First off, I’m glad you downloaded the entire tape, as it is easily one of the best of the year. This was kinda the summer of Chance. There are so many tracks off this album I love, Cocoa Butter Kisses, Juice, Everybody’s Someone, Na Na. He also has some really great features. If you want more, check out his first mixtape, ’10 Day’. Superb shit there.
I fully agree with you on ‘Favorite Song’ being a parody of a popular hip hop track. First off, before you read any further, I want you to listen to this track:
an unreleased Eminem track called ‘Syllables’. I’ll be here when you get back.
Now, as Em informs us, ‘It is not about lyrics anymore / It’s about a hot beat and a catchy hook’. Of course Em, along with fuck, Fiddy, Dre, Hov, Stat Quo and Cashis, are providing a commentary on what hip hop has become. It’s like when someone tells you they love pop music, especially Lil Wayne and Kanye West–you just want to stab them in the trachea. There are so many great lines in Syllables such as: Eminem, ‘If we gotta dumb down our style and ABC it, / then so be it Cause nowadays these kids just don’t give a shit ’bout lyrics’ and, ‘”Oh, this my jam, this my shit” / We don’t know a word to a verse, all we know is the chorus / Cause the chorus repeats the same four words for us’ and, ‘I don’t care if you gotta rhyme schmo, mo, joe, toe and glow’; 50, ‘you don’t hear what I’m sayin’ /Me fin-nini-na, Fee-fi-dididee-yay / Just give me my check and I’ll be on my way’. On to Chance…
On a first close listen, the lines that stuck out to me were, ‘Shake that Laffy Taffy’ and ‘skeet, skeet, skeet’. As I am sure you’re well aware, these are both catchy hooks from chart-topping track: Lil Jon’s ‘Get Low’ which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and D4L’s ‘Laffy Taffy’ which actually was number one on the Billboard charts for a week in January of 2006. I know right? Chance follows up the ‘skeet, skeet, skeet’ line with ‘She do that thing for three retweets’, which is pretty piddly. It’s like in high school, when someone would offer a dollar to another kid if he ate a worm. There was always a kid that’d do it, and the kid was always pretty dumb. Chance is making a commentary, like in ‘Syllables’ about how hip hop has to be dumbed down for the dumb. I said it, the dumb. I believe this is also illustrated with the line, ‘Now take that bong ‘fore he three-peat.’ In smoking pot there is of course an etiquette. If you invite someone over to smoke it means you have weed to be smoked, not the person coming over. Greens for the guest. But the most well known of these unspoken rules is that of puff, puff, pass. Not puff, puff, PUFF, pass. This is the three-peat Chance is trying to avoid. If you’re smoking week and do this, you’re not only an asshole, but you’re dumb. Everyone knows not to do that! Don’t bogart the blunt, yo.
Back to Lil Jon and D4L for a moment. Tell me, honestly, without looking, do you know any other lyrics in ‘Get Low’ other than ‘From the window to the wall / til the sweat drop down my balls/ all these bitches crawl / ahhh skeet skeet skeet mothafucka / ahh skeet skeet goddamn’? Do you know any other lyrics to ‘Laffy Taffy’ other than ‘gurrll / shake dat laffy taffy / dat laffy taffy’? You may, but I doubt it. Remember, ‘This shit my favorite song, you just don’t know the words.’ I also find it ironic, that the hook has how many words? Just like Em says in ‘Syllables’.
Now Bino. ‘Niggas please be focused – that ‘Bino, you know this’ is the first line of his feature. He’s trying, pleading, for the dumb to listen to his lyrics. The first half of his verse is very reference heavy and clever: ‘He rep the home of Sosas, you know I’m from that Zone 6 / You know I rep that Stone shit, you know your ‘hood is so clit’ and ‘I’mma be that – CG busy gettin’, where the weed at?’ referring to himself as CG, which only someone who knew he rapped under the pseudonym of Childish Gambino would get. The Sosas reference is to Chicago where Sammy Sosa played for the Chicago Cubs and also home of rapper Cheef Keef, who has taken to refer to himself as Sosa. He even drops references I didn’t even get like, ‘You’re fuckin’ with the Fifi bag’, which I’ll let you Urban Dictionary. Then, however, Bino’s verse turns very… commercial, ‘now she on the floor, droppin’ like it’s hot / You blast this shit in Abercrombie when your work is finished / Your mom won’t play it in the car cause it’s got cursing in it’. These are all signs of a Popular song–something to dance to in the club, something that plays in A&F stores, and something that isn’t filled with vulgar lyrics. ‘Favorite Song’ are neither of these three.
Tis’ a great parody. There’s a lot Chance is really great at, and you’re right masterful lyricist and satirist. I’m glad you liked it. I finda figured you would.