My Fabulous, Unemployed Life: The Soundtrack
(by Lizabeth Rogers, guest writer)
Not so long ago, this dolly was workin’ 9 to 6. Makin’ important phone calls and strivin’ to meet team goals. I followed a fancy block schedule and attended bourgie
company meetings. I took my job seriously—and thus, my coffee intravenously, and my Prozac before bedtime.
I was fighting surmounting stress, frustration, and my own post-baccalaureate reluctance to having a job that required a headset, when I had a revelation: I’m 23; shit’s not that real.
I drew a line in the sand, my friends. I made an executive decision, in the name of my young happiness, to dive [with the intensity with which I had often wished (at 9:05 on Mondays) to dive into a tequila shot] into the perilous waters of unemployment.
Dolly says, “Stick it to the man.”
I have yet to apologize. Between coupon-clipping and vacuuming naked, I’ve compiled my top songs for the gainfully unemployed spirit. Like any mix tape, my countdown comes with good intentions and potentially crappy tracks. But, during this anti-labor renaissance, it’d be nothing short of uncivilized to keep the goods to myself. So, appreciate—My Fabulous, Unemployed Life: The Soundtrack (14 songs for the unemployed, but not un-enjoyed life).
14. 9 to 5 - Dolly P.
“Workin' 9 to 5 / What a way to make a livin' / . . . It's enough to drive you / Crazy if you let it ” Leave it to Dolly to set misery to the tune of a typewriter. It’s a catchy bit, and for members of the former working class, a kind of “showtunes therapy.” Coincidentally, the video appears to be a cross between a drag show and a bad trip. Shit like this is a fail-safe argument for leaving recreational drug use out of my daily, do-nothing regimen (unless you’re in to that kind of thing).
13. Da’ Dip - Freak Nasty
Unemployment. A bit of a proverbial dip, wouldn’t you say? If doing “da’ dip” doesn’t improve your outlook, consider the vast strides you’ve made in wardrobe selection since 1996. (Refer here to jog your memory.)You’re welcome.
12. Safety Dance - Men Without Hats
Joblessness has a way of bringing out the panic in people (this looks something like 0:41). My peace of mind lies in having at least one good friend who would make me a welcome squatter in her living room . . . and supply the Top Ramen. I realize not everyone has a Shalirrah; here’s a more widely applicable relaxation technique: Safety Dance. Volume on high. Repeat. “We can dance / We can dance / Everything is under control.”
11. Mo Money Mo Problems - Notorious B.I.G.
“It's like the more money we come across / The more problems we see.” Every cloud does indeed have a silver lining, as this is one predicament my broke ass won’t find itself in—not yet, anyway. (I don’t let that stop me from facing the realization that a zero gravity chamber will be among my first purchases when I hit it big.)
10. The Lazy Song - Bruno Mars
With no time card to punch, there’s time to enjoy a guilty pleasure, or ten. “Today I don't feel like doing anything / I just wanna lay in my bed / . . . 'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything, nothing at all.” Nothing, that is, but watch “The Lazy Song” music video and think about the monkey business I could get into with a mammal like Bruno Mars.
“I’m your secretary.”
9. Money for Nothing - Dire Straights
“Get your money for nothing and your chicks for free.” Oddly enough, that’s right in my budget . . . Hope I’m not too old for guitar lessons.
8. Get some - Lykke Li
“Don't pull your pants before I go down / Don't turn away, this is my time / . . . I'm your prostitute, you gon' get some.” Now might be a good time to explore alternative career paths*. . . Or, maybe, just time to appreciate a fascinating music video and one bossy, unusual beauty.
* A dolla makes me holla, honey boo-boo!
7. That’s Money Honey - Lady Gaga
“When you give me k-kisses / That's money, honey / When I'm your lover and your mistress / That's money, honey / . . . Baby, when you tear me to pieces / That’s money, honey.” . . . Something tells me I could be makin’ bank. With lyrics like these blastin’ outta my Value brand speakers, who needs a day job?
6. 21 Questions - 50 Cent
This love ballad stands apart from the other because Fitty lays it all out there. The warm-fuzzy questions: If I wrote you a love letter would you write back? Do you trust me enough, to tell me your dreams? And the important ones, too: If I ain't rap 'cause I flipped burgers at Burger King, would you be ashamed to tell your friends you feelin' me? If I got locked up and sentenced to a quarter century, could I count on you to be there to support me mentally? The economy goes to hell in a handbasket and, suddenly, nothing’s sexier than a realist. “Girl, It's easy to love me now / Would you love me if I was down and out? / Would you still have love for me?”
5. What I Got - Sublime
“Lovin', is what I got, I said remember that” . . . And that’s about all I got. This bish has neither paycheck nor 401k to speak of. Pass the hugs.
4. Get Sleazy - Ke$ha
When the going gets tough, the tough get thrifty. Those of us no longer receiving a paycheck will make sensible decisions, like embracing PBR and buying hair products from Dollar Tree.
Ke$ha said to hell with hair products and, using poverty as a springboard for her trashy image, built an empire—ultimately, making her the more resourceful of the bunch. “Get Sleazy” is an anthem for the disciples of Ke$ha—those who don’t require class or talent to be successful. “Me and all my friends we don't buy bottles, we bring ’em / We take the drinks from the tables when you get up and leave ’em / And I don't care if you stare and you call us scummy / Cause we ain't after your affection / And sure as hell not your money, honey.” You go, Glen CoCo.
3. Fight for Your Right - Beastie Boys
You’re unemployed, not dead. Bask in a little rebellion—it’s not like you won’t spend nearly every day for the rest of your life being a productive member of society. Raise a red cup to the Beastie Boys, you renegade. ’Cause “You gotta fight for your right to party.”
2. Gucci Gucci - Kreayshawn
Oh, hellz yes. Nothing makes me feel better about myself than this wildly successful, flaming train wreck. Through Kreayshawn we see that all things are possible and take comfort in knowing that “ . . . bad bitches / They don't need Gucci /They don't need Louis.” ((**Free V-Nasty**))
1. Juicy - Notorious B.I.G.
In the grand scheme of songs that champion the jobless underdog, Biggie’s “Juicy” effectively drops a deuce on R Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Though a sexy beat and smooth rhymes do make for an ultra-heavy track, it’s Big Poppa’s message–his real-life success story—that lands this song at number one. “This album is dedicated to all the teachers that told me I'd never amount to nothin' . . . When I was dead broke, man I couldn't picture this / . . . Birthdays was the worst days / Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay.” I might be drinking Franzia from a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug, but when I hear this song, I know I’m next in line for a larger-than-life lifestyle. . . right after some party and bullshit.