Last we visited Skylar Grey’s single “C’Mon Let Me Ride” featuring Eminem, a few things were established: the song is catchy, Slim Shady is a nerd, it’s a satire on overtly sexualized pop music and Skylar Grey can play the part exceedingly well.
With the release of the music video to “C’Mon Let Me Ride,” the songwriter takes the cynical message even further, with the pair dropping by a trailer park and wreaking hell on its inhabitants, women and men. Grey — rocking cutoffs and a flannel so hard — inexplicably pines away for a cowboy who can’t be bothered to notice her as he’s too busy ogling beauty pageant contestants in a magazine. Those airbrushed airheads come alive and Grey then takes them for a ride (get it?), luring them into clap-jawed evil tanning beds and giving them bunk plastic surgery. The fools are then further goggled by hillbillies from their lawn chairs.
That leaves Grey alone with her cowboy, and they seductively wash her bicycle like it’s a car, water everywhere, hands gripping the stems. It’s about this time that you notice, even more than before, the lyrics “I’m a sellout for you…”
And that’s when the interstitial images of Grey start to make more sense: In these, she’s seen laying on a puffy fur rug, with cotton candy hair and lickable sweet treats imagery oozing implied sex all over her half-clothed bod. It looks like Katy Perry. Bless her, Skylar Grey is making fun of Katy Perry, and female pop stars who “sell-out” their bodies for some one-dimensional play on male adolescent horndoggery. Like the ladies soap-sudding each other up in a baby pool, displaying themselves on a makeshift parade float, such tactless pageantry is a play to the (literal) cheap seats.
Grey is also parodying one-upmanship, the false notion that young girls are in constant competition with each other for the affections of men, deserving parties or not. “I can get a tan / like other bitches cant’,” she sings after she executes a bumbling cartwheel in front of a motor home. The contestants, after undergoing cartoon surgery, still dish themselves out to be rated by a bunch of bumblefolk. It’s pornishly tween: “I want to ride on your bike / ’cause you’re the boy that I like,” as the cowboy is looking at a pinup pixie in a girly mag.
None of this would work if the song wasn’t spot-on: not only is it funny, but it’s melodically memorable. It’s produced like gangbusters, a so-bad-it’s-good re-introduction to the singer. And Skylar Grey looks mega-fine. “C’Mon Let Me Ride” a effective and frightening case of making cake and eating it too. Good thing Em knows his way around a trailer park. Rappers have been part of the sexpectations problem, which is why its sweet justice (and fun for him) to have Eminem deliver such a dumb verse and a man-childish “sample” of Queen’s “Bicycle Ride.”
“Take a close look at the scene where I”m wearing a very girly sexy polka-dot outfit because it”s not likely to happen again,” Grey said in a statement. Girls are such teases.
“C’Mon Let Me Ride” is the first single off of Skylar Grey’s “Don’t Look Down,” exec-produced by Eminem with Alex da Kid behind the decks. It will be out in Spring 2013.