Pitbull’s new song ‘Timber’. Feat. Ke$ha.  

Alice Ratcliffe is a third year English student, and whilst this has blessed her with an irreplaceable ability to make the work of the good people over at Wikipedia.com seem like her own, it has also armed her with the tools to ruthlessly dismantle the most banal and inane qualities of popular culture.

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Pitbull and Ke$ha. Both of them. Together. In one song.

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Now, based on their previous individual song history, I wasn’t naïve enough to think that a musical collaboration would be an ideal situation for my ears, but they have really surpassed themselves with this thing.

Interlaced with some casual objectification and degradation of women via the tried and tested medium of a catchy-chorus and a few meaningful rap interludes.

Some sort of latino-americanpopsick-hoedown fusion all about ‘getting down’ on ‘that night’ and living while we’re young in the Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn interlaced with some casual objectification and degradation of women via the tried and tested medium of a catchy-chorus and a few meaningful rap interludes.

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Let’s have a look at Pitbull first shall we? Because he’s got some really interesting and informed things to say about the role of women in the 21st century. Well, I’m assuming he’s talking about women – he never actually specifies – but the meaning gets a bit odd if we think of ‘them’ and ‘they’ as Llamas or something.

‘Like Miley Cyrus, clothes off twerking in their bras and thongs.’

So…let’s say that it is women that he ‘has like Miley Cyrus, clothes off twerking in their bras and thongs’ like some sort of production line of jiggling electric dolls rolling by on a conveyor belt.

And it is women that he wants ‘face down, booty up’ (really not leaving a lot to the imagination there are you Pit?) without them having any say in the matter, or the position.

Because, of course, they are the TIMBER that gives this masterpiece its enigmatic title; inanimate lumps of heavy material with no capacity for independent thought, falling down at his feet left right and centre.

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Women, women everywhere, all over this fat, bald man just like they should be. I imagine that sort of situation could get a bit dangerous, maybe even annoying, but not for Pitbull, no, because, as he explains; ‘that’s the way he likes to what’.

Yes, that’s right. Precisely.

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He clearly thinks he’s the bees knees and to be honest, why wouldn’t he? I’ve just told you he’s fat and bald, add ‘short’ to that list and there you’ve got every woman’s dream man.

Not to mention that he can fly. Oh yeah. He lets that little nugget of info slide out in the second verse: ‘Look up in the sky, is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s just me’.

Of course it is. Flying. Obviously. Because that’s just one of the many perks that comes with being an international rap extraordinaire. Duh.

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However, all of that said, he does give a little hint that, despite being follicly-challenged and capable of unaided aviation, getting women isn’t always that easy for him. Sometimes, they don’t even want to ‘go down’ with him.

Despite being follicly-challenged and capable of unaided aviation, getting women isn’t always that easy for him.

Luckily though, P-B has a trick up his sleeve for solving such a problem; he’s very, very greasy. In fact, he’s ‘slicker than an oil spill’ and so, even if ‘she says she won’t’ he can win her over with a bit of viscosity and the ability to float on water, meaning he can ‘bet she will’ with quiet – if not slightly menacing – confidence.

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So, it becomes clear that even if the ‘timber’ doesn’t fall straight away, with a bit of environmental damage, it eventually will. And, as a side note, Pitbull likening himself to a manmade catastrophe that blights the purity of our fragile earth is perhaps the most accurate lyric in the entire song.

Pitbull likening himself to a manmade catastrophe that blights the purity of our fragile earth is perhaps the most accurate lyric in the entire song.

So that’s him, a narcissistic misogynist so wrapped up in his own ego that he quite literally can’t see the wood for the trees – then again I wouldn’t have expected much else from a man who willingly chooses to call himself Pitbull.

But I’m afraid Ke$ha doesn’t do much better.

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When she burst onto the scene a few years ago in an explosion of glitter with ripped-up tights and a bottle of Jack for toothpaste, she promised me something different to the cardboard cut-out females already dominating the pop scene.

Ke$ha promised individuality and edginess but then, oh wait, someone else got there first, and someone else before that, so oops! it turned out she was just exactly the same.

Ke$ha promised individuality and edginess but then, oh wait, someone else got there first, and someone else before that, so oops! it turned out she was just exactly the same. Another pretty face manufactured in the same mould, meaning her songs could be Katy Perry’s, could be Jessie J’s (no, probably not enough warbling), could be Lady Gaga’s and so on and so on and so on.

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Yet with this one, no doubt influenced by the depravity of her partner in crime Pitbull, she turns a little bit more serious. Some might even say sinister: ‘Let’s make a night you can’t remember, I’ll be the one you won’t forget’.

You’ll be the one he won’t forget, too right, he’ll see you forever in his sparkly back-combed nightmares.

You’ll be the one he won’t forget, too right, he’ll see you forever in his sparkly back-combed nightmares. Poor guy. Unless you’re talking about Pitbull, in which case, great.

So you see, they’re both as bad as each other. Two wrongs making a very, very big wrong. And yet, despite all of this, I’m sure ‘Timber’ is going to rocket to the top of the charts. After all, nobody will really be listening to the lyrics, they’ll be too caught up in enjoying that COUNTRY TWIST.

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Oh yes, almost forgot about that; a contrived little splash of the ever-popular Country-and-Western genre, perfect when combined with whining pop and slurred rap.Think ‘urban Cotton-Eye Joe’ and you’re pretty much there. Don’t forget to listen out for the accordion and the banjo, they really add some flavour to this melting pot of slop.

Barn-dance culture is so in right now.

And, finally, make sure that when Pitbull shouts ‘Swing your partner round and round!’ (which he does – a lot) you do it with all your heart, ignoring any drinks you might spill or people you might bulldoze, because his word is law and barn-dance culture is so in right now.

Alice Ratcliffe 

Why not follow Impact on Twitter and Facebook? Go on, it’ll be a laugh.

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9 Comments

  1. Joanna
    November 23, 2013 at 16:08 — Reply

    So, what? Men have always objectified women in songs. Now, women can do it right back at them. And Kesha has in songs like Gold Trans Am, Booty Call, and Blah Blah Blah where she’s taken on the dominant female role and put men into submissive positions. You can’t stop the objectification of women but you can at least create a level playing field. The difference is of course that Pitbull really means it but Kesha is making a point. She has enough heartbreaking songs like The Harold Song and Dancing With Tears In My Eyes that are dripping in emotion to know she really doesn’t think that way about men. But good for her for not taking offense and instead creating objectifying songs from a female perspective, which is more effective than whining.

  2. November 24, 2013 at 04:52 — Reply

    I have never seen such an ignorant display of feminist musical critique in all my life. If you’re going to judge someone’s music, especially in such a subjective, nit-picky, overly-analytical way, stick to the music. The fact that you think Pitbull is “fat” is not only irrelevant, but mean and unnecessary, and only adds to the ridiculousness of this article. This song is fun. It isn’t about objectifying or disrespectig anything. It is about having an incredible night, something that perhaps if you didn’t have such a negative attitude, you would know from experience. Women LIKE acting this way, not because they’re “insecure” or whatever other reason you’d like to give as to why women enjoy dancing with men at nightclubs, but because they simply enjoy it. You are taking something that is meant to be light-hearted, fun, and inspiring to a group of party-goers and making it into something far more sinister. In regards to your critique of Ke$ha, your ignorance shines through as it’s obvious you know very little about her and her music. Ke$ha’s first album was trash-pop with hip-hop influences, a genre that Katy Perry has never in her career touched and one that Lady Gaga ever-so-slightly dabbed in during her “The Fame” release. Both Lady Gaga and Ke$ha have very distinct musical styles that are very easily recognizable individually. Furthermore, Ke$ha’s latest release, “Warrior”, has actually been a bit of a commercial flop due to its being a little too far of from what is radio friendly in today’s market, exhibiting a more organic sound heavily influenced by 70’s punk rock mixed with dub-step electro dance music, creating its own genre that may not be as popular, but is vastly different than anything Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, or any mainstream female artist is doing at this time. Get to know your subjects before you blast them, and keep your condescending opinions about how women should be treated into perspective.

  3. Sarah
    November 25, 2013 at 19:36 — Reply

    As neither a Pitbull or Kesha fan I have to say this is a truly ridiculous article, I’m all for ’empowered women’ and ‘desexualisation of the music industry’ or whatever but this seems to be another example of (generally female) students jumping on the Robin Thicke bandwagon in a frankly boring and uneducated manner. For future reference sarcasm is only effective when used in small doses and insulting celebrities based on their appearance, whether true or not, is petty and makes any other points you make seem unvalid, especially when you are so upset by Pitbull (or whoever wrote the song, might not even be their genius behind the lyrics) speaking so dismissively of women when you yourself use it as your key argument. But kudos for confirming everyone’s view of the stereotypical student feminist, feminism really needs more of that…

  4. Tim Mallard
    November 25, 2013 at 19:53 — Reply

    I don’t wish to get too involved, but…

    I don’t think any of your points are valid.

    Let’s not objectify or degrade women, yet Pitbull is bald and fat. (And if there’s bald people reading?) The sarcasm with the insults and Pitbull being “every woman’s dream man” is just so hypocritical.

    You say that the title of the song comes from the objectification of women to inanimate lumps of wood. Okay, but my interpretation is:
    “It’s going down” is the same as “It’s getting started” and “Timber” is just wordplay. Maybe there’s slight sexual connotations with “down” but I don’t think it’s as extreme as you make out.

    “He clearly thinks he’s the bees knees”. Of course he does. Maybe this is more pop than rap, or a hybrid of the two, but rap stars have been bragging about how they’re the best for yonks.

    Did you really listen to the song and come away thinking that Pitbull thinks he can fly? Do you listen to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now and get concerned that Freddie thinks he’s a shooting star, racing car, rocket ship and satellite? Pitbull is inferring he’s superman, and how he’s amazing – See previous point.

    You had expectations of Ke$ha and she’s disappointed you? Well, that’s a shame. Also, you think Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Jessie J and Lady Ga Ga are identical artists? There’s an interesting point here about female artists and their construction for male gaze, but I wouldn’t say the artists are interchangeable.

    I think your analysis of “Let’s make a night you can’t remember, I’ll be the one you won’t forget.” is wrong. Not sinister, at all. At least not in my interpretation.

    I am in no way a fan of this type of music, or the two artists and I hate how every song in the charts and accompanying video is full of sexualisation. This song may have minor elements of that, but it’s really not that bad. There are so, so, so many other songs you could have picked that are guilty of this, but this one not-so-much.

  5. Anonymous
    November 25, 2013 at 20:00 — Reply

    There is no way anyone should listen to the lyrics “face down, booty up” and think that is okay. It’s disgusting. And you’re right – no doubt we’ll probably hear this crap every time we go out to any mainstream club night.

    People who listen to this genre of music very rarely listen to what it’s actually saying. And what it is usually saying is either meaningless drivel, and ever increasingly with dance music, incredibly sexist and derogative.

  6. S F
    November 25, 2013 at 20:33 — Reply

    Pitbull is vile. I do not associate myself with anyone who appreciates him or his “music”.
    Ke$ha started out as a lot of fun, and I still enjoy her from time to time. However, her latest album was nothing in comparison to the first and its EP.

  7. Bejal Parekh
    November 25, 2013 at 22:00 — Reply

    This is rubbish – how do you live with yourself?

  8. Uditha
    January 18, 2014 at 09:22 — Reply

    What do you call it. Oh, wait! “Sour Grapes” I guess.

  9. Alice
    May 27, 2014 at 15:00 — Reply

    Two words: Rick James

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