Rocking the cliché
says: enough shock and y’all, no more hos, quit whining about your dad
I was a pretty poor
drummer in high school and college and my attempts at lyric writing will
only serve to make my next of kin laugh with pity someday.
That said, after years
of listening to popular music, both as a radio disc jockey and music
fan, I’d like to offer my humble advice on what subject matter aspiring
song writers and musicians should avoid, should they wish to bestow
their talents upon the world. This is by no means a complete list and
your mileage may vary. Feel free to tack this up on a wall and leave
plenty of space below to add clichés as you discover them. I’ve
separated subjects by genre for ease of use… and maximum comedic effect.
1. Gonna Get Rich or
Die Tryin’: You’d think that living in a state with the motto “Live Free
or Die,” I’d identify with this theme, but to me it comes off as
contrived. After all, most of the MC’s on the radio already are rich
beyond anything the average kid listening is ever going to have, so why
rhyme about it on your third album?
2. How Much the Ladies
Just Love (insert self as third person here): Referring to women as “hos,”
really, has this kind of stuff ever worked with anyone you’d want to
sleep with? No, really… I know there are plenty of delusional white
suburban boys out there (the prime demographic for rap), but c’mon, THAT
3. How Much Better My
Stuff Is Than (insert opposite-coast rival here): We are fast
approaching a point when every track on every rap disc will be about
another rap artist. There is a theory that states that time and space
will at this point fall back upon itself, creating a rip in the
space-time continuum, thereby causing the universe to collapse into a
big pile of doo-doo. This same theory also states that the white
suburban boys will still buy it and play it on a system that cost them
5.8 times the actual cost of their 12-year-old Civic.
1. My Father Was a Jerk
and it Caused All My Problems in Life: Really? How old are you now?
Listen, adolescence was pretty bad for all of us — by degrees, granted,
but you’ve got a record contract now. Shut up and enjoy the spoils.
Which brings me to…
2. Baby, I’ve Got Your
Lovin’ Right Here: I’m sure you do, and the bottle of antibiotics to go
with it. Spare me. It’s been done, dude. And so has the mullet. Unless
you’re a 70-plus blues master straight from the Delta or a member of the
Supremes, never, ever use the word “baby” in a song. EVER. No
3. We’re Gonna Party
Like No One Has Ever Partied Before: See Keith Moon, Bon Scott or Keith
1. Love the Good Ole
USA or Get Out, Commie: Yes, I love my country. Enough to have learned
the history beyond the Confederacy. In that history, I have learned that
true patriotism is never blind allegiance. Johnny Cash knew that.
2. I’m Down Home Folk…
But I Left Home and Family to Be a Big Music Star and Get Famous: You’re
rich and a superstar but what you really want in life is the simple
1. I’m 17 But Wise to
The World: Manufactured pop stars are nothing new. That’s OK. Just stop
trying to convince us that we can learn from your junior high romance.
Now get back to work; mom and dad need to live vicariously, you know.
2. Being a Pop Star is,
Like, Really Hard!: So is working six and a half days a week for a
paycheck so my kids can buy your crap. Please, shut up.