Apparently He Can, But He Really Shouldn’t

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Apparently He Can, But He Really Shouldn’t

Audrey Rowland

Unimpressed music-afficionado.

Audrey Rowland, Writer

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Since LMFAO’s hiatus in September 2012, vocalist Stefan Kendal Gordy (Redfoo) has attempted to recreate his success, this time as a solo act. However, where LMFAO, a musical collaboration between Redfoo and his nephew Sky Blu, né Skyler Austin Gordy, achieved a lighthearted, quirky coolness, Redfoo’s recent efforts read as more desperate and misogynistic than anything else. “Literally I Can’t,” a would-be chart-topper, is co-written by Redfoo and produced by his record company, Party Rock Records. Seeking to emulate the success of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” easily the song of the summer, “Literally I Can’t” shares its endorsement of rape culture but not its popularity.

But the most troubling aspect of “Literally I Can’t” is that it is not an outlier. Lyrics like “I’m…trying to see what you got, not hear what you think” are the norm in pop music, not the exception. Ke$ha’s 2010 hit “Blah, Blah, Blah,” which sold over two million digital copies in the US, features lyrics such as “stop, talk, talk, talking that blah, blah, blah” and Maroon Five’s “Animals,” currently number 4 on Billboard’s Top 100, describes a stalker following his “prey,” otherwise known as the young woman he is romantically interested in. “The song and the video are both appalling, but it’s not like I’ve never seen anything like this before,” comments Madison High School senior Tyler Simeone. “Literally I Can’t” is more blatant in its endorsement of objectification and misogyny than the songs and videos it was modeled after, but it breaks no new ground.

After widespread criticism of the song’s concept, video, and lyrics, the music video for “Literally I Can’t” now begins with a disclaimer: “The following is a satirical video based on Sororities/Fraternities and the cliche “Literally I Can’t.” This content is in no way to be interpreted as negative towards any group of people. It is an art piece and it shall be taken as such.” By labelling the song as a satirical work of art, song, Redfoo and his production company, Play-N-Skillz, are attempting to capitalize on the splash of media coverage their efforts have brought in without being forced to publicly apologize for the way in which they got attention. Hey, all press is good press right?

Wrong. As the dismal sales for Robin Thicke’s Paula, the follow-up to “Blurred Lines,” illustrate, it doesn’t take much for public goodwill to wear thin. “Literally I Can’t” will not top the Billboard 100 anytime soon. Redfoo should stick to LMFAO; no one’s laughing at his latest endeavor.

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