A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
June 19, 2013 at 2:48 PM
Rating the Kidz Bop treatment of Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’
Macklemore got Kidz Bopped! The Kidz Bop media franchise which makes CD compilations of “kid-friendly” versions of pop songs — meaning karaoke remakes with groups of kids singing the vocals — has officially Bopped the superstar Seattle rapper’s smash single “Thrift Shop.”
In case you don’t know, “Thrift Shop” jokes on the cliche of toasting to recklessly burning through money on material goods. Macklemore brings this down to the relatable level of bargain hunting at your local Goodwill.
The weird thing about this Bopping is that it’s redundant, since Macklemore already makes “kid-friendly” music. I mean come on, he literally throws pizza parties for his fans. He is a teen idol, key word “teen.” And parents love him as much as their kids do because he’s clean-cut and seems like a good role model (exhibit A, his pro-gay-marriage anthem “Same Love”; exhibit B, his outspoken abstinence from drugs and alcohol).
Anyway — now we have a Kidz Bop version of “Thrift Shop.” And because Kidz Bop also changes lyrics to be inoffensive, whatever that means, the lyrics are different.
Let’s look at some of those revisions, shall we? Roll tape.
“This is [f-wording] awesome”
“This is really awesome”
Matson commentary: Fair change.
“Rock that [mother f-worder]
Matson commentary: Lame change, because it changes the meaning of the line — to rock that, meaning to proudly let something adorn you, is not the same as proclaiming a thing to be really awesome.
“Hey, That’s a cold-ass honky!”
“Hey, the guy on the marquee!”
Matson commentary: Super lame change! This feels like “honky” is removed because it’s racist, which equates it on some faraway level with the N-word, which it is not at all very similar to. If the “ass” part is the offender, I recommend “super cold honky.” If you do not understand that cold means good in this situation, and that the suffix -ass is a magnifier, hip-hop is not for you.
“What up, I got a big [c-word for male member]”
“What up, I got a hit song”
Matson commentary: Fair change. Also, when is it cool for a rapper to rap about their penis? I don’t know, but I almost never enjoy those lyrics. Rappers of the world, take note.
“I’m gonna pop some tags”
“I’m gonna rock some tags”
Matson commentary: Awful change because it changes the meaning of the line and confuses hip-hop slang. Popping tags can mean switching differently priced tags in a store (underhanded, that), or just buying a lot of stuff (consumerism!). But rocking tags? That would mean wearing tags on your body. Or referring to tags as in tagging, as in graffiti, and nobody uses rocking with that. Let’s go rock some tags on the side of a building? Nobody has ever said that.
Overall verdict: Macklemore, you got Bopped by these Kidz!
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