America loves hip-hop music, but we don't always understand the meaning behind the message. We love to dance awkwardly to "Rack City" in the comfort of our homes while throwing imaginary ones in the air, but seldom take the time to break down a song line by line to derive its true meaning.
That's why I'm here, to shine a light into hip-hop's lyrical abyss, decoding the meaning behind some of your favorite hip-hop songs.Today's installment: Kanye West's recent Hit Boy-produced single, "Theraflu."
[Intro: DJ Khaled] Kanye West!
At least DJ Khaled isn't yelling his own name.
Swag King Cole
A play on famous jazz crooner Nat King Cole.
Spoke too soon.
[Hook] Can't a young nigga get money anymore?
Borrowing a line from Mase's "Lookin' At Me," Kanye illustrates the economic plight African-American males often encounter when searching for employment opportunities. Kanye has also stated on numerous occasions that Mase is amongst his favorite rappers.
Tell PETA my mink is dragging on the floor
Since Kanye is extremely wealthy, he's been spotted numerous times with ex-flame Amber Rose in expensive matching furs, despite PETA's public reprimands.
Can I have a bad bitch without no flaws Come to meet me without no drawers
A "bad bitch" is one who has few physical flaws and a propensity for not wearing underwear. Kanye laments his lack thereof.
[Verse 1] Dinner with Anna Wintour, racing with Anja Rubik
Kanye regularly dines with Vogue's editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. During a recent after-party, he invited Polish model Anja Rubik to race him around a go-kart track.
I told you mahfuckas it was more than the music. In the projects one day, to Project Runway.
Kanye has collaborated with the likes of Nike and Louis Vuitton.
We done heard all that loud-ass talking, we're used to it I'm from where shorties fucked up, double-cupped up
A nod to his roots, Kanye paints a picture of life in Southside Chicago, where citizens drink Sprite laced with promethazine cough syrup.
Might even kill somebody and YouTube it.
In 2009, high school honor student and Chicago resident Derrion Albert was murdered by four of his fellow classmates while they taped it and later posted it on YouTube.
To whoever think their words affect me is too stupid And if you can do it better than me, then you do it!
[Bridge] We flyer than a parakeet, floatin' with no parachute Six thousand dollar pair of shoes, we made it to the Paris news! Don't talk about style cause I embarrass you Shut the fuck up when you talk to me 'fore I embarrass you
According to Rolling Stone, Kanye's DW fashion line, named after his late mother Donda West, was received poorly when first debuted in Paris. Most notably, however, was the $6,000 pair of shoes Kim Kardashian wore to the show, which subsequently made the news.
[Verse 2] And the whole industry want to fuck your old chick Only nigga I got respect for is Wiz
Despite the fact that Wiz Khalifa is engaged to Kanye's ex, he still respects The Taylor Gang general.
And I'll admit, I fell in love with Kim Around the same time she had fell in love with him
Kanye fell in love with Kim Kardashian around the same time that she fell in love with Kris Humphries.Talk about love triangle.
Well that's cool, baby girl, do ya thing Lucky I ain't had Jay drop him from the team
Kanye posits that if he had asked Jay-Z, a partial owner of the New Jersey Nets (the team Kris Humphries plays for), to drop him from the team, he would have done it in the name of the Roc.
La familia, Roc Nation We in the building but still keep it basement.
Despite his success, he still keeps it hood.
G.O.O.D. Music, we fresh, we fresh Anything else we detest, detest
Bitch-ass niggas got ass and breasts All that said, lemme ask this quest
Other rappers embody female characteristics, a motif found throughout his music.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
[Hook] Don't talk to me about style nigga, I'll muhfucking embarrass you Talking about clothes, I'll muhfucking embarrass you
Kanye's artistic acumen puts him above reproach from the fashion police.
Hollerin' at some hoes, I'll muhfucking embarrass you Way too cold, I promise you'll need some Theraflu.
Theraflu is a popular brand of cough syrup easily purchased at your local CVS or Walgreen's. Kanye asserts in order to stand in his presence; you'll need the powerful cold and flu relief of Theraflu... since he's so cold.