The Big Hurt: Heeding the commands of the Billboard Hot 100

Who Charted: The Pop Gauntlet
By DAVID THORPE  |  September 4, 2012

big-hurt-gauntlet

From twisting and shouting to taking Eddie Money home tonight to fucking the police, pop music has always loved to boss us around. This week, I'll scour the current Billboard Hot 100 for a bunch of command-based tracks and give each one the ol' college try, within reason (be warned that my "reason" threshold is calibrated at levels of almost comatose laziness, but as Homer once said, I'll try to try).

02_ FLO RIDA, "WHISTLE" | If we're going by the title alone, looks like we've started with a softball. But I'll to keep myself honest: the lyrics say, "Can you blow my whistle, baby," and the answer is no. I have no access to Flo Rida's whistle, and all inquiries as to its whereabouts (made via YouTube comment) went unanswered. I'm not going to go on some big Legend of Zelda quest to find the Whistle of Flo Rida, so it shall remain unblown. [FAIL]

05_ CARLY RAE JEPSEN, "CALL ME MAYBE" I thought I was sunk: even though she says "here's my number," close listening reveals that Carly Rae never actually gives the listener her number. (Presumably, it would result in too many phone calls.) I'll have to win this one on semantics: I hereby commit to maybe calling her; barring incredible circumstances, I will not. [PASS]

12_ PINK, "BLOW ME (ONE LAST KISS)" | Done; I have just blown Pink (the last kiss I will ever blow her). I guess this one is technically up in the air until I die, 'cause maybe in my twilight dotage I'll mistake her for the Queen at a parade and accidentally blow her another kiss, but this possibility seems remote enough to put the matter to bed. [PASS]

18_ DEMI LOVATO, "GIVE YOUR HEART A BREAK"| Um, if I consistently ignore my cardiologist on this one, I'm sure as hell not going to listen to some teenager. [FAIL]

32_ WIZ KHALIFA, "WORK HARD, PLAY HARD" | It should already be apparent by the half-assed conceit of this piece that the first one is out of the fucking question. I could try for the second, but unless Wiz's definition of playing hard involves renting The Last Boy Scout and getting mad drowsy on tacos, it's a [DOUBLE FAIL].

36_ KENNY CHESNEY, "COME OVER" | No way. Kenny tries to act country, but you KNOW he's one of these guys who makes you take your shoes off in his house. [FAIL]

37_ JASON ALDEAN, "TAKE A LITTLE RIDE" | I don't have a Chevy, but the market down the street has one of those little wobbly kid airplanes that run on quarters. I'm going to take a rain check, because taking little rides on those things after midnight probably puts you on some kind of state boogeyman registry. [DELAY]

41_ CHRIS BROWN, "DON'T WAKE ME UP" | Not even if the building was on fire, pal. [PASS]

51_ USHER, "LEMME SEE" | You guys better not check my Twitter for a few days, because I'm going to be tweeting a lot of shirtless pics at Usher. [PASS]

58_ NO DOUBT, "SETTLE DOWN" I couldn't possibly be more settled down. You're straight-up crazy if you think I have pants on right now. Does that mean I pass or fail? [GOD ONLY KNOWS]

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