The “ho stroll” being my personal terminology for the mainstream gigs I occasionally play. Despite the fact that the money is always better than any of my gigs where I can be creative and play good music, the ho stroll gigs are becoming increasingly difficult. The last few of them paid for my birthday trip abroad and a bathroom renovation so I should be motivated to keep chasing that paper. But I’m struggling.
I basically have to play music I hate for people I can’t relate to. This nullifies my biggest asset, which is my ability to make an emotional connection with my audience, otherwise known as that whole vibe conducting thing.
It should be easy actually, because most of today’s popular music takes no skill to mix. Actually, you generally don’t have to mix at all. Most of the songs are mad slow and you just drop them on the one and folks go nuts.
To keep the ho stroll money steady, I have to stay current. Usually I just get a zip file from my WPGC connect. That’s much better than the days when I’d have to prepare for such gigs by actually wasting money buying the records. Of course those songs weren’t as bad as today’s songs either. Still, the instant playlist approach means that I end up not knowing the songs very well, so sometimes I have to break down and listen to the radio (nOva, you’re a bigger man than I.)
It withers the soul and makes my brain ache.
Occasionally there’s a decent tune. I’m not mad at the new Lloyd jont, with Weezy interpolating “Paid In Full”. But that appeals to my old school sensibilities so maybe that’s not a good example.
I was struck by the fact that The Dream has a tune with a good melody. The most classic way to make a solid song is so rare on commercial radio that when you hear a standout melody it’s an event. I can’t front though, T-Pain has crafted a few quality melodies. But the props I had ready for The Dream were soured when I heard the album version that has a refrain of “fuck that nigga” sung in falsetto. I recommend the radio edit.
And sometimes I feel like I’m the only one noticing things that should make everyone howl in disbelief, like hearing Too Short’s old ass (who I admittedly loved as a youth) drop these jewels…
I got ten bad bitches, actin’ retarded
I’m tryin’ to meet a few new ones
What’s up with you girl, maybe we can do somethin’
Do you drink, do you smoke?
I could tell by your purse and your shoes you ain’t broke
Hang with me, the first thing you do is get stuck
Take you somewhere, later on you’ll get fucked, beotch!
…sandwiched in between shout-outs from local high school girls. Sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever learn.
But the pièce de résistance (for now) has to be “Bust It Baby”. This one is actually worth an embed. First of all, I can’t believe this saga has three parts, one of which features Janet Jackson (to hell with you Jermaine Dupri).
I now offer an exercise in audience participation. What is the most coonerific facet of the video below?
– the song
– the “performance”
– the outfit
– the comments
Even my little sister – a millennial who generally digs such fare – was like “I have to draw the line somewhere”.