NIGHT SPORTS is a great example of why it’s important to pay attention to lyrics when listening to music. On the surface, 30h3!’s new album seems like a noisy, dumb-but-fun electropop album, with some rap verses of questionable quality. However, if one pays attention to the lyrics for a short period of time, the album is revealed to be utterly offensive, brimming with misogyny and juvenilia.
The most obviously repugnant track is My D**k, a track literally consisting of nothing but braggadocio about penis-size. The opening line of the chorus is: “Every time I look at my d**k, I’m like “holy s**t that’s a big d**k””, delivered seemingly without irony. The track even veers into the knotty territory of cultural appropriation, with one verse featuring a poor impression of Future, and a growled verse rapped in French. However, My D**k at least has is upfront about it’s lack of meaningful content. More concerning are the tracks that appear benign, but hold little nuggets of misogyny. Freak Your Mind is a prime candidate for this. At first it appears to be a pretty standard song about picking someone up at a bar, but a close listen to the chorus reveals the vocalist is actually “negging” the woman in question – “don’t have to be the perfect ten / for us to be more than friends”. 3Oh3! seem to struggle to get through a single song without blatantly objectifying a woman, and it’s very difficult to listen to.
The band’s prior work is fairly consistent with NIGHT SPORTS, so it’s understandable they’ve received a fair amount of criticism in the past. The band seems to try to address this on BASMF, but it quickly deteriorates into puerile garbage. It initially begins with awkward verses calling out their critics – “these b***hes aren’t the king koopa boss of me” – but then the chorus contains the particularly juvenile line “if our s**t’s so bad, why’s your sister tryna f**k us”, as though the duo couldn’t resist slipping some unnecessary sexism into the song. Outside of the misogyny, the lyricism is often just poor, with corny jokes popping up throughout the record (“I don’t go HAM, I go corned beef” may be the worst).
Sonically, the album is often serviceable, with tracks like the aforementioned Freak Your Mind sounding like many a mainstream pop hit, but many of the tracks seem to mistake volume for impact. The videogame synths in the opening track are meant to sound menacing, but instead come across as knock-offs of more accomplished hip-hop instrumentals. Outside of the occasional catchy chorus (in spite of the lyrics within), there’s little of redeeming value in NIGHT SPORTS. It plumbs the depths of pop and rap, drawing out the least subtle, most overbearing components from both, and mixing it with a healthy dose of misogyny and schoolboy humour. NIGHT SPORTS is tantamount to “frat-pop”, with all the troubling content that would entail.