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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 have used in the past.

Clip of 10cc - "Dreadlock Holiday"
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 [clip of Eric Clapton - "I Shot the Sheriff"] over-polished, sellout, wannabe version of reggae that's associated with stiffness, lameness, and overall whiteness.

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

Clip of Maxi Priest - "Close to You"

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. But 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 singer 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, hold on, 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, like, a pop internship nowadays. Well, let's see, did he work on anything I've ever heard of?

Brief 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'mma 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): ...any 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 think I've ever mentioned, but I absolutely loathe UB40, the Michael Bolton of Caribbean music. If there's any band that can match 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 every now and then, even if it's a very Bruno Mars-ian 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, don't gotta 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?

Nasri: 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 here.

Nasri: 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 um ...

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

Nasri: Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?
Say yes, say yes...

Todd: [getting it] Oh, okay.

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

Todd: [taking it in] Uh-huh.

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

Todd: You know, when I heard this 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 just "rude" in the generic, Stephanie from Full House sense.

Brief clip from Full House
Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin): How rude!
Nasri: 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 I mean...

Todd (VO): ... I g... I guess it's not unheard of. It just stands to reason there are traditional families out there, like especially if you're, like, old-school Italian, I guess. And the lead singer there is...you know, 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 take 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 and The Dog's Mind in his hand, 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 open 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 The Four Seasons performing "Dawn (Go Away)" from The Beach Ball, 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 with 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.

Nasri: "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, maybe 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.

Nasri: 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."

Nasri: I'm gonna marry her, anyway

Todd (VO): You know, that's a fair response: "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.

Todd (VO): Like, he says he's only doing it because the dad is old-fashioned, like it's just for the dad's benefit, but he really seems to believe that dad's opinion is the one that really matters here. Like, he seems really caught up in how the dad feels.

Nasri: Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?
Say yes, say yes 'cause I need to know

Todd (VO): Like, dude, I hope you're expending this much energy in the actual proposal, at the very least. Like, goddamn, you'd better have, like, [pictures of...] a private yacht and a jumbotron and everything.

MAGIC!: Say yes, say yes 'cause I need to know

Todd (VO): But no, it's like he really is proposing to the dad. And this whole "I'm gonna marry her, anyway" thing is, like, the Plan Z he came up with just now, just to spite him. Like...

Todd: ..."I would have accepted your 'no,' but you said it in just such a dick way, so I'm gonna steal your daughter...and I'm gonna egg your house."

Clip of a guy throwing an egg at a house

Okay, these songs are usually not sung to the dad, it's usually sung to the girl.

Clip of Sonny and Cher singing "I Got You, Babe"

Todd (VO): You know, like, "I love you forever, no matter what your parents think," or "I'll prove them wrong." And there's a reason for that. People like their silly love songs; they've been focus-grouped, and they work.

Todd: "Rude", meanwhile, is not a song about a guy who's trying to keep love alive in a world that's trying to tear them apart; it's a song about one guy sticking it to another guy.

Todd (VO): The name of the song is "Rude", for Christ's sake. If you wanted a love song where the predominant mood is pissiness, well, here's something for you to hum when you think about your one and only.

Todd: Matter of fact, it's kind of embarrassing how no one involved seems to be thinking very much about the girl in this.

Todd (VO): It's just, "wah, you hurt my feelings." And even as a revenge song, it's...it's kind of limp.

Todd: [whiny] Why are you so rude? I've got feelings too, you know. I'm a human being, goddammit! I'm gonna go home and cry! I hope you're happy!

Nasri: I hate to do this, you leave no choice
Can't live without her

Todd (VO): You see, there. That one half of a line is the only one that indicates that there is a love story involved in this song. Like, after that, he goes on about how happy they're gonna be, but, you know, that's just to shove it in the dad's face that he's stealing his little girl.

Nasri: You know she's in love with me
She will go anywhere I go

Todd: And he'll be just like, "yeah, we'll, like, come over on weekends and do it in your bed. I'm gonna take pictures of it and send 'em to you. How do you like me now, bitch?!"

Todd (VO): And here's the other big problem. Now usually in these songs, the parents don't like the boyfriend for a reason, and usually it's some kind of class prejudice, you know.

Todd: "They think I can't give you a future because I come from the wrong side of the tracks."

Clip of Bruce Springsteen performing "Rosalita" live
Bruce: I know your mama, she don't like me
'Cause I play in a rock 'n roll band

Todd (VO): And the listener thinks, "man, that's not fair, that's bullshit!" That was basically the plot of [clip of...] The Notebook! Even Nicholas Sparks is smart enough to know how this is supposed to go! But MAGIC?!

Todd: Again, nothing.

Todd (VO): If he just wanted me to feel bad for him, that would be one thing; but he also wants us to think he's been treated unfairly, and he just assumes we will, even though for all we know, the dad has plenty of good reasons to disapprove. Maybe this guy is abusive; maybe he is, in fact, a complete loser; maybe he helped write some of [album cover of Graffiti by...] Chris Brown's worst album! All would be completely valid reasons to not give his blessing.

Todd: And here's what really gets me.

Todd (VO): I mean, I try not to get on songs for repeating things. You know, repetition is part of pop music. But note that the bridge actually, subtly changes each time.

Todd: The first time, it goes like this.

Nasri: You say I'll never get your blessing 'til the day I die
"Tough luck, my friend, but the answer is no."

Todd: But the second time, it goes like this.

Nasri: "Tough luck, my friend, but the answer's still no."

Todd: And by the third time, that line is this.

Nasri: "Tough luck, my friend, but no still means no."

Todd: You know what that means, right? It means that after he got shot down and starting being all butthurt, after he says the dad's approval is basically meaningless, anyway, after he flaunts his superior power over the daughter basically out of revenge...he's still asking for the dad's blessing.

Nasri: Say yes, say yes 'cause I need to know

Todd (VO): That's the case he made.

Todd: "Screw you, old man! I don't need you! But seriously, do I have your blessing or not?"

Todd (VO): I gotta say, if I'm the dad, I'm gonna be thinking at this point, "yeah, I am totally right. You don't deserve her, you braindead douchebag! Get lost! I'm gonna set my daughter up with a [pictures of...] handsome, self-made millionaire who's active in charity, and you can go back to [...and...] working at Home Depot [...and a crack pipe] and smoking crack!"

Todd: God! I mean, how stupid do you have to be to make the hero of your story someone who doesn't get that no means no, and who doesn't even accept it when he's told?! Christ!

Gets up and leaves

Nasri: Why you gotta be so rude?

Closing tag song: Pilot - "Magic"

THE END
"Rude" is owned by Sony Music Entertainment
This video is owned by me

One final clip from the video of the father shaking his head in slow motion.

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