The world is changing. In this tech-savvy world of ours where sexting is cool and Craigslist killing is in vogue, where online dating is becoming more popular than face-to-face interaction and employers use Skype™ for interviews, you can say we’re lost together. Gone are the simply days where you could simply run to the library or a local bookstore to read celebrated novels and novellas. Now, we have the Kindle as designed by Apple™. And, our conversations are now lacking depth. Instead of simply writing this out, we have gotten accustomed to abbreviating everything. Here are 7 songs we love (and love to hate) that are probably to blame for the C.O.O..L.-ness of abbreviation.
“OMG” by Usher
Seriously, Usher needed a comeback. His newly-found socially conscious grown-ass man swag was embodied in the 2008 lukewarm so-so effort Here I Stand, shifted from stoic father figure to lighthearted balladeer. Despite his latest album Raymond V. Raymond, as inspired by the divorce epic Kramer vs. Kramer, releasing to mixed reviews, it was indeed a step forward from the snapping of piano strings on his last album. “OMG,” an abbreviation for “Oh My God” or “Oh My Gosh,” moved us to the dance floor with its radio arena chants and electro quenched tenor delivery from the R&B prince we’ve grown to love.
“LOL Smiley Face” by Trey Songz
Surprisingly inspiring an answer song from Usher, the tacky titled song with its gimmicky, staccato-repetitive, bouncy-bounce pop pyrotechnics is still making splashes on airwaves everywhere. Why? We don’t know, but there’s got be a reason why so many people are in love with it. We’re still waiting to understand why it became so popular, considering we’ve been laughing out loud by the addition of the smiley face.
“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” by Michael Jackson
One of those rare B-sides that should have been a released single (as with all of the other unreleased songs from Thriller), The King Of Pop’s 1982 tour de force divvied up an amusing post-disco standard. Sampled on numerous occasions by Monica, Kanye West and Donnell Jones to name a few, the up-tempo R&B jam with the funky-synth featured two pretty young things, sisters Janet and Latoya as backup singers. Talking about giving one lucky lady some extra TLC who craves Mike’s tender love and care, we are still rocking out to a record that is nearly 30 years old. Long live the king.
“U.N.I.T.Y.” by Queen Latifah
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Man, was Dana Owens feisty! Before she went on to become a banking black Hollywood powerhouse in films Set It Off, Life Support and Chicago, Queen Latifah was the reigning sovereign of hip-hop. Her landmark All Hail The Queen launched a post-feminist movement in hip-hop but it was her third album Black Reign, was her most dynamic record (and most successful). The hit U.N.I.T.Y. which sampled The Crusaders’ “Message from the Inner City,” totally changed the landscape of the male dominated hip-hop culture and won her the coveted Best Solo Rap Performance award at the 37th Grammy’s (over Snoop Doggy Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” no less). We’ve been coming together every summer since at barbecues, blasting this hip-hop and rap classic.
“O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature
Are you down? No, we’re not talking about the Ontario Provincial Police but other people’s… er, property. The demurely ambiguous second “P” is now iconic and has been parodied hundreds of times over, most famously “Down wit’ MTV” for hip-hop emblem Yo! MTV Raps. Why? Well, imagine if you will, one having the willingness to have sex with someone in a relationship with their significant other… No wonder why its notorious! The infectious single released in the fall of ’91 by Naughty By Nature, that sampled Melvin Bliss’ “Synthetic Substitution,” “Oh Honey” by Brit one-hit-wonders Delegation and the No. 1 Jackson 5 smash hit “ABC,” turned a bunch of baseball-bat-wielding droogs into accidental hip-hop legends.
“YMCA” by The Village People
Disco fever was in full effect when this 1978 novelty hit sports arenas around the globe. Six men were to blame: a biker, a cop, a cowboy, a construction worker, a Native American, and a G.I. The result was one of the most ambiguous and catchy songs of all time. Heterosexual leader singer Victor Willis penned the song allegedly after reflecting on activities that cater to young inner city black youth like basketball and swimming at the Young Men’s Christian Association. But the band of boys, who sprang to fame from their lair in the underground gay circuit scene, sang the song with a reverie that made others pick up the implication that the tune was a celebration of the YMCA’s rep as a popular cruising and shack-up spot for young gay men. The double entendre is now iconic.
“Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” by Jay-Z
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The self proclaimed god of all hop-hop emcees finally cut his teeth. The –izzle lingo that surrounded one of Kanye West’s greatest cuts (sampling The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”) delivered one of best the rags to riches anthems since Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy,” proving The Blueprint was one for the records. Here, Jay-Z stepped out of the shadows of his regular street swag with a noughties anthem that sparkled like a Sierra Leone blood diamond. Its grit gave us chills and considering it surpassed his debut Reasonable Doubt with flying colors, had less of the Mafiaso shtick and had more of a carefree, naïve child sensibility than previous records.