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Sunday, January 4, 2009

My 2 ¢ on T.I.'s "Whatever You Like"


I was a disciple of the school of thought that believed cell phones were for one thing, communication so I never did much exploration on these mini computers. During Christmas break a friend of mine suggested I try out a mobile-friendly site that was reputedly good for downloads. Being a newbie, I browsed two sites. My phone was made in the Middle-East so the first site only offered mp3 downloads that I'm not familiar with, they had other stuff too but it was suitable for the Middle-East and South Africa. When I went to the site my homez recommended, it was like wonderland, so much choice! (ofcourse at every 3rd or fourth link there was a questionable link, I suppose that's how they make their money...)

I cringe, sometimes, when there is so much to choose from, in Chichewa we say, "zimalowa m'maso" so I went to "Top Downloads" , the only song that struck my fancy that particular night was "Whatever You Like" by T.I. Now, I'll be frank, I fancied that song for the the beat and the way his voice sounds. It's just so catchy and I thought well, as a woman, who doesn't want a guy that can say, "" I downloaded the song. But then, upon checking out the lyrics though (another good use for the cell phone) I felt ashamed to have downloaded it. Check out the math:

He says:
I said you can have whatever you like/...Anytime you want to pick up the telephone
You know it ain't nothin to drop a couple stacks on
you Wanted you could get it my dear
Five million dollar home, drop Bentley's I swear/...Long as you got me you won't need nobody
if you want it I got it, go get it I buy it
Tell 'em other broke n*##^! be quiet


But notice my selective listenning ignored the part when he said:
Hey Jill
You know the old sugga daddy

there is more he offers the said Jill but what does he want from her, aha, there is a catch, sugar daddy (and in my opinion...the pimp philosophy):
Yeah I want'cho body, I need yo body.

Aint nothing for free. I'm quite sad that in this day women will still fall in love with such song, whether they know the lyrics or not. Is the body really to be traded for fly things. There is no love in this song, just the offer of the high-life from the man and the offer of the body from the woman. If you turn it around, the Jill in question would sound something like:

You can have whatever you like (on this body)
I want 'cho money
Need your money
if you want it you got it, I'll go get it you buy it
Tell 'em other broke n*##^! be quiet (the broke n... part upset my broke cousin so much, i think he broke :-(...)


Shame.

It's not much better in Southern Africa. One of the most popular groups in Zambia, whose songs I have grown to like very much, The Third, released a song that my mind is still trying to justify my singing along to. It's also very catchy and done so well, the chorus in ChiNyanja is:

Ndiwe Charga yanga iwe (whaaat)
Battery yanga ikakhala low, battery yanga ikakhala low

(You are my charger when my battery is low)

I have heard that terminology used in real life and it was not pleasant, who knows, maybe these The Third kids are not referring to anything improper but the fact remains, at least to me, that women should not be compared to a battery charger. And don't get me started on some of the songs I hear on my local radio, what is this wanton obsession with putting women in a bad light. On some of the songs on my local radio, that's a story for another day, Happy New Year!! Kaya mwachilowa bwa?
I apologize for the size of The Third pic, that's the only one I could find.

pix: wordpress and youtube

1 comment:

acacia said...

damn i loved that song, you can have whatever...
excellent point thandi, theres something not cool about watching little girls dancing to this shit, even saying the words!
another case in point is lil wayne's lollipop - 'Man, she ain never had a love like mine / n' man i aint never seen a ass like hers.'
the problem is it plays on womens' desire to be beautiful to men. which is normal and healthy. its fine until men start making it all about physical beauty totally impersonal, a trade off i'll give you money / love / whatever you want and you give me your body.
the question is can we enjoy these tracks on a musical level, without starting to believe its ok??