Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Work Is Way Smarter Than People Give It Credit For

So. I love Rihanna's "Work". I honestly think that it's one of the smartest songs we've had in a long time. And it irks me that while a lot of people like the production most are dismissing the lyrics which in mind make it one of the most clever songs about sex since "Kick/Push". (By the way that skateboard ain't a skateboard.

Evan Pushchak, The Nerdwriter, has already done a video essay about the style and influences of the song but I want to go deeper and talk about it's importance.

So part of the reason why I feel this song is important is because where it lies within' the context of other songs that came out around it.

So for the past few years people have been rolling their eyes at Iggy Azalea. Because of cultural appropriation. And before you start I know the sample in Rihanna's work is Jamaican rather than from Barbados but stick with me here.

Iggy's Work is all about establishing her roots but to a guy like me it comes across as a bit inauthentic. Yes because of her race.

I know next to nothing about Iggy Azalea and will be up front about it.

But still if you're going to have the came up from the bottom song you better sell it because very often in this rap game when people said they came up from the bottom and how they grew up flat broke they mean it.

And Iggy's Work doesn't.

And Rihanna's work very much seems to be a comment on not necessarily the song but the technique. She wants to drown you in the type of music she grew up listening to and show you where she came from as an artist.

Which is why she's putting on that accent. She's making a deliberate artistic choice and that deliberate choice has resulted in this.

You know what song everybody has  RIGHTLY dumped on.

The brilliance of  "Sexual Healing" and to a lesser extent "Let's Get It On" is they feel like songs actually about sex

And in media dealing with sex head on is haaaarrrrrd.

Oh don't get me wrong we can talk all day about sexuality. But actual two people doing the horizontal mambo and enjoying the experience that's something we have trouble with. And more over we also have trouble describing romantic complexity.

The idea that you might love somebody but not what they do. Or love somebody but not love them all the time. Or not want the same things they do.

Sex is complicated

Love is complicated.

People are complicated.

And that's what the lyrics of song are about.

It's basically about couples therapy mid-coitus. With both sex and the relationship itself acting as metaphors for each other as the characters Drake and Rihanna play in the song, "Work" it out.

P.S. How many times does she have to repeat the words, "Do me." for people to get it.

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