Monday, November 8, 2010

Taio Cruz (feat. Ke$ha) -- "Dirty Picture" (2010)

When you're all alone boy, I got something to give ya
Will ya play along if I take a dirty picture
I'll take a dirty picture for ya
Take a dirty picture . . .
That "House of the Rising Sun" post was hard work.  I told you I was pretty much going to phone in the next post, and I like to think that I am a man of my word.  Ergo, "2 or 3 lines" presents: "Dirty Picture."

It seems that every new top 40 hit these days features a male singer and a female singer -- usually a male rapper and some little blonde hottie.  

"Dirty Picture" fits that pattern.  Most of the song is sung by Taio Cruz, a 27-year-old singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur who was born in London, England, to a Nigerian father and Brazilian mother.  "Dirty Picture" is the third single from Cruz's Rokstarr album -- the first two hits were "Dynamite" and "Break Your Heart," which featured Ludacris, who absolutely stole the song from Cruz.  (Click here if you don't believe me.)

"Rokstarr" is also the name of a line of fashion sunglasses recently launched by Cruz:

Cruz seems to me like a fairly generic pop star -- cute, mild-mannered, no hint of a dark side and little chance of ending up in jail -- and his music is fairly generic pop music.  I've got nothing against the guy, but he doesn't interest me that much.

Ke$ha in 8th grade
Ke$ha, on the other hand, interests me a great deal.  Ke$ha was born Kesha Sebert in Los Angeles in 1987 to a single mother, who for a time relied on welfare checks and food stamps to survive.  (According to Ke$ha, the dollar sign in her moniker is ironic because she is not that into money.)  Her mother was a singer and songwriter who eventually got a publishing deal and moved the family to Nashville.

Ke$ha's caught a break when her family hosted Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie on an episode of "The Simple Life" in 2004.  (You can't make this stuff up, boys and girls.)  After moving back to L.A. to pursue her career, Ke$sha decided she wanted Prince to produce her music, and decided to invite herself over to his house.  She was thrown out after being caught trespassing, but managed to leave a demo with him.  

Ke$ha with Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie

Ke$ha sang background vocals on a Britney Spears song in 2008, and also appeared in the video for Katy Perry's big hit, "I Kissed a Girl."  Kara DioGuardi (late of "American Idol") wanted to sign her to a major record label, but that deal never happened.  

Her big break was being invited to sing on Flo Rida's song, "Right Round," which was a #1 hit single.  The invitation was very spur of the moment -- she was in the right place (the recording studio) at the right time (when the song was being recorded).  She isn't credited for her appearance, and does not appear in the official music video for "Right Round" (which I think is a really good song as far as mindless pop songs go).

Click here to view the official "Right Round" video.

She later told the New York Times that she passed on the video because "if you want to be a legitimate artist, it’s more important what you say no to. I knew he would want me to be some sexpot, shake my booty, and whatever."  

Indeed.  You probably don't understand why I was ROTFLMAO after reading this quote, but you will after you watch the "Dirty Picture" video.  Because Ke$ha looks and acts like THE BIGGEST SLUT YOU'VE EVER SEEN in that video.

Because she has a secondary role to Cruz, Ke$ha is on camera only for relatively brief parts of the video.  But when she does appear, she's in a dirty public bathroom stall, in slutty high heels and slutty miniskirt, standing (really squatting) on the rim of a toilet.  

Ke$ha in the "Dirty Picture" video

Oh, did I mention she had slutty dyed blonde hair and lots of slutty eye makeup?  I'm talking like a pound of black eyeliner, folks.  As far as I'm aware, no one's ever done the white-trash slut thing better than Ke$ha (although God knows many girls have tried).  She's really quite breathtaking.

By the way, Ke$ha sometimes does up her right eye a la the Malcolm McDowell character in A Clockwork Orange.  

That New York Times article mentioned above was about Ke$ha's first big hit single, "TiK ToK," which the reporter called "a zippy and salacious celebration of late nights and mornings-after."  (Click here to view a video of "TiK ToK.")  

But it turns out that Ke$ha is something a pioneer, at least according to the Times:

It would be tough to surmise from looking at Ke$ha — 22 and rangy, with a model’s figure and a Sunset Strip attitude — but “TiK ToK” is something of a milestone in contemporary pop: the complete and painless assimilation of the white female rapper into pop music.
If she’s rapping at all, that is. “I never thought of her as rapping,” said Barry Weiss, chairman and chief executive of RCA/Jive Label Group, who signed Ke$ha. “I just thought of it as her particular vocal phrasing on certain songs.”
A burgeoning pop star who is primarily a singer, Ke$ha is nevertheless a pioneer. “TiK ToK” and the handful of other rap-influenced songs on her debut album . . . are the product of a world in which hip-hop is such lingua franca, so embedded in the pop slipstream that it’s possible to make songs that are primarily rapped but are not widely considered to be rap songs.
It’s all part of the continuing deracination of the act of rapping, which used to be inscribed as a specifically black act, but which has been appropriated so frequently and with such ease that it’s been, in some cases, re-racinated. The very existence of the casually rapping white girl reflects decreasingly stringent ideas about race and gender.  

(Give me a little credit.  Even when I start out intending to coast by just writing a little fluff about a generic but sleazy pop song, I end up giving you some pretty heavy New York Times stuff.  "2 or 3 lines" just can't help being intelligent and interesting.)

Keisha's first album, Animal, was described by Rolling Stone as "repulsive, obnoxious, and ridiculously catchy."  I couldn't have said it better myself.

Here's the official video of "Dirty Picture."  (I would rate the video as PG-13, not R -- there's a lot of bumping and grinding, but not that much skin.)

Here's a link to iTunes:

Dirty Picture - Rokstarr

Here's a link to Amazon for the entire Rokstarr album:

No comments:

Post a Comment