Wandering Eye: The inescapable love song 'Trap Queen,' Steve Kerr's lies, and more

Paterson, New Jersey rapper Fetty Wap's hit song 'Trap Queen' is inescapable, and in a time when it is increasingly hard for hip-hop that makes little to no concessions to the pop or dance charts to blow up, it is a curious hit. It helps that it's pretty much all hook and that the hook's a floaty, catchy warble. And it also helps that it is, in its own way, a very touching and sweet love song in which Fetty croons about introducing his girl to drug-dealing and the couple's collective hustle: "Married to the money, introduced her to my stove/ Showed her how to whip it, now she remixing for low/ She's my trap queen, let her hit the bando." A very touching article by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib over at Seven Scribes, "In Defense of 'Trap Queen' As Our Generation's Greatest Love Song," breaks down the song's scrappy sensitivity and aligns it with Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M., and soul music. "I don't know that there has ever been a more unrelatable song that so many people have related to," Willis-Abdurraqib writes, "Surely many of us singing along to this anthem have never shared an afternoon counting up 50 or 60 grand with our loving partner after distributing 500 grams of narcotics. But, this idea of rejoicing in shared success is touchable, to all of us." Meanwhile, the song's success gives us hope that a streets-centric rapper such as Baltimore's Young Moose or Lor Scoota could actually have some mainstream success on their own terms. (Brandon Soderberg)

 

Here's Matt Loftus writing more about neighborliness, this time in the context of economic development. "It is easy for an observant person not on the take to fall into despair about capital inevitably trampling over any place or person that is not obviously profitable," the Sandtown-Winchester doctor writes. Loftus is no Mike Davis, both would certainly agree, but when a radical Christian conservative and a raging Marxist use the same language to talk about our cities, it's long past time for those in the middle, with the power, to listen and react. Loftus' writing (which has appeared in City Paper) is always worth reading. He's compassionate, observant, and seemingly without a doctrinaire bone in his body: "I hear almost as many jokes about sagging pants and baby mamas in my mostly African-American neighborhood as I did growing up listening to Rush Limbaugh," he writes, not approvingly. Then: "What I see among most activists and writers with a genuine commitment to the well-being of all the city's residents is a near-religious hope that federal, state, and local policies will become appropriately socialist; some are more gently persuasive while others take the Captain Hammer 'it's not enough to bash in heads // you've got to bash in minds' approach to such discourse.” From Joss Whedon to Jesus Christ, Loftus cuts a wide swath. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

People in pro sports are not fans of talking to the press. There's that scene in baseball flick "Bull Durham" where the veteran catcher Crash Davis teaches the hot young pitching prospect Nuke LaLoosh how to speak to reporters in cliches. They're the same cliches you hear real-life jocks use all the time. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has made an art of opening his mouth to say things without really saying anything. Now we get Steve Kerr, a former player who now coaches the Golden State Warriors, one of the teams in the NBA Finals. Before the game Kerr said he would be using his usual five-man starting lineup. But then the game started and Andre Iguodala was starting in place of Andrew Bogut. According to Sports Illustrated, "Kerr said revealing his strategies before the game is the equivalent to knocking on Cavaliers coach David Blatt’s door and telling him the game plan. 'I lied. I have two press conferences on the day of the game and I am asked a lot strategic questions,' Kerr said. 'My options were tell the truth or evade the question and start this Twitter phenomenon or lie. So I lied.'" Kerr went on to say: "Sorry, but I don't think they hand you the trophy based on morality. They give it to you if you win. So sorry about that." At least he's sorry. (Brandon Weigel)

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