Modern Music: Lyrical or Gibberish?by Brea Weinreb on Oct, 31 2012
Berkeley students can create scientific elements, win Nobel Prizes, and write novels worthy of Pulitzer acclaim. However, can these top students decipher the meanings of indigestable hip-hop lyrics? I asked around campus to find out.
Confusing Song Number One: We Found Love by Rihanna
We’ve all sung along to this catchy anthem whether in the car, on the way to class, or in a grimy frat basement. Nevertheless, the chorus still begs the question, what is the hopeless place? Students suggested the following:
“Rihanna and Chris Brown met in a funeral home.”
“Hopeless place…. Ghetto. She found love in the ghetto for sure.”
“I think she’s singing about drugs.”
“She found love in a rave.”
“Wait… isn’t she singing about a sugar overdose?”
*Disclaimer: This last student has clearly been too influenced by MTV’s The Buried Life’s parody of Rihanna’s music video.
Of course there were the handful of students who actually put time in to deciphering the lyrics and corresponding music video, giving me the typical answer that Rihanna is referring to her inability to form a healthy relationship with Chris Brown. But who really cares about the technicalities when you can theorize that she is singing about a funeral home?
Unintelligible Song Number Two: Don’t Drop That (Thun Thun) by Finatticz
Although not as popular as We Found Love, Don’t Drop That is a popular party beat that awakens the ghetto dance bone in everyone. We know Finatticz doesn’t want us to drop something, but what exactly is this “thun thun thun?”
The list of answers from Berkeley students includes women’s buttocks, promiscuous undergarments, hundred dollar bills, and the pills so prevalent in Finatticz’s music. One even went so far as to theorize that the rapper is warning against dropping your cat on the floor. I don’t know about you, but I would put money on this last one.
I’d also like to send a special thank you to the student who so bluntly reminded me, “It’s just a song.” What a bummer; I really thought Finatticz was trying to flex his poetic muscle.
A viral YouTube video and a flash mob on campus have popularized this song, although many of us fall privy to singing the incorrect lyrics or just mumbling until the catchy chorus rolls around. It seems no one knows exactly what the lyrics are- even Google had me confused, continually alternating between Korean and English indecipherable verses. My fellow students seemed to be just as confused as to what this song is about. Answers ranged from a town in Seoul, Korea to bitchy Korean girls, to a foreign drug-induced disco.
I think it’s safe to conclude that although catchy, Gangnam Style makes absolutely no sense and if it weren’t for the ridiculous accompanying dance, PSY would have been shoo’d off of YouTube already.
For my final interpretation of ridiculous hip-hop music, I bring to you one of last year’s biggest hits. The multiple definitions of “rack” make Tyga’s reference slightly ambiguous. Since Google Maps wasn’t much help in the matter, I asked Berkeley students the simple question, where is Rack City located?
The cleverness of my fellow students didn’t cease to amuse me as I received a range of answers, spanning from Denver, Colorado to a strip club. Other answers included Las Vegas, a woman’s bed, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Who knew Rack City was right here in Berkeley?!
As insightful and endlessly entertaining as these hypotheses were, I’ve concluded that Berkeley students ought to stick to respective careers. It is unlikely RapGenius.com will be recruiting from the Bay Area any time soon.