Thursday, April 26, 2018

Zoe vs. Kendrick Lamar's "Humble": A Parody

You may have heard that Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for music for his album Damn. If you're like me, your first thought was, Who's Kendrick Lamar? Your second was, I didn't know there was a Pulitzer Prize for music. Which just shows that your ignorance has range. Your third thought is, Speak for yourself, lady. Which is fair.
If you're not living under a rock---or several rocks if you have a seven-year-old who keeps handing you rocks for her "collection"---you might know more about popular music than I do. I also looked up previous winners of the Pulitzer for music and I'd never heard of any of them either, though, again, my wide-ranging ignorance is showing. Of classical music, of jazz, and of rap. My milieu is more Duran Duran.
Come to think of it, how come Duran Duran never got a Pulitzer? Wasn't "Hungry Like the Wolf" one near-rhyme away from spoken word poetry? Furthermore, what soul could look upon that video and fail to be moved?
But we were talking about Kendrick Lamar, who also won several Grammys this year. I didn't know that either. Which is because I have now entered the Kidz Bop phase of life wherein the first time you hear a popular song it's the retooled version for children.

Parody of Kendrick Lamar's "Humble"

Of course, it's not just what's on my iPod but my experience of life that is miles away from Mr. Lamar's. It's more than our respective number of Pulitzers. What I'm subtly alluding to is the fact that, unlike Kendrick Lamar, I'm a white mom in her forties. Chai-drinking, yoga-pants-wearing, highest-SPF-applying, don-a-wide-brimmed-hat-on-the-beach white.
Since learning of Kendrick Lamar's existence, I've listened to a few of his songs. Now, I don't mind cursing, but the sheer number and variety of curse words were an obstacle to my listening. Then there was the velocity in which they were delivered. He sang so fast the speed reminded me of "I am the very model of a modern major-general" from The Pirates of Penzance. (I may have gotten whiter just writing that sentence.)
Anyhoo, I did learn about syrup sandwiches, which was what Lamar apparently ate as a child because he was poor. If I were to rap about that, it would probably go like this:
Regarding syrup sandwiches, you can guess, 
as per my gender, age, and race, 
ain't no sugar let alone carbs approaching near my face.
All of the foregoing is to say, I have a parody today of Lamar's Grammy-winning song "Humble." (Dear Mom, click on the preceding link to hear the song. On second thought, probably don't.) My subject is bedtime reading with Zoe, and the pain that plucks a caregiver's nerves as his or her child pauses every other word to ask what every other word means, or to ask how many more pages she has to read, or otherwise whines, and if she's not yelling the sentences that end in exclamation points, you can barely hear her because she mumbles, and so I present:

You gotta read, miss
I can't believe this
Read (yeah) (yeah)

If there's a word you can't pronounce I make allowances
No reason to dissolve in hissy fits
I can't account for this
Pajamas on, now time for reading, please
My face, it's frownin', miss
You say you already read today, tastes like lies, I ain't buyin' it
Girl, you learn about the world with the junior book club
Literacy's good, my patience worn down to a nub.
Mommy's too tired, just read it straight; don't do no voices
Pick up the book, then put it down, we're not playin' Jenga
P.M. is the evening, feels like P.M. turning A.M., clunk
Get off me, no more leaning, don't kick the chair, clunk
Mummies in the Morning, Magic Tree House, who'da thunk?
No dancing, reading! Regretin' all that juice you drunk.
"Read!"---my shout's all bile!
If you don't, I'm gonna throw that book a mile!
Mary Osborne, read the words she wrote
Speak clearly. Nice and slow. Don't mumble.

Read loud. Don't mumble.
(Speak up. Wrong pitch.) 
Read loud. Don't mumble.
(Speak up, speak up, speak up) Don't mumble.
(Modulate pitch) Read loud.
(Speak up.) Don't mumble.
Read loud. Don't mumble.

Who dat shorty thinkin' that she frontin' on Mom and Gran?
If you don't read, time you greet Mr. Sandman.
Read two more pages before I turn out the light
Or I swear you won't play for the rest of your life.
Mommy's so frikkin tired her life needs the Photoshop
Show me you can read a sentence without one stop
Show me you can speak a sentence without adding question marks.
You don't know the word, look it up in your dictionary, ay
I know you know that word, ay, I know it's within your vocabula-ray
Enunciate your words, ay, articulate the verbs, ay
Stop conversatin', ay, no confabulatin', ay
Archaeologist has two a's, but you don't say the second a
This that Merlin Mission, that magician, that warlock, ay
Though your lips move, can't hear your voice talk, ay
If I lose my temper, it won't be my fault
It's the bedtime-reading gestalt. Which means, don't mumble.

Read loud. Don't mumble.
(Speak up. Wrong pitch.) Read loud.
Don't mumble.
(Speak up. Speak up. Hello?) Read loud.
(Speak up. Change pitch.) Don't mumble.
Read loud. Don't mumble.

Zoe: 182; Universe: 0
 If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out my parody of a non-humble Kanye West's "Gold Digger," which did not win a Pulitzer.

For more of Zoe's hijinks, follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at @zoevsuniverse
I need a win here, people. 

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