I have been sadly lagging in my blog posts. My only excuse is that I’m busy prepping for a trip to the States to see my family. However, I have had a couple posts in mind. Here is one of them.
Recently, a friend on Facebook posted this meme from Rock 100.5 (“Atlanta’s Classic Rock”):
There are so many things wrong with this comparison. Let’s start.
1) Comparing lyrics from a randomly chosen year to lyrics from a year in recent history reeks of the kind of attitude of: kids these days, with their Snapchat and their Nicki Minaj and their…GET OFF MY LAWN!
2) It compares lyrics from different musical genres (hard rock vs. rap). Different musical genres have different histories, different uses of language, and different conventions.
3) It compares lyrics by a white male rock band to lyrics by a woman of colour rapper. Who wants to touch the misogynistic, racist implications with a ten-foot pole? Anyone? Anyone?
4) It ignores every other lyric by said artists and by other artists of each year.
So let’s fix this comparison. I’ll start by comparing Led Zeppelin to Led Zeppelin from the same year:
Ooh, your custard pie, yeah, sweet and nice
When you cut it, mama, save me a slice
Your custard pie, yeah,
I declare you’re sweet and nice like your custard pie
When you cut it, mama… mama, please save me a slice.
I chew on a piece of your custard pie.
Yes, that is my eyebrow raised to the ceiling. Why do you ask? (You should see the rest of the lyrics from that song.)
Now let’s compare the original Led Zeppelin lyrics to lyrics by another hard rock band in 1975. From Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way:”
backstroke lover always hidin’ ‘neath the covers
till I talked to your daddy, he say
he said “you ain’t seen nothin’ till you’re down on a muffin
then you’re sure to be a-changin’ your ways”
I met a cheerleader, was a real young bleeder
oh, the times I could reminisce
’cause the best things of lovin’ with her sister and her cousin
only started with a little kiss
Or this Aerosmith lyric, also from 1975:
I, I, I cover her with kisses
and when we’re in a lover’s clinch
she gets all excited
when she begs for my big 10 inch
Classy. Yeah. I’ve barely started the comparisons, and my eyebrow isn’t coming down. So white male rockers can go on and on about how they like to have sex (particularly with young women/girls) and have big penises, but a woman can’t dare to point out a “stupid ho” repeatedly.
Or let’s compare a white male rock band’s lyrics to a white female rocker’s lyrics from 1975. Suzi Quatro:
Turn down the bedroom lights and warm my soul
Let all your inhibitions go
We’ll reach the kind of heights we’ve never known
Laid back and easy
Take it slow slow slow
But wait, are your intentions what I think they are
Unless you’ve sold it, won’t you hand me back the keys to my car
Or Jefferson Starship’s song “Play On Love” (lyrics by Grace Slick) from 1975:
You been a-reading it without living it
Now that’s the golden prison we can always find
Living in stories and living in books
Or we can live and leave all the stories behind
Now let’s compare Nicki Minaj from 2012 to Nicki Minaj from 2012:
It all comes down to this
I miss your morning kiss
I won’t lie, I’m feeling it
You don’t know, I’m missing it
I’m so dumb, I must admit
It’s too much to hold it in
I can’t say no more than this
I just hope your heart hear me now
Gotta let you know how I’m feeling
You own my heart, he just renting
Don’t turn away, pay attention
I’m pouring out my heart oh, boy
Here’s a lyric by Missy Elliot from 2012:
Now I’m in the 9th inning
Thought I fell off, I ain’t quite finished
Yeah, I’m ’bout to put my foot in it
Talk wit’ it, walk wit’ it, I’m no gimmick
(YEAH!) Twenty-twelve, there be no games
Real rap, real bars, I’m not playin’
Haters y’all lame, you a Missy fayne
I’m a beast in the booth, I’m just sayin’
(YEAH!) I make ’em wanna get low
Duck wit’ it, buck wit’ it, let’s go
Every time I spit a rhyme, it’s a sick flow
You newcomers better sit back and take notes…
I also looked up male rappers’ lyrics from 2012 for comparison; however, a lot of the ones I found contained the n-word, and that is not my word to say (even in quotations).
So I will wrap up this blog before it gets over-long with my point: if you are going to make a comparison, compare apples to apples. Compare white male hard rock lyrics to white male hard rock lyrics, or woman of colour rapper lyrics to woman of colour rapper lyrics.
Note: The lyrics quoted in this post came from azlyrics.com and metrolyrics.com.