I f’ing love Foxy Shazam.
That being said, I have to ask a question: Does that change how people think about me? I mean, sure, every detail you learn about someone is bound to alter your perception of them slightly. But don’t be a smart aleck. I’m not talking about “slightly”– I’m wondering if it makes a big difference in whether someone thinks I am fundamentally good, or bad!
Why does it matter to me? Really, why should I care about someone who marks me as “no-good” just because Foxy Shazam, that ridiculous beautiful glittering loud mess of rock and roll, is one of my favorite bands? Anyone who really knows me either also likes the band, or they don’t hold my tastes against me. Because we’re all adults. Right? Yeah!
… But Foxy Shazam has a problem, and I want to apologize for it. The problem sounds like this:
That’s the biggest black ass I’ve ever seen, and I like it!
… That’s a quote from their single “I Like It“. A real slice of poetry, for sure. (/sarcasm, of course)
Now, I’ve met two other Foxy Shazam fans (plus a couple hundred more at their New Years Eve show last year :D), and they know this song, but it’s not their favorite. On the other hand, I’ve met people who only know Foxy Shazam by one song, and it’s not the melodramatic rock’n’roll rush of a love song “Holy Touch” or the freaky jam “Dangerous Man“, and it’s not the trumpet-pumped fight song “Unstoppable” or even the cheesy American ballad “Freedom.”
Nope. The song they know is the one about black booty, “I Like It.”
I cringe when I hear this song, which isn’t often since I took it off of my iPod. I get it that Foxy Shazam is an all-man band, and I get it that objectifying women and minorities is a piece of rock and roll. But, fuck, I don’t have to be okay with it. I try to forget about this song because, even though I love most of their others and I don’t think their themes are as cringe-worthy, I know that if I think about it too much, I won’t be able to listen to them anymore. It happened with Jack White, when his first solo album pushed me out of denial that he might be kind of a woman-hater...
Look, at the end of the day, I think rock and roll music is about feeling, not thinking. Not every band that falls under the “rock” umbrella is like that, but I think when you add the “roll,” you’re in the territory of wild stage shows, silly lyrics, and beautiful genderbending bastards like Eric Nally who blow you away with their powerful pipes. Queen is like that too, right? “Fat-bottomed girls, you make the rockin’ world go round!” Good old Freddie Mercury– what’s not to love? Even the homophobic manly-man dads from my hometown love Queen. (That’s a testament to the “feel, not think” nature of rock and roll, too!)
Still, I can’t let go of the fear that when I gush about Foxy Shazam, someone who only knows “I Like It” will think I’m all about black asses, or at least that I encourage white men to belt about them over some sexy guitar riffs. The truth is, I am not the best-versed in gender and race issues, so I don’t know how well I can articulate why I think this song warrants an apology. (You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t actually addressed the issue much, I just acknowledged it.) But I believe it all the same. And I’m apologizing. And I’m hoping that no one thinks I’m a racist, feminist-hypocrite when I say I just really like dancing and singing along to their other awesome songs.