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Monday Music: Last Week’s Entries Still Dominate Top 10, “Airplanes” Flies onto the Chart

May 3, 2010

Most of the songs in this week’s top 10 were on the list last week.  But there’s one new entry, which happens to involve AAE:

#9 “Airplanes” B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams

As opposed to choosing a specific lyric out of this song, I noticed that throughout the rap verses, B.o.B has every –ing gerund verb realized as a –in’, as in “partyin,’” “smashin,’” “crashin,’” “rappin’” etc.  Although this is common in standard and non-standard English dialects, AAE speakers seem to employ this feature to a greater extent than other speakers.

Tracking last week’s music:

While still controling the chart, some of last week’s AAE-flavored songs took a tumble this week.  “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train dropped two spots to #5, “In My Head” by Jason Derulo dropped one spot to #7, and “Telephone” by Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce dropped three more spots to #10.  However, it’s not all bad news:  “Rude Boy” by Rihanna is spending a second week at #2, “Break Your Heart” by Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris moved up a spot to #3, and “OMG” by Usher featuring will.i.am jumped two spots to #6.

*Top ten songs as recorded by Billboard Hot 100 for the week of May 8, 2010.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ayeska permalink*
    May 5, 2010 6:04 pm

    It’s interesting how a lot of performers are adopting this non-standard feature to make their lyrics rhyme, especially in the emerging rap and hip-hop community.
    Sadly, these genres are no longer what they used to be.

  2. Amy permalink
    May 6, 2010 6:15 pm

    I also think it’s interesting that other dialects besides AAE use the non-standard feature of changing -ing to -in, specifically in gerunds. This seems to reflect and agree with the general history of AAE lexicon and other features making their way into other standard and non-standard dialects (like how “jazz” is now a word in SAE, even though it originated from AAE).

  3. Zeke permalink
    May 13, 2010 2:00 pm

    I notice that you mention “Hey, Soul Sister”. When I heard this song, I thought it was odd how the singer uses AAE vocabulary and references to hip-hop culture. While the line, “hey, soul sister” sounds like a straightforward come-on, other lines, such as “so gangsta, I’m so thug,” come off with an ironic wink. Does the lead singer of Train feel comfortable with this language or is he inching into it with some cushioning self-mockery?

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