Is Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ sexist, sexy or both? Does ‘Push It’ by Salt ‘N’ Pepa go a dance step too far? And when it comes to dancing to a catchy song, should principles be left at the door of the club?
This month DJs D’Afro and Pepi Pechuga will be addressing such questions with the latest installment of YesNoDisco at Netil House.
The night, entitled Sexy V Sexist, will see party-goers vote whether tunes are empowering or leave a stale taste as the DJs play two sets of ‘sexy’ and ‘sexist’ songs.
“We had this dilemma about whether we should dance to ‘Blurred Lines’ when we hear it,” says Amy Smith, who DJs as Pepi Pechuga.
“We don’t want to be preachy and say you shouldn’t dance to these things because they are really catchy songs but it’s where do you draw the line?”
Smith and her DJing partner Lilia Prier Tisdall (DJ D’Afro) held the first YesNoDisco in September, using the Scottish Referendum as their theme. While the debate raged on television and social media, scores of people thrashed out independence to East 17 ́s ‘Stay Another Day’ and ‘Independent Woman’ by Beyonce.
“The referendum one was really emotional but we feel just as passionate with this one because
it was the first idea we had when we thought about doing discos where people have to make decisions,” says Smith.
Smith, by day a journalist and playworker, lives in a house of full of DJs so music is almost a constant companion. “We’ll be making food and music will be on and it’ll catch you. Suddenly you’ll be singing along to these words that you’d never say in any other situation.”
The night taps into current concerns about the representation of gender in music and music videos, though Smith hesitates to use the word ‘feminist’.
“We were going to call it ‘Feminism is a Dutty Word’ (a reference to Sean Paul) but were worried it might come across a bit preachy and militant. But without using the word ‘feminist’ we’re definitely coming from a feminist stance.”
Ping pong paddles with ‘sexy’ and ‘sexist’ written on either side will allow the public to come to a decision, and there are even plans to adorn the walls with bunting made from y-fronts bearing names of songs.
As the DJs prepare to do battle, here is a preview of what they have in store.
NERD – ‘Lap Dance’
Pussycat Dolls – ‘Dontcha’
Major Lazar – ‘Bubble Butt’
Robin Thicke – ‘Blurred Lines’
The Crystals – ‘He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)’
Destiny’s Child – ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’
Aerosmith – ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady’
Jack Jones – Wives and Lovers
Destiny’s Child – Soldier
Space – Female of the Species
Lady Gaga – Do What You Want
James Brown – Man’s World
Ludacris – Move Bitch
Sisqo – Thong Song
Pink – Stupid Girls
Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up
Air – ‘Sexy Boy’
Katy Perry – ‘Roar’
2Pac – ‘Keep Your Head Up’
LL Cool J – ‘Doin’ It’ Goldfrapp – ‘Ooh La La’
White Stripes – ‘Ball and Biscuit’
Salt-N-Pepa – ‘Push It’
Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu – ‘Q.U.E.E.N.’
Tweet – ‘Oops (Oh My)’ R Kelly – ‘Bump ‘n’ Grind’
Marvin Gaye – ‘Let’s Get It On’
Justin Timberlake – ‘My Love’ Mario – ‘Let me Love you’
LMFAO – ‘Sexy and I know it’
John Legend – ‘All of Me’
D’banj – ‘Fall in Love’
YesNoDisco: Sexy V Sexist 7 November, Platform Bar Netil House, 1–7 Westgate Street, E8 3RL www.yesnodisco.tumblr.com