Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This Week In Inexplicably Popular: How Low Can You Go - Ludacris

I'd like to use this blog a forum to publically put to rest the Chipmunkification of hip-hop music. If you haven't heard 'How Low Can You Go', count your blessings and don't press play on the embedded video at the bottom of this page. If you have, you can surely sympathize. I've never been a fan of Ludacris. His songs have always played to the lowest common denominator in hip-hop, and while this has resulted in unprecedented crossover success, you'd have a hard time finding anyone to argue the merits of Area Codes and Move Bitch in 2010. In fact, save for aging frat dudes, you'd have a hard time finding anyone to not cringe upon hearing the opening bars. Meanwhile, 15-year-old 'Juicy' brings down the house in every club at 2AM (see Saturday night).

Well, Ludacris has done it again. 'How Low Can You Go' was certified platinum last week as you can see above. I love watching him accept the award in a studio surrounded by middle-aged white record executives trying hard to look comfortable. Nobody gets platinum records anymore, so Ludacris is the record label messiah. I'm reminded of 'The Skit' from Wale's fantastic Mixtape About Nothing. That is the current state of affairs in hip-hop crossover music. 'How Low Can You Go' is 2010's 'Crank Dat Flying Squirrel'.

I don't mind Kanye West does it. Heck, most of College Dropout is drenched in the chipmunk effect (see Through The Wire) and I LOVE that record. but the difference between Kanye and Ludacris, is that Kanye is sampling legitimate soul songs and Ludacris has no such artistic integrity. Couple this absurd effect with lyrics that would make Biggie blush and you have a recipe for a platinum record. You also have one more thing that Fox News and middle-aged women will reference whenever they talk about what's wrong with America.

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