The guys who wrote the Macarena, Monica Lewinsky, and the Chilean Miners all have something in common. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I don’t picture any of them naked when I eat wheat-thins. These 3 distinctly different sets of people are all known for one thing and, pretty much, only one thing – whatever it was that made them famous for a little while. Sadly, we live in a world where we need to compare ourselves and use a rating system to classify one another because GOD FORBID WE ARE ALL CONSIDERED EQUALS. The truth is, it’s not our 15 minutes / seconds of fame that define who we are. It’s the type of person you are. Those Chilean Miners have 33 different personalities, background stories, interests, dislikes - but for the rest of their lives, they will be known for being stuck underground and that is all people will ask them about. Unless one of them makes a sex tape and gets a reality show.
It’s a tough thing to not care what others say about you. This is why Bob Saget spent so much time after “Full House” convincing everyone that he is a badass through his stand-up bits. 100% of the time it is pride that causes the pain. “But that’s not who I really am!!” Pride tricks us into thinking way more about ourselves than we ought to. I guess Pride can be a good thing if you are a cheerleader or being made fun of for something you believe in, but when it causes hate towards others, or even more scary – an inflated sense of self, we need to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves. (© ice cube)
WTF am I talking about? Well, if you leave this rant with one thing, let it be this: you are not your clothing brands, the music you like, the school you got into, etc. There are kids in Africa who have none of those things; are they nobody? Of course not. We are all defined by who we are, and how we treat others. Killing our own pride on a daily basis is the key to loving those around us. This is something I will be forever working on.
imagine your life is a one-hit wonder. what will you be remembered by? let it be love.
I’m not going to pick on Sisqó or talk about how, eleven years later, no one STILL knows what “dumps like a truck” means (except me and my grandma.) Instead, i want to explore how this song was way ahead of it’s time - in predicting how dumb we’re becoming. Surprisingly, i’m not even talking about lyrics here. Though they’re pretty bad, I want to focus on song form. It goes like this:
VERSE 1 (ooh that dress…)
B SECTION (she had dumps like a truck…)
CHORUS (i like it when the beat goes…)
Hit songs usually feature repetition, but Sisqó tests this principle to the limits. Not only does he repeat the EXACT SAME verse and B-section 3 TIMES (he whispers it the 3rd time) - but the song’s chorus is repeated 8 TIMES before the song eventually fades out at 4:14. I’m not going to say that Sisqó ruined music with songs like this - he only gave people what they want: something easy to remember so when they sing it, whether at a club, a wedding, or sweet sixteen, EVERYONE knows the words, even if they’re drunk. If you’ve never heard “The Thong Song”, by the 6th time the chorus comes around, you’ll be able to recite it word for word.
I know i just wrote about how dropping an F-Bomb in a song’s chorus was “taking the easy way out,” but this song is so painfully obvious that it transcends all rules. I used to play this song on guitar when i was in college. everyone loved it. because it’s easy to remember all the words. because there aren’t many words to remember.
In more recent times, Akon and David Guetta used the Sisqó model with their hit “Sexy Chick.” They repeat the verse and chorus twice. that’s all the song is. literally, it is copied and pasted in Pro Tools. there is no difference between the two verses and chorus. This is so dumb, that it’s genius.
Why do we compare ourselves to others? We’re always keeping score in our heads of what we have that others don’t, and vise versa. it’s all petty. comparing ourselves is the quickest way to being unhappy. All we’re really doing is feeding our ego, which is a slippery slope that will always remain unsatisfied anyways. I think (and i’m talking to myself too here) that God has each of us on our own unique path. Not that it’s mapped out for us and we’re little puppets acting it out, but God is certainly with us on the journey. Just because your friend gets to a certain “place” in life faster than you (career, relationships, looks, etc,) doesn’t mean you’re not exactly where you’re supposed to be.
In the past when i was jealous of my friends for being 10 steps ahead of where i thought i should be in life, i realized, in hindsight, that i had to learn before i could move on and was there for a reason (pardon the cliché.)
Life is different for everyone. If we spend it comparing ourselves to others, we’re robbing our own selves of a unique experience. you can only be you. enjoy it
There’s a new trend in pop music. No longer does it matter how many times you repeat the same word (i’m looking at you here, black eyed peas) but now all you have to do is drop an F-bomb in the chorus and it will go to number 1. Case in point: “Tonight (I’m f**kin You)” by Enrique, “F**k You” by Cee-Lo, and “F**kin Perfect” by Pink. Have you heard the “Forget You” version of Cee-Lo’s song? Nobody likes it, because now it’s just an average song that lost it’s balls. Using a big curse word in your song’s hook is a gimmick. I’m not trying to be a hater; yesterday i co-wrote with one of the people who came up with “Tonight (I’m f**kin You.)” She’s a fantastic writer and has written many other great tunes in her career. I just feel like it’s taking the easy way out.
Then again, I still haven’t written a number one song, so what the f**k do i know…