Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What’s My Name, Say My Name, My Name is…What?

Mitch:  “Can a chorus really consist of ‘Oh na na, what’s my name?’”
Me:  “Definitely, if it’s Rihanna.”

Guess who’s singing “Oh na na” right now?  And that’s how they do it to you!  At first listen one can rationally decipher a Top-40 hit as a 90 second computer formula disguising itself as creative popular music production.  But before you know it you’re in the kitchen putting a chicken pot pie in the oven and wiggling your bum to “Hey boy, I really wanna see if you…”  Best of all, I wasn’t the one who had pot pie for dinner tonight.

Looking over the lyrics to “What’s My Name” “by” “Rihanna” I realized how simplistic we consumers really must be.  And I do apologize for all my quotation marks, but I’m trying to be as accurate as possible.  At least her stage name stems from her given name, so I could take away one of the q-marks to be a little more fair.  I wonder if I’ll live to see the day when “Rihanna writes her own song; she currently has writer’s block after the first line of her lead-in, it goes like this:  “Oh na na, what’s my name?”
Rihanna:  “Damn…what is my name?”

OK so that was a bit of a tangent; hope I didn’t lose you all.  Back to my original thought of how easy it is to make a #1 chart topper, I reviewed the rest of Rihanna’s “What’s My Name” lyrics.  Clearly Drake’s portion of the song is the most complicated, and coming in a close second (to “say my name, say my name, wear it out”) is “’Cause you just my type, oh na na na na” which is A. grammatically correct, and B. did they really write this song in 30 minutes, and couldn’t take an extra minute to come up with real words instead of “oh na na na na”?  Here, I’ll do it for them right now and I’ll even give them three examples to choose from:
1.      And I might like ya
2.      And I wont bite ya
3.      And I break up with wife-beaters but make music videos with more famous ones ‘bout a year down the road, yeah

For all you hata’s out there thinking “But B loves this music!” well you’re right, I do.  But I’m growing up folks, and I just can’t turn a blind ear anymore when I hear a really pathetic excuse for a jam.  There’s lots of hip-hop out there worth my booty shakin’ time.  And if I have to be the sole defender of this genre of music in my household I’m going to need some better material than “What’s My Name.”  Yes, Rihanna has that cool Barbadian accent, but it’s almost as tiring as Charlize Theron correcting every American’s pronunciation of her name.  

Or maybe I’m on the wrong track here.  Why waste my time trying to argue the literary emptiness of Rihanna songs when I could be heading over to Def Jam Records right now with 8 trillion hit singles?!  Look out LA Reid; I’ll have Pink’s new album ready by the time I hop off my 3 hour flight to NYC.