Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Cali Swag District – Teach Me How to Dougie

Obvious Visual Gag Thursday – Part 1 of 2 (we can quibble about the pronunciation later)…


Martin Skidmore: Being down with young black Californians (or possibly knowing how to look things up on Wikipedia), I can tell you that dougie is a new dance, not dissimilar to jerking. This has some of the cheery appeal of the New Boyz’ jerk hit, but seems a bit low on energy and action for my taste in its very simple beats. Still, quite likeable.

Al Shipley: “Teach Me How To Jerk” was the only jerk song I ever liked, so I’m disappointed that a spinoff has now far eclipsed it in popularity. But the real letdown is dance rap’s sudden downgrade from 808s to the lamest ‘live’ drum sounds available in whatever computer software these kids used.

Alfred Soto: The star here is the dry, spare production that spotlights the percussion, not the confident low-key swag of the raps. This is what Clipse should have sounded like in 2006.

Anthony Easton: The percussion is interesting for the first couple of minutes or so, and then it became so abrasively repetitive – would have been a 6 if it was 90 seconds, but at 4 minutes…

Jonathan Bogart: Best jerk track yet to have bubbled up into an even somewhat mainstream hit. The spacious, slow-motion beat is what grabbed me weeks ago, but in the days since, after spending time with it and watching the video, it’s those sweet, nerdy kids, their infectious swagger, and the utopian inclusiveness inherent to all goofy dance crazes (and spelled out in the video) that have really pulled me forward on the thing.

Michaelangelo Matos: “This beat was bubblegum/So I had to chew it.” THANK YOU FOR EXISTING.

Mallory O’Donnell: This is the kind of thing I can’t help but encourage: rolling tectonic bass, stupid dance trends, stupider MC names (C-Smoove? M-Bone??) and genuine straight-up goofy shit, all glue-gunned to a beat that Pharrell probably wrote and discarded while standing in line at Kroger. Sadly, like most music made by actual children, this goes to the trouble of creating a brilliant mood merely to sustain it for 3 minutes and change. These days I’ll take what I can get.

Chuck Eddy: Jerkin’ Rap Of The year, Goofy Dance-Move Rap Of the Year, friendly boy-next-door and girl-next-door vocals, “this beat was bubblegum, so I had to chew it,” and said beat apparently involves a cowbell and sounds like pencils drumming the inside of a coffee can. What’s not to like, and what else is there to say? (Once you get past the sociological Dallas-inspiring-L.A. stuff, I mean.)

Mark Sinker: The physical bodydance isn’t notably distinctive or I think meant to be — judging by the video just kids bobbing and happy, cheekily cut into Bollywood routines in one stretch to point up that bit of the put-on — but the record is sooooo held well back, relentless, disciplined, and almost impossibly loose and easy, and coolly, wittily itself; made by the exact same teenagers, self-amused and clear.

4 Responses to “Cali Swag District – Teach Me How to Dougie”

  1. Was not aware that the Kinleys had done a version of this (or that it was a cover at all) until now, fwiw.

    Something I wrote about the album it’s on last year:

  2. I actually really like the rapping on this. It’s not good, per se, but it’s the opposite of boilerplate, it’s eventful. There are a lot of little highlights. Like, “AGHHHHHHH, man you can’t tell me nothin/Star made the beat, I just took it out the oven.”

  3. Oops, my Keith Urban comment above should have gone under the Keith Urban review instead, duh. But it’s probably funnier here. (Now imagining what a country line-dance version the dougie would be like. Hey, it started in Texas, right? Weirder things have happened.)

  4. hey all cali swag district fans!! check out their dougie contest on