Monday, April 16, 2012

You Need to Practice Backing That Ass Up

When I tweeted a few weeks ago that Juvenile's "Back That Ass Up" was a seminal part of my childhood, I wasn't being facetious. And when I say that every time I think of the song I think of my mother, no, my family wasn't as fucked up as you're probably thinking. I've already spoken numerous times about how TRL ran my life between the ages of 11 and 14. One of the great things about the show was that it introduced me to music that I never would have heard otherwise. An obvious example of this would be "Back That Ass Up," a raunchy rap song that wouldn't have played anywhere near the Top 40 radio stations I listened to. The reason I remember this song, and especially the accompanying music video, so much is because my mother would literally force me to change the channel every time the video came on. Although my mother isn't the biggest fan of rap music--oddly enough, however, R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)" is one of her favorite songs ever--she was mainly offended by the video. As you may remember, it featured a fair amount of curvacious women with luscious bottoms shaking what their mama gave them in front of the camera. While it looks like nothing more than a parody of late 90's rap videos today, something about it really irked my mother. Maybe she felt that the women were being exploited, which is a valid response. Either way, I always found it funny that my mother reacted so strongly to something as inconsequential as "Back That Ass Up."

Fast forward twelve or so years. On a whim, I decided to listen to Drake's Take Care, a decision based upon the fact that I loved "Find Your Love" a couple years ago and that I've claimed on many occasions that Drake could get it in anytime he wanted. After listening to the album, I decided that he could still get it in and that I liked the album. It didn't strike me until a day or so later that one of my favorite songs on Take Care, "Practice," sounded strangely familiar. After another listen, it clicked into place: "Practice" samples "Back That Ass Up"! In stark contrast to the original's bluntness, Drake's song uses the infamous chorus as a smooth, sexy come-on. By the end of the song's four minute runtime, I certainly wanted to back my ass up on Drake even more than I had before.

Okay, okay, I hear some grumbling, so I better get this out of the way: "Practice" isn't a completely perfect song. After you get over the initial boner-inducing hotness of it all and you pay attention to the non-Juvenile lyrics, the song loses some of its amazingness. "Practice" is about Drake coming to terms with his girlfriend not being a virgin and how he must rationalize this as her getting some "practice" in for their sexual relationship. Can you say ick? Have straight men not evolved to the point of accepting that girls get horny, too, and that it's completely unrealistic to expect a woman in 2012 to remain a virgin for one man some point in the future while he gets to go out and bang as many chicks as he wants because that's what men do? It's almost enough to hate the song, but then Drake gets back to that chorus and I forget any and all moral misgivings I have about the song. No one ever said I was a great moral crusader.

Now that I've reached the end of this post, I realized that the point of this whole essay was probably to post pictures of Drake. Ah, such is life. At least you all get a reward for reading this damn thing!

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