Lady Gaga: Born This Way

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Posted February 15, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

Gaga puts gay pride on blast with “Born This Way”

Gay anthems started running a muck after disco took off. Carl Bean’s “I Was Born This Way,” released to the gay clubs by Motown in 1977, pretty much paved the way for gay-friendly mementos like “I Will Survive” and “I’m Coming Out,” even Madonna’s ’80’s smash hit “Vouge.” Lady Gaga seems to have done her homework on those past memoirs by creating a big disco-throttled anthem focusing on liberation and self-pride. Ironic enough that the song bears a striking melodic resemblance to Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” Even more ironic that the song bears the same name of the forgotten and overlooked Carl Bean’s gospel-disco gem. What the “Fame Monster” brings to the table is a riveting mix of spunky poetry and vocabulary stretches, rapping about “Don’t be a drag, be a queen” while getting bolder on the chorus (“You’re black, white, beige, Chola descent/You’re Lebanese, you’re Orient”). But as gay culture embraces Gaga’s free speech on sexuality, it seems as if the biggest problem is on how far it will go. Certainly flamboyant blog icon Perez Hilton will applaud it, but feeding into the stereotypes of “being a queen” undermines the idea of the modern gay man and her straight fans of ever inheriting their voice of mascuality – which complicates our understanding of sexuality even more. She lyrically hits a controversial flub with the usage of the word “chola,” which is normally associated with crooks and even has the sting of the “N”-word in pockets of America. Technically, it doesn’t have the ornate satisfaction of Gaga’s biggest dancefloor workouts (“Just Dance,” “Poker Face), but on the go, it does what any other Gaga uptempo selection was…umm…born to do.

J MATTHEW COBB

LISTEN TO:
LADY GAGA – BORN THIS WAY

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About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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