Sunday, June 24, 2007

Overanalysis of a Rap Song Vol. 2

Personal Shout-Out To Myself: I got some friggin' sweet recognition for a couple articles I wrote for Grou-Con (that's what i'm calling it). Chow down on some of these hot links:

Strange Famous Records (they link to the article)

Sean Na Na (It's in like the first paragraph)

So that's pretty great. I'm very stoked.

Also, i was housesitting this weekend and so I wasn't able to update at all from friday through today, and the internet at my house went down shortly thereafter. Undeterred, my message shall go through. Soon as I get a glass of water...


So I was thinking about how to follow up the Mims song I did last week (only to discover afterwards that EVERYONE has taken a shot making fun of it), and I decided I needed something equally illogical... on the surface... Originally I thought it would be that Shop Boyz song, but something about that part where they go "T-T-T-Totally Duuude!" smelled like a trap to me. A reeeally shitty trap. I imagine they're just sitting around waiting for me to assault them with some flick-o'-the-wrist elite-intellectual rapier-wit only to get a comment shortly after in which one of the Shop Boyz coolly explains that it was all a big joke, they're all MFA degree-holders and they left subtle clues which pointed to a large, underlying tongue which had been slipped oh-so-silently into cheek. Well Shop Boyz, not today you won't. Tonight it's all about "Lip Gloss" by Lil Mama.

First, a forewarning: If you decide to pick a rap name that is dreadfully similar to "Young Mother," you'd better expect this shit.

Now Then...

What you kno bout me, what cha, what cha know bout me (2x)

She's got me on this one. I know very little bout her.

I said my lip gloss is cool, my lip gloss be poppin
I’m standing at my locker, and all the boys keep stoppin

So begins the long and rambling sexual metaphor. What exactly is it that her lip gloss pops? why would this make boys stop what they're doing? I mean she's just standing there...

what you kno bout me, what cha, what cha know bout me (2x)

Lil Mama is a master of preserving suspense. I still know nothing!

I said my lip gloss is poppin, my lip gloss is cool
all da boys keep jockin, they chase me after school

Perhaps this lip gloss is a bit much. It's one thing to have the boys "poppin" and "stoppin," but "jockin" and "chasing you after school" seems like something most young girls may not want to aspire to.

mac,mac loreal, yep cuz I’m worth it
o the way I put it on so perfect

The trick is in the application, basically. Mama's lip gloss wouldn't be nearly as poppin' if not for the artist's delicate touch and eye for aesthetics. Sounds reasonable to me, as i've never really studied the cosmetic arts.

wipe, the corners of my mouth so I work it
when I walk down the hallway, they can’t say nothin

More sexual metaphor! she wipes her mouth off and walks down the hallway, and apparently whatever (or whomever) she wiped off has given her an air of invulnerability at her school. Impressionable young girls take note.

o o o my lips so luscious
the way I spice it up with the mac mac brushes
loreal got them want watermelon crushes
thats probably the reason all these boys got crushes

Some people might think it's cheating to rhyme "crushes" with "crushes." I'd say it's just a little short-sighted. Just as short-sighted, in fact, as assuming the boys are all into your lip gloss. Unless she means her "(wink) Lip Gloss (wink)" in which case i'd say that's exactly what the boys are after.

what you know bout me, what cha, what cha know bout me (2x)

All of a sudden this went from a threatening "Step Off" vibe to something remarkably after-school-special in nature.

I said my lip gloss is cool, my lip gloss be poppin
im standin at my locker, and all the boys keep stoppin
I said my lip gloss is poppin, my lip gloss is cool
all da boys keep jockin, they chase me after school


when it’s time for lunch, my lips still rock
lil mama melon with the hot pink top

Her lips are STILL WORKING through lunch. Gotta appreciate that kind of work ethic. She's wearing a hot pink top, too? why that's perfect prost- err- pop star attire.

cherry, vanilla, flavors is a virtue
they lovin lip gloss universal

I'm stumped. Lil Mama has stumped me. I cannot, for the life of me, discover the intrinsic virtue of flavors. Not Cherry. Not Vanilla. Is lip gloss the key to universal love? Only if that gloss is poppin', y'all.

the boys really like it, the girls don’t speak
they, rollin they eyes, they lip gloss cheap

Oh man, how embarrassing for those girls. They have worse taste in lip gloss than the boys. Wait a minute...

it ain’t my fault, but I can upgrade you
show you how to use nice things with nice flavors

The sexual metaphor just took a hard turn into kinksville. Mmmm, somebody's gonna get their brains upgraded out. Lil Mama knows how to use those "nice things."

what you know bout me, what cha, what cha know bout me (2x)

I wish I could Un-know a few things bout you.

sittin in 8th period, thought I was in trouble
BING! Called me on the loud speaker, on the double

Listen. I think i've been fair in going along with some of the rather unreasonable aspects of this tale, but I just cannot accept that somebody used the phrase "On the double" in a form of speech that did not require them to rhyme something with "Trouble."

I stepped in the office like “yes miss. Maclarson”
shes like “girl ran out of my lip gloss and...
Write down where you get yours from
cuz I must admit that bubble gum, is poppin(3x) she ain’t frontin

I read stories about these encounters with teachers all the time.

and uh...I be lovin it, I be, I be lovin it
and uh...I be usin it, I be, I be usin it
and uh...I be rubbin it, I be, I be rubbin it
on my lips, my lips lip gloss

Nothing sexual there. Let's keep moving.

what you know bout me, what cha, what cha know bout me (2x)

I think the real question we need to pose is "What cha know bout yourself, Lil Mama? When is it time for Lil Mama to be poppin'?"

I have to admit, I was not expecting this song to take the dark route that it did. The video was so full of dancing and clapping I assumed it was going to be upbeat. Now I just want to call social services, turn on some Dr. Phil and take a bubble bath til I've completely worked my way through a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

Until Next time, Take care of yourselves, and each other. And don't wear the cheap lip gloss.

Tune In Next Week For More Unnecessary Overanalysis!


Mike Guardabascio said...

Loved this one, too. The real question is what's shitter: the video or the song. I should also direct you to, which is the video of Lil Mama and Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" remix. Everything overanalyzable about music, right there in one video.

Matt Dupree said...

Shocking, Michael. I feel blander after watching that.

Faaip said...

lil mama?
who let that one slide?