“You Suck” and Other Passive-Aggressive Jams

15 12 2014

As much as look forward to new releases and awards season, moments of triumph and honor for my favorite stars… I am completely guilty of enjoying their personal and professional lows just as well. I consume pop culture and celebrity news each waking hour of my day; absorbing the good, the bad, and the ugly indiscriminately.
Sorry not sorry but the silly, weak, thinly veiled instances where they lash out at each other are just as satisfying as when a cast lauds each other and their project, because it reminds me that they’re still just people! The following list of songs are some of the more passive-aggressive tunes in recent memory; they basically exist because the celebs in question have issues to address & feelings to express, but they pretend their privacy is so valuable that they can’t just come out with it about a given feud.

Inspired by Abigail Breslin’s recently released song “You Suck” which is a not so stealth attack on former flame, Michael Clifford, of 5SOS ‘fame,’  here’s a little list of my favorite passive-aggressive musical moments! An angry tweet can entertain us for days, but an ambiguously targeted lyric can spark fodder for a career (Carly, Alanis — I’m looking at you!).


10 – 7. Gwen Stefani, “Hollaback Girl” – Trent Reznor/NIN, “Starfuckers, Inc” – Stone Temple Pilots, “Too Cool Queenie” – Foo Fighters, “I’ll Stick Around
Issue: General bitchery and fame grubbing
Most scathing lyric: [STP] “There was this boy / He played in a rock-n-roll band / And he wasn’t half-bad, At saving the world / She said he could do no right / So he took his life / His story is true…  It’s ok cause what goes around, comes around / It’s all right cause what goes around, comes around”


6. Rihanna, “Cold Case Love
Issue: On-going Physical & Emotional Abuse
Most scathing lyric: “But your love ain’t the kind you can keep / Release me now cause I did my time / Of this cold case love / My heart’s no longer cold & confined / I’ve had enough”


5. Jonas Brothers, “Much Better
Issue: Less than amicable break-up
Most scathing lyric: Get a rep for breakin’ hearts / Now I’m done with superstars / And all the tears on her guitar / I’m not bitter / Now I see everything I’d ever need / Is the girl in front of me / She’s much better”


4. Katy Perry, “Circle the Drain
Issue: Addiction
Most scathing lyric: “Wanna be your lover, not your fucking mother / Can’t be your savior, I don’t have the power / I’m not gonna stay and watch you circle the drain”


3. Justin Timberlake, “Cry Me A River
Issue: Infidelity
Most scathing lyric: “You don’t have to say, what you did / I already know, I found out from him / Now there’s just no chance, for you and me, there’ll never be / And don’t it make you sad about it”


2. Selena Gomez, “The Heart Wants What It Wants
Issue: General Douchebaggery & Insensitivity
Most scathing lyric: 
“You got me scattered in pieces, Shining like stars and screaming / Lighting me up like Venus, But then you disappear and make me wait / And every second’s like torture, Hell over trip, no more so / Finding a way to let go, Baby baby no I can’t escape”


1. Taylor Swift, “Dear John
General Douchebaggery & Game Playing
Most scathing lyric: “You are an expert at ‘Sorry,’ And keeping lines blurry / Never impressed by me acing your tests / All the girls that you’ve run dry have tired lifeless eyes, Cause you’ve burned them out / But I took your matches, Before fire could catch me, So don’t look now / I’m shining like fireworks, Over your sad empty town”



I Miss When Fergie Used to Sing.

3 03 2011

Before she pierced her eyebrow, bathed in self  tanner, met Will.I.Am, or married the guy from “Las Vegas”   …Fergie sang.

Born in a Los Angeles suburb in 1975, Stacy Ann Ferguson was drawn to the lights of fame by the time she was 10.

Ferguson lent her voice to the television Penauts specials, “It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown” and “Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown;” as well as several episodes of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ferguson appeared on Disney’s Kids Incorporated- where she met future bandmate Renee Sandstrom.  

In 1991, Ferguson and Sandstrom formed the girl group Wild Orchid with fellow childstar and California girl Stefanie Ridel.

The band split by 2001, after recording four albums, touring with Cher and Cyndi Lauper, and hosting a popular Saturday morning competition show “Great Pretenders” on Fox Family.

Ferguson has admitted to having developed a severe crystal meth habit while in Wild Orchid, an addiction that she had to overcome after the group broke up. She told TIME magazine in 2006, “It was the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with.”

Also in 2001 Fergie was introduced to the Black Eyed Peas, a trio of male performers, Will.I.Am, APL.D.AP, and Taboo. Fergie was included on several tracks from the BEP’s third album, “Elephunk,” which was released in 2003.

Sometimes Fergie whips out a pretty sweet high note, or a great soulful run, but for the most part she is underwhelming, or drowned out by the attention-seeking boys club that is the Black Eyed Peas.


OK, so where did the disconnect happen?

I watched “Great Pretenders,” faithfully, every Saturday- and I have been continually disappointed with the “singing” parts Fergie gets on BEP tracks. She’s really just talking to a beat- which essentially is rapping, with less style.

When she released her solo album, The Dutchess, in 2006, I had hopes that she would be done with bouncing around with Will and the boys… although Will.I.Am did serve as producer and appeared on three tracks.

Her single “Big Girl’s Don’t Cry” is the only time in the last decade I have been impressed, reminded that her former high-note belting, riff-riding, smooth as honey voice is still there— BEP has just not properly showcased it.  Her shit is catchy, don’t get me wrong, but she has done more pseudo-rapping and sing-talking than actual singing since leaving Wild Orchid.

I wish she would lay low for a while, maybe have a kid with Josh Duhamel, and then come back with some seriously original music– she could be like Britney Spears, Sarah McLachlan, Gwen Stefani or Nelly Furtado; all of whom took a break, for family or just for their sanity, and came back to more success than before.

Girlfriend, please oh please take a moment to reevaluate yourself!

Reinvent if you want, explore your voice and the sounds that attract you, but be aware you will never be a Whitney or a Celine if you keep allowing Will.I.Am to be your puppetmaster.