By Josh Schonfeld
Ok, I get it, you’re sick of pop radio at the moment. All you hear are the same old songs over and over again. If you hear “Uptown Funk” one more time, you’re going to uptown funk someone up, and you’re going to give Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth something to cry about if “See You Again” comes on. You may be done with American pop, but what about the hit songs that never quite cross the pond? There are entire markets of new music just waiting for you that are never heard in the US. Luckily, I’m here to educate you on the songs that might need a little push to finish their journey to your stereo.
Traveling down under to Australia, we find an unusual song perched at #1. A remake of the 1963 classic by Lesley Gore, “You Don’t Own Me” is the debut single for Australian singer, Grace, featuring the up and coming American rapper, G-Eazy. The track begins with a sinister waltz as Grace croons, “You don’t own me.” The track then skips as it flips to G-Eazy rapping about how his girl is an independent woman he’d love to flaunt and could “never ever be a broke ho,” which apparently is a compliment.
As G-Eazy melts into the background, Grace returns to assert her authority in the relationship in the most haunting way possible. With the bass thumping, she warns him that she’s not just “one of [his] many toys.” The drums then reach a crescendo as she dives into the chorus. Her triumphant exhale of independence is short-lived, however, as she is cut off, left to reverberate in your head until G-Eazy spits out another verse.
Mixed with random sound bites and repeated syllables, G-Eazy’s rap serves as a modern contrast to Grace’s timeless portrayal of a suffocated female struggling to breathe in a relationship. The track reaches its climax as she belts out the greatest line of defiance: “I’m young and I love to be young. I’m free and I love to be free to live my life the way I want, to say and do whatever I please.”
“You Don’t Own Me” is a perfect combination of classic pop and modern rap to create a universal song that any generation can enjoy (although it’s disconcerting that the song’s theme of female oppression is still applicable in this day and age). Let’s hope this remake crosses over to American radio quick and save us from the otherwise tepid summer we’re in for with “Pretty Girls” and “This Summer’s Gonna Hurt” clogging the airwaves.