Pop Culture or Nope Culture?

As I walk the streets of Charleston, I overhear snippets of conversation.

“Girl, your eyebrows are on fleek,” exclaims one passerby. “Thanks! I just got them threaded.”

To most students, that conversation makes sense. To me, a pop culture newbie, I had no idea what just happened. After finding out that “fleek” simply means “on point,” I realized that this woman’s eyebrows looked nice. I was still very confused about threading? I thought thread was a verb, i.e. to thread something through a needle or a noun i.e. a piece of thread. It turns out that you can thread eyebrows to shape them. It looks incredibly painful and waxing looks like a better alternative.

After realizing that I had not understood the vocabulary of two typical college students, I decided to learn as much as I could about the ever changing pop culture references and vocabulary.

During my daily twenty minute drive downtown from West Ashley, I listened to 95.1 instead of my mix CDs. Yes I still make mix CDs. My usual Sinatra and John Mayer turned into Kanye West and Pitbull.

“Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo took over the airways. The beat is catchy, but the lyrics are ridiculous. The song starts off with Pitbull saying he doesn’t have enough money to pay his rent but the money he does have will be used to “get off in this club.” Responsibility is so overrated. The song continues to talk about booze, weed and women; how creative.

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Photo courtesy of flickr commons

The next song was “FourFiveSeconds” by Kanye West, Rihanna and Paul McCartney. The beat is likable and subtle; something that is far too underrated in today’s music. Most songs like to shove the beat in your face with robot sounds (i.e. dubstep). I caught the words quickly, but I didn’t understand what was being said. Rihanna sings that she “is four five seconds from wildin’.” I took this to mean she is really close to something, but I didn’t know what wildin’ was. It turns out, according to Urban Dictionary, wildin’ is “to go crazy” or “to do something extreme.” I see where that is coming from, but wild is an adjective, not a verb. Someone cannot perform an adjective, or so I thought.

After the eye-opening car ride, I pull into my garage and walk to class. While scrolling through my twitter feed, someone I follow refers to Kim Kardashian as a “thot.” Did they mean a thought? Did they forget a few letters? After consulting Urban Dictionary again, I find that a thot is “that hoe over there,” or simply a “hoe.” Although I appreciate that the new word is an acrostic poem, I am flabbergasted to find that there are now more terms for the word hoe. Does the world not hear enough about hoes already?

I understand why they would refer to Kim Kardashian as a thot; she is famous because of a sex tape, a reason that many people tend to forget. So not only are the words society invents vulgar, but so are society’s idols. I hope that I am missing something in regards to the newly formed Kardashian dynasty, but I sadly feel I am not. The person with the most likes on Instagram only became so wildly famous because she was willing to sell her dignity for fame. While society rewards people like Kim Kardashian, I do not wholly support the culture in which we all live. I am fine with not knowing what new words/phrases are if it means that I can not keep up with the Kardashians and instead celebrate Frank Sinatra’s talent.

As I walk to my car at the end of a long, confusing day, I run into my friend, Chelsea. It is a simple “hello, goodbye” except this time it isn’t just goodbye. “Bye Felicia!” she exclaims. I turn around thinking she meant this for someone named Felicia that had walked by, and to my surprise, she meant me. After asking why she would refer to me as Felicia, she explains that this is a famous line from the movie, Friday, directed by F. Gary Gray. I accepted there is only so much pop culture I can get away from, and replied, “Bye Felicia.”

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