Twist and Sprout

17 Jun

While most popular music is starved of melodic creativity, some  artists are “pop”-ing out unexpectedly witty lyrics. Or, at least, making an admirable effort in that department. I’m not so hip that I can give you examples gleaned exclusively from songs you were just tuning into in the car. But if you can withstand another throwback, much gentler than last’s week (only to 2005 rather than 1965), we WILL end up with the Biebs:

Chris Brown, sporting hipster glasses.

2005: On Chris Brown’s debut album, Chris Brown (and that’s the way to go when album-naming, if you want to make it big) the song “Ya Man Ain’t Me” has a concise set of lyrics. I appreciate Chris’s bluntness in explaining, to the girl dating the man who isn’t Chris Brown, the character flaws of said man. My personal favorite is the line: “He ain’t fly, he don’t even drive.” Excellent points – there is nothing worse than chauffering around your unattractive boyfriend.

The Dream, looking ever so sassy.

2010: The Dream, contributing to Drake’s album Thank me Later on the song “Shut it Down,” makes several witticisms. In his discussion of a girl who is apparently using her beauty to shut down towns and computers – she’s dangerous – The Dream sings: “Ice cream conversations, they all want the scoop.” Pretty pithy for the very same man who, when commenting on his divorce from first wife Nivea in 2004, said “Like, ’cause love isn’t just where it’s gonna end.” Don’t you think?

2011: Nicki Minaj, on her album Pink Love makes a memorable proclamation of her love  on the song “Your Love.” I find her ability to blend romance with classic action film brilliant, with this line: “For your lovin Imma Die Hard like Bruce Willis.

J. Cole, living the sideline story.

2011: J. Cole, on his album Cole World – The Sideline Story,  slips a clever wordplay into the song “Work Out.” Nestled between references to “jeans too fat for her” and “carolina blue kicks fresh off the scene” is the line: “Money can’t buy you love cause it’s overpriced.” A cynical spin-off of  the 1964 Beatles song “Can’t Buy Me Love,” but nonetheless a thought-provoking one.

A twofer – Nicki and the Biebs.

2012: We’re arriving at the Biebs, as promised. “Swaggie,” the term Justin Bieber introduced to the world on his latest single, “Boyfriend,” is likely the end-result of a happy and uneventful  upbringing in London, Ontario. I respect his venture, despite lack of experience in the streets of Brooklyn, to come up with a phrase or two fitting for those hailing from Canadian hoods.

If you’re going to tune into the radio, listen carefully – you might be surprised to hear a clever line or two now and then.  Speaking of surprises, I have a little food twist to share that you might just find as clever as Nicki’s Bruce Willis reference, or the Biebs’s creation of slang acceptable for use by those who grew up in the semi-hood. OK, no, my twist is not nearly that exciting. But here it is: the addition of vegetables to Easy Mac and flavored noodle packets, such as Knorr’s Pasta Sides.



– 1 bowl Easy Mac

– 1 cup fresh spinach


Prepare Easy Mac following the instructions on the bowl. After adding water, also add in the spinach leaves. The spinach leaves will cook with the noodles.




– Any Knorr’s pasta side + required ingredients

– 1 cup frozen broccoli


Prepare the pasta side according to the instructions on the  package. Cook frozen broccoli and serve over pasta side. The best thing about this combo is leftovers. I like to save 1/2 of the pasta for the next day. I place the frozen broccoli directly on top of the pasta and leave it overnight; this ‘reconstitutes’ the pasta, because the water from the frozen broccoli oozes into it.

CALORIES (per 1/2 ‘Parmesan Pasta Side’ with 1% milk): 280

Tweaks – you could substitute another vegetable in either the Easy Mac or Pasta Side – broccoli might work in the Easy Mac, frozen asparagus in a Pasta Side. It’s your choice, your tweak.

One Response to “Twist and Sprout”

  1. Ian June 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    This was hilarious.

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