Joe Blow – You Should Be Paying Me

Far be it from me to malign non-Mac Miller misogyny on a rap blog, but there’s something stunning about how pristine and epic the production is on this track vs. the lyrics’ complete & total lack of empathy, their denial of women’s humanity. Not like we were expecting any less from Dru Down — who crafted an amazing hook, incidently — but I think a Jacka guest verse could have at least added some inner turmoil or conflicted-ness to the proceedings, transforming this from one of the best beats/hooks of the year to one of the year’s best songs. As it is, I have to treat it like the rap music version of The-Dream’s “Fancy,” a record-setting distillation of the kind of dissociation required from music fans. cf also that “Pumped Up Kicks” rock song that got critics all uncomfortable earlier this year, when they began to suspect thoughtful twee rock might be as susceptible to questionable perspectives as rap music.

I think the main problem is that the beat generates such enthusiastic awe; at least with other pimp tracks they’re more concerned with sounding fresh, or badass, rather than being driven by emotive power. The key moment is the line “I don’t feel her at all,” while the track is all about overwhelming feeling. How can you feel overwhelmed by the emotional power of being completely calloused towards feelings? This should be a track about how Jacka regrets blasting someone, or a Miss Mary type track personifying weed as a woman, but it just doesn’t work when it’s about how many hoes Young Lox has, at least w/out being grounded by some psychological realism or consequences. The music undercuts their words by trying to give nonchalance a giddy, celebratory undercurrent.

4 responses to “Joe Blow – You Should Be Paying Me

  1. Joe Blow’s debut album was surprisingly great, “The Dopest” is amazing and I like this song a lot too.
    Never really pondered the implications of these lyrics too hard though.

  2. Yeah, I mean there are plenty of rap records I don’t give this kind of close reading to, but the production is ~so good~ and I think the Jacka’s association sort of begs that kind of thing

  3. Oh wow I didn’t realize you posted about Joe Blow just a few days ago. I just got “International Blow – The Fixtape” last evening and have been spinning it back to back since. Dude has unbelievable production selections.

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