Saturday, March 20, 2010
"My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas (2005)
Why do people try to annoy? I mean, it is clear to all that this song is very, very annoying, right? There is nobody on the planet who could fail to see just how deeply annoying this song is, right?
I'm sorry. It might frustrate me as much as it does because the Black Eyed Peas are not talentless hacks. In fact, they started out quite promising, and I don't want to suggest that 'it all went pear-shaped when Fergie joined'. I don't think she bears the blame for the Black Eyed Peas' disturbing transformation from a hip sub-Fugees (or sub-A Tribe Called Quest, pre-Fergie) into a sales-at-any-cost pop juggernaut. I'm more tempted to blame will.i.am, and the limited scope of his ambition.
This song is an ode to Fergie's breasts and buttocks. Or, as will.i.am puts it, 'all that junk in (her) trunk'. Fergie is a relatively pretty girl, I guess. But singing about your 'lady parts' is really no way to impress any of the fellas that I know. It's tacky and crude. It might have been exempt from such an analysis if it exhibited a sense of self-deprecating humour. But alas, no. or if it does, perhaps I don't get the joke. Instead, it's bravado about how her body (and what kind of word is 'humps' or 'lady lumps' to describe body parts?) makes men spend money on her. A truly icky set of self-congratulatory lyrics that somehow failed to repulse people: disturbingly, this song was their breakthrough hit, as opposed to any of the more accomplished singles that preceded it. Was it the power of the musical accompaniment that made people overlook the lyrics? It's tough to imagine: Fergie's vocals have the cadence of a jump-rope rhyme, and the music is the most basic of Casio beats with a simple five-note melodic tag line every now and then. Just enough to keep the focus on the lyrics. Which are as inane as they are offensive.