As the Kids Say


In "how the left lost teen spirit" news, I notice the first sentence of a piece in The Nation :

Music for America (MfA), a nonprofit group working to get out the youth vote in the hope of unseating George W. Bush, has a new answer to the old dance-club question "Who rocks the party that rocks the party?"

The answer to that "old dance-club question" being, of course: "What kind of crazy ass club drugs are you on? That question makes no f*ing sense!" As opposed to the actual line, which is "I rock the party that rocks the body." (Most familiar from an old MC Lyte track Puffy remixed.)

I'm probably picking on The Nation unfairly—Google reveals that the "rocks the party that rocks the party" locution is pretty common. But still, as far as I can tell, makes no f*ing sense. Anyway…

NEXT: War on Terror vs. War on Saddam

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  1. “Party” can refer to a single individual in legaleze. As in “the party of the first part.” That makes it possible to come up with a sensible formulation.

  2. David,
    While I wouldn’t say the vast population are hip-hop fans, you underestimate the number of people who are. Outkast just won the Grammy [insert joke here] for best album of the year and among the younger generations it is definitely gaining in popularity. Heck, even the older, white women at my work dig Eminem and Outkast.

    Hip hop has matured from the days of NWA (when it was the scary corrupting music of those colored folk). It’s pretty mainstream now and though it’s not universally liked it’ll turn off about as many people as country music will. Get with the times old man. 🙂

  3. You think that makes no sense? I’ve heard people speak of not just rocking the party that rocks the party, but even rocking the party that rocks the party that rocks the party.

  4. Dance lyrics rarely make sense. Even if “I rock the party that rocks the party” makes no sense, it’s not at all unreasonable for someone to think those are the real lyrics.

  5. Regardless of the raging debate regard who is rocking the party that rocks the party, Weigel’s take on Goldberg’s book is pretty much unpolished. Basically, Wiegel complains that Goldberg didn’t use Republicans as examples to support his thesis. He seems to miss many of Goldberg’s points purely for the sake of being contrarian… which is the point of a lot of Reason columns, I suppose, but it does get tiresome.

  6. though i find their outfits painful, outkast make absurdly catchy music for the most part.

  7. So… are they just unwittingly repeating a misheard song lyric, or is there some coherent reading of “rocks the party that rocks the party” that I haven’t divined?

  8. They may be trying to say that The Democratic Party is really cool AKA they rock the party, and the DP is going to rock the GOP. But they also might be trying to say that you, you-crazy-kid-you, who rocks parties, you can really rock the GOP.

    On the other hand, they might be trying to say that Kerry, who rocked the DP, is going to rock the GOP. Or, they could be trying to say that you, you-crazy-kid-you, are you looking for a party? Because the DP is a lot of fun AKA a party.

    P.S. LL Cool S means Libertarians love cool Shultz.

  9. “…purely for the sake of being contrarian… which is the point of a lot of Reason columns, I suppose,…”

    I have often happened upon people with a certain rigidity about some rather ridiculous ideas. Maybe they get them from their parents or the media.

    These ideas become ingrained so deeply in people’s heads that when they see a contrary argument, they sometimes assume that the person making the argument is being contrarian just for kicks.

    I often get this reaction to the explanation for why the minimum wage is so devastating to young, urban, African-American men, for instance.

    Constantine, I’d appreciate it if you would site an example of a Reason column written, “…purely for the sake of being contrarian…”

  10. Hip hop is ascendent and forward looking. It is the hip hop stars and up and comers that seem to have the money, moxie and momentum today. They are out there hustling. Rock and roll is generic and moribund, like a jaded 60’s lefty in a minivan. Even a scandinavian black metal fan like myself can see that Outkast, Ludicris, Missy Eliot, et cetera are having much more fun and making much more money than the average R&R poseur.

  11. HnM, you should move out to LA for a little bit and meet some of these “hip hop stars.” Except for a tiny elite minority, most of them go into massive debt frontin’ like they have the money to support their totally blinged out lifestyle.

    Hip hop, like so many other things, is mostly “ascendent” on television. I can’t see how its “forward looking” in any sense.

  12. Get jiggy with the schnizzle, m’kay?

  13. From
    par?ty ( P )n. pl. par?ties

    (1) A social gathering especially for pleasure or amusement: a cocktail party.

    (2) An established political group organized to promote and support its principles and candidates for public office.

    (3) A selected group of soldiers: a raiding party.

    (4) Slang.
    An act of sexual intercourse.
    An orgy.

    Obviously it is a question of who rocks the party(1) that rocks the party(2). Of course if John Kerry gets the nomination it will be more of a question of who rocks the party(3) that rocks the party(2).

    But we can rest assured that whoever rocks the party(2) will rock the party(4). So whatever else happens, everyone’s going to get fucked.

  14. Hip-hop is dying, actually 🙁

  15. Ladies and gentlemen, after four short rounds, the WINNUH and CHAMPEEN is Pavel!

  16. Well said, Piper. Pigeonholing young people into political categories because of what music they prefer seems a bit anachronistic these days. Maybe in the late 60’s you could make such generalizations, but not now. The diversity and sheer number of artists and fans just doesn’t allow it. I’ve met more libertarian minded punks than I can count lately.

    And thanks so much to Julian Sanchez for setting the record on that lyric straight.

  17. Who rocks that party that rocks the party? The guys that make sure the money flows for the grey-headed dude running for President, not a bunch of kids looking for rocks at some party.

  18. I believe MC Lyte rocks the party that rocks your body; the other construction makes no sense.

  19. Why not just type “fucking?”

  20. This goes to show that ANY topic posted here will receive a response. Ring a bell, the dog drools.

    Pavlov rocks!

  21. The folks at The Nation must be smoking rock. You know, the “rock” that rock’s the party.

  22. jb-cause this is america, and we’re fuck*ng weird like that.

  23. There’s always gotta be a critic.

  24. Johnny Ramone, Ted Nugent, and the small group that booed and walked out of the Pearl Jam concert get press for their righty politics because they are exceptions to an overwhelming rule – it’s a man-bites-dog story.

    Rock and Roll and Hip Hop fans who are politically engaged are overwhelmingly left of center.

  25. Don’t mind JB. Our self censorship just seems pretty fucking weird and goddamn random to him because he’s Fr*nch.

  26. Joe, I think you’re confusing “politically engaged” with “obnoxious.”

  27. Pavel-
    Sure, that reading makes sense in the political context. But not as an “old dance-club” line.

  28. Naw, Josh, it’s pretty tough to get more obnoxious than the one guy with the Rush art on his jacket.

  29. “Rock and Roll and Hip Hop fans who are politically engaged are overwhelmingly left of center.”

    More reliable research from the joe Polling Center.

  30. Whether Joe is correct or not makes no difference. The vast number of voters, left and right, are not hip hop fans, and the more a party is associated with hip hop, the fewer votes it will get.

  31. it seems not to have occurred to you that hip hop as a broad basic style and set of fashions and assorted accessories is so widespread as to be nearly invisible?

    i know H+R tends to be big on “hip hop = al sharpton” as a metaphysical fact of existence but it’s a bit more complicated and oddly conservative, really. hip hop is a very conservative form of music outside of the racial issue and the vulgarity of the sexual approach – stances on gays, the accumulation of material goods and a very traditional understanding of gender, etc. and so forth.

    association with “hip hop” might be a real negative factor in the middle of nowhere just as it might be a positive association in new york and other urban areas, but it’s so widespread that it’s nearly impossible to separate from all the other facets of fashion and entertainment. politics being a branch of fashion and entertainment, of course.

  32. Julian… If you think it was Puffy “remix”… then you’re partially right but there is an older dance song with “those orginal lyrics”… ergo Puffy “remix’ … nice try though

  33. Joe needs to get out of Boston every once in a while. There are plenty of right-leaning punks who AREN’T skins. I enjoy associating with them.

  34. We’ve got em up here, too, Geotech. More Pat Buchanan right than Miltion Friedman right, but still right.

    But that’s hardly a significant portion of the under 30 music fan demographic.

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