One of the most memorable lyrics about womanhood that I heard this year came from Janet Jackson. Yes, she who so eloquently sang of "control," of this "rhythm nation," offered the following verse: "My swag is serious / Something heavy like a first-day period."
Apparently, Miss Jackson's flow is different than mine. But that's not the point. No, the point is that, in this age of constant Internet critique, of 24-hour celebrity ridicule, famous artists write jaw-droppingly bad lyrics about women all the time and yet, Broadsheet almost made it through the entire year without commenting on them at all.
Which is why we must give thanks to Rob Harvilla at the Village Voice, who has assembled a fantastic match-up of the "Worst Lyrics of 2008." Unfortunately, Jackson's song came out in December of 2007, and so it did not make the cut. But other wise wordsmiths have risen to the challenge.
Not surprisingly, many of these lyrics have to do with sex. Or whatever Lucinda Williams is referring to when she sings, "I'm so glad you've stung me / Now I've got your honey / All over my tummy." (To be fair, isn't that a Winnie the Pooh reference?) Also not surprisingly, several of these lyrics came from critically acclaimed hip-hop artists. Go figure.
Now, without further ado, let's savor 2008's pearls of wisdom. Frankly, it kind of makes me long for the days of "my lady lumps."
Usher, "Trading Places": "Skip dinner and gon' rent a movie / You order Chinese food right before you do me."
It's this kind of smooth talking that seals Usher's permanent spot as the Justin Timberlake of 1994.
Nickelback, "Something in Your Mouth": "You look so much cuter with something in your mouth."
Huh. I want my nickel back.
Katy Perry, "Hot N Cold": "You change your mind like a girl changes clothes / Yeah you PMS like a bitch / I would know"
Katy Perry, proving that obnoxious, misogynist lyrics are not the sole domain of rappers.
Pharrell, Common's "Announcement": "My dick is like a Blow Pop, baby"
Does that mean I can chomp it real hard to get to the bubble gum?
And, finally ...
Lil Wayne, "Dr. Carter": "Swagger tighter than a yeast infection / Fly go hard like geese erection"
Ladies and gentlemen -- the most acclaimed hip-hop album of the year.