I Listened to “Where Them Girls At” For 12 Hours Straight and Here’s How I Got On

I listen to many things, be it the darkly ambient music and musings of Chris Morris on Blue Jam, be it Pink Floyd and their seminal albums on the human condition, or even the simplest and truthful love songs that Bob Dylan can produce when he wasn’t stuffing LSD into everything he was consuming.

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To be fair, the croissants were simply just a vehicle for the crack.

 

But I am one unashamed of my taste or rather desire to listen to bad music. It is a need, a desperate need to listen repeatedly to Scatman John’s Casio stock-breaking album Scatman’s World – N.B. he was a massive Communist – Deep Blue Something’s terrible album made of “music”, Third Eye Blind’s even more terrible brand of skoppy shite and Oasis.

However, these “guilty pleasures” of mine are not limited to what nostalgia can force you to access thanks to the interwebs, no. There are some serious banging tunes out now that I cannot bring up in polite or learned conversation because well,… just because. The old rule of attending dinner parties; never talk about religion or politics. I think you could add in music there, without doubt.

There’s that cracker of a tune in Light It Up, Stay by Kygo and Maty Noyes, anything of late from the Beebs – it’s good folks, it’s plain good – but there is one song that seems to be the ultimate face-scrunching, can-having, aahhhwwwwwwwyeeaaahhhmaaan-inducing button masher of a tune to turn a bunch of people into complete scum tarts. That song is Where Them Girls At by the head-nodder extraordinaire David Guetta and features the mouth noises of Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj.

And I listened to it for 12 hours straight. Yes, 12 (that’s twelve in normal letter terms, folks) hours.

Why?

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I had maybe three cans inside my head wiring and my belly ocean and was playing the ever-easy game that is Age of Empire II. Ever-easy in comparison to any Paradox Games like Crusader Kings, or more panic-creating Hearts of Iron. Let’s just say one time, I was invading Finland as the USSR, I fell asleep, I wake up four hours later to see that they have pushed back my army to fucking LENINGRAD.

That would not happen to you in Age of Empires, oh no. You could play the game in your sleep and would still have some degree of competency over the situation. Of course, this was the game I decided to not fall asleep whilst playing and it was all solely down to that fucking song. And I feel that no matter how much I love anything else in this world, I will only understand this completely as only I understand this.

“So many girls in here, where do I begin?

I see this one, I’m ’bout to go in

Then she said “I’m here with my friends”

She got me thinking, and that’s when I said

Where them girls at? (girls at?)”

Flo Rida initially comes into the club and feels overwhelmed with the choice ahead of him. Because clearly, as he is a man, he has the choice of club, the pick of the litter, the ownership of the young wans. When the girl then says – but we aren’t overly sure this is a girl, are we? I mean, when he says “I see this one” is he referring to a girl? Or an actual number one, the symbol 1 who identifies to the female gender? Remembering he is overcome by seeing the vast amount of girls in one place at one time, can we trust his speech, and reported speech at that? Alas. If we are to think of this being the case, that he is in fact speaking to animated female 1 in a club, the 1 states clearly she is there with her friends. And then he “got” thinking and asks this 1 grammatically incorrectly of course because of his insecurities and anxiousness with the whole situation, “where them girls at?”

“Hey, bring it on baby, all your friends

You’re the shit and I love that body”

I’m honestly disappointed with this line; I thought originally for the first twelve hours I heard it that it was “Hey, bring on baby, all your prejudiced shit and I love that body” I thought Flo Rida had become like mega self-aware. But no. “You’re the shit.” The monosyllabic git.

“You wanna ball, explicit, I swear you’re good, I won’t tell nobody

You got a BFF, I wanna see that girl, it’s all women invited”

Flo Rida isn’t comfortable with his male counterparts, be them friend or foe. He wants to surround himself with women. But he is there. Is he a woman now too?

“Hairdos and nails, that Louie, Chanel all up in the party
President’s in my wallet, no rules I’m ’bout it
Blow the whistle for the hotties”

Flo Rida casts aside his gender rules here surely? The whistle is blown for the hotties, but anyone can hear it, because what he is saying is that we are beautiful on the inside. With his make-up and hair done to the last, his clearly feminine style choice and vast amounts of money he is the master of his own destiny and as he goes on to say “I got it, shorty, it’s never too much, can’t be doing too much” in that we can never do enough in furthering this idea of love, the love that is “outta [his] reach”. Flo Rida is fighting

I think that says more than I ever could.

But before you become lost for words, you thrown a hape of them at once, by the ever-on and possibly angry Nicki Minaj. Is she the one (1) from earlier? Is she a friend? Is she responding to Flo Rida as sometimes is the whole idea in duets? Or is she singing something completely unattached, utterly detached from the song itself? Let’s find out, shall we?

“Peebe, Peebe who’s Peabo Bryson”

 I have no fucking clue Nicki.

 “Two years ago I renewed my license

Anyway, why’d I start my verse like that”

I don’t know Nicki, maybe try another draft of the verse before you’re asking gimpy questions in the middle of the FUCKING recording, I hear you ask?

Well, maybe she didn’t have the time to redraft. Hackers with honestly nothing better to do did what they did best and hacked into Guetta’s wif-fi and stole an acapella version of the song, this in turn forced Guetta to release the song early. He even got a member of the Pentagon to investigate it. Now. Amazing what Wikipedia will tell you these days. That needless question is then followed up with a rather excellently needless reminder of one’s rights to do as they please (1’s rights? Fuck. Here again.)

“You can suck a dick, you can suck on a ballsack

“No, no I don’t endorse that, p-p-pause that, a-a-abort that”

Thanks Nicki for reminding us we don’t have rights. #Repealthe8th

“Just the other day me go a London, saw dat, kids down the street

Paparazzi, all dat, hey, hey, what can I say?

Day day da-day day day day”

 What can you say? You say more than day on repeat, no matter how many drafts you couldn’t get through.

 “Coming through the club all the girls in the back of me

This ain’t football why the fuck they tryin’ tackle me?”

Now, I will admit, being grown up and cool has its perks, yes, but listening to the explicit version of this song is not one of them. I’m of the belief that the whistle sound effect adds a great service to the mood that is madness.

“Really, I pick dude at the bar like really

Looking like he wanna good time like, really

Said he had a friend for my home girl Lily, Lily, Lily, Lily”

And it’s tough shit for Nicki as in the end the fella she picks up from the bar is a silly lad who has mad grá for Lily and she is fucked. Nicki is forced into singing day day day again and again reinforcing how bad of choice she made in the first instance, just as Flo Rida is forced to repeat the chorus again and again, looking for a group to be comfortable with.

And when you listen to sometime like that for twelve hours straight, you figure out some things about yourself. Now, from my half attempt at a comic-takedown of the song, of its subject matter, it clearly is awful, be it lyrically or musically which was something I didn’t touch on. Mainly because the music was being beat into my eardrums that that was simply it, that was what I would hear for white noise for a while after. And even with that, listening to something as a joke on oneself, for it to turn bad, and then good and bad and good again, I can listen to this with a smile on my face and for fear of employing Nicki Minaj’s own inquisitive logic to myself, why? Why can I listen to it and not have PTSD? Is it because it isn’t that bad? Alas. An answer, an answer, my kingdom for an answer.

All I know now is that even after what some would describe as can-boarding, I’m alive. That’s something, eh?

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Muhammad Ali, I Barely Knew Ye

My first traipse into sports and the world surrounding it was USA ’94, I was up for all the teams and enjoyed the noise and colour on the television. I was only about four years of age at the time so those concepts were coming into play in a big, big way.

I remember when Ireland were knocked out because after the match finished I asked my brother who are you supporting now that Ireland have been eliminated. He told me that

“You can’t support anyone else when your country is gone. That’s not how it works.”

Or at least words to that effect. Nowadays, he is by no means a blind supporter of nationalism to the extent he would support against all odds, but back then in the heady mid ’90s, being Irish was as much of a thing as it is today. I know, it existed before Joe.ie folks.

So when the Olympics rocked up in ’96 I was becoming aware of the ideas and concepts of competitive sports and competition and being the best at any given thing you could be. TEAM IRELAND COME ON.

There were two hopes, one  was Michelle Smith. I wasn’t a big backer of her. NO, I DIDN’T know about the scandal that would develop thereafter. It was because I was shit scared of water and swimming. Well done, Michelle. Not my cup of tea, but fair play t’ya.

Those Pantene ads were shocking.

The other was Sonia O’Sullivan, the other Great White Hope for Ireland; I could run just like her and I’d run everywhere and be wrecked. I remember watching the opening ceremony, a sedate affair compared to the eye-slicing spectacle it is now. I was waiting to see could I see her wave just so I could wave back.

I wasn’t the brightest.

I don’t remember if she appeared. All I remember is Muhammad Ali carrying the Olympic flame and lighting the One Torch To Rule Them All. Who was he? My father explained he was Muhammad Ali, the World’s Greatest. I held no concept of what that meant. I continued on looking at the shapes and colours.

Three years later, as I tinkered on a boxing game I came across a fighter, needless to say who it was. My father from the end of the room, following the television out of the annoyance of the noise, called out the name Cassius Clay.

I asked him what was that all about and I was let in for a world of explanation. Not only was the world map gotten out – we had one forever on our kitchen wall – but the Vietnam war was half explained to me, as too was the Civil Rights Movement, as was the concept of there being another religion than Christianity in Islam – it would take another three years before I knew what a Protestant was – and of utmost importance was the story of Cassius Clay, converting to Islam, changing his name, and his rise and fall and rise to be the greatest of all time. A door was opened, nay a wall was smashed and a new world of thought and thinking and processing came into realistation and I could not get enough of it. I would rent videos that simply had the champ’s face on the cover of just to learn more; I would learn little as these were documentaries and 10-year-old Paul had no time for that. But I watched his fights when they would come up, how large a man he was and how quick he moved and as I got older I watched more and read more and got into the detail that he held and discovered how he was – just about – human. He was not invincible forever, the latter days of his career a blot on his copybook  but more so just a sad period in the life of an excellent professional boxer.

Seeing him in Ireland in the last few recent years was upsetting as his battle with Parkinson’s was a very hard one to witness, especially in that of an athlete, let alone his former reputation. Still, he served as an inspiration for nearly everyone, he was near universally loved. Be you a cocky son of a gun or someone trying to make a name for yourself, whether you fought for equality or peace or for a competitive belt, hey, he was there.

I apologise. I am honestly sad and can only get so much sense before I ramble into rameis. So I’ll leave it here, so.

Sonia O’Sullivan failed to qualify for 1500m race in Atlanta ’96 and failed to place in the final of the 5000m, failing to finish due to stomach pains. Her father greeted the media, who were looking for words to pacify the despairing public at home beside the Aga and all the rest of it. Why? How? Now? The nation was shocked and disappointed and everything under the sun. How could this have happened, to one of the favourites? To our favourite?

He said quietly, nearly explained that

“Lads, nobody died tonight.”

Unfortunately, Muhammad Ali died. Last night be it, but still. The sense of loss I feel is more present than I thought it would be. He left a legacy behind that people can only stand in the shadow of. What a shadow it is.

What a shadow it is.

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