Hey, it’s Pop Scene! Our monthly feature in which Mike Conklin and Edith Zimmerman climb out from under their indie-rockist, um, rock, to find out what regular people all over the country are listening to. This time, though, Mark was stuck at summer camp and couldn’t contribute. So, we’ve called on The L’s newest editor, Edith Zimmerman, who really loves Sean Kingston. This installment features their take on selections from the iTunes top ten list.
Title: A Bay Bay Artist: Hurricane Chris
Mike: The first time I heard this song, I was positive it was the worst thing I’d ever heard. Each time Hurricane Chris proclaimed “A Bay Bay!,” I grew increasingly angry that I had absolutely no idea what the fuck he was talking about, even though the entire point of the song is explaining when one would use the term. There’s even what sounds like a 5-year-old boy saying it in the chorus, and it sort of feels like I’m being mocked by a child. I’m basically over it now, though, because it’s all pretty catchy and I actually enjoy the sound of the 18-year-old Louisiana-based rapper’s voice. And to that, to this song’s ability to grow on me, I say, “A Bay Bay!” Edith: This is right up my alley. (I live on 123 Shitty Rap Alley.) The refrain, “A Bay Bay,” sounds like Tourette’s Syndrome, but also HOT!!! There isn’t a lot of stuff that they holler in the club, but what they do holler in this club is effective. “A bay bay, a bay bay; a bay bay, a bay bay; a bay bay; a bay bay.” This is a song that I turn up when it comes on Hot 97 and I am dancing in front of my mirror drinking a glass of white wine alone.
Title: Beautiful Girls Artist: Sean Kingston
Mike: I’ve been listening to this song all summer. My wife makes fun of me when I sing along in the car, and I don’t blame her. As you might assume, it sounds pretty stupid when a dopey old white dude sings along with a 17-year-old Jamaican kid who pulls off an immensely enjoyable blend of hip-hop and reggae. Edith: I know I’m supposed to like thoughtful crappy music and think the radio is for stupid people, BUT THIS IS THE GREATEST SONG OF 2007. I love this song, I love how Sean Kingston loves beautiful girls so much that he wants to kill himself. That’s it, right? Also it’s frightening. If I were dating someone and he was like, “You are so beautiful you make me want to take my own life,” I would be like, THANK you! Anyway, this song is so good I wish there was never a time when I wasn’t listening to it.
Title: Potential Breakup Song Artist: Aly & AJ
Mike: So, what we’ve got here is an electro-pop song by two teenage sisters, and I’ll be damned if it’s not the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard. One of them (let’s call her Aly) is all pissed off ‘cause some dude forgot to call her on her birthday, “[her] stupid birthday.” And so what does she want in return? Well, she wants her fucking stuff back, which I know, because she says. “Now all I want is just my stuff back. Do you get that? Let me repeat that: I want my stuff back.” It’s all fairly self-explanatory, of course, and I don’t know why she keeps repeating herself, but then the other one comes in (let’s call her AJ), and with a delivery that makes her sound like she’s in a community theater performance of Cats, clarifies exactly how the dude is to return that first girl’s stuff: “You can send it in a box/I don’t care, just drop it off.” Only now have I fully realized the extent to which I love Avril Lavigne. Edith: “I want my stuff back/let me repeat that/I want my stuff back”… Can you rhyme one sentence with the same sentence? It’s as if ‘Livin La Vida Loca’ came on and Aly & AJ were like, “WHAT IS THIS AMAZING JAM!?!?! LET’S COVER IT IN THE STYLE OF AN OUTBACK COMMERCIAL AND A TERRIBLE SONG FROM MUSICAL THEATER.” So in the lyrics she’s dating a guy who not only won’t call her back but won’t call her back on her “stupid birthday.” I wouldn’t call you back either because you have no self-esteem. My birthday is the best day of the year. I also wouldn’t call you back because this is a bad song and you depress me.
Title: Shut Up and Drive Artist: Rihanna
Mike: Man, Rihanna’s legs are shiny, aren’t they? I wonder how she gets them so shiny. My legs aren’t nearly as shiny as Rihanna’s. (This song is boring, has no hook, and the production sounds dated.) Edith: She does that thing again where she repeats the last syllable three times, but this song sucks. Can we listen to ‘Umbrella’ instead, ed, ed, ey, ey? Why is this crap song still playing?
Title: Sorry, Blame It On Me Artist: Akon Mike: In case you were wondering, Akon is willing to take responsibility for leaving his wife or girlfriend alone while he’s on tour, and for not being there for his sons. He’s also sorry that feds came to take him away. But he only begrudgingly and spitefully takes the blame for sexing up that 14-year-old girl, arguing that her father shouldn’t have allowed her to attend the show, and that the club shouldn’t have let her in. He’s right, obviously, and it was a shitty turn of events, but it’s hard to feel bad for a dude who, you know, simulates sex with people on stage at his shows. Side note: My father bought my mom tickets to go see Gwen Stefani at Jones Beach for their anniversary a few months ago. Akon was on the bill too, and while my mom did enjoy his set, she didn’t quite understand why he took his shirt off. Also, the other opener was Lady Sovereign. My mom ain’t down with Sov, at all. “She just kept screeching!” she said. Amen. Edith: When I listen to music I don’t pay attention to lyrics, I just like the sounds, especially if there’s clapping. But this song has too many words that stick out. I like Akon though. He has a unique voice, being that he’s East African or something. I could look it up, but then I’d seem more informed than I am and I don’t want to mislead you. At first I was actually touched by this song — FOR A SECOND. And then I realized that Akon is a baby: “I want to apologize for… things that haven’t occurred yet” — that’s dumb! That’s just dumb.