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"My Humps"

Sometimes, a review can be a brilliant literary success and still be totally wrong. That's how I would classify Hua Hsu's trashing of "My Humps," which is a perfectly good pop song, albeit something that will probably be forgotten in a couple of years. The usually sound Robert Farley, however, agrees with Hsu, which gave me some pause. But I listened to it again and, yes, it's a decent tune.

December 8, 2005 | Permalink


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» "My Humps" from Minipundit
As long as I'm on the topic of music, let me take this opportunity to disagree with Matt Yglesias on the pressing subject of the Black Eyed Peas' latest single. "My Humps" is evil. It is wrong. There is nothing [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 8, 2005 7:45:22 PM


Matt, you are utterly, astoundingly wrong. This is a strong candidate for the worst high-profile pop song of all time.

Posted by: tom | Dec 8, 2005 12:36:56 PM

"But I listened to it again and, yes, it's a decent tune"

you cannot honestly believe this can you? if nothing else, the song is excruciatingly boring. i am sitting here trying to compose a reasoned response as to how bad this song is, and i can't. it makes my mind stop. it is so poorly written (musically, lyrically) it suggests laziness on everyone's part. to think someone(s?) will receive writing credits to this insults everyone above 2nd grade.

madonna wrote the same song, called "material girl" which was catchy, had a melody, and signaled something resembling effort. "my humps" does not make me love-drunk off anyone's lumps. in fact the only acceptable lump at all is the one on my head as i beat myself senseless with a tire iron to forget the standard of pop music today.

Posted by: lucas | Dec 8, 2005 12:41:26 PM

Whatever appeal this thing may have, whatever other offenses it may or may not commit: "my humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps"? That is so painfully awkward, so excrutiatingly clunky. I'd never had the experience of hearing a woman, a beautiful woman even, singing about her body, and feel mostly discomfort and distaste. Until now. Why, Fergie, why?

Posted by: Ken C. | Dec 8, 2005 1:12:34 PM

I hate to pile on, but yeah, Matt, if you think this is a decent song your fucking ears are broken.

I'm so glad to see this review and hear these comments. I thought I was alone.

The song is simply excrable. Boring. Hackneyed. Offensive. Stupid. Boring. Jeebus.

Posted by: Realish | Dec 8, 2005 1:26:54 PM

Look, sometimes you just - inexplicably - like a pop song. Even if the cognoscenti deem such song to be bad, through no fault of your own, you just happen to like it. Doesn't mean you've got bad taste or anything - it just happens. (For example, I thought I was losing my edge when I inexplicably liked Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head". But I realized that it's just one of those things.)

Posted by: Al | Dec 8, 2005 1:45:06 PM

Al, sure, tastes differ and everyone can cop to the odd guilty pleasure. But "Can't Get You Out Of My Head", while perhaps a little boring, is simply not on the same continuum as "My Humps". To steal a line from Futurama, this latest release from the Black Eyed Peas will surely be ranked by future generations as one of humanity's greatest crimes.

Posted by: tom | Dec 8, 2005 1:57:15 PM

dude the black eyed peas are ballz. every song that they've put out since that elephunk jibber-jabber has been offensive to good taste. the fact that mlb, nba, lots of politicians, nfl, and probably the nhl allowed "let's get retarded" to be an anthem is on par with the idiocy behind the "macarena" and "who let the dogs out" campaigns. they succeeded briefly, but then everyone hated those songs... stick to the 7th inning stretch... or at least something that's tolerable. prediction for worst public anthem as judged by subsequent generation: God Bless America.

Posted by: kurt thomas | Dec 8, 2005 2:17:54 PM

"My Humps" is not only bad its actively depressing, the reductio ad absurdum of contemporary rap/R&B, in which the standard obsession with female anatomy is rendered abject and creepily clinical somehow. "Humps" and "lumps"? Jesus, they could be talking about a biopsy. If the song had been described to me before it ever come out, I would have been absolutely certain its a kind of postmodern parody of the genre, pushing its conventions to self-undermining extremes.

Posted by: rd | Dec 8, 2005 2:33:33 PM

Can't Get You Out of My Head is one of the greatest pop songs of the last ten years. It is a goddamn masterpiece. My humps is just dogshit.

Posted by: JDS | Dec 8, 2005 2:58:27 PM

Can't Get You Out of My Head is great. My Humps is merely okay. I think people are confusing the sentiment that it's annoyingly overplayed (true) with the idea that it's bad (false).

Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | Dec 8, 2005 3:48:09 PM

I disagree. I've heard the song at most five times, all of them while watching the video prior to going to work.

Posted by: tom | Dec 8, 2005 3:52:25 PM

and (I meant to add) my distaste for the song has held pretty steady at "blinding rage" from listen to listen

Posted by: tom | Dec 8, 2005 3:55:57 PM

Well, I'm not qualified to judge the merits of a pop song or any music for that matter as I have terrible taste in all matters artistic except for sometimes theater.

But I find "my humps" highly amusing if not necessarily nutritious.

Posted by: flippantangel | Dec 8, 2005 4:34:18 PM

Importantly Gwen Stefani already mined the archives for the fun but brief-lived antiseptic junction between hip-hop and nu wave. And came away with an infinitely better summer song.

Posted by: Kriston | Dec 8, 2005 4:49:22 PM

I don't know about overplayed...I've heard this song once, maybe a month ago, and it's been stuck in my head since. Not only is it incredibly annoying and earwormy, but it's got to be the least sexy graphic description of a woman's curves ever penned. "Lovely lady...lumps?"

I wouldn't want to live in a world that couldn't produce something so absurd. But I also could die a happy man without ever hearing it again.

Posted by: tps12 | Dec 8, 2005 5:34:52 PM

Wow, it's amazing I just heard this song last week, and have heard nothing but negative opinions of it from varied sources. My first inclination was to turn my car radio off, but since I listened to rap since forever, I could tell this was more like a retro song than anything else and reminded me of Supersonic by JJ Fad so I actually didn't turn away and started to like it some. It sounded pretty typical to the late 80's/early 90's bubblegum type of West Coast rap, probably a step below Hammer and we know how people loved Hammer during that period. I see a resurgence of the Jheri Curl later this decade also. You heard it here first. Seriously, I doubt you walk into the studio with this song on your mind. You have to be clowning around, high on drugs to fall across this.

Posted by: kdub | Dec 8, 2005 6:08:55 PM

I've heard the song twice, maybe three times. I never, ever, ever want to hear it again. It is actively depressing. Honestly. It makes me sad and slightly nauseous.

Want a good pop song? "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson is the song of the year, hands down. There may never have been a song this catchy, ever. And it stands up to repeated listens. Download it and try to resist. Go ahead. It's futile.

Posted by: Realish | Dec 8, 2005 6:29:08 PM

Listen to John sing "Instant Karma", or Ella sing "How Long Has This Been Going On?" or Frankie Lymon sing (really sing) "Why Do Foold Fall in Love?" (Or maybe 10000 others)

Don't waste time with crap.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis | Dec 8, 2005 8:23:24 PM

"Smells like funk" is a Black Eyed Peas song that is actually good. "My humps" is one of the worst songs of the year.

Posted by: Stanky | Dec 8, 2005 9:23:33 PM

"a decent tune?" Who are you? That song is on heavy rotation over here in ol' Cambodge, and every time I hear her whisper/whine "my humps" or "my bumps" all I can think of is a tumor or goiter. A serious mistake, Matthew.

Posted by: ayelish | Dec 10, 2005 8:51:21 AM

I had a conversation about the song in question with a colleague. My take was "gosh, sometimes musical acts reach a point when they're so popular even their unadulterated shite gets radio play". My much younger colleague disagreed, thinking it an ok tune.

I mentioned Coldplay in the same argument (two or three three terrific rock-bop ballads in the early goings, and now some simply astonishingly dreadful tunes that manage to get airplay ).

Humps is bad though, no doubt. I think it's not so much that "Humps" is a bad song, so much as I really can't discern anything remotely resembling a song, with a real melody, or some sort of logical structure. It's horrible. I've been known to warm up to horrible songs after lengthy forced feeding by radio. But this time there's no chance of that, I'm afraid.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida | Dec 10, 2005 5:02:13 PM

Want a good pop song? "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson is the song of the year, hands down. There may never have been a song this catchy, ever.

Hands down? Wow. There really is no accounting for people's tastes.

I've been known to warm up to horrible songs after lengthy forced feeding by radio...

"Doncha" comes to mind.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida | Dec 10, 2005 5:09:44 PM

I barely know the song, and don't care about it. But the "Related in Slate" note at the bottom of the article is awesome.

Posted by: JL | Dec 11, 2005 2:47:09 PM

if u don't LOVE my humps ur as stupid as sum 1 who goes 2 NLMS! my humps is my FAVORITE song! u r SOOOOOO stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: kknlondon | Dec 14, 2005 10:26:56 AM

of course! ur so stupid u don't no what NLMS is. well let me tell u, u don't want to no! hey,,, do u live with ur mom or r u just gay??????

Posted by: kknlondon | Dec 14, 2005 10:29:32 AM

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