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Naked Music Monday: Caty’s Top 5 Sex Worker Songs of 2015

Rihanna playing X-Box. (Photo by Gamer Score Blog, via Flickr)
Rihanna playing X-Box. (Photo by Gamer Score Blog, via Flickr)

2015 was a year in which hip hop and R+B continued to produce excellent soundtracks for the hustle. Here’s my shortlist of the cream of that crop, in no particular order:

Trap Queen-Fetty Wap

Fetty Wap’s infectious “Trap Queen” was technically first released in 2014 online and independently, but only really blew up this year with its major label release, ultimately peaking at number two on Billboard‘s Top Ten. The ditty happens to fall into my favorite hip hop subgenre: two members of the lumpenproletariat in lurv. Fetty Wap enthusiastically enlists his stripper beloved in his drug operation and immediately treats her as an equal and partner-in-crime after he teaches her the zen of cooking rocks. The video features a totally desexualized, smiling Black woman in jeans and a hoodie (what an accurate take on the dress code for a dancer’s day off!) diligently counting their shared money while Fetty Wap clowns around with his buddies, occasionally checking in to give his trap queen an affectionate kiss. (Accurate again: it’s the woman who takes care of business, and not much drug dealing actually gets done if you leave it to the boys.) Fetty and his bae illustrate how two heads are better than one in the hustle as they make financial plans together: “We just set a goal/talkin’ matching Lambos…” Maybe I’ve got a soft spot for the drug dealer-sex worker power couple as depicted in pop culture because of my own history, but you’ve got to admit the track is also just unstoppably cheerful—the antithesis of grim gangster rap, perfect for any psyche-yourself-up-and get-ready-for-work playlist.

Bitch Better Have My Money-Rihanna

Rihanna’s revenge ballad might be aimed at her cheating accountant, but its no-holds-barred titular sentiment is one any sex worker can identify with. “Don’t act like you forgot/ I call the shots” is a bottom line we all have to make sure our clients remember when they try to haggle with and lowball us. And their excuse filled whining in reply just sounds like “blah blah brrrap braaap” to us. All controversy over the graphic video aside, this is another excellent choice for any pre-work playlist. “Pay me what you owe me!”—doesn’t it all come down to that? Plus, brava to Rihanna for making it clear that men are the biggest bitches there are.

The Greatest Strip Club Song Of All Time: Hip Hop/R&B and Dance/Pop Regions

stripperball
It’s too bad that the Rick’s Stripper Basketball League never actually happened.

Our contribution to March Madness is this quest to determine The Greatest Strip Club Song Of All Time. The four regions are Rock, Dance and Pop, Hip Hop and R&B, and Classics. The songs, just like the teams in the NCAA tournament, are seeded 1-16. Here is the full bracket.

You will decide the winner. Voting is open to all, starting with the opening rounds today. If you somehow aren’t familiar with any of these songs, here is a Spotify playlist that has nearly all of them (save the Harry Pussy placeholder since Prince’s “Pussy Control” isn’t available).

Today we’ll start with the Hip Hop/R&B region. You’ll notice it’s probably the toughest region to get out of, loaded as it is with sex jams and make it rain anthems. The 1 seed is Ginuwine’s “Pony,” of course, but it was a tough call as Fat Joe and Lil Wayne essentially defined current strip club imagery with “Make It Rain.”

ginuwine
I’m just a bachelor who made one of the best R&B stripper jams of all time.

Stripper Music Monday: Bubbles’ Top Five Fuck You Songs

suck my left one embroidered patch by nastynasty on etsy
suck my left one embroidered patch by nastynasty on etsy

Celebrate, strippers, for January is over. Traditionally the worst month of the year in the club (with the semi-exception of Vegas during CES and AVN), we wave goodbye to it with one lone finger raised high and look forward to the uptick in business that comes with February.

When the club is dead, or worse, packed full of guys who aren’t spending money, it’s good to blow off steam instead of getting frustrated and frantic. You want to hold on to a semblance of a good attitude in case that one awesome customer who can save your night walks in the door. Or maybe you just want to tell everyone to fuck off and quit looking at you for free. Either way, it’s great to have a list of FUCK YOU SONGS, the ones you dance to when you’re all out of fuck-giving and are more interested in amusing yourself than entertaining the crowd. Jesus, some of those dudes act like it’s our JOB to entertain them.

Here, then, are my five all-time favorite Fuck You Songs, selected for maximum audience alienation and personal enjoyment. They’re all good genuine fun to dance to and the crowd (and possibly your DJ, fellow dancers, and managers) probably won’t like them.*

Wire, “I Am The Fly”

The metallic, buzzing guitars on “I Am The Fly” are guaranteed to set most customers on edge. Maybe they’ll even be unfortunate enough to pay attention to the lyrics (“I can spread more disease than the fleas/Which nibble away at your window display”). The just-off timing of the vocals keeps it from settling into a steady rhythm, but to me, the whole of all these little discomforts is a near-perfect groove.

Stripper Music Monday: The Glitch Mob

After platform heels and baby wipes, the most essential item in my work bag is my iPod. You just can’t depend on strip club DJs to have what you want to hear. Some of them are voracious consumers and producers of music with a catholic knowledge, and some of them don’t know “Bad Romance” from “Bad Reputation.” Right now I work with more of the latter than the former, so I always bring my own music.

It’s like a fun game to find new tracks, and while I’m not a very solid hit predictor (why is everyone dancing to the Black Eyed Peas when that awesome Big Boi record came out last year?), some clubs have reputations as just that—little focus groups of dancers and customers. In December, All Things Considered ran a short segment on the Atlanta practice of using strip clubs as a testing ground for tracks. Billboard found the subject worthy of a cover story back in 2006, and anecdotally, I can remember hearing musicians in Memphis and Detroit talking about this practice in the late 90s. It makes a lot of sense for the strip club to be a track’s first stop because it’s a place where you can directly observe the crowd, the ladies, and the sound on club speakers.

Stripper Music Monday: Lydia

Zappa says that talking about music is like dancing about architecture. What few people realize is that normally I AM dancing about architecture, so I’m going to give the talking about music thing a shot.

Hi. My name is Lydia, and I’m from the Midwest. I’ve been honing my music folder in the same club for eight years and a few weeks. By the end of my first night my manager had nixed all instrumental music from my auditory arsenal forever (goodbye Amon Tobin). By the end of the first week I’d learned the hard way that Iggy’s “I Wanna Be Your Dog” was out too. In fact, anything produced and recorded in a manner that didn’t take up enough sound space was out (I still love you, Violent Femmes). Bass. Drums. In my manager’s words: stuff guys recognize, stuff they can sing along to. I spent some time fighting that, a lot of time dancing to “#1 Crush,” and a lot of time being completely fucking confused about how to bring my idea of music for a perfect strip club and the perfect music for my strip club together in a happy marriage of loving-the-one-you’re-with.