Sure, it would be nice to report that Lily Allen's ridiculous new album title is a friendly little prank, but unfortunately, it's all too real. The "Hard out Here" singer says she's naming her new album Sheezus as "a nod to Kanye." Oh brother.
When Allen stopped by England's Graham Norton Show, she shared the name of her new album with the host and while we can hope she was just joking, it seems that this one is real. "It's a confident title choice — and a little not to Kanye West," she said. Oh really? This totally made-up word that sounds remarkably like on of the biggest, most discussed albums in 2013 is actually a nod to one of the biggest albums in 2013? Glad you cleared that up, lady.
What sounds like a half-baked Twitter joke is her very real album title that's super creative because it changes the Y in Yeezus to "She," like a woman, because she's a woman and she sings about women's issues. Are you impressed yet? Look, Allen makes some pretty incredible pop music and her latest crop of songs are proof of that, but she is trying far too hard to be edgy when she was already had her own signature brand of edge that we all knew and loved.
Besides, what is the point of feminizing West's album title? What is actually being accomplished by Allen slapping a disturbingly derivative album title on her music? Because this news is such nonsense, I've got no other option than to try and suss out a few explanations for Allen's seeming madness.
1. She Really Needs the Publicity
After the media shit storm that surrounded "Hard Out Here," things have been relatively quiet for Allen. A blip on the radar comes up here and there, like when news of her music appearing on GIRLS cropped up or when her new video for "Air Balloon" came out, but for the most part, she's not getting nearly the same level of chatter as she did when she released the controversial first single off her album. And a dip of that size can make people crazy — crazy enough to poke the sleeping bear that is Kanye West's ego.
Which brings us to option two:
2. It's a Ploy to Get Kanye To Talk to Her
Whether it means him hopping on the phone and telling her to knock it off or him getting on Twitter to compare her to cartoon characters from Nickelodeon's animated television lineup, any form of contact will do. And adding the word "she" to an already borderline obnoxious portmanteau comprised of "Yeezy" and "Jesus" is certainly one way to do it.
3. She Was Joking But Was Too Scared to Admit It
If your friend joked about naming an album "Sheezus" because she thought she was the Kanye of lady pop singers, you would roll your eyes at her and chuckle because her terrible joke fell pretty darn flat. Allen was just trying to make a lame joke like your average goofball, but when she realized it was terrible, thought it would be easier to pretend she was serious than to admit that she made a dumb joke. In my mind this actually makes more sense than "she made a conscious decision to go with Sheezus."
4. She's Contractually Obligated to Make Us Want to Tear Our Hair Out
Maybe she tried to name her album something normal like an abstract noun or a play on her first name, but record executives thought she was playing it too safe. Make waves, the said. Ruffle feathers, the said. Obscure your own art by calling out to a gargantuan, insurmountable musical presence like Kanye, they said.
5. She Actually Thinks She's the Kanye of Ladies
Look, Lily Allen, your music is lovely. It's wonderful, even. But it's not by any means noteworthy on a Kanye level and by calling your music out as such, you are practically begging us to tell you all the ways it's not. Plus, why do you want to be the lady Kanye anyway? Why be the "lady" version of anything?
Even if Allen's music was revolutionary, its beauty would be undermined by her need to squeeze it through the frame built by West. Why anyone would voluntarily do that to her own music is beyond me. It's hard out here, and thanks to her truly perplexing decision, Allen just made things just that much harder for herself.