Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar

NOT SO HUMBLE: A year of double standards

THERE was something fundamentally wrong about US rapper Kendrick Lamar's song HUMBLE coming in at No.1 in this year's Triple J Hottest 100.

This year the ABC's national youth network moved its countdown away from Australia Day, to the Saturday of the long weekend instead, out of respect for the #ChangeTheDate debate.

The poll attracted a record 2,386,133 votes. In the process the station renowned for championing social awareness campaigned to raise money for AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience).

However, in a year when issues such as sexual bullying, same-sex marriage and cultural sensitivity rose to the fore, it was a song with the lyrics "b----, sit down" barked throughout the main chorus line that blared out of stereos across Australia as the No.1 anthem of 2017.

Okay, so HUMBLE. may have been intended to be a swipe at his own rap peers, but you need to be pretty sharp of hearing to understand the context of the lyrics. Yes, the 'viral' hit did win multiple Grammys in the US overnight, but I don't understand it's popularity in Australia - let alone its relevance.

From what I can gather, something went down at Splendour In The Grass last July - one of those 'you just had to be there' moments. From then on there was stopping the momentum of HUMBLE. Evidently, I was not there.

Now, don't get me wrong, as a rebellious teenager I lapped up Lamar's predecessors Snoop Doggy Dogg and co, much to my parents' dismay. But even the pimple-faced, dope smoking, irritable version of myself could acknowledge that songs that are either quirky, crude or downright offensive are typically reserved for the mid-charts.

By definition No.1 must be a song that transcends sub-genre, taste, social standing and age.

Does this simply prove that the media's incessant sullying of high-profile men abusing their positions of privilege to act inappropriately towards women is actually irrelevant to the majority of today's society, and actually just the result of a scant minority jumping up and down on social media?

Is the sad truth that the majority of young people really don't give a rat's arse, preferring instead to blithely bop up and down to the latest denigrating gangsta rap offering?

On the other hand, how good was the 20-year anniversary 1997 Hottest 100 countdown on Double J on Sunday?

From all-girl Perth rockers Effigy at No.100 to a midnight ballad from The Whitlams, smattered throughout with artists whose greatness has survived the test of time such as Daft Punk, Rage Against The Machine, Powderfinger, Faith No More, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Chemical Brothers, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Cure, Metallica, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Silverchair, Radiohead and Blur.

How many will we be able to say that about from this year's countdown in 20 years?

Showing my age yet?


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