Archive for the ‘Pop Culture’ Category

 

Making a quote from Marilyn Monroe or Coco Chanel your mantra makes you a dipshit, and if you don’t know who Holly Golightly is, take down the Audrey Hepburn poster* you bought at Spencer’s, you lemming.

<3,

Toxpop

*It’s the one with the woman wearing black gloves, holding a cigarette holder.

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Don't tell anyone I suck

For the record, Wiz Khalifa is not very good. If you’re a self-respecting adult, you know this. If you’re rolling on E and suffering from heat stroke at Coachella, you apparently don’t because he was one of the most anticipated performers at the event this year. Of course, popular opinion is negligible when it comes from wayfarer wearing scum who pay $300 to listen to 4 bands play at the same time, but it’s still mind blowing. As a lyricist, he’s an abject failure. Exhibit A:

I’m sipping Clicquot and rocking yellow diamonds

So many rocks up in my watch I can’t tell what the time is

Gotta pocket full of big faces

Throw it up cuz every nigga that I’m with tailored

First, lest you think that was a cherry picked quote from Khalifa at his weakest, this is an excerpt from his biggest hit, “Black and Yellow.” Now, it’s a bit of a rube’s game to sit back and say, “Wait a minute, those lyrics don’t rhyme” (though they don’t). You’ll get no argument here about the free verse cop out, but we’ll give Wiz and Walt Whitman the same license. However, it’s fair game to say, “Wait a minute, those lyrics don’t make any fucking sense,” because they don’t. Why does your friends having tailored clothing necessitate..forget it.

And his voice is worse than his rhymes.

Somehow, despite running a deficit on talent, there is this idea going around that Wiz Khalifa is a completely legitimate recording artist. Enough that he earned Rolling Stone’s “Hip Hop Rookie of the Year” honors. But how could such a fraud take place? Go with us on this:

It's all this bitch's fault

A poisonous concept seeped into the drinking water following the success of Lady Gaga. That being, if you pile on enough bullshit, you don’t have to actually make music. For example, if everyone is talking about your meat dress at the VMAs, no one is talking about the fact that you’re just doing an amped up Madonna bit whenever you aren’t passing off Madonna’s songs as your own.

This notion is slightly different for rappers but it’s the same principle. You can’t show up in a jacket made of Muppet Babies and talk about the streets, but turn that blank canvas you call a torso into a laundry list of virtues like “Faith” and “Honor” written in cursive, and you’re well on your way to instant eccentric artist status. Now take pictures of pot smoke rolling out of your nostrils and get a little crazy with the hairstyle so everyone knows you’re not gonna play by society’s rules. Boom! You are the mean street equivalent to Queen Green up there.

Apparently it has to be put it into words; having a whacky wardrobe and/or a lot of tattoos doesn’t make you creative or talented by default. This goes for you too Lil Wayne, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, and Soulja Boy Tell Em (A Toxpop favorite). If one more brain dead bitch or jerk off college freshman tries to argue “Weezy is so deep,” things are gonna get real punched-in-the-facey, because no he fucking isn’t. The oddball musician act is a little transparent, and without an actual musical act to back it up, it’s a little sad. These people are  really just one-upping, clown-ass, caricatures of cartoons. And they’re about as artistically relevant as a caricature compared to Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam.

Jay-Z goes to his concerts in jeans and a t-shirt and puts down maybe the best rap music ever. When Alicia Keys takes a break from being the hottest woman in music to wail on the piano and belt out a hit she wrote herself,  it’s perfection personified. These two worked together in 2009 and recorded one of the best songs of the year, “Empire State of Mind.” Dread the day that Gaga and Khalifa collaborate, but keep your fingers crossed that the dizzy mooks who gobble that shit up also get seconds on the Kool-Aid.

Len Bias was a star basketball player for the University of Maryland, and second overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft. He was a young man with a bright future and seemingly endless potential, ready to become a premiere player in the league.  Unfortunately, he spent more time in front of lines on a mirror than taking practice shots at the free throw line, so he’s dead now.  He never played a game for the Celtics. And though his story is a sad case, it’s a prime example of a basic fact that we’d rather ignore as a society, namely, that young, rich and famous is a combination nearly as deadly as old, broke and Ethiopian.  Amazingly, only one thing has changed since Bias’ day. Kids are certainly still morons, and we’ll always worship sports figures like gods, but professional paychecks have grown exponentially since the 1980s. Now there is even a push to begin compensating student-athletes in college.

Apparently, not being tens of thousands of dollars in debt from school loans, like most of their peers, isn’t sufficient. These all-stars want what’s coming to them, damn it! Especially if that includes enough royalties to lease a Maybach they can go barhopping in while they play fast and loose with the meaning of a solid yellow line. Anyone who attended a university where the sports teams were even just mediocre can probably speak to the obnoxious behavior of the most insignificant of third-string, weak-side linebackers. You start kicking out paychecks or stipends to young men (let’s be honest, we’re talking about guys) with type A personalities, who already crash frat keggers like it’s a finger-fucking freshman free for all, you’re begging for trouble. Entitling those with an over-inflated sense of entitlement to an allowance and expecting no negative consequences is like buying a toddler a pony every week and then acting surprised when the tot grows up to be a complete asshole…also the toddler can bench 325. These are kids as well. You almost (almost) can’t blame them.

This isn’t to suggest that some guys wouldn’t need and use the money for legitimate purposes. Plenty of families can’t afford to send their children to school and still can’t afford daily living costs once school is paid for, so they claim to need financial assistance. Fine. We’ll give you that, but rather than specifically “financial,” let’s just offer assistance. You need groceries? Here’s a check made out to Sam’s Club, don’t spend it all on Doritos. Rent’s due? Give us your landlord’s address.  Car broke down? We got a deal with the tech school up the street. See how many problems we solved without anyone buying an eight ball?

Would you look at that jackass. That’s recording artist person Soulja Boi Tell ‘Em, and not to be overly critical of a 20 year old, one of the worst things to happen to pop culture since ever. His most successful tracks to date include future classics like  “Turn My Swag On” and “Pretty Boy Swag,” catchy numbers that talk about the importance of education and supporting your community. J/K LOL! They’re about casual sex, diamonds and coming up with hits in the studio, which makes him sound a lot like everyone else who now uses the word “swag.” As a horrified public have realized, it’s become not only accepted but popular in recent years to refer to one’s own “swag.” Legions of unsigned rappers can’t help but incorporate the term in their shitty demos and myspace user names. That, or they throw in some reference to being royalty, though it’s doubtful real kings buy their intricately patterned Ecko jeans at T.J. Maxx. But that’s tangent.

For the sake of discussion, we will accept “swag” to be the modern instantiation of “cool.” But if that’s the case, what Tell ‘Em and those of his ilk are doing is running around telling people how cool they are. Since when do assholes get away with that? Here’s a quote for your consideration, said by a pretty cool guy: “if I were cool and I told you I was cool, I wouldn’t be cool.” By the way, the part about the speaker of the quote being cool was a flat out lie because John Kerry said that. John fucking Kerry. The guy everyone thought was too wooden to beat the guy everyone thought was mentally retarded, grasps that concept.

Frank Sinatra Arrested in '38 for...wait for it....Seduction and Adultery

Here’s the deal, the measurement for coolness is and always will be Sinatras. Getting arrested for being too damn good with the dames = 10 Sinatras out of 10. However, Sinatra in a vacuum = 0. And that ‘s exactly the point that surprisingly seems to escape  the young man wearing an ice cream cone covered hoodie. Your “swag” level is the product of observer perception. Frank by himself really has no coolness to speak of without bloggers to point it out and married women to plow. It’s up to the audience to attribute swagger, and if you have to tell us how much “swag” you have, that’s about as uncool as it gets.