Pop Song Analysis Vol. 1

So here’s a new, hopefully recurring series I’m working on. I’ll dissect chosen songs from the ever-complex world of popular music. I will attempt to do this in a sort of literary fashion, discussing characters, the summary, the setting, the conflict and a proposed solution for that conflict because let’s face it, sometimes these songwriters just leave us hanging.

Oh, and a quick note: Being that this is March, I should have a good college bball post up tomorrow and possibly another on Thurs. or Friday.

1. Akon “Sexy (Chick)”

Summary: Akon is at bar, and a dancing woman piques his interest. He wants to find a way to describe her, a respectful way, but is struggling with this concept.

Setting: Nighttime, at a bar where most of the other girls, except for the one of Akon’s focus, look like, we can assume, “neighborhood hoes.”

Character list
Akon: A performer of Senegalese descent, his first single was “Locked Up” from 2004. He was once criticized for allegedly simulating improper on-stage acts with a 15-year old. Gwen Stefani also once kicked him off their tour.
Sexy Chick: This is a girl who is a diva and could be on the low down and who people say needs to slow down. Others have also said that she’s the baddest thing around town. Akon finds himself infatuated with Sexy Chick.

Universal Conflict: Man vs. Self

Specific conflict: Akon vs. His inability to describe this so-called “Sexy Chick”

Akon is battling the limitations of his own vocabulary. He’s trying to find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful. If he could find these words, perhaps he could walk over toward her, hope that she is not underage as is allegedly his past mistake, and make a move.

Proposed solution: As a writer, I can totally relate to this conflict. Finding that perfect word is sometimes impossible. In that sense, there really is no feasible solution. There is, however, a recommendation. Instead of finding a way to describe this girl without being disrespectful, Akon simply starts chanting: “Damn, girl, you’s a sexy chick” (and it’s sexy bitch in the unedited version). Now, maybe I’m not as much of an expert at life as Akon, but I do know that describing a girl as a “sexy bitch” is not respectful. He says he is trying to not be disrespectful, and he obviously is. So here’s my suggestion: Akon should say, “Damn, girl, you’s an upstanding citizen.”

2. Lady Gaga and Beyonce “Telephone”

Summary: Lady Gaga and Beyonce are out at a club, presumably with several friends, and someone, presumably a male, calls each of them. At first, it seems that Gaga tries to answer but isn’t getting any service. But for the rest of the song it seems that neither woman can answer their cell phones because they are too busy dancing.

Setting: Nighttime at a bar that is a dead zone for phone service. It also just so happens that Gaga’s favorite song is about to come on.

Character list:
Lady Gaga: Talented performer and singer who has risen to “Fame” (get it?) in the last year. She loves to dance. This is evident from the song, “Just Dance.”

Beyonce: Another talented performer and singer who has been around for a long time. She is married to Jay-Z. Although she hasn’t previously professed to be as much of dancer as Gaga, we can assume she also enjoys the pastime.

Unknown caller: Someone is obviously trying to contact these two. It is unlikely that this person is Jay-Z because Beyonce would likely want to speak with her husband. He has their cell phone numbers and thinks for whatever reason that he could meet them at this club. Gaga may have wanted to meet him earlier when she was free, but now, clearly, she is not. Beyonce also says that it’s not that she doesn’t like this caller, but it is just not a good time.

Universal conflict: Man vs. Technology

Specific conflict: Beyonce/Gaga vs. Their cell phones.

Both Gaga and Beyonce are having problems with their phone, whether it is from bad service or that it won’t stop ringing. Really, all they want to do is dance, one of the most primal forms of human entertainment, and their phones, technological devices, are preventing them from doing so. They are romantic beings trying to enjoy the simpler forms of life without relying on science or technology.

Proposed solution: The easy way out is to throw away the phone. But who would want to do that? You would lose your sim card, and it would be a waste of money. I suggest that Gaga and Beyonce suck it up and try to text while dancing. They argue that they can’t dance, hold a drink in one hand and text with the other. Why not? They could even implement the phone and their texting motion as part of the dance.

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