I Demand a Column by Danny Sedlazek
Even if you haven’t heard the travesty that is “The Motto,” a single off of Drake’s sophomore LP Take Care, you’ve certainly been touched by it if you have any sort of access to the Internet. Swag is more dead in the ground than Justin Bieber’s hopes of becoming a respected rapper. Something had to fill the void of ignorance. Young Aubrey Graham filled the void with this quote from his ode to himself:
“Now she want a photo, you already know, though, you only live once: that’s the motto…YOLO”
Now everyone and their mom had an excuse for doing anything stupid and/or irresponsible:
“Driving on the wrong side of the road, YOLO!”
“Not studying for my final exam that’s 95% of my grade, YOLO!”
“Not surrendering to the brute force of armed rebels, the nations of France and Britain, and the United States Air force, YOLO!” (This was said by late Muammar Gaddafi, who passed before the song was even released. Needless to say, he paid top dollar for the premium Young Money leaks.)
Not only were Hindus and Buddhists in an uproar, but it was official: catchphrase rap had returned.
I cannot think of a time when more acronyms, ad-libs, and random catchphrases were being shouted about in “hippity hop muzik” since the mid 1990s (and that’s when it was cool to spell your name out. What idiot does that anymore?) Now you’re wondering why has no one done a recap of the greatest of these random pop-culture phrases?
Well, D-A-N-N-Y is fully prepared to guide you through the sludge of atrocities and take you straight to the comedic and serious gold spouted by MCs in easily quotable form!
5. “Dat…Cray”- Kanye West
Americans love to laugh at ignorance. How else would you explain the existence of two VH1 stations that come with expanded cable packages? We also love self awareness and parody. Would William Shatner have half the popularity he possesses if we didn’t? I doubt it.
Enter Kanye West: He’s just ignorant enough to be possibly the most arrogant man alive and just smart enough to make brilliant music and realize people laugh at his massive ego. Most of the time it’s hard to tell when the self proclaimed “voice of a generation” dives into self-parody, yet on the 4th single off his collaboration album Watch the Throne, he embrace a level of ignorance not seen since we elected a man with a history of cocaine problems president.
Too long to be cool, Yeezy knew he had to shorten a word like “crazy” or else the people wouldn’t understand it. Coupled with a repulsive amount of bragging about wealth, women and designer jackets, Mr. West the “genius” crafted one of the most ignorant, and fun, rap lines in memory.
4. “Weezy F. Baby, and the F is for (insert your own silly word choice here)”- Lil Wayne
Some phrases require no introduction or explanation, just facts. So for your viewing pleasure, watch Weezy play mad-libs. In too many Lil Wayne songs to mention, he has claimed the letter “F” stand for:
- Forget it
- Front Door
Someone hand that youngin’ a dictionary….
3. “Then I pull out my beretta!”- R. Kelly (Frequently used in his Hip-Hopera “Trapped in the Closet”)
Alright, it’s not rap, but it might as well be. R Kelly’s 22 part modern day masterpiece “Trapped in the Closet” is a Hip Hopera where Kellz laces a single loop weaving the tale of Sylvester, who’s basically a combination of all of R Kelly’s self-perceived positive traits and Zeus. Of course, this being the deranged mind of Kelly, the story takes many strange twists and turns. However, the entire story is realistic enough that it could actually happen. So, it is so out of place when the character threatens to pull out his gun in the most random of times.
Still, this wouldn’t be so redundant if he did it once, or even twice.
He does it more than ten times. R Kelly’s character only appears in 15 of the parts of the series. More than 60% of Sylvester’s appearances are defined with gun violence. It’s hilarious for South Park to famously parody it. Yet the parody pales in comparison to the original.
2. “ARF ARF” –DMX (Every DMX I could possibly think of or that I looked up)
I don’t know how he did it. Dark Man X managed to make barking like a schizophrenic cool during any occasion. But those were the late 1990s for you. I would say you had to be there, but even back then I feel like someone would’ve thought it strange every youth older than 10 was barking in every other sentence.
Now I know what you’re asking yourself: “How can I know when it’s okay to start barking in order to fit in with the hip-urban adjusted culture of today?” Here’s some context, straight from the OG dog himself:
“Y’all brothers want the real? Rrrrrrrr ARF ARF ARF what’s the deal?”
“Whatchall really want? ARF ARF”
“Rrrrrrr ARF ARF ARF ARF ARF. What’s on ya’ll brotha’s minds?”
Basically, if you’re ARF ARF ever talking to someone in the second Rrrrrrrrrrr ARF ARF person, you need to start barking. It’s what the cool kids are doing. And you don’t want to be not cool…right?
1. “You down with O.P.P.?”- Naughty By Nature (From the aptly titled song ‘OPP’)
In case you’ve noticed, with the exception of the tongue-in-cheek Kanye quote, the hilarity and joy in these phrases come from the pure stupidity and absurdity of them. This particular phrase is a glaring contrast. See, this quote is just clever enough to go over the head of any casual listener, yet still concise enough for anyone with a slightly discerning ear to understand the message with a little bit of patience.
Basically, it’s one of the most perfect inside, yet still very inclusive, jokes of all time. More than 20 years later, it’s still brilliant.