White Lady Pop Rappers inexplicably still in style

I’m over the white lady rapper thing.  It was groan-inducing, but somewhat cute when Gwen Stefani did Hollaback Girl, I will even admit to liking the BEP’s My HumpsPoker Face wasn’t bad, and Tik Tok was pretty cool.  I even liked Dev’s Booty Bounce.

But the novelty has worn off.  The first part of this song is really good.  It’s a really neat melody.  I like Ke$ha’s yelp-y country voice.

But then the song abruptly cuts to her rapping.  ABOUT THE SAME OLD SHIT.

I see ya in the club showin’ Ke$ha love
Ain’t trippin’ on them bitches that be hatin’
Catch a dub, chuckin’ deuces
Ya’ll hatin’s useless
It’s such a nuisance

Whatever.  Seriously, this is just boring.  And it doesn’t fit.  And then someone thought it was a good idea to add will.i.am to the mix.

Jezebel had an interesting post about Miley Cyrus (awkwardly) appropriating black culture for her new video.

Miley seems to delight in dancing much like these strippers do: Twerking, popping the ass, bending at the waist and shaking her rump in the air. Fun. But basically, she, as a rich white woman, is “playing” at being a minority specifically from a lower socio-economic level. Along with the gold grill and some hand gestures, Miley straight-up appropriates the accoutrements associated with certain black people on the fringes of society.

I’m not sure I entirely agree.  I get that putting black people who probably aren’t your real friends in your video as props is pretty lame.  But the best pop artists have always been cultural appropriators, and some of the them have even been lauded for it.  The Clash could get away with making Sandinista! because they were a leftist band and could argue that they were borrowing to show solidarity.  Or Paul Simon got away with it on Graceland because it showcased artists from South Africa, bringing them to a wider audience.  I guess that makes it OK?  I don’t know.

Or maybe I agree, but this isn’t what bothers me the most about the white lady pretend rapper thing.  What bothers me is that none of these people have anything interesting to say with their raps.  And I suspect it’s because a good rapper spends years on their craft, while none of these ladies have.  These ladies learned just enough tricks to do it convincingly for a few songs, if that.

Years of practice leads to interesting wordplay.  It leads to the need to try new things.  It leads to a bigger vocabulary, and sharper rhymes.  It leads to interesting life stories.  I like Rick Ross, so I’m not saying it all has to have a basis in reality, but it should at least sound like you had some interesting things happen to you.

Just like Miley Cyrus’ stiff moves really don’t contribute to anything to twerking (something I admit I only barely understand, but whatever it is, I’m pretty sure she’s not doing it right), Ke$ha’s yapping about haters really doesn’t add anything to hip hop.


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