Music has evolved over time, but sometimes new isn’t always better. All songs have their own merits, but not all are created equal. Let’s compare a few old favorites to new tracks in a fierce old vs. new match-up.
Round 1: Songs about being fed up with guys.
“The Boys” by Nicki Minaj vs. “No Scrubs” by TLC
Minaj has her usual share of clever references in her lyrics. And in case anyone missed the overall message in the verses, she repeatedly states how guys spend money on girls to get their attention. But “No Scrubs” is a classic. Not only does it give you valuable comebacks to common lines (“No, I don’t want to meet you nowhere.”), but there is a clear definition of what a scrub is: a man hanging out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride trying to holla at you (and we are not hollaback girls). TLC’s song is applicable to any girl regardless of whether she is iced up like Minaj or working a nine to five.
Winner: “No Scrubs” by TLC
Round 2: Songs about wanting a man to get out of your life.
“It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” by Whitney Houston vs. “Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé
First, I have to give autocorrect props for knowing where to place the accent in Beyoncé. Everyone knows the catchy, “To the left, to the left” along with the proper hand motions. Also to her credit, Knowles gives her ex a chance to come get his stuff and then calls him a cab. But Houston is way past the point of playing nice. She packs his bags for him and tells him to leave town for a week―which is pretty bold. Not only that, but Houston says that she would rather be alone than unhappy, different than Knowles having another guy coming in a minute. Any single girl can relate to not having guys lined up outside of her door like Indigo on a Saturday night. Houston tells women everywhere that it may not be right, but it’s okay.
Winner: “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” by Whitney Houston
Final Round: Songs about loving a girl out of your league
“Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston vs. “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel
I’m not sure what Kingston was thinking, but something about the word “suicidal” repeated in a song doesn’t really appeal to me. The basic message is that this girl is way too beautiful to be true to him, which (let’s be real) is probably not true. Now Joel has a legit problem. The woman he loves is rich, while he’s a working man. Beauty is a bridge that can be gapped but money. Love can look any way you want it to, but it can’t pay the electricity bill. In the end, Joel does get the uptown girl (in the video and in real life). What redeems him, though, is that he’s realistic about why she may not go for a guy like him. He can’t buy her pearls and he’s not the guy she’s used to being with. I appreciate the honesty, which is what’s lacking from Kingston. The entire song is about the girl’s beauty and how that is the reason why their relationship went south and he’s suicidal. Really?
Winner: “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel
I guess this just goes to show that (while there’s no hateration here) sometimes the old songs really just do it better.
Photo by Shreel