Tag Archives: We Can’t Stop

Things That Need To Stop: Twerking 9 To 5

Open up and say blah.

Open up and say blah.

When Miley Cyrus “freaked out” in her 2008 hit, “See You Again”, she brushed it off with a response from her “best friend Leslie”: Oh, she’s just being Miley. Nothing to worry about. Five years later, you know Leslie is scarred from what’s she seeing out of her B.F.F. today. I could go on about how this latest era from Cyrus is a mess, but probably the most annoying thing to come out of Cyrus’s promiscuous pageant is the need to expose twerking to a larger audience. There was a video posted a few months ago of her strutting her stuff in a unicorn onesie, but she’s also performed the dance in concert.

Twerking consists of bobbing your hips up and down in rapid motion with a lot of energy and sexual flare. Yet, these moves are not new. It originated in the South in the mid-1990’s and I first heard of it when a song called “Whistle While You Twurk” came out by the Ying Yang Twins. That was in 2000. “Twurk” became “twerk” over the years, and in the last few, it’s been included in the lyrics of several rap singles, including “Round Of Applause” by Waka Flocka Flame (#86, 2011), “Bandz A Make Her Dance” by Juicy J (#27, 2012) and “Pop That” by French Montana (#36, 2012). Even a song on Jay Z‘s latest album includes a line directed at Cyrus, “twerk Miley twerk”, and regardless of whether you see it as him encouraging her or making fun of her, it’s still become a part of pop culture. Now, a song by the group FiNaTTicZ, “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun”, is soaring up the Hot 100 and iTunes for its use in short online videos. You never know who’s going to do it next, and that’s why it needs to stop.

I don’t personally find the dance appealing because in viewing it, it’s generally performed by females to a rap song and it gets far too raunchy very quickly. It’s also meant for a different demo than the age or ethnicity than I am. Here lies a big problem. For a dance that was originated by the black community, it sure doesn’t help that Miley Cyrus, a white singer, is the poster child for the dance. She, in turn, is providing something for a mixed audience who I’m sure doesn’t the beginnings of where it came from in the first place. I’ll let another blogger explore this in depth, but I can see where there’s a certain audience who are likely annoyed that something that was regional two decades ago is now becoming mainstream. This also may be a case where history is repeating itself.

The breakout of twerking nowadays reminds me a lot of how the twist exploded in the early 60’s. It, too, was referenced in a few songs in the decades prior to it officially being named. It was provocative at the time given that it wasn’t a traditional dance step, originating in African dance. Now, granted, you couldn’t make a viral video then, but musically, it was the go-to subject to get a hit for several years. In 1960, a cover of the song “The Twist”, originally performed by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, was a huge #1 on the Hot 100 for Chubby Checker. Four other titles with “twist” in them made the Hot 100 that year, including songs by Danny & The Juniors and Fabian, and another three charted in 1961, two of which were performed by Checker, including “Let’s Twist Again” (#8).

Then, in 1962, Parkway Records decided to rerelease the original recording of Checker’s “The Twist”, becoming the only song in the Hot 100 history to go to #1 twice. The dance itself also became even bigger in its second go-around. That year alone, seven “twist” records made the top ten, 15 made the top 40, and 28 made the Hot 100. It was inescapable, all over the radio and television. Many of those big singles were by repeat artists as well: Checker had two, Gary U.S. Bonds had two, as well as Joey Dee & the Starliters, who took their version of “The Peppermint Twist” into the top spot. Things slowed down from there as more dance routines came along, specifically the limbo, which Checker’s songs also popularized. Yet, it’s not totally gone away. It’s just reduced to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Wedding circuit, which is a-OK.

The charts are much different now then they were in 1962. Then, they were based on estimations (no bar code system/computer software) of jukebox spins, radio airplay and sales. Today, the statistics are much more accurate and instant. I don’t expect there to be dozens of songs with the word “twerk” in them, but there may be one that could launch us into a similar situation and it’ll eventually get to that point whn we’ll recall when twerking was all the rage at one point. It’s bad enough that “Drop” is growing, and chances are there’s something else waiting in the wings either from this group or another similar underground act. Now, just because Billboard determined that 30-second YouTube clips of people jiggling about to Baauer‘s “Harlem Shake” were able to count towards the Hot 100’s formula, please don’t get any ideas and try to convince the powers that be that a 6-second video of “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun” on Vine constitutes a “full song”. That makes even less sense. Then again, Cyrus trying to take it on in the first place doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either.

So, guys, gals, aspiring twerkers, please save your time and your medical bills and do other stuff. Don’t twerk hard, play hard. Don’t be twerkin’ for a livin’. You can be hip without gyrating and breaking your hips. I’m sure you’ll agree.

Let me know what you think about this in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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“Stop”, Drop and Rock ‘N’ Roll: The Hits That Won’t Halt

Stoppin' 'em since 1987.

Stoppin’ ’em since 1987.

She’s no Hannah Montana anymore. Miley Cyrus has taken on a new character with an edge for her latest era, the first single release of which is “We Can’t Stop”. The party girl goes wild in the music video for her new song. It recently debuted at #11 on the Hot 100 and looks to go higher as it sits comfortably in the top 5 at iTunes. In honor of this achievement, I give you all the other top 5 hits in the history of the Hot 100 (since 1958) to feature the word “stop” in their title, excluding subtitles. Conveniently, there are eleven of them. So, don’t stop now; check them all out:

“I Can’t Stop Loving You”, Ray Charles (#1, 1962)
It was back in the late 1940’s that the legendary Charles began recording and first made the Hot 100 in 1957. “Can’t” was the third #1 song for the performer and his last on the pop chart. His last top 40 single as a solo artist came in 1971, though he last made the Hot 100 in 1990. His posthumous 2004 duets album, Genius Loves Company, hit #1 on the album chart and won Album Of The Year at the GRAMMY Awards.

“Stop! In The Name Of Love”, Diana Ross and The Supremes (#1, 1965)
When you’re hot, you’re hot, and this classic trio definitely was in the year 1965. “Name” was the fourth #1 single in a row for the group, following “Where Did Our Love Go?”, “Baby Love” and “Come See About Me”. It would spend two weeks on top of the Hot 100. They ended with twelve shortly before Diana Ross left the group, although they managed to keep cranking out music with a revolving lineup through 1976.

“Bus Stop”, The Hollies (#5, 1966)
Though they quickly attained success in Europe, pop group The Hollies waited several years before their first top ten hit in the U.S. came in September 1966. Stopping seemed to be their thing because in December of the same year, their followup called “Stop Stop Stop” went to #7. During a 1983 reunion, their cover of “Stop! In The Name Of Love” went to #30. They haven’t stopped yet as they remain together.

“Don’t Stop”, Fleetwood Mac (#3, 1977)
Former President Bill Clinton may have drilled it into our heads from using this in his presidential campaigns, but back in 1977, Fleetwood Mac made “Don’t” a hit in its own right from the landmark release Rumours. Going to #3, it was the third consecutive top ten single from the album, followed by the #9 “You Make Loving Fun”, which established a then-record for the most top ten songs from one studio album.

“I Just Wanna Stop”, Gino Vannelli (#4, 1978)
After first hitting the top 40 in 1974 with “People Gotta Move”, Montreal-born Vannelli achieved much greater success with this ballad from his album Brother To Brother. It rose to #4 late into 1978, becoming his first of two top ten singles (the second coming in 1981) and biggest hit to date. He had a handful of minor singles reach the Hot 100 through 1987 and continued charting in his native Canada into the 1990’s.

“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”, Michael Jackson (#1, 1979)
The first of two Jackson songs on the list was a hot disco record from his first release with Epic following his departure from Motown. From his album Off The Wall, “Enough” quickly climbed into the #1 spot, becoming his first solo song to reach the top of the Hot 100 since “Ben” in 1972. The album would provide him with three other top ten hits through 1980 before regrouping with The Jacksons later that year.

“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (#3, 1981)
In-between albums by Fleetwood Mac, Nicks pursued a solo career with 1981’s Bella Donna, which eventually went to the top spot on the album chart. The first single from it was this collaboration with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, which remains her biggest solo song to make the Hot 100 to date. She and Petty would also collaborate on a 1986 live remake of the song “Needles And Pins”, which peaked at #37.

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, Starship (#1, 1987)
Mannequin was big at the box office in the spring of 1987 and so was the theme song from it. “Now” became the final of three #1 singles for Starship, which at the time established a record for member Grace Slick as the oldest woman to have a #1 single at age 47. (That has since been passed by Cher, when she hit #1 with 1999’s “Believe” at age 53.) The group last made the top 40 in 1989 and the Hot 100 in 1991.

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, Michael Jackson with Siedah Garrett (#1, 1987)
After the massive success of his 1982 album Thriller, how could Michael Jackson follow it up? Well, five years later came Bad, and this was the first single from it. The romantic ballad shot straight into the Hot 100’s top 40 with a debut at #37 during the week of August 8, 1987, climbing to #1 six weeks later for one week. It was the first of five #1 singles from the album, which was certified 9x Platinum this past spring.

“Can’t Stop This Thing We Started”, Bryan Adams (#2, 1991)
The summer of 1991 was all Bryan Adams as the Canadian singer dominated with his chart-topper, “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”. Following that monster single was this notable change in direction into a rock sound, which hit the top ten in at least a dozen countries, including the United States. Parent album Waking Up The Neighbours was also a big seller, going 4x Platinum. Adams continues to record today.

“Don’t Stop The Music”, Rihanna (#3, 2008)
Back in 2008, this Barbadian beauty was just beginning her journey as a Good Girl Gone Bad. Interpolating “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango (also prominently featured in “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” by Michael Jackson), the song became another big hit for the singer, going to #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Dance/Club Play chart. Her current release is “Right Now”, featuring producer David Guetta.

For more on the stop and go of the pop music flow, follow the blog below and find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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SINGLE PREMIERE: Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop” (+ Lyrics)

We're seeing her again.

We’re seeing her again.

Former Disney star turned pop rebel Miley Cyrus is back with her first new album in three years, due in stores later this year. The first single from it, “We Can’t Stop”, is said to be different for Cyrus, who has been working with a number of new collaborators of her latest effort, including Pharrell Williams. She also appears on new singles by Snoop Dogg (“Ashtrays And Heartbreaks”) and will.i.am (“Fall Down”), the latter of which is currently being used in a summer campaign for the television network Bravo. After the mixed reaction of “Can’t Be Tamed” and the album of the same name, Cyrus hopes to reconnect with a mainstream audience as a new era for her begins. The song is 3:52 in length and is being released on Cyrus’s new label, RCA Records.

Listen to the premiere of “We Can’t Stop”. / Purchase the song on iTunes.

“WE CAN’T STOP”

[Intro x2]
It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want, we can screw who we want

[Verse 1]
Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere
Hands in the air like we don’t care
‘Cause we came to have so much fun now
Got somebody here might get some now
If you’re not ready to go home, can I get a hell no
‘Cause we gonna go all night
‘Till the sunlight, alright

[Bridge]
Li da di da di
We like to party
Dancing with Miley
Doing whatever we want
This is our house, this is our roof

[Chorus]
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?
Can’t you see it’s we who ’bout that life?
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
We run things, things don’t run we
Don’t take nothing from nobody

[Intro]
It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want, we can screw who we want

[Verse 2]
To my homegirls here with the big butt
Shaking it like we at a strip club
Remember only God can judge ya
Forget the haters ’cause somebody loves ya
And everyone in line for the bathroom
Trying to get —- in the bathroom
We all so turnt up here, getting’ turnt up yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah

[Bridge]
Li da di da di
We like to party
Dancing with Molly
Doing whatever we want
This is our house, this is our roof

[Chorus]
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?
Can’t you see it’s we who ’bout that life?
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
We run things, things don’t run we
Don’t take nothing from nobody

[Intro]
It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want, we can screw who we want

[Middle 8]
It’s our party, we can do what we want to
It’s our house, we can love who we want to
It’s our song, we can sing if we want to
It’s my mouth, I can say what I want to
Yeah yeah yeah

[Chorus]
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?
Can’t you see it’s we who ’bout that life?
And we can’t stop, we won’t stop
We run things, they don’t run we
Don’t take nothing from nobody

We can do what we want to
Do what we want to

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