Daily Dose: ‘Toy Soldiers’ by Martika

This song is hilariously overdramatic, I’ll just get that out the way now. That doesn’t make it bad (perhaps the opposite) but unless you have an overdeveloped sense of absurdism and the ability to take joy from that it may be a touch on the serious side. Having said that, something that is much too serious is probably the best way to close out the calendar. Everyone loves a bit of overdrama, even (especially) when they say they don’t, right?

Anyway, I’d never heard this song before this New Year’s, but it came up on a random playlist that was on and I made a note to go find it later. I knew Eminem got the sample from somewhere (that songs okay), but the original was slightly before my time. Despite my popping off at it earlier, I actually really like this song (honestly, I do!), even if it is perhaps slightly for the wrong reasons (I won’t apologise for my inability to take things seriously). It’s by Martika, real name Marta Marrero, born in California to Cuban parents, who was a kid star, did a couple of records in the late eighties and early nineties, and then went to focus on things that were not the nonsense that was (is) the music business. There was a brief resurgence in the early nowts in a duo with her husband, but other than that basically nothing. In the music video she was, I will say, absolutely stunningly beautiful, (she may still be) and I actually really like her voice/production on the song to boot. It’s about cocaine addiction, which is only balance probably a bad thing, even bearing in mind that I kinda believe people should be able to do what they want with their bodies (crazy, I know). That doesn’t make doing mountains of cocaine like you’re Lonnie Smith a good idea, however, and Martika clearly felt strongly about it (her friend was suffering a cocaine addiction, as was very popular in the eighties) if she’s prepared to expend this much emotion on it, so good on her. I’ll respect that message.

This New Year, give up your cocaine addiction. But only if you want to.

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