Jesse Jarnow

“disco inferno” – 50 cent

week of March 26, 2005
#3 this week, #5 last week, 16 weeks on chart

More sex as seductive boredom from 50. There’s comedy, too, but it’s the kind I can’t put my finger on; the kinda resigned bleakness of Waiting for Godot that doesn’t make any particular sense as humor, but can’t really be recognized as anything else Like in “Candy Shop,” 50 laughs midway through, and — again — it’s a totally secret laugh, closed. And I guess there’s an allure to that — the private joke — and, as an audience member, I should wanna get in on it.

The groove — an ethereal theremin keyboard melody, handclaps, a tinny orchestra hit, a few synths — is subterranean: low and mean and slinky. There’s a little moment of transcendence that I almost like. The song drops out in some indefinable way (backing tracks just dimmed slightly?) and 50’s boredom, for a minute, blurs and refocuses into a dreamier fantasy: “See me shining, lit up with diamonds,” he sings. “Catch me swooping, gently couping (?), switching lanes…” And that’s where the laugh is. The “switching lanes” line — nestled atop this music — makes me imagine a late night driver, switching lanes for no other reason than that there’s nobody else on the road, and he can ’cause he wants to. I don’t imagine that it was intended, though lethargy as transcendence is kinda dreamy.

Still, not enough to carry the tune. So it goes. Long weekend. I’m taking a damn bath.