Signed, a Hollaback Girl

Filed under: music,rants @ 00:59

An open letter to Gwen Stefani;

Though your latest album is very good technically, you manage to pull of a mere “mediocre” aesthetically. Perhaps I am being unfair; I have simply heard samples from all the songs on your album but have heard only two songs in their entireties (What you waiting for? and Hollaback Girl). However, any album containing the latter must necessarily fall short of excellence. It is this song which this letter addresses.

Perhaps it is ironic that I am chastising you by verbiage rather than meeting you back at the bleachers (sans principals and student teachers, naturally) to engage in a pugilistic fracas the outcome of which would determine our relation in the current social hierarchy. I hope the irony is not lost on you, but after hearing the level of sophistication intrinsic in your lyrics, I must concede that that hope may be in vain.

As reported by imdb, you were born in 1969; thus, you are thirty-five years old. I bring this up not to debase you with unfair societal impressions regarding age and women (which, again ironically, is, in part, the subject of the other of your songs I have heard in full) but only to point out that your Junior High experience occurred roughly twenty years ago. Given that fact, and even setting propriety aside, how much artistic value is there in demanding some naive school girl set aside her pom-poms and face up to her back stabbing defamation by engaging in physical combat? Perhaps this song is a study in anachronism? Or in some otherwise incongruous juxtaposition? Alternatively, you may simply be trying too hard.

Actually, I think I can answer my own, above question dealing with artistic value. In the situation set forth in Hollaback Girl is a great deal of substance which could have been presented very poignantly in a piece of like theme. However, your song lyrically consists of callow, fatuous drivel: even below the level of typical pop. I expected better things from you. Previously I have had a great deal of respect for your work. If it weren’t for the fact that you are riotously hot, I might be even more critical of your recent work. As it is, I bigotedly and unabashedly make allowances.

Yours in Critique,



    This shit is bananas.

    Me again(Gwen) 05.20.2005 @ 08:49

    Oh yeah, I forgot something.

    xaosseed 05.21.2005 @ 01:11

    Oooh, theres a question, do rockstars surf the net? I mean, with all the money and the ridiculous time-demands I would have thought hell-no, that it was pretty much only actors/actresses with their cyclical ‘promote/make/promote’ periods of quiet time that could ever be found beetling about.

    But then seriously, what do I know about it.


    And in reverse: question in the form of an answer. Who here defines Gwen Stefani as a “Rock Star”? That was the most hilarious thing here thus far.

    jjk 05.21.2005 @ 11:07

    How exactly is that a question in the form of an answer? That’s just a question.

    xaosseed 05.21.2005 @ 19:02

    Maybe thats why he’s evil?

    And ‘music-star’ sounds daft.



    E.T 06.03.2005 @ 09:10

    It sounds good,forget about the hollaback thing..

    Well,I do think what it really means actually.

    The Frenchy 06.04.2005 @ 02:20

    Hi everyone,
    I’m a B… French who just discovered the song on a clip channel. I found it brilliant in term of melody, dancing, choreography, it’s just very nice to listen that’s it….You know in Europe most of the people enjoy the melody before the lyrics, because they don’t understand it. By example the famous 50 Cents. My two kids are found of Candy Shop and they have really no clue about what the song is speaking about. When I rode the lyrics and examplained to them, they were of course surprised. To be back to ” HOLLABACK girls” they first understood “Badgirls” which is on my opinion not too bad. Actually everyone understood that something bad was going on isn’t it?, which is the still a good start. Indeed I fully agree with some of you who complained about the poverty of her message. Despite that I found her very talentuous.
    It has been a pleasure to speak with you. If you should recommand something, please listen the song for what they are …that is first rythms and music. If I can make a parallel with OPERA, that’s exactly the same; actually what we first enjoy is the musicality very far before lyrics which are most of the time unintelligible …C you later alligator…..

    debi 06.04.2005 @ 21:34

    ..and that just about sums this whole thing up doesn’t it? If anyone is still pondering what a hollaback girl is, clearly you need to go off to france where the locals will cheerfully advise you and tell you how everyone but them …well just sucks

    The Frenchy 06.05.2005 @ 04:08

    Hi Debi,
    Do you know the problem we face in our world today? people like you who are always analyzing things with paranoia. Ok! I did a mistake and I apologyse,I shouldn’t have say that I was French…..and I shouldn’t have use the term of recommandation…
    Now, concerning sucking I’m sure you did a hint to 50Cents so my reply will be: “I’ll let you lick the lollypop”

    debi 06.05.2005 @ 10:30

    I’m not paranoid…is someone touching me? Oh my god I think someone is touching me…help

    MDA 06.05.2005 @ 10:30

    You tell him, The Frenchy. Thanks for your comments.

    debi 06.05.2005 @ 18:37

    Yes well I don’t take candy from strangers

    xaosseed 06.05.2005 @ 23:21

    But… but thats free candy! Its the best kind, like free beer and free nibbles you get off head-hunters. The corporate kind, not the wilderness kind.

    debi 06.06.2005 @ 15:33

    ah yes corporate…which brings us back to the original question…a hollaback girl is a what?

    xaosseed 06.07.2005 @ 10:50

    “Girl who’s your second choice for the evening” as best I understand it from above.

    angry at them all 06.07.2005 @ 15:50

    who the fuck cares what a hollaback girl is. you all need to get a life

    Hmm still confused 06.10.2005 @ 09:57

    Ok I get the Hollaback girl thing.. (Thanks by the way). What I don’t get is the Bananas part. It has a whole verse but doesn’t say anything, it’s like the 3rd verse is a different song. I have an Idea about that part, but I would like a more definate answer.

    anonymous 06.11.2005 @ 22:58

    I think Gwen was inspired by the cheerleader meaning of the word hollaback girl.
    But I think in her song she’s pointing out that she’s made some mistakes in the past, but now she’s learned to make her own choices, looking back no longer and no longer repeating the same mistakes over and over again, so in fact: no longer hollering back.
    on the bananas thing: she no longer needs a guy?

    pudding 06.14.2005 @ 08:08

    I thought I was the idiot for looking up “what is a hollaback girl”, but I see there are many people thinking the same damn thing. Good for you guys for figuring this out. I’ve learned much from reading this blog. I now know that a “hollaback girl” is the girl that men call when they can’t get with me. Yeah, I said it. I’m hot stuff. “I ain’t no hollaback girl” for sure! Hey, this is a killer blog. I wish mine had as much content as yours, but sadly I have run out of things to say in this lifetime, or so it seems. Writers block, I guess. Well, this sure is a long stinking post for someone with writer’s block, isn’t it? Hey, you guys have a great life. It’s been nice reading your page here. Keep up the great blogging! Visit my website (click “Pudding” above) for more of my idiotic ramblings and a picture of me with the biggest boobs you have EVER seen (About Me page). That’s cool shit. It’s really B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

    illiterate 06.14.2005 @ 10:13

    Well I’m still not sure I understand exactly what a hollaback girl is, and I no longer care. This certainly was a good lesson in hostility though. You all must be from New York.

    gv 06.14.2005 @ 22:16

    pudding totally reeled me in. Here’s an awesome quote from her blog (where she also discusses the true meaning of hollaback):
    “I am so freaking hot, so here are some pictures of me for me to look at.”
    That just screams out “not a hollaback girl,” whatever that is.

    Adam 06.15.2005 @ 20:21

    So, Mike. At what point do you say that this post has had enough and turn off comments? Or can you not turn off comments for a specific post? While it is amusing that it still gets comments every now and then, it is (for me at least) getting steadily less amusing. Not that my opinion really counts for that much on policy for your blog…

    Dixie 06.16.2005 @ 03:16

    I find that the comments get funnier the longer this thread is prolonged. The first person to say “oh, I was looking for this” isn’t that interesting, but the fifty-seventh “i am looking 4 this 4 a term paper, can u help me?” is f*cking hilarious.

    Besides, if comments had been turned off, we wouldn’t have found out just how hot “pudding” is.

    Axl 06.16.2005 @ 21:35


    Me 06.23.2005 @ 19:21

    oh my goodness, hollaback girl is simply a girl who talks back. why is that so hard to get? this is the true definition. they wouldn’t have a bunch of 10 year olds singing a song that has a inappropriate meaning! Do you guys agree?

    halloback boy 06.25.2005 @ 08:00

    Look!!! I hate the HOLLABACK song, it kept repeating over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again in my brain I MEAN what the hell is the song trying to send thru.????? And the lyrics or the melody are not even good. The song is so full of bloody nonsense, it is unsophisticated and its not even music!!! No offence, I think she’s still a talented artist, but this song really got me paranoid, its against the rule of nature and even my dog can make a better song than THAT.

    gv 06.29.2005 @ 15:22

    I’m going to come right out and say it. Your dog is a hollaback dog.

    gv 06.29.2005 @ 15:31

    Whoa! I was reading Lao Tzu and realized that he is totally writing about hollaback! Check this out:

    “Hollaback can be talked about, but not the Eternal hollaback.”
    or this one:
    “When a wise scholar hears the Hollaback, he practices it diligently.
    When a mediocre scholar hears the Hollaback, he wavers between belief and unbelief.
    When a worthless scholar hears the Hollaback, he laughs boisterously at it. But if such a one does not laugh at it, the Hollaback would not be the Hollaback!” (from Chap. 41)

    ashli 07.13.2005 @ 17:45

    hi my name is ashli i think you should write about more interesting things


    Babette 07.19.2005 @ 14:49

    I agree with ashli, write about more interesting things like ‘bubble pop electric’ disect for hours what gwen means by ‘tonight I’m gonna give you all my love in the backseat’ how much is ‘all’ her love exactly? I mean really she’s a SERIOUS songstress.

    Pete 07.27.2005 @ 08:28

    Damn you Google! You brought me here in the first place! YOU work it out!

    Bwob Stiffarmy 07.30.2005 @ 06:37

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ- oh yea – just curious about what a hollaback girl was, like everyone else , but lost the will to live half way through finding out -Had to comment though – (yawn ) Used to like No Doubt – but doubt I can listen to the crap,crass lyrics of poor, repetitive junk like Hollaback Girl.A classic pop record for future listening?- I no doubt it won’t be .Oh to hear great use of a great language – roll over Willy Shakespeare,Charlie (What the) Dickens .. back to sleep .Farewell..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    gwen. stafani fan 08.20.2005 @ 06:14

    I love the song!

    Griztown 08.24.2005 @ 14:49

    I’ve never heard the song, is it good?

    brittney shells 09.03.2005 @ 13:03

    I think all people should leave singers alone.using your words correctly is not the point here.the point is to entertain.if gwen stefani would have want to use correct verbage,she would have become an english proffeser.i think the only way you should judge anyone is if you have tried the job your critizing.

    MDA 09.03.2005 @ 13:18


    1. I can honestly say I have been a singer, both professionally and otherwise. Thanks for the assumption, though.

    2. Have you ever criticized a singer? If not, then I fail to see how you can be critical of anyone here since “the only way [sic] you should judge anyone is if you have tried the job your [sic] critizing [sic]”. If you have, well that’s fine, actually. I suppose you too may be a professional singer.

    3. No, that doesn’t work out. That leads to things like… say… fools in the oval office, for example.


    It’s bumpin’!

    Ed 09.13.2005 @ 19:24

    I read this post sometime around the first of the year and returned by way of the showerhead story. I must say that I am astonished that this entry is still getting comments in the third quarter of the year. Particularly surprising is the number of trolls that it’s gotten, mostly people who seem to feel quite passionately about something they’re not quite sure what it is. Anyway, congrats on a silly thread prolonged beyond my imagining.

    constance clark 10.11.2005 @ 13:46


    elsewhere 10.17.2005 @ 03:25

    I read the column. I was mildly curious about what a hollaback girl was but I don’t really care. I just saw that Gwen would be doing a concert here soon but I was really looking at the local venue to see what concerts were coming in the forlorn hope (and I knew that it wouldn’t happen) of seeing a Jordis Unga concert. I sort of like Gwen but the tickets are too high. Maybe if a thing sounds too good to be true, it is. A Jordis Unga concert, now that would be a breath of fresh air.

    PABLO's Dog 10.31.2005 @ 23:03

    Does anyone know how I can get Gwen’s coordinates? I sell bananas

    xaosseed 11.02.2005 @ 14:03

    Hey Pablo – if you want her tomorrow night she’ll be at 39.3591 Degrees North, 74.4309 Degrees West.

    There’s your 4D coordinates, best of luck.

    scamp 11.03.2005 @ 00:53

    Who is Jordis Unga? Why is she in Gwen’s blogwaffe? Is she a hollaback girl?

    Not american 12.25.2005 @ 15:45

    It is interesting to notice the importance of the high school in the life of an ordinary american. Videoclips, TV series, Movies, Music, Sexual fanstasies and fetiches, life-long lasting traumas, the “high school sweetheart” thing that people get married to and the list goes on…
    Sometimes it seems that the high school is the climax of an american citizen life.

    Jacqui 01.19.2006 @ 14:09

    I like Gwen Stefani’s new album. It has infectous beats and I think people should be less critical of her. She is rich and famous. She sings whatever she wants. If I was rich, famous, hot and fabulous I would sing whatever I wanted too.

    I live in a New York, and many times I have walked down the street and little thirteen year old annoying boys “holla” at me. If I was a little thirteen year old annoying girl, I would “holla” back, therefore making me a hollaback girl. That’s how I see the word.

    d 01.21.2006 @ 19:23

    maybe she only likes it missionary, and does not have a “hollow back”

    apoo 02.01.2006 @ 06:10


    mac 02.10.2006 @ 17:53

    Are you people still doing this shit? I was just curious and find it mildly hilarious to see that you are

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