Tag Archives: CSS

Paint It Black: Black Kids and Black Eyed Peas

The Black Kids’ aggressively catchy debut, Partie Traumatic, isn’t shy about finding fun through formula. Its influences are tried, true, and in clear focus: synthy ’80s references (a la the Killers), Springsteenian epicness (Killers again), hypersexed dance rhythms (CSS), and boy-girl shoutalong choruses (Arcade Fire, Tilly and the Wall, and a host of others).

But lyrically, “Listen to Your Body” bears resemblances to some touchstones that are even more mainstream. Look at these couplets, aggrandizing like a puffy-chested tween boy and awkwardly sexy like a 12-year-old trying on her first “sexy” Halloween costume:

Yes you was tryin’a hex me / All tellin’ me I’m sexy

So now you’re in my bedroom / All talking bout some boom boom
But you really shouldn’t assume / ‘Cause my man’s coming home soon
He tryn’a have a rival / Best stick to your survival
Ain’t tryn’a be liable / I swear it on the Bible

Note the pseudo hip-hop phrasing that doesn’t quite fit the syllables (like the emphasis on “AH-summe”) and the sore-thumb word choices of “hex me” and “liable.” Brings to mind another gem — Black Eyed Peas “My Humps.”

I drive these brothers crazy / I do it on the daily
They treat me really nicely / They buy me all these icies

Awkward, right? Plus, both songs use the same “sexy” and “dance next to me” rhyme.

What’s to glean from all this? Maybe nothing. Maybe just that hip-hop’s reach seeps far into popular music. Maybe that it’s only a matter of time before Black Kids show up on Now That’s What I Call Indie Rock! comp.

But if nothing else, it shows that these Kids from Florida just wanna have fun.

MP3: Black Kids – “Listen to Your Body”

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