22 October 2010

Music I've been missing - Nelly (?!?)

Those who know me will be aware I have a really anti rap/American hip-hop stance. Hate it. I find it repetitive, violent fueled, often derogatory and highly sexualised. I don't mind some Australian/New Zealand hip-hop (I enjoy some songs by Scribe and Hilltop Hoods). And last summer I quite enjoyed Jay Z's Empire State of Mind. But that's it. Hate the bling. Hate the mouth grills. Hate the (mostly) nonsensical lyrics. And hate the arrogance.

So you can imagine my surprise when I heard the latest Nelly song on radio and enjoyed it on first listen, and turned the radio up on subsequent listens.

Then I got thinking. I have actually enjoyed quite a few of Nelly's songs.

There was this one, which I remember listening to when some family friends took me into Sydney city in 2000 - these boys were quite a lot older than me, and I felt very cool hanging out with them aged 18.

I also have the CD single. Back in the day when CD singles weren't an endangered species, and when I worked in the music section of a department store, I bought about three singles a week. These days...well I can't find enough music that I like to actually fork out money for. I probably buy 10 CDs a year, and pay for about 20 iTunes downloads. The rest, sadly, is free. I've gone back on what I believed in all those years ago.

I quite like this one, when Nelly teamed up with Kelly Rowland.

Ok so it's repetitive, but bearable. I hate the reference to 'my boo' though.

And this one features Tim McGraw.

I have it on good authority that Tim McGraw looks hot in chaps and has a fine arse. I haven't looked - I don't want to cut my friend's lunch. Plus I am quite satisfied with Rob Thomas's arse.

I have found Nelly catchy, and at times, soothing. Actually I prefer the other singer in the duet songs. Alright, so when I listen closely, I hear Nelly's lyrics aren't lacking the bad content I hate so much in rap. And he probably wears grills. But his songs are damn catchy. But overall, I don't switch off when Nelly comes on the radio. And I even have him on a playlist.

I know. I felt my pulse when I realised Nelly was the music I've been missing. I hope never to discover this about rap or hip-hop again. Or discuss it on my blog.


  1. Well that is the loveliest mention I have ever had! :) x

  2. Hehehe, I'm with you on the American hip hop stuff but I do like Pharell William's song from Despicable Me.. xx

  3. I'm not fond of a majority of hip hop for the same reason. However, I do recommend you check out these on YouTube...

    Manafest-Everytime You Run
    Grits-Fly Away
    Group1 Crew- Forgive Me

    Yes, they're Christian music artists, but the last one is the only one that's very outspoken about it (if you're opposed). All of them are really great non-heavy songs that are positive and uplifting.

  4. Hi Carly!

    I'm a new reader of your blog and love it!

    I agree with you on American hip hop. A lot of times it's a waste of airspace broadcasting it. But then again, a lot of top 40s can be described the same way (like Rihanna's cringe-inducing Rude Boy. I can't imagine how she can sing that without bursting into giggles or at least rolling her eyes). I've never heard of Australian/New Zealand hip hop, being currently residing in the States, but I think it would be a treat to listen to something new!

    There's this really good review of Nelly by The New Yorker, I believe, a long time ago, and it described his music as toeing the line of typical hip hop and sweeter and more sentimental pop, which I agree is an apt description. His music does delve a bit more into emotions and relationships as opposed to just money, sex and booze.

  5. You're not a fan of Kanye? I'd agree that arrogance generally comes with rapper territory, Kanye included, but his lyrics are really inspire me (maybe checkout Spaceship/Hey Mama/All Falls Down/Heard 'em Say/The Glory?)

    x amie

  6. i love nelly's new song 'just a dream' as well! though i am not normally a fan of that type of music!

  7. I love r'n'b music and am always dancing around the house with my bubbas to this kind of music. However, it was just this morning that I was saying to my SIL that I was going to have to stop putting on music videos because when I actually stop to listen to the words, they are often really negative/violent/demeaning to women. Personally, I think it's a shame that there can't be more artists using some of the great beats and more positive lyrics. I'm off to youtube now to check out the links to the Christian artists that Kris has recommended.
    By the way, I love the way that you mix fun and more though provoking topics on your blog, I always enjoy coming over here for a read (although I must confess I don't comment very often, sorry!)

  8. Puh-lease,like there aren't as many arrogant rock bands out there ? Don't get me wrong,I do recognise that Rappers tend to be more verbose about it.
    I generally agree with alot of what you say but I hate how you criticisize something you obviously know VERY little about.Hip hop/ Rap are not the same thing,there are so many styles and sub genres.For someone who thinks they know/or has an interest in 'Popular culture' I find you overly sloppy in your assessment.Hip hop is a large part of popular culture.I'm not saying you have to like it but at least know what you're talking about.

    Alot of hip hop if you really examine the lyrics are lyrics akin to poetry,really examine the world play and the storytelling.Alot of rappers (not every commercial one-talk about a 'reality' not necessarily one everyone in the world is going to relate to,but that reality does exist.Hip Hop was born out of desperation,poverty,anger,aspiration,racism and )I'm guessing you've never heard of Common, The Roots or The Pharcyde. (All American rappers but none-commercial and well known.)
    Not ALL Hip Hop is violent and misogynistic (a lazy go to for anyone who doesn't like hip hop But can't be bothered to educate themselves on the subject and wants to be vocal about it.)

    All I'm saying is that not everything played on MTV or the radio (depending on what radio station you're listening to is completely representative of a genre)just like not all rock is good just because some guy wears skinny jeans and can strum on a guitar.



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