Jesse Jarnow

“sexy and i know it” – LMFAO

An occasional project, where I arbitrarily write about the #1 pop song du jour from the perspective of somebody who barely listens to that kind of music and has only a passing knowledge of current mega-stars. It doesn’t sound as strange to my ears as it did when I started doing this in 2003, but it still sounds like it’s from another planet.

“Sexy and I Know It” – LMFAO
released by Interscope

week of 14 January 2012
#1 this week, #1 last week, 18 weeks on chart

After a year of world travel and robust sleep research, my pal Vape Stiles recently observed to me that the two most dominant genres of global pop music are hip-hop and mutant techno-disco, both derivable back to fringe cultures of early ’70s NYC. Probably so. Not sure what it means that two are finally starting to bleed into each other, which probably happened during my last sojourn away from the pop charts. The bleed was the dominant force in the last song I listened to, Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” though that felt mostly like a production choice compared to LMFAO, whose “Sexy & I Know It” makes their second #1 and finds a gaudy new way to cross the proverbial club with the proverbial Thai beach rave.

I kind of like it. Don’t love it. But it seems properly stupid. It’s self-produced, too, which makes it easier to think of as less manufactured, even if these guys were assured at a major label contract. At least one them is Berry Gordy’s grandson. That is, this slab of ridiculous 21st century pop (the chorus: “girl, look at that body, I work out”) named after a piece of internet slang was made by a descendant of the man who founded Motown. If the song is still in my head in a few weeks, maybe I’ll think more about what that means. At the very least, I dig goofy dance-pop far more than Rihanna’s self-serious melodrama. “Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle,” one of the Gordys (they’re both Gordys) chants, which is one of the many nooks available in the song for dance moves, cheers, sing-alongs. It’s fun and busy, but that seems about it, but a lot less has been done with a lot more.