When I heard these lyrics, I literally yelled out in disgust:
"I wanna be a billionaire so f***ing bad,
buy all of the things I never had.
I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine,
smiling next to Oprah and the Queen.
Oh everytime I close my eyes,
I see my name in shining lights.
Yeah a different city every night, oh I swear the world better prepare
for when I'm a billionaire."
Now wait a minute. I don't typically listen to music on the radio unless it's Country 102.5, so seriously? Is this for real?
Above anything else, this made me sad. This is what the world has come to. People are so discontent with the reality of their own lives that they wish for money, hoping and assuming that being a billionaire will make everything better.
And how incredibly selfish and vain! I want to buy all of the things I never had, I want to be on the cover of a major magazine next to my new pal O (because we're equally wealthy), and all I think about is what the world will be like when people basically worship the ground I walk on. This is almost deplorable. I'll travel everywhere and people will fawn over me. And the world better get ready -- For what? For your massive ego to explode?
The song goes on to explain how he (Travie McCoy) would buy his wishlist, have a show like Oprah, adopt tons of kids like Brad and Angelina, play basketball with President Obama, have his own theme music, and also he put down FEMA for not doing enough about Hurricane Katrina. And he would also be frivolously throwing a few million in the air and single-handedly solve our recession. Awesome. What a guy.
Some might think I'm being too critical and this is just the way pop culture is now, but I have a different idea in mind. Here are some lyrics to one of my favorite songs by the incredible folk duo The Weepies, with an entirely different message being conveyed...
"When I get up in the morning, put the kettle on
Make us some coffee, say 'hey' to the sun.
Is it enough to write a song, and sing it to the birds?
They'd hear just the tune, not understand my love for words.
But you would hear me and know,
That I want to live this,
I want to live,
I want to live a simple life.
I dreamed you first, but not so real,
And every day since I found you, such moments we steal.
Like little fields, we rub our hands,
And hold our hearts between them...
... Move on, move on, time is accelerating.
Drive on, all night, traffic lights and one ways.
Move on, move on parking violations waiting.
Turn off the car, breathe the air, let's stay here.
I'll kiss you awake, and we'll have time,
To know our neighbors all by name, and every star at night.
We'll weave our days together like waves, and particles of light.
I want to live this,
I want to live,
I want to live a simple life."
Here's the difference, and I resonate with this so much more.
- I want to wake up and make tea or coffee.
- I want to greet God's beautiful creation.
- I want to sing for joy.
- I want to be with someone I'm madly in love with and have dreamed about all my life.
- I want to enjoy little, innocent moments with that person, and all those important to me.
- Time will pass on like normal, but I want to make note of the little things along the way.
- I want to have a peace that allows me to say, "let's stay here," not constantly desiring change.
- I want to invest in a community where I know all of my neighbors.
- I want my days to be intertwined with those around me.
- I want to live a simple life.
Travie McCoy and pop culture, please be content with a simple life. Money can't buy happiness, and the old adage is true -- the best things in life are free. There is beauty all around in the littlest things and you're going to miss it if your mind is only focused on the green.
That's all. I think I'm done ranting for now...