419: If a Girl Answers (Don’t Hang Up)

Vanity 6 (1982)
This feels like a skit that was bestowed such a top drawer backing beat that it got extended and upgraded to song status. Funny and funky. It features a slap bass riff, adapted from Teena Marie’s Behind the Groove, which for the first half plays as backdrop to the heated conversation you’re eavesdropping in on. Prince uses his Jamie Starr voice to play The Other Woman and has a cuss-off over the phone with Vanity, before Brenda weighs in with a barbed Sugarhill rap. It’s a phone-hack of the band’s own little nasty world. When the actors exeunt, the second half’s stage is given over to the locked groove, with only occasional sung “don’t hang up”s and ringing phones to keep it company. If a Girl Answers sounds a lot like its New York new wave contemporaries: Tom Tom Club and ESG but with necrophilia jokes and cartoon threats of violence thrown in for the lulz.