Popism #455 : What's my name? What's my name?
POPISM (N) : A musical or lyrical element used in so many pop songs that it becomes a cliche. Often known to evoke joy every time it is employed.
My best friend--for anonymity's sake, we'll call her Starfanie--and I realized we would be BFF when we were driving around listening to Roxette. (I know. SO many stories involve them.) The song was "Joyride," a #1 single in 1991 that was already nostalgia in 1995, when our story takes place. (It's the song that goes "Hello! You fool! I love you! C'mon join the joyriiiiiide...)
We had both been sub-singing along. You know, when both people in the car are kind of whispering under their breath, but no one's really busting out. Then, however, comes the point at the end of the instrumental break when Per Gessele and Marie Fredriksson (the group's two singers) both shout the following:
And Steph... um... Starfanie and I shouted it, too. "ROX-ETTE!" Hitch pause between the two syllables included. It was magical.
Because how awesome is it when singers remind you DURING THEIR OWN SONG who they are? It's so... silly, really. And a little arrogant. And it's the kind of lunacy you can't get away with in daily life. If I finish a review that I think is particularly good, I can't call my editor and, while discussing the piece, say, "Oh, David, did you notice how I used the word 'existential' while descrbing Godot? BLANKEN-SHIP!"
But that's how I might feel. Pop stars (and athletes, to a lesser extent) get to act out that rampant egotism for us all. It's like Per was so pleased with his guitar lick that he just had to remind who made that song his bitch. ROX-ETTE!
Rappers are particularly good at dropping themselves into a verse or two. Snoop Dogg has made a career out of it. Many of us remember his first solo single, "Who Am I (What's My Name)?," and several years later he also unleashed the lesser known classic "Snoop Dogg." The chorus? A sultry-voiced woman breathes, "S-N-Double Oh-P! D-Oh-Double Jizzee!" Not only are we being reminded it's Snoop, we're also getting lessons in spelling and how to speak "izzo." That song sould be offered for college credit.
What are some of your favorite instances of this popism? When do you wish you could use it yourself? Which acts need to lighten up and give themselves a shout out already?
I'd like to nominate Enya.
Labels: R+B / Hip-Hop