Random Thoughts: Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”

10 Apr

The sound system in my car is quite old. It is a CD player I bought in about 2000 and has migrated to a few different cars since then. It has lived in my 2002 Volkswagen for some time now, as I am too cheap to replace it with something modern. I have spilled Coke and other liquids on it, it has been forcibly removed by a neighborhood rogue and forcibly restored by a Best Buy employee who was irritated I had hung onto a 6-year-old receipt. It has 8 buttons for radio station presets, but only 4 of the buttons work. Sometimes it gets too hot to touch, other times it’s fine, sometimes it randomly shuts off or spits out the CD I am listening to. It plays some burned CDs, but like my Mom, doesn’t understand what an MP3 is.

I listen to the radio a lot.

One station I listen to is 106.7, which is the local ‘Hot Jamz’ top-40 station. It plays a great deal of Pink, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Pitbull, and other big name people. I like listening to it because I enjoy pop culture, and I like knowing What The Kids Are Doing These Days.

I recently realized something about my radio-listening habits though; when I hear a song on 106.7, I draw conclusions about the song. Sometimes they are cynical.

If I hear a woman singing, I expect to hear:

  • That she wants to get together/back together with someone
  • That she is better off without someone
  • That everyone should want to be with /party with her

If I hear a man singing, I expect to hear:

  • That he wants to be with someone
  • Reasons why someone should want to be with him
  • That his dance moves/suit/lyrics/hair are the freshest

Obviously, not all songs follow these points. However, the tiny cynical part of my brain insists that the vast majority do, and so when I hear a new pop song on the radio I try to figure out where it falls in my completely arbitrary and ridiculous rhetoric. Basically, I think ‘how is this guy trying to get me to buy what he’s selling?’

So when I heard the lyric in Thrift Shop that goes “I wear your Grandad’s clothes, I look incredible,” it gave me pause.

“Well… I gotta give him points for originality, but man… I’m kind of glad I was born before 1980, right now.” 


Now if he’d said ‘I wear my Batman pajamas,’ he would have my full attention.


... but what do YOU think?

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