Music Monday usually has a bit of a rap and hip hop flavor, but this week I’m focusing more on the composition of the lyrics of a particular song, instead of the content or the musical genre.

Keri Hilson burst onto the scene in 2009 with a very good first album. Her single “Turning Me On” has a great beat, is full of attitude, and is very catchy for all the right reasons. She also did a lot of work with Timbaland, including the single “The Way I Are” which was pretty awesome despite the grammatical errors. Her work with Kanye West on the song “Knock Me Down” is probably her most famous single. All this indicates that Ms. Hilson has talent and a future in the business.

Moving on to her second album, I have a bone to pick with her song “Pretty Girl Rock.” Let me be clear that I understand what she was trying to do with the music video: pay homage to female musical icons of the past by dressing up like them and therefore bringing attention to their accomplishments. That is spectacular, if you can get past the boring, pedantic, 4th grade poetry assignment of a song that it is set to. The video is up here on youtube for you to watch so you can see what I’m talking about.

Let’s pretend I’m a 4th grade teacher and I give my students the following assignment:

1. You have to write a poem.
2. It has to rhyme every two lines. (I’m not an English major so I don’t know how to be any more specific than that.)
3. The subject is to describe how you are beautiful or handsome and that the world should recognize your individuality.

Here goes…

***

My name is Amanda,
I can’t stand ta,
Stand in line,
Any longer than I have ta.

So I do my hair up,
Even do my makeup,
Then I flash a smile so that
I get a fast coff-ee cup.

My clothes, my hair,
They make you stare,
So best not keep me
Standin’ there.

Please serve me ’cause I’m beautiful,
Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful.

***
That took me 5 minutes to write.

When I listen to Hilson’s single it makes me wonder what happened to the dynamic singles she had on her first album. I wondered the same thing about Taylor Swift whose first album I loved but her other albums I absolutely detest. I am not sure if this change in her style is reflective of the extent of her own talent or the limits of her listening audience, but I wish that Hilson had matched the admirable message sent by the music video with a song reflective of the depth of the musicians she is attempting to showcase.

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