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About realist23

"Realist with an 'I', not an 'E.'" In other words, I'm realistic; not necessarily the superlative degree of real. After all, I'm just a voice on the interwebs. Observer of life. Sports lover. Music lover. People lover. All around cool guy. Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/iDrewItUp

The 25 Best Breakup Songs Ever

Well, here we are. It’s time for the top 25 breakup songs. If you missed the first 25, take a moment to revisit them. If you don’t want to read through them all, I’ll be nice and give you a quick rundown.

50. “I Don’t Ever Wanna See You Again” – Uncle Sam
49. “The Sign” – Ace of Base
48. “Heartless” – Kanye West
47. “Marvin’s Room” – Drake
46. “The One I Love” – R.E.M.
45. “Butterfly” – Mariah Carey
44. “So Sick” – Ne-Yo
43. “Where I Wanna Be” – Donell Jones
42. “Every Breath You Take” – The Police
41. “Free Fallin'” – Tom Petty
40. “Gone” – N*Sync
39. “Nobody Knows” – The Tony Rich Project
38. “We Can’t Be Friends” – Deborah Cox
37. “Pretty Wings” – Maxwell
36. “You Oughta Know” – Alanis Morrisette
35. “Used to Love U” – John Legend
34. “Survivor” – Destiny’s Child
33. “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart” – Alicia Keys
32. “Burn” – Usher
31. “We’re Not Making Love No More” – Dru Hill
30. “Song Cry” – Jay-Z
29. “Since U Been Gone” – Kelly Clarkson
28. “Back to Black” – Amy Winehouse
27. “Tainted Love” – Soft Cell
26. “Emotional” – Carl Thomas

Gotye25. “Somebody That I Used to Know”  Gotye featuring Kimbra (2011)

I could not get away from this song for seemingly all of fiscal 2012. Somewhere in there, I learned to love it. Somewhere in its quirkiness rested a tragic tale most of us can relate to. The song describes two ex-lovers that can’t be friends. Not only are they not friends, they have nothing to do with each other…they don’t know each other anymore.

Madonna24. “Take a Bow”  Madonna (1994)

Before RiRi told Chris Brown her ex to take a bow a few years ago, Madonna had already told hers to do so…in much bigger and better fashion (seven weeks at #1 on the charts)…in 1994. Hell, she had Babyface singing backup on this. The entire song is a metaphor about a masqueraded relationship that is now over. No one likes having their love taken for granted, and Madonna does what so many of us are afraid to do…”say goodbye.”

BrianMc23. “Anytime” – Brian McKnight (1997)

Confession: I’ve been here. I’ve wondered what an ex is doing. I’ve wondered how she’s doing. I’ve wondered if I ever cross her mind. I’ve since moved on…thankfully. A hauntingly lonely song that mirrors the haunting piano licks that make it so memorable. Brian hasn’t let go of his former lover just yet. He misses her and seems to be holding out hope that she’ll come back to him. Don’t hold on too long, good sir. It’s not healthy.

Gloria22. “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor (1978) 

I’ll probably die still hearing someone singing this song off-key and a crowd of empowered women dancing and singing along word for word…and for some reason loving it. In two lines, this song offers timeless life advice for anyone having trouble moving on: “As long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive / I’ve got all my life to live, I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive.” Absolutely perfect.

Lauryn21. “Ex-Factor” – Lauryn Hill (1998)

On again, off again. This track is for that one person we love the most, but hurts us the most. It describes a relationship in which one person keeps trying to leave and whenever he/she does, the other person unsuccessfully tries to fix things. “You let go, and I’ll let go, too…it ain’t workin’.”

 

BillWithers20. “Ain’t No Sunshine” – Bill Withers (1971)

Yes, Bill, you “ought to leave the young thing alone” if she keeps leaving and not telling you where she’s going or how long she’ll be gone. I know, I know, I know, I know, you know. While Bill Withers is the originator of this classic, have you heard young Michael Jackson blow the lid off of it? Thank me later.

 

MaryJ19. “Not Gon’ Cry” – Mary J. Blige (1996)

This countdown would’ve lost some credibility if it didn’t feature a song from Waiting to Exhale, right? Blige takes on the persona of a scorned ex-wife who was getting cheated on. She’s not going to cry, though, because he’s not worth the tears. “Ee-lev-uhn years of sacrifice…” *ahem* Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

 

Dido18. “White Flag” – Dido (2003)

Dido is a ghost of an ex past in this song. She vows to “go down with the ship” (relationship) and to fight until the bitter end. Her poor ex. What’s he supposed to do? She admits that she caused problems in the relationship and doesn’t blame him for moving on, but she hasn’t. She won’t. This song gives credence to the tag, “it’s complicated.”

MJ17. “She’s Out of My Life” – Michael Jackson (1977)

This song represents conflicting emotions post-breakup. Do you laugh or cry? Do you live or die? Do you embrace the freedom of being single or dwell on the past? MJ accepts the blame for taking the relationship for granted for two years, locking his love deep inside and away from her, and his pride getting in the way. Live and learn is the best lesson that one can take away from this song.

JT16. “Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake (2002)

Britney Spears left JT in a bad place. This ventilating masterpiece was birthed in that bad place. He loved her, did everything he could for her, but she cheated on him, and destroyed any possibility of a future together. He has cried his tears and dealt with the pain from the breakup and passes it on to her. Vengefully beautiful.

 

Erykah15. “Tyrone” – Erykah Badu (1997)

We interrupt this countdown of downers and tales of heartbreak to bring you Erykah Badu’s ode to a trifling ex. Tyrone is the friend of the cheap and clueless ex-boyfriend Ms. Badu so eloquently describes in this song. Fellas, this is what can happen when you don’t take care of your woman. Pay attention to your woman. Spend some money on her. Spend some time with her!

NoDoubt14. “Don’t Speak” – No Doubt (1996)

How many songs in the history of music have featured exes on the very song describing their former relationship? Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal dated for seven years before this song came out and gave the world a glimpse of the fallout. Here, the writing is on the wall and words aren’t even necessary to explain that the relationship has died.

Mayer13. “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” – John Mayer (2006)

Lonely apart and dangerous together. That’s what I think of when I hear this song. Here’s a toxic relationship that needs to end, but drags on. Both parties know that the relationship is over but both of them are afraid to pull the trigger and officially end it. “Slow dancing in a burning room” or holding on to a dead relationship. Pick your poison.

Guns12. “November Rain” – Guns N’ Roses (1992)

If this was a countdown based on instrumentation alone, put this in the top two. The last two minutes are nothing short of epic. It’s part of a trilogy of heartbreak songs that Guns N’ Roses blessed us with in the 90’s (along with “Don’t Cry” and “Estranged”). This is a song about not wanting to deal with unrequited love. Axl is still very much in love with a woman, but she is no longer in love with him. “Everybody needs some time…on their own.”

Coldplay11. “The Scientist” – Coldplay (2002)

Going back in time is a power some of us wish we had. Chris Martin has messed things up in the relationship, and he wishes to erase it all and start over. He wants to return to a happier time in the relationship when she loved him, and when she was still excited to learn about him. Those days are long gone, but they still haunt him.

 

Toni10. “Un-Break My Heart” – Toni Braxton (1996)

How do you not feel the pain exuding from this song? Ms. Braxton was dumped by an ex and still wallows in the heartache. She asks this ex to come back, undo the pain that he caused by walking out her life, and replace them with the happy times while he was in her life. The video paints a tragic, dark, and bleak picture as her lover dies in a motorcycle accident, thus leaving her forever. Powerful lyrics. Powerful song.

Boyz9. “End of the Road” – Boyz II Men (1992)

Boyz II Men perfected the art of harmonizing, so sometimes it’s easy to forget that this is a song about a breakup. Denial, really. The relationship is over, but these boyz can’t let go and realize that it’s not “unnatural” for lovers to go their separate ways. I really do miss those mid-song, deep-voice raps, though. Music just isn’t what it used to be.

 

Isley8. “Voyage to Atlantis” – The Isley Brothers (1977)

What to say about this gem? Hmm…it’s a wonderful deception. Obviously, it’s about a breakup. Ron Isley is selling hopes and dreams. He tells his ex that he’ll always come back to her and that they’ll reunite in a “paradise out beyond the sea” (Atlantis). Newsflash: Atlantis is a mythical place that doesn’t exist. No flames will be rekindled here. Damn, I love this song.

Purple7. “Purple Rain”  Prince (1984)

First off, what is “purple rain?” I’m pretty sure it signifies a girl crying. When she cries, her eyes would “rain” purple mascara. Poetic. Why is she crying? At first, Prince is describing the pain he caused this woman, but he only wanted to make her happy. He didn’t mean for her to fall in love with him. Instead, he just wanted to try and make her happy, but he made her cheat, so he left her behind for her own benefit. Prince, ladies and gentlemen.

Journey6. “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”  Journey (1983)

If it’s possible to make a beautiful breakup song, this does it masterfully. Sure, our relationship didn’t work out. Yes, we made promises we couldn’t keep. However, I still love you, you’ll find love somewhere else, and love won’t desert you. Why things don’t work out with the couple isn’t explained, but this song probably wins the award for ending on the most peaceful, loving, unselfish, and heartfelt terms possible.

Adele5. “Someone Like You”  Adele (2011)

“I wish nothing but the best for you…” Much like a lot of songs that have preceded it, Adele’s piece of perfection is performed from the perspective of a jilted lover. What sets this song apart is the fact that she assures herself that she’ll find someone else and harbors no ill will toward her ex. She makes it no secret that she’s not over him, but she puts her pride aside, and only asks to be remembered. Pulchritudinous paradox.

Bonnie4. “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Bonnie Raitt (1991)

I’ll go ahead and call this the saddest song on this list. Bonnie is in a relationship and deeply in love, but her partner isn’t. She can’t make him love her, and “in these final hours,” she’ll lay down her heart. She doesn’t stop there. In the midst of lying in bed with her lover, she asks for the night to give up the fight of trying to get her lover to reciprocate the feelings she harbors. Impeccably written and performed. My goodness…

Fleetwood3. “Go Your Own Way” – Fleetwood Mac (1976)

Okay, so “Don’t Speak” wasn’t the only breakup song featuring ex-lovers describing their former relationship. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham open their world to our world. From the lyrics, Nicks and Buckingham had an on again, off again relationship, but there’s some finality to this song. Here I was at 11 thinking that this song was about Forrest Gump going his own way across the country. It’s so much deeper and better than that.

TheBodyguard2. “I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston (1992)

I’m running low on words to describe amazing songs. There isn’t a lot I can say about one of the best selling songs of all time, either. Whitney was at her absolute best here. She made it her song. I know this is a cover, but it is her song. The third verse sums it up perfectly: “I hope life treats you kind. And I hope you have all you’ve dreamed of. And I wish to you joy and happiness. But above all this, I wish you love.”  Bittersweet. Beautiful.

Lynyrd1. “Free Bird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973)

Remember when I said that “November Rain” was instrumentally in the top two of songs on this list? Meet the other one. It features one of, if not, the best guitar solos I’ve ever heard. That’s not the only reason it’s number one, though. “Free Bird” found a way to make a song about a breakup mirror life itself. On the surface, it’s a typical breakup song. He’s breaking things off with the girl. There are places he wants to see and things he wants to do. The deeper meaning behind the song suggests that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. In other words, some people are wild at heart and cannot be changed (tamed).

There are literally thousands of breakup songs. I’ve sifted through my library for three weeks now looking for my favorites and the best. These are my 50. I welcome any songs that I left off, so give me your thoughts/songs/etc.

Oh, and just in case you wanted to hear for yourself what the Top 25 sounds like, I’ve put all together into one playlist which you can enjoy and download here.

-23

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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Countdown, Music, Relationships

 

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Post-Valentine’s Day Special: The 50 Best Break-Up Songs Ever (50-26)

Now that Valentine’s Day is over and love has faded away like smoke from the air, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every loving relationship, there is an equal and opposite failed relationship. This list is for the brokenhearted and heart breakers. This list is for those who are fixated on an old flame and for those who extinguished what used to be a burning flame. No disclaimer will be necessary on this one unless you can’t handle a list full of raw emotion. Actually there is a disclaimer.

Disclaimer: Taylor Swift did not make it onto this list.

Uncle Sam50. “I Don’t Ever Want To See You Again” – Uncle Sam (1997)

Talk about a downer of a song. Not only is the love of Uncle Sam’s life cheating on him, she’s cheating on him with his best friend. Uncle Sam takes correct and proper action by moving on and vowing to never see her again. Let’s hope he doesn’t want to see his best friend again, either.

 

Ace of Base

49. “The Sign” – Ace of Base (1993)

While most of Ace of Base’s songs sound alike, this one stands out. Maybe it’s because the album is called The Sign, too. Maybe it’s because of the fact that it packs quite a punch beneath the upbeat, 90’s, Euro-pop sound. This is a song about growth. It’s about seeing a former lover after a significant amount of time apart and wondering why the hell you dated that person in the first place.

808s_&_Heartbreak48. “Heartless” – Kanye West (2008)

I could put the vast majority of 808s and Heartbreak on this list, but I’ll stick with this song. I won’t speculate as to who the muse of this song was (even though it’s not hard to figure out), but it’s pretty apparent that she hurt Kanye pretty badly. Hell, the guy went from rapper to auto-tune singer because of her. Judging by the lyrics, there was no closure or resolution after the relationship ended as he “left it wrong” and she couldn’t “make it right”.

take care47. “Marvin’s Room”  Drake (2011)

I was extremely tempted to put JoJo’s version of this song at this spot, but it just felt disrespectful. Drake made this a hit. Okay, we’ve all done it. Drunk dialed or sent a drunk text to an ex. It probably didn’t end well, either. Here, the ex has moved on to someone else, but Drake is bitter. He has resorted to surrounding himself with females and burying his sorrows in the bottle, but hey, “[he’s] just sayin’ [she] could do better.”

R.E.M.46. “The One I Love” – R.E.M. (1987)

I love this song. It’s twisted, evil, and awful, but it has a certain charm to it. It sounds like a love song. The title makes you think it’s a love song. It’s not. It’s about a girl (really, more than one) that the singer once “loved” and left behind. She turns out to be a “simple prop to occupy [his] time.” Never has the concept of “love ’em and leave ’em” sounded so…good.

Butterfly45. “Butterfly” – Mariah Carey (1997)

Breaking up is never fun, and it usually hurts a great deal, but some songs make it easier to cope. This is one of those songs. Mariah Carey lets her lover go to “spread [his] wings and prepare to fly”. Whether it’s because of a job, to follow his dreams, or some mixture of the two, she lets him go in hopes that he will one day return to her. Beautiful song.

Ne-Yo44. “So Sick” – Ne-Yo (2006)

A lot of times, when a relationship ends, old habits must end with it. Ne-Yo sings of changing the answering machine, fixing the calendar marked with an anniversary, being done with wishing his girlfriend was there, and not listening to “stupid love songs” anymore. He soon discovers that these things are not the easiest things to do.

 

Where I Wanna Be43. “Where I Wanna Be” – Donell Jones (2000)

Mr. Jones is forthright and honest when he tells his girl that he’d “rather leave than to cheat.” Basically, his playing days aren’t over yet. He’s been with this woman for years, and he wants to see what else is out there before he settles down. Donell Jones made a hell of a song about a hell of a decision to leave.

 

Police42. “Every Breath You Take” – The Police (1983)

File this one away in your “Creepy Classics” folder. People have different ways of dealing with break-ups. Some cry, some drink, some reflect. Sting stalks. He wants his ex back, but he goes about it all wrong. I hate when people misinterpret this song. It’s not sweet. It’s not protective. It’s not cute. It’s disturbing. While it’s a great song, do your family, friends, and guests at your wedding reception a favor and refrain from having this song played.

Tom_Petty_Full_Moon_Fever41. “Free Fallin'” – Tom Petty (1989)

For such a sweet-sounding and freedom-seeking song, this one starts off pretty damn icy. Here’s a guy who has a great girlfriend. He wants to be free, though. He leaves her in the suburbs of L.A. with a broken heart to pursue his freedom and independence. At first, he doesn’t even miss her, but after his days of being a “bad boy,” he realizes how empty it feels and how much he misses her.

'N Sync40. “Gone” – ‘N Sync (2001)

“Bye, Bye, Bye” could have gone here, but I think “Gone” is for this list. Justin and his backups aren’t quite sure where Justin’s girl went. They don’t even know why she went wherever she went. Maybe it was something he said. Maybe he was too blind to see the warning signs. “The truth remains [she’s] gone,” and he’s miserable. He vows to “hang around and find some things to do to get [his] mind off missing [her].” Good luck with that.

Tony Rich39. “Nobody Knows” – The Tony Rich Project (1996)

I swore up and down that this was Babyface when I first heard it in the fifth grade. Turns out it was a one hit wonder. Here’s a song that outlines what can happen when you keep your emotions hidden and don’t fully appreciate what you have while you have it. Lonely nights, sad days, and thinking about a love gone wrong. He’s going to go find his ex-lover and tell her what he should have told her a long time ago, though. Once again, good luck with that.

Deborah Cox38. “We Can’t Be Friends” – Deborah Cox featuring R.L. (1999)

I love songs that can put new spins on break-ups. Here we have a former couple that realizes that they can’t go from lovers to merely friends because they’re still in love with each other. That “let’s just be friends” quip doesn’t always fly, and here is one of those instances. Beautifully crafted.

 

Maxwell37. “Pretty Wings” – Maxwell (2009)

I used to always have to remind myself that this song was about a break-up. It’s called “Pretty Wings”. You’d think this song was about a happier subject than two lovers going their separate ways. She wronged him. He wronged her. These facts almost get lost in the mystique of Maxwell’s voice.

 

Alanis36. “You Oughta Know” – Alanis Morissette (1995)

This is that raw, unadulterated, and bitterly sarcastic, final haymaker thrown by a jilted lover. Another woman has entered the picture, and Alanis perfectly captures what it feels like to be replaced by someone who isn’t nearly as good, selfless, or freaky as she is. And when she scratches her nails down someone else’s back, she hopes her ex feels it. Read between the lines. Bold. Brash. Brazen.

John Legend35. “Used to Love U” – John Legend (2004)

Loving someone with all you have and realizing that that’s not enough. That’s this song in an eggshell. Everyone has their limits, and Mr. Legend reached those limits here. No one likes being unappreciated and taken advantage of, and this song serves as an anthemic declaration of empowerment. “You’ll miss me when I’m gone” rings so loudly.

 

Destiny34. Survivor” – Destiny’s Child (2001)

Honestly, this song would be a little bit higher if it wasn’t for Michelle’s verse. Sorry, I’m just being honest. I still really like this song, though. It’s a female anthem that doesn’t bash the ex-boyfriend in the process. They’re better than that. They wish him the best, hope he’s blessed, and that he finds happiness. Well done, ladies.

 

Alicia Keys33. “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart” – Alicia Keys (2009)

This song expresses that harsh reality of heartbreak perfectly. If you’re going through sleepless nights thinking about that ex-lover, this song is for you. If you’re struggling with those feelings that are still there after the relationship is over, this song is for you. If you’re not going to let said break-up destroy you, this song is for you. Alicia Keys caught lightning in a bottle by making this song sad and uplifting at the same time.

Usher32. “Burn”  Usher (2004)

So succinct. So direct. So painful. So good. Usher actually lays out how to break up with a significant other when the relationship has reached its end. It’s “been a long time coming,” and it will hurt, but it must be done. Great song and a great album.

 

Soul Food31. “We’re Not Making Love No More”  Dru Hill (1997)

Dru Hill takes us into the bedroom, but in a depressing way. The relationship has fallen apart and these lovers are moving further apart every day. They don’t talk anymore, they used to be best friends, and well, they’re not having sex anymore. “How did it slip away?” You’ve given us a laundry list of reasons. Which one do you want? In my mind, this is a song that represents the very last moment before the actual break-up.

Jay-Z 30. “Song Cry” – Jay-Z (2002)

Every now and then, you find a song from a dude you wouldn’t expect to show his vulnerable side. This time, that song comes from one, Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z. Jigga was in his feelings on this song, but what a great song it turned out to be. Most guys have that one ex-girlfriend that they regret screwing over. Many of those guys still find themselves reminiscing over her from time to time. Thanks for this one, Jay.

Kelly29. “Since U Been Gone” – Kelly Clarkson (2004)

Freedom. That’s the word that comes to mind when I hear this song. When you’re out of a relationship that was going nowhere, you can breathe again. You can move on. You can walk into your ex-boyfriend’s house and destroy everything. I really hope people didn’t get any funny ideas from this video.

 

Amy28. “Back to Black” – Amy Winehouse (2006)

Sometimes after a relationship ends, people go back to something comfortable for them. In this instance, Amy Winehouse goes back to drinking and smoking while her ex goes “back to her” (his ex). I never said there wouldn’t be dark songs on this list. This is one of them.

 

Soft Cell27. “Tainted Love” – Soft Cell (1981)

Sing it if you know it. *ahem* “Sometimes…I feel I’ve got to *clap* *clap* run away….I’ve got to *clap* *clap* get away…” While the credit goes to Gloria Jones’ original, Soft Cell made it the catchy, karaoke special that it has become.  The meaning of this song is simple. A guy has had enough of his girlfriend and her “tainted love”, so he tells her that he’s packing his things, leaving, and not to touch him. *clap* *clap* Good decision.

Carl Thomas26. “Emotional” – Carl Thomas (2000)

Sting keeps finding multiple ways to get onto my countdowns. Here, he lends Carl Thomas the music from “Shape of My Heart,” and Thomas makes the most of it. We’re presented with another relationship that has fallen apart. When you find yourselves spending more time fighting for a relationship than actually having one, then maybe it’s time to call it quits. That’s exactly what Carl Thomas does. It hurts, but “the love is through.”

Stay tuned for the top 25 coming very soon…

-23

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Countdown, Music, Relationships

 

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Mind the (Age) Gap: Top 20 Cradle-Robbing & Cougar Anthems

Have you ever watched one of those “Awesomely Bad” countdowns on VH1? You know how you get sucked in, and they get to a song that you absolutely loved growing up? Yeah? Then you suddenly realize why it’s “awesomely bad”. Seriously, we let a lot of artists and musicians get away with some questionable and downright bad lyrics. That brings me to this playlist. After putting my iPod on shuffle a million times, I have realized that there are tons of songs by and/or about cradle robbers. If you don’t know what that term means, allow me to explain. It refers to a person who dates, sleeps with, and/or lusts after someone significantly younger. As usual, I spent a lot of time researching songs because I love doing these kinds of lists (Cheater Playlist, Father to Son, Seductive Serenade). Honestly, some of these songs just made me feel gross. There are some that have blatant disregard when it comes to…carnal interaction with an underage party. From my research, I found that the 70’s and 80’s as decades were repeat offenders. A few of these songs require a bit of reading between the lines and are open for interpretation, but this is my list. For the most part, I have elected to stay away from awesomely bad obnoxiously horrible and illegal songs (I’m looking at you, KISS, Motley Crue, and ZZ Top). With that said, I present my Top 20 Cradle-Robbing & Cougar Anthems.

Disclaimer (why do I keep having to write these?): I do not condone, support, and/or encourage statutory rape. Thank you.

20. “Stray Cat Blues” – The Rolling Stones (1968)
I tried really hard to avoid these overtly statutory songs, but the Rolling Stones had absolutely no shame, so I picked this song to lead off. These days, people love Sir Mick Jagger. Hell, there are songs about him setting the bar for swagger levels. However, when The Rolling Stones were at their height, this musical enabler of pedophiles was born.
Why it’s on the list: “I can see that you’re 15 years old / No I don’t want your I.D.”

19. “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” – Spinal Tap (1974)
The Department of Redundancy Department called me earlier and told me about this one. Like the song before, I really tried to avoid it. Here’s your typical rock song about being on tour and sleeping with a groupie who got backstage passes. The problem is that she’s underage. Way underage. Ugh…
Why it’s on the list: “You’re sweet, but you’re just four feet / And you still got your baby teeth / You’re too young, and I’m too well hung”

18. “Jennifer” – Styx (1976)
The infamous age of 17 makes its first appearance here. Thankfully, Styx isn’t as disgustingly bad as the Rolling Stones and Spinal Tap were. Interestingly enough, the young lady described in this song seems to be the aggressor.
Why it’s on the list: “She’s 17, barely old enough to cry / A child in her father’s eyes /
A woman every night”

17. “Young Man, Older Woman” – Millie Jackson (1991)
Ah, yes. We finally get to hear from the women. And Millie Jackson at that. If you aren’t familiar with Ms. Jackson, she’s notorious for her authentic, brash, scandalous, highly sexual, and brilliant musical storytelling. This track doesn’t stray from that formula. Like the song (and play/album) title says, this is a tale about a cougar before cougardom was cool. There’s no sign of illegal activity here. Thank God.
Why it’s on the list: “You gotta be crazy / You’re much too young / Or haven’t you noticed? / You could be my son”

16. “Father Figure” – George Michael (1988)
As I said before, this list involves some interpretation. Although George Michael never reveals ages in this song, I’m of the opinion that he’s singing about something against the law here. Michael croons about “tiny hands”, being “naked”, and “crime”. As far as I’m concerned, George was robbing the cradle and pulled the wool over our eyes (ears). I hate that I like this song.
Why it’s on the list: “I will be your father figure / Put your tiny hand in mine / I will be your preacher, teacher / Anything you have in mind / I will be your father figure / I have had enough of crime”

15. “That Summer” – Garth Brooks (1993)
Switching gears, but remaining in overdrive, Garth Brooks supplied this gem. I knew I could count on country to give me something good. Honestly, I think this is lyrically one of the best songs you’ll find on this countdown. Brooks mastered the art of storytelling and paints a vibrant picture of losing his virginity to an older woman in a wheat field in the middle of nowhere during that summer. Hooray for prepositional phrases.
Why it’s on the list: “I went to work for her that summer / A teenage kid so far from home / She was a lonely widow woman / Hell bent to make it on her own”

14. “Desiree” – Neil Diamond (1977)
Rule of thumb: a song with a female’s name as the title is very hard to forget…for better or for worse. Off the top of my head, there’s “Jennifer”, “Amanda”, “Kisha”, “Iesha”…and “Desiree”. Much like Garth Brooks’ tale, Neil Diamond sings of losing his virginity to a woman twice his age during the summer. Anybody else noticing a serious difference in tone when the song is about a younger guy and an older woman?
Why it’s on the list: “On that younger day / Well, I became a man / At the hands of a girl / Almost twice my age”

13. “Fat Bottomed Girls” – Queen (1978)
See: “That Summer” and “Desiree”. Queen broke the mold slightly by resorting to the older women because the women comparable in age just didn’t seem to be doing it for them anymore. Keeping with the theme, these “fat-bottomed girls” forever changed the way these young men looked at life.
Why it’s on the list: “Hey, I was just a skinny lad, never knew no good from bad / But I knew life before I left my nursery / Left alone with big, fat fannies, she was such a naughty nanny / Heap big woman you made a bad boy out of me”

12. “Seventeen” – Winger (1988)
Is it just me or were there a lot of songs about big age differences coming out during the 80’s? Here, we have another 17-year-old female aggressor. At least, that’s the way the story is told. I’m not sure how old the guys are in this song, but they equate sex to love. They must be pretty young. I still smell a statutory situation.
Why it’s on the list: “I’m only 17, but I’ll show you love like you’ve never seen / She’s only 17, daddy says she’s too young, but she’s old enough for me”

11. “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” – The Police (1980)
The Police knew how to say…wait for it…no! I can’t stress how happy I am to put this song here. Sting tells us about a young teacher (it happens to be him during his teaching days) that some of the school girls have a crush on. People are speculating that something is going on with this teacher and one of his pupils. However, he turns down the student’s advances and tells her not to stand so close. Good for you, Police, for staying on the right side of the law.
Why it’s on the list: “Inside her there’s longing / This girl’s an open page / Book marking, she’s so close now / This girl is half his age”

10. “Hot For Teacher” – Van Halen (1984)
Staying in the classroom, but flipping the script, Van Halen is responsible for this classic. Yep, it’s the 80’s again. These headbangers gave us an album called “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”, so it’s no surprise that they landed in the middle of this infamous collection of hit songs. I can tell you there are plenty of guys who have or have had a crush on one of their teachers. Guilty. Van Halen just made this coming-of-age milestone into a song. Somewhere Mary Kay Letourneau is listening to this song on her iPod.
Why it’s on the list: “I got it bad, so bad / I’m hot for teacher”

9. “Just Can’t Handle It” – Hi-Five (1990)
File this song away under the category of songs I sang as a young buck not fully understanding its true meaning. I respect the vulnerability expressed on this track, though. Instead of a pompous and cocky attitude that one would expect from a teenager close to his sexual peak, “Just Can’t Handle It” reveals a 16-year-old who knows he’s not ready for a 25-year-old.
Why it’s on the list: “Cutie tried to flip me; tried to blow my mind / I was only 16; she was 25”

8. “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” – Aaliyah (1994)
While none of R. Kelly’s songs made it to this playlist (I tried really hard to find one), this comes close enough. Kelly wrote and produced this one. Oh, yeah, he also scandalously (and illegally) eloped with Aaliyah when she was 15. He was 27. That’s neither here nor there, though. “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” is a smooth track from the beautiful songbird, Aaliyah, about a young girl wanting to date an older man. Slick.
Why it’s on the list: “Age ain’t nothing but a number, throwing down ain’t nothing but a thang / This loving I have for you it’ll never change”

7. “Stacy’s Mom” – Fountains of Wayne (2003)
In the same vein as “Hot for Teacher”, there is this ode to teenaged, male ardency. While not as serious as most of the other songs, “Stacy’s Mom” is a strangely loveable song about a guy interested in someone’s mother. What gives this song its high ranking is the fact that the mother the singer wants is his girlfriend’s. Cold-blooded.
Why it’s on the list: “You know I’m not the little boy that I used to be / I’m all grown up now, baby, can’t you see?

6. “Love You Down” – Ready For the World (1986)
Who knew that the confidence and (legal) swagger that this list was missing would be supplied by an R&B slow jam? Once again, we meet a young, male lover who aims to please his woman. Her friends aren’t a big fan of their relationship because of the age gap, but he boldly reminds everyone that he’s a smooth operator who will do whatever it takes to please his girlfriend…even if it takes all night.
Why it’s on the list: “All your friends think I’m just too young for you / You tell ’em that I can do what guys their age can’t do, oh, baby”

5. “Mrs. Robinson” – Simon & Garfunkel (1968)
Okay, okay, okay…I caved. This song makes no mention of an age gap, but it’s probably one of the first songs that comes to mind when you think of MILF/cougar anthems thanks to The Graduate.
Why it’s on the list: Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) has an affair with the younger Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) in The Graduate. The rest is history…

4. “Maggie May” – Rod Stewart (1971)
And here’s what can happen when a younger man gets intimate with an older, seasoned woman. Rod Stewart falls for the woman who stole his heart, and she ended up making a fool out of him. She wanted physical, and he got emotional. It happens.
Why it’s on the list: “The morning sun, when it’s in your face / Really shows your age / But that don’t worry me none / In my eyes, you’re everything”

3. “Let’s Get It On” – Marvin Gaye (1973)
I’d like to think that I’m good for a surprise or two when it comes to these playlists. “Let’s Get It On” is that surprise. Let me explain. Yes, I get that you sing along with this when you hear it on commercials, during the old-school lunch breaks, and at grown & sexy social scenes, but Marvin was up to no good when he wrote it. When he recorded it, he was dating Janis Hunter, the daughter of jazz guitarist, Slim Gaillard. The problem is that Janis was…you guessed it, 17. Marvin was literally twice her age. The two eventually married, had two children, and got divorced. That puts a different spin on this number, doesn’t it?
Why it’s on the list: “There’s nothing wrong with me / Loving you, baby, no, no / And giving yourself to me can never be wrong / If the love is true”

2. “Into the Night” – Benny Mardones (1980)
How did this song become a hit? Why did this song become a hit? Why do I find myself singing this song in the car? You don’t even have to listen closely to know what it’s about. The first lines of the song tell you that Benny is in love with a 16-year-old, and other people (rightfully) do not approve. What’s a man to do? Take said 16-year-old into the night, and show her a love like she’s never seen. Someone get Chris Hansen on the line right.now!
Why it’s on the list: “She’s just 16 years old / Leave her alone / They said…”

1. “Wrapped Around Your Finger” – The Police (1983)
For those of you keeping score at home, there have been six songs from the 70’s and six songs from the 80’s on this list. Well, the 80’s called…again…to break the tie. The Police are no strangers here (see: #11), but this song is king in my mind. Sting is one hell of a songwriter. With that talent, comes a complicated tale that essentially has two different interpretations. “Wrapped Around Your Finger” would make an English professor proud with all of the literary allusions and inferences. My interpretation: Sting takes on the persona of a curious, young paramour who is wrapped around the finger of an older woman who happens to be married. Eventually, Sting gets hip to the game that his lover is playing and turns the tables on her. Instead of him being wrapped around her finger, she becomes wrapped around his…presumably because of the physical aspect of their affair.
Why it’s on the list: “You consider me the young apprentice / Caught between the Scylla and Charibdes / Hypnotized by you if I should linger / Staring at the ring around your finger”

That does it for me. There are songs from the 2000’s, 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, and 60’s that span across a myriad of genres. This age gap thing has been going on since the beginning of time. Unfortunately, musically, it is grossly over-saturated by male singers/groups. Ugh…I need to take a shower because some of these songs make me feel grimy. Did I leave something off? Let me know your thoughts.

-23

 
12 Comments

Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Countdown, Music, Relationships, Sex

 

Gravity Night on Thread Radio: Is College Still Worth It?

Hey thREADERS,

We had a great show tonight on the topic of college and its value. We also had some thought-provoking input from our audience. If you missed it, you can listen to it by clicking the play button below. If you listened live, you can listen to “The AfterShow”, which featured TheKingsLaw, ChadStanton, and yours truly towards the end. Thank you for your continued support, and be sure to hang with the Threaders next Monday at 10pm Central.

-23

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Education, Thread Radio

 

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Fifteen Friday Fancies

“Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentlemen – you’re perfect!”

Today is obviously not Thursday. However, it is Friday and I’ve got fifteen fancies for the thREADERS. Let’s move…

Perhaps the biggest news of the week is President Obama’s announcement of his support for same-sex marriage (1). In the, what, 36 hours since the interview, I have seen so many vituperative remarks on Facebook and Twitter. People have just been spewing all sorts of ignorance, and it really is sad. On top of all of that, many of these people call themselves Christians. Now, I pride myself in not getting too political with my weekly columns. I’m not here to tell people how they should feel or hurl my beliefs and opinions on them. I value people’s opinions; I merely express mine here. With that said, it saddens me that this topic seems to bring the worst out of some people. Whether you agree with gay marriage or disagree with gay marriage, to me, the underlying issue is human rights. I have come a long way as far as my feelings toward this issue because of my desire to be open-minded and progressive. It’s not my place to stand in the way of people who want to be happy and have the rights afforded to their heterosexual counterparts. You can quote Bible verses and tell me what “thus said the Lord” all day, but I also believe in tolerance, acceptance, and love. Like I have said several times here in the past, we need to do a better job of taking care of each other. We’ll talk about this more Monday night on our radio show.

Graduation

It’s graduation (2) season. Around this time every year, I am reminded of this because of the flurry of graduations I find myself attending. Along with the congratulations and well-wishes, the rude reminder of the economic state (3) taps me on the shoulder. Every April/May/June, a new article or study comes out with depressing news for recent graduates. This year is no different. One in two college grads can’t find work. Ugh…when will my generation catch a break? Maybe we won’t. Perhaps, college is no longer the guaranteed answer. The education system churns out more graduates than the economic system can keep up with. The Thread has decided to team up with PootKat Radio to investigate this issue with a special radio show (4) Tuesday night. Is college still worth it?

Sports

Last week, I talked about the Brooklyn Nets’ new logo and what I thought of it. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one. Phil Mushnick of the New York Post (5) wrote an editorial that suggested that the Nets be renamed the “New York N—–s (6).” What’s worse is that this man has been defending his racist remarks. He has said,

“I’m never comfortable using that word [ni—-r]. That’s the way I was raised. Shame on my parents,” a sarcastic Mushnick writes. “The ONE time I spelled it out – for accuracy – I was widely condemned as a racist. So either way, I’m a bigot. I know what’s in my heart and my head, the way I was raised, and the way I raised my kids. But you’ve painted me a racist. Good work, James. And good work, if you can get it.”

There’s more…

“Such obvious, wishful and ignorant mischaracterizations of what I write are common. I don’t call black men the N-word; I don’t regard young women as bitches and whores; I don’t glorify the use of assault weapons and drugs. Jay-Z, on the other hand…..Is he the only NBA owner allowed to call black men N—–s?”

This guy still has a job. Mushnick is stirring up a hornet’s nest, and I would advise him to stop. His logic is extremely flawed and has no place in any publication. To suggest something so absurd, demeaning, and disrespectful is disconcerting. To base such a reasoning on Jay-Z (7) is asinine. I’ve had countless discussions, read several books, and attended several forums concerning the N-word. However you feel about the word and its use, the fact is that it’s not going anywhere. The problem with Mushnick is that he assumes that Jay-Z is the figurehead of the black mass public. If he has a problem with Jay-Z lyrics, I think he should take that up with Jay-Z. He should not implant such a ridiculous notion like calling a basketball team a derogatory name.

In other news, the “geek chic” (8) has been displayed in full force these past few months. I found this article describing many NBA players’ adoption of the new style of looking professional, looking “dorktastic”, and challenging stereotypes. Players like Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James are now rocking glasses as accessories, skinny ties, vests, and shirt buttoned all the way up. I must say that it is a welcome site. I’ve even bought into the style. I honestly hope that stereotypes concerning black athletes are being rewritten.

Speaking of the NBA, these injuries (9) are beginning to pile up. We’ve seen several star players go down at an alarming rate this season/post-season. David Stern (10) contended that the number of injuries is no different this season than any other a few weeks ago, but he seems to be backing away from those sentiments now. I think we’re seeing the ramifications of a shortened season over a shortened amount of time with no training camp. I’m interested to see where things go from here and what kind of changes we see made.

In more disturbing NBA news, Chris “Birdman” Andersen (11) is under investigation by an internet child pornography unit. I realize that Anderson has had his issues with drugs and whatnot, but this is a completely different animal. I’ve watched enough To Catch a Predator episodes to know that this is serious if they’re searching his home and removing computer hardware. I don’t want to speculate too much, but this situation sounds disgustingly bad.

Music

Justin Bieber (12) is a part of Floyd Mayweather’s “Money Team.” Can we talk about this? I used to hate on Bieber all the time for being another singer for the teeniebops, but this young man is doing things. He’s part of Mayweather’s entourage, carrying his belts, and looking faded in the process. Then, I stumbled upon his new “Boyfriend” video. I talked about this song on Twitter a few weeks ago, and it is dope. Seriously, Justin Timberlake needs to return to music because Bieber is taking his style spot.

Chris Brown (13) and Rihanna (14) are at it again. I know, I know. I’m sick of them, too. Brown released a song that uses Kanye’s “Theraflu” beat, and he references his “old b—-.” Rihanna took exception to this and unfollowed him on Twitter. He returned the favor. Anyway, here’s the song if you care to listen.

Mother’s Day

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge and thank all of the mothers out there. This is your weekend, and I wish all of you a very happy Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Here are my favorite “Mom” songs:

5. “Mother” by Pink Floyd
4. “Blueprint (Momma Loves Me” by Jay-Z
3. “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men
2. “Dear Mama” by Tupac
1. “Hey Mama” by Kanye West

-23

 

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The Best 25 Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves (Top 10)

We’ve finally made it to the Top 10! Here are the first and second installments of “The 25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves” playlist if you missed them. How did we get here? Let’s do a quick rundown of the first 15:

25. “She Don’t Have to Know” by John Legend
24. “Maybe I Deserve” by Tank
23. “Second Chance” by .38 Special
22. “The Other Woman” by Ray Parker, Jr.
21. “Human” by Human League
20. “Unfaithful” by Rihanna
19. “Infidelity” by Trey Songz
18. “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse
17. “Never Keeping Secrets” by Babyface
16. “Ooo Baby Baby” by The Miracles
15. “Confessions Part II” by Usher
14. “Heart Turns to Stone” by Foreigner
13. “Creep” by TLC
12. “Picture” by Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow
11. “Thin Line Between Love and Hate” by The Persuaders

Leave your judgment at the door and step on into my Top 10 cheater songs. With no further ado…

10. “O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature – Yeah, you know me. I had to put this song on the list and put it high. It just might be the hardest-hitting, realest, and most lighthearted song of all 25. Hell, I’ll go ahead and call this one the anthem. First of all, this isn’t a gender-specific song. Men cheat. Women cheat. The only difference is what you choose to let the last “P” in the acronym stand for.

Favorite Line: “That wasn’t the thing; it must’ve been the way she hit the ceiling / ‘Cause after that, she kept on coming back and catching feelings / I said, ‘Let’s go. My girl is  coming, so you gotta leave.’ / She said, ‘Oh, no, I love you, Treach.’ I said, ‘Now child, please.’”

9. “Listen to the Clock on the Wall” by The O’Jays – I didn’t know The O’Jays had this kind of song in them. I must have been too busy chasing money, taking the stairway to heaven, crying with my woman, looking for my euthanized dog, Brandy, and waiting for the love train. Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I discovered this dark song. Two married people step out to see each other regularly and imagine a day they won’t be rushed by ticking clocks and oblivious spouses.

Favorite Line: “Girl, you better hurry / Your husband might get worried / And my wife, she doesn’t see / The change in me”

8. “I’m Gonna Miss You in the Morning” by Quincy Jones featuring Luther Vandross & Patti Austin – Before Luther Vandross was known by one name and before Quincy Jones was known by one letter, there was this romantic ode to unfaithfulness. Patti Austin lends her angelic voice to this and mixes with Luther to create one sinful, soulful serenade. Once again, time is of the essence and spoken-for lovers find themselves stealing away…if only for a short while.

Favorite Line: “I’m gonna miss you in the morning / So, baby, love me tonight”

7. “Bad Habits” by Maxwell – One of the most confusing songs lyrically that a lot of people still don’t understand. Based on the steamy video and cryptic lyrics, I’m able to surmise that this is another regretful ballad inspired by cheating. Comparing the other woman to a bad habit is something we have yet to hear from anyone else. Maxwell has a way of making bad things sound so…alluring.

Favorite Line: “You’re my bad habit, baby, you’re my / You’re takin’ my soul down to the letter ‘O’ / Can’t escape the way you got me locked out, baby / I gotta break from you, break from you, break from you”

6. “As We Lay” by Shirley Murdoch/Kelly Price – I went back and forth trying to decide which version of this song I like best, but it was really difficult to decide. Today, I give Kelly Price’s slower cover the nod over Shirley Murdoch’s original. Although Kelly and the man she refers to in this song both belong to someone else, the man’s wife takes precedence. Kelly seems to care more about not hurting the man’s wife more than she cares about hurting her own man. Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

Favorite Line: “We should have counted up the cost / But instead we got lost / In the second, in the minute, in the hour”

5. “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr – The recurring theme of this playlist aside from cheating is time. This classic doesn’t stray from that worn path. Here, we have a man and a woman singing to each other about their hot affair that is reignited nightly in secrecy. Unfortunately for them, time constraints always leave them wanting more. Well done and perfectly formulaic.

Favorite Line: “In the middle of making love, we notice the time / We both get nervous ‘cause it’s way after nine / Even though we hate it, we know that it’s time that we go / We gotta be careful so that no one will know”

4. “Your Love” by The Outfield – This is my surprise pick. Imagine this setting, if you will. If you’re over the age of 23, you’ve probably been to a bar or wedding where they play this song and everyone sings the chorus at the top of their lungs. You point to the object of your affection or the closest pulchritudinous person and sing, “I just wanna use your love…TONIGHT! I don’t wanna lose your love…TONIGHT!” Newsflash: This isn’t a warm and fuzzy song. This song is about infidelity. The first line tells us that the singer’s woman, Josie, is away on vacation. He then invites an ex (“you know I’d do anything for you”) to…keep him company and stay the night in his current girlfriend’s stead. Of course, he asks her to keep this transgression a secret as she leaves.

Favorite Line: “I ain’t got many friends left to talk to / Nowhere to run when I’m in trouble / You know I’d do anything for you / Stay the night, but keep it under cover / I just wanna use your love tonight / I don’t wanna lose your love tonight”

3. “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul – I have a confession to make. This song almost didn’t make the cut. One line in this song gave it its rightful spot on this list, and that is, “Because she’s got her own obligations / And so, and so, do I.” By the “Mrs.” in the title and the majority of the lyrics, you would think that Billy is just the other man and therefore, not a cheater. However, he sings about how much it hurts and how wrong it is, so I’m led to believe that he, too, has a woman back home. It doesn’t seem to hurt unbearably bad because the forbidden lovebirds have a date set for the same time and same place the next day.

Favorite Line: “Well, it’s time for us to be leaving / It hurts so much, it hurts so much inside / Now she’ll go her way and I’ll go mine”

2. “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want to Be Right)” by Luther Ingram – Pick your poison. Millie JacksonBobby “Blue” Bland? Percy Sledge? David Ruffin? Isaac Hayes? Rod Stewart? LeAnn Rimes? All of them covered this song, but Luther Ingram struck gold first on this musical staple of adultery. This is one brazen and unremorseful song. Ingram, in this case, has a wife and two kids, but calls his woman on the side “the best thing he’s ever had.” At least he doesn’t make any excuses for his feelings and behavior like some of the other people on this playlist.

Favorite Line: “Your friends tell you there’s no future / In loving a married man / If I can’t see you when I want to / I’ll see you when I can”

1. “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder – The most deceptive, slickest, craftiest, and most lyrically complete song on this list comes from none other than Stevie Wonder. Much like my sentiments toward The O’Jays, I didn’t know Stevie had this kind of song hiding behind his shades. Shame on me for thinking this superstitious, I’ll-be-loving-you-always, happy-birthday-singing, signed, sealed, and delivered crooner couldn’t create this kind of masterpiece. I’m sorry, Stevie. I truly am. This song serves as the cheater’s handbook to not getting caught. 1. When your part-time lover gets back home from a night with you, have her call, let the phone ring once, and hang up. 2. Blink the lights so your part-time lover knows that you’re not with your girlfriend, and tonight is her night. 3. If you’re with friends and you and your part-time lover happen to cross paths, she is to pass you by and not speak. 4. If there’s an emergency, tell your part-time lover to have a male call and ask for you. This is all so scandalous…and impressive. Just know that “two can play the game.”

Favorite Line: “If she isn’t with me, I’ll blink the lights / To let you know tonight’s the night / For me and you, my part-time lover”

To repeat, I do not condone nor do I advocate cheating. However, tell me there haven’t been some great songs as a result of cheaters recounting their transgressions. We’ve seen contrition, confusion, regret, happiness, bitterness, and everything in between as a result of this topic. Let me know your thoughts or if there is a song that didn’t make my list.

-23

 
14 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Countdown, Music, Relationships, Sex

 

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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

“Mama always said, dying was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn’t.”

Junior Seau

This Junior Seau (1) situation is truly sad. It didn’t really hit me until I read players’ tweets and watched interviews on TV. Marcellus Wiley (2) was in tears talking about the type of human being Seau was. The details are still sketchy, but it appears that Seau was battling depression and committed suicide at his home. Junior Seau was never my favorite player, but I had a lot of respect for him. At a time when the NFL (3) is being sued by former players, coaches are being suspended for an entire season, players are being suspended for multiple games, and investigations are ongoing for alleged cheating; the timing of this apparent suicide probably couldn’t be worse. I know I wondered if Seau’s death was somehow related to a brain injury or some other form of trauma he sustained as a player. I pray for his family and friends. I also pray for the Chargers organization. Since 1995, eight former Chargers have passed away. All of them were under the age of 45. David Griggs died in a car crash; Rodney Culver died in a plane crash; Doug Miller was struck by lightning; Curtis Whitley died from a drug overdose; Chris Mims had an enlarged heart and died from complications with that; Shawn Lee and Lew Bush each had a heart attack and passed. *sigh* Rest in peace, Junior.

Scattershooting

So…there’s a church…in Tulsa, Oklahoma…at a bar…called the Drunk Monkey Tavern (4). After my initial shock, I got to thinking, and it’s not a bad idea. A local church streams its service to the bar every Sunday. The bar doesn’t serve alcohol during the service, which is nice. As a Christian, I find this to be progressive. You’re not always going to reach people at a typical church with pews, preachers, and judgmental parishioners. I respect the effort to be fishers of men.

Lil Boosie (5) is about to have his day in court. He has been charged with first-degree murder for plotting to have someone killed. I’ve seen a surge in #FreeBoosie hashtags on my timeline on Twitter. Each time I’m tempted to unfollow these people. There are causes to take up, there are people to rally around, and there is Lil Boosie. Sorry, the justice system can keep him. He hasn’t been proven guilty yet, but he was stupid enough to talk about the murder in his music. See: “187” 

Speaking of music and controversy, I watched VH1’s documentary, which highlighted the LA Riots (6) and hip-hop’s role in them. Watch “Uprising: Hip-Hop & The LA Riots” here. I was really impressed with it. When the LA Riots were going on, I was at an age where I didn’t completely understand what all was going on. I didn’t have my head buried in the sand, but it was before my time. The documentary did a great job of explaining everything from the Rodney King beating, the subsequent acquittal of the policemen who beat him, the Korean lady’s exhoneration after killing Latasha Harlins (7), and the racial turmoil in Los Angeles during that time. All the while, there was music. The music that told the world what was really going on before it gained national notoriety. VH1 went a step further and compiled a tracklist of the songs that defined the LA Riots.

Thirteen people have now been charged in the hazing death of Robert Champion (8), the former FAMU drum major who was killed in November. This whole situation sucks. I had and still have so much respect for FAMU’s band, the Marching 100 (9) and I hate that this is how many people will remember it. Currently, the band is indefinitely suspended. No matter what happens, no one will win here. A young man has lost his life, parents have lost a child, several students are facing felonies, and the school itself is tainted by this. This will get ugly.

Sports

The Brooklyn Nets (10) unveiled their new colors and logo that Jay-Z (11) helped design. I’m not impressed. First of all, it’s extremely plain. The black & white color combination is even worse. The Spurs already wear those colors. Ugh…I was expecting better.

These are pathetic.

Entertainment

There’s a push for “The Bachelor” (12) to feature its first African American. Lamar Hurd is a former professional basketball player from Oregon, who is in the running to be the next Bachelor. Here’s an interview with him from CNN and here’s his YouTube video.

“The 25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheater Themselves” Honorable Mention (13)

I’m dropping the top 10 (25-18; 17-11) of this list tomorrow morning, but I figured I’d tease the thREADERS with the songs that missed the cut. These are great songs, but three of the four couldn’t make it to the list simply because they are not from the perspective of the cheater. They’re still great songs, so I’m showing them some love.

1. “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy – This song met the criteria, but it couldn’t quite crack the top 25. Perhaps Shaggy’s denial is what kept this song off the list. His girlfriend had all the evidence necessary to prove that her man was cheating, but he spends the entire song denying it.

2. “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker – I really like this song, but like the next two songs, it doesn’t meet the criteria for this playlist. He’s the other guy who is convincing the woman to leave her husband. It’s so lovey-dovey sounding that you forget that it’s a song about secret lovers.

3. “Down Low” by R. Kelly –  This song was literally sitting comfortably in my Top 10 until I realized that R. Kelly wasn’t a cheater. There is no mention of a girlfriend, wife, or anything. However, there is a paramour. What a tragic tale this becomes when you watch the video.

4. “My Little Secret” by Xscape – Before Kandi was a “Housewife” and selling sex toys and before Tiny found T.I. and fell victim to plastic surgery, there was this jewel of deception. Instead of the quartet representing the woman who steps out on her man, it represents the side chick homegirl messing with a man who has a girlfriend. What’s more intriguing is that she likes being in the same room as the couple. Messy, messy, messy…

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