While I was babysitting this summer, the kids decided to make a music video. I sat in the kitchen, while they scampered by dressed as Yoda and Slash. Minutes later, coming from the other room: that notorious tune — doo doo, dee doo, doo doo, dee doo bee — followed by, “So I ball so hard muhfuckahs wanna fine me.”

I texted my boyfriend asking if I was a fun-ruiner for making them change the song from “That Shit Cray.”

“Katie, that song is called ‘Niggas in Paris,’ ” he told me.

No … “Niggas in Paris?” I thought he was kidding. That was the song that won best single of 2011 according to the Daily’s Music writers?

I know it’s pretty pathetic that I didn’t even know the name to the song that my Daily equals voted as the best single of the year — a song that has been loved and remixed and performed as many as 12 times in one concert (in Paris, of course) for almost a year now. But after having the cursed “that shit cray” line forced upon me innumerous times in the last nine months — from front porches, Dopplerized car stereos and, now, elementary schoolers — I think it’s finally time for me to address this adorable little song.

One thing I can say the song has going for it — it certainly gets stuck in your head. I listen to “Niggas in Paris” for fifteen seconds, and everything suddenly has a dee doo backing to it. And if a song is able to weasel its way into a comfortable space between two warm flabby folds of your brain and make a home for a month or two, you start to think crazy thoughts like, “I like this song” or even, “This is a good song.” I remind myself of that as some sort of explanation for the “cray” craze.

The first time I listened to the song in its entirety, I looked it up on YouTube, avoiding the official video as soon as I saw the warning at the beginning about seizures and photosensitive epilepsy. God, the music video is just as obnoxious as the song. I opted instead for a video with a static picture of the album cover with “SUBSCRIBE” plastered across. My patience was gone after a couple minutes of waiting for something more interesting to happen, and a few sound bites from the movie “Blades of Glory” were not enough to keep me listening to the dee doos.

It’s no coincidence that “Call Me Maybe” appeared on the side as one of the recommended videos. Both songs have been deemed catchy by the masses, which makes me wonder: What exactly does it take for a song to be catchy? Is it just some formula of repetition and in-your-face loudness that creates this weird knee-jerk acceptance?

But what actually angers me about this song is the lyrics. I’ve heard the “it’s clever” defense from plenty of Jay-Z and Kanye fans. Don’t worry — I’m not claiming I could ever come up with lyrics as clever as “this shit gravy.” But even if there is a notable creative element to Jay-Z and Kanye’s rapping, the subject matter is nothing new — just another declaration of a glamorous, “faded” lifestyle riddled with sports, money and women (because women are nothing more than something to be won or purchased). Don’t tell me no one’s ever rapped about that before.

Let’s just start with that phrase: “Ball so hard.” One Google search of “what does ‘ball so hard’ mean,” and I discovered, yes, it can actually refer to basketball, but Jay-Z isn’t actually playing basketball in this song. He’s getting fined by the NBA for visiting the Kentucky Wildcats in the locker room. What? Why is that cool? And Jay-Z’s insistence that the fine resulting from entering said locker room — fifty thousand dollars — isn’t a lot of money? That isn’t admirable or glamorous; it’s obnoxious and not that interesting.

But then Kanye has to open his big, Imma-let-you-finish mouth. Lines like, “You need to crawl ’fore you ball / Come and meet me in the bathroom stall” essentially give women the status of prostitutes. If you’re a female who dares to enjoy the wealthy company of Kanye, first you must fuck him in the bathroom. In the next verse, Kanye actually goes on about how many “hot bitches” he owns. Why is this okay — why is this praised?

It’s easy to say that I’m just taking some song about having fun in Paris too seriously. But that’s just the thing. People will and do take these lyrics seriously. And it’s unsettling to say the least that children, who are especially susceptible to values presented in the music, are making music videos for the song or worse, expecting to grow up owning bathrooms full of bitches.

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