Watch out now. I’m going to flip the routine here to spice things up a little. Today, I’m offering my “Song of the Day” at the beginning of the post. Yeah, I know, I didn’t think you guys would be able to handle it either, at first, but I think it will enhance your enjoyment of the post. So here it is:
Listen to the song if you haven’t heard it yet, then proceed with the post. I’m not even gonna go into length about the grammatically incorrect title…
I’ve heard this fine piece of music all over the place…blaring from radios, cell phones, leaking out of ipod earbuds, I’m pretty sure I recall it was played the one time I went to a club last year, and basically everywhere there was a speaker. It features a bouncing beat, synths, and the signature “yeah”-guy present in seemingly every Timbaland production.
But it wasn’t until I recently downloaded it from a blogger’s end of the year list of “hot tracks of 2007″that I actually listened to the lyrics. And wow…I was shocked. The guy in the song is totally me — if I, for some ridiculous reason, decided to try to be fly and hit up the club scene and find a girlfriend there with the meager funds I have in my checking account. I am sure this song would be the exact result; musically and lyrically, it really captures that situation perfectly. Check out these opening lines:
I ain’t got no money
I ain’t got no car to take you on a date
I can’t even buy you flowers…
…Talk to me girl.
Whoooo! How’s that for a pick-up line? Does T-to-the-Imbaland have you girls just swooning and out of breath? I sure would be if I were a female. (Okay, that “Yeah!” wasn’t really in the song)
Alright, let’s look at the similarities. Although I do have a car, all the other stuff is totally true for me. I ain’t got no money and I definitely can’t be gettin’ flowers too regularly for anyone. I think all I need is the super-cool, “thug it out” confidence that Timbaland exudes so effortlessly. That’s got to be it. I mean, that’s really the only difference between him and me. And look at the results that difference yields after he says those magic words, “Talk to me girl”:
Oh, baby, it’s alright now, you ain’t gotta flaunt for me
If we go there, you can still touch my love, it’s free
We can work without the perks just you and me
Thug it out ’til we get it right […]
Cause I like you just the way you are
This girl already seems very taken by those oh-so-seductive words. But it turns out T-Boots is just getting warmed up. He throws down this woozy next:
I ain’t got no Visa
I ain’t got no Red American Express
We can’t go nowhere exotic
It don’t matter ’cause I’m the one that love you best
Talk to me girl
Wait…“I ain’t got no Visa” ? He’s probably talking about credit cards but I think there is enough textual evidence in the song to suggest that this line reveals that the guy is not only broke, but he may also be an illegal resident. (But who doesn’t have a credit card these days? Aren’t credit card companies aggressively marketing to daycare students now?) And really, there’s nothing like hearing, “We can’t go nowhere exotic,” that just fires up excitement and passion as you’re planning a romantic vacation or get-away.
But yeah….I don’t have no Red American Express either. And I also can’t go nowhere exotic. Maybe it’s just his brutal honesty coupled with that confident swagger I pointed out earlier, because even after spilling all this out, when he says, “Talk to me girl,” as if on cue, this presumably hot, and totally stupid, or incredibly kind and unambitious, girl immediately replies with: “Oh, baby, it’s alright now” because “I like you just the way you are” and “We can thug it out ’til we get it right.” What does that last line even mean?
And just when I thought all the similarities with me had ended, this rapper comes into the song out of nowhere and says:
Baby girl, I don’t got a huge ol’ house I rent a room in a house […]
So listen baby girl…
I don’t think I’d use “baby girl” so often or rhyme “house” with “house” in my personal wooing of the ladies, but man… I don’t have a “huge ol’ house” either! And I actually have been renting “a room in a house” for the past few years, except I’ve been financially stable enough to be able to switch up different houses from which I rent. (Side-note: this rapper contributes a total of four lines to the song and within those lines, he manages to rhyme “motorboat” with “boat,” “Doe” with “Mo’ “, and “back” with “back,” while using the phrase “baby girl” four times and “So listen” three times. Then the song and his verse ends. Genius.)
The guy in this song actually reminds me more of that dude from TLC’s “No Scrubs.” It seems that after he got “no love,” and was rejected by all three of the TLC girls, he went on to the girl in Timbaland’s song. And for some inexplicable reason, this girl dives head-first in love with him. It’s like Timbaland’s club-bangin’ synths and beats are a form of, and a subtle allusion to, the “love juice” sprayed by Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream — except this is about 12.6 times more unlikely and hilarious than Bottom and Titania. Whoa….wait just a minute. Maybe Timbaland is giving a modern wink and nod to the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon?
Umm….no, fools, I was just joking. This song is just stupid. I guess it would be mildly enjoyable after a few Vodka and OJ’s at a club if you’re also hanging out with multiple attractive ladies begging you to dance with them on the dance floor. Mildly enjoyable. (Note: By the way, I just want to say I have no idea what the big deal is with clubs and “clubbing” among the young crowd which I think I am a part of. I’ve gone probably three times in the past five years or so and, hell, I have more fun dancing to random songs on “Party Shuffle” from my iTunes library in the privacy of my room. Umm…I mean…I don’t dance.)
Some of you may be asking, “Hey Michael, if you’re trashing this guy so much and also saying he’s so similar to you, aren’t you trashing yourself?”
Actually, smart-ass, no, I’m not. I’m just saying if I were to try to be flyp (i.e. fly and hip) and “thug it out” within the financial and life circumstances I’m in right now, this song would be the result, without the female vocal part, of course. That is why I’m not trying to be flyp. I’m actually just trying to be the best poor, starving, aspiring-writer/college-student I can be right now. Even if I don’t always do too well with even that, I’m definitely not going to trendy clubs on my weekends and proclaiming how poor and unsuccessful I am, while trying to work all that into seductive pick-up lines, ending each one with a “Ta-da! Talk to me, Girl.”
I am convinced Timbaland does not spend more than two seconds of thought on any single line of his lyrics. I guess he focuses everything on the production, which accomplishes its aim very well. But even Kanye puts some effort into his lyrics…
Bonus Songs of the Day:
TLC – “No Scrubs”
“If you don’t have a car and you’re walkin’…Oh yes, son, I’m talkin’ to you.”
Thanks to the recommendation of Sally, this song has been included in the post. The lyrics, although simple, are very personal, intimate, and real. And the title uses proper grammar. I also think it is a much more accurate description of love/relationships than the Timbaland tune — which the young, love crazed demographic is gobbling up and, god forbid, might actually be applying in their own lives.
It’s a nice song. I would love to hear a girl tell me, “I’d buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair / Sew on patches to all you tear.” I’m somewhat anxious about losing my hair later on in life and my iron-on patching skills that I use for my jeans are not really cutting it. It’s much better than hearing, “We can thug it out ’til we get it right.”