The high crimes and misdemeanors of Chester French’s “Black Girls”
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Chester French—the kinda-sorta-not-really-from-Milwaukee group you’ve maybe heard of—has a new single, and it’s called “Black Girls.” Are you offended yet? Shocked? Uncomfortable with the notion of a couple of white dudes—one of them originally from Milwaukee—proudly professing their love/lust for black girls? Good, because you’ve played directly into what may be the most calculating, obnoxious song since—shiver—Fun.’s “We Are Young.
So what makes “Black Girls” so irritating? Before we get to that, here’s the video. Warning: it’s NSFW, because it totally has two chicks making out!
Still with me? Okay. Let’s break the song down into two groups: crimes and misdemeanors:
• Desperately trying to be shocking. Chester French is hoping—really, really hoping—that you’ll ask yourself two questions when you listen to “Black Girls”: Are they really talking about getting it on with black girls? Can they say that out loud? Of course, the only two questions you should be asking are: Didn’t Mick Jagger pull this same bullshit 41 years ago? And then again seven years later?
• Having it both ways. Is there anything more grating than using race as a “hook” (black girls!), while simultaneously copping a winking “post-racial” attitude (they’re hot, which makes it okay!)?
• The opening lyrics. Read ’em and weep:
This ain’t no fetish, ain’t objectifying no one
I reject your deconstruction of my taste
But ignoramuses always look in my direction
They’re so frustrated I don’t keep it in the race
Like they’ve never seen this before
Like it’s 1954
But the whole world’s turning brown and who cares
• Proudly boasting a video that would have been provocative in 1993. If future generations need to know what old George Michael videos and MTV’s House Of Style looked like, they need look no further.
• Being catchy in a “It’s Good Mood Food” kind of way. Just try and get this little commercial jingle of a song out of your head. It’s the worst kind of earworm: catchy without being very good, and hook-laden without being memorable.
And yet after suffering through the horror that is “Black Girls,” I find myself not hating Chester French. Maybe it’s my soft spot for bands who exhibit absolutely no shame, or maybe it’s my reluctance to rag on a group that likely gives exactly two shits about what I think. But yeah, it’s still an awful song, and a cloying one at that. Like the fictional “ignoramuses” who get upset when Chester French doesn’t “keep it in the race,” we’ve seen this before.