast or singing too low, we can never understand what these entertainers are saying once they get behind the mic. We still love them, of course, but we’d just like to know what exactly they’re saying on a track every once in a while .
This morning, Kelly Rowland dropped by “Good Morning America” to discuss her new album “Talk a Good Game,” and among other things, lay the misconceptions about her song “Dirty Laundry” to rest. Though not much of the song was left up to interpretation, listeners did have to read between the lines a bit to figure out who the abusive boyfriend was that Kelly referenced in the lyrics. But when it comes to the line, “While my sister was on stage, I was enraged,” the former Destiny’s Child singer says we’ve got it all wrong. She told ABC’s Lara Spencer:
“That line is so often misunderstood and I know how it could be. The crazy thing about that song is, I was going through my own personal battle. So when [Beyoncé's] doing her thing, I’m over here thinking, ‘What am I going to do next? What do I wanna do with my life?’ I’m going through this relationship, smiling for people in public, going through so much pain and thinking about what I wanted for myself and I just wanted more. The song turned into something so positive for me and I am so happy that it did.”
So I guess that means we got it wrong and she’s not jealous of Bey?
Either way, the real exciting news is that while at GMA, Kelly revealed a snippet of the video for “Dirty Laundry” and it looks like it’s going to be good. Check out the video of her interview and music video preview below. What do you think?
Why Old TLC Lifts My Spirits, DMX Gets Me Amped And Mary J Blige Gets Me All In My Feelings: The Affect Music Has On Us
“Waterfall” by TLC takes me back to the summer of ‘95, when I was an incorrigible 7-year-old, and would dress up in a tank top, over-sized overalls, and would use my older sister’s red lipstick to draw a line beneath my left eye. And, “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead takes me back to dancing in the car with my mother and sister when paused at red lights. Music not only has the ability to transport a listener to another time and place, but it has the ability to make or break a person’s mood, causing them to be more pleasant or irritable, depending on what’s played.
Sometimes music can define my mood exactly. I can indulge in Dancehall when I’m feeling fun, listen to rock when I’m feeling ambitious, and then listen to hip-hop when I’m feeling chill. And, sometimes, I could happily sulk and listen to country, encouraging my emotions to come out and stewing in my own melancholy. Music can easily amplify any of my emotions, but it can also be a game changer. I don’t know how many times I’ve been sobbing on a park bench when a car has rolled by, blasting a song like “Maria, Maria,” and my mood immediately lightened up; or how many times I’ve been enjoying hanging out with friends, and a song like “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” appears next on the queue and I go to a dark place. Music is powerful, and it is transformative, which is why it can effortlessly alter a person’s state of mind, bring someone to the brink of happiness, queue up memories, or move an individual to the point of tears.
There have been countless psychological studies that support what my mind, emotions and body have been telling me for the last 25 years, and that is that music can fundamentally uplift you or anchor you. The expressive qualities of music–the lyricism, the tempo, the mode, the volume, the melody, the rhythm, and the performance–all have a way of influencing the listener. The proof has also been seen throughout history with hymns in churches, negro spirituals in fields, symphonies in the park, and situations where vocals during ceremonies were produced to elicit positive responses or elevate the emotional state.
Music is unique in its ability to lure, inspire, resonate, command, communicate and manipulate. There are sums of people who are more devoted to their music than they are to their religions. Individuals congregate, and are moved in mass by the sound of a piano, drum and a guitar. Music’s responsibility is a great one, it isn’t here to simply entertain us, nor is it here to permit us to be deaf to the world as we roam the streets listening to our iPods, but to connect us. That connection is the relationship that is found between a musician and their audience, engrossing listeners and bonding them through common experience. Listening to Mary J. Blige sing a ballad about heartbreak folds us into her disposition. Music offers a sense of unstipulated inclusion, and it promises the listener that there is at least one other person, the musician, who shares their sentiment, their loss, their joy, and their mood.
Where in the world are the Grandmaster Flashes of today? You know the rappers who told a story that many folk could relate to. Nowadays hip has hopped its way into the bowels of shame. No, I’m not talking the Talib Kweli’s of the world either, I’m talking mainstream rappers whose controversial rhymes are landing them in hot waters, mainly because of heavily misogynistic-laced lyrics. Some have offered apologies to the public, while others would rather snub their nose at us than muster up an “I’m sorry.” It truly is a jungle out there for some of these rappers, and it makes one wonder if they’ll keep from going under. Ah-huh-huh, huh, huh.
Misogynist rap lyrics are nothing new. But last week Rick Ross discovered the suggestion that he spike a woman’s champagne before having sex with her without her knowledge was a step too far. After radio stations banned his song, the rapper took to airwaves to plead his case.
The rapper’s apology wasn’t enough for some. (It was pretty terrible.) Protest group UltraViolet delivered 72,000-plus signatures to Reebok’s flagship store demanding they back away from their endorsement deal with Ross. The brand, who Ross name-dropped just a few beats before the lyrics in question, has remained silent on the issue. But, should brands be called in to play the role of morality police, making sure the artists who make their products cool stay on their best behavior?
Rewarding & Punishing Bad Behavior
Brands have distanced themselves from artists for bad behavior or questionable values before. T.I. lost his deal with Axe body spray after going to jail for violating probation in 2010. Chris Brown was dropped from Doublemint after his infamous Grammy night brawl with Rihanna. Pepsi cut ties with Madonna and later Ludacris when they didn’t agree with the images portrayed in their music.
When brands align themselves with artists like Rick Ross, they know what they’re getting themselves into. Ross made himself rich masquerading as a drug lord with murderous tendencies. Ross’ lyrics are horrible, but Reebok would come off a little hypocritical asking their “gangster” spokesperson to tone it down. (“We like you coke dangerous, but not date rape dangerous.”)
Companies, especially juggernauts like Reebok, don’t choose brand ambassadors haphazardly. They strategically choose public personas whose images are in line with their brand, and the lifestyle they want to sell.
Why Do Good Brands Like Bad Boys?
Cortez Bryant, co-founder of management firm handling Lil Wayne, a rapper who has also come under scrutiny for his lyrics, says that companies are willing to take a risk on artists who capture the attention of their target demographics, even when their track record is questionable. “You know, in the previous years we’ve had hard times, but people ‘get it’ for [his] brand,” he said of Wayne’s partnership with Mountain Dew. “It just seemed like where they were going with their brand, which is all about diversity and crossing barriers, is the same place we want to go.”
Would companies like Reebok dropping artists like Rick Ross make other artists rethink their lyrical content? Maybe. Hitting a person in their wallet is usually an effective way to get them to change their ways. But, at the end of the day, it isn’t Reebok’s job to change Ross.
Supplying The Demand
If Ross is selling a lifestyle the Reebok consumer wants to attain, the brand has a successful partnership. Unless their alliance with the rapper impacts their relationships with their other customers, say active women, the brand has no reason to walk away from him. Let’s be real. Ross’ controversy, like countless other rap lyric scandals will most likely fade from the news cycle, his fan base unbothered. If Reebok did drop his contract, he’d just find another brand to align with.
Brands can’t be relied on to influence artists. The more effective approach for those looking to curtail offensive messages against women may be to look at why personas like Ross and the lifestyle of drug-fueled chauvinistic fantasies he promotes are so attractive to some consumers. After all, brands and enterprising artists like Ross will always and only align themselves with what sells.
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
We all have a song or two that we just can’t stand. Sometimes the radio plays a jam one time too often. Sometimes the beat isn’t exactly on point. And sometimes, the lyrics are the problem. It may not be the whole song we’re over, but there are choruses and phrases we’re just sick of or that make no amount of sense at all. Check out our list of 10 rap phrases that we don’t want to hear anymore.
“Popped a Molly”
Rap music may need an intervention. Apparently, Molly is the new hot drug in the street. Rappers spit about it so much, white people get on the Internet and Google “who is Molly?” They know Molly as MDMA and they’ve been losing their minds on the designer drug since the late eighties.
Rappers like Juicy J talk about popping a Molly in almost every song. And all I want to know is can we move on and talk about something different? ‘Cause ya’ll sound like a broken record. No? Well get back at us when ya’ll are done getting high.
You Ain’t Gots Ta Lie Craig: Keri Hilson Claims She Doesn’t Have Beef With Baddie Bey Or Any Other Female Artist
Remember over a year ago — yeah we’re still holding on to it — when Keri Hilson was doing an interview with Juicy magazine on the red carpet at the Soul Train Awards and the mag asked her to hold up an issue with Beyonce on the cover and she said, “No, I can’t do that. I’m sorry”? Well, that little move was just icing on the cake that was already supposedly baking between the two who were said to have major beef as a result of some lyrics Miss Keri Baby penned back in 2009. Word was she took shots not only at Bey, but also Ciara, with lyrics like:
“Your vision cloudy if you think that you da best/You can dance/she can sing/but need to move it to the left… She need to go have some babies/she need to sit down she fake/them other chicks ain’t even worth talkin’ bout”
“Go head tell these folks how long I been writing your songs/I been putting you on/check the credits hoe!…If you want me you can find me in Decatur hoe.”
Sounds pretty specific, right? Well not if you’re Keri Hilson and looking to do damage control. Recently Hip Hollywood caught up with the singer at a Gillette event in LA and when they asked her what’s up with all the beefin’ she said this:
“I don’t have a beef with any female artist. I think its just interesting that we live in such a gullible world. Anything that’s written, anything that is posted, and a picture that is interpreted one way, is truth. It’s like Bible now. You can Photoshop something, put it out and everyone believes it. I’m human and it is hurtful. It’s not okay to make up something about someone in their personal lives especially. Professionally, fine. Scrutinize me all you want, I know I can’t please everyone. But, personally let’s just leave it alone, it’s going too far.”
I wonder if what’s hurt is her career, as many speculated Keri’s super quick rise to fame and equally rapid demise was a result of her being blackballed by the powers that Bey, if you know what I mean. It also could’ve been that way over the top “Way You Love Me” music video. Then again, maybe she’s just happy going back behind the scenes to pen those songs she’s talking about. Just hope whoever buys them credits her this time around, lest they end up in another lyric.
Do you think Keri Hilson’s backtracking on her shade throwing or is her supposed beef all fabricated?
For the most part, I haven’t been a big fan of rapper Plies’s music. A majority of the time I can’t understand what he’s saying, but a lot of the time, I just think his lyrics are a bit too explicit for my tastes (“Bust It Baby, Pt.2″ for example), so when I heard he did a tribute video for Trayvon Martin, I was a little skeptical about what I would hear and see. But after watching and actually listening to the lyrics, I think he did an awesome job, and I have to applaud him for being one the first artists to do a recording (and video) about the slain teenager. In the video the rapper says he was especially touched by the young man’s death, probably because of the senselessness of it, and the fact that they’re both Florida natives. Throughout, we see images of young people being judged for their looks and their hoodies, but doing nothing but holding Skittles and ice tea. And I like the fact that he was able to get young black men and women as well as young white men and women to participate. Plus, the track isn’t bad at all, and proceeds from it are going to the Trayvon Martin Foundation. Love the hoodies, actually love the lyrics, and love the message.
Check it out for yourself and tell us what you think of the rapper’s efforts.
So what do you think?
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There’s a letter floating around online that’s said to be a poem Jay Z wrote to his darling daughter Blue Ivy. In it, Jay has supposedly vowed to never use the B word again out of love and respect for his little girl, but something seems a little suspect about this. Here are the lines:
Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich,
I didn’t think hard about using the word B—-
I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it
now with my daughter in this world
I curse those that give it.
I never realized while on the fast track
that I’d give riddance to the word Itchbay, to leave her innocence in tact.
No man will degrade her, or call her out her name
the women won’t despise her and call her the same.
I know it’s gonna miss me
cuz we been together like Nike Airs and crisp tees
when we all used to hang out front
singing 99 problems but a lady ain’t one.
Excuse me miss, can I be your mister
cuz I can tell the difference from a little girl and a sister,
She never grew up, her father left her alone
I promise not to talk like we used to
until Kingdom Come.
I’m so focused on your future,
The degradation has passed
I wish you wealth, health, and insight
forever young you may pass.
Blue Ivy Carter, my angel.
If this letter is in fact true, great! Someone of Jay Z’s rap caliber standing up against the use of a derogatory term to describe women is monumental, but the question is why now? I mean, we know why now—obviously, Blue Ivy—but why now after you just referred to your wife of nearly four years as a B— on your last album (and countless others), plus you have a mama and sisters. It’s kind of messed up none of these women in his life were important enough to make him hang up the word.
Hopefully this letter is the real deal, and just like Jay ushered in button-ups back in 2008, his lyrical examples will encourage more men to put down the B word and pick up their parenting skills. But so far, the jury is still out on whether this is a commitment he really vowed to make. And I already know what you’re thinking, hopefully the N word will be next.
Do you think it’s likely Jay Z would really give up the B word in his lyrics? If it’s true, what do you think about the fact that his daughter is the only reason he decided to?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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If the rumors that Kanye put a gag order on Amber Rose after they broke up are true, it must have had a one-year expiration date. Kanye is all she seems to talk about these days—and from her recent interview on MTV, it looks like she’s been holding a lot in.
Sway asked Amber how Wiz Kalifah feels about her speaking about her ex so much (I was wondering about that too), and she said he doesn’t mind because he knows she would never go back to that—that being Kanye. Then Amber begins crying as she talks about Kanye’s fans throwing things at her in the street and the rapper bullying her through his music.
It’s not unimaginable to see Kanye bullying Amber, but after a little search, the only direct negative reference to Amber that anyone talks about is a verse on “Stronger.” He changed the line:
“I’d do anything for a blonde dyke, and she’d do anything for the limelight” to “I did anything for a blonde dyke and she did anything for the limelight.”
I can see how that would make Amber upset, considering the gold digger rumors that were already following her while the two were together, but I’m just not sure that qualifies as bullying or why she’s still so upset over it. Many speculate Runaway was about Amber, but in that song he admits he did wrong in the relationship with lines like:
See, I could have me a good girl / And still be addicted to them hood rats / And I just blame everything on you / At least you know that’s what I’m good at.
Get More: Music News
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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