Eyebrow-Raising Lyrics From 2015
So much time is spent examining entire albums or merely analyzing singles or songs off of those albums. A lot can be gained from being more analytical and isolating key lyrics from a song. Sure, this is micromanagement – total music nerd shit – but there’s greatness that can be unveiled. Throughout 2015, there have been many eyebrow-raising lyrics that raise larger issues or have greater meaning when they are isolated from their parent song. Here are 12 eyebrow-raising lyrics that stand out in 2015 so far.
1. Jazmine Sullivan, “Mascara”
[Reality Show, 2015]
“Yeah my hair and my ass fake, but so what? / I get my rent paid with it and my tits get me trips / to places I can’t pronounce right / he said he’d keep it coming if I keep my body tight / and them b*tches stay mad cause I’m living the life”
“Mascara” is a bigger message about what some females will do to cover up imperfections and to atone for self-consciousness. This quote lifted from the beginning of the song truly sets the tone of record, and it’s one that Sullivan suggests this is how she’s become ‘successful.’ The success of which Sullivan sings of here is merely superficial and eliminates bigger aspirations and hard-earned, legitimate success.
2. Sufjan Stevens, “All Of Me Wants All Of You”
[Carrie & Lowell, 2015]
“You checked your texts while I masturbated…”
Throughout the course of Carrie & Lowell, Stevens’ relationship with his mother (Carrie) and his reaction to her death in 2012 are the centerpiece. The most shocking part of the quote is the fact that Steven uttered something as taboo as masturbation. Ultimately, this quote is as sexual as it appears out of context, as it is yet another reference to the fragmented relationship between Sufjan and Carrie. It’s likened to a dysfunctional relationship where two people aren’t as unified as they should be.
If you want to get real interpretive – possibly beyond what Stevens had in mind when penning this song – the same could be said in death, given the fact that a living person can’t form a personal relationship with a deceased person, so he has to ‘stimulate’ what memories he does have.
3. Kendrick Lamar, “The Blacker The Berry”
[To Pimp A Butterfly, 2015]
“I’m the biggest hypocrite of 2015 / when I finish this if you listenin’ then sure you will agree…so why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street? / When gang banging make me kill a n*gga blacker than me? / Hypocrite!”
Kendrick Lamar is one of the best rappers in the game, transcending pettier rap trends of drugs, money and sex. On “The Blacker The Berry,” he speaks about the state of the black community, but also suggests that the black community is hypocrites. They are upset about the improprieties committed against them (rightfully so), but the community doesn’t look within their own internal problems either, specifically killing each other – their own. Sure, when it comes to a tragedy like Trayvon Martin or the events that went down in Ferguson, Missouri the community embraces a mantra of “We Take Care Of Our Own” to quote Bruce Springsteen, but within our own self-contained communities, that’s not always the case.
Again examine this big-picture, and the sentiment of which Kendrick Lamar speaks isn’t solely limited to murder. There is an assortment of social issues within the black community that often prevent embracing a mantra of “we take care of our own.” Maybe Kendrick was limiting “The Blacker The Berry” to violence, but it also serves as the springboard to an assortment of larger, relevant issues.
4. Father John Misty, “Bored In The USA”
[I Love You, Honeybear, 2015]
“Oh, just a little bored in the USA / save me, white Jesus”
With this isolated quote from Father John Misty’s “Bored In the USA,” you can interpret it in a lot of ways. One is that Misty is poking fun at the idea that most people – particularly those who lean more conservatively – consider Jesus to be ‘white.’ Another interpretation is that Misty is making a jab at people’s affinity toward religion and the belief that Jesus can save them from everything, particularly on a small-scale being “just a little bored in the USA.”
In a larger picture and different interpretation, being “bored in the USA” actually speaks to the numerous problems in the USA that do indeed exist despite being considered “the greatest country in the world.” Even with that read, the “white” characterization opens a can of worms.