Dallas' Play-N-Skillz Is Behind What Everyone's Calling The Worst Song Of The Year.
Ready to be offended? Because some Dallasites just released what's been universally hailed as the absolute worst piece of garbage released in 2014.
Outlets big and small — and from all over the globe — have chimed in on Dallas production duo Play-N-Skillz' new [frat] party rock anthem, “Literally I Can't (STFU),” which also features LMFAO's Red Foo, Lil Jon and the Dallas-based emcee Enertia McFly.
It hasn't been pretty. To be fair, literally 100 percent of the criticism here has merit. In the song, and its accompanying music video, members of a frat called STFU (portrayed by Red Foo and Co.) relentless harass some sorority girls, attempt to ply them with alcohol, then continuously tell them to “shut the fuck up” because they're “not tryna hear what you think” and aren't interested in these musician's offers of some “girl on girl” stuff, among other, generally rape-y behaviors.
It's pretty appalling stuff, to be sure. And thus far, pretty much everyone involved in the song has been appropriately crucified for its major lapse in judgment here.
Here's what everyone's saying about this song.
• Time. “The whole 'plot' of the music video is mocking preppy girls who refuse to drink or do 'girl on girl' stuff at a frat party. Every time they're asked to do something degrading they say 'I Literally Can't,' and that refusal is the central 'joke' of the video. Nice one, considering the ongoing conversation about sexual assaults at campus fraternities.”
• HuffPo. “Everything about this should come with required reading. Recommendations include '25 Everyday Examples of Rape Culture,' 'Why Do We Blame Victims?' and “How to Not Be Terrible” (a piece that is not yet published, because it is being written in real tears that were cried over the song and music video 'Literally, I Can't').”
• Refinery 29. “A video showing men telling women who say no to drinks, parties, and sex to 'shut the fuck up' isn't the way to take a stand about grammar. We have Schoolhouse Rock for that. The verbs and nouns on there never told each other to twerk it so they could tweet about it.”
• Pedestrian. “Redfoo, an inexplicably famous Sideshow Bob impersonator possessing a weave so dense it has been known to attract objects with its gravitational pull, has released the worst song of this year (or any), an inadvertent ode to being The Worst Dude Ever, 'Literally I Can't.' As in the fact this guy's a semi-famous Grammy nominee who can't stop wearing shutter shades literally can't be dealt with.”
• MSN (in an open letter to Red Foo). “It was with horror we witnessed your latest offering to the music world, an anti-female anthem called 'Literally I Can't', with the equally offensive duo Play-N-Skillz and rapper Lil' Jon. The song's premise is simple… telling women to 'shut the **** up.' You hit a trifecta of sexism which would make Robin Thicke shake in his 'Blurred Lines' boots by objectifying, threatening and hating women, all at once. A proud moment in your career?”
• Mother Jones. “On the surface, 'Literally, I Can't' is a weak, and late, attempt to poke fun at an internet-established joke about a woman's inability to utter concrete sentences to describe their unbridled excitement/disgust/horror/delight. But the result is an incredibly offensive mantra with an equally repugnant video starring fratty dudes in 'STFU' varsity jackets, imploring the prude sorority girls of LIC to give in and let loose.”
• Flavorwire. “Recently, a music video emerged that was so heinously tone-deaf to misogyny and rape culture that we might have all dismissed it as failed satire were it not associated with the most tasteless pop group of the last decade, LMFAO.”
• Salon. “I can understand how Play-N-Skillz might be frustrated with the women's misuse of 'literally' when they probably literally can dance or consume a shot — although I can easily imagine being literally unable to choke down a glass of cake batter flavored wine– but I still find the hostility a bit of an overreaction. Whatever the motivation for the rage, the message is clear — a woman who says no needs to shut up and get out. Not only is it wildly offensive, it's a blatant ripoff of a goofy, lighthearted 'White Girl Anthem' Vine that went viral earlier this year. Oh, and it's a terrible song.”
• News.com.au. “Redfoo: Literally, we can't. This makes 'Party Rock Anthem' sound like 'Imagine.'”
• Business Insider. “It's intimidating and awful and in an era when so many men after fighting hard to prevent abuse against women, it sends chills through me. This song has been labeled the worst track of 2014. It's worse than that. It's nothing less than a misogynist rant. Redfoo disagrees. Apparently he's the victim here.'
• FasterLouder. “In the days since the track hit the internet, 'Literally I Can't' has sent social media up in arms. It's not just the song that's offensively bad — and trust us, it's bad — it's the accompanying video that makes things much worse. Some publications — like Salon and Daily Life — have drawn parallels between the clip and recent date-rape cases at fraternity parties in the US. It's not a long bow to draw: the clip is all about Lil Jon and co using alcohol to coerce a group of sorority girls into loosening up and shouting at them to “shut the fuck up” when they protest. Subtlety never was Redfoo's strong suit. But when you're trading on misogyny, too much is never enough — which is why 'Literally I Can't' also squeezes in a RedTube product placement, requests for some “girl on girl” action and lyrics like “jump on the pole; I didn't need your opinion.”
• Daily Life. “Redfoo, who provides the verse, remains one of popular music's most unpleasant two-faced “personalities.” He peddles his family-friendly 'I'm just a goofy dude with a big 'fro' shtick on The X Factor Australia, then rolls out Party Anthems with all the nuance, when it comes to gender politics, of a Playboy cartoon from 1978.”