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Posts Tagged ‘Will Smith’

I can’t wait for summer!  Dazzling beams of sunlight will shine across the land as the scent of barbecues, sun block and chlorinated pools waft through the air.  My pasty, winterized complexion will glow like polished copper as I revel in the freedom of halter-tops and linen skirts rather than being confined by bulky sweaters.

Summer is perfect.  Except for one thing: the radio.

Radio stations seem to condense their playlists to a handful of records come summertime.  Once you’ve heard Buster Poindexter’s Hot, Hot, Hot for the fifteenth time in a week, you may start longing for the season of snowballs being hurled at your head.

Thus, I’m offering a partial list of summer’s most grating tunes.  With any luck, the great DJ in the sky will command his minions to spare us these don’ts.

Don’t: Hot in the City, Billy Idol

To a pubescent Midwestern gal, Billy Idol was like the wrong-side-of-the-tracks hunk all the girls avoided in class but secretly liked.  His badass snarl was almost enough to lure me away from the sleeker, more pristine desires stirred by Duran Duran.  White Wedding was creepily sexy while Rebel Yell had me crying, “more, more, more” even though I was too young to have any idea what I wanted more of.  But this Hot in the City baloney?  Sounds like the banal workings of Neil Diamond being played by a Springsteen cover band.  Barf.

Don’t: Kokomo, Beach Boys

I’m no Beach Boys fan.  However, I do find myself wanting to strap on a bikini and sip Sunkist whenever I hear their faux tropical sounds.  But Kokomo blows.  With its slothy, cheesily flirtatious chorus, it’s the musical incarnation of a creepy, pina colada sipping grandpa sliming around a cruise ship hitting on barely legals.  I bet the Beach Boys don’t even like this tune.

Don’t: Summertime, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

After the phenomenally goofy yet funky Parents Just Don’t Understand, Will Smith and his buddy had a tough act to follow.  To this day, whenever someone starts a sentence with, “okay, here’s the situation,” I always reply, “your parents went away on a week’s vacation?”  Summertime definitely has a lazy day vibe and didn’t bother me the first sixteen thousand times I heard it.  But the song lacks pizzazz.  When I hear it, I don’t want to sit back and unwind.  I want to hear Parents Just Don’t Understand.  Plus, the song just reminds us of how much it must suck to be DJ Jazzy Jeff watching the Fresh Prince become the megastar that is Will Smith.   

Don’t: Cruel Summer, Bananarama

I must admit to having had Bananarama records in my youth and can tell you Cruel Summer was one of their least interesting hits, especially when you consider they had a tune called Robert DeNiro’s Waiting.  But that song was about a victim of abuse escaping her fate by watching the actor’s films.  Meanwhile, Cruel Summer is about a gal being abandoned for the summer by her best pals and boyfriend.  For cripe’s sake, the word “cruel” is in the title.  Not exactly what I call summertime fun.      

Looking for some truly sunny tunes to beat the heat?

Do: (Love Is Like a) Heat Wave, Martha and the Vandellas

I dare you to listen to this song any time of year and not start waving your hands in the air like the lost member of the Supremes.  Besides, I’d rather suffer a heat wave than cruelty during summer.

Do: Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly and the Family Stone

Hot Fun in the Summertime is balmy and mellow the way a good summertime song should be.  All you wanna do is drink iced tea, party with pals on the beach then slide out of your flip flops and fall asleep in a hammock.  Man, is there better fun than “hot fun?”

Do: Boys of Summer, Don Henley

This tune gets more airplay than Hot, Hot, Hot during the warm months, but to me it screams summer.  Maybe it’s because of images like, “your brown skin shining in the sun.”  Plenty sluggish summer nights back in Ohio were spent eating hot dogs between slices of Wonder Bread and wading through creeks with friends.  Seems Henley’s rustic tunes always made up the soundtrack.  I doubt those wieners would’ve tasted so good if Kokomo was playing.

What summer tunes are your do’s and don’ts?

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Have you seen the two music videos, featuring pre-pubescent black children, tearing up the Net this week?  The first, Sesame Street’s “I Love My Hair,” is a confidence-boosting diddy sung by a black puppet girl who adores all the cool things her kinky hair can do.

The second, “Whip My Hair,” shows actor Will Smith’s nine-year-old daughter Willow as a sexy, vamped up badass whipping her super stylish hair back n’ forth whilst singing about keepin’ the party jumpin’.

I wonder which video little girls will pay more attention to.  The cute lesson in self-esteem or the glittery display of grownup sassiness filmed with ADD-inducing cutaways and designer outfits.  Will they be more dazzled by the gorgeous offspring of mega-famous movie stars or a chunk of foam with some guy’s hand shoved up its butt?

I also wonder why Willow Smith is so dead set on whipping her hair back and forth.  There must be more riveting ways to keep a party jumpin’.  Perhaps a piñata or a hearty game of kickball.  And what kind of party is a nine-year-old jumpin’ at anyway?  Isn’t there a clown?  Rides on miniature horses?  Surely, there’s no need for any whipping.

See, I’m a bit nervous we’re all a bunch of weirdoes turning our kids into sex kittens and badasses.  And man oh man, does Willow Smith do a grand job of posing as a stylish, no-nonsense adult female, a kind of pint-sized Rihanna.  If only my mother taught me how to scowl and wear makeup like a rock star, I wouldn’t have spent my adolescence climbing trees and coloring in coloring books.  Man, was I robbed.

I mean, they are marketing Willow’s video to kids, right?  They couldn’t possibly expect an adult to get off on music performed by someone her age.  Nine-year-olds don’t make me want to get my groove on at some jumpin’ party.  Nine-year-olds make me want to read bedtime stories and serve Hawaiian Punch.  I want to pinch their cheeks, not grind them on the dance floor.

Still, the tune is darn catchy.  In fact, I’d pay a million dollars to anyone who could stop “Whip My Hair” from embedding itself into their brain after the first listen.  Go ahead, I dare you.  Maybe it’ll get rid of the Lady Gaga song you’ve had in your head since last Christmas.

Just the other day, I was sitting on the subway staring at a woman whose long, flaxen mane cascaded in waves to her hips.  Her boyfriend adoringly ran his fingers through it as if fondling ribbons of the finest silk.  The sight reminded me of being a little girl wearing a turtleneck on my head, fantasizing I was a pretty white lady and the shirt was my long, luxurious blonde hair.  I imagined Sesame Street having released “I Love My Hair” in time for kid me to see it.  Maybe I wouldn’t be sitting on a subway train decades later envying my straight-haired co-passengers.

But what if a brash little girl my age with hair like mine, like Willow Smith, had become a star with a song about “keeping [her] head up?”  And what if in the song, her black hair was a symbol of pride and rebellion?  A raised fist, so to speak.

Part of me thinks a kid acting like a feisty grownup at a mere nine years old is creepy, especially compared to Sesame Street’s wholesomeness.  But there’s another part of me thinking it’s friggin’ awesome.  Guess I’d have little girls whipping their hair back and forth rather than covering it with turtlenecks.

So, as the kids say nowadays, “Willow…you go, girl.”

 

Kid Me in Turtleneck


Check out a hilarious “I Love My Hair” & “Whip My Hair” Mashup: Sesame Street vs. Willow Smith.

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