Is "Die Young" Really the Most Controversial Hit Song Right Now?
Round 3: 2 Chainz, "Birthday Song"
Choice Quote: "When I die, bury me inside the booty club."
For something so large, final, and often devastating, songwriters are pretty flippant when it comes to referencing death in their songs. You can reference dying young because chances are you won't, and you can talk about ludicrous burial suggestions because they make you sound awesome. In a song about bad-bitch contests and the burden of getting a sweater as a gift you're not likely to give any reference to death a serious thought.
Verdict: Although he also mentions an extended clip at one point, few people who don't already hate hip-hop are going to complain about this.
Round 4: The Band Perry, "Better Dig Two"
Choice Quote: "If you go before I do/ I'm gonna tell the gravedigger that he better dig two."
Now this one is pretty interesting to discuss. On one hand the sentiment it's going for, while corny and juvenile, is a nice one; it's taking "I'd die without you" to its logical conclusion. It's cute.
On the other hand, it spends the bulk of its running time straight-up talking about death. Sure it's not young death but at least it's talking about it as a concept instead of it being a motivation to party hard. Seems like talking about graves, even those with the best intentions, would be a sure no-go right now.
Verdict: It's a good thing this is the group's current single instead of "If I Die Young," but they should back off the death songs for a bit.
Conclusion: "Die Young" was the easy target, the Rage Against the Machine to Newtown's 9/11. That said, the controversy really hasn't hurt the song that much; we are talking about a song that's still a Top 10 single after all.
As long as there is pop music, there will be songs about youth and death, and sometimes both at the same time. Sometimes these songs will be less fashionable because of the events of the world.
So maybe Ke$ha got a raw deal and maybe she didn't. She's going to keep having a career. It could be worse: Great Bloomers have a great song called "I Wanna Die Young," whose chances of making a dent in radio were slim to begin with and are now basically nil.
These are the risks you run when you go with a provocative hook.