Ke$ha: Lee Harvey Oswald to the Rap Game

Posted: June 29, 2010 in Pop Culture
Tags: , , , , ,

Hip-Hop Isn’t Dead, But Ke$ha Is Doing Her Best Lee Harvey Oswald Impression

Turn on the radio in Lincoln, NE.  Flip through a few stations and you’ll hear a smattering of country, classic rock and talk radio.  Let your dial slip around for a few more seconds.  You’ll hear it soon enough.  That sound, that ear-drilling, electro-vomit oozing out of your speakers and polluting your morning commute like oil into the gulf.  That’s Ke$ha.  Yes, she spells her name like that.  And no, you can’t escape her presence.

People argue back and forth about the current state of affairs in the rap game these days and the cliché that “hip-hop is dead” gets bandied about a lot.  Personally I think that hip-hop and rap are alive and well.  In fact, I think that many of the main-stream rappers are at their peak, with Jay-Z still cranking out hits despite his “retirement” 5 years ago, Eminem getting back to his pissed off roots, and Lil Wayne only being slowed in his production by time behind bars, the commercial group of rappers are right on track with where they would want to be.  Hip-Hoppers like Common, The Jimmy Fallon band. . .err, The Roots, and Mos Def are all still putting out quality work.

With all of the above paragraph as evidence that the good times are rolling in the rap biz, let me interject on the revelry.  Put a little blonde, and poorly-developed-lyricist, rain on everyone’s parade.  Ke$ha might be having the biggest year of all the “rappers” out there.  And not big in the sense that she’s doing something classic like “2001”, or something that defies statistical analysis with it’s pure badassness like “The Marshall Mathers LP.”  No, Ke$ha’s got her own little revolution going on right now.  And.  It’s.  Horrible.  Here’s why Ke$ha is ruining music.

Her stage name looks like it was taken from a tweenage sext message.  The name with a dollar sign in it looks like something that Vanilla Ice would’ve had carved into the back of his flat-top.  Somehow no one has seen fit to properly harangue her about spelling all of her song titles so poorly that her English Teacher probably tried to down an entire bottle of sleeping pills.  I’d rather have Nelly teach my child how to read and write than Ke$ha.  I’m not usually one of those a-holes that brings rap down for its use of slang terminology and improper grammar, but her song, “Tik Tok,” which was #1 for so long that I lost all faith in humanity, is the second worst example of an artist using the “T9” function on their phone to name a song.  The first?  “Ska8er Boi” by Avril Lavigne, a fore-running example of idiocy that Ke$ha clearly took to heart.

Her music is atrocious.  It sounds like she took the soundtrack to “Sonic The Hedgehog 3,” used her overpaid salary to add a little bass to it, and spewed it out onto a soundboard.  Ke$ha auto-tunes everything.  I’d say her voice is bad, but I can’t really tell because when she sings it sounds like that weird blue lady from “The 5th Element.”  She would auto-tune testimony in a murder trial if anyone would take her serious enough for that.  For all I know, she has a guy come in who’s had a larenjectomy to sing her hooks for her.  Still somehow her every-down-beat-has-a-prepackaged-Garageband-application-bass-hit music kicks up; it somehow calls to ditzy girls (and dudes looking to lay ditzy girls).  These morons, fresh from an L.M.F.A.O. concert run out to the dance floor where they twerk it to kill time until their favorite Miley Cyrus jam comes on next.

Ke$ha is the Shel Silverstein of the rap game.  Everything about her lyrics is terrible.  They remind me of the poems that my classmates read aloud in 8th grade English.  Each rhyme is simple, directly on the beat and, like everything else about her, sounds like she’s reading it from the outtakes of “Malibu’s Most Wanted.”  In “Tik Tok” Ke$ha drones on about how many dudes she’s going to have promiscuous, dirty sex with and utters the lines “We kick ’em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger.”  I’m not sure if she’s seen Mick lately, but he looks more like an anorexic hobo than a sex-god rocker.  He’s clearly right in Ke$ha’s wheel house, though, since she undoubtedly googled “Rhymes with swagger” in a state of panic.

She tries very hard to be weird.  Only, Lady Gaga has taken weird, put it in a choke hold and made it her bitch.  Prince had his phallic torch passed to Gaga long ago and to try to catch up to “Lady” in this category is like trying to catch up to Tyson Gay after giving him a head start.  So when Ke$ha struts onstage wearing stupid outfits that Bjork would think were a bit much and dances spastically around during her laser light show you have to wonder: is she trying to cover up her staggering lack of actual talent?

As Ke$ha continues to crank out her “raps” while thumbing through Dr. Seuss books to get fresh material, and as she continues to try feebly to outweird the craziest singer since “The artist formerly known as,” just remember that Hip-Hop isn’t dead, but Ke$ha is trying to John Wilkes Booth the whole thing.



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