Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pop Goes the Dubstep (Part 2): Ke$ha - "(Fuck Him) He's a DJ"

While Britney Spears may be the current poster girl for the latest hot trend in pop that may or may not continue to show up here and there around the pop scene as 2011 progresses, she's not quite the only pop girl in the dubstep world. You may remember the other mainstream megastar of the moment about whom this blog holds a particularly - and uncommon - high opinion who performs under the stylized moniker containing an ironic dollar sign (I've mentioned her). Being a Britney apologist is a demanding job, no question, but there's a great deal more work required of a Ke$ha apologist. Then again, it is on Ke$ha's case I feel most compelled to argue and most secure in my conviction. As always, I shall explain.

Ke$ha inhabits the electropop genre with her debut album Animal and its followup companion EP Cannibal so thoroughly that it's easy to assume she's limited to it. On the contrary, what makes the unreleased Ke$ha library so fascinating is how widely diverse it is in terms of genre, sound and (to a slightly lesser extent) content. The singer clearly enjoys experimenting with electronic studio sound generally reserved for more underground dance music than mainstream, although she's not afraid to pull out the guitar and unleash a gut-wrenching live ballad when the going gets rough.

What stands out throughout the sizable collection (I've obtained something north of 70 unreleased cuts) is not only Ke$ha's considerable knack for songwriting but an eagerness to explore a wide variety of styles, from low-key country to hyped-up techno to garage band rock to dirty club hip hop and more. Even several early cuts of some of the tracks that ended up on Animal suggest that Ke$ha's original vision underwent some cleansing prior to the album's release, presumably to avoid the need for a sales-damaging Parental Advisory content sticker. I, for one, found my appreciation of her skyrocket upon discovering the singer's defiantly honest, direct, bluntly sexual, uncensored persona that shows all throughout her unreleased songs with such veracity that it never comes off as pandering.

One of my favorite tracks from the bunch, one of two or three that ultimately convinced me to embark upon The Ke$ha Project, incredibly combines all of these elements of Ke$ha's greatness at once, to the extent that if it were a drug cocktail even Keith Richards would be a goner. Ke$ha has displayed her love of the disk jockey many a time before, as in her smash debut single "TiK ToK," which I remember reading a critic who dubbed it a "love song to DJs." Well, it turns out the affinity is more like a fetish, as made clear on the icy groove "(Fuck Him) He's a DJ," which, by the way, is meant as entirely literal.

For the first three-quarters of a minute, the song sounds like the lost sibling of "Boots & Boys" and "V.I.P." (all three songs are the work of twin Australian producers Mim and Liv Nervo), with Ke$ha sizing up her record-slinging prey with the same inflection as when she lobs zingers at the VIP or discusses footwear. Suddenly, just as you start to ponder the possible dual meaning of "feeding me this hot track," a tell-tale "wubwubwub" appears and is instantly gone...then once more a few seconds later. Finally, as Ke$ha launches into the titular lyric of the chorus, the track morphs into a full-on pop-dubstep club thumper that would leave an Eskimo sweaty by the time it departs two and a half minutes later.

So I hereby bestow upon you this gift, one of the major cards in my hand with this whole convincing-the-world-that-Ke$ha's-actually-a-genius thing that I simply couldn't hold onto any longer. I should warn you, though: once you let Ke$ha's dubstep into your life, not to mention Britney's "Freakshow," you may find it harder to get terribly blown away by the dubstep flirtation of Britney's "Hold It Against Me." Fortunately, there's a good likelihood Femme Fatale will have more up its sleeve for us once it finally arrives. In the meantime, "drop this track!"

Ke$ha - "(Fuck Him) He's A DJ" (Original Unreleased Version)

Download this MP3 - (Right Click)

Pop Goes the Dubstep (Part 1): Britney Spears - "Freakshow" and "Hold It Against Me"

Pop Goes the Dubstep (Part 3): Maroon 5 - "Moves Like Jagger" (feat. Christina Aguilera) 

Read more on The Ke$ha Project here!
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