Jesse Jarnow

“right thurr” – chingy

#3 this week, #2 last week, 19 weeks on the chart.
(meant to do this last week but never quite around to it.)

Not quite as good as “Three Small Words,” but what can be, eh?

Mmmm, instant handclaps. My roommate has me well attuned to that. Again, right into the chorus/hook. Before downloading, I was sorta wondering what “thurr” was. A southern drawled “there,” apparently. Thoughts of Josie and slang-coining. Yeah, the use of “thurr” is totally jerkin’, indeed.

Like pretty much all pop songs, the song is built around the chorus. But, in this case, the chorus isn’t particularly triumphant, nor is it really a release from the rest of the tune. After a short prelude (introduction of handclaps and the various production tricks that run through the song), the tune jumps right into the chorus. For the first minute of the song, there’s virtually no variation in the arrangement, and the vocals stay rhythmically close to the chorus. Thus, there’s always an expectation that the tune is about to return to the chorus, but one doesn’t particularly yearn for it.

At around 1:15, a vocal solo begins. The arrangement stays almost the same, but something drops out. I can’t really tell what it is. I think it’s the big distorted kick drum. At the very least, I’m pretty sure it’s big distorted something. Anyway, it’s a rap that cuts out the sing-songy stuff of the chorus, and we have our first little moment of tension. Gratification comes thirty seconds later, when it resolves back to the chorus. Then another verse/solo/rap, and even more stuff drops out, starts to fall back in during a second verse/solo/rap, and then back to the chorus. A neat structural trick.

The song basically exists to drive the chorus home. The components of the music behind it that I can pick it up: handclaps, kick drum rhythm, almost accordion-like synth, subtle fireworks-like whistle, occasional white noise whooshes. I can’t make out a bassline, though that could be due to the inferior quality of the mp3. Meh, doesn’t seem too exciting to me, though the chorus is catchy enough to keep it afloat.

I just read the AllMusic.com entry on Chingy, from which I learned a few things worth considering. He “boasts a Southern dialect,” according to the description, which I don’t particularly notice except for the chorus, and there it seems like a forced caricature. “The party track blew up in the clubs first, especially throughout the South, and quickly infiltrated urban radio in the midst of summer.” Which means, I guess, that there still is some regionalism in American music — something I’ve long wondered about. That said, to my ears, that only applies to the song’s reception. It doesn’t sound like it came from a specific region, and the lyrics don’t seem so either (short of “hit me with what you got fo’ a po’kchop,” which – again – seems like caricature, though maybe it only becomes so when I point it out). Maybe I’m missing something. Wouldn’t be the first time.

Anyway, I’m gonna listen to “Three Small Words” again. Goddamn. Word. G’night.