By Chris Yuscagave
Jay-Z wants you to understand exactly what he’s been rapping about for all these years.
So, if you still scratch your head every time you hear Jay rap, “If Jeezy’s payin’ LeBron, I’m payin’ Dwyane Wade,” on “Empire State of Mind” (please click here if you do), you’re in luck! Hova is preparing to release “Decoded,” a book that breaks down his lyrics and explains exactly what he meant when he delivered some of his most popular lines. It’s currently available for pre-order on Amazon and drops November 16.
However, we’re pretty sure Jay isn’t the only rapper that’s left you dazed and confused after dropping a hot 16. In fact, there are plenty of other rappers out there that need to have their lyrics decoded, too. To prove it, RapFix gathered a list of 10 artists and provided sample lyrics for each of them to show you exactly what we mean. Book publishers, we hope you’re listening!
Sample Lyrics: “I was a fiend before I became a teen/I melted microphones instead of cones of ice cream,” from “Microphone Fiend”
Say What?: Before we get into some of the more ridiculous suggestions, let’s start with Rakim, a rapper who actually deserves to have his lyrics decoded. They’re not particularly confusing, but he fathered the style that most of today’s more lyrical rappers use and he deserves the opportunity to explain exactly how he did it.
Sample Lyrics: “My broads is enormous, my diamonds are humongous/It’s Gucci Mane the martian, and everything is gorgeous,” from “Gorgeous”
Say What?: Gucci Mane LaFlare’s made a living off coming up with clever ways to describe his watches, his cars, his chains and the chicks that enjoy the pleasure of his company. He does it so often that it wouldn’t hurt for us to hear exactly how he manages to come up with all the different ways to describe them. And, hold up: Did he really just call himself a Martian in the lyrics listed above? Does that mean he’s related to hip-hop’s other Martian? Yeah, start explaining, dude.
Sample Lyrics: “So don’t change the dizzle, turn it up a little/I got a living room full of fine dime brizzles/Waiting on the pizzle, the dizzle and the shizzle/G’s to the bizzack, now ladies here we gizzo,” from “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
Say What?: Miraculously, we think we understizzle what Snoop’s trying to sizzle here. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want an explanation as to what the hell he was thinking when he decided to rap using this particular style. Decizzle it for us, Snoop D-O-Gizzle.
Sample Lyrics: “Relying on rap, but in the kitchen I’m a chemist/And when I was five, my favorite movie was ‘The Gremlins’/Ain’t got s— to do with this, but I just thought that I should mention/You looking for divine and the little intervention,” from “Sky’s The Limit”
Say What?: Free associate much, Weezy? Something tells us that if we asked him to explain what he’s actually talking about on half his songs, he’d have no idea. But it sounds good when he’s doing it, so who are we to argue?
Sample Lyrics: Every line on “Make The Trap Say Aye”
Say What?: Did “Make The Trap Say Aye” sound hot in the club? Sure it did. But even after hearing Juice Man’s single about 300 times last year, we still have absolutely no idea what that dude is saying or what he’s actually talking about on that song. There’s money in his washer, X pills in his dryer and he’s meeting up with someone at Checker’s. At least, we think that’s what he said. Someone get us an explanation—and a translator—stat!
Sample Lyrics: “Wrap the work like spandex with the latex/Then we ship it out of town, call it safe sex,” from “Go Crazy”
Say What?: Young Jeezy is coke rap at its finest. But for those of us who don’t know the difference between O’s and kilos, Jeezy needs to sit down and spell out what the hell he’s talking about when he refers to all the “work” he handles.
Sample Lyrics: “I ain’t the type of brother made for you to start testin’/Give me a Smith & Wesson, I’ll have n—– undressin’/Thinkin’ of cash flow, buddah and shelter/Whenever frustrated, I’ma hijack Delta,” from “N.Y. State of Mind”
Say What?: The vivid imagery, the slick wordplay, the effortless flow—just about everything on Nas’s classic debut, Illmatic, deserves a second (and third … and fourth … ) listen to soak it all in. It could also use some explanation from Nas. Like, was he really making “investments in stocks” and “sewin’ up the blocks” back in ’94? The rap nerd in all of us wants to know everything Nas can tell us about the songs on this album.
Sample Lyrics: “Mature women with more than me were the first to tempt me/And Jason had this girl Tammy with a purple Bentley,” from “Fancy”
Say What?: Drake has a habit of putting super personal touches in just about all of his lyrics. On the one hand, it makes him more relatable as a rapper. On the other hand, we have absolutely no idea who some of the people he raps about actually are (Tammy? Jason? Who?). Decoding his lyrics could shed some light on them. (Bonus: If he talked about “Karaoke,” we’d get to hear all about his rumored one-night whirlwind romance with Rihanna. Sweet!)
Sample Lyrics: “Range Rover, leather roof/Love war, f— a truce/Still move a bird like I’m in bed with Mother Goose,” from “So Appalled”
Say What?: Like Jeezy, Push-A-Ton’s lyrics (not to mention his rap moniker) is heavily influenced by the drug game. And to make matters worse—or, better yet, more confusing—he uses a ton of metaphors and similes to create his coke rap anthems. The results are dope (pun intended) but they can also require further explanation. So “Decoded: The Coke Rap Edition” sounds good to us.
Sample Lyrics: “I get the boosters boostin’, I get computers putin’/Y’all get shots at, call me, I do the shootin’/I do the recruiting, I tutor the students/I nurture their brian, I’m movin’ the movement,” from “Get ‘Em Girls”
Say What?: You didn’t seriously think we’d make a whole list about decoding lyrics and not include Killa Cam did you? The line above is easily the most ridiculous of his career, but there are plenty more where this one came from. Out of everyone on this list, we’d love nothing more than to hear Cam try and decode some of his own lyrics. Start putin’, buddy.
Can you think of any other rappers who need to have their lyrics decoded? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!