Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
26

A Brief Rundown Of Pop Music Tropes That Lady Gaga Did Not Invent


Today the ultrasmooth R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo released his new single "Beautiful Monster," and it's pretty good — produced by his longtime collaborators Stargate, it's reminiscent of his earlier hit "Closer," only with icier keyboards and a more paranoid outlook. But of course one commenter had to opine that the song was "very Lady Gaga," presumably because it is an uptempo track that uses synthesizers and has the word "monster" in its title. This stray comment from someone named "rambo244" would be funny if this "Gaga already did it"-ism didn't seem to happen with recent output by 99% of pop stars; it would be even funnier if Stefani Germanotta, who I will freely admit has been the marquee name on a few good-to-great tracks, wasn't well-versed in the act of borrowing from her contemporaries and predecessors. In the spirit of educating people who apparently only started paying attention to pop when singles from The Fame started getting airplay on U.S. radio, here is a brief list of things that, despite many stans' assertion to the contrary, GaGa cannot yell "first" about.

10. Setting things on fire in videos.
9. Bisexuality.
8. Egregious product placement.
7. Name-dropping big-name designers of the moment.
6. "Outrageous" videos that warrant opening and closing credits.
5. The willful marriage of high and low art.
4. Use of the word "monster" in the title of a pop song.
3. 4/4 time.
2. Not wearing pants.
1. Sex.

26 Comments / Post A Comment

Jim Behrle (#3,292)

I don't think there's much argument that Lady Gaga is the most original artist of all time.

In the entire UNIVERSE. Even alternate ones.

Chris Conroy (#3,983)

Can we please make "Madonna did it" the new "Simpsons did it"?

LondonLee (#922)

Or "Lou Reed/The Rolling Stones/David Bowie did it first"

Baboleen (#1,430)

Time marches on and relevance is minimized.

Rw (#1,458)

or or Howling Wolf/Muddy Waters/Little Richard/Screaming Jay Hawkins, we could do this all day!

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I did not listen to the entire track because it is not my sort of thing, but I can add a few:

0. Polysynths
-1. Drum machines
-2. Auto-tune
-3. That thing where you slooooowly turn up the filter frequency knob on something arpeggiated

kiamatthews (#2,192)

Love you long time, Maura.

deepomega (#1,720)

Just wait till we uncover her wax cylinders, proving once and for all that all pop music stems from Lady Gaga. She is timeless and unyielding.

deepomega (#1,720)

("Wax cylinders"! Now that's going in my euphemism lexicon!)

LakePalin (#5,137)

Hey assholes? She was born in 1986 and has trolled the world for tens of millions of dollars already. The penis thing was so obviously planned as a brilliant form of media manipulation. Her usage of tropes is like saying Michelangelo used obvs tropes in the Pieta.

LakePalin (#5,137)

She was born in 1986. Google "omg gaga" in China. Read the lyrics to Papa Razzi. She's the closest thing we have to a modern John the Baptist. She intuitively understands media and culture as an unparalleled savant. Let her get her money now. Give her time. I guarantee you she won't be suckered into Kabalol

LakePalin (#5,137)

umm…. is my obvious attraction showing and hormonal bias showing? My bad.
U mad?

LakePalin (#5,137)

umm…. is my obvious attraction and hormonal bias showing? My bad.
U mad?

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Good news, Awl! Your SEO is working!

Bad news, Awl! Your SEO is working!

matt_t (#4,426)

These are the same people that think Girl Talk invented mashups.

Fredrick (#268)

She invented blonde hair, though, right?

Bittersweet (#765)

And sequins.

MikeBarthel (#1,884)

Although it should be said that the annoying thing about Gags is that she actively encourages this impression in her interviews, and while I appreciate that on a self-interested level, it makes it more willful, it seems to me.

Matt (#26)

I would respond with a summerofmegadeth.tumblr.com plug, but that would just be gauche.

MikeBarthel (#1,884)

Lady Gaga invented using French words in English sentences, and also doing so much heroin your hair turns into dreads.

BadUncle (#153)

Is this a new meme? Like Chuck Norris can blow bubbles with beef jerky, and all that?

BadUncle (#153)

The apotheosis of the "monster" pop song is, of course, Fred Schneider's "There's a Monster in my Pants."

Aatom (#74)

Is it ok if I really like Gaga but really don't want to be associated with LakePalin above? Because that's the delicate gulf I'm straddling here, folks, and my very real penis is getting a little nervous.

Rw (#1,458)

You're off the force! turn in your badge and gun.

HiredGoons (#603)

Glitter.

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