Sometimes I just don’t understand popular music (that’s what the POP in POP Music stands for, right?). I’m not talking about understanding why people like it, or why it’s classified as music (those are the complaints of an older generation). Most of the songs are catchy with a nice groove to bust a move to. I get that. I’m saying sometimes I just don’t understand the words.
The other day I heard the song “Hotline Bling” for the first time (without seeing the video along with it). Everyone loves making fun of Drake and his silly Canadian/Salsa dance moves. Ever since the song came out I’ve had no idea what a “Hotline Bling” was, until I finally heard the song while running and actually listened to the words.
In the chorus he says, “I know when that Hotline Bling,” and I’ve always heard it as “I know when you high like me,” and I thought I guess this girl only wants him when she’s high or drunk, and he only comes over when he’s also high or drunk (kind of like the premise of the song “Self-Esteem” by The Offspring). That is not what he’s saying at all, he’s saying this “Hotline Bling” line, but it sounds like he’s saying “hotline blink” which makes more sense to me. Office phones don’t BLING, they BLINK and they RING — maybe this BLING is a mix of the two BLink +rING = BLING?
Another song that I had trouble understanding is “Lean On” by Major Lazer. What is a Major Lazer? Is it a person? Is it a black Mr. T looking cartoon guy? Is his name Marcus? Why would I think his name is Marcus? I’ll tell you why. This song has been out for a while now and up until the other day I thought the girl who sings (I think her name is Mo) was saying “Marcus. Fire a gun.” So, I thought the Major Lazer’s name was Marcus, he even looks like a Marcus. Marcus Tureaud (Mr. T’s real last name. He’s a French?).
What she’s really saying is, “Blow a kiss. Fire a gun.” What does that even mean? Who are you blowing a kiss at before shooting them? That’s super rude. Oh, look this girl is blowing me a kiss. That’s sweet. BOOM! Shot in the face. Not as nice anymore.
There are other songs that I completely understand, like beyond the lyrics. Like the song “Sorry” by Justin Bieber. He wants you to think he’s saying sorry to a girl, but he’s really saying sorry to us, his fans. Sorry for messing up all those times, for being a little shit, for kidnapping that monkey or whatever he did to it. And No, Justin it’s never too late to say Sorry. How can he say Sorry like an American? I thought he was a Canadian, shouldn’t he be saying Su-ri?
Maybe my next learning won’t be about understanding and not understanding music. Is it too late now to say Sorry?