Wasting Time with Bryce Vine

WARNING! This is a post about a couple hip-hop songs, so there’s some profanity.

The most depressing song on the radio today (in my not so humble opinion) is not supposed to be depressing. Bryce Vine’s “La La Land” (featuring YG) is supposed to be carefree, about doing nothing and having fun, while using some of the typical rap/hip-hop cliches: brand name dropping and bragging about sleeping with gorgeous women.

The song describes a girl who’s fresh out of school and has worthwhile goals, but the song’s narrator wants her to waste time with him (in California, of all places). I’m not sure I’d want to waste time in California because it’s highly expensive and the politics don’t make sense (but what politics do?). Maybe wasting time in Tennessee would be a better idea, and it’s more alliterative.

I know I’m taking this too seriously, but the song is depressing because it almost seems predatory; the guy only wants to drag the girl down and get her to lose track of school, work, and her future. He only wants her for her money (e.g., “How big is your mansion?” and “…you were born in the Hamptons / I heard that’s expensive”) and of course, sex, because it wouldn’t be a hip-hop song without explicit sexual references.

He tries to convince her that he’s a decent guy (“My grass is greener, girl, without no snakes”), but that’s a double negative, so I guess he’s just as slimy and reptilian as the rest of the guys. As evidenced by the lyrics, she has just broken up with her boyfriend, so he wants to catch her while she’s vulnerable. What a gentleman!

Or it could simply be that Bryce Vine’s voice is depressing. It’s like he’s trying to take the same chill approach that Post Malone (successfully) uses, but he just comes off as downcast.

Bryce Vine’s other song, the equally depressing “Drew Barrymore,” is similar. He is so involved with the girl that the entire house (apartment? condo? mansion?) is falling apart around his ankles (“The TV hasn’t worked in ages / Probably got a shorted cable / Way too busy f**king on the sofa or the kitchen table”). But he doesn’t even really seem to like the girl, because he delivers the following lines so dismally that I’m wondering if he might just give in to the opinion of the other girls and relinquish her: “You’re the next Drew Barry… and I want more / And all the other girls keep wondering what I f**k with you for.”

The beat of the song itself doesn’t have much of a happy feel to it either. It just kind of… ends… and leaves me with a creepy feeling of foreboding, like I’m going to go home and find out that my husband has disappeared mysteriously, leaving me with nothing but an empty apartment with a broken TV and A/C unit, with a couple dust bunnies hanging around to taunt me over some offense I had no idea I committed.

On the bright side, the radio edit of Drew Barrymore is actually better lyrically: “…falling off the sofa or the kitchen table.” Reminds me of innocent times spent as a child, running around the house and bouncing off the furniture because you’ve got energy to burn and school’s out for the summer. Also, smashing into furniture would be a lot more fun than wasting time with Bryce Vine.

Fun with Pronouns

The latest earworm to hit the radio waves is “ME!” by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie.* When I heard it, the first word that popped into my head was “juvenile,” which is fine. After all, it is a song for the youth (but… Taylor, you ain’t that young anymore, sorry). And it’s teaching them pronouns! The self-absorbed, narcissistic lyrics include the following:

Hey, kids!
Spelling is fun!
Girl, there ain’t no I in “team”
But you know there is a “me”

And you can’t spell “awesome” without “me”

“ME!” by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie

Just like Gwen Stefani did with “Hollaback Girl” (another fun but similarly asinine song) in 2005, pop stars are going to teach us spelling, too! How kind of them. Technically, you can get “me” out of “team,” but you have to rearrange the letters.

Actually, the whole thing kind of reminds me of one of those motivational posters you see in school classrooms or workplaces. Well, if that’s what motivates you…

*I had no idea who Brendon Urie was. Then I found out he was the lead singer of Panic! At The Disco, which is the same thing as Fall Out Boy. (Seriously, listen to them. They sound exactly the same.)

Thursday Three #47

Observations on three songs from the local Top 40 station:

  1. Ariana Grande – “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.” Everything about this song is repulsive. I have never liked Ariana Grande; she always struck me as, frankly, ditzy and a bit of a slut. Or maybe I’m conflating her with her character from that idiotic Nickelodeon show Sam & Cat. I can only hope she wrote the song with a sense of humor because it could be funny, but I just can’t find the humor. Someone should write a song in response called “Stay Away from My Boyfriend, Get a Life.”
  2. Post Malone – “Better Now.” For some reason, I love everything I have heard by Post Malone. He has such a chill persona. When I listen, I feel like I’m wearing a stained tank top, sitting on an ancient couch in a filthy apartment with cigarette smoke floating around me, and drinking a beer while my homies banter in the kitchen. That is the vibe of his music. This song is about a guy with a broken heart, but even so, he still sounds so calm about it. This lyric sums it all up: “Life, it goes on, what can you do?”
  3. Marshmello, CHVRCHES – “Here with Me.” Probably the sweetest, most innocuous song on the radio today. I doubt I hear it much in a couple of months because of that, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. Reminds me of freshman year of high school, where life was all about innocent crushes and the biggest problem I had was homework.