Tag Archives: rap

Let’s Get Lyrical #14 – Vanilla Jedward

Obviously a stroll down 90s music memory lane would not be complete without a look at the track that launched Irish Eurovision hopefuls Jedward out of the X-Factor and into the megastardom of advertising whichever site it is they do.  You know the ad, where one of them failed to compare holiday prices, ensuring howls of derisive laughter from Omid Djalili?  Meh.  Nevermind.  The big haired twins were only a couple of months old when the big haired original version of Ice Ice Baby assaulted the charts in December 1990, but apparently it went in deep.  Let us consider why the lyrics might have affected the halfwitted teenagers so.

Yo VIP let’s kick it

Is he talking to me?  Wow, Vanilla Ice considers me a Very Important Person?  That’s awesome!  Who is he again?

Ice ice baby, ice ice baby

This is an almost subliminal message designed to remind us who is talking throughout the song.  It also implies that he is cool.  To be fair, this is something that you would need to be reminded of almost constantly, as it is not immediately apparent from looking.

All right stop!  Collaborate and listen

I imagine this was him inadvertently foreshadowing Big Society.  You can totally imagine Cameron listening to him back in his early twenties and being like yeah!  A white rapper!  All the coolness of rap, none of the danger!

Ice is back with my brand new invention

At no point does he explain what this invention is.  He can’t be claiming to have come up with the concept of ice, after all.  Or can he..?

Something grabs a hold of me tightly

Again, he doesn’t really explain what this is.  Rhythm?  Hookers?  A sense of impending doom?

Flow like a harpoon daily and nightly

Anyone ever seen a harpoon ‘flow’?  Or do you think of it as more of a liquid adjective?  I suppose we will just have to allow him use of poetic license…  But daily and nightly?  Surely it’s reckless and dangerous to use a harpoon at night, particularly a flowing one?  Someone should take him to one side and have a word.

Will it ever stop yo I don’t know

That’s comforting.

Turn off the lights and I’ll glow

Four years on, Ice keeps the memory of Chernobyl alive.

To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal

The Germanic tribe responsible for the sack of Rome? My gosh, this man knows his politics and his history!  It just goes to show that looks can be deceiving.  No wonder Jedward want to continue his great work.

Light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle

He sets the stage on fire and then kills a chump, much as he would extinguish a candle.  I can’t help thinking that’s a little off-message.

Dance go rush to the speaker that booms

I feel I should point out to tha kidz at this point that standing right by the speakers at a gig results in tinnitus-like symptoms for days afterward.

I’m killing your brain like a poisonous mushroom

Why would you do that, Ice?  Why?!

Deadly when I play a dope melody

I can’t believe he’s suddenly deciding to use his amazing musical talent for death and destruction.  *Re-evaluates world view*

Anything less than the best is a felony

Try telling that to Louis Walsh.  Please.

Love it or leave it you better gain weight

What?  But fat people are constantly victimised on TV, because people are afraid they won’t leave enough cake for the rest of us…

You better hit bull’s eye the kid don’t play

We have to learn how to play darts now?

If there was a problem yo I’ll solve it

There wasn’t until you started throwing out all this conflicting advice! Now I don’t know what to think…

Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

Presumably this is a fishing reference of some kind.  I’ve heard it said that Ice is a keen angler.

Ice ice baby vanilla, Ice ice baby vanilla, Ice ice baby vanilla, Ice ice baby vanilla.

Perhaps not the most anthemic chorus ever.  But it gets the point across.  Well, it doesn’t.  But if there were a point, it would.

Now that the party is jumping
With the bass kicked in and the vegas are pumpin’

True.  By the time this song comes on the party needs to be pumping, because otherwise people will stand around awkwardly going “uh? Is this a retro party? Nobody told me…” Stick it on around 1am, however, and the crowd will be like, “ahmagahd amazing!”

Quick to the point to the point no faking

He is a truthful sort of fellow..

I’m cooking MC’s like a pound of bacon

Not literally, you understand.  Cooking MC’s isn’t the rap equivalent of smashing up your guitar after a rock gig.

Burning them if you ain’t quick and nimble

… No.  I’m positive there’s no literal fire involved.

I go crazy when I hear a cymbal

Well, who doesn’t?

And a hi-hat with a souped up tempo

Yeah, relating to tha people with all this cymbal chat dude.  It’ll be a sizzle cymbal next…

I’m on a roll and it’s time to go solo

Weren’t you a solo act to start off with?  Surely nobody else could measure up to your level of coolness.

Rollin’ in my 5.0
With my rag-top down so my hair can blow

Come on now, with hair as carefully styled as yours that is just asking for trouble.  The paps will have a field day!  “Ice’s trademark do messed up by elements” shock!

The girlies on standby waving just to say hi

They should get jobs.  Oh wait, there’s a recession on, they can’t.

Did you stop?  No I just drove by

Hopefully yelling “SCRUBBERS!” all the while

Kept on pursuing to the next stop
I busted a left and I’m heading to the next block

This, of course, is what happened in the days before Satnav.

The block was dead
Yo so I continued to A1A Beachfront Avenue

Ah yes, that’s probably where I would have gone next too.  Probably wouldn’t have put it in the song, though.  People tend to glaze over when you give them details of your drive.  Mainly because it’s DULL.

Girls were hot wearing less than bikinis

So… naked, then?

Rockman lovers driving Lamborghinis

A rockman is of course a man that rocks.  And those who love these rockmen get to drive Lamborghinis. Clearly it pays to be an Aerosmith fan.

Jealous ’cause I’m out getting mine

Getting his what, you may ask, seeing as he shunned the ladies who wanted to get it on with him.  Well, let’s be patient, I’m sure all will become clear.

Shay with a gauge and Vanilla with a nine

Do not be perturbed by the fact that Shay hasn’t been mentioned at all before now.  This is because he is Ice’s badass ninja friend, who has just ninjed into the car bringing guns for all.  OK, now you can be perturbed.

Reading for the chumps on the wall

Chumps can’t read, of course, so this is a vital piece of volunteering work Ice is performing for the local community.  He has got out of his car and sat on the wall in order to do this.

The chumps acting ill because they’re so full of eight balls

Being illiterate, the magic 8 ball holds no allure for the average chump.  Frightened and confused by the fact that every time they shake an 8 ball, a different tangle of letters appears, the chumps have eaten them to make it stop.  Unsurprisingly, this made them unwell, hence they began ‘acting ill’.

Gunshots rang out like a bell

Meanwhile, back in the car, Shay got bored and decided to start something.

I grabbed my nine all I heard were shells, falling on the concrete real fast

Seashells, raining from the sky!  A miracle!

Jumped in my car slammed on the gas

Hoping that the windscreen wouldn’t be destroyed by sea life falling from the sky – I’m not covered for that and Autoglass can be pricey.

Bumper to bumper the avenue’s packed

With hindsight, slamming on the gas may not have been the best course of action in this situation.

I’m trying to get away before the jackers jack

Not really sure he should be worrying about that.  Given Beachfront Avenue is gridlocked due to the shell situation, car-jackers will have a pretty difficult task making a getaway.

Police on the scene you know what I mean

Well I think so. But by asking whether I know what you mean, you have implied there may be more to it than police investigating the aforementioned car jackers, gun crime and traffic obstructions.

They passed me up confronted all the dope fiends

Of course the police know Ice due to his volunteer work, so they passed him with a nod and had a go at some nearby dope fiends.

If there was a problem yo I’ll solve it
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it – REPEAT CHORUS

Still not convinced.

Take heed ’cause I’m a lyrical poet

Listen!  For these words are more than merely a throwaway novelty song.  They are poetry.

Miami’s on the scene just in case you didn’t know it

CSI Miami has not yet been invented, so it’s up to Ice to put it on the map with his poems and that.

My town that created all the bass sound

ALL the bass sound?  That seems a gross exaggeration.

Enough to shake and kick holes in the ground

You may think potholes are caused by bad weather, but in actuality they are almost exclusively down to the low frequency sounds emanating from Vanilla Ice and his beloved home town.  Who woulda thunk it.

‘Cause my style’s like a chemical spill

Not content with implying that by night he glows like a radioactive Chernobyl victim, he also dressed and behaves in much the same manner as an accidental leaking of toxic sludge.  But in a really cool way.

Feasible rhymes that you can vision and feel

Yep, thus far all of these rhymes have been totally feasible.  You can prove anything with facts, Vanilla.

Conducted and formed, this is a hell of a concept

And I, Vanilla Ice, am the first person to conduct and form my rhymes.  This is why they are feasible.  Meanwhile other rappers just say whatever comes into their heads!  Ridonkulous.

We make it hype and you want to step with this

Everyone wants to be in his gang right now because of all the hype.  Long may it continue.

Shay plays on the fade slice like a ninja

Told you Shay was a ninja.

Cut like a razor blade so fast other DJs say damn

Shay is also a DJ, and a good one at that.  He makes other DJs, like Dr Fox, say ‘damn!’, but pronouncing it ‘day-um!’

If my rhyme was a drug I’d sell it by the gram

Of course he knows in his heart this is nothing more than a dream.  If lyrics could be converted into weights, they would surely be measured in cubic litres.

Keep my composure when it’s time to get loose

It’s important to remain calm, especially when letting one’s hair down. Getting overexcited can lead to all kinds of shenanigans.

Magnetized by the mic while I kick my juice

That used to happen at Kid Canaveral gigs a lot – the lead singer would accidentally kick his drink over during the set and we’d all watch with interest as the liquid crept closer to the wires, waiting to see whether or not he would be electrocuted.  Vanilla has set a precedent.

If there was a problem yo I’ll solve it
Check out the hook while Shay revolves it

No longer will I refer to him simply as ‘DJ’.  Shay’s true identity has been revealed and he is here to shtay.

Ice ice baby vanilla x 4

Yo man, let’s get out of here

After all, this has been going on for what feels like an interminable length of time.

Word to your mother.

At heart a polite young man, Vanilla would like if you pass on his respects to your mother.

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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?


No clouds in my stones


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.


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.


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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