Now today's song is Rude by the band MAGIC!.
I was eating dinner with a friend of mine a while back and we heard this song playing in the restaurant. My friend then told me that this song being played was proof that summer is getting closer and closer. After all, the reggae-ish sound this song has is perfect for summer (hence why the song was as popular as it was in 2014). Well now that it's almost spring, I think it's the perfect time to let this post that's been sitting in my draft folder for over a year be let out into the public.
So with that let's start with the way this song sounds.
Although I try to be open minded and find enjoyment in every music genre (and I usually do), I can't say that I've ever been too big into reggae music. As of this post the only other reggae-ish songs on my iPod are a few Buju Banton songs. And I listen to a lot of raggaeton but I'm sure that counts. That said, I like the instrumental for this song. I know people who hate this song because "the lyrics suck" (and we'll get to those lyrics in a minute) but yet they can't help but find enjoyment in the music itself. And as far as reggae music made by Canadians go, you could do a whole lot worse.
Alright, let's move on to the lyrics.
At it's core this song is about a guy asking his girlfriend's father for his daughter's hand in marriage, and the father says no. That in itself is an interesting topic. Unfortunately I think the band failed to deliver. To explain what I mean by that, I'll look at what the song did right, and what the song did wrong.
What Went Right
Like I said, the concept is unique.
You don't see too many pop songs nowadays where a guy asks for his girlfriend's father's blessing to marry his daughter. And I'm not even sure if people still do that in general anymore.
The other part where the father does not approve of his daughter marrying the guy in the song is also unique for a pop song and one that's somewhat relatable to certain people. There are a lot of couples out there who find themselves in an uncomfortable position where the family of one partner doesn't like or approve of the other partner for one reason or another.
I'll also give credit to the band for making the song aimed at the father, although they really botched it. Which brings me to...
What Went Wrong
Okay, let's immediately address the elephant in the room. In the song the guy is denied his girlfriend's father's blessing and then goes on to ask why the father is being so rude.
A big problem with that is that with the way the song is set up, the father wasn't being rude. The guy asked a question and got his answer, unfortunately for him it just wasn't the one he wanted to hear.
While I can feel bad for the guy getting shot down, I can't feel as bad considering what the guy in the song does next.
The denied boyfriend then goes on say how he's going to marry the girl anyway and that he'd move to another galaxy if he has to. Basically he gets butthurt and sticks his middle finger at the father by flaunting how he's a more superior presence in his girlfriend's life than her own father is.
Also, even though the boyfriend asks the father why he's "gotta be so rude" (supposedly), MAGIC! never thought to put in an answer. Usually fathers/families don't approve because of social class prejudices, racial prejudices or opposition of same-sex marriage, something like that. We get no reason why the father doesn't approve of his daughter marrying the narrator and story-wise it doesn't aid the narrator's case that the father was being rude.
Given how the father never gave us a reason why he disapproves, there might be a chance that he actually has a valid reason to say no. For all we know he could be trying to protect his daughter from an violent douchebag.
And make no mistake, the song hammers in the fact that the boyfriend is probably not good enough.
The boyfriend asks the father for his blessing three times in this song. In the song the father says no three times but all three responses are worded differently.
Tough luck my friend, but the answer is no
Tough luck my friend, cause the answer's still no
Tough luck my friend, but no still means no
The word still implies that some time has passed since the first response. You have to think that the guy asked the father at least three times and every time he gets shot down he keeps throwing a fit. By the end of the song I imagine that the narrator isn't a responsible adult and instead some immature late teen/early twenty-something being a baby because somebody said no to him for the first time in his life.
In fact it wouldn't surprise me if the only reason he asked the father in the first place was because it would make him feel cool for doing something so "retro", or to make the father feel flattered and give the boyfriend a bigger chance of the father saying yes. Either way it could be suggested that the narrator was only doing this whole thing for his benefit.
The song is obviously trying to give off the "it's the 21st century, your daughter is an adult who has the right to marry whoever she wants regardless of whether you (the father/family) approve or not" vibe, but since we don't know anything about this relationship we don't know what the daughter wants. We just end up being reminded that people in the 21st century have severe self-entitlement issues.
What Could've Been Done Differently
Well the denied boyfriend in the song could have made a better case for why he's worthy of his girlfriend's hand in marriage. Seriously, all of the fathers out there who happened to read this post up to here, after the way this guy acted does he sound like someone you'd want marrying your daughter?
MAGIC! could've done wonders by just simply making the boyfriend seem like someone who'd actually be a decent husband. Or at least a decent husband in the average chum's eyes. He could've talked about how he can offer financial security, how he'd be an excellent father, or maybe brag about how he could afford a downpayment on a nice house. SOMETHING that would make you feel like a worthy candidate is being denied (and no, "love" doesn't count, that should be a given).
Making the father a bit of a a-hole might've helped too. If the father and the son were both A-holes this song would've been unsalvageable but if the father was just being a terrible person and the boyfriend was a genuinely nice guy who looks like he's husband material it would've at least gotten the listeners' sympathy.
Also, it would've really helped if the girl's perspective was given to us. What does she think of whole situation? Is she siding with the father or the boyfriend? Where even is she during all this anyway? In fact it would've been a big improvement if the boyfriend has just spent the entire song trying to convince his girlfriend that he'd be the perfect husband regardless of what her father thinks and trying to debunk whatever doubts and concerns the girlfriend may have.
This song is the prime example of a guilty pleasure for me. I find it hilarious how the narrator manages to make a complete fool of himself and ends up making the listeners who actually bothered to dissect the song side with the father. It's not often that you get a song where the narrator just flat out fails.
I'd like to imagine that there's a parallel universe out there where MAGIC! got this song right, but I can't since the lead singer, Nasri, had a hand in making such works like this and this and this. So this song was probably doomed from the get-go.
As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).