Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Songs of the Week (5/3)

Yeah, it's been a while. I'm busy, okay? Anyways, this is an extra special addition of 'songs of the week': the first ever videos of the week. It just so happens that my songs of the week have ill videos. Now, I still haven't figured out how to embed videos into my blog, so you'll just have to follow the damn link. But trust me, it will be worth it.

'I Hate My Job' by Cam'ron

Remember 'I.B.S.' off of Cam'ron's ill-fated Killa Season? Cam had spent most of that album, and it's forerunner Purple Haze, cultivating his image as a complete dick-head. In between his incredible free-associative lyrical wordplay, Cam'ron came off as an arrogant prick. Although this persona was charismatic to a certain point, it ultimately led to his downfall, and contributed to his alienation from virtually the entire rap community. 'I.B.S.' however was the one moment in which Cam let his guard down and spoke from the heart about the crippling gastrointestinal affliction that had had him contemplating suicide. I've sung its praises before on this blog, so I'll say no more, but I wanted to draw the connection to this new joint, the first track released from the long delayed Killa Season follow-up, Crime Pays. 'I Hate My Job' is a return to Cam'ron's vulnerable side, a canny move considering his current position in the eyes of most rap fans. His first verse comes from "the average everyday working woman," quite a departure for this avowed misogynist. The second verse details the struggles of an unemployed dude who gets patronized and rejected at job interviews, then returns home to find his woman is throwing him out of the house. Cam'ron tells the story humorously with his standard lyrical flare, and it would be easy to read this song as a context specific appeal to the common man. However, I see something a little deeper. Check out the chorus:

I put on my pants, put on my shoes 
I pray to god, paid all my dues
I'm tryin' to win, seems like I was born to lose
All I can say (yeah yeah yeah yeah)
I say let me through, but they won't let me through
You wanna quit?
Goddamn I'm ready to
The lifestyle I'm livin', ain't steady boo
All I can say ...

For once, Cam is seeming to acknowledge that he's in dire straights, and that he's dug himself into a hole from which he might not escape. With his career on the skids, it sounds like he's contemplating giving up and moving on. I'd wager that much will be determined by how Crime Pays fares. With this track though, I'd be cautiously optimistic about Cam's future. Of course it helps that the beat is a marvelous, catchy throwback to Kanye's early chipmunk soul days, sort of like 'Let The Beat Build' but much better. The video looks like it cost about $60 to make, which probably works to the song's favor. It's also hilarious. Check it out:

'Lessons Learned' by Matt and Kim

It feels totally entry level to post about this video, since its already been buzzing around the internet for a few weeks. But what the fuck, its a great video, and I'm hooked on the song. I love how Matt's super upbeat, chirpy vocals contrast with ultra emo lyrics: 'And so I stayed up all night/ Slept in all day/ This is my life/ Thinking 'bout tomorrow won't change how I feel today!' Also, the video really caters to my fascination with public nudity. It's a remarkable feat, even if certain moments seem a bit staged. I love the part where Matt casually tosses his underwear into the sky. See for yrself:


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