Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Girls Look So Good....


Oh, Chi Ali, we hardly knew thee....

Age Ain't Nothin' but a Number was a nice little hit for the Black Sheep sidekick back in 1992. I must, say, it is quite the catchy little song.

In it, Chi attempts to debunk the age old myth that maturity is linked to age. Instead, purports Mr. Ali, maturity is an attained by everyone at their own pace. Age, in fact, is nothing but a number.

Curiously, however, right out of the box, Ali seems to link maturity to age. He discourages girls from excessive hookups while they're still too young to handle sexually charged relationships and advises them that he will wait until they're a bit older and, yes more mature, to hook up with them. And lest they think that just being older and more mature will enable them to diss the young superstar, beware, as he will play them for sure.

In the second verse, Ali dismisses a girl out of hand as she is merely 13 years old - Ali would have 15 or 16 at the time, having been born in 1976. Ali is hitting on the girl and threatening to "snuff" her boyfriend the next time he's feeling tough but upon hearing that she is only 13, he is audi. Her body is that of a young woman, but he advises her to take three years and call him in the morning when she is mentally ready to handle a man such as himself.

Finally, in the last verse, Chi seems to circle back to his original point. He hits on a 17 year old down in the village who recognizes him due to his rap-based fame. While she seems to be attracted to him, she is aware of his age and deems him too young for her. Oh, for shame, nameless hot 17 year old, for you have just proved yourself to be small minded and, thus, not worthy of our hero, Chi. While her body may that of a woman, perhaps even one of the flyest women in the world, mentally, alas, she is just a little girl.

So, ultimately, I think Ali's point is this: while older women should not look down upon him due to his relative youth, he may do so to younger women - but he does justify this by framing his prejudices as based in an almost paternalistic, well-intentioned way. He, however, is more than capable of taking care of himself and does not want to hear otherwise.

A valiant effort, yet it is this blogger's view that Chi leaves the philosophical waters of the link between age and maturity as murky as when he waded into them. But not without catchy song.

This is The Notorious LJT on Nervous Thursday and here's Chi Ali with "Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number".




8 comments:

Evan said...

Sadly, I listened to that song at least 100 times and know every word.

I've discussed the contradiction in Ali's logic with my brother. As you pointed out, the main problem is with the aforementioned 2nd verse in which age does actually become a "factor" in determining the level of maturity for the girl who was 13. In this case, the age of the girl is more important than the characteristics of the girl, thus disproving his original contention that "Age Ain't Nothin'." It always really bothered me for a while, but, my brother pointed out that you shouldn’t really dissect the song and that appeased me at the time.

Also, I know of two girls in my grade in high school that reported during their freshman year that they had sexual relations with Chi Ali.

Side Bar said...

God rap was absolutely terrible. What the hell were we thinking?

Also, my dad has that yellow coat he wears in the video. It's from Land's End.

Walt Clyde Frazier said...

Is he related to Dres? He resembles Dres. Wikipedia didn't turn up an immediate answer.

Walt Clyde Frazier said...

I think the most ironic moment, by the way, is in the first verse when he squeaks "It's all about maturity" in a pre-pubescent voice with the music paused.

Open Bar said...

I thought he looked just like Dres too, but according to Last.fm:

"Although many people think that Chi Ali is the younger brother of Dres of Black Sheep, they are not related. "

(http://www.last.fm/music/Chi+Ali)

And that 13-year-old was way cuter than the 17-year-old. Poor decision, Chi.

Walt Clyde Frazier said...

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1441669/20010314/chi_ali.jhtml

Chi is a murderer!

ChuckJerry said...

This is the best post of the year so far.

I think in the last verse he does, in a sortof backhanded way, actually prove his point. The girl is trying to trip on him without actually getting to know him.

But he definitely cancels it out in the second verse when he does the exact same thing to the younger girl. The two verses are diametrically opposed in terms of his message, and neither verse serves his original thesis.

Both verses involve the younger being dismissed out of hand by the older, thus proving that age is the determining factor in such a situation.

(Dres, D-R-E-S, yes I guess I can start, if it's alright with you I'll rip this hip one apart. Back middle to the front don't front...)

Open Bar said...

Perhaps we can detect from the disparity in the last two verses the early stages of Chi's split personality, which would later be revealed more viscerally when the soft-spoken, thoughtful young gentleman from the video went and murdered that person.