There is a sexism controversy surrounding DJ Robin & Schürze’s song. Musicologist Marina Forel is critical of the song – but she understands what makes it so appealing.
DJ Robin & Schürze’s “Layla” party is number one on the Austrian and German charts and causes controversy. There is no longer a folk festival in Würzburg and the Dusseldorf fair. It doesn’t have to run everywhere in the Dusseldorf fair. The reason is the text. “I have a brothel – and my brothel mom’s name is Layla. She’s prettier, younger and horny.” Musicologist Marina Forel found the song “too sexist,” but understands why it’s dominating the charts.
“Leila” is a modern party song. Attractively produced. “When I first played it, I said to myself, ‘Oh, that could be something,'” says Forell, who has researched the world of hit songs at the University of Leipzig. The positive impression disappeared when he started singing. However, Forell, he said , catchy tone. Maybe that’s the recipe for success. Maybe people want a festive song after the pandemic years. Forell has a clear stance on the content.
Women getting smaller
“I find the song very sexist,” Forel says. The woman who sang around was extremely sluggish in her body. In addition, prostitution is less celebrated as a way of life, although it is known to have a downside. Prostitution is often associated with human trafficking and coercion, and often does not have any self-empowerment about it.
In Ö3, “Layla” is played only as part of the “Ö3 Autria Top 40” show – where it is currently taking the lead – but not in the regular programme. “The following applies to ‘Layla’: German hit songs and cottage songs do not belong to Ö3 group. We’ve played this title so far as part of the weekly ‘Ö3 Austria Top 40’, but not on the current Ö3 show. And we’ll stay there and we’ll stay, at least As long as the song is #1 on the charts,” says Ö3 broadcaster George Spatt to “Courier.”
Many songs are about drinking and going on vacation
If you listen to these concert songs, you’ll also find songs like “Beate, die Harte” or “Anna-Lena” (“Geiler Ass, geiler Blick, geiles Stück”). Are there often sexist lines of text? “Yes, the impression is correct,” says musicologist Forel. Many songs revolved around drinking and going on vacation. But of course there are songs like “Big Tits, Potato Salad,” which are really on the borderline of good taste and of course sexist.
“Big Tits, Potato Salad” is a song written by Ikke Hipgold whose real name is Mathias Distel. He also launched his music company “Layla”. He is now promoting the #freelayla petition online with other artists. The accompanying text reads: “Against censorship! For life after Corona! For artistic freedom!” Several thousand people have signed up online so far.
The song is not forbidden
Musicologist Forle is surprised that artistic freedom is sometimes used as an argument. “In my opinion, trying to treat 50 percent of humanity with respect and not as a piece of meat does not cancel out the culture,” she says. The song is not generally prohibited and will not be banned. Everyone can listen to it privately and on Mallorca. The song no longer plays in some contexts.
Furrell has already thought of the argument that there are sometimes worse lines in rap. One difference is how the music is used. Rap music with super soft lyrics doesn’t get much air. There is a difference between listening to music with friends and a small group. Or if you use it to express the opinions of thousands of people at a folk festival. Where there are also women who might feel uncomfortable in a hot, drunken atmosphere and with such a song that men roar upon. I found that the decisions in Würzburg and Dusseldorf were correct.
soundtrack to overtake
If you ask Forell why people like these songs at all, it reminds them of their context. These songs are only heard by a few at home, and the primary use is after skiing, at carnival, in Mallorca. For some, the vacation at Ballermann is intentionally reserved. A kind of experiment space was created there. “And a lot of people left that.” On vacation, people go to the sea, and the rules of everyday life are no longer important. Then the good taste is left at home too.
In Schlager’s world, Forell also noticed a different development. She handled pop hits, with Andrea Berg, Helen Fisher, Vanessa May, Beatrice Egli. There are also truly feminist songs, such as “The First of Your Kind” by Helen Fisher or “Anders is Good” by Michelle.
One surprise out there this year is that Ballermann doesn’t always have to be controversial – a remix of “We Say Thank You” by Flippers. Relatively harmless, he says, “Love is when you kiss tenderly.”