Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A National Grammar Rodeo? In Canada?

While it's no secret that I love rap and hip-hop and all sorts of popular dance music (I think I might mention it from time to time), it's even less of a secret that I'm a huge nerd. In theory these two aspects of my personality should happily co-exist, but in practice they diverge due to my insistence on precise grammar.  That I can't ever just let the wee editor that lives in my brain have a rest long enough to fully enjoy a song is bound to keep me from ever being cool (right, that's the only thing). It's not like I'll stop dancing mid-song if the lyrics bother me, but if you think I don't pause to uncap my red pen then you do not know me. No sir, you don't. Behold, a few examples.

Have you heard "Pop Champagne" by Ron Browz? There's too much autotune, of course, but at this point if I'm going to put up a fight about that I may as well not listen to any music that's come out in the past five years. I overlook it because I think it's pretty fun. Until the part when one of the guys in the song says, "I wanna see you dance, see you dance, without no shirt, without them pants." I have imagined this scenario with a girl dancing with/for the singer all sexy-like and when he gets to that part she sort of stops for clarification. "So you want me to dance fully clothed then? Either way is fine, I just want to be clear before I start on these boots because they're a bitch to put back on." A perfectly good moment, ruined. If only he hadn't mucked it up by using a double negative!

There's a Jennifer Hudson song called "Where You At." I don't think that needs further commentary from me.

And then the granddaddy: "Empire State of Mind" and its ever-confounding, "Concrete jungle where dreams are made of." Jay- Z you know I love you, but what does that even mean? I guess I can see where they're going with... no actually, I have no idea. It's just a bunch of gibberish. Despite that the song came to be played to nauseating proportions, I can't ignore its anthemic brilliance. But that one lyric, in the chorus no less, how did it not get killed off at the last minute? I've decided that it's this generation's "goo goo goo joob." I need to believe that to sleep at night.

I'm not soulless, or heaven forbid, racist (most current music is guilty of similar abuse, for example, country music is just as maddening to me, I just choose not to listen to it). Messing with grammar, in the scheme of things, is small potatoes. And I do it myself, I mean, what are rules if not to be broken? It's common parlance, it's American culture, it's whatever you want to call it. But I can't help that I bristle every single time. I know that about myself, and I'm working through it. My love of music and proper English have yet to be put asunder. See, I probably didn't even use that correctly.

Anyway, today's musical selection, accordingly, is brought to you by a repeat grammar offender, though I can't stay mad at him. That's right: Dwayne Carter III, Weezy, a self-described goblin with whom I am inexplicably infatuated. Urban legend has it that there was once a performance of this song wherein Questlove? of the Roots did the "A Milli" part live through the whole thing and KILT it. It is my life's purpose to prove that this exists, so if anyone can help, I'd be mighty grateful. I'm pretty sure the price of seeing something so potentially insane is a Ringu-style facemelt, but that's a price I'm willing to pay. Until I find it though, here's this.

1 comment:

  1. Grammar Rodeo? That was just an alibi, Milton.