Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Analysis of Hip Hop

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad.
Lord Byron




Analysis of Hip Hop
By Kelley Williams


I think today’s hip-hop music gets a bad rap.

Go ahead, take as long as you need to laugh at my hilarious pun. I’ll be here when you get back.

Seriously, though, rappers are often accused of objectifying women or glamorizing things like drug abuse and murder, through their music. And while I do not mean to make light of any of these offenses – they are horrific and should be taken seriously – I think rappers and their songs are just misunderstood. If you listen closely to the words of their songs, you will find they are replete with humor, love, chivalry, and even exercise instructions.

Don’t believe me? Let me share the words of a few popular rap songs, and you will soon see what I mean.

Let’s begin with I Know You Want Me by Pitbull.

The song is partly in English and partly in Spanish and begins with:

Haha Its Mr. 305 checkin' in for the remix, you know that S 75 Street Brazil? Well this year gon be called Calle Ocho, Hahahaha

Okay, I have no idea what this means, but there is a "haha" and a "hahahaha", and I know that means something is funny. And laughter is contagious. I don’t have to know what I’m laughing about in order to laugh. See, I’m doing it now. Ha ha ha. Hee hee hee.

Next is the chorus:

one-two-three-four Uno-do'-tres-cuatro I know you want me (want me) you know I want cha (want cha) I know you want me you know I want cha (want cha)
(Etcetera, this goes on for a while)

Now here’s something I didn’t mention. The songs can be educational. See, we’re learning how to count in Spanish. And the whole, I want you, you want me thing – well, there’s nothing quite like requited love.

Still not convinced? Keep reading.

Umm…I’m really not sure what the rest of the song is saying. Even the parts in English.
6 to tha clock, on my way to the top uh, Pit got it locked from brews to the locker, All I.P uh, big and packer, That he's not, but damn he's hot, label fly but Pit wont stop, got her in the car, quit playin' with his (Como?) watch him make a movie like Albert Hitchcock, ha Enjoy Me

Huh? Let’s try some more.

Mami got an ass like a donkey, with a monkey, look like King Kong, welcome to the crib, 305 thats what it is, with a woman down ya s*** dont play games, they up the chain, and they let her do everythang and anythang, hit tha thang and they love it gettin' it in, gettin' on, all night long

Okay, I still have no idea what he’s talking about. But, oh, oh! He mentions donkeys and monkeys, so clearly - an animal lover. That’s always a good thing.

The song continues. There’s some stuff in Spanish and more of the chorus, a lot more of the chorus, and, well, I really don’t understand most of it.

Not the best example of my theory you may be saying, but let’s review, shall we? We laughed a little, learned some Spanish, the guy wants me, I want him, and he likes animals. ‘Nuf said.

Let’s move on. Whatever You Like by T.I.

Whatever I like? I’m a fan already.

I said you can have whatever you like I said you can have whatever you like

A man devoted to my desires. Does it get any better than that?

Stacks on deck

I’m a little perplexed by this. Stacks of what and where’s the deck?

Patron on ice

Hmm, I’m not a fan of tequila, in fact the smell of it makes me vomit, but the way he says it makes it sound so nice…

We can pop bottles all night Baby you can have whatever you like I said you can have whatever you like

There he goes again, tending to my every waking whim. How chivalrous.

Late night sex, so wet and so tight

Oh good. I’m so not a morning person.

I'll gas up the jet for you tonight and baby you can go wherever you like I said you can go wherever you like

New York City please, then how about the Bahamas? No, make it Costa Rica. Then can we hop on over to Paris?

Anytime you want to pick up the telephone you know that it ain't nothing to drop a couple stacks on you

Oh, oh, I get it! Stacks are stacks of money. He wants to spend money on me. See how he doesn’t give it to you all at once? He makes you work for it, exercise that brain.

If you want it you can get it my dear 5 millions dollars homes drop the business I swear

A one million dollar home would suffice, but who am I to refuse a gift?

I want your body. I need your body. As long as you got me you won't need nobody.

Ok that’s a little demanding. But he's been so generous and accommodating so far. And he did ask for it – kinda - instead of just taking it. So, okay, he can have my body.

You want it, I got it. Go get it, I'll buy it.

Again, thank you. That’s very nice.

Tell them other broke nig*gas be quiet

Um, can you tell them for me?

Shawty you the hottest. Love the way you drop it.

I knew one day a man would find my klutziness endearing. That is what he means, right?

Brain so good coulda sworn you went to college

Now that’s just a good ol’ fashioned compliment.

100k deposit. Vacations in the tropics And everybody know it ain't tricking if you got it

Actually, I didn’t know that. See, there’s that learnin’ again.

You ain't never ever gotta go in your wallet. Long as I got rubberband banks in my pocket. 5 6 rides wit rims and a body kit…

Blah, blah, blah. You get the point.

So let’s see. In just one song we’ve covered chivalry, love, and a man who’s devoted to my desires. It really is quite the love song. And once again we learned something. We now know that stacks means money (I think. Don’t quote me on that). I know it can be hard to remember the definition of a new word, so try using it in sentence, like tomorrow I am going to go to Ann Taylor Factory Outlet and drop a couple stacks on some fabulous new clothes that I desperately need.

Are you ready for your workout? Here’s where the exercise comes in.

Let’s examine Swing by Savage.

In order to fully grasp the benefits of this song, the following must be read while doing what Savage instructs. However, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise routine.

Oh sh*it, shake that xxx ma, move it like a gypsy Stop, woah, back it up, now let me see your hips SWING Stop, woah, back it up, now let me see your hips SWING Now drop it looooow and let me see your hips SWING Down to the floooor now let me see your hips SWING Down to the floooor now let me see your hips SWING

(Allow me to digress for just a moment and say that I am copying these lyrics from a website. I thought I’d point out the triple x’s – xxx - for the word ass, which isn’t exactly one of the words I’d include in the list of the top five most offensive words in the English language. And yet there is sh*it in all its glory. Interesting, yes? I added the * because I’m doing my best to keep things PGish.)

At first glance, it may not seem like you are getting a full body work out, but let’s break it down.

Oh sh*it, shake that xxx ma.

Are you doing it? Are you shaking your xxx? There’s your glutes work out, and possibly your upper hamstrings. (Is there such a thing as upper hamstrings? I really am clueless when it comes to working out, which is why Savage’s song is so important.)

Move it like a gypsy.

Now, I’m not entirely sure how a gypsy moves, but I’m fairly confident it involves gyrating hips, swerving abs and undulating arms. That’s a whole lotta muscle groups right there.

Stop.

Again, this may not seem like much, but going from gypsy movements to a dead stop takes extreme muscle control. Try it.

Back it up.

I don’t think a whole lot of explanation is needed here. Just do what the man says.

Now let me see your hips SWING.

Here we go. It’s time to swing our hips. Notice the emphasis on the word SWING. He means business. You better not half-xxx it.

Stop, woah, back it up, now let me see your hips SWING.

Once wasn’t enough. He's a slave driver. We must repeat it. But he has our best interests at heart. He's warming up our muscles so we don't pull something later.

Now drop it looooow.

Now we’re getting to the serious stuff, squats. Don’t break your form, remember to keep those knees over your ankles.

and let me see your hips SWING

Do it. SWING those hips.

Down to the floooor

Do not confuse this with Now drop it looooow, which was a squat. Here, Savage is telling us to go all the way down to the floor, flat on our stomachs.

now let me see your hips SWING

And as soon as you get down, you better hop right back up and SWING those hips.

Down to the floooor now let me see your hips SWING

And repeat.

Uh oh, lean back, girl you got some mean racks You got a mean xxx and I really mean that But can't you see, that I need a girl, that can move Make her hips SWING - and - look - just like you But come to think about it, I think this club is crowded It's kinda hard to do your thing when everyone's surrounding So let me form a circle everybody step back I heard somebody yell "Savage where the chorus at?!

I recommend that during the verses you take a breather, get some water, stretch a little. Whatever you need to do to gear yourself up for the chorus…

And here it comes already.

Oh sh*it, shake that xxx ma, move it like a gypsy Stop, woah, back it up, now let me see your hips SWING Stop, woah, back it up, now let me see your hips SWING Now drop it looooow and let me see your hips SWING Down to the floooor now let me see your hips SWING Down to the floooor now let me see your hips SWING

If you have any questions on how to execute these moves, please see above explanation.

On to another verse. Remember: breath, water, stretch.

And more chorus. Come on. You can do it. Savage and I believe in you.

Did you do it? Feel the burn?

Now here’s some new instructions. This is the most intense part of the workout.
Knees bent, xxx out, come on push your xxx out (Let me see your hips swing) Bring it up then back down, bring it up then back down (Let me see your hips swing) All my ladies on the floor, all my ladies on the floor (Let me see your hips swing) Pick it up then dip it low, pick it up then dip it low (Let me see your hips swing)

This can be a little tough, so I’ll break it down.

Knees bent, xxx out, come on push your xxx out (Let me see your hips swing)

Are you doing this? It’s not easy to bend your knees, stick out your xxx and swing your hips, is it? At least he’s taking it easy on us with a small swing.

Bring it up then back down, bring it up then back down (Let me see your hips swing)

Two quick squats followed by a hip swing. Feel the burn.

All my ladies on the floor, all my ladies on the floor (Let me see your hips swing)

I’m not entirely sure, but I think in this instance he wants us to swing our hips while on the floor.

Pick it up then dip it low, pick it up then dip it low (Let me see your hips swing)

Quick! On your feet! Deeep squat, almost to the floor, all the way back up, deeep squat and finish with a hip swing.

And just for good measure, the chorus one more time. Oh sh*it, shake that xxx ma, move it like a gypsy…

So, there you have it. Absolutely no trace of objectifying woman, murder or drugs. Just humor, chivalry, love, devotion, exercise and probably a whole bunch of other wonderful things I missed. And let’s not forget education, a benefit I hadn't originally thought of. You really just never know what gems are hidden in the lyrics of a hip-hop song.

Are you inspired? Ready to try one for yourself? See what you can find. Here are a few lines from Akon’s I’m So Paid to get you started.

I see police on the crooked i Doin a 100 on interstate ninety-fi' My shorty leanin, blastin that do or die Pushin that mxxxfxxxx wood cuz we certified Got a system that'll beat and knock your wall off Got a pump under my seat, the sawed-off Got a bunch of goons hope they never call off And my snipers sittin on the roof already saw y'all Cuz nig*gas they want war but ain't got money Cuz i seen them all talk until they start gunnin But i thought you was tough don't We carry choppers on our necks Call it cut throat We, bury powers on the set That they come from We, no magic turn We smoke the gun smoke We, bomb first when we ride You, in a hearse when you ride

Hmm. That doesn’t seem to be the best example. But I do not amend my opening statement. There is always one exception to every rule.

So play your rap music loud and be proud. Teachers, educate your students. Parents, serenade your children to sleep. Husbands, seduce your wives. Fatties, drop those pounds.

Rap songs are your oyster, their pearls just waiting to be discovered.


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If you notice any lyrical errors, know that I copied the words to these songs from a website. I checked several different sources to make sure I was as accurate as possible, but there were some discrepancies. Apparently I am not the only one who has no idea what the heck these rappers are talking about. Uh, I mean I know exactly what they are saying.


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I must give a shout-out to my breathtakingly beautiful editor Ashley for catching the typos in the previous posts. You might have your work cut out for you on this one!





2 comments:

  1. I laughed out loud reading this! Can't wait to read more!

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