The Roots’ “Birthday Girl” would have been a better song if it was actually about waiting until a girl turns 18 so you can fuck her without having to worry about going to jail, where some Nazis might rape you or some shit.
I’m not saying that’s definitely not what it’s about, but I’m thinking it might not be. The thing is, I’m not sure what it’s actually about. I woke up late, and I’ve gotta be at work in a little bit (that’s the kind of shit you gotta do when you’re down with the winning team here at XXL), so I didn’t have time to go over Black Thought’s raps with a fine-tooth comb.
It sounds like it might be a knock against a guy like R. Kelly, who’s probably banged some ridonkulous number of 15 year-old girls, going all the way back to the days of Aaliyah (RIP). There might even be a connection to be drawn to this recent incident with his publicist’s daughter, whom he may have actually waited to bang until she was legal.
I’m sure he had thought about it for years prior though. Supposedly, he had known her since she was like four or something. (Yikes!) If only this new Roots record had been around a few years ago, or whenever it was when he finally got what he was after for all those years. R. Kelly could have been cranking this in his lair, i.e. his sauna, while he was tapping that ass.
Maybe he’ll even read this and get the idea for the next underage broad he makes sweet, passionate love to (and then miterates upon). Oh, that’s right. He can’t read.
If that’s the case, then “Birthday Girl” isn’t a song about waiting until a girl turns 18 so that you can fuck her without having to go to jail, but rather a knock against the kind of guy who would do some shit like. How clever of the Roots! (Whether or not this would actually be a bad thing to do is, I suppose, a topic for another discussion. We already know R. Kelly’s position!)
However, “Birthday Girl” will almost certainly be taken as a song about waiting until a girl turns 18 so that you can fuck her legally, since the chorus – by the fellow from Fall Out Boy, i.e. the only part many people will ever pay attention to – doesn’t mention anything about this being a bad thing to do. It actually sounds like my thought process more often than not while I’m at work.
One of the things about working at a place like the BGM is that everyone else who works there is either a 17 year-old girl or a 50 year-old woman. (The manager, of course, is a 50 year-old guy.) On the one hand, it sucks, in that you wonder why every other guy your age has got something better to do. But on the other hand, it’s kinda awesome, in that half the girls there are 17, and you can easily tune the other half out.
I’m probably not gonna fuck any of them, just because I wouldn’t be able to talk them into it anyway (the 17 year-old ones – 50 year-old women love me as if I was a milkshake, no bullshit); but if I did, I’d be in the same position as the protagonist in the new Roots record. I could probably hold out until next spring, for the sanctity of my rear-end, but lord knows it would be tough. (Holy shit, would it be tough!)
And I’d imagine that’s more or less what it’s like to be Black Thought. Admit it, when you first heard “Birthday Girl,” even before you saw the video (which is so awesome I’m not convinced the TIs at Def Jam haven’t found some way to tap into my psyche), the first thought that popped into your mind was a 17 year-old white girl. And not just because 17 year-old white girls are, in the aggregate, more attractive than 17 year-old black girls. (My bad, black people.)
Fighting the urge to drop a Nick Manning-style load in a 17 year-old white girl must be the central dilemma in Black Thought’s life, for a few reasons. First of all, what’s the likelihood that Black Thought is gonna run into another black person at a Roots show, other than ?uestlove. I’ve been backstage at a Roots show, and other than ?uestlove’s mom (six-foot five and a total grandmilf), it’s basically just young white chicks, ripe for the pluckin’.
Oh, what it must be like to have such a problem.
The other reason, of course, is that the Roots have an image to protect. Like I said, they don’t have much of a black fan base anyway, but I imagine the kind of white people who go to Roots concerts might object the idea of Black Thought being balls deep in some young white chick backstage – not because they hate black people (after all, they went to a Roots concert!), but because, in their minds, that would somehow make him seem less authentic.
Granted, there’s nothing quite as black as pining to have sex with a white woman. As far as signs that one is deeply and truly a dreaded n-word, it’s roughly on a par with not being able to show up on time for shit. But one of the things that I think really resonates with the Roots’ cracka-ass fan base is that they project an image of blackness that’s more boho, and that means having sex with Erykah Badu. (And I don’t mean that as a metaphor. I mean you actually have to have sex with Erykah Badu.)
It’s one of those weird inconsistencies in our thinking, in which, even though a brother like Black Thought dropping it off in a litany of barely legal white chicks might actually be more progressive, in that it would be to reject various conventional, antiquated notions with regards to race, and class, and sex (not to mention that it’s clearly what god intended, or else why would he have made the desire so overwhelming?), having sex with an older black woman who probably smells like incense is viewed as more progressive, in the Barack Obama sense of politics as the wallpaper to your life.
What do you fruits think? Did I just uncover some profound racial and sexual subtext in this new Roots record, or am I merely projecting my own issues onto a song that, for all of its gimmicky would-be provocations, is actually kind of a blank slate, just like any number of other Roots records? Both?