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MS1E4 - "Doo Wop (That Thing)" by Lauryn Hill

2018-11-27

Ms. Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" synthesizes hip-hop with 1950s doo wop music. We trace the parallel histories of these two musical genres before our line-by-line analysis of the cautionary message Ms. Hill presents in her chart topping single. Follow @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram. Join our newsletter at dissectpodcast.com.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From Spotify Studios, this is dissect long musical analysis broken into short, digestible episodes. I'm your host Cole Kushner. Today we continue our serializable analysis of the miseducation of Lauryn Hill. On last episode, selected to Zion a resounding triumph that expression of a mother's love. education progresses were met with the I love songs that confront what miss views as inauthentic in contemporary society Jill Mister Inauthentic, shallow motives of some hip hop communities on superstar and the consequences. The greed and ego feel desire to climb the cultural hierarchy on the song final hour, but fur
Miss Hill will hold a mirror to the gender dynamics between some young men and women on the album's next track. The subject of today's episode do up I saw some guys. Some guys are only about family stop the music. I have the most transparent homage to our love of music from the 1950s and early 60s. Even with the song's title, do up Adele
not to a subgenre of rhythm and blues music, that developed in the Urban EAST Coast, ghettos in the 1940s and was the in the 1950s through the early 60s. The term do, wasn't used until one thousand nine hundred and sixty one sent come to describe a vocal, dominant style of music that features prominent group harmony and said instrumental accompaniment if you don't hurry and come back, I'm Assange blew my papa. I don't find remind the that in West. You left me just this one thousand nine hundred and forty five recording of the delta performing just a sitting in a rock and
is the earliest recorded use of the phrase do up, which is utilized by the backing. Vocalists La La or nah nah nah do up what's known as a non lexical vocable, which is a essentially a fancy way to describe singing nonsensical words as mouth filler. Something vocalist can used to provide notes in harmony without lyrics throughout the 1950s. The phrase do I: it had been used by backing vocalist so much that this style of local urbanization became nickname, do up when yeah. You who Dan be sure to hold her hold her tight when you dead, you squeeze her yay with all your mom buying such a drama.
rated nobles, who can sure, did Drum programming on Lauryn Hill's, doo wop set of this title quote: there's a box set that said, do sitting on the floor. The title for her single came off that box unquote his likely that this box set was the rhino records for disc one hundred song. Compilation entitled the doo wop box, which was released in one thousand nine hundred and ninety four, but the song itself and its musical arrangement is actually taken from a nineteen seventy one track called together. Let's find love by the
fifth dimension. That's fine. Love features, two chords, that repeat the songs. Opening few measures, G Minor, an F minor, I miss
is due up. These chords are played faster in transposed up two and a minor in g minor. This way, these chords not again to rhythm and blues music of the fifties, sixties and early seventies, this technique of play- text, Eddie, eighth, note, chords, high on the piano was common in those areas. My love must be a kind of line, love I can see anyone, of course,
is Miss Hill and her team modernize, their chords by adding hip hop style drums provided by Shake Rivera When producer Vada Nobles heard an early version of Doo wop, he quote, thought them. It was cheesy, it wasn't hard enough, so I put really heavy drum in there just to give it some edge. Something hip, hop, unquote, SP, typically noblezada nobles as a driving kick drum, which was, said to be inspired by audio tos. One thousand nine hundred and eighty eight hit top villain check it out I feel, no guilt. Now, let's hear nobles kick drum. He added to do up
and of this together with the songs made drum loop, the last visual elements of the song or a sophisticated funk. Inspired baseline, which is ax, did buy a second piano line played in the lower register we also find a Hore thirty throughout do up. The horn arrangement itself is taken from the original fifth dimension: song recreated by life player, of course. Another musical element essential to do up both them
call John Rhe and Miss Hillsong is the human voice. This is acknowledged on the tracks opening moments as Miss Hill Harkin, back to the songs, 50S Duop, inspiration back on the building with cats, who is the home, and I, like yeah, yeah, YO, minimum women don't forget about the day. This is not the most dicanio about a thing missing begins. Saying. Remember back on the bully when cats used to harmonize bully is slang for Blvd, and here Miss Hill is alluding to the origins of duop music, which he describes using hip hop street slang straight away, Miss Hills, acknowledging her coalescence of contemporary hip, hop with Doo wop, music of the 1940s and 50s Youtube musical styles, hip, hop and doo. Wop aren't historically farm moved in terms of their origin story. Do up big
and in the post World war, two era in the urban ghetto streets of cities like New York, Chicago and Baltimore african American teenagers form their own vocal groups, as you didn't, Access to musical instruments beyond your own voice. These groups would practice vocal harmonies in school, gyms and ST corners blending rhythm and blues barbershop and gospel harmonies with popular black vocal group music. It was common for these group to take a pre existing song and adapt it for their Acapella. Formance is ha ha you're, Funny wow. I love that girl how back soon the duop sound began to trickle into the mainstream music of that I'm becoming a table of 1950s rhythm and blues.
Continuing into motown styles of the 1960s and the Philly sound of the 1970s Any of the fundamental aspects of the origin story of Duop are mirror. The creation of hip hop like do up hip hop was created in the impoverished urban streets of the east coast. Specifically s Bronx in New York City in the late 1970s like do up the black youth reinterpreted Preexist songs only now they were using turntables to combine multiple songs and looping breakbeats from funk records. Eventually, masters of ceremonies, other is known as emcees started, rhyming These instrumental beats Jew here is not like do Opps early originate, Yrs and MC did
need any instruments. They could write rhymes and practice anywhere on street corners. Subway tunnels were at a table while tapping out drum beat with their hands, not unlike duop. The term hip hop originated from nonsensical words as legend has it Keith Cowboy Wiggins for the pioneering rap group grandmaster Flash and the furious five was teasing. A friend who is going into the army, the rhythm of marching soldiers by scatting, hip hop hip hop that phrase hip hop, ultimately got used in so young and the genre's title was born gay in the similarities and their grassroots origin story. Miss Hills, harmonization of duop and hip hop is no insignificant footnote. It represents a delay, rip bridge across generations of influential black music, whose expressions for in sound but who's org. These are bored out of the experience of the African American and the United States, Miss Hills,
Muchas unionization that these two closely related spirits are culturally significant, but also do only personal. Both do up and hip hop instrumental influences in her upbringing. As you know, from our first episode, this season Miss Hilda Van, more parents, record collection as a child, a collection that consisted prime air they're, black soul and rhythm and blues music of the nineteen, fifty 60s and 70s. In fact, the first wreck Miss Hill discovered at age. Five was if I should lose you by the duop group, the dream levers it express during your time with the Fugees Miss Hill in greater soul, sound with their love of hip, hop specifically for education. It was the pink land that Miss Hill, told collaborators to you. There is a main hip hop ingredient
the craft side, the New York Tufts are saying the lab was not jam, packed secondhand, more spouse going over man. So then we move the Xalan land for young junior rocking the goats. Sat in a room when we started the record, and it was me her in James and the first thing she said: She said I like soul, music, like reggae music, and I like Wu Tang. Let's go hey and literally one of the first things we made was, do I don't know how do walk came out of that equation, but that was one of the first records we made was do up. because both soul and hip, hop or so structural to Miss Hill as a person dercole, since he ran, do up an throughout miseducation for that matter, never sounds forced. Rather, it feels authentic, an accurate representation of who miss Hill is and while who is the guiding principle in our teams, creation of the songs, instrumentals Miss Hills, Voice, Anna RARE, ability to both sing and rap at the highest level is that MAGIC Europe
visible element that makes cohesive these. Otherwise contrasting musical aesthetics. Do up that thing the master class and Miss hills. Dualistic talents showcasing her effort, is fluidity between MC and EVA yeah. Back on the Blvd cats used to harmonize light. yeah yeah, no minimum women don't forget about the day. This is not the most decay about a thing, as we discussed at length. Mishil begin by acknowledging the songs. Do up inspiration, effortlessly, calling worth a trio of female backing. Vocalists Do till then says my men in my women, don't forget about the dean's are almost Akem and Islam. Dean translates to religion or creed and refers to the wave.
Life. Muslims are required to adopt in compliance with divine law and to the divine judgement individuals will receive before Allah so I'll Booster Keem is a phrase from the Koran Trans sing to the straight path or the either way that pleases. God already heard in its opening three tracks, miseducation makes Numa references to scripture and spirituality. A reflection, missiles, interest and studies in the Bible, the Koran and other religious texts here on do up it frames a song within religious or spiritual structures, implying that the subject he's about to elaborate on sexual azatian and materialism, specifically INR and culture, are divergences from the quote. Unquote straight path will keep this pious frame in mind as we explore do Opps lyrics lyrics that will dive into right after the break. Today's episode, sort of dissect is brought to you by Sonos Sonos.
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before the break we discussed Miss Hills, harmonization of duop and hip hop on Miss educations fifth track. Do up that thing. We also heard the songs introduction, which features Miss Hills speaking voice. This production is found on the album version of the song on look up single version, the one that DOM made radio in the late 90s the introduction features the performance of the song cook was, will go ahead, and here now you know you better watch out some do ups took it likely one. You know very well Miss Hill lords women to watch out for guys only concerned with that thing, which is a euphemism for sex. This introduce is the cautionary tone to the S message and the dynamics between one track minded men and the women that they court.
As we'll see in both of the songs versus Mishil places blame on both the men and the women for the creation of these dynamics, specifically within the young black urban community and verse one, She speaks to the women directly replaceable. Looking for your friend that when you left it in never cards who were gay member, when he told you he, you think you're really going for ten like you wasn't down and called him again plus plan, you pick up so easy, you might even pull their hair. If you did it, then it you, probably talking out your next angel Christian, that just about town when the repercussions spanish, showing up gas. This he'll begin by presenting a micro narrative about a one night stand addressing direct the woman. In this scenario she says it's been three weeks since you were looking for your friend, the one it hit it and never called you again. The implication
here is that the woman was hoping for something more to come from this romantic relationship, but instead he was ghosted, never hearing for the man again. She continues remember when he told you he was about the benjamins. The sign calls the nineteen. Ninety seven hit it's all about the benjamins. By puff daddy, a song was dominating the radio during the creation of this education. Uh huh, uh huh, with Benjamin is, of course, a reference to Benjamin Franklin's portrait on the one hundred dollars bill and Miss hills. Reference to this track Works, to personify the male character and do up she's drawing on calling out a prevalent theme in male minds in hip, hop which is
acquisition and flaunting of money to attract women. This, since it was also propagated by the female perspective. Another popular songs of this era, perhaps most famously in the number one hit no scrubs by TLC. Oh yes, I'm talking to you home Mama. Oh yes, I'm talking to you, you have shining, but you don't show it up. Only ass son, I'm talking to you on again with no money. No, I don't want. No, We have a dynamic of both men and women, glorifying materialism and sexuality as a means to attract the opposite sex, and it's this tiny. That Miss Hill is calling out as flawed superficial and inauthentic on duop Misilo rates on her narrative confronting the woman for giving it up so easily and then feeling bad with the man only wants to see her for sex. She says: remember
he told you is about the benjamins. You act like you, ain't hear him and then give him a little trim. Shrimp here is slang for sex, specifically a womans vagina. She continues, plus when you give it up so easy. You ain't even fooling him. If you did it, then then you probably fuck again Miss Hill sees the woman's having set up an expectation of sexual transaction, implying that she's. This is responsible, as the man is for this relationship based only on sex midway through the verse. This hill returns to a religious framework quote talking out your neck, saying you're, a christian talking at your is a phrase that means to speak recklessly or lie. Miss he'll call this woman out for claiming to be a moral Christian, while her behavior says otherwise. Missile continues a muslim sleeping with the gin Jenn. Here has two meanings similar to the previous line. She equates this woman to someone who claims to be muslim, but also drinks. Gin or alcohol, which is not halal and is forbidden, but gin spelled
a I n n is arabic and Islam refers to an object that cannot be detected by human senses, most commonly spirits like angels and demons. It seems clear that miss attention, intention, sleeping with the gin, is akin to the fray, sleeping with the devil, but we recognize the clever double meaning of two types of spirits: the alcoholic Spirit, Jen and evil Islamic Spirit, Jen, then says now. That was the sin that did Jezebel in who gonna going to tell when the repercussions spin recounted in the Bible. Jezebel was century ninth century queen of Israel, she's infamous for her disloyalty as she worshipped another God other than Yahweh the p turned turn on her and as she prepared to be murdered by General Jifu Jezebel applied, make up and dressed in finery before she was thrown over her balcony and eaten by dogs. Some of you putting on makeup and dressing extravagantly as a fail plan. Do you who and avoid her fate since her death,
the name Jezebel, has become an archetype for impudent or morally unrestrained women. It would seem that Phil drawing on both Jezebel, specifically from the Bible and her legacy as archetype a kind of warning to women of this character that their current path will not end well, unless some correction to their behavior and characters made as went continues, I still turns inward asks. You thinking this train girlfriend. Let me break it down for you again. You know why I always say it doesn't really James. Where don't be your hard drive when you really understand baby girl respect is just the minimum niggers fucked up you still December now, garment is only human. You don't think I haven't been to the same predicament after this. After her, like a million women, there filling her, it's only one girl said they sold because it's an looking where you be in hair weaves, like your repair, fake nails about the bands come again. Miss he'll begin the second half of verse, one saying showing
after ask: is he thinking it's a trend? The the woman Miss Hill speaks about here, please into the cultural sexualize. Expectations of women trends are created, observation followed by imitation, and so it becomes kind of self feeding cycle. In this scenario I woman show skin because she sees others doing it and getting attention from men another. When sees that woman showing skin and be doing it herself, another sees that woman and so on and so forth. As a continues, Miss Hill begins revealed the intentions behind her tough love quote. You know, I only say it cuz, I'm truly genuine, don't be a hard rock. When you really are a gem baby girl respect is just a minimum Edwards fucked up and you still defending them, missiles, implying that these women are selling themselves short, that their self section is falsely influenced by the stereotypes of hip, hop culture and, more broadly, this store close sexualization of women in american society. She are is that they have more to offer than their bodies that they should demand
back from the opposite sex by first respecting themselves. This is partly Preston line, don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem missile plays up the fat that some gems are rocks, laying out a philosophy of maximizing one self worth through self perception. That is, with perception of phone. You can value yourself as a hard rock, which is common and easy to obtain, or as a gem rare, valuable and harder to obtain. Also ingrained here is this idea that one attracts what one projects that is, specifically as it relates to the divine do up. If one on sexual sexualization for attention they run the risk of attracting only those interested in their bodies, verse continues now Lauryn is only human, don't think I haven't been through the same predicament this. He is a very pivotal line, revealing that Miss is not, or at least doesn't intend to speak from a place of judgment, rather because she once had a mindset similar to the women she speaking to her intention, Seedpeer pure as she attempts
expedite the process of personal growth and others a process she went through herself. Indeed, regarding do ops message. Miss Hill told details magazine quote: I'm not dissing them. I'm dissing their mindset, my music talks about a certain way of thinking, and if the cap fits, you know, I knew. Girls like little Kim growing up. I might have been one at a certain age and there's this huge lack of self esteem. Behind that thinking I mean what fourteen. I thought if a guy didn't whistle at me, that meant I wasn't pretty, but Are you mature pass that or you get caught up in the concept of oh, I have to show some ass cuz. It's the only way I could feel beautiful. Sex is cool, but it's only part of the story quote. It seems to me that Miss Hills intention isn't necessarily the place all the blame on women for these mindsets, rather she's pointing out invisible social and historical constructs that influences women's perceptions of themselves and the invisible. Pressures these constructs put on them to conform missiles. Were
it's a cautionary based on her own experience? It would seem she's attempting to save others from the experience she went through herself. This point is implied in the following line: let it sit inside your head, like a million women in Philly pen, by saying let it sit inside your mind. It's clear that Miss Hills words here, simply food, thought something to consider. A million women in Philly Penn refers to the million women March that took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in October of nineteen. Ninety seven attended by over five hundred thousand people, mostly women. The march was intended to promote positive change and quote help bring social, political and economic development and power throughout the black he's in the United States, as well as bring hope, empowerment, unity and sisterhood to women, men and children of african descent globally, regardless nationality, religion or economic status, unquote, it would seem. Miss is implying that some of the women at this march had a similar revelation, as she did at work to promote CHE,
union and respect within their african american communities. Miss Hill can he's with the line it's silly when girl sell their souls because it's in this again Kerry with that religious undertones, as in one soul to the devil, but here Miss Hill plays off cell and the trend of attracting a wealthy man with their sexuality. Finally, the verse ends look at where you be in hair weaves, like Europeans, fake nails done I Koreans, this seems to tie back into the mission of the million women March. One that works is uniting. The african american women community. Miss Hills point got the irony of african american women chasing traditional standards of american beauty. That's based on center. These are pushing whiteness as the ideal form of beauty she asked. I meant to literally look at how chasing these superficial beauty standards separates them from their community. They korean nail, salons and reject their natural hair
favor of strain european european hairstyles or wigs, as do up, continues missile Hill performs the song took only this time. She cautions men about certain some women that thing here. A second iteration of the song's hook is no longer you isn't for sex. Rather, that thing is now he and materialism. This helps us look verse two which addresses the men directly. The second verse is dedicated to the metaphor: conservatives rims in his Temptones women him in his men, come in the club. I can be fans, don't care who they get bad popping games. You guys stop attacking the one about pissed. I buy a waste management style by the case, mister name on his face, but some pretty
spaceman claiming that they did a big men need to take care. Buddy transport, kids, with the facing for case when the child support placement taking off breaking that. You wonder why we make Fitness Lee Summit, may the funk master virus many quick ship when you weigh vine with them away when you weigh right with a common, Miss Hill makes very. Clear who she's addressing with the opening lines. The second versus dedicated to the men were concerned with his rims and his timbs than his women. She draws attention to these men prioritizing materialism, while neglecting the women that they're with and like certain women prioritizing their bodies to meet expectations. Culture, a set for them men, flaunting wealth, is also attempt to fulfill some invisible expectation. Society is pressed upon them. Miss Hill continues, with one of the more clever lines of the entire song saying him and his men come in the club, like hooligans, don't care who they offend. Popping Yang, like you've, got yen
Popping Yang is slang for talking trash while yen refers to japanese currency. So the phrase popping Yang, like you got yen, translates to talking shit like you got money but of Course Miss Hill is playing off yen Yang the chinese symbol for the balance of opposing forces. When heard this, way. Miss Hill is calling out these men for pretending that they're balanced that they have their shit together when it's really all for show. This is a lab rated on as a first continues. Let's stop pretending the ones a pack pistols by they waste men crystal above the case, men still in their mother's basement again, while these men play into the stereotypical image of a black male, it's an elaborate front as they still live with their mother and are in some sense still children still can't used to go in on these men saying need to take care of their three or four kids. They face a court case when the child support late money taking in ha Breaking. Now you wonder why women hate men so, while verse
one pointed out the women's role in the failed dynamics between men and women here in verse, two miss is going just as hard at the men and their contribution to these failed relationships. In both cases, these types of men and women are writing checks they ultimately can't cash they're, presenting a fabricated version of themselves to attract the opposite sex which works in the short term, but a Miss Hillsview has long term consequences like broken homes failed child, support and as well hear about the subsequent lines. Physical abuse quote the punk domestic violence, men, quick to shoot the semen, stop acting like boys and be men ultimately, Miss Hill finds your behavior childish and absent of grown man responsibility her point of you throughout the entire back is punctuated with the second verse is closing lines how you going to win when you ain't right within, like the elaborate flashy feathers of a peacock material the men, sexuality are external,
superficial projections to attract the opposite sex, but if you're not right within, if your character is at noble, if your word is without merit, if your spirits depleted these external projections will only you so far, it's my understanding that missile doesn't mean to say, having wealth or being sexual are inherently bad, but they I to have a solid foundation on which to stand. They should not take prior any over or cause detriment to things like moral character, true self respect and personal virtue. It calls to mind a quote from Tupac Shakur, a man who battles his instincts for both inner peace, Ann Street, bravado quote: if there was no money and everything depended on your moral standards, the way that you behaved and the way that you treated people, how would you be doing in life? Unquote,
throughout do wop and punctuated at the end of its second verse. Miss Hill seems to be asking a similar question: how you going to win. If you ain't right within, as do Wop continues, the song explicitly revealed its influences as it breaks down into an Acapella which the axes, the songs Bridge, one of do ops, backing vocals LISA Randolph recounted her experience, contributing to the track quote in one thousand. Nine hundred and ninety seven get phone call asking if I'm available to come to Chongqing studios in New York, Lauren came in eating. Spaghetti PA the garlic bread, explain where she
trying to go with this album now now she wants it to be a reflection of all of us. I was an eighteen year old girl that just wanted to sing for she said she said I want to play with 50s and 60s harmonies like barbershop guys on the court. Then we all just jumped in harmonizing Acapella. She directed us and from their history was made unquote. Indeed, history, was made upon release in July of nineteen. Ninety eight as miseducation to lead single do wop. That thing was an instant social and cultural sensation. It became the tenth single in history debut at number, one on the billboard, hot one hundred and the first by a rap artist, male or female. The iconic music video, which features a split screen imbecile both hill, both contrasting the unifying the styles of the 1950s with the late 1990s, swept the MTV video music awards, including video of the year, do opt. That thing is that rare mainstream
cultural specimen that carries with it a resounding conscious message package in a commercially viable product. It's a delicate balancing act. Very few have pulled off. Historically, I want some of criticize do Wop for having a matronly or lecturing tone, it's pretty I miss Hill is aware of and seems to be, okay with you know yes, there's a little anger as little resentment, because you raise a standard. You know you, especially when it and you make some noise. You know you do it in the people actually listen to what have to say it like your record, is Buffalo on the radio and you're saying something that holds a mirror up to a lot of the negativity and self indulgent things in messages that a lot of other people you know, but but we all young, I mean I, I have a hard time being hard on the music world, especially hip, hop because most come out of the hood seventeen years old, having no a concept having no card
what life really is because hip hop is fast and and what we like changes so quickly by the time they do get a concept in no longer making records. You know so I I've been put this unique position at this very unique responsibility that God has made me aware. While I still have the mic and her piece respect is just a minimum scholar. Maisie Holbert says of do op quote the lyrics of doo wop describe a variety of issues faced by women in hip, hop communities, placing accountability with both men and women, the first verse, hence the sexual promiscuity of young women, who are left destitute when men do not support them, while so converse, holds the unrelenting dominance of hip hop masculinity accountable for the most women face here. Hill exhibits do opposition. I turn articulate how hip hop discourse is both liberating an oppressive for black women.
A dialogue between genders concerning their accountability for their challenges. Hill is at once able to critique the sexist infrastructures of hip, hop and stress group solidarity with the wider oppression of black hip hop communities at the song do of dust form to community where collective responsibility for the hypersexual station a commodification of women when inside a change in action and consciousness. Unquote in terms the miseducation of Lauryn Hill's narrative do office the first of trio songs in which Miss Hill calls out what she views as inauthentic, specifically within intermediate immediate black hip, hop centric community on the album's next track. She takes aim not at the consumers of hip hop, but the creators of
I'm home baby live everything you drop so tired, sold on fame in the music industry at large is called superstar star. The song will really discuss next time. On days. Select Dissect is written and produced by me project support. I Spotify's Michelle Santucci Ridge, the music by bureaucratic song creations by Andrew Atwood, additional research by Akash Pandey. Remember
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