“Do the Hustle!”
And may all the scolds go to Hell!
Well, it’s a new year and what better way to ring it in than by dancing and celebrating the Hustle? Van McCoy’s The Hustle is a song that’s been heard by anyone who has ever watched a movie about the disco era. It’s pretty much appeared on almost every soundtrack ever compiled. If it’s a disco film, you’re going to hear The Hustle. It’s a song that just makes you think about dancing, disco balls, and cocaine. Lots and lots of a cocaine. From what I understand, copies of this song were originally sold with their own souvenir coke spoons. That may or may not be true but you get the idea.
Interestingly enough, the dance came before the song. Van McCoy was at Adam’s Apple, a New York City nightclub, in 1975 when he saw that the patrons were dancing a new dance that they called The Hustle. He was so taken with the dance that he wrote a song about it. He had three lyrics and a beat you could dance to and that was all he needed to create the soundtrack of the late 70s. The Hustle was a hit and it came to define an era. Sadly, it was an era that McCoy himself would not survive. He died of a heart attack in 1979, while in New Jersey. He was only 39 years old.
The video below was released in 2010 and, as you can tell, it was made up by clips of McCoy performing the song on various shows. You can debate whether this is a legitimate music video or just a compilation. That’s fine, though. We’re all about debate here at the Shattered Lens! Ultimately, what is truly important is that it’s a good song and it’s a new year! It’s 2022! Get out there and dance! Get out there and do the hustle! And you know what!? Don’t be afraid to use exclamation points! You’ve earned them and you’ve earned the right to use them as much as you want!
Personally, I think the attitudes of the 1920 and the 1970s are about to make a comeback. (Actually, the comeback has already started but only a few people are willing to acknowledge it. That will change soon.) After the past few years, people want to have a good time. They want to dance. They want to move to wherever the music takes them. The past few years have been dominated by people demanding that everyone else be as miserable as they are. You may not know it from reading twitter. You may not know it from watching the news. But most people want to enjoy themselves. Most people want to pursue their own pleasures and their own happiness in their own way. The 2020s are going to have a lot more in common with the 1920s and the 1970s than there are with the 1960s and the 2010s. Old Joe and Young Greta and the moralistic social media scolds can wag their fingers all they want. People are ready to do the hustle.