ISSUE 7

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  Whoever snuck fa la la la la, la la la la into “Deck the Halls” is a hero. Not only are they the most fun lyrics to sing in almost any song but also the ones that make the least sense. Immediately, you imagine people frolicking like complete idiots and not caring a whit—and what’s better than people in awful sweaters swinging creaky hips? Not much.
  Of course, this making-no-sense trend isn’t exactly limited to the Christmas tune about decorating your living room with prickly foliage. Take rap because it’s easy to pick on and mostly deserves it. A lot of rappers are so helplessly egocentric that not only have they fallen into Narcissus’ lake and drowned but they’ve written an album on decomposition and another on how fish be hatin’ on them.[1] It might be fine if any of our lives looked like a rapper’s—a life with guns, with cocaine, with loose women—but the closest most of us come is an ice cream cone with our diabetic cat.
  But for rappers, if there’s a life out there to want, shooting a loose woman on cocaine is it. Or is it having a loose woman shoot you for the cocaine? Or is it shooting the cocaine and then... something, something... loose woman? This is confusing. Where’s the ice cream?   
  Perhaps we should look at the rap itself and see what we’re dealing with, some guidance from the top-sellers possibly. Rae Sremmurd is a band you’ve either heard of or haven’t[2]; if you’re not on top of current music trends, they are a rap duo from Atlanta and have a top-selling song “Black Beatles,” which has slunk its way to the top of the charts if solely for a bass track so loud all you can hear is BUM BUM BBBAAAAAH, BUM BUM BBBAAAAAH for the next week.[3] Here is a taste:  
Frat girls still trying to get even
Haters mad for whatever reason
Smoke in the air, binge drinkin’ [...]
I had haters when I was broke, I’m rich, I still got haters
I had hoes when I was broke, I’m rich, I’m still a player...
  Oh, if only we had money to spend on some hoes, joints, and a crippling addiction to alcohol! Toss two and a half children, the wife, and a house to the side, forget about pursuing your dream, disregard your liver, and get yourself a good objectified bimbo. Do they have bimbo dealerships? Where do we procure such a life?

[1] Narcissus being the character in Greek mythology that fell in love with his reflection in a lake and died because he couldn’t stop looking at himself. Thus the word, “narcissistic” and “stupid head.” Sigh... Okay stupid head didn’t actually come out of that story.
[2] Duh.
[3] If you are a fan of Rae Sremmurd and their music, feel free to support them by shoving their new album up your butt.
   
 Rae Sremmurd is living the DREAM—at least until a crippling sense of worthlessness and ennui engulfs the duo or some haters crimp their style. These haters always seem to be on the loose, like mice that sneak into your cupboards and eat through the organic granola. There was a box of Cocoa Pops right there, and they still had to eat the whole twelve-dollar box of USDA-certified Whole Foods crap. Those healthy bastards.
  But if the music is junk, if the lyrics express anything but our lives, then why is Rae Sremmurd making so much money? Escapism, as it turns out, makes a fine drug, the heroin of people who aren’t poor, depressed junkies or—for that matter—who are poor, depressed junkies. We want to feel like gangsters, even if we’re toasting sandwiches at Subway or cruising down Broadway in a ‘92 Honda Accord. Like the peasants of old, we want to play the English lord on his estate. Some more wine butler. My glass is stale. And go dress like a pansy and stick your head in a lake while you’re at it.
  It doesn’t matter if their lifestyle is all a mad mirage, that such a life will move you out on the street faster than the Johnson boys.[1] The bass, the quick pulse of being wanted, the heady rush of alcohol, the energy, the power—even if it’s not true—is enough to make us buy an album. It’s enough to make us buy a lot of things.
  And that’s the power of music, the power to make you feel... anything. It’s a language we speak in a world where it is so very hard to understand one another. That’s why bugle players and drummers—those poor weaponless chumps—were in the Civil War. And it’s how songs become anthems to stop wars, hate, cruelty, and Jenny from breaking my heart one more time. Essentially, it’s the spectrum between a bunch of happy fools dancing in their Christmas sweaters and cruisin’ in the hood with some hoes, ready to cap some haters. What a strange spectrum. 

[1] And they’re really fast. Like ridiculously fast.