Historically, pop music lyrics haven't been particularly profound. Over the years we've had songs about not being cruel, about a lady who wanted to dance with somebody who loved her, and about a guy who was taking a bath and couldn't stop himself from making splish splash.
But in recent years pop lyrics have been over-the-top inane. The subject matter now involves, almost exclusively, the club or making love. The most creative artists, like Usher, sing about making love in the club. But Jason Derulo's hit "Talk Dirty" takes this theme abroad.
Currently sitting at number four on the pop charts - with about 150 million YouTube views - "Talk Dirty" sees the protagonist fly around the world, performing his hits and making love to the local ladies. It's like Jay-Z's "Girls, Girls, Girls," except better at reducing women to cultural stereotypes.
Over a beat that drifts at times into Middle Eastern snake charmer territory, our hero sings about his ignorance of foreign languages, and also shows off his array of offensive foreign accents. The conceit and execution don't work, but the lyrics are bad in their own special way.
'Cause I know what the girl them need,
New York to Haiti
I got lipstick stamps on my passport,
You make it hard to leave
Spolier alert: His dick. That's what the girl them need.
But even more than that: Lipstick stamps on my passport? What kind of weird sexual kinks are we talking about? Hey baby. You horny? Come over here. You know I've been to Myanmar, formerly Burma, eight times? Don't believe me? Check out these pages! That's right, kiss them good. No, stop, you're tearing it and my flight's in an hour. Don't you know the embassy's closed for the night?
As for 2 Chainz's verse, let's just say it goes a ways toward dispelling the notion that 2 Chainz is any good. Rappers have long taken great pride in euphemisms for oral sex, but 2 Chainz is a trailblazer when it comes to directness.
Dos Cadenas, close to genius
Sold out arenas, you can suck my penis
From there on it's basically just a game of word association.
Gilbert Arenas, guns on deck
Chest to chest, tongue on neck...
Bought a jet, what do you expect?
Her pussy's so good I bought her a pet
Let's hope that too many men don't have that same impulse, as said lady will soon be overwhelmed with more domestic creatures than she can care for.
To the credit of both performers, they seem genuinely interested in learning Spanish. (Dos Cadenas = 2 Chainz.) Derulo even apparently dabbles in French, though in this case things go off the rails.
Uno, met your friend in Rio
Dos, she was all on me-o
Tres, we can ménage à three though
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By purporting to celebrate different cultures, but actually denigrating them, "Talk Dirty" is special in the realm of horrible pop music; it's the greatest hate listen in recorded music history. So much fun for everyone in the club.
Congratulations Messrs. Derulo and Chainz: You have truly tapped into what the girl them need.