Monday, August 3, 2009

Worst. Lyrics. Ever.

I hereby nominate Kanye West for the dubious distinction of writing the worst song lyrics to have ever been written by mankind. I dare say ALL of our blues night lyrics in 222 - despite the fact that almost all of them involved rhyming "blue" and "poo" - were Shakespearean sonnets by comparison. Are you ready for this? Here it is:

Tell me now can you make it past your caspers

So we can finally fly off into NASA?

Kanye West, Knock You Down

Now, I could have put all his lyrics from this three artist effort in as the submission, but honestly, these two lines were all I needed. Also, they were profane, and this is a family blog. So, how doth this lyric suck? Let me count the ways...

  1. First off, in the context of the verse, this is supposed to be a couplet. A couplet is a pair of lines that rhyme. Caspers and NASA do not rhyme. Even if your English pronunciation is atrocious, they don't rhyme. It doesn't even qualify as slant rhyme. And you might claim that caspers was supposed to rhyme with past, but that's crap, because if so something similar would have been done in the second line - which we'll get to in a moment. There's no rhyme. The next two lines are a couplet, suggesting that the artist knows how to do them. Unfortunately, this attempt is an epic failure.
  2. A couplet is also supposed to have the same meter. Meter in poetry is the rhythmic structure. I would do an analysis of the meter here, but not only do the lines not have the same meter, there's no discernable poetic meter in either of them! I tried to figure it out, and it was a complete waste of time.
  3. I know, I know, meter and rhyme is no longer required for something to be called poetry (which is retarded, but unfortunately true in our retarded society). However, both are still very important for music, and even more important still in rap music. Since you don't have a melody to tie the lyrics into a song with rap, you really on rhyme and rhythm to do it. In fact, many rappers often rap about their ability to rhyme and having rhythm. (A discussion about how including your own name in a song automatically makes it suck is beyond the scope of this essay.) Because this rap lyric has no rhyme, no meter, and hence, no rhythm, it doubly sucks. You could get away with this in the verse of a country song, maybe, but as the lead-off couplet of a rap verse? WOW. Epic failure.
  4. Now let's get to content. I want to get the obvious out of the way right now. "Fly off into NASA?" That makes NO SENSE! You want to fly off into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration? You want to fly off into a government agency? Huh? NASA != space! NASA is not even a place, it's an abstract organization with locations throughout the United States, including Cape Canaveral, Florida and Houston, Texas, among several others. Now, I guess you might use NASA as a metaphor for space, if you needed NASA for the rhyme. But we've clearly established that YOU DON'T! RETARDED!
  5. Caspers? I'm guessing this is a substitute for ghosts, which are a metaphor that haunt someone that's scared of the future because of past events. However, I've got problems with it. First, Casper is a name, not a ghost. It has many uses besides that of a name for a ghost, including a city in Wyoming. However, even as the name of a ghost, it should be noted that the full title of the ghost is "Casper the Friendly Ghost." Ashley is deathly afraid of ghosts, and yet I have witnessed her watching a Casper the Friendly Ghost movie without any problems! Maybe that doesn't seem to matter, but think about it: if the reason for using Casper was as a substitute for ghost, for a metaphor as I explained above, the fact that Casper is a friendly ghost completely destroys the very metaphor you were attempting to create!
  6. Let's put it all together now. So, you're singing about someone that needs to get past their friendly memories so that you can figuratively fly off together into a government agency with no specific locality? Holy crap, that sucks! Why do they need to get past their friendly memories? Why do you need to go to NASA? What do either of those to things mean in the context of a love song? And why does this keep getting airtime on my radio?!
  7. This song is a three person effort, and you still have crap like this in it? I'd have better luck with three monkeys on typewriters... Maybe that old joke about monkeys, typewriters, and Shakespeare should be updated to include hip-hop artists...
Wake up, people. I could similarly destroy most of the rest of this song, as well, but it's not worth my time. Is this really all you need to be a millionaire recording artist? Because I can write crap like this in my sleep.

Lest ye doubt me, observe how easy it is for me to change very little of this lyric to make it rhyme, make the lines have similar meter, and preserve the intended-yet-poorly-executed meaning of the original. Behold:

Tell me now, can you make it past your poltergeists

So we can finally fly off into higher heights?

See? Simple. Poltergeists are also ghosts like casper, but they're scary. Higher heights are somewhere you would actually fly to that make sense in the context of the song. In fact, it's somewhere NASA flies off to frequently. That change took me 15 seconds, tops, to think of. Not hard.

Anyway, I'm done. I'd love to hear any suggestions you have for the "Worst. Lyrics. Ever." Award, but you better be able to back it up.

P.S. Pay no attention to the songs in the player to the right. Presence on this blog - with the exception of "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" - does not constitute my approval of the lyrics, message, content, melody, beat, rhythm, meter, rhyme, quality, implications, declarations, or defecations of said songs. In fact, I think some of them (guess which?) are some of the most idiotic ramblings ever recorded by mankind, and can only be called music by such a loose definition as would render the term utterly meaningless. I pick my battles. "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" is on there, which is an excellent song presenting a dizzying variety of musical styles and talents. Also, it's freaking hilarious, and I love it.


Mandy said...

Bahahah!!! The first time I was so offended! - I did, however, laugh pretty hard. I heard these lyrics today (the rest of the song is rhymed in doubles):

"My momma told me don't lose you,
cause the best luck I had was you."

..... not as TOTALLY messed up as your example. But who rhymes "you" with "you???" It bugs me every time I hear it.

I think you shamed the heck out of those lyrics!!! your explanation was perfect!

Mandy said...

excuse my typos.....
*the first time I read this I was offended* is the first sentence...

sorry. lol.

David Merriman said...

Haha, typos excused.

But yeah, rhyming a word with itself is definitely bad form. I might condone it if you also rhymed the words that precede "you", but even then it's a stretch.

sockmonkey said...

I had a 10 minute huge belly laugh shaking the walls at your analysis at the dumbest lyrics on the planet. I always complained about those two retarded lines to my son. How the hell do you fly off into NASA? He would always defend it. Those stupid lines drive me nuts. I don't know what made me type them in, but I'm so glad I found someone who shares my sentiment on this profane stupidity. I can sleep better now. Thank you. Jean, Hoboken, NJ