Songs in the Key of Y: Dark Horse by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J

These three songs were my favorite songs from this past summer and there’s no doubt that they’re Songs in the Key of Y worthy.

First up,   Dark Horse by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J. I love the beat in this song, I love the changing gears during the pre-chorus and then  the racing beat to the chorus. And then the beat dropping at the end of the chorus is super cool.

It’s a fine song but what elevates this song is the rap verse by Juicy J which I think even tops Kanye’s rap about alien sex on Katy’s E. T.  Dark Horse is a a mid-tempo song about all the baggage Katy brings into a relationship when she’s into a guy and Juicy J chose to rap about Jeffrey Dahmer, comas, and roller coasters. It’s insane.

“She’s a beast
I call her Karma (come back)
She eats your heart out
Like Jeffrey Dahmer (woo)”

I see the visual metaphor but who references Jeffrey Dahmer in 2014? Go on.

“Try not to lead her on
Shorty’s heart is on steroids
Cause her love is so strong”

That is strong! Although I don’t see what that has to do with leading her on…

You may fall in love
When you meet her
If you get the chance you better keep her
She’s sweet as pie but if you break her heart
She’ll turn cold as a freezer”

Now we’re back to the crux of what Katy is singing about but a really lame set of verses.

“That fairy tale ending with a knight in shining armor
She can be my Sleeping Beauty
I’m gon’ put her in a coma”

This is my favorite set of rhymes in the song because first, he bounces back from ‘sweet as pie’ and ‘cold as a freezer’, Second, you think it’s going to be romantic because he mentions a knight in shining armor and a fairy tale ending but it goes a completely different direction at the end; Lastly,  he totally misses the point of Sleeping Beauty. If you want your girl to be Sleeping Beauty you wake her OUT of a coma, you don’t put her IN a coma. Come on man! Why would you want to kiss a girl and that makes her go in a coma? That’s really depressing Juicy J! (Assuming that’s the metaphor he was going for and not the physical abuse route of actually putting his fictional girlfriend in a coma through violence.)

“Damn I think I love her
Shorty so bad, I’m sprung and I don’t care
She ride me like a roller coaster
Turned the bedroom into a fair (a fair!)

I like the metaphors here but it’s not really romantic or even sexually  empowering to the guy because aren’t most roller coasters in country fairs lame? Also roller coasters in general don’t last that long…anyway, I wouldn’t want my bedroom to a fair, no matter how pretty the curtains can get because of it. When I think of fairs,   I don’t think of fun or exciting. I think of people whining and overpriced food and rides and wishing that I was at Disneyland instead of this stupid fair.

But again, that’s me. Juicy J totally cool with his bedroom turning into a fair, so much so he says it twice back to back so there you go on that.

“I was tryna hit it and quit it
But lil’ mama so dope
I messed around and got addicted”

Echoes of the first verse, where he wants to leave her but she’s dope like a drug so he can’t leave which actually sounds more scary than romantic from his and her perspective. It sounds like he thought his relationship with this girl was going to be a one night stand but because she’s addictive like dope he can’t stop seeing her? I mean, I understand that but it’s just weird to me to say it out loud like that. It doesn’t come off as very romantic, or ‘love-a-ly’ as Marnie Nixon/Audrey Hepburn sang in My Fair Lady.

I do love the song though and I admire the rap verse in a half eye-rolling/half that’s-beyond-silly way.

One more thing I have to note is Juicy J is an Academy Award winner , he got the Oscar back in 2006  along with his rap mates from Three-6-Mafia for the song “Hard Out There for a Pimp” from the movie ‘Hustle & Flow’ which seems like it came out a million years ago.

Links:

Audio of the song

 

Lyrics to the song

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/katyperry/darkhorse.html

 

Wiki page for the song

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Horse_(Katy_Perry_song)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sketch Class recap part 2

My Monday Sketch class had it’s last meeting this past Monday and I had mixed emotions about it. I think overall I saw some growth in the work I was doing. I got better at giving my characters more action and stuff to do other than spit dialogue.

I also regressed in places,   one of our last sketch assignments was a re-write of a previous sketch we had turned in before. They’re all suppose to be 3-4 pages which I usually oblige by but for some strange reason I wound up with 5 pages. I just fell into the trap of too much re-writing and my teacher said I could have shaved off 2 pages and she was right. I didn’t get to the crux of the game until then I think in part because I was trying to retain the spirit of my initial sketch which was a premise sketch about a bank teller who is actually happy and helpful to the people robbing the bank she works in. One of my notes was I needed more of a reason of why she was so helpful and to not be so overly plotty.

I went way overboard on the reasonings and went completely off game I think when I made the sketch about her disrupting the two guys robbing the bank because she was going through a lot of drama in her life (boyfriend breakup, cat dying, and getting passed over on a promotion — those were my beats). The interesting part of the sketch, which my teacher liked was when the second in command robber took a liking to the teller and stopped robbing the bank. I should have started there instead of all this backstory stuff. Oh well.

That was rough and even rougher was my weak explanation and defending the piece. I’m not just good at that which I think is something I really have to work on going forward. I think some of that came from hearing the notes back to me and just being like “shit it IS too long and it could have been so much better”. The readings are great for that, you can really tell if something is too long. The funny thing is going into the class I was always worried I’d barely make it over the minimum which is what happened in my film classes back in the day. I can be a ruthless editor and the two short films I did for school were both barely over two minutes which I thought would be seen as a major positive but it wasn’t even mentioned during evaluations!

The second assignment for the sketch class went much better, in part because it was a one pager and you really can’t go wrong with just throwing out a one pager. During the reading my teacher laughed out loud and I think most of that came from because she found the idea that someone would write about ghosts haunting people to be funny. The premise for that sketch was a rich guy is in the lobby of a movie theater, he’s just finished looking over the place when a ghost appears (ghost #1 because I like the rule of three) and threatens to kill him. And that’s how it ended with the ghost threatening to kill him for a second time. I definitely got notes on that one though because it was too general as to why ghosts would kill this guy, the key for these sketches and likely all writing is specificity. I should have been clearer on that and it was unclear as to why I had an assistant show up at the theater to fetch him coffee. My point, which I did not say out loud because I always think it’s stupid, was I just thought it would be funny. Although in hindsight,  I could have said that because it’s been my “defense” before on a few things. But anyway, it was an odd joke and probably could be knocked out if I do another draft which leads me to this.

So what next? Well,  I’m going to try to keep up the goal of writing one sketch a week. I’d like to take 201 at the UCB next time it’s available, although I probably have to save up a paycheck or two before then but I’m also tinkering with the idea of taking a class at either the Groundlings, Second City, or IO West to learn about their approaches to sketch writing.  Last I checked only IO West had a doable upcoming class for me and my schedule.

Some progress was made but still a lot to learn which I consider a very good thing. Back to work!

I have a few thoughts on comedy, music, and film and here they are…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.