An estimated 92% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things, ever. We here at Nerdist are dead set on bringing you those types of songs—even if only for the weekend. So shove this into your grey matter!
This week I thought I’d do something a little different and bring you some musical comedy. There are many, many artists mixing comedy and music, and we’d be here forever if I tried to showcase them all in one sitting, so consider this the first of a few installments. The likes of Tim Minchin, Stephen Lynch, Bo Burnham, and even early Steve Martin all deserve particular praise in their own articles. This week though, I figure I’d start with a particular artist who not only spans musical genres within his musical comedy, but also puts a hell of a lot of effort into the production of the videos. Some of the following will be fairly NSFW so, you know, earmuff the little ones and such. Let’s enjoy some Jon Lajoie.
It’s likely that most are familiar with Lajoie’s work as “Taco” on the gone-but-not-forgotten FX/FXX show The League. Lajoie was able to bring some of his music into the show including his increasingly inappropriate “Birthday Song” or the right-out-of-the-gate inappropriate “Vinegar Strokes” and “EBDB BnB” jingle. Google those last two, as I’m sure I shouldn’t be allowed to talk about either subject matter or even link them directly. Those songs aside, I think where Lajoie excels is in his ability to create entire songs that are not only catchy, but are also able to make salient and meta commentary on the music itself.
“Please Use This Song”
Is that not one of most well-rounded pop songs you’ve ever heard? “Please Use This Song” begs advertisers to utilize it in ad campaigns, while the song actually is an advertisement for that very thing. It’s mocking the nature of well-constructed pop songs that garner the attention of companies that, when used in ads, give a massive amount of exposure to the band. The song doesn’t care what or how it’s used, as evidenced by the many proposed demo commercials in the video. The only thing that does matter is that the song makes money for the band. It’s an anthem on the desire to sell out that, whether intentional or not, is a cutting commentary on the music industry and every band that has deliberately made such a song.
Now, let’s get to where Lajoie really shines; rap music. There are quite a few hip-hop songs that he’s produced and sadly, most are just a bit too NSFW for me to even link to. Some are incredibly raunchy, but it’s not just for shock value, as most of them are a commentary on the general hyper-masculine and overly aggressive attitude that most hip-hop and rap takes on these days.
A sincere NSFW warning about this next one as it drops a healthy dose of F-bombs at an alarmingly fast and, frankly, delightful rate.
Told ya. This song, that averages around 19 “F**ks” a minute is so wonderfully absurd in its subject matter but speaks to a larger point about some hip hop, by making fun of the ridiculous nature of artists that brag about how many “f**ks” they refuse to give, and how that ultimately loses its meaning when done so often. Not giving a “f**k” about mundane everyday things and abstract concepts eventually leads to not giving any for the curse word itself. Replacing it with “chainsaw” in the final hook goes to show that the power of that word, and the tough-guy ideal, is ultimately meaningless. The song’s real punchline comes when “not giving a f**k” is followed to its logical conclusion. In that if the feeling is that extreme, it must apply to the concept of “not giving a f**k” and therefore, the result of not giving a f**k about “not giving a f**k” is caring about absolutely everything.
Furthering this outlook on hip hop, the hyperbolically chauvinist lyrics in songs like… oh boy… how do I get around this? Alright, I suppose if you were to look on Lajoie’s YouTube channel for a song that rhymes with “Show Me Your Menitals.” (Sheesh, I hope I’m not fired) you’ll see that the hyperbolic chauvinist lyrics in that song serve as a condensed representation of overtly sexist hip hop that view women only as objects. The point being is that Lajoie is able to subvert the cliché of the genre from the inside out.
Thankfully, this isn’t the only time he’s taken aim at these aspects of hip hop.
“Started as a Baby”
As silly as the premise and the lyrics for this song are, I would argue that it has one of the best rhymes in hip hop. Poking fun at rappers who feel the need to tell you how far they’ve come is one thing but doing so with the line “And eating solid foods whenever the f**k I want, Celery, broccoli, spaghetti, smokey cheese and croissant.” is some next-level lyrical expertise. It may be a novelty song but I’d be willing to bet you’ll be singing “started as a baby, a tiny little baby” at some point in the near future…or you’ll at least be sending it to that friend you have who’s just way too into Drake.
Image: Jon Lajoie
Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago, IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. You can be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers)