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YOLO CULTURE RESEARCH REPORT June 18, 2013

Snap Music: Precedent Lean Movements in American Social and Commercial Culture

ABSTRACT: The article focuses on early (pre-2010) lean movements, the nature of leaning, and examples of early lean references in American social and commercial culture, with special attention given to snap music.

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INTRODUCTION Leaning is a position generally characterized by a tilt of the human body in a forward "inward" or backward "outward" fall line. Leaning may precede falling in both the forward and backward line of motion. Note similarities between forward leaning and "pushing," owing to the nature of human muscular anatomy and the inferential cue between "leaning into" and "pushing against" (e.g. Sisyphus). "Pushing back," "pushing forward," and "pushing against" are all basically the same. Although leaning upward may be considered "jumping," Sisyphus manages to lean upward because he is leaning uphill. Inviting someone to "lean up" makes no sense, where the command to "jump up" makes perfect sense.

Not all tilting of the body is leaning, sideways tilting may be more commonly heard as "swaying." Let us also agree that not all leaning is intentional, that leaning or swaying accompanied by forward walking motion may be "staggering," and that leaning, swaying, and staggering
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may or may not be intended or controllable by the leaner, swayer, or staggerer (e.g. Zombies).

"Leaning on" is generally imagined as a partnered activity, and its meaning has been extended to include the activity of seeking rest and its necessary inverse, the acceptance of support. See also "Lean on Me" (song, 1972) and "Lean on me" (movie, 1989).

YOU'RE LATE TO THE PARTY The most culturally notable (and commercially successful) example of an early lean reference lies in the heart of the 2004 Terror Squad single "Lean Back"
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Excerpted: I said, my ***** don't dance We just pull up our pants and do the rockaway Now, lean back, lean back, lean back, lean back The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance, won Single of the Year, Group at The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 2004, and won Best Female Rap Collaboration at The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 2004. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks from August 21, and topped the R&B chart for more than a month. Jason Birchmeier (Allmusic) called the song "a perfect club-ready duet...that boasts a trademark Scott Storch beat and a memorable singalong hook and dance-along step." The dance-along step was presented in the song's music video. It's mostly just leaning back and snapping.

Two years later, we see clear intertextual reference, and even further development of the Terror Squad hook into a whole song concept in the Dem Franchize Boyz' single "Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It." The song opens: Lean wit it, rock wit it.
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x2 x3 x4 x5 x6 x7 x8 The phrase is repeated eight times (8x). Before I leave the house, I'm slizzard on the Goose. The line cues the listener to understand that this is a party song because of the rapper's a priori state of inebriation. Before he picks up the mic, before he gets to the club, before he even leaves the house—the rapper is slizzard on the Goose. WHAT IS SLIZZARING? We see a possible reference to Grey Goose Vodka - we can thence posit from context that "slizzard" is a knock-on effect of Goose consumption. Why didn't the rapper say "Before I leave the house, I'm Goosed?" We believe that the rapper was looking for syllable parity in the line, with six syllables before the comma (pause), and six syllables after the comma. This also avoids possible misinterpretations from the verb from of goose. It's usually better to get slizzard than it is to get goosed. To confirm this, we can examine an intertextual reference to "slizzard" in the Far East Movement's 2006 single "Like a G6:" Popping bottles in the ice, like a blizzard When we drink we do it right getting slizzard Sippin sizzurp in my ride (in my ride), like Three 6 Now I'm feeling so fly like a G6

"Like a G6" was number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks ending November 6, 2010, and then again for the week of November 27 of the same year. It is also the first #1 Billboard Hot 100 song ever achieved by Asian Americans. WHAT IS SNAP MUSIC? Returning to the relationship between leaning, in this case "back" or "out" and party music, let's look more closely at snap music.
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Essentially, snap music is a dance-centric sub genre of hip hop music. The snap dance is easy. You lean and snap with the beat. WHAT DOES THE NEW YORK TIMES SAY? On January 12, 2006, The New York Times reviewed the 2005 snap music single "Laffy Taffy," from Atlanta-based hip-hop group D4L. The single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 2006. While analyzing the song's structure, the author noted that "On the hip-hop prestige scale, goofy dance songs like "Laffy Taffy' don't rate very high." The review also discussed the broader sub genre of snap music, and predicted that major record label support of the snap music sub genre would not emerge, as the labels (in the opinion of the author) desired something "more serious" than snap. It was, however, noted that snap music fits will within the digital download system, as "cheap" snap songs sell well at the low $0.99 pricing for digital tracks.

CRITICISM During "The Champ" from 2006's Fishscale, Ghostface Killah asks: Y'all stuck on Laffy Taffy Wonderin' how'd y'all ****** get past me? Ghostface had mocked the "snap dance" during his 2005 tour: "Ghostface ridiculed the "snap" group D4L throughout his 2005 tour, mocking the "snap dance" while his DJ played their hit song "Laffy Taffy."
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Ghostface, however, neglected to do this routine when he performed in their hometown of Atlanta. D4L refused to respond in interviews." CONCLUSION You're damn right D4L didn't respond. They were getting clowned on. And when you clown on a clown, you don't expect a clownback. There is no possibility of clowning on clowning on you acting like a clown and getting clowned on, and then turning around with a clown back? At some point, it just dissolves into nonsense. And that's okay. We think there is room for snap music in the genre, and it's welcome relief to the lyrical density of lyrically dense acts like Ghostface. I'll tell you what else we welcome, and that's really easy dance moves. 1. Pull up your pants 2. Lean back 3. Snap with it

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