Yes, I know it’s become trite to point out how MTV sucks. Still, bear with me here. Since we have a million cable channels and at least six of them are MTV substations, and since I was home all weekend “reveling” in my womanhood (no, I wouldn’t recommend beer and Pamprin, but I’m not saying it doesn’t work), I had a lot of time to watch all of the MTVs.
Here’s what I learned. There is no way that anyone who doesn’t OWN a lot of rap albums can form any opinion of rap music based solely on what they see/hear on MTV Jams or MTV Hits or MTV Soul or whatever because, it seems, MTV has some rule that states that they must blank out at least 1/3 of every rap song they air. How am I supposed to form any opinion on whether I think a song is good or the word play amusing or whatever if I can’t hear all the words?
Dear Sensitive Parents, here’s the deal. Music, for better or for worse, is an art form. One of art’s most basic tasks is to provoke a response. If you are afraid that your little chicks will be forever tainted by the complete lyrics to a song, then take a couple of pro-active steps: don’t give your kid his own TV in his room to watch unsupervised and v-chip the main TV so that he can’t watch videos all day. Or do what my parents did and send him to the Oldies station where all the songs are safe and sanitized for your protection.
[I especially love to hear the Killer do “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On,” which is only barely covered in the most transparent metaphors. Chicken in the barn, indeed.]
Oh, that’s right. All 20th century popular music has been one long, drawn out reference to sex. There is no asexual music that won’t taint your children. So, let’s just get over the idea that music has to be “safe” and let me hear the whole god damned song.
I swear, if I were a rap artist and the record company came to me and was like, listen, whatever your single is, we need to make sure there’s an MTV-friendly version with all the provocative parts muted. And then I’d do some song about how The Man depends on poor people being uneducated and racially and ethnically divided and blaming each other for their problems instead of turning on Him, and in the second verse I’d be all like how you should always spread the peanut butter first and then the jelly because if the peanut butter gets in the jelly and goes in the fridge, no problem, but if the jelly gets in the peanut butter and goes in the cabinet, all that sugar and fruit could go bad and taint your whole jar of peanut butter. And the third verse would be all about the shit I have now that I’m rich and all the bitches and hos and thugs and gs that wander around my house waiting for their chance to service me, and I’d mute the first two verses and leave the third one as it is.
Also, I’d have a killer oboe hook.
I thought, early on in the weekend, that Jennifer Lopez had a killer oboe hook in her new single, and it was almost enough to make me break my first rule of Jennifer–which is, don’t get too attached to any of her songs because they will eventually be run into the ground by MTV and you will hate them, and then she’ll remix them and you’ll forget how the version you liked so much in the first place even went–but upon repeated listens, I think it’s just a soprano sax.
That’s too bad, because the oboe does not get the attention it deserves. It’s such a weird sounding instrument, but in that funky way that makes you think that, if only some imaginative producer could get hold of one, there’d be some really cool possibilities.
Hell, if Pharrell and Snoop can make clicking your tongue sound hot, someone can make the oboe rock.