Tag Archives: jayz

Let’s Get Lyrical #10 – Rihanna

A most popular ditty of the noughties was Rihanna’s chat with Jay-Z on the subject of her umbrella. It was number 1 in the UK for ten consecutive weeks in 2007, which was pretty impressive in a decade where single sales were in rapid decline. But were the lyrics any craic?

[Jay-Z]

No clouds in my stones

Pardon?

Let it rain, I hydroplane in the bank coming down with the Dow Jones

Again, pardon?  To hydroplane is to lose control of the steering when driving through a large body of water, and Dow Jones is a company that writes business news copy… Is Mr Z referring to an incident in which he drove through a moist bank, and someone from Dow Jones perhaps reported on it?  Banks count as businesses, so would no doubt be in their remit.

When the clouds come we gone, we Rockafella – we fly higher than weather

Rockafella, of course, refers to Jay-Z’s vast personal wealth, which enables him to fly above the clouds as soon as rain is even mentioned in passing.

In G5’s are better, you know me, in anticipation, for precipitation. Stack chips for the rainy day

That’s right, he has a gulfstream jet on standby at all times, just in case of a wee shower, and apparently it’s well stocked with crisps.

Jay, Rain Man is back with little Ms. Sunshine – Rihanna where you at?

One assumes that after that spiel she’s having a look at this jet of yours.

[Rihanna]

You have my heart and we’ll never be worlds apart

Well not literally at any rate, unless one of you (and my money’s on Jay- Z) invests in some kind of space travel device.

May be in magazines But you’ll still be m’star

Honey, you’ll both be in magazines.  I have seen your future.

Baby cause in the dark, you can’t see shiny cars

In that case, you’re doing it wrong.  Make him turn the headlights on, Ri Ri, it’s very hazardous to spev about in the dark without them.

And that’s when you need me there, with you I’ll always share, because

Fair point, it sounds as though he does need someone there, to stop him endangering himself and others around him.  Presumably what you’re about to share with him are the salient details of the Highway Code.

[Chorus]

When the sun shines, we’ll shine together

Or not.

Told you I’ll be here forever

Because that’s not clingy / verging on creepy…

Said I’ll always be a friend, took an oath ima stick it out till the end

Oh, OK, that’s quite sweet.  But does Jay-Z really force his friends to swear allegiance to him like some kind of crazed emperor?!

Now that it’s raining more than ever, know that we’ll still have each other

It’s nice to have someone with whom you can share this kind of experience, isn’t it.

You can stand under my um-buh-rella, you can stand under my um-buh-rella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my um-buh-rella (Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my um-buh-rella (Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my um-buh-rella (Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)

Yeah, that’s going to be in your head for the rest of the day.  Sorry.

These fancy things, will never come in between

What fancy things?  Has Beyoncé got involved?  Perhaps thrown wellies and a sou’wester into the ring?  Better coverage than a measly brolly there.

You’re part of my entity, here for infinity

I’m sorry, but people don’t refer to ‘my entity’, the whole point of that word is that it is separate and ‘other’.  What you mean is that he is part of you, or your life, forever, but this is a deeply clumsy way of expressing that emotion.  So there.

When the war has took its part

Is this a specific war, or a more general fight to get by in this crazy world of ours?

When the world has dealt its cards

Like the sentient poker dealer it is…

If the hand is hard, together we’ll mend your heart

The world is of course renowned for dealing Jay-Z one terrible hand after another.  He’s like the unluckiest man in the music industry.  For realsies.

Because… [Chorus]

You can run into my arms

You don’t know how long I have waited to hear you say that…

It’s OK don’t be alarmed, come here to me

There’s no distance in between our love

Well… methinks there might be a Beyoncé-length distance involved, actually.

So gawn and let the rain pour, I’ll be all you need and moooooooo-OOOOOOORE

The capitals denote modulation.  Thanks, Standard Grade music.

Because.. [Chorus]

It’s raining

No it isn’t.

Ooh baby it’s raining

Nuh uh.

Baby come here to me, come here to me, it’s raining!

Seriously, shut up now.  It’s not.

Argument repeats to fade.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #3 – Willow Smith

Originally posted on my personal blog, December 29 2010, reproduced now for Let’s Get Lyrical

You know Will Smith? The Fresh Prince? The only black lead in any of the fifty highest grossing films ever (unless you count Eddie Murphy in Shrek, which I wouldn’t – Donkey is a sidekick)? His career trajectory has been pretty astounding, hasn’t it? And now his kids are following suit, which is nice, but dear god his daughter’s debut single is annoying.

The song begins with the line “I whip my hair back and forth,” which is repeated 8, 9, 10, or maybe even 100 times… or until young Willow gets distracted by something shiny. The verse goes:
“Hop up out the bed turn my swag on” –

I had to conduct not one, but two internet searches to find out what that meant. She’s not referring to ‘swag’ as in a sackful of loot stolen by a burglar in a book by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, or SWAG as in the elite unit of the Philippine Navy. She’s only ten, which lead me to surmise she didn’t mean the type of valance, either. No, according to urban dictionary, ‘swag’ refers to the way one carries oneself, eg “he got a killa swag.” I am going to be using that, sounding whiter than anyone ever dreamt possible of a white girl from Scotland.
“Pay no attention to them haters,” she continues, encouragingly.

What haters are these, one wonders. You’re ten years old, what have you been doing to accumulate haters? Helpfully, she explains:
“Because we whip em off.”

Get your mind out of the gutter, people, that can’t possibly mean what it sounds like. Maybe she literally has been whipping them with like a riding crop or something. Ouch. But then she elaborates,
“and we ain’t doin’ nothin’ wrong,” which puts paid to the whip attack idea. She must know that assault is bad, irrespective of whether haters have been hate-ing on you.  Or does she?
“So don’t tell me nothin’ / I’m just trying to have fun,” she interjects defensively.  This implies she is well aware of the ‘turn the other cheek’ advice, and is deliberately choosing to ignore it.

Although that’s pretty standard kid chat, isn’t it.

Adult: Hello, small child! What are you up to?

Child: Nothin’. Just trying to have fun, jeez, leave me alone already. You’re so embarrassing.
“So keep the party jumping,” Willow continues vaguely, perhaps referring to the time mom and dad got her a totally sweet bouncy castle for her birthday.
“So whats up? Yeah. / You know they don’t know what to do / we turn our back and whip our hair…”

Sage advice for you there. If you got some haters all up in your grill, whip your hair back and forth. They won’t know what to do. To prove the point, Willow proceeds to whip her hair back and forth for about eight years, occasionally exhorting haters not to get her off her grind, until Jay-Z caves and gives her a record contract. Hopefully she will annoy him into writing her a proper song.

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