Tuesday, August 04, 2009

#43 Song of the Decade- "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)"

43. UGK feat. Outkast- "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)"

Q: What is the appropriate sum of money to "fuck with" in the club?

a) a couple stacks
b) $328.65
c) forty dollars
d) n/a- Carrying cash is foolish in our wintry economic climate. Start a tab with a credit card, preferably one that offers reward points and high-yield interest.

According to Port Arthur poet laureate Pimp C, if you chose (c), you're trash. It doesn't matter what type of club it is, what your circumstances are, or whether or not you drink. Unconditionally, you're trash, and/or "you gets no love." I have my problems with UGK, but this line sticks with me more than any other one in the song.

This is a track that opens with a jaunty, enjambed verse from a really smart rapper, but it doesn't take off until Pimp C explains something completely inane and superficial with more conviction than I've ever explained anything in my life. In a way, that one quality is what made UGK vital.

I smile whenever I hear the sunshine of the Willie Hutch sample, I relate to Andre 3000's fear of commitment, and I relish Big Boi's honesty when he tells me to "ask Paul McCartney" about women's scorn. But none of that makes me want to visit the ATM before I go out.

Rap's critics worry about the influence the music has on our nation's youth, and rap critics insist that the music's audience is above that influence. Surely, I insist, we're not easily persuaded by such silliness.

And every time I do that, I'm checking the forty-five dollars in my pocket and lying through my teeth.

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