Friday, December 15, 2006

#2: Spank Rock - YoYoYoYoYo

Maybe sex isn't sexy, but there's never been any debate when it comes to talking about sex. For a long time rock and roll music had to take some cursory steps to convince old people whiter than the people creating it that it's mind wasn't completely in the gutter. This made for some great music, as well as Aerosmith's "Love in an Elevator". I've apparantly started picture Aerosmith every time I think of what's wrong with popular music as opposed to maybe 75% of the time like I used to. I didn't know that "Satisfaction" was about sex until I was probably like 18, and that's sort of how it's supposed to be. Luckily, we still have songs like "Milkshake" that make even grown ass men and women raise an eyebrow and say, "wait, what? s a milkshake mean?"

But "fuck subtlety" is a really good idea. Maybe not good as an ideology or a guiding principle of lifestyle, but a good idea as a perfectly contained, logical maxim. I never liked ghetto tech too much: maybe it was before it's time, maybe sex hip hop needed some time to mature. In any case it obviously has. Listen to YoYoYoYoYo. The beats are the perfect medium of bookish white boy funk, space age bodybuilder splunk, and "Whisper Song" love mud sleaze. They lyrics are alternately simple - rhythmically rudimentary couplets chopped into offbeat cadences, to the point - intelligent and nonsensical, rawly sexual in a typical "talking about sex" kind of way - and sexual in a "damn this S dot Rock guy's got something" charisma style attraction way. The kind that bleeds through speakers and trascends boundaries of l, b, g, t, q and everything else.

One specific thing I really like about YoYoYoYoYo is its clearcut distinction between the part and after party. R. Kelly talks about them in the same breath like they are analagous things, simply because one comes after another. Yes, R. We get it. A lot of things come after other things. But R. is on the right track, the cause and effect relationships in his world are just a little different than they are in the rest of ours, I think. He just decides to put a hotel lobby in between the part and the real after party (for him this after party is his hotel room). Which is the same way Spank divides it up. "Backyard Betty" is the party:

"look at that"
"damn"
"whatchu say?"
"i said damn"
"yeah. damn"

"Bump" is the afterparty. This part I won't transcribe. Being the white, prude man that I am, I use people like Spank Rock tell my dirty stories for me. And maybe this exposes the real reasons behind my appreciation of this album, but no, seriously. Let's not put it like that. My subjectivity isn't on trial here.

Ok, I mean, fuck, it ain't liberating, and you could say it's misogynistic. But you'd be missing the point like you always do. This album isn't about society, and it's not even about interpersonal relationships. It's about the groove, the swagger, the charisma that's been missing from American music. Brandon Flowers is charismatic the same way Bono is, which is like a dumbass politician. Spank Rock can actually make you do things that you didn't know you wanted to do - Bono isn't gonna get anyone to support debt relief who doesn't already own a copy of No Logo. Spank Rock is what our parents were afraid of! A black man come to steal their daughters!

Rock and Roll!

"These hipsters think they slick. Let the drum but a rhythm in your hip. Bitch none of that 'I'm too cool for that' sugar: shake that nasty shit. I've, got, soul let me know if you want some. Oh! These hos don't want none. They just want to ride it, can't deny it, bending their back to the kick drum figure. Don't start no more beef now nigger. Don't fall for that black, snap the bigger picture. Come back to my lair. Strip down to your underwear. Let yourself go."

Rock and Roll!

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