Boulder, Colorado—area code 3 zero 3—used to be known for Buddhists, hippies, Beat poets, old cowboys and Sierra Club lifers. Now, it’s known for renewable energy, tech, natural business tycoons, outdoor athletes, yoga studios and cafes on every block, foodies and…
Is 3OH!3 offensive, or ironic?
With songs on the top of Billboard, hundreds of millions of listens on Myspace and views on Youtube, appearances on national talk shows, in national press and on big-time music tours—it’s a question that matters.
‘Specially when your songs have lyrics like:
Shush, girl! Shut your lips!/ Do the Helen Keller, and talk with your hips!
B-b-b-bruises cover your arms/ Shaking in the fingers with the bottle in your palm/ And the best is (best is)/ No one knows who you are/ Just another girl alone at the bar
Don’t trust a ho/ Never trust a ho/ Won’t trust a ho/ Cause a ho won’t trust me
But finding offensive, misogynistic lyrics in Hip Hop Land—where many videos are of the couldn’t-get-laid-if-we-couldn’t-couch-cast-bling-bling-swimming-pool-party variety—is like shooting fish in a barrel: too easy. 3OH!3, since it’s inception in whitey-white Boulder (“Tell your boyfriend if he says he’s got beef that I’m a Vegetarian and I ain’t f!@#$*ing scared of him”) and going back to their more emo/hipster/rock days, has been a witty, boys-just-wanna-have-fun band that liked to send up hardcore rap by making fun of it. I know Sean very slightly, and many of my friends know them well, and can attest to the fact that they’re both well liked, good guys.
So I’ll end this little post by just saying that when your fanbase is all 16 year old girls, you gotta watch your lyrics. If their irony is easy to miss, you’re not trying hard enough—and you’ll wind up being the soundtrack to someone’s daterape.
From way back, filmed in Boulder: