Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Three 6 Mafia: Probably not regular readers of Feministing.

Not on their way to a feminist consciousness-raising group.
I listen to music mostly while doing other things, like reading or working on this little blog, so I generally do my best to ignore the lyrics. For the last few years, I hadn't been listening to all that much rap, because rap has more words per song than pretty much any music ever, and I found the overflow of verbiage too hard to ignore. But recently a little switch went off in my brain and now I find I can listen to it without getting terribly distracted.  So I've been listening to a lot of rap, sort of making up for lost time.

Since I'm not looking for clever lyrics, I ignore a lot of the more "conscious" rap and tend to go for stuff that is fairly mindless, crude and repetitive, heavy with hooks. Lately, for example, I've been listening to a lot of Three 6 Mafia, a group not known for great subtlety. Here's the hook for one of their songs, Ridin' Spinners, a paean to spinning rims:

I'm ridin' spinners, I'm ridin' spinners
They don't stop
I'm ridin' spinners, I'm ridin' spinners
They don't stop
I'm ridin' spinners, I'm ridin' spinners
They don't stop
I'm ridin' spinners, I'm ridin' spinners
It's rollin'

I'm ridin' spinners, I'm ridin' spinners
They don't stop
I'm ridin' spinners, I'm ridin' spinners
They don't stop
I'm ridin' spinners, I'm ridin' spinners
They don't stop
I'm ridin' spinners, I'm ridin' spinners
It's rollin'

I should say that I'm assuming, based on the hook, that the songs is a paean to spinners. Maybe it's some sort of subtle critique. I don't know, since I don't know any of the other words to the song.

The other night I decided to look up the lyrics to a bunch of Three 6 Mafia songs to see what exactly I've been listening to. Basically, their songs are about drugs and general debauchery, with a special emphasis on drinks laced with cough syrup  (a.k.a. sizzurp, purple drank). Given that one of their songs is called "Sippin on Syrup," I was not altogether shocked by this.

But the lyrics to the song called, er, Slob on My Knob went a bit ... beyond what I was expecting, even given the title. Here's one of the more, er, memorable parts of the song. (More sensitive readers may want to stop reading at this point. Maybe everyone should.)

First find a mate
Second find a place
Third find a bag, to hide the ho face
Real name Rover
I said bend over
I started to knock, then came the odor
Smelled like mush
Shouldn't had a woosh
Told her to stop, and take a douche
While she did that
I didn't want the cat
So I bounced out and never came back

Fellas, I wouldn't really recommend you put this song on your Valentine's day mix cd for your sweetie.

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15 comments:

  1. I am SO amused that a rap group called Three 6 Mafia is wearing an Iron Maiden shirt in a promo shot.

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  2. Dammit, that was on my v-day playlist for my wife.

    Now I'm going to have to find another slammin' track that expresses how much I love that bitch.

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  3. I'm not sure there's anything in that scenario that's good for anyone.

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  4. It bothers me just the slightest bit that you're listening to mainstream rap--which is KNOWN for being aggressively misogynistic--and being disgusted by its lyrics. Trust me, if you made the attempt to listen to more "conscious" underground rap, you'd hear a lot less of the rap anthems featuring such blatant disrespect to women. Just my two cents.

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  5. Rachel, trouble is, I find a lot of conscious rap boring. The production often seems 5 or 10 years behind the times, and often too "tasteful" for my tastes. I like the crude repetitiveness of a lot of rap that most people think of as tacky. I like really simple minimal production. I like call-and-response vocals. I like yelling. It's really easy for me to ignore what's actually being said.

    At the moment I'm listening to Silkk the Shocker's "I'm a soldier," which is basically just a relentless little piano riff with some sound effects and a lot of repetitive yelling. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Actually the drum track is sort of interesting. And there are an assortment of raps by something like 9 or ten guests, but to me they're sort of the background music for the piano riff.

    It's sort of like Philip Glass, in a way.

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  6. David please check out these South Africans.
    The first one here even shows a woman who appears to be a human being with a measure of respect and equality...on first glance, at least.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuxJzTrmYaM

    And this one gets even more impressive as it goes on.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QLDaTHrnq4&feature=related

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  7. For some reason, every time I read those awful lyrics my brain glosses over the lines toward the end before my eyes really get to it and interprets the second line from the bottom as the guy becoming interested in having sex with a cat while the woman douches. (Yeah, it sees the "did" more than the "n't.")

    And you know what? Wouldn't be all that surprised by it. Would be less surprised to hear it being played over the sound system at a Japanese department store.

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  8. @Joe: this was a favorite of mine from a few years ago, about what not to put on a Valentine's mix tape. In summary: I never knew Death Cab was so manipulative.

    @Sally: Funny how douches and douchebags are both bad for you. There's something about that word derivation.

    @David: Now I know! It was Silkk who put the "uhhh" in "Make 'Em Say Uhhh."
    Also, many cough syrups contain acetaminophen, which is well-known for doing nasty stuff to your liver when combined with alcohol in excess. Sizzurp-- cizzirhosis, twice as fast!

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  9. yeah, they're not what you'd call subtle. or, a lot of other things.

    I'm not sure if this Disney fanvid makes it more or less disturbing. It's kind of hypnotic, though.

    http://tinyurl.com/4dytr2s

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  10. @lucy

    Based on his lyrics, the guy from Death Cab has always struck me as smarmy.

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  11. "Slob on my Knob" has been around for about 10 years.

    And remember, these rappers are "rapping what they know", and they certainly know hoes.

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  12. belle -- that vid really is hypnotic, and really well done.

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  13. @ Lucy--

    That's why "douche," "douchebag," and "douchenozzle" are my favorite insults, especially for pretentious, sexist guys. Douches (and the tools to perform them, douche bags and so on) were once thought to be necessary for women's hygiene and a successful love life. Now we know that they are not only superfluous, they can be bad for a lady's health. It's a perfect parallel to the existence of patriarchal dudes who don't respect women.

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  14. @Sally-- and not only that; women used to douche with Lysol. Yes, the stuff we use to clean our bathtubs and shower stalls. *cringe*

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