Archive for Usher

53. ‘Pop Ya Collar’ by Usher (2000)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 17, 2010 by G.K. Reid

From Usher with love…

Generally speaking, Usher’s persistent claims to self-assured macho coolness never quite ring true.  Probably because he still lives with his mum.  And cos he’s kind of flamin’ (the fact that ‘every week you see [him] hanging out with a different girl’ doesn’t so much reflect his lothario credentials as it does a particularly rigourous beard-screening process).*

Aside from the difficulty I have in believing that people could feel all that envious towards such a patently insecure, mum-loving peacock as Mr. Raymond, there’s also the issue that the message of the song – however well-intended – is essentially the same self-justifying defence employed by the Patrick Bateman-idolising, capitalist cockbags of this world.  (THEY ONLY HATE ME COS I’M A GO-GETTER! IT’S GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING AN AWFUL, AWFUL CUNT!) 

Despite those small caveats, Pop Ya Collar is less an arrogant one-finger salute to da haterzzz, and more about taking pride in being yourself (that spoken-word intro – ‘welcome today to the wonderful world of you!’ – is adorable), with Usher’s soulful, emphatic vocals steering away from the threat of braggadocio.  Most importantly, though, it’s a tightly-executed triumph, replete with handclaps and horn-blasts, and built around that irresistable call-and-response chorus (though when is a call-and-response chorus not irresistible?)

Bonus points: I cannot begin to understand what ‘You have two options: you can eat it or throw it away’ means, but Usher certainly seems confident that he’s hit upon a pretty profound philosophy here. 

*NOT THAT I’M IMPLYING THAT USHER IS A GAY. But if he were – HYPOTHETICALLY – to come out of the closet, he should switch some of the lyrics and re-release this; it’s practically begging to be reinterpreted as a gay pride anthem.

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