Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Anal-ytical Appreciation: Karl Wolf "Africa"
In case you didn't know, I currently reside in Canada. I'm happy to be living in such an awesome country. It let my immigrant ass in after all. So I don't lose my shit over the fact that this song is #2 on the charts over here. It's a small price to pay.
But let's talk about the price tag on this one, shall we?
This song is called Africa. My very first reaction when I heard about this song was: "Oh yet another African singer making an ode to their homeland. Yawnsville." But then the video popped up on MuchMusic and I noticed that the singer Karl Wolf was actually some tanned white dude (He is actually Lebanese, for the record). I was about to burst into a glorious WTF but my conscience kicked in with a 'Dude chillax.' Other people have sung about and/or appropriated the glories of Africa. Plus, its not like you have to be African to be appreciative of African culture. So I decided to continue watching.
But then it got kinda weird coz the song kept going and I never got where the "Africa" title fit in. I mean aside, from the fact that the chorus has a line that goes "I bless the rains down in Africa" (Seriously?), lyrically its pretty much a standard love song.
Even weirder, this dude decided to NOT include a single black chick in the video. Not even a light skinned token! Closest thing to someone black in this video is his budget line, Fat Joe-during-lent lookalike of a weed carrier, Culture (Btw peep his dance moves, they will brighten your darkest days). Weirdness continues: Culture's dancehall raps are on the song, and he's on screen a whole lot but for some reason, they never show him spitting the lines until the last minute. As if making a love song titled 'Africa' but making no mention of the continent or its people wasn't weird enough. In a strange way, it seemed like a pretty ballsy move (pause?) that I had a bit of respect for. Nonetheless, my restrained WTF had already begun loosening its shackles.
So I decided to take a breather. I'm not the brightest crayon in the box. Maybe I was missing something, maybe I wasn't reading between the lines. I think to myself - Maybe he didn't want to make a big, pompous statement about Africa. Maybe I should take in to account the fact that he subtly celebrates Africa by shooting the video in Africa. Until I realized that the video was shot on Muscat, Oman. LOLercoaster goes off the rail. Muscat? Muscat ain't gully, fool! Man, I have family in Muscat. I was actually there once to visit them in Grade 3. It's a nice little city. When I was there, I actually went to a farm, drank fresh goat milk and took a dump around a date palm. Karl is probably two-stepping in my fermented poo. Just thought you'd like to know.
So yeah, basically this 'Africa' song has nothing whatsoever to do with Africa. Impressive.
P.S I am aware that this is a remake of Toto's Africa, but my wtf will not budge.
P.P.S Here is a tremendous line off of Karl's wiki "Word of his talent spread quickly, with such stars as Christina Millian, Glenn Lewis, and Mya requesting that Karl send them material. However, at the time, he was busy at work on his first solo album, Face Behind the Face" LOLmeter on a hundred. thousand. trillion.