To the untrained eye, Nicki Minaj's latest single, Only, seems to be just another sexually exploitative, violence glorifying, hip-hop song—but a more discerning eye will see much deeper than that—finding, that Only is undoubtedly an African American woman's plea for the abolition of an imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy.
And more.... so much more.
Popdust has carried out an in-depth lyrics analysis and here are our findings:
Yo, I never f*cked Wayne, I never f*cked Drake On my life, man, f*ck's sake
If I did I menage with 'em I'd let 'em eat my ass like a cupcake.
The eating of the ass is typically done by circling another's anus with one's tongue. Here however, it is used as a metaphor—with this circular action referring to the viscous cycle of black Americans and their endless struggles against law enforcement.
They rally against it, only to have their efforts proven fruitless, and the cycle begins again.
My man full, he just ate, I don't duck nobody but tape Yeah, that was a set up for a punch line on duct tape
Slavery was officially abolished in 1865, but women, minorities, and gays are all still very much bound by societal and authoritarian hidden chains.
Nicki faces her oppressors head on, hence “I don't duck nobody," ...and yet she remains duct taped.
Worried 'bout if my butt's fake Worry 'bout yall n*ggas, us straight
These girls are my sons, John and Kate plus eight
Here, a seemingly meaningless pop culture reference is actually a gesture of solidarity and an indication that Minaj sees Kate Gosselin as a kindred spirit.
You know, 'cuz they're both kinda douchey and often maligned.
When I walk in, sit up straight, I don't give a f*ck if I was late
Dinner with my man on a G5 is my idea of an update
Again, Minaj rallies against a pejorative stereotype: “Black people time."
So what if she's late? At least she can dance better than you, honkey.
Hut one, hut two, big t*tties, big butt too
OK, here, I think she's just saying she has big t*tties and a big butt too.
F*ck with them real n*ggas who don't tell n*ggas what they up to Had to show bitches where the top is, ring finger where the rock is
These hoes couldn't test me even if their name was pop quiz
Here, Minaj clearly takes an obvious jab at racial discrimination in standardized testing.
Like all those stupid questions about racket ball, pumpkin spiced lattes, yoga and shit.
Bad bitches who I f*ck with, mad bitches we don't f*ck with I don't f*ck with them chickens unless they last name is cutlet Let it soak in like seasonin' And tell 'em, tell 'em blow me, Lance Stephenson
Perhaps a statement that occasionally stereotypes are in place for a reason, although, at the same time, this is relevant for all races— Chicken is delicious. Chicken cutlets—even better.
[Hook: Chris Brown]
Raise every bottle and cup in the sky Sparks in the air like the fourth of July
Nothing but bad bitches in here tonight
Oh, if you lame and you know it be quiet
Nothing but real n*ggas only, bad bitches only
Rich n*ggas only, independent bitches only.
At first glance, Brown's plea for “independent bitches only," reads like a celebration of strong, autonomous women, but peel back the layer and you will see a disturbing trend of financial withholding that permeates rap music, much in the same way Jay-Z did with the line, “Zip, zero, stingy with dinero. Might buy you Crist', but that about it. Might light your wrist, but that about it."
Nod to feminism? Endorsement of frugality?
Neither. This is a bleak statement on the fall of the American dollar. In other words, “buy your own drink 'cuz it's hard out here for a pimp."
Boss n*ggas only, thick bitches only I got my real n*ggas here by my side, only
See: big t*tties, big butt too.
[Verse 2: Drake]
I never f*cked Nicki cause she got a man But when that's over then I'm first in line
Here Drake celebrates a resurgence of monogamy in these morally ambiguous times. However he later wavers when he says, “it doesn't take much for us to do this shit quietly." Nicki plays the succubus; Driving an otherwise upstanding man to infidelity.
And the other day in her Maybach I thought god damn, this is the perfect time
We had just come from that video
You know LA traffic, how the city slow
She was sitting down on that big butt
But I was still staring at the t*tties though
Yeah, lowkey it may be high key
I been peeped that you like me, you know
Who the f*ck you really wanna be with besides me?
The mention that Nicki drives a $200,000 car is confirmation that she is in fact, an “independent bitch."
I mean, it doesn't take much for us to do this shit quietly I mean, she say I'm obsessed with thick women and I agree
Yeah, that's right, I like my girls BBW, yeah
Type to wanna suck you dry and then eat some lunch with you
Yeah, so thick that everybody else in the room is so uncomfortable
Ass on Houston Texas, but the face look just like Clair Huxtable
Drake boldly stares controversy in the face with this next pop culture reference—the TV wife of accused creepster and alleged rapist Bill Cosby, who recently called upon black media to “remain neutral" in the face of explosive allegations.
Oh, yeah, you the man in the city when the mayor f*ck with you The NBA players f*ck with you
The bad ass bitches doing makeup and hair f*ck with you
Oh, that's cause I believe in something, I stand for it
And Nicki if you ever try ta f*ck
Just give me the heads up so I can plan for it
A lyrical and heartening transfer in gender roles. Minaj is in the classically “male" role of summoning a partner to her bedside. Drake effortlessly eases into a female role in “planning for it." Hair, nails, sexy undies, personal grooming, etc…
[Verse 3: Lil' Wayne]
I never f*cked Nicki and that's f*cked up If I did f*ck she'd be f*cked up
Whoever is hittin' ain't hittin' it right
Cause she actin' like she need dick in her life
That's another story, I'm no story teller
I piss greatness like gold is yellow
It's clear in the first two lines that Lil' Wayne phoned this in, not even bothering to rhyme the last two words. Some obvious and overlooked choices include: cup, yup, or the Yiddish, schtup.
But before you rush to anger, let's examine the lyrics. On the surface; an obvious, if not vulgar mating call. But to a more astute listener, Lil' Wayne is revealing what seems to be a chronic struggle with gastrointestinal issues.
“Urine gets its yellow color from a pigment called urochrome. That color normally varies from pale yellow to deep amber, depending on the concentration of the urine. Darker urine, or gold urine, is usually a sign of toxicity," renown medic, Dr. Daddi tells Popdust.
Adding further to this theory, Wayne goes on to describe other disturbing symptoms, consistent with Parkinsons, gallstones, and hemolytic anemia.
All my goons so overzealous I'm from Holly Groove, the holy Mecca
Calender say I got money for days
I squirm and I shake, but I'm stuck in my ways
My girlfriend will beat a bitch up if she wave
They bet not f*ck with her surfboard, surfboard
My eyes are so bright, I take cover for shade
Don't have my money? I take mothers instead
You got the hiccups, you swallowed the truth
Then I make you burp, boy, treat beef like sirloin
“Hiccups and belching can also be sings of gastrointestinal distress," a concerned Dr. Daddi explains.
I'm talkin' bout runnin' in houses with army guns So think about your son and daughter rooms
Got two hoes with me, messed up, they got smaller guns
Ain't thinkin' bout your son and daughter rooms
This is just crazy my nigga, I mean brazy, my nigga
That money talk, I just rephrase it, my nigga
Blood gang take the B out behavior, my nigga
F*cking for reals if you mouth off I blow your face off
Yet further proof of possible underlying health issues—Wayne shows obvious signs of rage and hostility, which often accompany low blood sugar.
I mean pop-pop-pop then I take off
Gun reference, or perhaps, gas reference?
Now you see me, now you don't Like Jamie Foxx acting like Ray Charles
16 in a clip, one in the chamber
17 ward bully with 17 bullets
My story is how I went from poor me
To police pour me a drink and celebrate with me
Dr. Daddi advises Lil' Wayne: Please make that drink an Alka Seltzer or a shot of Pepto Bismol. “Plop-plop-plop."
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