Sometimes pop songs say things polite folk would never say out loud. Therefore, one finds a lot of openness and free speech – if you will – in songs, the variety you might never encounter in normal conversation. Ariee, a singer born in New Orleans, Louisiana, begins her single “Sugar Daddy” by demanding, “Give me some money.” It’s the type of request most folks haven’t tried since childhood, back when they bluntly expressed a candy need as kids. Ironically, the name often given to rich men that support poorer women, is ‘sugar daddy,’ as they satisfy those girls with a pronounced monetary sweet tooth. Therefore, for some among us, things don’t really change much between childhood and adulthood.
Listen to 'Sugar Daddy' here:
Ariee sings the track’s intro over a plunked acoustic piano part, until the track’s percussion part enters in. Ariee then goes on to rap/talk the song’s verses, and then sings the song’s chorus, which is basically its title sung repeatedly. At one point she recalls, “I tried to play the lottery/But I already won.” This guy, then, knows right where he stands. She’s his ATM card, and he’s the bank.
Ariee’s lyrical aim with “Sugar Daddy” is nothing new, of course. Madonna sang about how we’re living in a material world, and she is a material girl on “Material Girl” way back in 1984. If you go back further than that, Barrett Strong had a hit with “Money (That’s What I Want)” in 1959. That song was cowritten by Berry Gordy, who founded the Motown Records empire and eventually earned more than his share of the green stuff.
The dilemma for any man who plays the role of sugar daddy is that he’s basically engaged in extended, legal prostitution. It may one day make him want to quote an old Tina Turner hit: What’s love got to do with it? Does a guy really need a woman that only wants him for his money? Sure, he may get jealous looks whenever he goes out in public with his eye candy, but will that sort of pride keep him satisfied for long? And what about the girl? The Beatles sang how money can’t buy love. Once she has all the expensive cars and clothes, then what? What happens when she feels a need for a little love and affection? This romance isn’t predicated upon romance and meeting emotional needs. Perhaps both of these participants will eventually experience buyer’s remorse. It may have seemed like a mutually beneficial deal at the beginning, but once personal needs change and evolve, then what do they do?
The song has a dark, ominous tone sonically, which suggests this is not an entirely happy scenario. Kids that eat too many sweets, oftentimes end up with stomach aches. Could this be the ultimate end to this partnership? These kinds of arrangements exist, even though most people are not so bold as to call them what they are. Outsiders usually know better, however. Whenever you see a rich old guy tooling around with a girl half his age, you just gotta wonder. This is song puts it right out there, though, rather than whispers it under breath. This music is the sound of money shouting, not talking and it’s sure to please nearly every material girl.
Watch 'Sugar Daddy' music video here: