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What If U2 Goes Gansta, Yo?

cupofjoe

Is the word “Shidizzle” in the Bible?  Did Matthew ever call Jesus “Phat” or “Dope”?  If he did, did Jesus turn the other cheek or did he kick him in his Leviticus?  Can Bono work the Kadashians into his lyrical ways?  If he’s looking to reach his younger audience, he best be ripping out his thesaurus, cuz Homie don’t play dat!  You feelin’ me?

We may need to rethink all this talk about going after the younger audience and relevance. Have we really thought this through? The sweetest melody that we haven’t heard yet may need to come with a translator. Have you been around kids these days?  If not, you need to get the “down low” or is it the “low down” about the linguistics of today.  This isn’t your Bee Gee’s Jive Talking either, this is the full in your grill Lavern & Shirley, “Schlemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated” new lingo. Unless Bono figures this out, it truly will be the blind leading the blonde when it comes to deciphering this smack down.  Fo real! Today’s posse ain’t runnin’ to jump your swag, if you ain’t styling, because that’s just cray cray. Word!

As older U2 fans, are we truly ready to share our group with a generation that thinks that TMZ is a legitimate news source?  Or one who knows where the Kadashians live, but couldn’t locate where Kazakistan is on a map? ( I checked a map before I wrote that last line) ;). We better be ready, because that’s what U2 wants.

Playing in a bomb crater in Sarajevo was easier than what they’re up against with today’s fickle teens, tweens and everything in between.

How do you connect to a younger audience that is more interested in visibility than vision?  Swag than Scripture? Feeling the beat rather than feeling the lyrics? That is the $64,000 question. The bigger question is, “How does U2 do this while not alienating the generation that gave them such a great life?”  I swear if I see someone twerking at a U2 show, I’m gonna take my Wrecking Ball and pop a cap in that ass! I’m sorry, but part of me is not ready for what comes next. I’m not ready for the push towards a younger audience. If I tried to twerk, the orbit of my hips would put be in traction for a week!  Is there some middle ground here that we can meet half way?  Compromise, it’s not a dirty word, but most lyrics on today’s radio are, so now what?  Is there enough room in a song for swerve and Scripture? Are we ready for Bono to ad lib his way through Mysterious Ways – “Johnny hops into his pimpin’ ride with his sister the hoe, that flashed her moon,” or “If you walk away, walk away, I will follow you at #U2jamsthemoldyoldies,” just to reach a younger audience?

The younger audience wants fast in your face lyrics. They want it quick & direct. If they get stuck in a moment trying to figure out how it’s possible to see China right in front of them when they’re not even in Asia, game over.  With texting, face time, Instagram, Snap Chat, Facebook & Twitter, there is no such thing as an Unknown Caller to this generation.   Also, you can forget about hearing any metaphors and similes on the new CD. Kids today don’t know that “The air is heavy, heavy as a truck” is a simile, they just think it’s a horrific line like the rest of us. We’re dealing with intellectual tortoises that are use to moving from 1 hit wonder to 1 hit wonder in a flash , so I think the days of delving into lyrical discussions may be behind us.  Playing in a bomb crater in Sarajevo was easier than what they’re up against with today’s fickle teens, tweens and everything in between.  Will they be able to pull it off?

We’ll know soon enough, Yo.  Tru Dat!  😉

"What If U2 Goes Gansta, Yo?", 5 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.

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joepit

An avid U2 fan, who doesn't take our group too seriously. Sixth grade teacher, married and have an 8 year old boy who is also a huge fan...he didn't have a choice.

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Home Forums What If U2 Goes Gansta, Yo?

This topic contains 54 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Chris 9 months ago.

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  • #11269

    joepit
    Moderator

    Is the word “Shidizzle” in the Bible?  Did Matthew ever call Jesus “Phat” or “Dope”?  If he did, did Jesus turn the other cheek or did he kick him in
    [See the full post at: What If U2 Goes Gansta, Yo?]

  • #11270

    Chris
    Participant

    Yo, man, wait a minute ! I’m gonna pop some tags…Got only 20 $ in my pocket…U2 wear their granddad’s clothes…they look invisi..gahouh..incredible..!!! I bought my U2 album from the thrift shop down the road…This is fucking awesome !!!!!

    This is some messed up shit…I gave you thumbs up just because it’s funny and ridiculous, I love having this kind of fun…laughing and stuff…Now seriously, I hope U2 won’t turn to the wrong direction….the One Direction !!!

    Remember Bono’s style of sing-talk is awesome (listen to Cedars of Lebanon, Crazy Tonight, Boots…)…Even Edge knows how it’s done…Do I need to mention the song Numb ??? And I’m going to remind you of Adam on “Your Blue Room”, I know you hate it as mush as I hate Invisible so we’re even !

    All in All…Achtung Baby is the album that has a little bit of everything for everyone and It pleases the fans too…I know there won’t be another one like it…I’m talking about the approach and artistic quality, the change of style…Kids used to (w)rap things up back in ’91 too, didn’t they??? But everyone liked this album ! Why? Because it has Everything and something more ! I can’t say it better ! If U2 stop lying to themselves and just be honest and do what they feel like…Then we’ll like it too !!! The pressure is big enough…

    U2 knew how to do this stuff…This time it’s harder than ever !

    My honest personal opinion is that they don’t need to please anyone but themselves, they have to love their work first…”If it’s not bullshit for us…”, you know the drill..

  • #11272

    joepit
    Moderator

    That’s some serious jive,Yo! I think I just hurt myself. 😉

  • #11273

    Pam
    Participant

    Great thoughts, Joe! It´s interesting to get to know some words young people use nowadays. Even in German there is a bit slang language that is not familiar to me. When youths write text messages they often use abbreviations and signs I don´t understand.
    .
    As a songwriter Bono has to face the fact that the language has changed. The question is: Can U2 still create some rock music that relates to the feelings of the young generation? As longtime fans we all love to look for different interpretations of lyrics including Bible references. For me the ambiguity of Bono´s words is very beautiful. Thinking about possible meanings requires some patience and time in our fast-moving modern world. But I hope U2 can still fascinate teenagers and persons in their twenties if they deliver some powerful music. If songs truly rock like Until The End Of The World or Mysterious Ways listeners could possibly get curious and deal with the lyrics later.

  • #11275

    Chris
    Participant

    The world is wrong…U2 is right !!! So: do your stuff U2, be honest ! The world will follow and slow down just to listen to you !!! Come on, U2 !!! Awww..Fuck…they’re not hearing me anyway !!!!

  • #11276

    Chris
    Participant

    Listen to me people…the speed of the world is the most ugly thing I’ve ever experienced…People don’t take time to LIVE !!!!!!!!

  • #11278

    Chris
    Participant

    The Speed of Life is destroying us and the Planet…It is the Devil !!!

  • #11279

    joepit
    Moderator

    Chris, you’re ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. The world should adapt to U2 not U2 to the world.

  • #11280

    Chris
    Participant

    You got it, Joe !!!!! Yes !!!!!

  • #11281

    Pam
    Participant

    I agree that U2 must stay true to their music, to the beauty and emotional depth of words and their humanity. If they continue to deliver honest and moving songs they will always find a connection to fans.

  • #11284

    joepit
    Moderator

    The question though Pam is, will it connect to the younger audience that U2 is looking for?

  • #11285

    Chris
    Participant

    Who cares???? That’s the answer !!! U2 have to do their thing! Period ! There’s a huge chance they won’t connect !!! Then what? The END of U2 ??? Just because kids are fed 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with crap music ???

    It’s not U2 that has to change for the kids, kids want One Direction and Jason DErulo, it’s U2 that has to change the kids, people, whatevah…That’s what U2 is all about !!! Changing us ! making us believe there’s something more out there, something more called U2 !!!!!

  • #11286

    Pam
    Participant

    Interesting question, Joe. I think U2 certainly look for a younger audience that shows a sincere interest in music and lyrics. Lots of young people certainly prefer fast and easy entertainment nowadays. But I believe there is still a part of teenagers and persons in their twenties who search for music that inspires them to think about the big questions of life.

  • #11287

    u2doll
    Participant

    This is a very tricky subject. Take me, for example, I was 16 years old and at the ZooTV tour. Most of my friends were listening to fluffy bubble gum pop, while I was strictly rock, especially U2.
    Can the younger audience be catered to without destroying the essence of U2?
    I have to say no to that last question.
    So, I do not feel that U2 even needs to worry about reaching a younger audience. They have an intelligent following, and sometimes those are young people who are just ahead of their time.
    U2 will always be relevant to the people who understand and appreciate them. Every so often, it might be a 12 year old who shuns Miley Cyrus for classic rock.
    U2 needs to stick to just one thing, being U2, the greatest living rock band.
    Great blog Joe!

  • #11288

    joepit
    Moderator

    Welcome U2doll. You’re right, it is a tricky right rope that U2 is walking right now. I agree with your points, but I appreciate the risk that U2 is taking.

    • #11290

      u2doll
      Participant

      Thank you! Hopefully, their idea of reaching a younger audience is different then we might all fear or imagine.
      When I first attended the 360 tour, I thought, “Oh wow, they’re gonna do a modern PopMart”. I was wrong, and in retrospect, I should have had a more open mind about it. I enjoy the tour more now, than I did when I was actually there.
      Next tour, I’m going to attend with no preconceptions, soak it all in, and enjoy it. Because the truth is, even the tunes we weren’t fond of upon release, have become classics.
      Rolling Stone, if I recall correctly, gave Achtung Baby and Zooropa terrible reviews. Meanwhile, these songs have become iconic.
      So, let’s enjoy the 4 boys from Dublin while we can with the thought in our heads that U2 has ALWAYS been ahead of their time.:)

  • #11292

    vickiaugustine
    Participant

    AAAfter reading your post. I remember when U2 performed Get On Your Boots at 2009 Grammys and I must say seeing Bono take his shades off and seeing that for some reason he decided to wear guy liner. It was slightly creepy but funny at the same time. Was it a Green Day thing? Feeling a bit like Billie Joe Armstrong that day? Who knows. I’m not sure why he looked like that.

    Vicki(BonoFan)

  • #11294

    joepit
    Moderator

    Vicky, thanks for making the jump from Twitter to here. The water is warm. I remember that look & does resemble a Green Dayish look. Bono must have swapped it with Armstrong during the shooting of “The Saints Are Coming.” 😉

  • #11295

    joepit
    Moderator

    U2doll: I hear you about no pre conceived notions. A few of us are planning a U2 meet up next tour in NY or Boston. Aren’t you from the Jersey area? If so, please join us. 😉

  • #11296

    u2doll
    Participant

    Yes, I am in NJ. I would absolutely love that, and be honored. That would be awesome. I will be following the tour as far north as Boston, and south to DC. Basically, North and South of the (Hudson) River;) So, without a doubt, count me in, and thank you so much!

  • #11297

    Leeny
    Participant

    Joe can you imagine if U2 actually pulls it off?
    If they create an album that young people can’t get enough of…
    Endless radio air time,
    YouTube U2 mania
    Why, why that would mean your students might actually enjoy your lessons for a change.

  • #11298

    Leeny
    Participant

    Tis a shame you don’t have more faith in your hips, though.
    As long as you’re not twerking with Jacob’s wrestling partner I bet you’d be fine.

  • #11299

    joepit
    Moderator

    U2doll: I’m in Boston & we’ll all be here for the shows & Leeny my students love me… Just ask me.

  • #11300

    u2doll
    Participant

    I saw them in Mass. for the PopMart tour. It’s just a skip away. I lived in CT for 15 years, so I’m up for a trip to New England! Let’s do it!

  • #11301

    joepit
    Moderator

    U2doll, seeing U2 in Mass, then you know 1st hand the U2/Boston love fest connection. Try explaining that to my good friend & commenter Leeny. 😉

  • #11302

    u2doll
    Participant

    I’ve seen them in NY, NJ, PA, D.C., and Mass. I am not joking when I tell you Leeny, the crowd was THE BEST out of all the shows! (I’d better hide now before I get lynched by the entire eastern seaboard)
    One side note, my sis and her husband flew to Hawaii for a U2 show. I would have loved to do that! I can’t even fathom.
    But, Boston is where it’s at! And they seem to love the Mass. audience’s enthusiasm, making for an excellent show!
    C’mon Leeny!!!

  • #11303

    Leeny
    Participant

    U2 loves Boston; I know, Joe, just ask you. 😛

    • #11305

      u2doll
      Participant

      That’s right, now take it away Joe;)

  • #11304

    Leeny
    Participant

    And u2doll, if you haven’t seen U2 at Mile High Stadium in Denver, you’ve never fully experienced U2.

  • #11307

    u2doll
    Participant

    Leeny, that sounds so cool! I have never been to Denver, but I’ve never heard a bad thing about it. That will be on my bucket list. U2 at Mile High Stadium sounds great!

  • #11308

    joepit
    Moderator

    Leeny, leave U2doll alone. Comparing U2’s reception in Denver to that of Boston is laughable. U2doll’s a Jersey Girl. When U2 is in Boston, the applause can be heard all the way to Parsippany! 😉

  • #11312

    u2doll
    Participant

    That’s right Joe! And thank you, both of you. I am going to be more active on your blogs from now on. It’s been fun, informative, and entertaining. And BTW I have been listening to U2 Radio all day long. I’m prepping for the tour.;)

  • #11313

    Leeny
    Participant

    u2doll, Joe pretends to be a bit Boston-biased, but in his heart he knows that there is no joy greater than listening to U2 live and up close while standing on the hallowed playground of Peyton Manning.
    BTW, that noise emanating from Boston is not that of U2 fans. Rather, it’s the sound of Tom Brady wailing because he’s a poor loser.
    Just ask Joe to show you his new beach towel, you’ll see his loyalty.

  • #11315

    cyndi
    Participant

    Being the mother of an almost 21 year old daughter, I can be proud of the fact that I raised my daughter with excellent musical taste. From U2 blasting from the cassette tape playing boom box in the delivery room to flying to Chicago when she was eleven to see U2 at the United Center, (a little mother’s day gift to myself). My daughter is the only person I know in her age group who has seen U2 three times. I gave her a good foundation. However, the absolute crap she and her friends listen to is disgusting, to say the very least. Whenever she’s listening to that music I look at her and wonder where her taste in lyrics, meaning and depth have gone. Perhaps she’ll come back to sane thinking one day, but I believe all may be lost for kids today who didn’t have super cool U2 worshipping parents such as myself.
    Now, on to “best concert ever” chitchat going on, you’re all wrong. The best show ever was Minneapolis, July 2 3rd, 2011. Standing in the pouring rain, surrounded by all of the wonderful GA new friends I made, and stopping to remember to take a moment to stand still, then turn around and look up into the crowd, everyone on their feet throughout the rain, thunder and occasional far off lightning and loving every single second of it! I remember walking away from the stadium that night feeling so great, and knowing I’d never experience anything like it again in my life.

    • #11325

      Brook
      Moderator

      Sounds amazing, Cyndi!

    • #11330

      joepit
      Moderator

      Cyndi: I read & saw on YouTube that Minnesaota experience. It looked tremendous. I teach 6th grade & know 1st hand the music the kids listen to. It has no depth, heart or soul. I too applaud your parenting skills.

  • #11316

    u2doll
    Participant

    Leeny, the truth is, I could be anywhere. The crowds do fluctuate, but U2 fans are really the best, no matter where you go. I find that more than most bands, U2’s fan-base is a pretty unified one, like the band itself. After what, 30 some-odd years, they are more powerful than before. And that empowerment is no doubt, translated to the fans. Many of us have been following them for the whole ride. There is a real connection in that, a unification through the music of U2. I know it may sound corny, but when I meet another die-hard U2 fan such as myself, I feel an immediate connection with them. There’s a message to their music, that gives them momentum, and I feel that force as a life-long fan.:)

    • #11323

      Brook
      Moderator

      Excellent comments, U2 doll; I’m with you! We’re our own club, and it seems like no matter who we are or what we do in other areas of our lives, we all love U2 for very similar reasons, and it’s very unifying.

  • #11319

    Leeny
    Participant

    Teasing Joe, aside, I do agree with you, u2doll.
    In fact I think the audience is as much a part of the u2 concert experience as is the band.

  • #11320

    Leeny
    Participant

    And Cyndi I applaud you on your fine parenting job! 😉
    .
    I tried to get my children hooked on U2 but they keep telling me that U2 is old people’s music. (sigh)

  • #11321

    Brook
    Moderator

    The obsession with relevancy, the idea that they just aren’t cool anymore if their music can’t be danced to or played in clubs…it’s my #1 pet peeve with the greatest band in the world. The way I reconcile it in my head is by reminding myself that these are very European ideas, and they’re European…and there you go.

  • #11322

    u2doll
    Participant

    I agree. Relevance is irrelevant. It’s a stupid thing. U2 is NEVER irrelevant. Never.

  • #11326

    Chris
    Participant

    The kids listen to disgusting crap !!! Wake up People ! U2 must not turn to crap in order to be liked by the kids !!!!! U2 can reach out through their great songs and honest art-work !!!! U2 must not compromise !!! Or Else !!!

  • #11327

    u2doll
    Participant

    Thanks Brook, and everyone. I’m gonna go crazy if I don’t go crazy tonight! We are all going crazy for this new album. It’s nice to share the excitement for U2!:)

  • #11328

    Chris
    Participant

    In this Universe of FART Quality music, U2 is our only hope for a Great Music-Quality SuperNova explosion that will destabilize all the crap and make it disappear…If U2 go One-Direction-Style, we will have NOTHING left !!! Nothing ! Do you want this to happen ??? Open your eyes !!! I hear Joe talking about “U2 taking a risk”…I call BS !!! The only risk U2 must take is to bring us something new once again but something rich in Melodic and Lyric-Quality…The other risk is to become more irrelevant than 1D !!! U2 are always relevant except when they’re trying their hardest to sound like crap…I don’t even know how to call that !!!

    • #11331

      joepit
      Moderator

      Chris, I agree with you, the world should come to U2, not U2 to the world. The risk I’m referring to is U2 “Putting their heads over the parapet.” When they do that, they see a sea of young people hungering for a group with soul & this is what they need to do to get them.

  • #11340

    alma
    Participant

    WHOAH! Was gonna freakin’ come here early Sunday & thought ‘why rush it?’ BOOM! Next thing I know it’s past Wednesday & I missed Sunday’s Cup of Joseph. But it’s only Thursday morning & PHOOM! Wednesday’s is already on page FOUR of comments? Like Chris says, the speed of the world!!
    .
    Joe: You’re getting quicker on the draw! You had me laughing by sentence #3!: “If he did, did Jesus turn the other cheek or did he kick him in his Leviticus?”

  • #11342

    Pam
    Participant

    Without doubt, the musical taste of young people depends on their education and influences coming from their surroundings. I for instance grew up with the record collection of my sister who is seven years older than me. When I was a young girl in the late 80s/early 90s I got to know a bit material from artists like Peter Gabriel, The Police, Bruce Springsteen etc. When I listened to some records of my sister´s boyfriend I was impressed by U2´s Rattle And Hum and on my 15t birthday they gave me the Joshua Tree album as a gift. About half a year later the music teacher invited my class to go to the cinema to watch the Rattle And Hum movie. That was the time when I knew that I needed to get to know more material from U2. Back then the radio already offered a lot of bad and superficial pop music that didn´t satisfy my yearning for something soulful. The majority of my class enjoyed that kind of music, but about three classmates rather preferred U2. I think there will always be at least a few young people looking for more than mere entertainment, regardless of the zeitgeist or various trends.

  • #11343

    alma
    Participant

    “…it’s only Thursday morning & PHOOM! Wednesday’s is already on page FOUR of comments?”
    .
    .
    :) What coming here to Cup of Joseph was like for me today – about 14 seconds into this clip {when Angela clicks on the little icon}: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zu7euvk4Xc&list=PLk7d5Z583dV2ksRY5w7LPw2iFn1EZ_Cfl

  • #11345

    alma
    Participant

    “influences coming from their surroundings. I for instance grew up with the record collection of my sister who is seven years older than me.”
    .
    So true, Pam! An older sibling’s record collection introduces us more deeply to certain artists! For ex, my brother’s albums did that for me. And it was my Dad’s albums that got me to take up the guitar!

  • #11346

    Pam
    Participant

    Alma, I´m glad that the albums of your brother and Dad inspired you to listen to great music and play guitar.

  • #11347

    joepit
    Moderator

    You know it’s funny. I grew up in a household where neither of my parents were that into music. They did not lead me in any particular way. I’ve always been attracted to music ever since I can remember. I found solace in music and developed a love for U2 on my own without any outside influences.
    I cannot say the same for my 7 year old son though. He loves music & U2. I hope it sticks with him like it did me.

  • #11348

    Pam
    Participant

    What I wanted to say is also: Bad pop music already existed in the 80s. Didn´t Bono call it “wallpaper music”? I think this is not a new phenomenon now. There will always be that kind of bubblegum music that attracts a mass audience of kids. But a great band like U2 will always make a difference and make some people feel true emotions.

  • #11349

    Pam
    Participant

    Joe, it´s remarkable that you developed a love for U2 without any influences from your surroundings. I´m glad that music helped you to find some solace. I hope you´ll get a chance to enjoy a U2 concert together with your son soon. :)

  • #11495

    Chris
    Participant

    Yeah…Bad quality music was around since for ever and U2 wasn’t infested !!! What the Heck happened to them ???

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