Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Fans Also Like #4: Wet and Gushy

I watch this clip of Lil Wayne playing guitar terribly about once every other day: Perhaps because it brings me back to a simpler time, or maybe just because of the way he puts his head down at the end as if he’s just blown so many minds he can’t grace the crowd with his vision, I can honestly say that this video fascinates me to the point of now having a large part of my brain filled with this scrawny reptile man listlessly playing a guitar as if he’s tuning it, while forgetting he’s in front of a crowd of paying fans.

This ghost of 2009, combined with me recently discovering in an uber that the radio edit for WAP just goes ‘Wet, Wet, Wet’, which is still not as bad as the ‘Wet and Gushy’ that accompanies the music video, led me to thinking about the back catalogue of gross Lil Wayne lyrics and songs that for some reason went down totally unquestioned back in the late noughties and early 2010’s. 

This weeks editorial is on the treasure trove of almost hysterically ignorant sex jams and lyrics that were the pre-cursor to the infinitely better chart toppers of today. 

I think what’s so notable about tracks like WAP is that they markedly have a sense of humour about them, almost as if they’re designed for the coming Ben Shapiro breakdown where he complains about ‘Wet Ass P-Words’. I can’t say the same though, for the songs that made up the majority of the music library on my 2008 Sony Ericsson. 

The first big one that comes to mind, although as I said Lil Wayne is always in there, is a song he did with Chris Brown, ‘I can Transform Ya’. Remarkably it isn’t as gross and misogynistic as I remember, but lyrically it’s about one half reptile and a convicted abuser, talking about how they want to ‘transform’ this girl into something ‘new’, something iterated perfectly by the opening to Lil Wayne's second verse which is, I shit you not, ‘I can transform ya, like a transformer’.    

There’s some other questionable stuff in there like: ‘Something like Pinocchio, If you lie down I'm a grow, Wanna see me do it big, I can show you how it goes’, but by standards at the time its main crime is just sounding awful (there is a literal football whistle that plays every other bar in this song). 

If you want a truly gross Lil Wayne song you have to go a few years later down the line to ‘Love Me’ featuring Future. If your memories are thankfully foggy enough, it’s the one with the endlessly tasteful chorus of ‘As long as my bitches love me’. At this point if I sound like a prude complaining about this when it’s in literally every rap song, hold on, I promise this all has a point. 

Lil Wayne can’t pull off some kind of cool loverman aesthetic, when he says ‘all she eat is dick, she on a strict diet’ or ‘she wake up eat this dick, call that breakfast in bed’, all I can think about is his giant grilled grin, face tattoos, and that weird not quite lip piercing that sits on his face like forgotten food. 

The biggest problem, and why I want to catalogue the development of overtly raunchy shit, is that none of the stuff from this era is at all well written, and it still blows my mind how any of it was popular. 

Maybe it was just being twelve but do you remember when ‘Whistle’ by Flo Rider came out and everyone legitimately thought it was the funniest thing ever that, shocker, he’s talking about getting blown? Even if they didn’t, and that was just kids laughing at how ‘naughty’ it was, the song was still a huge hit. 

‘Show me your perfect pitch, you got it my banjo. Talented with your lips, like you blew out a candle. So amusing, now you can make a whistle with the music’. 

Watching Flo Rider try and smuggle the word ‘amusing’ into a verse for a bad rhyme is hilarious, and I don’t know if you have to be ‘talented with your lips’ just to blow out a candle, but needless to say this song is dumb. 

There were two other tracks I thought would qualify for this article, but that actually turned out to be surprisingly innocent. ‘Lick Ya Down’ from Cover Drive, where the title turns out to be slang for beating someone up, and ‘Truffle Butter’ which please forgive me for misunderstanding because Lil Wayne is on this track, but is apparently used imagery wise as a symbol of wealth, rather than something Lil Wayne would absolutely nickname his jizz had someone told him not to. 

These mistakes aside, no list of awful two thousands lyricism would be complete without Mr Worldwide, 305, Donkey Kong, King Kong, Picture that With A Kodak, Pitbull. In arguably one of his worst songs, and that’s saying something considering his catalogue, ‘Hotel Room Service’ features probably the most insanely unerotic come on ever written: 

‘Bring your girls, just whatever the night. Your man just left, I'm the plumber tonight. I'll check yo pipes, oh, you the healthy type. Well, here goes some egg whites.’ 

It’s easy to ascertain from this that Pitbull ultimately considers the ‘healthy type’ to be someone not riddled with STDs, which makes sense as no artist loves more than to list exotic locations that he visits exclusively to have sex, none bar our next subject Jason Derulo. 

There are a lot of gross things about the man who bafflingly has a career that spans over half my entire life, and while ‘Talk Dirty’ is basically a song about languages he doesn’t understand the word ‘no’ in, he outdoes himself with ‘Trumpets’. 

While the literal trumpets in it are just insufferable as an instrumental, it’s basically just him hitting on a girl with the creepiest, but more just bordering on cringe lines like: 

‘It’s the way that your bra reminds me of a Katy Perry song.’  

A lots been said since then about the double standard when it comes to women rapping about sex, and regardless of how you feel about it, I think the reason songs like WAP have lasted out in amidst a sea of boring multi-coloured mumble rappers, is purely because the artists penning them have evolved into actually writing good stuff. 

It’s not that there’s a problem with sexual content in music, and there definitely is a problem with people like Ben Shapiro supporting a sex offender President but being upset by the ‘values’ WAP ‘desecrates’, but ultimately, artists like Migos etc. still haven’t graduated from ‘ass=good’, and when you compare that to a song like ‘Deepthroat’, there’s no doubt about what actually hits harder. 

It doesn’t matter if you love or hate CupcakKe’s song, the one thing that can’t be denied is that it’s hilarious. 

‘My p*ssy pink like Salami’ 

‘Keep it smelling like baby wipes, I never smell like sardines’. 

The truth is, as with most common subject matter, the key is to not take yourself too seriously. Sure Deepthroat is gross but that’s kind of the point, to be shocking and a bit silly, whereas with something like ‘Love Me’, you can tell Lil Wayne thinks he's at the peak of his alpha dog coolness. 

I wouldn’t really call these best forgotten songs from nearly ten years ago a pool of influence, because god forbid Pitbull ever influences anyone, but when complaining about the music we hear today, especially for being crude, just remember, there’s always Lil Wayne playing guitar and talking about his dick getting eaten. 

All the songs mentioned are included in the Fans Also Like Playlist which can be found below, except for Love Me (Gross) and Trumpets (FUCK JASON DERULO):

- James Charalambides


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