It's the freakin' weekend, baby, I'm about to have me some fun
March 23, 2012 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Young the Giant's excellent cover of R. Kelly's Ignition (Remix) kicks off this season of A. V. Club's Undercover series in some style. The song has been covered extensively since it came out, in styles ranging from bedroom ukulele to ivy a capella to basement indie. It was also covered by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and inspired Dave Chapelle's pisstake. John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats has been a long-time fan, usually adding a minute of the song as a coda to his cover of The Boys Are Back in Town. Darnielle, and some friends, gave us 100 Reasons Why "Ignition - Remix" Is So Damned Great.
posted by Kattullus (43 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
That fact that there exists a John Darnielle cover of an R. Kelly song is conclusive proof that we live in a Golden Age for mankind.

This is a interesting if somewhat oddly formatted discussion of Darnielle's thoughts on "U Saved Me," another R. Kelly song.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:13 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Its R. Kelly week y'all
posted by narcoleptic at 8:20 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ignition (Remix) is probably the best pop song since I Want You Back. It's basically perfect.
posted by Copronymus at 8:21 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh and I should point out that the AV Club slightly misstates everything that's going on with Ignition (Remix). Yes, it's not a remix, it's a new song, but it's a song about listening to the remix of Ignition, which doesn't exist.

Note the lyrics, "while they say on the radio: This is the Remix to Ignition, hot and fresh out the kitchen." In the world of the song, there is a remix to Ignition, and Ignition (Remix) tells the story of listening to that song one weekend.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:22 AM on March 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


Copronymus is right, "Ignition (Remix)" is a near perfect pop song. The lyrics are cosmically awful and yet brilliant, and not in a "so bad it's good" kind of way. R. Kelly is just transcends labels at every turn.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:27 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


great pop songs are great pop songs no matter who is playing them as long as its done seriously, not as a joke.

I'd love love love to hear R. Kelly singing over that backing band though. No offense to the guy singing.
posted by JPD at 8:38 AM on March 23, 2012


More "Ignition (Remix)" ephemera: Michael Jackson's car dance (the thing he does with his hand at around 0:42 is completely magical).

Another great, unlikely R. Kelly cover: Sam Amidon, "Relief"

(Also: wow, that John Darnielle thing made me nostalgic for the golden age of I Love Music.)
posted by neroli at 8:40 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just RSVPed for a wedding, and was debating on whether or not to put this song down for "I promise to dance if this song comes on:" This thread made me go ahead and do it.
posted by codacorolla at 8:47 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel most of the current autotune rap/pop is pretty much a rip off of this track.
posted by dobie at 8:48 AM on March 23, 2012


The lyrics are cosmically awful and yet brilliant, and not in a "so bad it's good" kind of way.

Yes! But, what does "It's like Murder, She Wrote / Once I get you out them clothes" mean? Okay, it's innuendo, but why is he invoking Angela Lansbury!
posted by gladly at 8:49 AM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


That "Murder, She Wrote" reference is surely reason #101 why Ignition (Remix) is so damned great.
posted by Kattullus at 8:51 AM on March 23, 2012


Yes! But, what does "It's like Murder, She Wrote / Once I get you out them clothes" mean? Okay, it's innuendo, but why is he invoking Angela Lansbury!

OK, so I've thought long and hard about this, and I finally came up with an answer after long contemplation. What does Murder, She Wrote mean in the context of Murder, She Wrote? It's a line from one of the novels that Angela Lansbury writes in the show, presumably said by a character on discovering a dead body. It signals that the first act is over and the second act has begun. So it is once he gets you out them clothes.

Sadly, I think someone figured out that it's actually a reference to this reggae song. I still like my version better.
posted by Copronymus at 8:54 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


We play multiple versions of this song almost every Friday at my office. The Hood Internet mashup is the one that usually gets everyone dancing but I can't think of any other song that's universally adored at my work like this one. I don't even know why, but I can't get enough of it.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 8:58 AM on March 23, 2012


I just RSVPed for a wedding, and was debating on whether or not to put this song down for "I promise to dance if this song comes on:" This thread made me go ahead and do it.

I played this song at my wedding. It was on our playlist.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:01 AM on March 23, 2012


Oh my god - I forgot how preposterous the video for "Down Low" is. Its a precursor to the "Trapped in the closet" insanity,
posted by JPD at 9:02 AM on March 23, 2012


"We got food everywhere, as if the party were catered" is one of my favorite lyrics in all of pop music.
posted by Apropos of Something at 9:05 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Note the lyrics, "while they say on the radio: This is the Remix to Ignition, hot and fresh out the kitchen." In the world of the song, there is a remix to Ignition, and Ignition (Remix) tells the story of listening to that song one weekend.

So. Fucking. Meta. This is one of the many, many reasons R. Kelly is one of my favorite pop musicians.
posted by brand-gnu at 9:10 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hood Internet remix, because this thread needs it.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:29 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


"We got food everywhere, as if the party were catered" is one of my favorite lyrics in all of pop music.

The lyric about food being everywhere always caught my notice, and a surprising number of R. Kelly songs actually celebrate the presence and abundance of food. Which is incredibly sad when you think about it. My take on modern hip-hop/R&B is that it is essentially D&D for poor people. Just as D&D allows socially awkward shy geeks to pretend they are powerful, heroic leaders of men, hip-hop allows poor people to pretend they are rich. And not just rich, but the ultimate form of being rich: the ability to be careless. Being poor means experiencing anxiety about everything. Anxiety about spending every dime. Anxiety about the possibly devastating consequences of any of your actions. Hip-hop allows people to step into the shoes of people who are never anxious about the amount of money they spend, or about whether they are arrested or not, people who are never scared. Just as buying a lottery ticket is really about buying the ability to fantasize about being rich, listening to hip-hop is a chance to fantasize about not having to worry about almost everything. R. Kelly takes that a step farther by singing about people who have lots of food around. Part of listening to R. Kelly's songs is getting the benefit of being able to fantasize about what its like to have plenty to eat and not worry about going hungry. So whenever I hear that line or any of his other lyrics about how awesome his life is because of how much food he has around all the time, it makes me sad.
posted by ND¢ at 9:31 AM on March 23, 2012 [13 favorites]


Agreed that "Ignition (Remix)" is pretty much the catchiest song ever.

Also - Separated at Birth: The guitarist from Young the Giant and Sal the Stockbroker from the Howard Stern show.
posted by The Gooch at 9:47 AM on March 23, 2012


"We got food everywhere, as if the party were catered" is one of my favorite lyrics in all of pop music.

It's the "as if" that makes it brilliant. If the party wasn't catered, where'd all the food come from? Is it potluck?
posted by Bookhouse at 9:47 AM on March 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sadly, many of the linked videos are now dead, but here's David Rees (of Get Your War On fame) raving hilariously about his top 10 favorite YouTube videos of people singing or dancing to Ignition (Remix) as part of his delightful Friday Face Offs series.
posted by straight at 9:49 AM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's an extraordinary song, especially given how much I usually dislike the entire category of music to which it belongs.

My favorite Ignition (Remix) video has always been the one a couple of kids at Duke did nearly a decade ago (Harvard Crimson article about the video). It's sadly only available––as far as I know anyway–– in horribly low quality by today's standards, but a couple of bored Asian college students truly get this song.
posted by zachlipton at 10:04 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I regularly insisted--or demanded--on playing Ignition (Remix) back in college. The funny thing about the song is, aside from sippin on coke & rum, it had very little to do with our college selves. We did not bounce on 24s, we had no cristal popin or a stretch navigator. Never did a party feel catered, and regularly there were no honeys to our right. But always we were like so what, i'm drunk.
posted by Hoenikker at 10:19 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


we just thuggin it out.
posted by Hoenikker at 10:19 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I regularly insisted--or demanded--on playing Ignition (Remix) back in college. The funny thing about the song is, aside from sippin on coke & rum, it had very little to do with our college selves. We did not bounce on 24s, we had no cristal popin or a stretch navigator. Never did a party feel catered, and regularly there were no honeys to our right. But always we were like so what, i'm drunk.

There's a reason that "I'm like so what, I'm drunk? It's the freakin' weekend, baby I'm about to have me some fun" is the most quoted bit. It's the heart of the song. It's a message that transcends the specifics of the party R is talking about.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:27 AM on March 23, 2012


The extent to which you don't need to be like R. Kelly to understand that is summed up nicely by the fact that I received an invitation to a party recently which took the (rather long) form of a grant proposal for the study of panmixia(random mating) which claimed that the experiment would work "by creating a joy-based environment in which test subjects will be like, 'so what I'm drunk,' 'it's the freakin' weekend' and 'baby I'm about to have me some fun.'"

These people were hardcore nerds, rather unlike the people R. Kelly sings about, but those lyrics stay with you.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:32 AM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Did I see "Prayer to God" on there? My favorite Shellac song.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:38 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bulgaroktonos, I'm feelin what you feelin.

My love of R. Kelly began sophomore year when I switched colleges and found myself in a far more demanding program than what I was adjusted to. That first term I studied all week long, all day long, and much of the long night as well, just to keep afloat. Even on Friday afternoon my roommate and I woud be sitting silently in our doom room over the books, but every Friday round about 6pm our neighbors would start to blare Ignition (Remix). Wordlessly my roommate and I would turn to each other and nod. The rum came down from the shelf, the coke from the fridge, it was the freakin weekend and goddamn if we weren't going to have some fun.
posted by Hoenikker at 10:41 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just RSVPed for a wedding, and was debating on whether or not to put this song down for "I promise to dance if this song comes on:" This thread made me go ahead and do it.

I played this song at my wedding. It was on our playlist.


This was the penultimate song we played at our reception, and it brought the motherfuckin' house down.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:12 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now y'all are just making me sad that I doubt they're going to play this at the next wedding reception I go to.

I don't specifically recall it getting played at any I've been to before, but considering that one of those weddings featured a groom who played R. Kelly in a comedy sketch based off the original Ignition, it seems doubtful that it wouldn't have made it on the play list.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:28 AM on March 23, 2012


This thread has solidifed my opinion of Ignition (Remix) as possibly one of the best songs ever. I mean I knew I loved the song, but the analysis and discussion over it is amazing. I have no particularly fond memories of Ignition other than it makes me smile and I won't ever change the station if it's playing.
posted by lizarrd at 11:43 AM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


katullus, i'd just like to applaud your use of the word "pisstake," which obviously is particularly apt in this situation, but in general, is a noun that i had not heard before, but will use in the future.
posted by beukeboom at 11:55 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Its R. Kelly week y'all

Golden showering on and off this whole week. Pack an umbrella.
posted by karathrace at 11:57 AM on March 23, 2012


David Rees (of Get Your War On fame) raving hilariously about his top 10 favorite YouTube videos of people singing or dancing to Ignition (Remix) as part of his delightful Friday Face Offs series.

Wow. Haven't caught up with his site for a bit, that series is great. I haven't had this much fun listening to music in a while. I think reading John Darnielle's/fans review helped prime me for it. It's always apparent just how much he really enjoys music.
posted by nTeleKy at 11:57 AM on March 23, 2012


"We got food everywhere, as if the party were catered" is one of my favorite lyrics in all of pop music.

I never noticed (until Metafilter's own Jesse Thorn pointed it out on the JJGO podcast) that the key part is the "as if the party were catered" implying that the party was not, in fact, catered. Probably Kels spent the whole day baking cupcakes and making pasta salad. Or maybe it was a pot luck or something.
posted by mhum at 1:49 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


The beauty of R. Kelly is that he's so talented, that the vast majority of his output is just him fucking around. But when approached to write a song for a looney tunes movie starring Michael Jordan, He comes up with I believe I can fly, which is a really great song that has no place in a movie about cartoons playing basketball.

And for all the goofy stuff like Real Talk and Trapped in the closet, he can still drop gems like When a woman loves. It's boggles my mind that this is the same person who wrote the song "Feelin on yo booty"

I have no doubt that he's completely insane.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:38 PM on March 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


Bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce. Bounce bounce bounce.
posted by donajo at 3:12 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


More R. Kelly what-the-fuck: Sex Weed and In the Kitchen (which actually has a similar bloop-y sound as Trapped in the Closet).
posted by pised at 3:55 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


My fave R Kelly cover is by Bonnie Prince Billy. Beautiful song.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 4:32 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love this, but it's sad that I can't click a button to send $0.99 to the Onion to split between themselves, R. Kelly, and Young the Giant for a legit copy...
posted by togdon at 8:10 PM on March 23, 2012


David Rees (of Get Your War On fame) raving hilariously about his top 10 favorite YouTube videos of people singing or dancing to Ignition (Remix) as part of his delightful Friday Face Offs series.
Every time I hear Ignition (Remix), I think of the Friday Face-Off for it interpreted in ASL. I FEEL STRONG JOY.
posted by knile at 2:33 PM on March 24, 2012


This year's Undercover has started strong (I credit the song selection for some of this, since this year's song list is much better than previous years'). Anyway, Punch Brothers did a thoroughly enjoyable bluegrass version of Just What I Needed.
posted by Copronymus at 5:02 PM on April 4, 2012


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