I was listening to Styles’ Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman), and something struck me. It was something that Bully said in a rhyme:
“Mama said be the best I is / I burn s#it down just like Left Eye did.”
Really? Left Eye as a punchline? In 2007? Seriously?
That Left Eye/Andre Rison incident was in 1994. That was well over a decade ago and firmly in the last millennium. Left Eye has been buried for five years, and while she was hardly a great lyricist, I’m sure she’s spinning in her grave at a lazy line like that.
Rappers, I’m asking you, please let that reference die. There have been other fires since then. If you’re looking for something musical, Great White had a pretty spectacular fire, and those white guys at Woodstock ’99 made some pretty fine fires when they weren’t sexually assaulting female concertgoers.
And if you’re just going for a fire in general, Cali seems to have a wildfire brewing annually, so perhaps go topical. Or maybe you’d want to go the wacky European football fan route.
But I really don’t want to hear “fire” and “Left Eye” in the same bar anymore. I’m not for censorship, but if Al Sharpton were to add a “No Left Eye/fire reference” rider to his clean up hip-hop movement, I’d probably sign on.
So, c’mon, can we agree that the reference is dated and should be left in the past, like polka dots and high-top fades? I mean, it starts with Left Eye, and before you know it people are referencing St. Ides in songs. Is that really a place where we want to be?