While I try my best to promote music I love and think should be heard by all, inevitably, I succomb to the latest in pop hits. Some beats are so catchy, it can’t be helped. Guilty pleasures. Party music. Songs I would most likely love at the bar, but shun in a sober state. I might get my music snobbery card revoked, but the force that is pop music is sometimes unavoidable.
Where is this embarrassing confession leading? One of my latest and favorite hobbies, lyrical interpretation. While it can be quite rewarding deciphering the vocabulary of Conor Oberst and expounding upon the narrative skills of Common. It can also be just as fun to find offensive analogies by Finger Eleven and translate the wordsmithery of sexual innuendos in Nelly’s hits. Yes, I know this is pop music. The word “pop” brings to mind sugary, bubble gum that loses its meaningless flavor faster than Snow can say “Informer”. But this is what its here for, right?
The most recent example of lyrical genius is executed on the breezy single by Sean Kingston on “Take You There”. This Jamaican flavored young’n clearly filled the void of annoying, commercialized reggae star that Shaggy grew too old for and Sean Paul was too ugly hold on to. You might remember him for making you contemplate “suicidal” thoughts after he butchered Ben E. King’s classic, “Stand By Me” all summer long on “Beautiful Girls”.
On “Take You There”, Kingston once again appeals to the ladies. Over a summery beat that features a blatant rip off of the “haunting effect” Danja & Timbaland used on “Cry Me A River” and “We Takin’ Over”. Throughout the song, Mr. Kingston offers a young female a variety of options for their romantic endeavors. Specifically, he states:
We can go to the tropics
sip Pina Coladas
Shorty I can take you there
Or we can go to the slums
Where killas get hung
Shorty I can take you there
This gem of a chorus is so classy on so many levels. While our cuddly Jamaican friend starts off right by offering up a trip to a scenic spot, he fails to mention he is 17 and won’t be purchasing anyone any alcoholic beverages (well, maybe not). He then shows that the word “shorty” might not be finished, after being used by every rapper/crooner (see 50 Cent, T-Pain & Akon) in 2007. At this point, the generous offer gets interesting as Kingston options to show his counterpart a trip to his part of town. Seems like a nice idea, maybe she could meet his mother, wrong. Instead, he’d rather show her spots in which she might get to meet some slain gangsters? Huh?
Kingston finishes this enchanting pick-up with gun shots, police flying by and possible encounter with “bad men”. You never know, this could be “paradise” to some classy female. So, ladies, wouldn’t you like Sean Kingston to “Take You There”?