I was listening to that new Usher song “Little Freak,” because Polow went bananas when he flipped “Living for the City” and turned it into “Kashmir.” But the Nicki Minaj verse is predictably the standout as she uses “cute voice” to speak on a threesome with Usher (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) and ultimately, girls who fake kissing girls, which very well be what she is! (Or touching “kitty cats” or whatever.) BUT! My favorite part of the verse is the line: Like Santa I keep a vixen/ Got that Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Dixon, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen!
And it got me thinking about rap lines where the MC lists a complete set of things, forgoing the structure of the verse in order to really show you how little of a shit they give and how great they are.
Another example that really works is Lil Wayne on “Ransom,” which was the first track where everyone was like, “Holy shit, this Drake kid can spit when he’s copying Wayne.” Early in his verse, Wayne says, I get paid for every letter A, B, C, etcetera, which is yeah, that’s cute and all, but then later in his epic verse he brings it up again:
I told you I get paid by the letter like A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y ZZ TOP/ Yes he rock
He really says the entire alphabet. And not only does he end it on a ZZ Top reference, but to Wayne, ZZ Top is a “he.” And he rocks.
Jay-Z on the other hand, really fucks this whole thing up on “Reminder.” Instead of conveying, “I’m so fucking nice and trampling this beat so hard that I’m going to take a break from following the rules,” he just sounds awkward and sad:
Ten number one albums in a row
Who better than me?
Only The Beatles nobody ahead of me
I crush Elvis in his blue suede shoes
Made The Rolling Stones seem sweet as Kool Aid too
‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99, 2000, 2001 and beyond
‘02, ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06 and 7, ‘08, ‘09
Fine, go at old white guys (many dead) if you want, but which Hov-affiliated Yes Man told him that listing all of those years was hot?
Conceptually, it’s hilarious though. Are there more of these lines? Cam has to do this somewhere.