If you know me well then you know I love to dance. Recently I heard the end of the year playback of 2015’s most popular songs. One song stood out as I remembered the first few times I heard it: Pitbull and Ne-Yo’s “Time of Our Lives.”
After pairing up for the phenomenally successful club anthem “Tonight” a few years ago, two of my favorite artists decided to try it again. Even though it has some mileage on it, “Tonight” is still one of my favorite “make-you-wanna-shake-something” songs. (How could you not like a song in which you are firmly instructed to “grab somebody sexy, tell ‘em ‘hey!’/Give me everything tonight?”) I couldn’t wait for these two sexy guys work their magic again.
Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t turn to dance music for the philosophical messages. When I first heard the song I was in full “just-short-of-twerking” mode before even I bothered to listen to the lyrics. Then I started to pay attention. This is what I got:
I knew my rent was gon’ be late about a week ago/
I worked my a** off, but I still can’t pay it though/
But I got just enough to get up in this club/
Have me a good time, before my time is up
I paused with one wiggling hip in mid-shake. “Hey, wait a minute,” I said to myself. “I can’t dance to this. I’m a landlady!”
I carefully lowered my hip and realigned my body into the upright posture of a serious businessperson. I folded my arms and I asked myself, “Would I rent an apartment to Pitbull and Ne-Yo???”
As a highly responsible, highly mature adult who is in the industry of owning and managing affordable housing for profit and the betterment of my community I have a duty to protect the living standards in my buildings. I should discourage excessive noise, visitors, and loud parties. So, again, the question: Would I sign a lease with these two guys for whom fun and good times are the only order of the day?
Huh? What? I don’t understand the question. Are you kidding me? Heck yeah!
I mean, yes, landlording is a business, but this is Pitbull and Ne-Yo, people! The first time Pitbull picked up the phone to call me with that deliciously gravelly voice to tell me he wouldn’t be able to meet his rent obligation I would say, “Pitbull! You mean to tell me you took time away from pouring it up, drinking it up, and throwing it up just to call me about something as small the rent?!! Picture THAT with a Kodak! Baby, you take your time! I know you’ll get it to me when you have it. Don’t you even worry about that.” And I would be the first one at the party spiking the punch and dancing on the table. Yes, I try hard to be a landlady on business. But you only live once and I wouldn’t mind having the time of my life, too.
I got curious of other songs about landlords and paying rent (or not). I wonder why songs about landlords are over-represented in the category of the blues? It’s a ponderous curiosity. Well, anyway, here’s a list of the ten most popular songs about the perpetually delightful joys of the landlord-tenant relationship:
#10.) AC/DC – “Down Payment Blues”
Even filthy rich rock stars don’t want to pay their rent. Awesome!
Living on a shoestring/A 50 cent millionaire/open to charity/rock and roll to welfare….
Hiding from the rent man/They make me wanna cry/Sheriffs knockin’on my door/Ain’t it funny how the time flies
Evidence that landlords around the world deal with the same crapola, lol. Trinidad’s Lord Kitchener sang, “No use you complain/You wastin’ your time/you talking in vain/Because when she get her fees/she don’t care if you vexed or you pleased.”
#8.) Broad Noodles – “Ninjas Don’t Get Evicted”
Well, they don’t. Who would try?
#7.) Big Tymers – “Still Fly” (be advised: contains strong language)
“Can’t pay my rent/cause all my money’s spent/but thats ok/cause im still fly.”
If we’re really honest with ourselves, folks, we’ll admit that’s all that really matters. I got everything in my mama’s name, too.
#6.) Pet Shop Boys – “Rent”
Stop acting like you didn’t listen to the Pet Shop Boys back in the day. Somebody was listening to them. We didn’t know any better then. In the spirit of creepy deadbeat boyfriends, it’s obvious that the way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach but through giving him a FREE PLACE TO LIVE. I love how Neil Tennant is singing to his partner “I love you-uu/You pay my rent” while the background singers subliminally chant “It’s easy. It’s so easy.” Well if THAT’S all it takes I’ll try it myself. I’ll start singing to tenants “I love you/Please pay your rent” with my accountant and property manager doing background vocals “It’s easy. It’s so easy.”
#5.) John Lee Hooker – “The House Rent Boogie”
(I told the landlady I did lost my job/And I didn’t have the rent/She said I know that I got no rent /‘cause all I want is my money/ You bring me for three weeks/You ain’t paid a dime/You give me one more week to get the money together)
#4.) Gladys Knight & the Pips – “Landlord”
I love Gladys but this one is a little too flowery for my taste. Get your head out of the clouds. This landlording thing is serious business. No place for romantic metaphors.
#3.) George Thorogood – “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”
This is Thorogood’s 1977 cover of Amos Milburn’s 1953 recording. The landlady caught him leaning up against a post. Funny. (View lyrics)
I come home one particular evening/The landlady said, “You got the rent money yet?”/I said, “No, can’t find no job,/Therefore I ain’t got no money to pay the rent”/She said “I don’t believe you’re tryin’ to find no job”/Said “I seen you today you was standin’ on a corner,/Leaning up against a post”I said “But I’m tired….”
#2.) Gwen Guthrie – “Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But the Rent”
You tell ’em, Gwen! “You got to have a J-O-B/If you wanna be with me/No romance/Without finance.”
AND OF COURSE, THE #1 SONG FOR LANDLORDS (AND, AGAIN, DEADBEAT BOYFRIENDS) EVERYWHERE IS…..
#1.) Lyres – “She Pays the Rent”
And here’s a bonus for you: Dead Kennedys – “Let’s Lynch The Landlord” Enough said.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SONG ABOUT PAYING THE RENT?
Trust me: you want to watch this video. “You can call me GREEN BEAN???” Hilarious.
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