Saturday, May 30, 2009

self awareness song

im going to break form a bit here and talk about a song called cant believe it by t pain it is very plainly disguised as a generic radio pop ballad in the vein of what has come to be thought of as the pop version of r and b or hip hop now the song essentially tells of the encounter between a man and woman from the mans perspective and the man then goes on to describe the various places to which he desires to allow her to take vacations ie a beach house in costa rica after t pain goes on for some time in this vein describing essentially the ability of his affluence to transport this young woman he finds desirable into what are essentially idyllic locations the line i can send you down south is rap slash sung and i think this is the perfect example of the kind of self awareness that is so important to hip hop and makes it such an important and useful artefact i mean listening to the song it is pretty apparent that there is underlying the banal love story issues of outsourcing and of deferment but that line both drags this issues explicitly to light with the particularly non idyllic destination provided which casts the others into relief and then on top of that it also introduces a very specific lineage which before hearing this line could only be inferred from the artists and the consideration of genre and the songs place of origin namely that of american slavery and being sent down the river and so on which with this line goes from an unspoken idea haunting it to an idea present within the text in a line which is delivered with a flair which allows for both the comedy of it to be evident and for it to be subsumed as part of the song effectively co opting the idea and making it not only an observation within the song but an integral aspect of the song which point i think is particularly interesting in that it does not succumb to the didactic impulse that would seem to necessarily follow such a crucial movement in ideas of the song instead it is simply presented and used as a jumping off point which i think is incredibly fascinating now the whole song is fascinating obviously but to conceive of it in such an autotheoretical fashion is just a point which i dont imagine most people read it with even though it is quite clearly present i mean it would be hard to argue that the reason that this line is there is completely coincidental and would require a pretty childish or racist presupposition of the ignorance of the artist in order to make this argument

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