Edina Zephyrus

Deconstructing Rap Music

Matthew Egger, staff writer

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Rap lyrics are famous for their intricacy, and audiences have difficulty comprehending the meaning of lyrics. In Edina, an area largely sheltered from hip hop culture, many are perplexed by the wordplay used by hip hop artists. However, Zephyrus is here to take a stab at deconstructing the true meaning of some famous rapper’s lyrics.

We will begin with a line from 21 Savage’s “No Heart,”  “Young savage why you trappin’ so hard?” Trapping of animals for fur has been a feasible way to make a living in the past. One can assume other trappers are in awe of his ability to catch a furry animal, and his overall success as a trapper. Also, the line “21 Savage, the cat with the mac” may confuse the listener. The audience can assume that 21 Savage used transfiguration to turn himself into a cat, and then proceeded to use an Apple computer. Professor McGonagall, a master of transfiguration, would be impressed. Savage is from Atlanta, and based upon the title of this song, has no heart. Despite missing a vital organ, Savage is a popular figure in the rap community.

Next, a line written by Rae Sremmurd, found in “No Type,” “Chop the top off the Porsche, that’s a headless horse.” The top of a car is necessary to shelter the driver and passengers from the elements. The rapping duo must have crashed their car, and lost the roof. A headless horse is extremely useless, so the use of comparison of a headless horse to a car without a top works well here.

Migos (a rap trio including Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff) has become a hip hop sensation since the release of their album, Culture. The album includes the track “Kelly Price, which features Travis Scott. “Kelly Price” has a line rapped by Takeoff that goes “With a blindfold, I could still whip up a pie. Never leave and go nowhere without the fire.” Takeoff must be an excellent chef, because baking a pie without vision would take tremendous skill. He must also be concerned about hypothermia, because he makes a fire everywhere he goes to keep himself warm. Travis Scott raps in “Kelly Price” “Treat my lambo like a Fischer Price.” One can assume when Travis Scott says “lambo,” he is referring to a baby sheep. Fischer Price is a toy company, so he is literally treating a baby sheep like a toy.

Finally, “Broccoli” by D.R.A.M. featuring Lil Yachty contains many complex bars, however, with a little brain power, the true meaning of the lyrics can be found. One line rapped by Lil Yachty goes “Ice on my neck cost me ten times three.” It must be very hot where Lil Yachty is, because he is resorting to putting ice on his neck in order to cool down. Ten time three equals thirty, and one can assume the currency in use is American dollars. $30 is extremely expensive for a bag of ice, so Lil Yachty is not a frugal spender.

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About the Contributors
Matthew Egger, copy editor

Matthew Egger came into the world on a bitterly cold, late December day. Perhaps that explains his apparently cold persona shrouding his true and friendly...


2 Responses to “Deconstructing Rap Music”

  1. Takeoff on April 9th, 2017 1:00 am

    Thank you for this thorough analysis Mr. Egger! Spot on!

  2. Tom on May 8th, 2017 3:18 am

    Thank you for deciphering these complex, philosophical lyrics Matthew Egger.

    I take exception, only partially though, to your last interpretation of Lil Yachty and the ice bag. We don’t really know why he needs ice on his neck, but my thought was he is an athlete and somehow strained his neck, therefore needs the ice as part of his RICE therapy for acute musculoskeletal strains.

    WE could further assume that ice is a metaphor for costly physical therapy and that the 10x 3 is, as you correctly state being 30.00, is without a doubt the cost of his healthcare deductible.

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Deconstructing Rap Music