Ruby's CornerTalking ‘Bout Pop MusicRuby Karp

The biggest songs at the moment have a few things in common: they’re about hooking up, clubs and how girls are fill-in-the-blank-with-inappropriate-words. This kind of makes me miss the sugary-ness of Taylor Swift and her boy-crazy songs. I mean, every song is “sexy” this and “pimp” that. I’m not saying it just started, I know it’s been going on for awhile. But sometimes it feels like that’s all there is to listen to on the radio.

So what I want to know is, what’s happened to good pop music? I haven’t been alive long, but I know a little bit. My pop world is probably different than yours. I haven’t started listening to the music my mom listens to – you know, Sleater-Kinney and The Wedding Present and Wye Oak and all that. I’m into pop and I’m proud of it. I love songs like ‘We Got The Beat’ or anything by Vampire Weekend. I like fun music where you can dance as wildly as you want to without bumping into people. (That’s MOSHing, I’m too young to do that yet. But I will, I’m sure, someday.)

Society – or maybe more to the point, MUSIC – has taken a huge spin. It’s not like I don’t like the beat of ‘Sexy and I Know It’ but, you know, the characters in the song are acting gross. Other songs, they’re so club-and-booty-obsessed. I don’t want to get my “freak on”. I’m a girl, I wanna have fun. Where is a song like ‘Single Ladies’? Why aren’t I hearing more girl-empowerment songs? Or boys singing about how awesome girls are?

Are my only fun pop choices KE$HA and LMAFO?

It’s almost as if ever since ‘Party Rock Anthem’ came out, every song is about “shuffling.”

But why are there so many songs like this? There are artists who sing about other things and I listen to them, like Adele or Bruno Mars. But then there are these songs with their terrible lyrics. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense. If you haven’t heard of this band, they are called 3OH!3. I enjoy the beat of their songs, but have you listened to what they are saying? They are a good example of what I’m talking about. Check out the lyrics to ‘Don’t Trust Me’:

She wants to touch me (Whoa)

Never Trust a Ho

Had red and purple lipstick all over the page

B-b-b-bruises cover your arms

Shush girl shut your lips

Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips

Am I the only one who just finds that gross and offensive? I’m not saying every song has to be like David Cassidy’s ‘I Think I Love You’, but you could at least say something better than “Shush, girl, shut your lips / Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips”?! That’s disgusting and demeaning to women. Meh.

So please, I love you, music people, but please make one song that isn’t about clubs or hooking up or SOMETHING! Please start making that doesn’t make girls feel bad about themselves. Or have girls drunk in the clubs. Or call us names that we start calling ourselves in songs that we shouldn’t be. You know what I mean? Maybe listen to some Blink-182 or GreenDay if girl bands annoy you. Anything that will get you inspired to make inspiring awesome pop music.

What do you think? Let me know here! Or holla at me on Twitter or on my blog.

comments

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  1. I am so glad I am not the only one to think this. Some of these songs are catchy, but when I find myself singing along I am grossed out by the lyrics.

    BTW, keep writing! I have been enjoying what you have to say.

  2. Does anyone else find Pretty Girls by Iyaz offensive? The first time I heard it I was horrified, he is singing about girls in such a lowly, demeaning matter!

  3. The first time I hear ‘Don’t Trust Me’ I was with my parents and we all thought the lyrics were disgusting. I worked at a camp this past summer and had the elementary and middle school girls listening to 90′s pop. They whined about it in the beginning because they didn’t know the artists but soon adapted. I just didn’t want any of them going home and repeating what they heard at camp and 90′s pop is a lot cleaner than the 2000′s.

  4. Hey Ruby! Great post, it made for a really interesting read. I totally agree with you!
    Do they really think shuffling in a club is all we ever do? It’s a shame because it’s setting trends for other artists to follow. I write a lot of pop songs myself, check them out if you have the time on emmamcgann.com! Hopefully I’ve got something fresh to offer!

    Let’s just bring back the Spice Girls. They’ll sort things out.

  5. Oh no! I’m so sorry I added links to my last comment! I was just trying to make it easier to get to the k-pop songs on youtube but I forgot that we aren’t supposed to put links in comments. =[ Sorry.
    Here is my original comment, links removed:
    ///This is why I listen to K-pop- their music is slightly more chaste, definitely less graphic, and some of it is even confidence-building (what a novel idea for music to help people, huh?).
    “But I don’t speak Korean,” you say? Well a lot of the Korean pop songs have English choruses and once you listen for a while and/or watch subbed videos, you start to learn Korean pretty quickly. LOL
    Some of the Korean groups are breaking into the U.S. pop scene as well. =) Hope you like them! P.S. Great post. =)))”///

    The songs I added links to in the previous comment were: “Clap your hands” by 2NE1, “Himnae” by Girls Generation, “The Boys” by Girls Generation, and “2 Different Tears” by The Wonder Girls.

  6. Try pop music from the 90s

  7. I just love you for knowing about David Cassidy.

  8. Reading your posts is one of my absolute favorite things on this site. Love what you have to say!

  9. Try the band Camera Obscura. I LOVE the song and the music video for French Navy (i’ve been obsessed with it for 3 years i think it came out in 2009 ). And the song Invasion by Eisley. Those songs are the only thirteen year old friendly songs on my ipod. Even though none of the songs on my ipod are vulgar (besides some of the punk ones) most have adult themes.

    But i know what you are talking about, i dont even listen to new music on the radio because it’s all terrible.

  10. I agree and have been asking myself the same question since the day 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” hit the world. If you like good, folky songs, give Frank Turner a try: Once the singer of a hardcore band, this Brit turned to folk music and is one of the best at this (imho). He sings about life and not hooking up and finding yourself a guy for a night. And not a bad word for and towards women. Keep up the good work, Ruby! x

  11. Ruby,
    You are much smarter than many of my classmates. And I applaud you for that. I look on Hello Giggles everyday waiting for another post from Ruby’s corner!! Thank you!
    XO

  12. Have you listened MIKA? He’s a great singer and makes awesome pop music. ;)

  13. I totally agree with you. even Katy Perry songs are all about hooking up then blacking out so boys aren’t the only ones to blame.

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