Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Avant le déluge. . . .

Avant le déluge, our popular culture regularly turned out beautiful songs about bittersweet affairs of the heart.

Exhibit A would be this "standard," recorded by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Lou Rawls . . . and on and on. The beautiful version above was by the late Phyllis Hyman:

Here's That Rainy Day (1953)
Music: Jimmy Van Heusen
Lyrics: Johnny Burke

Maybe I should have saved
those left-over dreams
funny, but here's that rainy day!

Here's that rainy day
they told me about
and I laughed at the thought
that it might turn out this way!

Where is that worn-out wish
that I threw aside,
after it brought my lover near?

Funny how love becomes
a cold rainy day
funny, that rainy day is here!

Funny how love becomes
a cold rainy day
funny . . . that rainy day is here!
APRÉS LE DÉLUGE, a marginalized few turn out work as beautiful as Jimmy Van Heusen's and Johnny Burke's, but in today's popular anti-culture, the vulgar rutting of barbarians has proven much more popular.

I say this as someone who was an early adopter of the Sex Pistols back in the day. Alas, Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious were George and Ira Gershwin, compared with vulgarian cretins such as Yo Gotti, who's moving up the hip-hop charts with pop-culture diarrhea such as this:

5-Star Bitch (2009)
Vile misogynistic illiteracy: Yo Gotti

If ya credit score high
And ya nails stay fly
If ya juice box wet
And ya head sumin fly
Dats a 5 star bitch
I wanna 5 star bitch
I need a 5 star bitch
I wanna 5 star bitch

I am top notch nigga
I do grade A s***
I'm a keep it 100
I wanna 5 star bitch
Talkin mouth game serious and can ride dat d***
Shawty walk like she talk like she kno dat she da s***
You dnt live witcha momma plus u moved up out da hood
Couple years on ya own and ya still doin good
You ain't fightin in da club u ain't on dat stupid s***
You ain't worried he got money you ain't on dat groupie s***
But still money make ya c**
Gotcha swagg game together
Gucci dis louie dat u gotcha bag game together
Gotta mean pump game and a sick shoe fetish
Say you left ya last nigga cause his ass was too petty

If ya baby daddy left ya
Raised ya kids on ya own
And you need a real nigga put my numba in ya phone
If you never left da city
Neva been up outta MEMPHIS
I can be dat thug genie
Give ya three lil wishes
She a stone cold freak
She can get a nigga right
She can cook she can clean
Know how to treat a nigga right
Dats a 5 star bitch
Red bone so thick
Long hair don't care
Dereon outfit
Go to church every sunday
She a teacher at da school
Ya did it big last night
I had her drunker than a fool
Say she had to call in she could'nt even go to work
Told her come and let me put a couple hundreds in her purse

You went to school to be a nurse
She's a AKA
Shawty fresh up out da hood but went to TENNESSEE STATE
And friend jus as fine swere to god I ain't lyin
She a DELTA she be throwin dat dynasty sign I
Pay for both of they tuition
Pay for both of they beautician
Coogi dis
Bb dat
And she luv tru religion
Dats a 5 star chick cause her future so bright
She gotta a cool sense of humor
And her attitude right
She go to real estate school
She do hair on da side
Went to school to practice law
I need her on my side
Dats a 5 star chick you a fool not to keep her
I'm a show u what to do if I eva get to meet her

BE STILL, my heart. Forgive me if I don't have the stomach to show you the video.

Somewhere in Chicago -- where the 'hood is descending
into real anarchy, mayhem and murder -- some hip-hop radio station likely is promoting efforts to "stop the violence," taking shout-outs to the dearly (and violently) departed and running public-service announcements about HIV testing.

They're "keepin' it real." And then it's back to the jamz, and a little (bleepified) Yo Gotti action.

Just another day on the mean streets, where the first ass to get capped was Irony's.

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