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Is the whole better than the sum of its parts?
January 2, 2008 5:54 PM   Subscribe

The 25 Most Popular Tracks of 2007, as calculated by Billboard and interpreted by DJ Earworm.

I make no implications as to the quality of the best of 2007.
posted by flatluigi (74 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
The mix is really well done.
posted by null terminated at 6:04 PM on January 2, 2008


Very cool.
posted by MythMaker at 6:17 PM on January 2, 2008


Here's where I earn my indie cred by saying I haven't heard any of the top 100 on the Billboard link.

That is how this thing works, right?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:22 PM on January 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


i have a nice cottage in upstate new york you can buy with that indie cred.
posted by empath at 6:29 PM on January 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


Wrong. Pitchfork you loved Umbrella, remember?
posted by aqhong at 6:30 PM on January 2, 2008


I hate to say it, but the excellent quality of that remix did absolutely nothing to help the original material.
posted by slogger at 6:35 PM on January 2, 2008


I hate love to say it, but the excellent quality of that remix did absolutely nothing to help the original material.

Me too.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:40 PM on January 2, 2008


That was more Auto-Tune than I could handle.
posted by bobo123 at 6:40 PM on January 2, 2008


What slogger said :(
posted by Count Ziggurat at 6:42 PM on January 2, 2008


Me, I thought it was an impressive way to improve on 'em all. So hard to please.
posted by Avenger50 at 6:44 PM on January 2, 2008


That was interesting, but have you dug around the rest of the site? Some very nice mashups there.
posted by maudlin at 6:46 PM on January 2, 2008


Okay, I heard Hey There Delilah several times this summer, but it got old and annoying fast. The two other songs I recognized on the whole list where that Finger Eleven song that sounded good the first time you heard it but then you realized it wasn't really that good and the one by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Whose songs have all sounded exactly alike for the last fifteen years.

I'm too afraid to listen to the mix.
posted by yhbc at 6:49 PM on January 2, 2008


Awesome.

anyone recognize the sample that appears at 2:06-08 and elsewhere? sounds like they're saying "A N O R" or something? what is that from?
posted by Muffpub at 7:10 PM on January 2, 2008


Ha, what a coincidence, I've been working on the same exact project. Here are my results:

The 25 Most Popular Tracks of 2007, as calculated by Billboard and interpreted by Christ, what an asshole.

Is that a brow, good sir? It looks quite high!
Mmmyes, indeed it is. Yours is very fine as well, much like a robust mane.
High brow?
Mmmyes, slap me some hair!
Low brow?
Mmmnno, I'm above that, quite literally.

posted by Christ, what an asshole at 7:10 PM on January 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Muff: It's A-L-O-R from Fergie's "Glamorous."
posted by flatluigi at 7:18 PM on January 2, 2008


Is it a sad sign of homogeneity that mixing the top 25 most popular songs was possible without timing / harmonic conflicts that were unresolvable?

Or is it a testament to DJ Earworm's extremal impressive abilities? ( earworm; really??)

I recognize like 4, I feel special.
posted by oblio_one at 7:23 PM on January 2, 2008


I swear I thought the title of this post was "Is the whale better than the sum of its pants?"
posted by katillathehun at 7:23 PM on January 2, 2008


Er, it's A-M-O-R.
ffs, she spells it FOR me and I still manage to mess it up.
posted by flatluigi at 7:24 PM on January 2, 2008


I shut it off after five seconds as I sick of hip hop. Guess I'll go listen to some Lawrence Welk now.
posted by chips ahoy at 7:26 PM on January 2, 2008


I'm kinda sad people here are mostly too busy to note that (1) this is an interesting piece of art with its own merits (ie. answer the question in the title, people!), (2) this good copycat marketing on DJ Earworm's part, since it has a decent chance of producing controversy and potentially legal pressure on him, which will get him a lot of free press (see DJ Dangermouse), and (3) this kind of art is fantastic ammo for those of us who would like to see a more sane approach to copyright, so we should do our part to make sure that it gets press more press. Thank you, flatluigi.

Disclosure: I work for ibiblio.org and we're hosting DJ Spooky next month, so I have a motive to drum up interest. :)

And, to answer the question: yes, the whole is much better than the sum of its parts.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 7:31 PM on January 2, 2008


DMCA in 3 … 2 …
posted by parhamr at 7:34 PM on January 2, 2008


That reminds me, The Best of Bootie 2007 compilation is also out now. Get it while it's fresh.
posted by BartFargo at 7:54 PM on January 2, 2008


tarheel: I've been into mashups for a while now and I've stopped thinking about the copyright issue for the major part. Mashups are, for the large part, illegal. It's unreasonable for most DJs to try to clear every sample before creating a track, unthinkable for some little teen tooling around in his bedroom to try to do it, and impossible if the artists (The Beatles, for one) are completely against samples. Some have taken a good stab at it, but most others don't even try. I'd love to see mashups taken under the copyright umbrella that parody is under, but it doesn't seem like it'll happen.
posted by flatluigi at 8:03 PM on January 2, 2008


This is fantastic. I mean, I have a huge soft spot for over-produced pop music (lots of it is so meticulously crafted that the overall sound is really compelling, even if the song is garbage), but this is good even aside from my pop-lust. Also, 2007 was a pretty good year for pop music.

(Why are the hihats so smeary in a 320kpbs MP3, though? Ugh.)
posted by uncleozzy at 8:15 PM on January 2, 2008


Well I don't generally listen to pop music, so none of the songs on this thing ring a bell with me. I can't really tell where one song ends and the other begins beyond obvious guesses. I'm presuming that each voice is from a different song. That's about as far as I can guess.

With that said, this piece by itself is a nice sound. It's fun. Not my normal thing but after listening to Santastic 1-3 I've acquired a taste for this frankenstein approach to making new music out of old. Usually over-processed doesn't work for me, but with frankie music, it applies.

So it gets a thumbs up from me.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:40 PM on January 2, 2008


...but I gotta admit this sounds a bit more my speed. I'm an old fart.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:45 PM on January 2, 2008


Boring! Aural NOISE! Junk! This stuff is so overproduced, and monotonous - no wonder it's on the Billboard list. I've been in the music biz - on and off - for quite some time, and t he absolute quality of crappy music has proliferated faster than mushrooms on a damp forest floor.

Also, this stuff is WAY OVERCOMPRESSED - no dynamic range. It's just crap, period.

Then, maybe I'm getting old, or could it be that there is so much more interesting and exciting stuff out there than this lame Billboard list suggests.

Just for Love, for the love of music, look past Billboard, and the whimpering idiots behind the contemporary pop scene.

Harrumph!
posted by MetaMan at 8:59 PM on January 2, 2008


This could be mistaken for a Girl Talk track, if he decided to limit himself to one year and a very, very few types of music.
posted by sparkletone at 9:07 PM on January 2, 2008


2007 was a funny year in music.

There are three Nickelback songs on that list.

And can you believe the phenomenon that is "CRANK THAT (SOULJA BOY)"!?

I personally enjoy Diplo's remix.
posted by ageispolis at 9:16 PM on January 2, 2008


Eh. Even Diplo couldn't save that song with his usual tricks.

Thanks for that Best of Bootie link, BartFargo. This track from '05 is fucking rad.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:26 PM on January 2, 2008


Note that Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus is nowhere to be found on the list. Kind of amazing, that. Who needs airplay nowadays?

Also, fun trivia: one of her songs totally rips off the chorus of "Sunglasses at Night".
posted by smackfu at 9:31 PM on January 2, 2008


Before you led me to this man's site, I had no idea that Dolly Parton covered Stairway to Heaven. And I was comfortable in my ignorance.
posted by zylocomotion at 9:34 PM on January 2, 2008


Is it a sad sign of homogeneity that mixing the top 25 most popular songs was possible without timing / harmonic conflicts that were unresolvable?

He just put them all over the Umbrella beat, which ends up making them all sound monotonous and ruins any interesting bits they had.
posted by smackfu at 9:38 PM on January 2, 2008


Metaman: I love Imogen Heap and I think it's absolutely funny that the one song that got on the charts was dipped in effects. Pop music just isn't that good, which is why most of the music I listen to is mashups, where a typical song can have so many interpretations.

PS: Those three mashups are by Pheugoo, Party Ben, and DJ Topcat respectively.
PPS: In an amusing coincidence, I've had this mashup on repeat for quite a bit today, including when I read your post.
posted by flatluigi at 9:46 PM on January 2, 2008


uncleozy:
The reason the hihats are distorted like that is probably due to a time stretch algorhythm used by either the CDJ's he is looping that sample on or by the sampling software he used to create the sample.
As far as everything being "in key", you can pick out several of the samples being pitch-shifted to match a common key. You can do a lot of crazy shit with software these days.

The real question would be whether he could do something like this without a computer and just running it through a 4 x 4 CDJ and mixer rig. I know you can do the pitch shifting on the CDJ-1000's and the high-end Numarks, and they allow you to set cue points and play MP3 CD's, so loading up a disk with all the samples would be pretty easy, but cueing them and running the sequence would probably require setting up a MIDI controller and a sequencer cue track.

The best DJ's I've ever seen similar stuff to this using 2 turntables/CDJ's and a beat sequencer/sampler. It is surprisingly simple once you get a hang of cutting to the hooks of each song and dropping them back and forth. You can hear 20 songs in 20 minutes sometimes when a DJ really has his cue points set.
posted by daq at 10:54 PM on January 2, 2008


i'm betting he used ableton live not cdjs.

I could have probably put this together in 2 hours or so. It's not that hard to do.

Also, the Cousin Cole remix of Soulja Boy is the best one.
posted by empath at 11:24 PM on January 2, 2008


i'm betting he used ableton live not cdjs.

Me too. Ableton makes doing stuff like this surprisingly trivial to accomplish. It's easy to timestretch and pitch tune each individual sample in order to make it all fit.

The point about it all sounding similar is valid, nevertheless. At least half of those songs employed T-Pain to sing the chorus, who is a leading example of the whole "turn Autotune up all the way so it glitch-pitches and you sound like a robot" school of thought which is so popular today. Then other people hear that and say "But I want my voice to sound like the songs on the radio!" so it perpetuates, much like the whole Loudness War issue.
posted by First Post at 11:40 PM on January 2, 2008


i have a nice cottage in upstate new york you can buy with that indie cred.
posted by empath at 6:29 PM on January 2 [1 favorite +] [!]


David Cross fan, I see?
posted by basicchannel at 11:44 PM on January 2, 2008


That's right basicchannel. You got the joke!

Anyway, what's even funnier about those three Nickelback songs being there is that that album was released in 2005...
posted by Captaintripps at 4:40 AM on January 3, 2008


Very cool, but seconding the ableton live thing. If you had a beat and all the accapellas, this would take under 2 hours.
posted by cmicali at 5:24 AM on January 3, 2008


it perpetuates, much like the whole Loudness War issue.

I like my dynamics as dynamic as the next guy, but the loudness war is also a reflection of how people are listening to music. A broad dynamic range is fine when you're listening on a record at home, but how about in the car? Well, the radio squashes the holy hell out of everything, which has the pleasant side-effect of making it easy to hear over the rumble of the highway. But now we have tapes in the car. CDs. Let's compress the source a little, so people can hear them. Okay, now take it a step further, when people are listening to low-bitrate MP3s on lousy headphones on the school bus or the subway. Let's make it a little louder, nobody's going to hear the quiet material anyhow. And so it goes. I like dynamic material, but it just doesn't cut it in pop anymore.

If you had a beat and all the accapellas, this would take under 2 hours.

Because 100% of art is in the execution.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:48 AM on January 3, 2008


Wow, there are a lot of really bad songs on that top 100, I'm thinking of Umbrella in particular... And who the heck is this Akon guy (oh wait he did Smack That, ugh...) and why does everyone want a song featuring his incredibly annoying voice?

Sigh... I'm so out when it comes to pop.
posted by Vindaloo at 6:56 AM on January 3, 2008


At least half of those songs employed T-Pain to sing the chorus, who is a leading example of the whole "turn Autotune up all the way so it glitch-pitches and you sound like a robot" school of thought which is so popular today.

This, kids, is why you should never be sitting in front of your computer with ProTools/Logic open and think to yourself, "Man, it's so cool when Daft Punk does it..." and then not change whatever it is that you're doing that they've also done.

(Not that I dislike messed with vocals, or even pointedly messed with ones. My favorite use of auto-tune ever is probably the first track on radiohead's Amnesiac. They employ just a hint of it to give Thom's voice this very leaden, dead feeling without it quite sounding like he's really being corrected/messed with. My favorite vocals of this year just might be the cut up/fucked with stuff on the first proper track of the second Burial album. Shit can be beautiful, yo.)
posted by sparkletone at 7:26 AM on January 3, 2008


Here's where I earn my indie cred by saying I haven't heard any of the top 100 on the Billboard link.

You've got it backwards. You get more indie cred if you have heard these songs.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:27 AM on January 3, 2008


Well, rap tracks are easier to mashup, and ableton makes it easier, but considering how many crappy mashups there are out there, I'd say it's not as easy as you guys make it seem. For instance, all the shitty songs that are in this mashup are made palatable by Earworm taking the theme from "Umbrella" and making it a huge, cinematic swell that overtakes everything else. That takes some invention.

My favorite Earworm track still has to be No one takes your freedom, which is pretty darn clever by most standards.
posted by fungible at 7:46 AM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damn, fungible beat me to it...'No one takes your freedom' is the only mashup i still listen to on a regular basis...
posted by schyler523 at 8:05 AM on January 3, 2008


Wearing my old-man's pants hiked up to my nipples and looking at the Billboard chart, I have to ask: when did diversity leave the Top 100 with quality in its wake? With very few exceptions--among them, the inescapable Idol detritus--hip-hop/rap commands the charts with a pervasiveness that was absent even at the high-water mark of the British Invasion or disco or new wave or grunge or...

I can't comment on the extent to which SoundScan affected/reflected listening trends, but it seems that its use alone can't explain the ubiquity of hip-hop/rap-inflected songs in the marketplace. Which wouldn't be a problem per se except for the fact that the songs are generally crap. And their craptitude is not helped by the fact that a few performers seem to float like a bad smell from song to song, lending a sameness to the genre as a whole.

I'd point my bony finger at young whites who've decided that hip-hop/rap is the ideal music to feature the 1000-watt subs installed in their wretched birthday SUVs but the cold, damp weather has aggravated my rheumatizz something awful...
posted by the sobsister at 10:45 AM on January 3, 2008


I'm not sure how you're counting hip-hop/rap. I'd say 35 of the top 100 would be in that genre. R&B isn't hip-hop. Look at the top-10... the only hip-hop is T-Pain and Akon, if they even count.
posted by smackfu at 11:07 AM on January 3, 2008


smackfu, I'd say that the lines between much of R&B and hip-hop/rap have been smudged to the point where there are more similarities than differences, particularly in the production, i.e., the beats, the arrangements, the mixing. I don't want to overstate my case my claiming that there's nothing but hip-hop/rap on the charts, but I would say that the absence of a featured rapper does not mean that a track is not hip-hop/rap-flavored by design.
posted by the sobsister at 11:36 AM on January 3, 2008


Which wouldn't be a problem per se except for the fact that the songs are generally crap

young whites who've decided that hip-hop/rap is the ideal music to feature the 1000-watt subs installed in their wretched birthday SUVs

You've sure got that irrelevant old man act nailed.
posted by cillit bang at 12:27 PM on January 3, 2008


Paging spiderwire... confirm I'm not spouting nonsense?

I hear you. Clearly under black letter law as it stands, this sort of art is "illegal" in that the original composers and/or performance artists can sue for damages. Furthermore, depending on how it is performed or distributed, criminal law might come into play. Girl Talk and others do amazing work, and it's a shame that our country has a copyright system that puts up barriers to their art.

What I was trying to say is that I think most reasonable people would acknowledge that this is art, and that the law as it stands sucks. We should protect and promote this kind of innovation.

The standard of Fair Use (what applies to parody), doesn't make something "legal" btw. Fair Use is an affirmative defense that you can use if you're sued. You don't want to be sued, even if you "win".

It's sad that over the course of our national history we've slid from copyright infringement as mostly a civil matter, with the bar for what constitutes criminal infringement fairly high and the penalties fairly low. The slide has had several dramatic jumps, however; the DMCA was a tragic watershed.

:(

Thank heavens for EFF, Creative Commons, and others who are fighting the good fight within the bounds of current law. cough ibiblio cough.

Keep up with the mashups! (But be careful how/where you share them! That might be illegal! IANAL!) Thanks for this post!
posted by tarheelcoxn at 12:36 PM on January 3, 2008


Why, thank you, cillit bang.
And what a useful contribution you've made to this conversation.
posted by the sobsister at 12:40 PM on January 3, 2008


"smackfu, I'd say that the lines between much of R&B and hip-hop/rap have been smudged to the point where there are more similarities than differences, particularly in the production, i.e., the beats, the arrangements, the mixing. I don't want to overstate my case my claiming that there's nothing but hip-hop/rap on the charts, but I would say that the absence of a featured rapper does not mean that a track is not hip-hop/rap-flavored by design."

Maybe the problem is more you not knowing what the fuck you're talking about? I mean, because that's the general reason that my grandparents thought that all that rock and roll sounded the same and was noise, or why my parents took a long time to come around to electronic music. Hell, I even spouted some of that same nonsense back when I was in middle school and thought I knew everything about music.

But congrats, Metafilter, on another music thread full of "I'm old and I like it!" bullshit! There's been some great pop this year, but at least when I haven't listened to enough of the top 100 to be a reliable guide, I'm willing to step back and not make generalizations about it.
posted by klangklangston at 1:13 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


klangklangston, take a deep breath, dear.
All better?
Alright, then. What's your point? That you disagree with my opinion that there are many similarities between contemporary R&B and hip-hop/rap? Or that you disagree with my opinion that much of what litters the Top 100 is irredeemable crap?

Your assertion-by-question that I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about followed an excerpted quote concerning the former, but then you launched into the old-folks-think-it's-all-noise bit which would seem to refer to the latter.

Here's a good rule-of-thumb: after venting your little piss'n'vinegar rants into the comment box, make a point of checking the Live Preview to see if they're within spitting distance of cogent or even coherent.
Would you do that for me?
Thanks.
posted by the sobsister at 2:38 PM on January 3, 2008


Ok, sobsister, I'll do that for you:

Your assertion was that modern r 'n' b and rap have many similarities. That means fuck-all. Here's why: modern rap, modern rock, modern pop, modern country, they all have "many similarities." They often involve the same people working on the music, either behind the boards or in the tracks. The similarities have nothing to do with hip hop qua hip hop.

But to argue that there's some sort of connection between hip-hop flavoring and quality, or between hip-hop flavoring and appearing on the top 100 is, frankly, retarded, and something that someone who knew anything about modern music wouldn't put forth as a reasonable thesis.

I mean, if you knew what you were talking about, you'd realize that hip hop wasn't much of an influence on Michael Jackson, and that Rihanna's album pulls far more from Quincy Jones-era funk than from the occasional Jay Z guest-rap (including some fairly literal bites), and that albums that can be fairly reasonably categorized as rock, like the most recent Fall Out Boy, have the same level of overt hip-hop influence—and that, especially outside of the charts, there's no predictor tracking hip hop as detrimental to artistic success?

You'd also realize that nigh on everything on the pop charts has had some hip hop influence since, well, about the early '80s. So trying to claim there's some magical quiddity about current music that has more hip hop influence than, say, five years ago, is as retarded as making a serious stand about the ongoing and detrimental influence of Edgar Varese on modern music (that damn Concréte made sampling acceptable!).

But instead, it's the same reasoning that makes Jan and Dean the same part of "that noise" as Strawberry Alarm Clock or Chocolate Watchband, because it's all "rock." Go back to your pure Lawrence Welk and leave off of stuff you can't understand.
posted by klangklangston at 3:22 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


tarheelcoxn, I think that's essentially correct. The precedent here is Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films (1), which basically says that even de minimis copying of a sound recording -- specifically in the case of sampling -- constitutes infringement.

There is, of course, a fair use argument, but I personally doubt it'd succeed in most cases. I don't think that the Supreme Court has addressed this -- the only case that seems at all relevant is Campbell v. Acuff-Rose (2), and in that case the defendant only escaped because they were making a parody. That case is also distinguishable because it concerns the composition, not the recording -- there's significantly less protection for the latter (3). Also, straight-up copying is very hard to justify under fair use. (4)

Bottom line is that mashups are almost certainly illegal, even if they're not frequently prosecuted (as far as I know).

Two things that might bear mention here:

1. The rule against sampling doesn't seem to match up against reality in some cases, but keep in mind that as recently as the early 90s, a lot of the sampling going on just sort of flew under the radar. A number of prominent DJs (Amon Tobin and DJ Shadow come to mind, IIRC) have pointed out that they probably couldn't make the music they made in the 90s under today's rules.
1a. The fact that this might not have been tested often doesn't mean that it's not a big risk or not illegal.
1b. Not disputing that it sucks.

2. The Grey Album is a special case, I think -- as I recall, Jay-Z made the Black Album publicly available for remixing and mashups, so from word go you knew one side wasn't going to prosecute in that case. That's not true of most other mashups, I think.

(1) 410 F.3d 792, 800-01 (6th Cir. 2005)
(2) 510 U.S. 569 (1994)
(3) Newton v. Diamond, 349 F.3d 591 (9th Cir. 2003) (use of the jazz sample that opens "Pass the Mic" not actionable under de minimis doctrine; distinguishes composition v. sound recordings).
(4) American Geophysical Union, et al. v. Texaco, Inc., 60 F.3d 913 (2d Cir. 1994) (straight-up photocopying is not a transformative use).

posted by spiderwire at 3:37 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


klangklangston, much as I'd like to drag this out all evening, you misunderstand my point(s) and I don't feel like walking you through my argument.

But here's a handy tip you can use: learn to conduct a conversation without sounding like a teenager with Tourette's. It'll clear that pesky I-resemble-a-belligerent-asshole thing right up!
posted by the sobsister at 3:57 PM on January 3, 2008


My opinion, to sidestep any bile currently being spilled, is that there are definitely good songs in every genre (and I do mean every -- Johnny Cash is classified as Country, y'know) and there are definitely gems in music being made today.

However: as in every decade, what is good doesn't equal what is popular. (good song, popular song.)

Of course, neither equals what will last. I'm quite sure that most people have forgotten about KT Tunstall and The Wallflowers to give examples, even though they're both 'recent' artists and had popular songs.

To sum up this post and its multiple revisions: Yes, most of what is on that top 100 list is crap. Those tracks are there because they were promoted well and sold well. No, everything in the same genre of those tracks that topped the charts is not crap.
posted by flatluigi at 4:04 PM on January 3, 2008


But sobsister, it hasn't cleared up the "I sound like an ignorant petite-crank asshole" thing for you, so I'm not sure it's the optimal solution.

I do, however, thank you for not "walking me through" your argument, since that amble is likely to be lengthy and without any worthwhile destination or intelligent scenery.
posted by klangklangston at 4:27 PM on January 3, 2008


The sobsister, you opened the discussion by decalring the ubiquity of hip hop/R&B/etc was an anomaly that needs explaining, as if it was some sort of mistake. You stated that not just one genre, but an entire spectrum genres, was "generally crap". To top it all off, you openly complained about "young whites" listening to, and let's be blunt, black music. That's some caveman bullshit right there.

You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but don't expect to be able to spew such wilfully ignorant crap and not be called on it.
posted by cillit bang at 4:36 PM on January 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


To step into the bile: everyone's entitled to their own opinion, nobody's entitled to changing others'.
posted by flatluigi at 5:36 PM on January 3, 2008


cillit bang, I think the ubiquity of hip-hop/rap on the national level is an anomaly, one unprecedented in post-war American popular music. As such, I'm interested in the phenomenon, including why so much of what I personally and individually consider crap to have risen to the surface. For, as I noted, the ubiquity of hip-hop/rap is not a problem per se, right?
Secondly, my own individual solitary personal opinion is that the vast majority of what's considered Top 100 is crap, "black" and "white" music both. Uninspired, generic, any of the good adjectives that describe music generated solely by commercial considerations and unredeemed even by the serendipity of chance inspiration.
Thirdly, I happen to have an issue with a generation of "young whites" embracing a genre of music that is alien to their personal experience solely for the purpose of appearing hip, hence my reference to them blasting it from the oversized cars that their Daddies bought them. I am not unaware that this is a phenomenon that has occurred before in American cultural history. What I find noteworthy is the scale of the phenomenon and what I find annoying is the pretentiousness of the gesture along with the fact that I don't consider very much of the music to be particularly good. I don't have an issue with hip-hop or rap; never have. I just happen to think that the examples on view in the Billboard Top 100 are lowest common denominator bits of mindlessness.
Does that clear up that whole "willfully ignorant" thing for you? Good.

Oh, and klangklangston, "petite-crank"? "intelligent scenery"? Would you like to conduct this conversation in your native language?
posted by the sobsister at 7:58 PM on January 3, 2008


(please add "seems" to line 2 between "crap" and "to". thank you.)
posted by the sobsister at 8:03 PM on January 3, 2008


Tell us to know noise then will hip-hop if it can, but still with r&b you can bet it will be, I don't see this Akon (who can't remember?). Every time they radio a Billboard we add it too and yes, even country, amirite? Once I even Lawrence Welk, auto-tune apples and bananas in stereo, and I hope you like pajamas too. Off the lawn, we have Puccini.
posted by fidelity at 9:40 PM on January 3, 2008


what?
posted by empath at 10:31 PM on January 3, 2008


It looks like a Microsoft Word auto-summary of the thread. Either that or abstract art. I'm leaning toward the latter.
posted by flatluigi at 10:35 PM on January 3, 2008


"I think the ubiquity of hip-hop/rap on the national level is an anomaly, one unprecedented in post-war American popular music. As such, I'm interested in the phenomenon, including why so much of what I personally and individually consider crap to have risen to the surface. For, as I noted, the ubiquity of hip-hop/rap is not a problem per se, right?"

But how is the ubiquity of hip-hop/rap on the national level an anomaly, "unprecedented in post-war American popular music"? In any way, save that so narrow as to be meaningless, you're just flat wrong—hip-hop comes from a long tradition which has dominated popular music since the late '50s, and there's nothing particularly anomalous about a musical genre becoming most popular some thirty years after it debuted. It's like saying that it's anomalous that rock and pop were the highest charting music in the late '70s. And much as you can tra la la about your personal and individual interest in why crap charts, no one else fucking cares, especially when you demonstrate yourself repeatedly ignorant and given to pretension and condescension instead of insight or criticism.

"Secondly, my own individual solitary personal opinion is that the vast majority of what's considered Top 100 is crap, "black" and "white" music both. Uninspired, generic, any of the good adjectives that describe music generated solely by commercial considerations and unredeemed even by the serendipity of chance inspiration."

And that's the same bullshit opinion that my grandparents held about rock and roll. That it's your individual opinion, veritably held, doesn't matter—it's still retarded.

"Thirdly, I happen to have an issue with a generation of "young whites" embracing a genre of music that is alien to their personal experience solely for the purpose of appearing hip, hence my reference to them blasting it from the oversized cars that their Daddies bought them. I am not unaware that this is a phenomenon that has occurred before in American cultural history. What I find noteworthy is the scale of the phenomenon and what I find annoying is the pretentiousness of the gesture along with the fact that I don't consider very much of the music to be particularly good. I don't have an issue with hip-hop or rap; never have. I just happen to think that the examples on view in the Billboard Top 100 are lowest common denominator bits of mindlessness."

Ah, so you both know the motives of people who listen to the music (they can't simply enjoy, shorn of ulteriors), and confuse your bad faith for pretentiousness on their part? Bullshit, of the first order, feebly disguised by appeals to class and hand-waving about scale, with the ultimate justification of your subjective (and ignorant) taste.

"Does that clear up that whole "willfully ignorant" thing for you? Good."

Yes, you've rather proven the charge. I stand by petite crank, and would apologize for stretching the ambling metaphor, were I not proven right substantively: your longer explanation was fundamentally lacking in worthwhile conclusion and was a tiresome read.
posted by klangklangston at 10:41 PM on January 3, 2008


Almost of third of those songs "Feature" someone. Ugh.

Although it's so far out of my demographic ballpark it's not even the same sport, I do like "U + UR HAND." Pink has always had a nice energy to her. And if you haven't heard "Before He Cheats," you haven't turned on a country radio station in the last year, because I think they're contractually obligated to play it every hour.

I want to tie Hinder to Nickelback and pitch them off the side of a boat into the Marianas Trench. Could someone please find the chick that Hinder guy keeps whining about and arange a pity fuck or something?
posted by Cyrano at 5:17 AM on January 4, 2008


All arguments aside, can we at least agree that Umbrella is a terrible terrible song. Catchy in the way that it'll stick in your head for days, but without a shred of decent lyric anywhere in it.
posted by Vindaloo at 6:01 AM on January 4, 2008


[...] (1) 410 F.3d 792, 800-01 (6th Cir. 2005) [...]

<3 metafilter sometimes
posted by tarheelcoxn at 7:23 AM on January 4, 2008


I love the umbrella vocal. It's on one of the mix cds in my profile (Serious Business). Though I hate the original mix.
posted by empath at 8:26 AM on January 4, 2008


I think the ubiquity of hip-hop/rap on the national level is an anomaly, one unprecedented in post-war American popular music.

Huh? Why? Because it's "black" music? I think most of the country has been listening to "black" music of one sort or another for the last 100 years.

Also: I don't listen to a huge amount of hip-hop, but the hip-hop I listen to (and have been listening to since the mid-'80s) I've listened to because I like, not because I'm trying to be "hip". Listening to music to be hip is stupid. That's how Williamsburg, Brooklyn got the way it is today.

And: DJ Earworm is great. This mashup is no exception. And whether or not anyone on this thread actually has the technical skills to "do it in 2 hours", they probably don't have the same ability to select the right pieces of this and that, and to blend everything together into a harmonious whole.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:36 AM on January 12, 2008


P.S. Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" is knocking my socks off.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:36 AM on January 12, 2008


I put Don't Stop The Music on my year-end mix (it's on my blog, or in that long ND¢ mix thread), but now I'm loving Push Up On It and Breakin' Dishes more.
posted by klangklangston at 10:29 AM on January 12, 2008


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