A Letter to Myself
One out of five ain’t bad.
Baseball players fail over seventy percent of the time. A golfer makes only one out of every four shots. Hell, even Smith & Wollensky only select the top 1% of USDA select cuts for their menus.
But when it comes down to it, odds don’t mean shit; it either happens or it doesn’t. Every action has two consequences - the one you want and the one you don’t. I get that, but it doesn’t stop me from hoping that the next one will finally be on my side.
Soft-pop songwriter Jack Johnson said it best when he penned these lyrics:
“Losing hope is easy / And every time you look around / It all just seems to change”
Through my naive trepidation, I have discovered that the law of averages is oh so cruel. I expect the law to finally side with me, but it never does. My desired outcomes never exceed the actual outcomes. Time and time and time again, I have built myself up, only to be broken down by the hands of another. Every. Single. Time. Tonight, for instance, my date to my formal tomorrow informed me she would not be able to go. Whether her reason is legitimate or not does not matter (off the record: it does); what I am focusing on is the fact that I envisioned an amazing time with somebody I actually wanted to go with, and now I am left alone, Drake-ing it from the bottom. Once again, I have been let down. Cyndi Lauper would be proud.
Just like that overused Twitter joke about Taylor Swift being the source of all her troubles, I believe that I am the problem here. If I were a better man, in the physical, mental, and emotional senses, I believe I would have a higher success rate. Fuck the law of averages, I believe that I must make my own luck. The next time I fixate my eyes on the 11:11 stemming from the bottom right of my laptop screen, I will not wish for (insert girl name); rather, I will pray that I will keep up my motivation to become a better man. According to AA, isn’t the first step for success is to admit that you have a problem? I will take these next four months to better myself in every single way possible.
I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get, but I’m better than I used to be.
I met you on the T
The red line to Alewife
You sat across from me
You smelled of summer nights
This is the uptown train
You got on at Harvard Square
You held the hipster drank
The Pabst was in the air
Subway girl, why you look so fine?
With your soft brown curls and those starry eyes
Subway girl, I will make you mine
You rocked the silver Sperry’s
Vintage Wayfarers too
You stirred up feelings in me
That were way long overdue
You smiled the sweetest of all smiles
You made the walls around me
Crash and fall
Into shattered little piles
And then the train stopped
And you got up and walked off
I’d never see you again so then
My head lost to my heart
And I suddenly ran off
In pursuit of my only chance
Music Video: Ke$ha - “C’Mon”
Top 40 darling Ke$ha has released a music video to her upcoming single, “C’Mon.”
The video starts with our beloved Ke$ha doing a stellar white-trash-beautiful impression, arriving to work at the aptly-named Awful House restaurant carrying her trademark “DGAF” attitude. The plot is similar to the 2005 film Waiting… starring Ryan Reynolds; Ke$h is an unhappy waitress stuck with disgusting coworkers at a miserable job serving ungrateful customers. One customer serves the straw that breaks her back, and Ke$ha quits. We see her step outside and board a resplendent 1960’s hippie-wagon driven by somebody in a cat costume. Cue the music.
Ke$ha, dressed to go to Coachella, brings the party (would it even be a Ke$ha music video without a party scene?) to her tour bus, where she is joined by more of her animal costume-wearing brethren. Think the animal outfits worn by Taylor Swift’s band in her “Never Ever” music video, but less “inspired by adorable stuffed animals” and more “inspired by a psychedelic peyote bender.” The wild crew then hits up the “corner Maxi Mart,” obliterating well-stocked shelves and causing more damage than the Allstate “Mayhem” guy. Because all convenience stores have a “dance mode” button, it is activated and viewers witness a Maxi Mart rave. We see Ke$h fiercely bring a baseball bat to a piñata caricature of her Awful House boss.
By the time the song’s bridge arrives, Ke$ha is riding a BMW bike (a lengthy, obvious shot of the Bavarian logo gives it away) on her way back to Awful House. Alongside the final chorus, Ke$ha and her animal friends barge into the restaurant, and take revenge on her former employers by wreaking some major havoc. As with Waiting…, we are left feeling satisfied with the outcome. Per usual with Ke$ha, a dance party ensues.
With its huge, anthem chorus and typical Ke$ha flair, there is no question this song will be a commercial success; we will be playing it at parties and hearing it on the radio sooner than later. However, the music video is just as, if not more, captivating than the song itself.
View the video below:
New Music: Pusha T ft. Rick Ross - “Millions”
Pusha T’s first release of 2013 is a collaborative effort with the Teflon Don himself. As the title suggests, the track revolves around the rappers’ penchant for practicing a luxurious lifestyle.
The refrain is excessively simple, consisting of the lines “Millions in the ceiling / Choppers in the closet” repeated more times than the “I guess Kim let Kanye finish” joke has been posted on Twitter. However, there is beauty in its simplicity; the easy-to-remember hook will prove handy when played at thousands of college parties where sloshed kids cannot recall the rest of the lyrics. Although the refrain is quite basic, the rest of the song isn’t; both Pusha and Ross deliver superb, intricate verses filled with clever wordplay and excellent punchlines. “Millions” has what it takes to be 2013’s first “Mercy,” that is, a song with an instant recognition factor that will be played everywhere you go.
New Music: Nicki Minaj - “Marilyn Monroe”
In the past couple months, Nicki Minaj has experienced a rare spell of relative obscurity on the Billboard charts; After summer party-anthem “Starships” peaked at No. 5 on the Hot 100, only one of Minaj’s last four singles, “Pound The Alarm”, has worked its way into the list’s top 20. Looking to break the trend, Minaj has chosen “Marilyn Monroe” to be her next single. While nothing is official yet, in an interview with British newspaper The Guardian, Minaj confirmed that “Marilyn Monroe” will be the latest cut from her album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (Young Money/Universal), to be shipped off to radio stations:
“We’re definitely going to have ‘Marilyn Monroe’ top off the year, and we’re going to spend quality time on the video. We’re going to take care of that one.”
Take a listen to the song right here:
Right off the bat, the piano-laden intro suggests that this track will be decidedly unlike anything Minaj normally does. Indeed, the piano motif repeats itself throughout the entire song, serving as an effective complement to an expressive and organic vocal performance. Minaj has teased us in the past with her solid vocal chops, but “Marilyn Monroe” will be her mainstream foray into purely melodic pop music. This slow-tempo pop ballad has all the right qualities to make it a commercial success, and it will shoot up the charts once it is released. Bravo, Nicki, bravo.
Trouble Man: T.I.’s Past Propels Him Into His Future
Fame and fortune has a price, and T.I. has paid his dues. For the last half decade, T.I. has experienced as many highs as he has lows. In between Billboard-topping singles “You Know What It Is” and “Whatever You Like”, T.I. served time for weapons possession. A mere six months after being released, déjà vu struck: Clifford Harris Jr. was back in jail on drug charges. It was clear that the hardships that accompany wealth and status had gotten to him. As he raps on “Hallelujah”, a track that borrows its chorus from the iconic Leonard Cohen song of the same name, “I went to jail, stood tall, then I fell again / It seems like I’m Jonah and right back in that whale again / I felt the panic when they locked me in that cell again / I had to pray and meditate, control my breath again.” The second time around, T.I. penned down his pressures, spending his sentence venting his frustrations through music and lyrics. The end result is a 16-song album that provides genuine and incredulous insight into his life. With his latest release, Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head (Grand Hustle/Atlantic), Clifford Harris Jr. has put himself back on the map.
Just as T.I.’s life has been dotted with valleys and peaks, Trouble Man does the same. Interspersed between strong cuts is weaker, more monotonous and droning material. Luckily, Trouble Man is more the former than the latter. A diamond-studded cast of collaborators, including Lil Wayne, Akon, André 3000, P!nk, A$AP and Meek, line up to guest star on the album. The first four shine, while A$AP (“Wildside”) and Meek (“G Season”) fail to break through the rough. Production centers around dirty, bass-boosted Southern beats (“Addresses”, “Go Get It”, “The Way We Ride”), an obvious homage to the Atlanta-native’s roots. Clever arrangements and uses of famous melodies by Marvin Gaye, Elton John, and Leonard Cohen shatter the aforementioned mold and make the album more diverse, complex and enjoyable. Trouble Man is many things, but above all, it is honest. The album’s music and music videos offer listeners and viewers a candid snapshot into Southern rap culture and the pressures that put Harris Jr. twice behind bars. By creating an album focused on his authentic thoughts, T.I. set himself free of past demons. Nowhere is this theme more apparent than on the Cee Lo-hooked “Hello”, where T.I. exclaims, with much bravado, “Just showin’ haters the tail lights of my two-seaters / Two heaters in my ride but I don’t need them though / Left evil behind me, that’s where I plan to keep it, go!”
I call shotgun.
Highs: “The Introduction”, “Ball”, “Hello”, “Wonderful Life”, “Hallelujah”
Lows: “G Season”, “Wildside”
When I see an old hook-up walk into seasons
My Pomona College Song