Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Squier, Diddy, She Wants Revenge,, the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Travis Barker, KRS-One, Paul Oakenfold, and Chuck motherfucking Mangione — this week we learned how they’re relevant to the story of Crazy Town’s “Butterfly.” You guys had a lot of say about that and about the OutKast and Joe hits it joined atop the singles chart in the winter of 2001. It’s a clean sweep for TNOCS in this week’s countdown, sugar baby…


Score: 19 | Sep 9th

I just heard a radio ad for some big bank that was obviously pandering toward the local Chicago audience and began with the sentence, “You’re one of the lucky ones.  You were born a Bears fan.”

This is an asinine statement that would never be made by anyone that has followed the Bears in the last 30 years, and after hearing how ignorant and out of touch it sounds, there is no way in hell that I would trust that bank with my money under any circumstances.

Likewise, as someone who has no memory of hearing “Ms. Jackson” in 2001, and who will never fully appreciate Outkast and what they mean to popular music, I don’t think I need to say much about today’s #1.  I had some thoughts compiled, but I was boring even myself with them.  The last thing that is needed here is somebody who was no longer invested in pop music that feels the need to wax poetic about how they barely remember the song and why they don’t connect with it.  The only thing that it accomplishes is making me come off like that bank commercial, and possibly getting a dreaded and very effective one-sentence rebuttal from thinwhiteduke.  

No, I prefer to bask in Tom’s joy over covering an artist that he personally loves and that he and others consider one of the greatest ever and appreciate the fact that this comment section is populated with new names who are passionate and knowledgeable about the era Tom is currently covering, and old veterans who hadn’t given up on Top 40.  The polls, sub-threads, and diversions into other music of the era are a beautiful thing here, but having a group of people who were/are invested in the music Tom is actually writing about is vital to this comment section carrying forward and thriving for as long as this feature is meant to live.  It does my heart good to see that, even if I’m quite often these days on the outside looking in.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson”
Score: 20 | Sep 14th

So to recap:
“Butterfly” is a 6.
“Penny Lane” is a 6.
“Magic” is a 3.
Happy Wednesday everyone!

Posted in: The Number Ones: Crazy Town’s “Butterfly”
Score: 20 | Sep 9th

Among the easiest 10/10s in history, “Ms. Jackson” sounded like a classic from the moment it dropped. The key is those block synth chords reminiscent of DIY early ’80s new wave.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson”
Score: 22 | Sep 9th

I’m sorry Mr. Breihan

This is a 10

Posted in: The Number Ones: Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson”
apache slomo
Score: 24 | Sep 14th

That one day I came home and my mom was cleaning the house, humming along to this freak show

Posted in: The Number Ones: Crazy Town’s “Butterfly”
Logan Taylor
Score: 24 | Sep 12th

(Bubbling cont.)

Get Ur Freak On”

Artist: Missy Elliott

Writer(s): Elliott, Timbaland

Producer(s): Timbaland

Label: Elektra/Goldmind

Reign: 1 week (Hot100 Peak #7)

Damn, what can be said other than classic classic classic. I think I said on Aaliyah’s entry that Timbaland productions almost feel alive and this one’s no exception. I’ll post the video but I recommend seeking out the album version because the last minute is just uninterrupted prime-cut Timbaland.

“Who’s that [Miss?!]” It’s Missy Elliott and she’s laying it down like no other female rapper I’ve ever heard. She goes rapid fire and then slows her roll and she sounds masterful in both approaches. It’s almost like the track is trying to keep up with her instead of the other way around. There’s not a second I would cut from the song, I’m in it from the jump and I don’t want off the ride.

It’s an automatic 10. I don’t even have to think about it. You better believe I’ll shout-sing the song as I drive down Missy Elliott Boulevard in Portsmouth, Virginia (congrats!).

Posted in: The Number Ones: Joe’s “Stutter” (Feat. Mystikal)
Score: 28 | Sep 12th

Why is Tom referencing songs from 1915? Nobody cares about that stuff.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Joe’s “Stutter” (Feat. Mystikal)
Phylum of Alexandria!
Score: 29 | Sep 9th

Yeah, I agree that B.O.B. was robbed; it was the game-changer, or should have been. “Ms Jackson” is perfectly fine as a song, but its chart performance was part happenstance and technicality. 

One of the things about the growing popularity of Outkast among white audiences was what it revealed about their perceptions about rap and hip hop. For instance, when Speakerboxxx/The Love Below dropped in 2003, most of my white hipster friends praised Andre’s album and dismissed Big Boi’s. And they were like, “finally, a rap artist is taking the genre into new places.” To me, it sounded like Andre was largely veering away from rap into other stuff like pop and funk and psychedelia, whereas Big Boi showcased an accessible, eccentric vision that was still very much in the hip hop tradition.

Is rap so cloistered a sound that you need to break away from it to be considered artistically creative? I vehemently don’t think so.

But still, one dimension where I kind of do relate to the break from larger rap culture is Outkast’s stance and style, and what that meant for popular understanding of masculinity.

In the mid 90s, my relationship to rap was complicated by the fact that the people in my neighborhood who listened to Biggie and 2pac and the rest were the same people who menaced me as I walked to or from school, who threatened me, spat on me, and physically attacked me once. All because I was a shy nerdy kid, who was feminine by their standards (a few of the guys I worked with in my first job remarked that I was “sweet,” and I would be their bitch in prison, which I took as both compliment and threat, for what it’s worth).

But Outkast…they were wearing bright colored floral prints and turbans even back in 94. By 2001, they were just so weird and wild compared to every other prominent rapper. Musically, their flows had swagger, but they were also brainy and quirky. They took cues from whatever music they liked, no matter how retro or dorky or whatever. They just let their flags fly, and for that they seemed like diamonds in the rough.

Nowadays rappers sample all sorts of genres, some rap about depression, wear “feminine” skinny jeans, even dresses once in a while…and just do whatever they want, as they should. Lord Jamar might bitch about how hip hop has gone soft, but mostly no one is listening to him.

I understand how generations of poverty and hard inner city life shaped the norms for masculine toughness in hip hop culture, but I’m also glad that those norms have greatly relaxed these past few decades. And the quirky individualism of Outkast undoubtedly paved the way for this cultural sea change. Which doesn’t just influence nerdy white fans like me, but impressionable boys and girls everywhere, and that’s a great thing.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson”
Score: 30 | Sep 15th

I have a soft spot for this dumb song. You see, Shifty Shellshock was my employee for a brief time in the mid 90s when I was a Manager at the trendy clothing store American Rag Cie. Seth only worked for us for about 2 or 3 weeks because he was late a lot, stoned a lot and just not very good at cashiering. That said, he was a sweetheart and polite and respectful. He was at heart a good kid. We eventually had to let him go and he took it all in stride. I liked the kid and hoped the best for him. So imagine my surprise when I see him in this video for this silly song that was rushing up the charts. It made me happy and I thought “good for him, he showed us”. Knowing it was him performing this song changed my whole perspective on it. I hear the sincerity. Tom’s score of 6 is prob accurate but because of my history with it i will give it an 8.

Faith No More’s We Care A Lot is a a 10

Posted in: The Number Ones: Crazy Town’s “Butterfly”
Turd on the Run
Score: 30 | Sep 9th

This era of pop music, starting with the rise of TRL in the mid-late 90s, contains very little music for this column I actually remember fondly.  I’m basically in it for Tom’s writing and for learning things about the charts I didn’t already know.

But this? This is as good as any of the hits from the 60s, 70s or 80s. And I can think of literally only one other time something I agree with will top the charts forever after. And it’s the same group.

Outkast forever! (And Tom’s correct, Aquemini is their best)

Posted in: The Number Ones: Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson”


eastside tilly
Sep 12th

Literally a hi-res photo of him running on the cover of “We Have the Facts”

Posted in: We’ve Got A File On You: Ben Gibbard

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