She Ain't Messing With No Broke Huh?

Over the holidays, I borrowed some Kanye West songs from my cousin, which he had borrowed from someone on the shared network in his dorm. (An assortment of songs, not full albums, with no regard for fidelity. The kids don't care.)

I kinda missed the Kanye bandwagon. My main exposure was hearing Gold Digger on the radio - the clean version, in which she ain't messing with no broke *broke*. Listening to the album version lifted from my cousin's iTunes library, in which it's more obvious with whom she ain't messing, caused me to appreciate the subtlety and clever wordplay that can emerge from the chokehold of FCC regulations.

When Kanye refrained from rhyming digger with the obvious, my pop-addled brain had to take that tiny fraction of a second to make the connection on its own. Ahh, I getchya, Kanye. The clean version is a wink. By winking, it's engaging.

Similar example: The first time I heard Hollaback Girl was on MTV on a Jet Blue flight from New York to New Orleans. This my shh... is sly, sexy. It's lingerie, not full-frontal nudity.

So, though I find the FCC's delineations between obscene, indecent and profane vague, verging on puritanical, and easy to misinterpret to suit one's (all too often evangelical) motives, and though I remain a fervent supporter of the First Amendment, I have to say.... the limitations have spurred creative manipulation of language by metaphor, meme and/or omission.