I listen to Pandora a lot, mostly because I get crippling anxiety when I need to pick a song off my iPod, and I usually end up hating every option I have. But if the exact same song I would skip over were to come up on Pandora, it would be much more well received. Having a song you love come up suddenly on the radio will always be better than picking it yourself. This falls somewhere in between those two.
Pandora can also be unexpectedly, and I think intentionally, hilarious. This is the first entry in what I imagine will be a recurring feature.
THE DRAKE/LITTLE MERMAID INCIDENT:
I used to hate on Drake like everyone else, I’m sure I don’t have to get into why. Then I gave Take Care a chance after seeing all the great reviews and was absolutely blown away. I’ve never had my opinion on a musician, or maybe anything at all*, change so quickly and so drastically. I emerged obsessed with Take Care, for better or worse. However, this is an entry for another day.
*The exception: bananas. I went my whole life convinced I hated bananas, and I’m pretty sure I’d never even had one. I blame anything colored yellow in this picture. Then one day in homeroom my senior year of high school, a girl offered an extra banana she didn’t want to the group. With an empty stomach, full heart, and “SENIORS 06, no looking back!!!!!” attitude, I took her up on the offer. And I loved it. That night, my mom got home from work and wondered, aloud, where the 5 bananas in the fruit bowl had gone. They were in my stomach. I felt awful and incredible at the same time.
I was on the treadmill vibing on some Drizzy when it happened. It’s important to note that I only “thumbs up” spitting/cooly introspective Drake (Marvin’s Room, Practice, HYFR, etc.) and Maybach Music collabs (Stay Schemin’), while eschewing all others (YOLO, Umso Proud of You). Which is why my jaw hit the treadmill (which made it get skinned really bad) when this came on:
Kees De Girl. What a blatant slap in the face. I’ve never felt more emasculated by an internet radio station. Here’s how it was described:
“Kid friendly vibe”?? Dude literally just drunk dialed his ex and said “I’ve had sex 4 times this week, I’ll explain”. In the song that came on after this, all of YMCMB discussed what they wished to do to every girl in the world! It wasn’t pretty. “Heavy use of vocal harmonies”? “A clear focus on recording studio production”? “Use of a string ensemble”? Ok, otherwise that’s spot on. But come on Pandora, I’m already pre-embarrassed by the thought of anyone making fun of my Drake station, cut me some slack.
Also Ursula is the Nicki Minaj of Disney villainesses.
PANDORA IS OPENLY TEAM ESCO: As you can see, this came up on my much more respectable Jay-Z station:
This time, the slap is clearly laid on Mr. Carter’s face. Look, I get it. The kind of person who is listening to Jay-Z Pandora will likely also enjoy the occasional Nas song. But to play “Ether”, the ultimate Jay-Z diss track (“Better Run Run” by MC Hammer is a close second**), is going too far. That would be like having John Wilkes Booth perform a monologue at President Lincoln’s funeral. That would be like Angelina Jolie asking Jennifer Aniston to babysit.
**Top YouTube comment on the “Better Run Run” video – “Hats off to hammer. One of the few n only real men left in the industry.”
Considering Pandora is being clear about what side of the beef they pledge their allegiance to, I’m going to be about mine as well: “Takeover” is so, so much better. I know I’m in the minority here, but I cannot be convinced otherwise. In “Ether”, Nas calls Jay-Z gay (by my count) 6 times, ugly 3, and basically just says he’s going to get violent. Jay-Z meticulously develops a case against Nas and Mobb Deep by astutely pointing out Nas’s “Oochie Wallie” verse is garbage and bested by his body guard, dredging up Prodigy’s ballet class-past, and by doing some quick, albeit questionable, math to demonstrate that Nas’s career after Illmatic can’t compare to Jay-Z’s output, which is 100% correct and not debateable. I mean, look at that Stillmatic album cover. There’s a bird posing on it, two if you count Nas, who somehow manages to look more birdlike than the actual pigeon. And the beat is so menacing. Just mean. Still, someone in the (likely fictional) Song Selection Department at Pandora had some fun with this one.
THE NEW NAPPY ROOTS ALBUM:
Here at Poorboys and Pilgrims, we are unabashed Nappy Roots fans. They come up frequently on my Outkast station, which pleases me. I was surprised when I discovered they are apparently re-issuing a classic album under a new name:
Black Friday is Back…Sponsored by The Home Depot. I can’t. I just can’t.