Monday, April 23, 2007

I Have Been Remiss

I have recently noticed a trend that I can only describe as of the utmost importance to the Jewish community. It encompasses all of the big concerns: intermarriage, continuity, outreach, and more. There is no aspect of Jewish life which has not been touched.

What is this trend of which I speak? It is female pop-stars engaging in gangsta rap.

Exhibit One: Fergie

She is talking about her crazy lifestyle, and even references the rap scene of the early 90's in her video. She even adopts a rap conceit of "featuring" on her track, using the "Mouf of the South" himself, Ludacris. For the record she isn't really rapping in this video, except for the section "I got problems up to here..." which is even a step closer to singing than rapping.

Exhibit Two: Gwen Stefani

Aside from the fact that this song drives me crazy, Gwen is rapping. About her consumerist lifestyle. And she features Eve, one of the few successful female rappers. This shift is even clearer in "Wind it up" where not only does Gwen rap, but she sounds (both in content, and in style) a huge amount like Fergie from "my humps." There is even a line about "look but you can't touch." And last, but not least, in Luxurious, Gwen uses the same conceit of jumping back and forth to the early 90's, and instead of Fergie's message which is essentially "I still eat at taco bell" she is saying "I worked really hard to get here, and things used to suck for me."

Not only are these two very talented singers rapping, but they both seem to be using the same base material. I'm starting to have some trouble telling them apart.

Take a look at Fergalicious by Fergie:

And Sweet Escape by Gwen:

Both are women who started as the lead singer in otherwise male musical groups, and both have created a cult of personality around themselves. Gwen has her harajuku girls, while Fergie is eternally being fawned over by a group of uniformly (if scantily dressed) men/women whose outfits compliment hers. I want to know what the music industry is thinking (see the Jewish connection? Because we run the media, so this is clearly our fault), and why Avril Lavigne, despite aging four years, and getting married, has gained no musical maturity since her first album.

C'mon, when I see stuff like this I am ashamed to be a member of the tribe. Guys, we can do better than this.

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