Bruno Mars’ “Gorilla” has a video. This Hooligan had feared its fiery lack of innuendo would consign it to the “LP cut” pile, never to be released for human consumption due to its piquancy. “Gorilla”, from Bruno’s album “Unorthodox Jukebox” is a bellicose anthem dedicated to raw, unbridled, soul-altering sex. How could it ever go mainstream?
Beng Beng Beng.
I am now old enough to have enjoyed various decades of what I consider soul music. I had not heard Femi Kuti‘s “Beng Beng Beng” in quite a few years, and when I first heard it, I had not the experience to grasp its full essence (late bloomer, LOL) even as the lyrics and tumbling percussion painted vividly across my mind’s canvas. It’s tame compared to a lot of what’s out there today, but in 1999 it was banned in Nigeria.
It’s today, and I have heard and re-heard Bruno Mars’ “Gorilla” at an age where I finally know what it’s all about. Stunningly primal and more explicit to my ears, but delivered in the same ingenious way: the vibe is conveyed via rhythm and voice (and Mars is a veritable acrobat). As with Femi’s tune, I realize that it’s “not for everyone,” but it sure speaks to ME.