Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Practical Response to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble"

So we've finally made our way through the hip hop Jungle to Will Smith, everyone on Earth's favorite person ever. He's the best actor and the best at making music according to your mom and sister. Well, I think we should journey back in time to when Will Smith was just known as The Fresh Prince and he was still hanging around with his buddy DJ Jazzy Jeff. We're going all the way back to 1985! When Will was only 17 and was still in high school. The good years right? Well, they were especially good for Will because he had his first single Girl's Ain't Nothing but Trouble which was drawing all of the right attention, and eventually led him to a deal and a record in 1987 (and also to sales).  So this song is Will Smith's most important. It got Will and his team signed, it was his first single, and it was the lead off song on his album "Rock the House". Word. Big accomplishments.

I remember when this song was getting play on MTv, and I also remember not really liking it. DJ Jazzy Jeff is still a great DJ (and this beat fits the lyrics), but Will's lyrics were always too corny for me. So, if this song came on I probably would have changed the channel (I was more of a Public Enemy / Too $hort fan). But I still heard this song a lot.

So let's take a look at it! I think we all know that it's a few story raps, so we'll see what situations Will Smith sets up and how he deals with them. Bring the pain...?


Historical. Let's waste no more time and break this down:

Will doesn't want to "burst your bubble" but he still introduces the idea that "girls ain't nothing but trouble". He recommends that you should "get the hell away" if a girl "gives you the play".
Now, I don't know what "the play" is, but I hope this song informs us quick.

Verse 1:
Will notices a "lovely lady" (named "Exotic Elane") that he wants to "meet", so he introduces himself to her. They talk a little, and Will tries to charm her with humor, when that doesn't work he shows her "some cash".
Okay, if you show someone named "Exotic Elaine" cash, she's definitely going to be yours. That's how that works I guess. Next, Will admits to liking Elaine (to her), which leads her to "[grab him] all over, kissing and hugging", which leads Will to "shove her away". Uh, isn't that the point of dating??? To take it to the next level if there is chemistry? I don't know. So, obviously Elaine is hurt by Will's rejection and his physical assault, so she obviously accuses him of being the aggressive one and accuses him of raping her! YIKES!

When she yells out rape, Will does the sensible thing and runs away (giving her his wallet first).

Eventually he is caught by the police, beaten (obviously), and charged. End.

So, in this case "girls" "giving play" means wanting to push a relationship to the next level, getting shoved, and making false accusations. That's definitely play. But I think that Will is probably twisting this story so that he looks good. Frankly, I'd like to hear Elaine's side of this. People don't usually yell things like that without a good reason. Let's get to the truth. You can't handle the truth!

Will, you made a lot of mistakes there. First of all, AVOID dating strippers. Second of all, AVOID telling a woman you barley know that you like her unless you want to go to second base (wink). FINALLY, AVOID THE POLICE. NO DOY.

Verse 2:Will is in a bar drinking when "Sheila" introduces herself to him. How does Will respond to this? He immediately pays his tab and leaves with Sheila. Good Grief. What's different between Sheila and Exoctic Elaine. You started things off with Elaine and..whatever.

Anyway, they go directly to Sheila's house and things start heating up. Inside, the mood is set, winks are winked, passes are made, caressing, uh , happens, you get the idea. Suddenly, everything is interrupted by Sheila's boyfriend. Wha-whaaaaa. To save his "butt" Will jumps out of the window barely dressed. He walks home in the snow and remembers his keys are back at Sheila's he's caught a cold. Will, you should have fought or at least grabbed your pants.

This time "giving play" means being fast while having a boyfriend. That is nothing but trouble.

Bridge:The crew debates whether or not they got their point across, and decide to give one more example.

Verse 3:
Well this is an easy one. Will's girlfriend gets Run DMC tickets. When he goes to pick her up, she takes so long getting ready that the show ends. Will leaves her house mad.

Okay, so now "giving play" means taking too long to get ready. Check. Weak verse? Check. The definition of "giving play" really covers a lot of ground, but I think it could easily just mean "causing trouble", either severe (prison time) or mild (irritation). In the end I can't back up Will on his recommendation of running away from every problem caused by women. You'd  always be running (the same goes for the ladies, if you ran every time your man gave you a problem the human race would be over).

IN CONCLUSION: Uh, rise to your challenges and don't go out with anyone named "exotic". When you "get play" roll with it. If you get a lot of play from one person (or if the play has severe consequences), THEN run the hell away.

Oh, and if you have a chance to work with DJ Jazzy Jeff, definitely do it.

Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble Score 4/10

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