Saturday, September 10, 2011

Revenge of the Thirty-Day Song Challenge - Day 13

Day 13 – A 2000’s Song

The Aughts (are they seriously called that?) are still pretty fresh to do musical post-morctem on, but I will say this: the early 2000’s pop music scene was pretty well-saturated with rap. Granted, it’s not like rap has really gone away since then, but it seems like, between ’02 and ’05, a constant revolving door of new Yung Schmos or Lil Shawtys had a new single tearing up the charts. We’ve since segued into more dance-heavy territory, but I’ll never forget the period of time where the best way to dance was simply to pull your pants up and lean back.

Chingy – “Right Thurr”

Remember Chingy? Probably not. But if you listened to the radio during the summer of 2003, there’s a good chance you’ve heard him, and his breakthrough single “Right Thurr.” “Right Thurr” is an ode to a lady, a lady who Chingy hits on repeatedly through the course of the song, though where she stands in relation to the lyrics is a bit dubious (One line: “I’m thinking ‘bout snatching you up, dirty, and make you mine.” The very next line: “Look at her hips, look at her legs, ain’t she stacked?”). The production is nothing special, with only a slightly acid-sounding synthesizer giving it any character at all, and the lyrics are pretty inane at best (“I swooped on her like an eagle swooping down on its prey”).

What, then, made “Right Thurr” so popular that it managed to climb all the way up to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100? Bugger if I know. If I had to posit a guess, though, I would submit that “Right Thurr” benefited from The Ke$ha Effect. The Ke$ha Effect (in addition to sounding like a 3D IMAX concert movie) is what happens when a song is so dumb, listeners start taking to it ironically, only to become caught up in the song on a legitimate level. The difference here is that while Ke$ha can be reasonably defended on a musically creative level, I’m not sure how adamantly I can come to the aid of “Right Thurr,” a song whose primary appeal is dumbness for the sake of being dumb, without any clever behind-the-scenes design decisions.

I remember liking “Right Thurr” during the height of its popularity, but time has not been kind to it. Nor, indeed, to its artist; though he is apparently still active and working on a new album, Chingy hasn’t had a Top 40 single since 2006’s “Pullin’ Me Back.” It’s just as well, I suppose—after all, not everyone can be Ludacris or Jay-Z.

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