“You got to give the peeeopllllllle/give the peoplllllllle what they wannnnnnnt” – my buddy Jalen, channeling the O’Jays.
I’m not referring to the truth, the truth and no more lies, freedom, justice, and equality, though – in this case, the people have asked me again and again to do the easy, classic Perfect Angel cover, so here I go. You really do got to give the people, give the people what they want.
I chose this cover during the last 72 hours – coincidentally, the same period in which I was reminded that the National Football League does not give a single fuck about women, the violence done to women’s bodies, or the behavior of its employees – unless that behavior involves important shit like getting caught with weed or free tattoos in college.
I’m an NFL superdork with 2 Fantasy teams & a picture of 6-year-old me with Howie Long on my fridge, but I’m also a woman superdork and a person with a conscience, and the NFL is just such a terrible and gross organization that I don’t know how to cope during moments like this. The cognitive dissonance is real, people. Luckily, I’ve found some brief comfort in ice cream, overalls, and the soothing production work of Stevland Morris. And since I’m angry with the cartoonishly evil Roger Goodell but I can’t boycott NFL sponsors I never supported in the first place (Frito-Lay, GM, Anheuser-Busch, Gatorade), I believe the best way to deal with my disgust and sadness is to inform you that the NFL’s contact number is (212) 450-2000. Ask for Mr. Goodell, like I did. They won’t put you through to him, but you’ll at least reach the comment line where you can tell Rog you’re furious. I did, and it makes me feel a little better.
(I’ll probably do this same post all over again when Goodell makes a slap-on-the-wrist ruling about Greg Hardy – remember, the NFL doesn’t give a fuck about women – but until then: ice cream cones and Stevie Wonder!)
Now stop emailing me about this one, guys. xo.
I ♥ ASS said the bumper sticker I saw today while out driving – except, can you believe it, the heart was upside-down, like an ass! It looked just like a nice, curvy bottom! Teehee. It was a message just for me. Religious types say God works in mysterious ways; I just say Well, there it is – a sign that it’s time for me to finally do this Kool Keith post.
What’s that you say? A girl with high self-esteem and several Women’s Studies courses under her belt should know better? A porno-fiend caped rap crusader will only make me cry into my Hello Kitty blanket? He’ll eventually find the hips of another woman to get enveloped in, so I should move on? Oh dear, I’m sorry, I’m sure you have valid points but Keith just arrived and I can’t hear you over the sounds of our vigorous lovemaking. He’s good to me. He doesn’t charge me for twice-daily pelvic exams. He wears a cape (rad), and doesn’t name-drop even though he is friends with Ced Gee and Doomsy (SO RAD). And he’s dependable – Keith’s bread and (sexy) butter is brag-raps, conquest-raps, songs about spanking and biting, tales of headstands and whipped cream, lube and rope, Silly String, stripper shoes, librarian shoes, insisting he gets to be both the cowboy and the Indian when we play cowboys & Indians, insisting I ride the mechanical bull while eating frosting out of the can without a spoon, and for putting his left leg in and shaking it all about. He also goes, um, deep when it comes to romance, but nobody seems to notice. He’s not known for his emotional-connection raps. After years of listening to him and obsessing, though, I’m telling you: Keith wants to make sweet, tender love to me until the sun comes up, and watch this, I can prove it:
1. You’re blonde and weird; let’s get naked, dollface. You’re Dutch/Argentinean, yes? Or wait, no – Persian/Irish? I love you. – “Break U Off,” Diesel Truckers (2004).
“Don’t get me wrong now, I like ’em blonde with long hair
They call me Suavere, I like her underwear
She don’t mind posin, she don’t even care
I like her atmosphere, plus she’s out there
The type of girl to break out, yo we outta here
House and closets, model with a lot of gear
She love to clown and pose, spread ’em on the chair
Talk on the rooftop, when she wanna feel some air…
With a see-through nightgown, she got to be Spanish
Brassiere, baby come over here
The mamacita, lick the ice off her back when I freak her
She look Brazilian sometime, her face look unique-a.”
Long blonde hair with an ethnically ambiguous face? UH OF COURSE THIS SONG’S ABOUT ME so it had to start the list. Indulge me, please. She’s (meaning me, the romantic lead) blonde, “plus she’s out there,” meaning she might just be the type to have a pic of Harold Rhodes for her laptop background and a blog in which she obsesses over rap lyrics. It would also help if she had an absurdly feminine body shape, but this combination of qualities is just impossible to find in an actual human lady. You’re dreamin, kid.
Blonde girls are like unusual, highlighted birds to Keith. I get it. He’s from the Bronx; blondes are probably rare there. Keith was apparently so smitten he had to take to the microphone and count the ways he loves his fair-haired oddball baby doll space cadet(te?), including her ability to make love to the camera. It is a common theme in sex songs. The big thing on the radio right now is “Double Dip,” an awful/catchy song about repeat coitus. When you texted that pic of your backside to me, the dude says, My reply was like, “Give that right to me.” Points for straighforwardness, sir, but none for romance, originality, or mastery of words that rhyme with “me” (there are about a thousand, for the record). It is boring. Just a boring series of words over an awful/catchy beat. By contrast, Keith somehow makes “spread ’em on the chair” sound fresh and witty, like no other young lady in history thought to pose nakedly for her man, to put her leg like that, open her mouth a little, yes love, just like that – gorgeous! (snap, snap). The fact that he asked me to wear a Hello Kitty onesie and some thigh-highs just before I mounted the mechanical bull and started posing? Just part of the romance, baby.
Basically just a list of all the things he likes about his lady, “Break U Off,” also gets a nod for the lines “Tastes so good, her body like Krispy Kreme” (yum!) and “I love your sweet eyelashes” (aww).
2. Your body! 36-23-JesusChrist. – “Telephone Girlfriend,” The Lost Masters (2003)
“Answer the phone, honey
You lay on my chest like Max Julien, Cleopatra status
Coke bottle shape, Miss Nubian
Watch your sheer nightgown in the bathroom light
With camel toe showin, I can tell you tight
Loose jeans don’t work, my job is to convert.”
Never in mah life have I heard an MC who pays such close attention to a woman’s sleeping and lounging garments. Keith does this over and over in his verses – descriptions of cotton and lace, silk, that satin thong in “Sexy Girl.” He loves drapey, soft things on skin, and he’ll tell you about it over a beat. How sweet. This verse made Top 10 because of that attention to detail, and because of his appreciation of a nightgown, an old-timey garment that your grandma wore, as opposed to one of those lace bodystockings from AA or a corset or something.
I could do without that stupid camel toe part, but the reference to Cleopatra Jones is dope and means Keith clearly likes watching girls with unusual first names who accentuate the waist and wear tight shirts. I also believe Keith has stated his fondness for a mean WHR more creatively in other songs (“Business lady with the Anita Baker haircut and a Coke bottle body” – “I’m Dangerous”), but any lyric about a mean WHR is clearly a lyric about me so it gets a spot on this list. (I’m easy)
3. I like to hear your voice sometimes – not just type messages to you on my phone’s tiny keyboard. – “How Sexy,” Dr. Dooom 2 (2008)
“I met you, wanted me to buy porno
girl you had it in your hormones
Last night before you talked to me on the phone
I asked you twice to bite my ice cream cone
C’mon be serious-
this ain’t typin a few words back and forth like kids; we grown.”
“We’ve seen each other naked,” says every girl in the world, including the girl whose blog you are currently reading, “can we sometimes talk, please? Hear each other’s voices?”
I saw a funny bumper sticker about ass! And I made cupcakes, do you want one? I had a dream that I had a kitten! What do you think French Montana and Push Montana talk about at the annual Montana Family Picnic? That new Jeezy n’ Freddie has a lower BPM than I normally like but man when I hear it in the Civic it makes me wanna get back in the narcotics game, like the “Black Betty”/airport scene in Blow! They’re having a Dudes Who Will Not be Seeing Logan Naked conference on stage at the Meadowlands! (well, except for Waka. I believe “He could get it” is the expression-?). 9th Wonder adds “Member of the Universal Zulu Nation” to his self-intro (“Producer/teacher/rapper…”); is that true?? Does he still adhere to the 15 Beliefs, or is he a detractor? There’s a human who calls himself “Black Cobain,” the fuck is that about! They play Frank Ocean on Power 106; is this dope, or a sign of the apocalypse? Dude oh my god Spader simply killed it on The Office! That story about Pyrex is so interesting, and it’s a perfect mix of rap music and science, my two greatest loves! I got ____ and ____ at Amoeba today, and then I brought them home and laid them on my floor and rolled around nakedly on them! Wait, why’d your phone go to voicemail again? Hey boy, let’s talk, cuz WE GROWN. I mean, aren’t we?
It’s not that I’m chatty; it’s that the world is amazing. I think about some dope, weird, silly, dumb stuff and I want to lay it on you in actual conversations once in a while. Actually, I think about all kinds of nice stuff I wanna lay on you, conversationally and otherwise. RAWR.
4. You’re not boring, even when we’re doing boring things. – “Telephone Girlfriend” again
“In the living room, on the couch and sofa
Mature female, you act older
No problem at all when I walk with you to the mall
Circle the parking lot, you park and hot (? I think)
At night you booty call, we order things from Pink Dot.”
Same song, different romantic scenario. Romance doesn’t have to be dinner upstairs at El Cid (though the empanadas are so SO good) or getting flowers at work; it’s living-room lounging, buying dumb stuff together at CVS on Tuesday after work, then you rolling your eyes during one of my Power 106 dorkout sessions while sitting in traffic (“Racks on racks on racks, LEH’GO”). If the person you’re with is fun even when you’re doing the most mundane things, you’ve got it – a magical, perfect coupling, a lovely picture of relationship beauty – and you should hold onto it. See also: the person you’re with embellishing life accomplishments just to make you smile (“First man from New York City housing to have his face on a $30 bill”), and that person also somehow being more interesting than the NBA playoffs (“I turned the Lakers off, you can’t stop my afterparty/A fifth of vodka and latex, drink your Bacardi” – “Regular Girl”).
This track also includes massaging, a thing that is both a classically romantic gesture and a thing that dudes are deliciously skilled at because they have more upper-body strength than women. It’s science. “Baby oil on your toes while you get wet to my flows” gets an honorable mention as well, simply because I love it. Hi Mom!
5. Wack rappers be quiet. The world is wondrous and so strange and I’d like to tell you about it with my patented colorful and stylish narrative technique. – “Plastic World,” Sex Style (1997)
“As I do see…(??) wack beer commercials
Some rappers are bought and puppeteered like the Ninja Turtles
From Manhattan I heat up, yo light up Times Square
I make noise like open high hats on your cheap snare
No promotional shows, girls wear cornrows
People with hooded sweaters on crack keep me on my toes
I walk with straw hats, fake glasses in the projects
Bring my ghost image so tense on the line of scrimmage
Playing my numbers, waiting for the 5 to come
Spaghetti out the window, people acting dumb
Fire hazards wake the neighbors, your family’s nosy
I come and go as I please on blockhead MCs
You bought new sneakers, no car, scrambling on the corner
I’m not the star you are, the city’s fallen far
By mechanism, you’re on my tip
Stay off my penis, you’ve duplicated me for years.”
Go weird or go home, that’s what I always say. Keith lost that nice bouncy “Poppa Large” flow somewhere along the way – spring of ’95, I believe it was – and goddammit if he didn’t made up for it with lyrics like these. References to a drum kit, terrible MCs who are inexplicably successful, and the weirdos prowling the city: this song is romantic because to a lady English major, interesting, well-written rhymes are the sweet love-nectar of life. Also, good storytellers are the highest form of human. Good storytellers get women naked, if they storytell in a way that is romantic yet non-corny (a tricky mix). Sex Style was dope stuff, late-’90s weird-hop, streamofconsciousness-sex-hop, and Keith had no challengers, really (except RA, maybe? at times? Slick Rick and Too $hort, no – they ruled the ’80s sexrap industry but mostly they put out plain old intercourse verses, free from BDSM and mechanical bulls and other Keith-ish weirdisms). Just wait til 2009, though, when a scrappy young buck from the Bay will stroll in and announce he’s Paris Hilton and his chain look like lightning – he’ll polarize the Internet! Anyway, Keith is the rap Trav Bickle, describing NYC as cluttered and greasy and sin-filled, but instead of making me recoil in disgust when he talks about how dirty it is, it makes me want to go there. (This also serves as a metaphor for our sexual life together.) Oh and “stay off my penis” is just funny; no two ways about it*. Romance cannot survive without some humor thrown in.
*I should do a post about mentions of penis in lyrics over the years; seems like a good use of my time but I have a feeling I’ll just keep putting it off. I should also listen to more Gang Gang Dance and finally read The Executioner’s Song but that is probably not happening either.
6. Brokest rapper you know (hi Sean P!) – “Let Me Talk to You,” Masters of Illusion (2000)
“I respect you for going with me to Burger King, riding with me in my lil jalopy. Stickin by me, through thick and thin. Goin to White Castle and stuff…ridin around in like a little ’65 Chevy. Can’t afford them Benzes, we can only fantasize.”
We forget Keith’s a real person sometimes because of his superb, otherworldly brain, the fact that he was so spacey Thelonious stopped taking his phone calls and he got kicked out of both the Cosmic Echoes and the Arkestra*, and the fact that his overall demeanor is like that of an alien doing an impression of Al Goldstein doing an impression of a dude asking for change in front of the 99Cents store at Willoughby and La Brea. But if Keith’s cut, he bleeds. He likes waffles for breakfast (oh god Keith me too! Me TOO we are meant to be togetherrrrr). He turns up “Owner of a Lonely Heart” when it comes on the car radio for a life-is-wonderful rockout sesh just like everybody else. And he likes his partner to appreciate him for more than his money, because he is huuuuman and he needs to be looooved/just like everybody else doessssss. Keith likes playing games but only the sexy kind, and if you are a lowdown dirty female thinking that you can manipulate him into catching feelings and paying your student loan bill, well, you will probably get a mean-spirited rap song written about you. He wrote groupie-decimating “Dolly and the Rat Trap,” remember. We’re all aware that when the feelings are real and the love is true, cash is often a nice supplement to a romantic relationship (thanks, Jay-Z and Fabolous songs from 10 years ago!). But when cash becomes so terribly important that romance needs it in order to stay alive, why, that’s not romance at all! Love don’t live here anymore!, say all the other songs by Jay-Z and Fabolous.
Again, the details of a sexy courtship are what Keith is so good at, uh, nailing (har) – “Bringing extra underwear to the picnic,” “Drinkin cups of tea by the fireplace,” the importance of doing certain things to her in certain places with care and enthusiasm (I cannot describe these actions or these places here, as I am a lady). And reciprocity, darling: “When a woman loves a man,” he says, “she’ll clean the grime off your feet.” This is true. And when a man loves a woman, he makes a cute cartoon video to accompany one of his most romantic songs. PS, Keith! Benzes are cornball and I like you better without one. I’d rather bob my head in a ragtop (preferably a monkey-green one*) any damn way.
* This is something I just made up and found amusing. So it stays in the post.
7. I did this for you, and that for you, because I’m a nice person. Oh and did I mention I have a Seville? – “Supergalactic Lover,” Black Elvis/Lost in Space (1999)
“Diamond rings with roses, I put pearls in your noses
Put you in heels, paid your school loans and tons of bills
I ripped eight thousand threw a stack up in the fireplace
You couldn’t believe it, your mom was there with a sad face…
I walked in with cape, with jewels on, you know I’m the captain
Outside by the Cadillac three brothers rappin, soundin wack and
I kept on steppin, legend status, you know my rep and
I see you at 8, turn your pager off, don’t be late…
Comin from the projects on the hill
*In my monkey-green ragtop Seville”
“OH NO, I couldn’t possib—AW DAMN. WELL, OKAY KEITH, if you insist.”
I can pay my own way but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the offer – even though a supergalactic lover will always take a back seat to a superman lover in my heart.
The student loan hustle is one of the greatest ever concocted by the federal government. What a pain. I need relief. I’m willing to accept cash aid as a form of this relief. I also like pretty, overpriced shoes. And it’s my dream to be able to stop my days of worryation. And I like Cadillacs. And even though I do not even give a tiny bit of a fuck that Thom Yorke sometimes shows up and spazzes out at the Low End Theory, because he is boring and because it’s not the year 1997, ’98, or ’99, I do give a big huge fuck about everything Keith still does even though it’s not ’97 or 8 or 9. The captain put spaceship pictures up on the wall and paid my student loan balance, so if he tells me to turn my pager off, I’m doing it. Being bossed around by someone with more money than you adds an interesting power dynamic to a relationship, and can manifest itself in some pretty intense ways in the bedroom. Or, um, so I am told? (Hi again, Mom!). This one also contains the best mention of “ragtop” since “Bombs Over Baghdad.”
8. ROAD TRIP. – “I Want You to Be,” Lost Masters, Vol. 2 (2005)
“You made me who I am now, my mind is under all different types
of enjoyin weather in the deep relation
Your feelings are ready for elevation
I need you now to meet me at the station
I need you nowww to meet me at the station
You gotta be there on time…
I can’t think no more, I cry to myself by the bed
I can’t sit by the sink no more
Your perfume lingers in my room with the overjoy and pain
I think about you even when it doesn’t rain”
People who don’t like road trips are soulless, like Republicans and Serato users. Jot that down. Remember it always.
There’s lots of “let’s run away together” in Avett Brothers songs, Band of Horses songs. Fleet Foxes. Bon Iver. Elliott Smith. My Morning Blitzen Trapper Drive-By ugghhh too tired to finish the list. I have numerous bearded boyfriends with albums full of white girl swoon-y road trip classics. And then there are songs that just make you feel like running away with someone when you hear them (Flying Burrito Brothers, The Band, Bill Callahan, Cass McCombs, side A of Anodyne). You’ll notice that there are no rap groups, or individual MCs, among the musical persons I just named. Keith steps up in this case, though, courting me by tapping into my deeply feminine need to leave it all behind. Even though this song has some horrible singing and Keith kind of phones it in lyrically – lazy cliches about riding horses, analogies about love being like a car or like the road on which you’re driving a car, and he even rhymes wife and life (a wack ’80s R&B move, a lazy cliche) – in the end he saves the day with the “let’s run away together” lazy cliche. Because it works, that’s why. Responsibility and the daily grind are not romantic (grinding daily, however: very romantic). The whole getting-the-you-know-what-outta-Dodge/Echo Park life plan is a cliche for a reason, people: the laydeez love it. I am a lady, and I’m telling you it’s a fact.
That “I can’t sit by the sink no more” line is so sad and touching too. Shit just got really real; DAMN. (All her lady-things are there, you see. Her lotions and perfumes. Brings back memories for the kid. Aw Keith.)
“I like your pretty eyes
Tell me where you get your hair done, your face so clear
With fourteen carat diamonds in your ear
He beat you up, I’ll eat you up, reheat you up
Come fix your life, make you my wife, improve in time
No wine and dine, don’t waste my time, mature your mind…
You’re that fine girl from high school, college graduate
Lady always on my mind, girl can you imagine it?…
Come here girl, I wanna talk to you
I wanna tell you a lot of things”
“Come here girl, I wanna talk to you” is standard game kicked at the bar/club/grocery store/DMV (or so I’ve heard about and seen in movies; dudes don’t talk to me, unless they’re at Amoeba, over 55, and looking for that same Mighty Diamonds record as me and keep bumping into my ass in the aisle. Or unless they’re married. Or a cop). But when it comes to Keith and that Bronx lilt of his, such a line is extraordinary and not at all standard. I wanna tualk to you. He’s so specific about what he likes about this particular lady, too – the eyes, the nice skin, the college degree. This song is like his version of “Ice Cream” but without the part complimenting the girl’s rude, crabby demeanor. Keith likes ’em sweet. It all ventures into cliche territory, and because it’s Keith he’s still able to triumph, showing up at my door with some In-N-Out, a nice handwritten note, and something water-based in order to reduce friction between body parts. Horoscopes are a big collection of cliches too, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make me feel good (today for Aries: “The one who recognizes that there is something special in you will capture your heart.” AWW).
10. No means YES. – “Sexual Intruder,” Personal Album (2004)
I had to honor Personal Album somewhere in this post just on the strength of its song titles (“I Do What I Want”; “A Black Kid Who Think He’s White”; “Girl Wanna Kill Herself”). I would not have been able to live with myself otherwise.
“Lead singer up front, you feel me like The Temptations
The way I gave you the world
Send you to learn about the (M)oments, on a thousand vacations
With you sick in the hospital, I bought you the flowers
They were (B)lack (I)vory, they made you cry with heavy (E)motions
Your back and night was rubbed down professional
with sweet cucumber lotion, with all my time and devotion
You cried about the bills your ex-man had left you with
Throwin rocks into the ocean
I heard your (W)hispers all the way to my ear, on a foggy night
You walkin with one of your Pomeranians, 3 Dog Nights
With Pitts comin you was in shock
I couldn’t let 3 dogs fight (I couldn’t let 3 dogs fight)…
Waitin in the emergency room for your mild concussions
You knew your heart always and forever
Through the (H)eatwave, your body was rushin
You had to get to your own apartment, you didn’t want to say with your cousin
Your mom always fussin, takin a train from the Grand (Graham) Central Station
When I was on stage, nothin could stop you from faintin
Grabbin my hand on the spot, you was scared under the shy (Chi) lights (Lites)
With apple bottoms on, jeans fittin tight
Beggin me to put on your direct light, in love like a sex slave
Sippin red Alize under the purple light, sexual intruder
Sexual intruder, I’m your sexual intruder…”
Weird-hop! Can’t get enough! This song is a big collection of WTF, but sometimes you need that in a relationship. Boredom kills, you know; keep me guessing and I’ll be yours forever. The whole storyline Keith lays out here, for example – huh? Was she attacked by dogs? Is her medical prognosis good? Did she and Keith do it in her hospital bed? I’ll be thinking about all that later (I’ll probably call you, since a text can’t capture the raw emotion), but for now I want to swoon over the fact that KEITH MAKES CUTE PUNS OUT OF OLD R&B GROUP NAMES. It’s romantic when someone uses a song to talk to you – in this case, Heatwave’s “Always and Forever.” I can’t believe Keith really flipped it and bounced it like that; I mean, it really is just like a dream to me that somehow came true, and I know tomorrow will still be the same, because Keith and I? We’ve got a life of love that won’t ever change, and every day (I’m hoping) he’ll love me his own special way. Keith’s mention of the Temps’ lead singer speaks to me as well, for I believe my feelings about the god David Ruffin are well-documented. Cloud Nine-era Temptations were fantastic. Puzzle People, yes of course. Psychedelic Shack, great. I like it all. But c’mon – nothing beats coked-up-Ruffin-era Temptations in my book/heart/soul.
Back to the song. Keith calls himself an intruder, and there’s a clear element of Keith as the bawss here (because sweetheart that’s what you signed up for as soon as you replied to that first MySpace message from him), but this song tells the story of a relationship between two willing grown-ups. He wants to dominate but not shame you, plus you can agree on a safe word ahead of time! A fulfilling erotic life can often involve expressions of submission, consensual use of restraint, intense sensory stimulation, and fantasy role-play. Or, if you’re still just 19 or 20: it more frequently involves staring, fantasizing, daydreaming, trying to distract yourself from daydreaming, writing rap songs, and being mad at the girl while also wanting her to put on a sundress and run away with you (“Usually I just stalk you and masturbate” – Ty). The power differential between Keith and his lady is only a pretend one, and besides, he could never scare anybody – he’s got this innocence to him that’s always there, even though he says rectum a thousand times on his albums. Sometimes it seems like Keith’s talking sexy when he’s really just trying to battle (“I roll wit globs and I come real sticky”), but for the most part he keeps it pretty straightforward (“Take Off Your Clothes”; “Take Off Your Panties”; “Girl Let Me Touch You”) and a lady has to respect that. Plus that lascivious, good-natured way about him, coupled with an NY borough accent, sorta makes him the Tracy Morgan of rap-?
The Temptations, “Since I Lost My Baby.” Written by Smokey R.!
11. Kindness, hand-holding, compliments, etc. – “Let Me Talk to You” again
“My name is Keith
We got some nice things for the ladies…
Go get the ladies some flowers and stuff
Other people don’t love them like we do. We care.”
Gentlemen, your crew is soft, Keith says. You take the industry too seriously. You live at home with your mom. You’re wearing a cheap suit from Men’s Wearhouse and I do NOT like the way you look. But your life’s biggest tragedy, he says, is that you don’t love your girl like you should. Start, immediately. Tell her (nicely) to kneel down to her kitten bowl, for starters, then shout sexy girl a bunch of times. Does she look sexy eating popcorn? Tell her! Take a lesson from the captain. (With your bitch ass.)
“What did we see today?” went the Robert Bly poem in an email from my uncle this afternoon. This seemed like a sign, the universe telling me to do some more bloggy preachin. The single greatest thing seen today was a LOS ANGELES RAIDERS license plate frame on the DeVille I was driving behind (Temple St., 4:43 pm PST). I love, love team loyalty. Plus people think Raider fans don’t like nice cars or use turn signals, and the dude today left both of those terrible stereotypes in the dust.
The most hiphop thing seen today was a girl and a gator in a fashion editorial (the lovely 5’7″ Camille in Jalouse mag, looking foxy in this spread despite its ridiculous swampy theme). I let my mind get free and loose with the associating and here we go: mentions of gators in rap songs!
Grizzly Bear has a nice song about alligators, which is the only animal that hasn’t been used yet for talking about heterosexual love in music. It bares teeth, extra sharp, that’ll cut you in the heart/It attacks really quick, try and fight it with a stick/There’s no use, give it up, this is life and this is love/You are my alligator. Beautiful. Bonnie Prince B also has that “Gator” song. But gators in my world means gator shoes, which are not beautiful at all. They are hideous and garish. They’re creepy and I hate them. But rappers make them pretty appealing. Just like how everybody in rap regardless of age or geographic region or crew affiliation talks about pretty ladies, ugly ladies, international diplomacy, cars and the details of their interiors and exteriors, family members fucking up, sunny days, eating, and memories of being a kid, everybody in rap talks about gators!
Gators are ugly as sin but if you’re from the south I think you kind of grow up loving them.
Houston (Southside, south-southside)
“Betrayal” (Gang Starr)
It’s called betrayal
He on a mission to become a ball player
Flip big Benzes, flossin all gators
Had it all mapped out, 6’8″ 12th grader
Fresh outta school, he fin’ to go make paper
He had a brother who was hustlin, collectin his change
Never let his baby brother stick his neck in the game
Told him all he had to do is just enjoy the ride
And he ain’t have to worry about money cause that’s in time
“Betrayal” is about 12 BPM which isn’t usually my taste, but I guess they can’t all be “Know the Ledge” when it comes to hiphop warnings about the dangers of being a little too committed to trife life, hm? The first part of this verse is the plot of ATL (big brother unsuccessfully trying to save baby brother from getting caught up). Then it gets into “Just to Get a Rep” territory. I told you: family members fucking up (all MCs have a story about ’em. And gators.) Because Face is made of blood, guts, and good stories, and has been able to successfully rise above that whole Office Space thing with his integrity intact (your cousins, my cousins, all rappin “No Tears” while driving. Don’t act like you don’t remember. Sigh.), he makes the tale of a high schooler dreaming of wearing gators believable and sad. I’m just like, Ohh, Scarface said it? Well then it must be true. His DMV name is Brad, which he has also overcome, thanks to his baritone and his Army sergeant way of carrying himself. Brad tells you a story to music and if you have it in your head when you’re shopping at Vons, it feels like everything’s in slow motion–eerie, like you’re about to run up on some dude from behind and stab him, and then sneak out the back to go to church and cry about it. You’re a murderer, but you’re still human, you know? You still have that human-guilt thing.
Port Arthur, TX
Got me some bread, made some paper
Costly fabrics, minks and gators, bitch I’m ballin’
Diamonds on my chest, keep me looking good
Got diamonds on my chest, keep me looking good
I said, I got me some bread, made some paper
Costly fabrics, minks and gators, bitch I’m ballin’
Diamonds on my chest, keep me looking good
Got diamonds on my chest, keep me looking good.
This Week in Annoying featured LAPD officers, LA County Sheriff’s Department officers, Dipset operatives rhyming a word with that same word in verse (also part of This Decade in Annoying), that fucking blond patch in Khalifa’s hair, John Legend’s level of success being inversely proportional to the degree of soul in his voice (I FUCKING HATE HIS VOICE AND WHOLE MANUFACTURED STYLE, I do; where is Anthony Hamilton?), 50’s cover-of-LowRider glamour shots (W T F), and people not from Texas trying to get away with using “trill” in music conversations (you see this a lot in the 2DopeBoyz comments sections).
It’s not Bun on the hook quoted here, but still: it’s a Bun song! It counts as one of his! He can rhyme good with good, and it ends up sounding pretty good! Plus he says the words “David Banner” in this song, which is just heaven–2 of my 3 Texas boyfriends in such close proximity (Scarface is the third; Devin is sometimes my fourth one too, when I can make time in my schedule to see him).
I also really really enjoy the use of “I said,” an old-timey bluesy thing you hear in songs to introduce the next verse (AAB rhyme pattern). Jazzy Pha’s doing his impression of Blind Willie McTell here. AH SAY-YID. See also: that Mike Jones one (you know exactly what I’m talking about!; nice try playing dumb, music snob). Anyway, Bun’s calm, fatherly delivery, established history of dustin these gators off ,and proven affection for footwear (he’s a shoe whore) is enough to get me to consider that gators might not be hideous–even though he did a song with noted awful monotoned Canadian rap carpetbagger Drake, who always sounds like he’s yelling at me on the radio.
Gorilla goons with the tool down to act a fool
Birds in the living room, like Atlanta zoo
Lions, tigers, minks, crocs, and gators for my shoes
Monkey n—s in my hood, I’m living in the zoo
Birds in the living room, and the kitchen too
I’m a tiger in the bedroom–ask your baby boo
I got lions, tigers, bears in my hood and closet too
But my gun can stop an elephant just like Atlanta zoo.
I’m a rap apologist and I know it. I know it. No need to email me a description of how your opinion of Gucci is much lower than my opinion of him is, although it’s sweet of you to want to connect with me on that level. Gucci’s got that Dr. Seuss flow but at least he’s in on the joke, which is more than I can say for everybody’s darling K. West. I have to be honest and own up to the fact that I already had a particular bias toward this song even before I thought about songs with gator mentions–because later in it Gucci calls somebody else’s jewelry a fugazi, which I love due to its Brasco connotations (swoon/sigh/YES/oooooh).
This verse took on an unexpected somber tone when I did some research: in 2008, an elephant died at the Atlanta Zoo. She was 26 years old and pregnant. (She did not die from a gunshot, luckily–it was natural causes. I mean, as natural as can be when you’re a huge, gentle creature that’s been forced to live in jail your whole life)
Man a ni—a don’t want no trouble
a playa just want to kick back with my gators off
and watch my lil girl blow bubbles
But still ready to rhyme
standin’ my ground never back down
Willin’ to rob steal & kill anything that threatens mine
But good luck couldn’t be bought see
many a fights had to be fought G
for a n—a to ride these Vogues
oh so close to the sidewalk to be gawked at
watch your side my n—a ’cause we got gats
the first n—a to buck is gon’ be the first n—a we attack
“Gator” rhymes with “Decatur.” I would appreciate an explanation as to why this fact has never been taken advantage of by OutKast. Thank you.
I also love that gators have this strong association with men who excel at selling the bodies of women, but Big Boi’s kicking his gators off in order to spend time with his daughter in a defiant display of helping to ensure her self-esteem stays high. Ooh, subversive!
You got a alligator mouth and a hummingbird ass
Your mouth writing checks that your ass can’t cash
145 and I’m out of your weight class
Want to survive, you better scramble like eggs and break fast
There are groupies in the world. I’m not one of them. But, BUT: T.I. is so physically stunning that, you know what?, maybe this dress would look better on the floor than on my body. Thank you for T.I., universe. Thank you for him. (He’s little, though, which is the universe’s way of reminding him to stay humble. He carries those 145 lbs well because he’s only like 5’5″. I’m quite sure that small stature of his is part of the reason he is so fond of firearms–they are a classic virility substitute.)
T.I.’s mention of his actual number of pounds reminds me of how few MCs reference their weight in lyrics. I guess every one of us is sensitive about that stuff. We all think we’re either too big or too skinny, but the difference is most of us have the sense not to talk about it into a microphone. Like, you know, if I were Rawss I don’t think I’d say something like “Pull up in a sleigh/Hop out like I’m Santa Claus” if I had his thyroid issues.
Repping: New Orleans, LA; my heart
You know I’m not playin, man
You want a concert, well you gotta pay the man
Look at the shirts and socks, call him the gator man
My crossover good, that’s how I shake them haters, man.
A few things I’ve realized thus far: Nothing fazes Curren$y; the dude is made of blood, guts, THC and klonnies (Young boy never been attracted to madness/I’m inside watchin re-runs of “What’s Happenin”). Nobody ever notices when I get a haircut because I always look exactly the same. The best R.E.M. song is “Nightswimming,” I don’t care what anybody says. I always like 50 best on other people’s songs (love how he gets more sing-songy and playful with his delivery). And whether they’re gators or Crocs, any kind of footwear named after a reptile is ugly. Coming from Curren$y’s mouth, though, you realize that gators are tiiiiiight. Or, in Louisiana-ese mixed with his mouth being a little dry, taaaht.
Aw damn, I forgot! You’re right–“Daysleeper” is great too.
Repping: New Orleans, LA; America; Mars; the soft ladyparts of your girlfriend; iTunes; Clear Channel; MTV; Gatorade (ha, how appropriate in this particular post); Hanes, Geico, Pizza Hut? (probably just a matter of time); your psyche
“Upgrade You” freestyle:
Hollygrove gator, ain’t nobody greater
Leave you with some bullet holes the size of craters.
Gator boots with the pimped-out Gucci suits/Ain’t got no job, but I stay sharp, said Wayne’s friends some time ago. Wayne is small but vicious, has sleepy eyes, and comes from a swamp, just like an alligator. While not about ugly shoes, this little couplet still makes me love gators because it makes me love everything, because it’s Wheezy and he’s got that power. I am bearing a ton like Leee-vy, he also says in this song, which is a great line–even better than I pay these n—s with a reality check, a line I heard this week that is so simple and terrific. Bad yellow bitch keep my passenger seat warm, he also says. Pretty ladies are just like expensive things in that they are accessories used to display one’s wealth. And just like the quest of getting a pretty lady, making a reptile into a pair of shoes is hard and dirty, and requires focus:
“After the gators are killed with a stab to the brain, they are skinned and sorted: heads and claws for the French Quarter souvenir shops, meat for the Cajun restaurants, guts for turtles, dogs or anything else whose tastes run that way.” I cannot condone wearing animal skin in the name of fashion; however, I also cannot condone the posting of underclothed ladies on the Internet and yet I’m complicit in that as well.
8Ball & MJG
repping: Memphis, TN (I can’t get away with saying “Ten-a-Key,” all casual like nobody would notice)
Don’t try to ever take my cash from me
You might as well jump off a cliff, you fucking crash dummy
Like that’s my last money
This for my n—s who be bussin back to perpetrators
We don’t discriminate, we’ll hurt you now, hurt you later
But I ain’t worried, I smoke one on you fucking haters
And I’m hiding gators under refrigerators
YOU FUCKING CRASH DUMMY, he said! Jump off a cliff, you dumb fuck! (sorry, Mom. sorrysorry) MJG turns into Don Rickles here–he insults you but it’s so strong in flair it just makes you want him to come at you more and more. Making Easy Money, Pimping Hoes In Style; that’s the mantra, and that’s what Memphis means to me (along with Stax, Derrick Rose, and this fucking white girl side hustle opportunity I missed and it kills me still even though it’s been a few years and I should be over it by now).
repping: Mobile, AL
There’s hoes in the parking lot
But I still got my glock cocked
New money motherfucker don’t you see the big knot
Don’t you see the big chain
Don’t you see the big rims
Wonder who they hatin on lately
Baby it’s him, candy paint,
Gator skin seats, call me Dundee
pope in your hood I’m the one that you wanna be
Haters wish they could feel the wood in my ’83
Ridin’ with no tint so the motherfuckers know it’s me
(2 verses later)
Hit the block on some new 10 thousand dollar wheels
Can’t explain how I feel
Touch the gator on the wheel
Got peanut butter ice cream
Peter pan seats
Just gotta fresh cut
Now we looking for them freaks
Take a bad yellow bitch
Make her drop them draws
I’ma show you how to ball
middle finger to the law
You do a post about gators, of course there’s going to be some heavy Southeastern Conference MC representation. You call yourself Rich Boy, of course there’s going to be some talk of expensive things in your songs. This one provides the only gator-on-the-wheel moment in this post, which is a little more attractive than gator-on-your-feet, but not by much. There is something charming and innocent about the desire to impress your neighbors, really such a silly way to behave when you think about it (“HEY I KNOW!, let’s put chopped-off, dried-out, tanned reptile skin on the steering wheel. I’M RICH.”). We’ve also learned how to make ketchup packets into shivs and convinced our females that putting plastic sacs under their skin makes them more attractive. Humans are incredible. Anyway, this song is one of the greatest rappin + drivin songs my Civic has ever had the pleasure of pouring from its speakers, and between Rich Boy’s stated fondness for yellow-bone girls and Polow’s documented fondness for, um, ladies with a skin tone similar to mine, this song is of course a tribute to ME, stunting in LA traffic with the radio on. Oh and the Alabama lean he gives to the word “baby” (01:24) is basically what a real man should sound like.
Repping: Detroit, MI.
“Dirty” (Slum Village & ODB)
Yeah, you know how Slum do, when we come through
Gumshoe, Air Force is a pair of Air Jordans
Pelle Pelle, or old school with gangsta white walls
Tailored suits, coordinatin’ with the gator boots
Before you hate on what we do, it’s a D thing
You flamin’ at a cabaret offa Alize
Where the ladies at, pushin’ back your Baby Phat
Make it clap like 80 gats
The only way out of class shame is conspicuous consumption (see: me and my Alexander Wang bag, winter 2010; can’t pay my rent cuz all my money’s spent, but that’s OK, cuz I’m still fly!). As evidenced here by El, when you’ve made it as a member of the Leisure Class, little matters other than holding onto your money, producing an heir, and looking really fresh–even though bragging about labels as proof that you’re a member of the Leisure Class is prissy and unmanly. It makes you seem like that Billy Zane character from Titanic. And Jesus, the only thing uglier than gator shoes are gator boots. But you know what makes me love gator skin, gator shoes, gator boots? DILLA. The song was produced by Black Milk before he was Black Milk, doing his best Dilla impression back before everybody else was doing their Dilla impression. Therefore, gators are attractive footwear, as long as they’re talked about in a nice rhyme pattern over some warm Dillaesque drums.
*A Detroit MC on this list covers the entire Great Lakes region (I didn’t want to have to try to think of any boring ass Rhymesayers lyrics).
From: The Bronx, but c’mon–
Repping: Los Angeles, CA since forever
“Girl You Know”
I sport the real gators, Lucchese and Tony Lama
Y’all act like divas with a flat ass like Madonna.
Keith is the only dude I know* who can brag about labels without sounding prissy and unmanly. There’s really nothing more to say here; Keith is one of the greats, just an all-around super guy–funny, bossy, smart but still unpretentious, a generous and innovative lover, appreciative of a girly shape and girly dresses, tweakin bass like he’s Jimmy Castor, and that’s everything I need in a sex/life partner. When I did an image search for him in my computer to accompany this section, an oldie that I had saved came up:
I had forgotten about it and its various comical aspects (I added the chubby pink hearts, a symbol of love, for emphasis. ‘Cause I love the entry so much):
1. a) Someone calling sex positions “sex styles.” b) Someone typing “sex styles” into the Google blank box, you know, just doin some research. Some sex research. People say “handstyles,” and people say “hairstyles,” because those are actual things. “Sex styles,” though!; nobody talks like that;
2. Someone turning to Wikipedia as part of research on sex positions (this makes me sad because it belies a whole lot of social awkwardness on the part of the searcher, and because Wikipedia is wrong so often that I don’t think I’d trust it as a source for learning new sex acrobatics);
3. Wikipedia kindly redirecting searchers to the “sex positions” entry without judging them or giggling, although I would argue that this redirection isn’t particularly helpful since listening to Sex Style will give you all the lessons you need, pumpkin.
* in my head
Two cases on Stoli’s, eight thousand for this, man you owe me
I left the V.I.P. section lonely
Me, white folks, Don Juan played the back
The women chose me over guess who? Pretty Toney
Kid I got your lady signed to Sony
Girls tell Bobby I’m the real tenderoni
New York’s best verse carrier
You better scoop her, before I marry her
Award winner without rims
Tap your dimepiece without spinners
JVC, LL soapbox with the antennas
I get hard on aspirin cups full with Guinness
The Ernie Onassis, with masters, with Marc and Jack Jasper
Sunday clean gators on the pastor
Go ‘head player, you’s a wallflower
Scared to talk to her, I’ma ask her
Rep it at the casino, walk in your presence
Miami’s biggest problem
Wack rappers want me out the game like Al Pacino
1.One time Kutmasta Kurt emailed me and asked me to be in a Keith video—shockingly, they needed blondies willing to be dress-up dollies and, hey, what’s that, they thought I might be a good fit. How odd; who could have predicted.
“Would you be interested to dress up 70’s and be in the dr dooom video?” he asked. I declined, because I’m an idiot, and thereby missed out on one of the great white girl side hustle opportunities of the last 10 years. Sorry, Kurt. My poor decision-making means I will probably die without Kool Keith ever touching my bottom with affection and then taking me to the arcade, but a girl can dream.
2. I like beautiful large-bodied displays of American muscle in vehicle form (’74-’82) but the hustle of a dude trying to get a girl out of her dress by bragging about his car is a hustle that cannot be respected. Award winner without rims/Tap your dimepiece without spinners, says Keith, with much more dress-removing success than you can imagine. “I’m broke” raps are the best.
Repping: VALLEJO, Cuddie!
“Crest Creepers” (Mac Dre song, ’98)
I’m out to conquer the globe
Might start off in Vegas, hookers bringin’ more of those papers
Boss mackin’ got me scuffin’ my gators
Call me Luke Skywalker, the alien stalker
Cuddie, fuck your friends, your folks, even your potna
Lil’ soldier got a chopper plus he gone off one
And OG’s think the penitentiary is fun
So he’s ready to kill, and ain’t scared to die
Nuclear age titan up out the Crest side
Annnnnd finally, northern Cali in this. There’s a line from Ghetto Stardom in which Mac alludes to reality-based paranoia–“Uncle Sam finding ways to fit computer chips in my dome.” This is a concept only slightly more frightening/psychologically violent than Uncle Sam successfully convincing us that buying stuff and displaying it on our bodies/cars/women is the way to freedom. The whole blue-collar tone of his stuff is what makes his mention of gators (ugly ugly footwear) acceptable. Boss mackin got me scuffin my gators. I come from proletariat stock, as most of us do–union members, people who didn’t hate their jobs but hated jobs in general, so signs of wear and tear on a dude’s shoes is a positive thing. Mac’s a man of the people. Some soldiers ain’t never gonna see the streets/That’s why I keep servin’ game over my beats.
In terms of gator-rap representation by the Bay Area, I thought for certain I’d be posting something by E-40. Cuddie, I’m telling you, I could come up with a verse for him–gator rhymes with hater, sooner or later, and of course Bay Areyerrrr. E-40’s Fatburger has been closed for a while, but I recently thought of it when
a) I sent the following text to my little brother: JAMAL MASHBURN IS ONE OF THE GREAT SPORTS NAMES (just out of nowhere, as is my habit. Probably influenced by all the Fab Five talk everywhere, though)
b) He wrote back IT REALLY IS. HE OWNS A BUNCH OF OUTBACK STEAKHOUSES (FUN FACT)
and c) I responded with IF IT WERE JERRY, THEY’D BE STACKHOUSES.
d) He texted back HEY-O, having grown up with me and knowing that my ego craves this kind of cheerleading, but that’s beside the point. The point is that E-40 would appreciate my pun, and his decades-long commitment to his various hustles (records, dope, women, restaurants, guest appearances on other people’s records) means he gets a place on this list, gators or no gators. But if I stick with the rules of the post, he does get a gator association in that he’s friends/songmates with Gator Mane (I’m still listening to “Since the ’90s”).
Repping: San Francisco, CA
Revvin’ like a Cutty that bangs on the block
Baby can I have your keys, I hate to pick your lock (I just love this)
Snappin’ like a gator, never waitin’ like a waiter
Cherry is my flavor when it comes to Now & Laters
When it comes to gettin’ greedy, man I get green eyes
And I gotta get it like Muslims slang pies.
“In all the 5 boroughs, I’m known,” this song Yet another Brasco connection! Twice in one post! (my next post will be Random Tribute: Lefty Ruggiero raps) Like the Wicked Witch, I gotta jump the broom/Screamin fuck you by the light of the moon. Screamin FUCK YOU by the light of the moon
OK, this one’s about actual gators, as in the animals, but Nickatina runs 12-Step groups called Ballers Anonymous in his spare time, and he no doubt has said something at some time about gators, as in the footwear (I didn’t have time to try to think of another gator lyric from among his 18,000 songs). Rich in pimping history, the Bay Area is replete with men who love a fine-looking kit–a nice suit, expensive footwear, baubles. And so, like MCs from the states of Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama, anyone who can successfully throw around the term “playboy” in verse can also convince me that gators are all right. This means you, Bay Area rappers. Oh, Gibbs too. Gibbs could definitely get away with saying “playboy.”
Repping: C’MONNNN CUDDIE, pay attention
I wear my Air Jordans with my Anchor Blue jeans
I like to spread my wings when I’m out on the scene
You can break me down on a triple scale beam
The color of the Benz same color whip cream
You want that, man do you like how I flaunt that
Because I know I’d go to jail or hell if I bought that
Man like a court case caught that
and like a boxer in Vegas to box, yo I fought that
I like steak and potatoes, ice cream gators
I never say nothin yo to none of my neighbors
I do it like Parliament, don’t get wet
I do it like a gambler, make that bet
Like water off a duck’s back, Cuddie. Every verse of Nickatina’s makes me feel relaxed and confident, like I can handle anything, the highest compliment one can give an MC. This one’s from A Tale of Two Andres which forces me to ask: Have two more lovable rappers ever existed than Dre and King Nicky? NOPE. I’d shove you out of the way in the club or at the grocery store to get to either one of these gentlemen. Nothing personal. Nickatina’s like 8 feet tall and he’s toothpick-shaped and I hear he’s a basehead/ex-basehead from my ex-SF cab driver friend, so he is just clownish and odd enough to pull off wearing gators. It would be more weird if he didn’t wear gators, you know?
Cam’Ron (I cannot bring myself to use the apostrophe. It makes me mad)
You the soda bottle huh, i’m twisting ya’ cap
and i’m luxury girl, come sit on my lap
her friends like “dont go that s**t is a trap
he’ll have you traficking, swallowing, s**ttin’ smack”
they pigeons in fact, how you gon’ listen to that
you the flyest one in ya’ crew them bitches is wack
start at the smile, I knew that the shit was a wrap
her friends were right though, she gon’ be pitching some crack
i’m a true champ, you glance, four door, two tramps
fuck my money, honey, bring ya’ foodstamps
go ‘head you dance, an elephant to you ants
chain – Alaska, bracelet – nebraska
crib – well disaster, forty two plasmas
royal blue Maury’s, shortie you bastard
only thing I dont know, what resort we in
I tell a bitch “get over here” like Scorpion
cars, order in flavors, you order from Avis?
come around me, why, they know my aura contagious
and i’m sorta courages, plus the kids smart
forget Biz Mark, he gon’ catch more than the vapors
next door at ya’ neighbors, they said all of you haters
set ya’ up the very moment I offered them paper
and the law from the mayor, and my kicks?
the University Of Florida, of course that they gator
UGH. God. Cam showed up in the post. I broke one of my cardinal blogging rules when I started HFS several years ago. Sometime y’all get crimey crimey, grimy grimy. Lately Tim Tebow is the Gator that’s been in the news (he is a Jesus freak who is afraid of female sexuality, as is typical of Jesus freaks). eBay $1,250.00
Nike AIR FORCE 1 LUX ’07 REAL GATOR SKIN 24K GOLD SZ 12, says the eBay posting I saw yesterday. Crocodile Birkin bag, $65,000
repping: Yonkers, NY
“Gangster, Gangster” (Styles P song–produced by PETE RAWWWK, lordhavemercy)
Few contract and inkpens later
Turn into boss respect, mob ties and kingpin paper
Mountin the D, Cardi frames and pink gators
Gotta learn how to deal with the weak link haters
Don’t even think about the top 10, just think Jada
Never eat no less, then I think greater
Chin down, mouth open is something that photographers say to girls to get sexface out of them (please see above; also ask me because I could tell you some stories), but, in keeping with this post, it also happens to be something that paying customers probably say to girls to get sexface and sexotherthings out of them. It’s probably more often Chin UP, but still. There’s still that whole “bossing a lady around” theme, the gators-are-for-pimps theme. If you’re convicted of pandering in New York state, it carries a fine of $10,000. I’m just saying. You wear pink gators and you’re just begging to be stopped and questioned by vice. Pink gators are for Detroit players, Jada! You dummy! Others have forgotten about you rapping on Mariah Carey songs, but not me.
* YOU SIMPLY MUST PICTURE ME WALKING DOWN THE STREET TO THIS, because goddammit I’m picturing myself walking down the street to this. (I have a sundress on). The “Get to Poppin” instrumental, too–but that one’s not made for a sundress. It’ll always be a Logan-walking-down-the-street-in-jeans-that-may-or-may-not-be-a-little-too-tight-don’t-judge-me theme song.
repping: Brooklyn, NY
“My Favorite Dred”
On graduation day he threw me a towel
He came through, heavy like fuck, suit flammable
Ill pair of gators he copped in Beirut
Had his man wit him, just stare, don’t stand with him
If assassination strike, he gotta make plans with him
This Week in Wonderful included USDA prime rap beef, all 3 plays of “Ignition” (the remix, duh, hot n fresh out the kitchen) on LA radio while I was out driving (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday), single-word album titles, single-word song titles, my precious Sennheisers, and my precious precious Lakers who, what’s the phrase?, go hard in the mother fucking paint. Switzerland, beige Timbs, heavy like fuck. I’m outta here/showin love like Zorro.
Gang Starr (Guru and Premier, respectively)
From: Boston and Houston, respectively, but c’mon–
Repping: BROOKLYN (respectively) since forever
Now I’ma start collectin props, connectin plots
Networkin like a conference, cause the nonsense is yet to stop
Jakes shake me down, haters wanna take me down
Break me down, clap–all they heard was the sound
I scoped it out, I took your weak dream and choked it out
Your bitch don’t really got no ass, she just poked it out
on the d low, I’m sayin, you versus me though?
We can do this shit right here, in front of your people
See time is money kid, and BS walks
And to me, it’s funny kid when you meatheads talk
Bangin your thoughts with the hot onslaught
A kid got shot on the spot for goin where he should not
Viciously, I make history, instantly
Those other lame ass loser ass n—s, they can’t fuck with me
I’m doin my thing now, to lamp later on
Paid in the shade, with some fly gators on
But now I’m grimy as they get, mud on my pants and shirt
I bet you n—s out here know, I be puttin in work.
FIRST of all, there’s nothing wrong with a girl poking out her bottom. Let me make that clear. All the other real-world ladies and I have to find a way to compete with fantasy-ladies’ benefits of airbrushing (magazines), and perfect lighting, slow-motion jiggly shots, and professional makeup artists (videos)–unless you’re Syd, who gets along fine in her trusty red hoodie and looks stunning all the while. I forgot what else I was gonna say. Dude it’s Guru. Gators are anecdotal more than anything–a symbol of wealth. Guru never wore them. But that’s OK, kid.
Here’s another smooth song, so get your groove on
Violate or try to fake, jacks or you’ll get moved on
Peace to all my n—s with the thousand dollar shoes on
Pushing rides with full-length minks with gator shoes on
I’m known for rockin tours, picture me moppin floors
Only fuck with ki’s and not the kind that be locking doors
The type of nigga that be gaming your freaks
While you out working hard I’m putting stains in your sheets
If you bite then tell your man what type of flowers you like! I’m chillin makin sure this money is right/Sippin Sunny Delite and hittin every honey in site! This post has gotten out of control, having turned into less of a Random Tribute Gator Raps post and more of a Random Tribute to Big L’s Wordplay post.
“Halfsharkalligatorhalfman.” Three alligators behind me, feel my skin is hard/Transvestites and people watch space parasites/I left his head in the store, legs in the street/Body in Wilcox, with blood dripping off my feet/LAPD through gray clouds couldn’t see me/I first turned rainbow, closed my eyes, watch my brain glow/People got scared and ran away, they think I’m weird/I was born this way. Mosley, Fante, Joni Mitchell, Axl, Eric Wright, Warren Zevon and Keith are tops when it comes to describing the Los Angeles landscape.
This week in 1971, “Just My Imagination” was at #1. Eddie Kendricks was the main man, the glory-grabber, the point guard on this one, plus I heard Kendrick Lamar was named after him*, but Paul Williams was the assist leader with those gravelly vocals on the song’s bridge.
In ’71 it was Vietnam and Manson all over the place. I bet pretend womanly love was nice to think about, a dreamy distraction, if you were driving around back then and it came on the radio. Yesterday it came on at CVS and I got a few minutes to myself for pretend time, imagination time–no stupid fears about radiation levels or keeping up with coke slang. Just my ‘magination on the hook, Eddie Willis’ guitar, or the whole string section: not sure which one jabs my warm beating heart the most, but all together they made the best valentine ever to looking and wanting.
*I did not actually hear that. But I feel like it might be true.
2. Am I a bad person because I like that Weezy/Game song more than I should and that Lil B/Grae/Phonte song way less than I should?
God no! I’m a bad person because I just heard about the time Fear was on SNL (“It’s great to be in New Jersey”) and that’s no way to retain my nerd championship belt, because I think my sweetie pie Curren$y looks stupid in BBC gear (although I’m too nice to tell him, which I believe makes me a pretty good person), and because I crave rewards just for being born–kind gestures and material items. I want all these things for my birthday (03/29), starting with item a above. I am requesting an adapted version of the shirt, though–a girl’s cut, please. I need one that hugs a too-skinny-but-still-curvy ladybody.
b. Just like my beloved Ghosty doll, this is something that I would make fun of if you had it on your bookshelf but it’s something I’m totally allowed to have and be braggy about. (I’m adorable!)
(I couldn’t wait on you to get me the poster.)
c. A nice high-res version of that photo of James Baldwin and Nina Simone–individuals whose combined presence in a picture on my bookshelf shall, I hope and pray, bathe me in epicness each day. Get up out the bed, turn my somethingsomethinglalaswagswaggolfwanggolfwang/Take a look in the mirror and say whassup, then kiss my first two fingers and press them onto the Baldwin-Simone photo for luck as I run out the door. Framing of the photo is not necessary, because I’m not greedy and I’ll be happy with the photo alone, and because frames are expensive. Why are frames so expensive? (I’d like the answer to this as a birthday present). They’re made of, what, wood and glass?
e. Roberto Bolaño, The Return. Vibrating Porn Stars and Two Chileans Arguing about Knives is the name of your next mixed tape.
f. A new Curren$y collection of carburetor/naked flesh/sticky & citrus-smelling raps, now rather than later. NOW PLEASE.
g. Derek Lam’s ram-head-clasp bag. Even though astrological signs, like Jesus and message boards, are just another attempt by humans to make sense of the world and judge each other*, the fact remains that Aries is my sign/I know that I can rhyme. Additionally, sometimes I rhyme in riddles/Plus I make the honeys** wiggle.
*astrological signs are also useful when it comes to naming OutKast albums.
** just myself. I make myself wiggle–haven’t you seen my driving-in-the-Civic dancing? (yesterday it was Snoop’s “Gangsta Luv”). There’s no room for anything but wiggling in a Japanese compact.
THE JAGGERRRZZZZZ. All those z’s are because 2-3 times a week I feel like I’m dozing through life, drifting along in a haze of Power 106, oatmeal and tea for breakfast every morning, rent checks, cops asking me how my day is going in obvious attempts to get me to have sex with them. The people across the hall playing cumbia on Sunday mornings is pretty nice, but it’s not enough to save me from the daily sleepwalk. I need this round black piece of vinyl to feel alive again. And to feel closer to Curren$y.
i. Soft furry pelts and boots (not made from anything that once had a face, obviously; I’m not a monster), and a room that’s sunny all the time–and empty except for a bed. I’d prefer not to have to trick for any of it but who am I kidding. Sorry, Mom.
Bobby Womack – “Across 110th Street.” Just found out Bobby’s got a brother named Friendly and that’s real funny ’cause friendly is what I’d like to get with some sheets and fur in a room that’s sunny all the time (and empty except for a bed).
3. “I was just pondering about the vibrato.”
Who posted this on a guitardork message board? Was it you? And if so, why haven’t you called me? Christ I’d like you to call me, please–I am daydreaming about you. I’d also like you to warm those hands up, chief, ’cause you’re bout to give out lots of backrubs. Not to brag, but I’m down in all the best possible ways and my love is heavenly when my arms enfold youuuu, so I think you’ll be very happy. I like discussing weird factory mods, and how Eddie Willis is known for his signature style of muted riffs. And I’ll call you the don before during and after _______ (various things we take part in together).
– Today in DAMN GIRL YOU KNOW YOU FINE news, lovely bird Gemma Arterton exists, has freckles, is perfect in every way. I am, in fact, trying to find the words to describe this girl without being disrespect-fuu-llllll, but I’m finding it difficult. If I weren’t so classy and ladylike I would probably use this opportunity to try out a “People With Whom I Would Enjoy Showering” tag. Sorry, Mom.
Bobby Brown – “Roni.” Nobody makes songs about vulnerable/tough homeboys anymore. If you made sweet unadulterated love at least once between the years 1988 and 1991, you did it to something Babyface produced. Then Kells took over in ’92.
– The gold standard for ass is probably the one that’s shelf-like and firm enough to rest your cup on that E-40 saw in the wild once and then wrote a verse about (that’s not it, above). Mine (above) is a close second, and coming in third is the one from ’99 that was so fat you could see it from the front.
Ass, the New York Times says, is the new breasts in that a lot of ladies are trying to fake it with surgery and padded things that lift and add thickness and curvature. Aw. Mutilation and trompe l’oeil effects aren’t sexy. Leave ass alone, that’s what I say.
– Gothamist reports that residents of the Sister Thomas Apartments, a low-income building in the South Bronx, “are so disgusted by the combined odors from a sewage plant and trash transfer station that they’re considering a plan to pump perfume into their building.” HA HA, Juice Crew! Murdered yet again by the superior borough!
“The idea is the brainchild of environmental justice advocate and MacArthur ‘genius’ Award winner Majora Carter, who enlisted the help of (a) Parisian perfumer to create a new fragrance for the Bronx Building. It’s called L’Eau Verte du Bronx du Sud, which means ‘Green Water of the South Bronx.’
The building’s management company wants to release the perfume into the building through a rooftop air unit, and Carter tells the Daily News she hopes the fragrance will remind residents of ‘the connection between everyday life and nature.’ Tenants still need to approve the plan, but building manager Sal Gigante is certain they’ll greenlight the perfume, which he insists is far superior to the current odor of ‘decaying rat carcass.’” Teehee.
As odd as it looked, as wild as it seemed, I didn’t hear a peep from a place called Queens even though it seems like at this point in his career Nas should have his own fragrance. This story is being included in a post called “Lady stuff” because it’s about perfume, and because real ladies love BDP*. My posse from the Bronx is THICK. (that was used in a Camp Lo song, I think. I need it.)
*The above photo had to be named BDP 13, which is indicative of how much hard drive space I have dedicated to images of this troupe.
– Utah and its assemblage of bad facial hair fell to the mighty in game 1, obviously. This is part of “lady stuff” because gentlemen, we judge you by your facial hair and we point and laugh when it’s that conspicuously manicured, even if you’re Lloyd Banks and make delicious popular rap that makes a girl feel good about being alive while driving through the city despite the fact that she’s behind the wheel of a late-’90s Civic.
Natural and free and unfettered and lightly tended to is what we love, like the 7-foot tall Spaniard’s. I hope to see changes in the next game so the series is at least a little interesting.
My life my life my life my life! In the sun-shiiiine! Santa laced me with affordable designer swimwear from the chain store, it’s got a dainty floral print, and now life is wonderful. Just bees & things & flowers!
The title of the photo collection above is “me in a bathing suit as it relates to consumable pop music.” What can we glean from this?
1. That when you put something on the Internet, it’s there forever so you better be damn sure your future friends and boyfriends and progeny will be cool with it. Good thing I’m not running for President (sorry, gang!).
2. There are many great songs about flowers, as evidenced by the classics(?) culled from my very own record collection below*. There’s no Kanye or Outkast “Roses,” and no “Sugar Mag” or “Scarlet Begonias.” That’s amateur hour, you guys.
3. My English degree courses emphasized the deconstruction of literature and culture through a postmodern feminist lens. That’s great and all, but sometimes a girl is conflicted and likes to document her earthly body via digital media. Fun with hegemonic masculinity!
* The best of the best:
Dudley Perkins, “Flowers.” I’m hungry, filled with happiness all over, and my mouth is dry.
Ghostface, “Wildflower.” Ghosty fucked my friend then had the nerve to write a whole song about it!
Sonic Youth, “Wildflower Soul.” Sing yr child lights. Lights are gold. Sing yr child life. Wildflower soul. Kim & Thurston have a daughter and I’m not her even though I should be. Sperm Lotto, you suck.
The Carter Family, “Wildwood Flower.” Reminds me of my tumultuous, love-filled marriage to Johnny Cash.
The Pharcyde, “Soul Flower.” Had to mention it, otherwise I would’ve gotten my Cali ID revoked.
Janelle Monae, “Come Alive (The War of the Roses).” In my spare time I get funny haircuts, I’m friends with Big Boi, I sing like a bird, everyone in LA brags about knowing me because I’m such a badass, I surprise everybody by signing with Bad Boy, and I don’t pull weak-ass moves like putting pictures of myself in a bikini on the Internet. Get ’em, Miss Monae.
Patrice Rushen, “Forget Me Nots.” Handclaps. Bass. Handclaps.
Little Brother, “Passion Flower.” Tired of these hoes talkin shit. Also: 9th Wonder.
Barrington Levy, “Black Roses.” Wail.
De La Soul, “D.A.I.S.Y. Age.” (no link because there are NO YOUTUBE UPLOADS??). Rebel. Renegade. Renegade reaching only top flight, can’t find your new height. Think you need a raise. PS, De La Soul means “From The Soul.”
Dr. Octagon – “Blue Flowers.” Nobody else repped Bellevue so hard.
Johnny Hodges and his Orchestra – “Passion Flower.” ‘Cause I’m classy.
Doom, “Passion Flower.” It’s Doom. Have you and I just met? If you need to ask me about this, leave this place and don’t you ever show your face ’round here again.
Those Knux boys and I should hang out and discuss the mighty Saints’ road to victory, their upcoming seminars at the Learning Annex on how to make rap more fun, the fact that a Pharoahe Monch photo is suitable for all occasions, and how down I am in every possible way.
I have been putting you people up on some real serious New Orleans game for weeks now, and now here I go with yet another Summertime Song that is deliciously being released in the Cold, Dreary Wintertime of LA. You’re welcome. I walk with a switch and talk with street slang, I like to dance to the rap jams, and I like dudes who cuss. Let’s hear it for me, I’m from around the way.
Early-Outkast-levels Civic-speaker-knocking ear euphoria! The Knux – “Fuck You”