The above music video, directed by Dayo and Lil Wayne, is one that often comes to mind when recalling cultural formula of the late 2000’s era.
The song itself was released as the second single on Young Money’s debut album, We Are Young Money. The catchy, bouncy instrumental produced by Kane Beatz is rapped over by the assemblage of Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Tyga, Jae Millz, and superstar Gudda Gudda. The refrain and chorus line, provided by R&B singer Lloyd, separate each rapper’s verse to create a very easygoing structure. But what makes this song stand out? Theme.
“Bedrock” is a song about sex. Many analysts would not be able to distinguish this theme for it is complexly layered and perhaps cryptic. But with thorough dissection, we can assume all of the artists listed above aimed to have an aligned theme of love, sex, relationships.
This theme provided a magnificent direction for each artist to deliver a unique verse about his or her apposite muse(s). Today we examine all six and decide which is best on the grounds of creativity, cultural impact, and lyrical proficiency.
6.) Verse 2, Gudda Gudda
Ranking last here is no defeat. This verse has many great elements. From the top, we get a specific compliment from Gudda Gudda to his lover, he enjoys her walk when it is in his direction. Endearing. Followed by an advertising copy reference to Red Bull’s “gives you wings” tagline. From pop culture, we transition to a desire for large real estate and then to Gudda Gudda likening his lover to a judicial magistrate and himself to a legal proceeding. This line is a lot.
Never have I or heard anyone else sexualize the judicial system and its roles. Adding an erotic angle to a judge doing his or her job is eclectic, but does it work? While it might for you, it did not for me, putting this verse in last place on the rankings.
5.) Verse 6, Jae Millz
The conclusive verse ranks low. Its strongest point is an homage to Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent”. The rest of it perhaps lacks pizazz. Jae exclaims that he also likes the way his lover walks, something we’ve already seen in a prior verse. And he also says that he is not angered by his partner being herself, or living neutrally. I don’t think this statement needs to be said. All people, in relationships or out, should be freely living without a fear of angering others or partners.
4.) Verse 1, Lil Wayne
She got that good good, she Michael Jackson badLil Wayne
I’m attracted to her for her attractive ass
And now we murderers, because we kill time
I knock her lights out and she still shine
I hate to see her go, but I’d love to watch her leave
But I keep her runnin’ back and forth like a soccer team
Cold as a winter’s day, hot as a summer’s eve
[one version:] Young Money thieves, steal your love and leave
[another version:] Young Money thieves, steal your heart with ease
Lil Wayne provides this solid verse that frankly fell short in comparison to others in his archive. A clever play of opposites simultaneously references Michael Jackson, and then we get a line specifying the reason for his attraction to a woman. Her ass. Moving on, the amusing line of killing time qualifying one for a murder status, ya ya ya nice one. And then we arrive at the couplet I often think about.
“I hate to see her go, but I love to watch her leave–” “I keep her running back and forth like a soccer team”
In the above scenario, it can be assumed that Lil Wayne, for the enjoyment of viewing his lover depart, has her running sprints. A very interesting dynamic. Although others might say he sends her on errands. Ambiguity here overall scores points for the verse as a whole.
3.) Verse 4, Drake
I love your sushi roll, hotter than wasabiDrake
I race for your love, shake and bake, Ricky Bobby
I’m at the W but I can’t meet you in the lobby
Girl I gotta watch my back cause I’m not just anybody
I see them standing in line, just to get beside her
I let her see the Aston, I let the rest surprise her
That’s when we disappear, you need GPS to find her
Oh that was your girl, I thought I recognized her
Securing a top three spot, Drake romanticizes sushi. It is hot sushi that contains more heat that its signature accompaniment known for being hot. He then likens himself to Talladega Nights character, Ricky Bobby. He then resorts to materialism to compete for this woman. The ‘W’ (a luxury hotel), an Aston Martin sports car, and the buzzword GPS all allowed Drake to win the heart of an already taken woman during the verse. If it weren’t for the sushi reference, we would not be talking top three here. But due to its originality and fresh feel, Drake gets the bronze.
2.) Verse 5, Tyga
She like tannin’, I like stayin’ inTyga
She like romancin’, I like rollin’ with friends
She said I’m caged in, I think her conscious is
She watchin’ that oxygen, I’m watchin’ ESPN
But when that show ends, she all on my skin lotion
Slow motions, roller coasting like back, forth, hold it (Hold it [x4])
She pose like it’s for posters and I poke like I’m supposed to
Take this photo if you for me, she said don’t you ever show this
I’m too loyal and too focused, to be losing and be hopeless
When I spoke this, she rejoiced it
Said your words get me open, so I closed it
Where your clothes is, I’m only loving for the moment
This article was a vehicle for me to be able to talk about this verse. I think about it at least three times a week. The ESPN logo will forever mnemonically prompt me to replay Tyga saying, “I’m watching’ ESPN”. Aside from this, Tyga takes a different approach to the theme. An approach that is somehow more carnal than the others on the track.
Tyga uses twelve lines to portray how different he and this woman are. Line one, she likes tanning while Tyga prefers the indoors. Then we see a much more prominent dissimilarity. Tyga’s lover enjoys spending romantic time with him. Tyga prefers to be with friends, leaving the time they are together to be solely sexual. AND THEN, a huge disrespectful sleight from Tyga exclaims that the woman is myopic? When Tyga is the one unable to think outside of a carnal affair? Unbelievable. Moving on.
Tyga says the line about ESPN which is tattooed on my cerebellum. He continues to boast about the pleasurable experiences he has when TV time is expired. But then we get to the part I struggle to thoroughly analyze.
A photo is taken, a sexual photo. And the woman instructs him to keep it undisclosed. Very reasonable. But Tyga surprises us all here by temporarily leaving his lascivious character and showing some deeper emotions. “I’m too loyal… and too focused….. to be losing….. and be hopeless”
Wow. This line also crosses my mind with frequency. Phonetically, it is said with a lot of isolation for each part. The beat goes underneath for the listener to reflect on this mercurial change of heart. And just when the listener is in this phase– an abrupt conclusion puts Tyga back in his ways. He instructs the woman to find her clothes as the moment is over.
Am I alone in this fascination? Hopefully not, this verse contains many surprises that need to be discussed. I seek others with a desire to deconstruct it. If others are more educated on Tyga’s lyrics in other works. I would love to hear from you.
1.) Verse 3, Nicki Minaj
Okay, I get it, let me think, I guess it’s my turn
Maybe it’s time to put this p****y on your side burns
He say I’m bad, he probably right
He pressin’ me like button downs on a Friday night (Ha ha ha)
I’m so pretty like, be on my pedal bike
Be on my low starch
Be on my egg whites
He say, “Nicki don’t stop, you the bestest.”
And I just be coming off the top, asbestos
Finally, we examine what I classify to be the best verse in the song. It’s a verse that I am also fascinated with, but not as much as Tyga’s. Nicki’s verse stands out for a different reason. And that reason is the very last line. It contains an elite double entendre that I simply cannot believe she thought of. A wild display of wit and creativity.
Did you know it was a reference to the cancer-causing silicate material used for insulation? It also exclaims how enjoyable it is to have sexual relations with Nicki Minaj. We all know the beauty of the double entendre device, but this one puts the verse on top for me.
Have different thoughts? Yeah yeah let me know! Share your rankings, super important stuff.