December 14, 2005

The End of Western Civilization

Is Humps by The Black Eyed Peas really that bad?

Oh yes, indeed. Pure dagnasty evil, it is.

From Hua Hsu's article in Slate:

As a piece of music, "My Humps" is a stunning assemblage of awful ideas. The song's playful pogo and coke-thin, ring-tone synth line interpolate Sexual Harassment's 1982 left-field electro hit, "I Need A Freak". But where the original trafficked in something icky, sinister, and darkly sexual, the Peas' call-and-response courtship fails to titillate—in fact, it's enough to convince one to never, ever ogle again. The "humps" in question belong to Fergie, who brandishes her "lovely lady lumps" for the purpose of procuring various gifts from men who, one would assume, find the prospect of "lumps" very exciting—one lump begetting another lump, if you will.

"What you gon' do with all that ass/ All that ass inside them jeans? … What you gon' do wit all that breast?/ All that breast inside that shirt?" rapper Will.I.Am teases in response, rendering literal what had heretofore been pretty much literal. It's a song that tries to evoke a coquettish nudge and wink, but head-butts and bloodies the target instead. It isolates sectors of the female anatomy that obsessive young men have been inventing language for since their skulls fused, and yet it emerges only with "humps" and "lumps"—at least "Milkshake" sounded delicious.


When we moved into the new house this summer, we finally got cable TV again, after an 11-year abstinence therefrom. I have since then caught brief snippets of truly bad videos on MTV, VH1, and BET while surfing channels. (Until I saw My Humps, I thought the worst music video I had ever seen was Missy Elliott's Lose Control. So bad, it almost forces you to watch. And what's up with slappy clappy happy slaves dancing in sexually suggestive ways in mid-1800s costumes? Must have some sort of "deep" meaning to it, but it went right past me).

Hat tip to Mediocre Fred for pointing me to these awful noises and images. (Gee, thanks).

Posted by JohnL at December 14, 2005 10:58 PM | TrackBack

I'm guessing the 14-year-olds who watch MTV find it easier to jerk off to that video than anything put out by the White Stripes (not that they're any better musically).

Posted by: Stephen VanDyke at December 15, 2005 03:02 AM

You know, I have no idea what you are talking about. Thank God.

Posted by: lemuel at December 15, 2005 11:30 AM

Lemuel, I provided links to the videos. Check out for yourself and let me know what you think.

Posted by: JohnL at December 15, 2005 12:37 PM

I thought My Humps was a pretty good metaphor for life. Sex is often an exchange of goods for services, no matter how we may try to parse it poetically.

Posted by: FlashG at December 15, 2005 10:15 PM
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