The Arctic Monkeys are straightforward fellows. Whatever people say they are, that’s what they’re not, as their album title indicates. Although, since that’s the case, they aren’t straightforward because I just said they were … meaning they’re not. But if I just said that, then that means the first statement must be true? Well, regardless of the infinite regression triggered by the band’s debut record, a more interesting piece of Monkey philosophy is the topic of discussion.
On standout track “A Certain Romance,” the band sings: “There’s only music so that there’s new ringtones.” A great message against capitalistic promotion coming from one of the most overhyped bands ever, this line does hold a lot of truth.
“This Is Why I’m Hot” by Mims is not only the newest addition to a long list chronicling the follies of humanity, but is also the first song I heard in ringtone form prior to hearing the song version. During a commercial break on MTV, I was aggressively told to text a four digit number to receive the hit ringtone on my cell phone.
“Is this really a song?” I asked listening to the repeating mantra. As the days went by, I received startlingly affirmative response as I began to hear this ringtone’s full-length version everywhere. Let’s take a look at the hook:
This is why I’m hot
This is why I’m hot
This is why, this is why I’m hot. Woo! (repeat)
Taking the crown for worst chorus ever (previously held by any song Fergie appears on), the song seems to be making an argument of sorts. Enigmatic at first glance, but the master lyricist then goes on to explain himself:
I’m hot cause I’m fly
You ain’t cause you’re not
Like any argument, Mims seems to be formulating this statement with the fundamentals of logic and reason. A logical argument must have two things: premises and a conclusion drawn from the premises. So when taking what will be called the “Mims Theorem,” we have:
Premises: Mims is fly. All fly things are hot.
Conclusion: Mims is fly, therefore he is also hot.
By definition, the argument in its simplest form is certainly a sound one. The second premise however, the claim that all fly things are fundamentally hot, is not necessarily true. It is this ineffective argument that makes the song problematic.
It can be proven that Mims is by definition “fly.” From contextual evidence such as the line “They like the way I dress/They like my attire,” it can be assumed that he is sufficiently fashionably cool, the common definition of “fly.”
Within the context of the song, and in general, there is no backing evidence that flyness dictates hotness. Style and coolness certainly appear alongside general attractiveness, but the two characteristics are not necessarily directly correlated.
When looking at the argument outside the context of the song, what’s more problematic is Mims’ reliance on a priori beliefs. Removing the bias backup evidence that people like his style of dress, there is no strong support for the assertion of being fly, and therefore the hot quality Mims boasts of can only exist if it is assumed to be inherently true. The Mims Theorem, despite the validity of the argument, cannot be proven true.
Most troubling of all, however, is Mims’ lack of concern in regards to his integrity. “I don’t gotta rap, I can sell a mill saying nothing on the track,” he says arrogantly. This pompous attitude reflects poorly not only on pop music, but sets a dangerous trend of disregarding the entire academic process. More than just a horrible song, “This Is Why I’m Hot” represents a danger that threatens to tear apart the logic-stitched seams of society … and that’s not hot at all.