Explaining the Shitty Economy Through LMFAO's 'Shots'
|Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly|
Its baffling world of jargon can come undone, though, with simple analogies that get to the heart of the matter. With that, the Great Recession and the inherent instability of the U.S. economy can be easily understood by simply listening with attentive ears to LMFAO's 2009 club banging hit "Shots" featuring Lil' John!
First of all, people might be wondering why, in the aftermath the roughest months of job losses, a song like "Shots" could even be popular and chart on the Billboard hot 100. A New York University Professor, Phil Maymin, found, through research of hit songs and hard times, an inverse correlation between low "beat variance" music and market instability. The Lil' John produced track certainly fits that criteria and can even be said to have a low "hook variance" with the word "Shots" repeated thirty-two times with an "everybody!" thrown in the middle and at the end!
Ok, so the beat and the hook of the song fit within the Professor's findings, but where do the lyrics on the verses fit in to the bigger picture?
An alcoholic anthem is perfect for understanding what the Great Recession was and where we are doomed to go next. Let's start first with economics and the late Hyman Minksy. Chief among his theoretical contributions to his field of study was the financial instability hypothesis that held the U.S. economy to be inherently unstable. In fact, the great financial crisis was mentioned by many economists as a "Minsky moment."
Now, let's face the music. I don't know how many active alcoholics you know, but even the most functional ones hitting the clubs in the spirit of "Shots" mimic the behavior of market economy in Minsky's outlook. We all know now that the real estate bubble a couple years ago burst sending big shock waves and foreclosing homes. This was merely the symptom, however, of larger financialization trends that have supplanted production's role in the economy over that past couple of decades.
Looking to Minsky and LMFAO, the economy simply just drank too many shots-- "Jaegerbombs Lemondrops, Buttery Nipples"--and they turned into speculative bubbles! No one at the time, especially Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, ever really thought of cutting anyone off at the open bar. The song's Lil' John intro, "If you not drunk ladies & gentlemen / Get ready to get fucked up / Let's do it," marked spirit of the frenzy. Well, everyone got fucked up alright! The economy seriously dehydrated and needed something more than menudo to get it through its big hangover-- the Great Recession.