Tuesday, June 26

Da Shop Boyz: Culturally Retarded or Calling Us Out?


I'm betting you've heard the hip-hop hit "Rock Star" by Da Shop Boyz. At first I thought it was an okay song that reaffirmed the message of smarmy music journalists around the world: rap is the new rock because raw youth believes it to be more dangerous and sexy. But now, upon repeat listens, I'm torn - the song is total bullshit. Maybe.
The lyrics to "Rock Star" offend me on a very personal level: not because of the references to 'hos' and 'bitches,' but because there isn't a current, decent example of a rock star in the whole goddamn song. If you're going to write about pop culture, relevance is key. This of course begs the question: are they intentionally using passe examples as an exercise in irony, or are they really that stupid? Here's a list of the name-checked 'rock stars:'
Pamela (Anderson) - Not a rock star, but sleeps with some of the more famous party guys. Hasn't been even close to sexy for about 15 years.
Marilyn Manson - Is this who rappers consider a rock star? Are rappers 15-year-old Nebraskans living in 1994?
The Osbournes - If they had just mentioned Ozzy, it would have been fine. He does a ton of drugs, like rockstars are supposed to. But to bring in the whole family (on a golf course, no less) takes the bite out of the premise.
Travis Barker - I know who he is, but I really don't care. Does anyone care? I have no idea.
"cowabunga/totally dude" - Were the Ninja Turtles rock stars, or is this the key to everything? No one likes dead slang.
So what do you think? Are Da Shop Boyz totally ignorant of the rock music culture they profess to live, or are they taking the piss out of rock fans for not having any new icons? Or am I way overthinking a mildly catchy dance song?

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2 Comments:

Blogger jamiecarroll said...

I'm guessing it's total ignorance, but really, let's say you were going to use "current" rock stars...who would that be? Bono? Chris Martin? Thom Yorke?

Could the rock star, as we know it, be facing extinction?

9:35 AM  
Blogger Juan Horsetown said...

No, there are no current rock stars.

But don't you remember that the Ninja Turtles created a "rock band," which was guys dressed up at the Turtles and singing about eating pizza and other ill shit? I never saw the show or heard the record, but I do remember from the 1,000s of commercials the lines,
"We're the turtles
You can count on us."

11:39 AM  

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