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Music Review: Cee-Lo Green – “Fuck You!”

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The first I ever heard of Cee-Lo Green was when I was on Facebook. My line of thinking was that Cee-Lo Green was a stupid name — still do, it reminds me of Soylent Green — but I might as well check out his video.

Two days later and I cannot get it out of my head! The song deals with the eternal theme of saying “Fuck You!” to an ex’s new lover. Mr Green, however, has devoted an entire song to this. It’s probably the combination of a theme that appeals to most people and the fact that it is damn addictive which contributed to it gaining three million views on YouTube within a week. Hitting your head in an attempt to remove it doesn’t work. Believe me, I’ve tried.

This is one time I can appreciate viral marketing because it has clearly worked, as even I like this song and it is not my sort of thing at all — I prefer 70s and 80s music, despite not being alive during either of those decades.

The song is quite funny, both intentionally and unintentionally. The intentionally funny bits are some of the lyrics, as the way he says them makes them hilarious (see “cause lovin’ yo’ ass ain’t cheap!” and “ooh, she’s a gold digga/just thought you should know nigga,” for more). In my opinion, the unintentionally funny bits are the way he pronounces the words pain and change. I realise he needs to make the words fit the rhythm but they still make me crack up.

Incidentally, the edited version of this song is called “Forget You”, which one would imagine doesn’t have the same impact at all. No wonder I haven’t been able to find that version on the ol’ YouTube machine.

If you listen to his voice combined with the backing track, you get the feeling that he would’ve been successful in Motown in the 60s and 70s, along with the Jackson 5 and The Supremes. Although he would have to call it “Forget You” in that time period as well.

Definitely one to try, even if you don’t like it. You have to listen to it at least once. Be warned though: once it’s in your head, it might not ever leave.

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About Scott Varnham

  • Cavatica

    Really? This was the first you’ve heard of Cee-Lo Green? Have you not heard of a little band called Gnarls Barkley?

  • Scotty2

    Not in the slightest. My friends were surprised too.

  • Albatross

    I’m more of a 60’s and 70’s music fan myself, but this is a song that is going into my all time favorites. It’s not just that it’s catchy and a great relationship narrative, but it’s how he combines the influences. Your talking about a soulful melody that could have been pulled right out of 1970’s Detroit, (Motown) and lyrics that push the envelope even today. That’s a 4 decade gap that he bridged in a masterful way. I just hope the music industry will run with it.

  • l0wdawg78

    cee lo goes way back. ever heard of goodie mob. well lets jus say cee lo dont dance no mo with goodie mob

  • A.J.

    Way late to this thread, but Sondheim put “Fuck You” into a 1950s (60s?) Broadway tune. Yeah, he had to change it to “Krup you!” (a play on the name of the character to whom it was addressed), but everyone knew what he meant.