by John Jude Farragut
From the album, “Sean Kingston”
I kept wondering what the fuss on iTunes was about. Everywhere I looked, the titles of people’s iMixes had some mention of a guy named Sean Kingston or a song called “Beautiful Girls” or both. I kept wondering if he was some actor or real-named musician. When his self-titled debut album surfaced, I took a listen–as much as iTunes allows with its thirty-second previews of music, that is. Right away, I was not impressed; the faux Jamaican accent kills it for me the most, and his voices and harmonies are metallic and monotonous. But with a closer look at the lyrics, I was surprised by the content. The album is not overwhelmed with profanity or sex–a refreshing break from mainstream hip-hop and rap.
Lyrics and biography are found on www.lyricsmania.com.
But one day, MySpace made history
Hooked up with big homie on the west
MySpace is a common and (evidently) successful steppingstone for artists seeking discovery. Also, despite the overdone background music and needlessly dramatic words, the meaning in the lyric “It hasn’t been an easy road for me” is powerful.
I still can’t figure out the meaning of this song. Against what or whom is Sean Kingston battling? On another note, the use of “BS” and the words “Things going [too] well when the devil start workin” ruin the song for me.
Take You There
We can go to the tropics
Sip piña coladas
Shorty I could take you there
Or we can go to the slums
Where killas get hung
Shorty I could take you there
Little kid wit guns only 15
Roam in the streets up to no good
When gun shots just watch us, run quickly
I could show you where
Even if you’re “known in the ghetto,” taking a girlfriend to such a place is a recipe for disaster. Why would “Shorty” want to follow him there? (At least I now know that “shawty” is the equivalency of “shorty,” but that still doesn’t make an ounce of sense.) The only one to whom we should entrust our lives and safety is the Lord; human effort to guide us through the places dark and dangerous is bound to fail.
But Sean acknowledges that the tropical West Indies is not pure paradise. Nothing in this world is. Where I live, “gentlemen’s clubs” and casinos line the streets around almost every corner of downtown. Because my bus ride to the college takes me through those dark places, I thank God for his protection from dangers like the prostitution and gambling and the drinking that is prevalently found there.
Anyway, this song makes me think of the television show “24,” but Jack Bauer and Sean Kingston have a major difference: One shoots, one sings. Who wins? Lastly, the music to this is the second-best in the album. The tempo and musical key in which it is played really add an exciting feel.
I have to admit, I like this song. The vocals are faux Jamaican at its finest, but the background music and synthesizers are well done, especially in the chorus. The use of the cymbals that enter the chorus is a nice touch. I object to the words “damn” and “caress,” but there are many, many worse words that could be used. The music and the song as a whole are my favorites on this album.
You’re way too beautiful girl
That’s why it’ll never work
You’ll have me suicidal, suicidal
When you say it’s over
Damn all these beautiful girls
They only wanna do your dirt
They’ll have you suicidal, suicidal
When they say it’s over
So begins the song that so many people on iTunes requested. The music is lightweight–not very dense or complicated as the music for “Me Love.” The lyrics are overdramatic and shallow, although they leave me wondering how girls are so influential that teenagers would commit suicide over them–if that is what we are supposed to imply from the song. If men are expected to be trying to seek out a relationship with women whose looks fade over time, I might as well drop out of full-time college and stop pursuing my dream career as a novelist, but I think that college gives a better outcome, personally.
Dry Your Eyes
17 now my mommys gone
Cant wait till she come back home
Missin her face like dust till dawn,while she went away
Never think it be this long
I feel like cryin while I’m writin this song
Cant wait till that day come on
When she leave the place
One major thing about this song: It is the only one I have ever seen that uplifts mothers. I have been looking all over for a song that does this. Admittedly, it is overdramatic–not much of a surprise–but it is somewhat sweet.
I would like to note of the following lyrics in the beginning of the song:
Just like Rihanna you can stand under my umbrella.
Surprise, surprise! I wonder if Rihanna had any objections to Kingston citing her recent hit.
Got No Shorty
‘Cause I I I I I aint got no shorty
That’s why I’m Calling Barbra, texting Carla
Stuck in the club still lookin’ for love
I’m really all yours but I’m telling __
Tell ya I’m a pimp I got no sexy girls
Got so plenty don’t know who to choose
Now there’s something most men can’t do. How can someone have no “sexy girls” but then immediately say he cannot choose between them all? That might have to be filed under the “Embarrassing Lyrics” article. “Got No Shorty” comes across as a tame equivalent of T-Pain’s hideous hit “Buy U a Drank”: Kingston says, “She got drink in her cup / And we can take it to the floor / And tear it up.”
I do have to laugh whenever I read these straightforward lyrics:
I said I’m lookin’ for love
Not askin’ for much
Just a fine little shorty
With a big ol’ butt
Here’s another song along the “Beautiful Girls” catch. This one features Paula DeAnda and, unlike “Beautiful Girls,” does not have the word “damn” or the misuse of “Lord” in it.
I Can Feel It
More of the same catch. It was a bit of a discovery to hear that a guy thinks his girlfriend is as “fine as hell.”
I’m marching with the army of kids
All my soldiers in the streets raise your arms like this
Miss america we are, we here for the crown
If you not digging the movement, kick down
I do one for the teams who crowding in each town
And i’mma hold it down and do it for me now
The beat! it’s a drummer boy.
Hot! like the summer boy.
In the streets i ain’t eat for weeks, i got hunger boy!
A bad augmentation of “Kingston” has some embarrassing lyrics: “Miss America we are” leaves a few eyebrows raised and some heads jolted back in confusion. Evidently, the rhymes are bad, but the music is better–just not by much; the drums in the background are a tad to be expected, so there is not much surprise here.
In spite of the cliché “If I’m wrong, I don’t want to be right,” this song shows something new: Kingston is singing about loving a guy’s sister. Is there supposed to be something flagrantly wrong? There are much more hideous things he could be doing, but calling what he’s doing “forbidden fruit” sounds almost monumental–although Kingston’s girlfriend would surely object to being passed off for someone else.
That Ain’t Right
Man I like the way you treat me girl
Sit down lets talk lemme reason girl
I kno I be deceivin ya girl
cuz I really wanna hold ya down
Should this be construed as rape? If Sean Kingston allegedly based his songs around his life, I shudder to wonder what he did here that inspired him to write this.
Somebody change the world
We’ve got little boys and little girls
Growing up on this sinful earth
Oh whats happening?
I dont know, but please tell me
We’ve got all these criminals and discretes
Killin people for no reason
I don’t know why
I empathize with Kingston. It is appalling what society is coming to, and here in America, in a society that continues to perilously push God away, people are allowed to get away with unspeakable and insidious actions, and Christians are being crushed under the world’s heel. I want to change things for the better, as well, but if God doesn’t help me, I am nothing. Kingston has the right attitude here, but he needs to know what God’s Word says. There, peace and comfort are found, even when we don’t have the answers or the power to make things change on a large scale.
The Supreme Court continues to follow the trends of the liberal Drive-By Media–attacking the Christian foundation that gave us the strength and heritage which we take for granted. The removal of the Ten Commandments, the abolition of the death penalty, the lax abortion laws, the Fairness Doctrine that allows voices of liberalism and treason but threatens to destroy conservative speech–all of these continue to erode the morality of our nation. And when the government does not do its job to punish evil and reward good, is it any wonder why circumstances are worse than ever?
If I could change one thing in the music world, it would be to remove the treasonous music of Green Day. There was a time when their words would mean death. Now, they perform “Holiday” at concerts, declaring, “Here’s a big f*** you to all politicians,” and holding their middle fingers up high–along with the crowds of thousands of youth who follow Billie Joe Armstrong’s lead. (If you’ve ever seen the videos of this on YouTube, you’ll see what I mean.) Meanwhile, treason is allowed while Christian and conservative voices such as Rush Limbaugh come under attack. (The “phony soldiers” smear is a horrid case in point.) I agree with Kingston: “I wish I had the power–the power to change the world.” But, thankfully, that power lies in God’s hands, and He sees what is happening and is using His people to bring great change.
A bizarre song to finish Kingston’s debut album. The language and the lyrics “I don’t give a damn about your guts and your glory” are objectionable, but the fact is that the most “clean” albums by rappers such as Kanye West and Ludacris are even worse.
While writing this, I have been repeatedly surprised by how little foul language Sean Kingston uses. That is high ground to take for an artist in the hip-hop/rap genre, and I admire him for that reason and hope he at least stays on that course.