As everyone continues to check out of 2016 not just to avoid Trump’s presidency but to probably avoid having to work after the holiday break, it bears considering the poignant lyrics of George Michael for Wham!’s first single, “Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do?)”–please pause to appreciate that question mark, if you will. Written at a time when yuppie culture was increasingly on the rise, yet with Margaret Thatcher’s reign keeping many a good man on the dole, George Michael dared to assert, “Hey everybody, take a look at me I’ve got street credibility/I may not have a job, but I have a good time/With the boys that I meet, down on the line” (that means the unemployment line, you perv).
His encouragement for his music video co-star Andrew Ridgeley to not feel like such a piece of shit as he sits at home and gets looked on with parental contempt (a similar manner of which would later be wielded in Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”) manages to get the latter dancing and in a good mood. Walking through the streets of London to see how miserable those in the monkey suit are, George declares, “Hey Mr. Average, you’re a jerk.” Though, from a musical standpoint, the song doesn’t exactly hold up, lyrically speaking, the track is an ahead-of-its-time masterpiece that accurately and boldly stresses what so few still can admit to themselves: “You’re more dead than alive at a 9 to 5.”