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Rude

Rude by krin

Date Aired
July 11, 2014
Running Time
14:20
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Todd plays "Rude" on the piano.

MAGIC! - RUDE
A pop song review

Todd: I'd like to reintroduce you to a term I used in the past.

Clip of 10cc - "I Don't Like Cricket"
10cc: I don't like cricket
Oh, no

Todd (VO): That, of course, would be [picture of dreadlocked fish wearing a rasta hat] cod reggae, which is what the British call the overpolished, sellout wannabe version of reggae that's associated with stiffness, lameness, and overall whiteness.

Todd: It's a disreputable genre, to be sure.

Todd (VO): Now keep in mind, cod reggae is not necessarily made by white people.

Todd: It's not even necessarily bad.

Brief clip of "All That She Wants" by...

Todd (VO): I mean, I've heard Ace of Base called cod reggae, and most of y'all seem to like that. The point is, quote-unquote...

Todd: ..."real reggae" comes from...

Brief clips of a live Bob Marley performance and Big Mountain - "Baby, I Love Your Way"

Todd (VO): ...Caribbean ghettos and is associated with political activism, poverty, and illegal drugs, while cod reggae has its roots in frat houses and is associated with pool parties and Caribbean Cruise Line ads.

Todd: I bring it up because one of the bigger hits right now is a big ol' bowl of cod chowder...

Video for "Rude"

Todd (VO): ...complete with syncopated rhythms, steel drums, and the douchiest looking this side of Robin Thicke. The song is called "Rude", the debut single from a band from Toronto called Magic.

Todd: No, no, no, wait, wait, wait, hold on, I got the name wrong. It's actually [band logo] all-caps MAGIC, exclamation point. You know, [in giant letters with stars going by...] MAGIC! I guess that would be the polar opposite of [promo pic of...] lower-case fun, period. Now, these guys are new, and this is the first song off their debut album, [album cover] Don't Kill the Magic, ha-ha.

Clip of live performance on Sunrise

Todd (VO): Kinda makes me wonder how bad a band has to be that they already have to beg not for death. But though they're new, the lead singer Nasri Atweh has been a behind-the-scenes producer-songwriter for a couple years now, just like Kesha, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars.

Todd: It's like pop singers have to have a pop internship nowadays. Well, let's see, have you worked on anything I've heard of?

Clips of Pitbull ft. Christina Aguilera - "Feel This Moment"...
Pitbull: Mr. Worldwide

Todd: Oh, wonderful.

'...Chris Brown - "Next 2 You"...
Chris: You would make my life complete

Todd (VO): Yeah, that's not a good sign.

... and Justin Bieber - "Mistletoe"
Justin: I'm-a be under the mistletoe with you

Todd (VO): Okay, now I'm worried.

Todd: Okay, you see, this new song, it's...it's a full-on reggae hit, not...

Todd (VO): ...one of reggae's more modern offsprings. Not reggaeton, not dance hall, just honest-to-God, original recipe reggae.

Todd: And white people making reggae can be a disaster.

Clip of "Red, Red Wine" by...

Todd (VO): Like, I don't know if I've ever mentioned , but I absolutely loathe UB40, the Michael Bolton of Caribbean music. If there's any band that's matched the sheer volume of bad hits in the '80s as Chicago, it's UB40. Screw them.

Todd: Additionally, white reggae often ends up sounding just [another clip of "Mistletoe"] like this, minus the sleigh bells. And to make things worse, MAGIC! are, like I said, Canadian, and Canadian reggae does not have a very proud legacy.

Clip of Snow - "Informer"
Snow: Informer
You know say Daddy Snow me, I'm gonna blame
A licky boom-boom down

Todd: Yeesh. Well, anyway, this is MAGIC! Let's see, do they sound any more legit than that?

MAGIC!: Oooh.
Ten seconds later

Todd: Okay, I can't say that they strike me as a very authentic-sounding band, but...

Todd (VO): ...you know, I think I'm okay with this. I mean, I'm glad for anything that switches it up now and again, even if it's a very Bruno Marsy take on the genre.

Todd: I like steel drums. As far as Jamaican music made by white people...

Todd (VO): ...go, this isn't, you know, the Police or anything. It's not even No Doubt, but you know, it's respectful enough. They kind of reinvent the wheel here.

Todd: But there are different kinds of reggae, just as much as there's different kinds of rock and rap. What are [again with the stars] MAGIC! going for here?

Nesri: Saturday morning jumped out of bed
And put on my best suit
Got in my car and raced like a jet
All the way to you
Knocked on your door with heart in my hand
To ask you a question

Todd (VO): Well, isn't that romantic? He's gonna pop the question, that's nice.

Todd: Okay, you see, this is apparently [clip of...] the love song, R&B side of reggae called lovers rock, something I really hadn't heard of much on the mainstream American charts, I mean. So we're getting all sorts of new stuff on here.

Nesri: To ask you a question
'Cause I know that you're an old-fashioned man, yeah

Todd: And it's remarkably progressive. I...

Todd (VO): ...can't say I've ever heard of a gay reggae love ballad. That is novel. So...

Todd: ...this would be an old-fashioned gay wedding proposal, then? [Beat] Wait.

Nesri: Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?

Say yes, say yes...

Todd: [getting it] Oh, okay.

Nesri: "Tough luck, my friend, but the answer is No"

Todd: [taking it in] Uh-huh.

Nesri: Why you gotta be so rude?
I'm gonna marry her anyway

Todd: You know, when I heard the song was called "Rude", I assumed that was after, like, [picture of...] the rude boys, which is what they call the Jamaican street kids who made reggae popular. This is apparently "rude" in the generic, Stephanie from Full House sense.

Brief clip from Full House
Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin): How rude!
Nesri: You say I'll never get your blessing 'til the day I die
Tough luck

Todd (VO): So he's asking for the father's blessing, and he gets shot down.

Todd: That...that's interesting, at least. It's different. I didn't realize asking a girl's father for her hand was a thing that still happened.

Todd (VO): Like, you know, there's that weird "I'm buying your property" element to it that we don't really... we kinda frown on that nowadays. [Clip from...] Like, even in Meet the Parents, I thought it was kind of weird and out of date, and that happened, like, 14 years ago. Holy God, that...

Todd: ...was 14 years ago. Well, anyway...

Todd (VO): ...I guess it's not unheard of. It just stands to reason there are traditional families out there, like especially, like, if you're old-school Italian, I guess. And the lead singer there comes from a Palestinian family apparently.

Todd: Asking for the father's hand is, in fact, a big deal in Palestinian culture. [Freeze frame with disclaimer reading...] Todd is shockingly ignorant about other cultures, please do not anything he says about them as fact. And, you know, I guess even...

Todd (VO): ...without the weird, outdated elements, it's...it's still a nice gesture to do, right? You know, get the parents' blessing, you're gonna be part of the family. And for the dad to just say, "no, I don't approve of you," that's gotta sting, right? How rude. And, you know, he's gonna marry her anyway. So there you go.

Todd: This is a song about pain and defiance and love conquering all. Isn't that nice? You know, that's nice. This is different, I like it. There you go. Have a good day. I'm Todd In The Shadows, and I'm out.

Gets up and leaves. Shots show Todd sleeping fully clothed on a bed with Kali, playing a video game, sleeping on a couch with Fifty Shades of Grey in his hand, back to playing the game, and eating a bowl of cereal. In the middle of eating, he pauses as a thought occurs to him. He gets up and goes back to his post.

Okay, so, you know that "Rude" song I was talking about the other day? Well, absolutely nothing about it works. At all.

Todd (VO): What the hell is this? Why would you write... Yeah, after thinking about it a little bit, I can't sign off on this song, like, at all. I...I'm not even sure I'm calling it a bad song. It's...

Todd: ...it's definitely an odd song.

Todd (VO): I mean, you don't get many pop songs nowadays that try to, you know, tell a story, set a scene. But once you introduce a narrative, like, even a short one like this, you're opening yourself up to being criticized for plot holes, and everything about the story being told here just strikes me as a colossal misfire.

Todd: Okay, it's not like there's never been a song about this before...

Brief clips of <!not sure what the first one is-->Trisha Yearwood - "She's in Love with the Boy" and the Shangri-Las performing "Leader of the Pack" on I've Got a Secret

Todd (VO): ...especially back in, like, the '60s, and also in country songs, where tradition still rules. You know, parent drama, girlfriend's parents don't approve, you're not good for her, that kind of thing. Even writing a song about this kind of thing makes

Todd: ...you the old-fashioned one, if you get me. But I don't think MAGIC! [again with the stars]...okay, that's getting old, let's stop that. I don't think MAGIC! really get what made those old songs work.

Todd (VO): I don't even know where to start here, but you know, let's start with the title.

Todd: "Rude".

Todd (VO): As in, impolite, bad-mannered, uncivil.

MAGIC!: Why you gotta be so rude

Todd: See, here's the thing. This disapproving dad, I don't...I don't see how he was being rude.

Nesri: "Tough luck, my friend, but the answer is No"

Todd (VO): You asked him a direct question, you got a direct answer. Sorry you didn't like what you heard, but you weren't owed a yes, buddy. He wasn't even that harsh about it. [Another clip from Meet the Parents] It's not like he hooked up your nuts to electrodes or anything. Like, it's a shitty thing to do to your daughter, assuming that she does, in fact, want to marry him, which...

Todd: ...you know, it's kind of a big assumption, but we'll get to that.

Todd (VO): But if it's just about demanding that the guy like you personally, for your sake...

Todd: ...well, he doesn't. Sucks to be you. Deal with it.

Todd (VO): It's not like he really made a strong case for himself or anything. Like, usually, these songs say something like, "I'll be good to her, I'll take care of her, I'll treat her right."

Todd: But this guy? Nothing. I mean, he put on a suit.

Nesri: Put on my best suit

Todd (VO): Like...wow, you're wearing a suit. By all means, please, continue banging my daughter...

Todd: ...become a prominent fixture in my life for the rest of my remaining years. I mean, what else can I say here? You've got a suit on and everything!

Todd (VO): And then the prospective son-in-law says: "Well, you know what? I'm gonna marry her anyway."

Nesri: I'm gonna marry her anyway

Todd (VO): You know, that's a fair response. "Why don't I marry her anyway? 'Cause goddamn, old man, this was a nicety for your benefit.

Todd: I want to say we'll have a good relationship if we're gonna be family, but seriously, you realize that I don't actually need your permission, right? Me and your daughter are adults, we can do what we want."

At least that's the vibe I want to get from this song, but I don't.

Transcript in progress

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