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 Halftime Show

Last week, we talked about the Super Bowl Commercials. This week, let's talk about the Super Bowl halftime show.

Before we jump into this discussion, let me establish my credentials on the subject.

I am a Band Nerd.

I played in both junior and senior high band and orchestra for six years, went to two years of band camp and I played a few years in college. Plus, I've played in rock, salsa, R&B, and country rock bands ever since.

I wear my band nerd title proudly.

So proudly, in fact, that in high school, we always appreciated that the football team put on their exhibition game before our marching band performance. And then, when we finished playing and marched off the field, the football team put on another exhibition game to calm our audience down.

Super Bowl Halftime Show

So it should come as no surprise that I have an opinion about the Super Bowl halftime show we all watched a couple of weeks ago.

Believe it or not, I won't debate whether the show was good or bad. I've read many opinions about that, and I think most of them come down to how much you like , Alicia Keyes, and the others who performed. If you're interested, Rick Beato posted a great video about the show. Read it HERE.

I will say that I appreciated that Usher brought out his hometown marching band on the field, because if I was a kid playing in that band, that would have been me. But instead, I want to talk about the song selection. Specifically, Usher's song, “Yeah!”

Instead, I want to talk about the song selection, specifically Usher's song “Yeah!” which he performed with Lil Jon and Ludicrous.

The song was released as the lead single from Usher's 2004 album Confessions.

“Yeah!” topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for 12 consecutive weeks. It was the longest- number-one single in 2004, and it went platinum thirteen times.

“Yeah!” won “Best Rap/Sung Collaboration” at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards and was nominated for Record of the Year. As of February 2024, the song has sold over 13 million copies in the U.S. alone.

So, chances are that you know the song, like it, and turn It up and dance to it every time it plays on your car stereo. But have you ever listened to the song? More specifically, have you ever listened to the words?

The beginning of the song is about a guy in a club talking about the woman who's hitting on him. It's a bit vulgar, but so what?

But it doesn't take long before it gets a little more intense and a lot more misogynistic:

“If you hold the head steady, I'ma milk the cow

I won't stop ‘til I get ‘em in their birthday suit

So gimme the rhythm and it'll be off with their clothes

Then bend over to the front and touch your toes.”

And what if these now naked women won't do what the singer wants?

“I left the Jag' and I took the Rolls,

If they ain't cutting, then I put ‘em on foot patrol.”

And why are they doing this? Because as the singer says,

“We want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed.”

Super Bowl Halftime Show

Let's be clear here: for the sake of this blog, I don't care if you're a totally woke Lefty or a reactionary right-wing Conservative. Songs about rape have no business being celebrated on Super Bowl Sunday. And excuses such as, “Oh, I never listen to the words,” or “C'mon, it's just a dumb song,” or “But it was such a big hit, everyone loves it,” are about absurd as “sticks and stones can break my bones…” or “She never actually told me to stop,” or  “I was just following orders.”

Because as Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

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