SECOND MUSIC NERD MOMENT OF THE DAY: Kanye West – Drunk & Hot Girls

With all of the talk over the last two weeks surrounding Yeezus, it made me look back at Kanye’s music over the years. One of my favorite albums from him is Graduation, and there are a few songs on there that are some of his most famous, but some that aren’t, or at least they’re not quite as popular as some of his others (“Stronger”, “Good Life”, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”). Two of my favorites from the album are the Lil Wayne-featured “Barry Bonds”, but more so “Drunk & Hot Girls”. The eighth track from Kanye’s third album is a standard that gives a glimpse into the life in the club, which is something we’ve all experienced at one point or another: materialistic, blatantly self-centered and ultimately disposable. Not to say that it can’t be fun. Kanye simultaneously makes a mockery of what goes on with male/female relationships in the club and tells us what just about every man is thinking when his intentions are clearly focused on a one night stand, yet he’s also trying to sway and influence a targeted woman to take his bait. With the help of Mos Def’s nearly operatic coos on the chorus and throughout the song, Kanye creates a sound that is purposefully mechanical and emotionless that feeds into Hip Hop’s constant stereotype of objectifying women into sexual objects. The robotic movements of the music and the tonally-challenged, indifferent, singsongy rhymes helps to create a sense of distance and dismissiveness from ‘Ye towards the female that he wants only for the night, and for only one thing. But what makes the song notable is the constant sense of contradiction, double standards and irony of it: this is something that just about every man has done and still does when trying to pick up a woman. Further, the song seems to be just one step away from being as controversial as the Rick Ross verse off the Rocko single “U.O.E.N.O.” in terms of taking advantage of a woman with impaired abilities and judgement. And even more ironic is the implication that at the end of the story, Kanye ends up with his club-hopping, scantily-clad subject in an unfulfilling marriage. Ultimately, “Drunk & Hot Girls” allows us to take a glimpse through the looking glass and serves as a cautionary tale, even if it does come from an artist that’s known for falling victim to his own insatiable appetite for attention and the decadence of the superstar lifestyle.

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