I deserve a Grammy! Come on, I know none of you would vote for me. Still, it takes guts to affirm that — positive affirmations — and that’s exactly what this music duo was doing. This cover for “Grammy” by Purity Ring was released as a single in 2013. It takes inspiration from Soulja Boy’s song of the same name on his 2010 album, The DeAndre Way. Below are the lyrics for you to enjoy, as well as the music video. I’ll also add the original song for you all to compare the two. Go ahead!
For better practice, try: First, listen to the song while reading the lyrics. This will help you get familiar with the sounds and rhythm along with the words used. Second, read through the lyrics without the music. Take your time and make sure you understand the words and meanings. Third, listen to the song without reading lyrics. Notice if your understanding of the song / words has improved!
Feel free to ask in the comments if there is something else you didn’t understand or want to know more about. Want more songs like this? Let me know! Now enjoy, and happy listening.
*I want to reiterate that I am not trying to correct anyone’s informal speech or grammar. As native speakers, these concepts come easier to us, but English learners may need help in understanding what the correct way to speak is so they know when and where to break those rules! Thanks for bearing with me.
“Grammy” (Cover) Lyrics – Purity Ring
Informal Speech: *”Because I’ve given …”
Music Reference: “Party Like a Rock Star” was a popular song by hip hop group, the Shop Boyz, from 2007, and this is probably a reference to that.
Informal Speech: “*Hit them with the hot bars …”
Slang: “Hit” here has a figurative meaning. It’s about the same as offer or give but in an impactful way. “Hot” here means something very good, of excellent quality, and impressive. “Bars” is a slang specific to hip hop and rap music, and describes the lines in the lyrics (like lines in a paragraph or story). So, hot bars are impressive lyrics, basically.
Informal Speech: It’s more correct to say, “Fast like NASCAR,” but she conjugated it as if she were only talking about a car, not the whole sports organization. “Fast like a car.” “Lime” describes the color of the car, green.
Informal Speech / Grammar: Normally for cities, countries, states, etc., we would say “Land in Miami.” (As in, land down in a plane). The conjugation is interesting though, as if she wants to land on top of Miami, making a huge impact.
Slang: “Grind” here means to hustle, put in work to make money.
Cultural References: S.O.D. is something associated with Soulja Boy, the original artist of this song. “Pirates” here probably was used to refer to the treasure-hungry and ruthless reputation of pirates, though it also refers to the famous Captain Hook, a pirate from Peter Pan.
Musical Terms / Figurative Speech: A “hook” in music refers to a specific part of the lyrics, similar to bridge and chorus.
Grammar: *”My lyrics are illustrated, my verses are taken from a book …” Literally, if he’s talking about Peter Pan.
Slang / Cultural Reference: “Crunk” refers to a popular hip hop dance style that was especially big in the late ’90s to early 2000s. It is known for being very aggressive, and some people refer to “getting crunk” when they mean to get aggressive or hostile.
Expressions: Being “at command” is being ready to do something at any moment.
Casual Speech / Expressions: “Papers” here refers to money, most likely. It could also be contracts or music deals. “Long acres” refer to big properties with lots of land.
Other Meanings: “No security” refers to how people who travel on private jets don’t have to pass through airport security.
Slang / Figurative Speech: “Ice” in this case means jewelry. I don’t know of any jewelry that is black, so Soulja Boy might just have been referring to the fact that he is black. “Black ice” in the literal sense is a very thin layer of ice on the road that can’t really be seen but is dangerous for causing skidding and accidents. Maybe the jewelry is so pretty, it’s “dangerous”.
Pronunciation: The “jury” is the audience who watches and decides on a verdict during a criminal trial. It also sounds like the way some American accents might pronounce “jewelry – jury.”
Slang: “Trick” here is a derogatory term against women. Interesting, since Megan from Purity Ring is singing it.
Figurative Speech: Also, a trick in normal terms is what a magician would do to deceive the audience, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Hence, “call it magic.”
Slang: “Money is long” means that the money goes a long way. There is a lot of money.
Grammar: *”And we are the measure(ment)”
Grammar: *”He is critically acclaimed …”
Expressions: “The rain” here means hard times and difficulties.
Vocabulary: “Change” is what we call coins or money left over after a purchase. If she has a million left over after buying, imagine how much she spent.
Slang: “The game” in this sense refers to a kind of situation or industry. Specifically here, it can be the music game.
Cars: This is the Rolls-Royce Phantom. “Drop top” means the top of the car comes down or opens, like a convertible.
Music Reference: The DeAndre Way was a Soulja Boy album from 2010. In the original lyrics, he’s probably referring to the image of his face on the album’s cover.
Slang: “Tatted” is a slang word for tattooed, like “tat” is for tattoo. “How do you like my new tats?”
Grammar: *”Have I not given enough?”
Then it repeats.
Thank you again for reading and practicing your English (or simply enjoying good music). Check Lyrics “Explained” to find similar songs and practice more. Make sure to post a comment or send us a message, if that sounds better to you 😉 Give Me a Shout! Otherwise, take care, y’all. Peace!
“BUTTERFLY EFFECT” is a song by Travis Scott, as you might know, and it came off of his 2017 album, Astroworld. Below are the lyrics with some explanations about expressions, grammar, and other less-obvious meanings of the song. I am no expert on this song or on Travis Scott, but this might help those of you learning or studying English to better understand the words. If you’d like, please watch the video and read the lyrics and explanations. Then take another listen to see how much you understand the second time. Ready?
Other meanings: This probably has to do with money. The more commas, the bigger the number is; 1(,)00(,)000(,)000(,) …
Other meanings: This is a popular tagline from the producer on this song, Murda Beatz.
Figurative speech / Philosophy: Just a note about the title: the “butterfly effect” is the idea that changing something small or subtle in the past — like killing a butterfly — can lead to a completely different present and future. It’s also the idea that something small like a butterfly beating its wings can make huge ripples (impacts) in time. This theory kind of rings throughout the song as Travis says he cannot change, as if his life is destined to be this way. The lyric also could mean that this new lifestyle cannot change who he really is. But, like a butterfly beating its wings in the past, his impact will be made on the world.
Geography / Other meanings: Hidden Hills is an upscale, sort of exclusive city in the north Los Angeles area where lots of rich and famous people live. It also sounds like he could be saying “in the hills” which has the same connotation. That’s because in Los Angeles, many of the rich and fancy neighborhoods are either literally in the hills or have the name “hills.”
Not sure: The “deep off in the main” part is a little confusing, but it could just mean that the people in this society have deep ties, deep roots, or deep connections there. Or something else entirely.
Figurative speech: We know M&M’s. Some like chocolate and others swear by peanut butter. He could be relating M&M’s to certain drugs like ecstasy, comparing the “high” feeling of being on drugs to a sugar high from eating lots of sweets.
Casual speech / Slang: “Drop the top” and “pop the top off” are ways to talk about taking the top off of a convertible car. “Bang” here could refer to playing loud music in the car. These expressions probably have other meanings too that are a little more provocative, so I’ll leave it at that.
Games: “Hide and seek” is a kids game where one person has to search for other people who are hiding.
Figurative speech: He doesn’t literally want to play hide and seek though. This could mean going to look for something or someone, or trying to run away or hide from someone. Doing things discreetly.
Figurative speech / Slang: Going to “the league” generally refers to young athletes who skip college and go directly into the professional league. He could be referring to someone joining his “team” or his crew. Come play with the big boys. This mixes in with a popular term among some black men to call each other “hitters,” like a baseball player that hits a ball. That’s not what it means, that’s just the relation to being on the team or in the league.
Grammar: *”Feel just how I am …”
Slang / Informal speech: Saying “how I be” refers to how the person lives, how they act on a regular basis, their style. This is very informal, by the way. Saying something is “lit” means that it’s fun, it’s cool, something good will come of it. It’s also one of Travis’s popular sayings.
Grammar: *”On the freeway, but no, nothing is free …”
Slang: Saying “straight up” like this is the same as “for real,” as if to reiterate that the person really means what they say.
Expressions: To “bend the law” means to break it basically, to go against the law. “Bending lanes” is driving quickly along turns on street lanes. Hence, skrrt skrrt.
Grammar: *”I’ve been busting bills, but still, nothing has changed …”
Slang: By “busting bills” he means he’s been spending a lot of money. Still, he makes a ton of money, so his financial situation isn’t affected by this.
Grammar: *”You’re in the mob as soon as you rock the chain …”
Slang: The “mob” here refers to his crew again. The same goes for “team, squad, gang,” etc. To “rock” in this case means to wear something proudly, especially a certain brand.
Slang / Expressions: To “catch the wave” here means to get high (on drugs) and feel some wavy vibes. To “thumb” through something means to run one’s fingers through it as if to study it, like thumbing a book.
Culture / Style: He plays on the idea of waves as a hairstyle since “waves” have been a popular hairstyle for black men for a while.
Expressions: “Heating up” figuratively means that something is getting started, it’s just beginning. A similar expression is “warming up.”
Expressions / Dual meanings: “Keep me up” here means this person keeps him feeling well, positive, and in good spirits. It also has a more provocative meaning, though.
Slang: “Icy” here has a couple of meanings. It can be really cool, chill, relaxed, good-looking, and involving lots of “ice” or diamonds and jewels.
Slang: “Dawgs” is the same as a guy or a friend. To “creep” in this scenario means to move slowly and watchfully without trying to be noticed. In a car, it sounds like it means driving with the car low to the ground.
Regular speech: Saying “right” with a direction just adds emphasis to how close the subject is. “Right next to, right beside, right above, right there.”
Cars / Culture: A Phantom is a popular expensive car often referenced in rap / trap music.
Informal speech / Grammar: *”I stayed like Santana …”
Slang: To “dip” in this case means to disappear or abandon something. The “set” is a person’s original “hood,” group or place that they most represent. So, Travis didn’t abandon his origins, in simpler terms.
Pop Culture References: He’s probably referencing Juelz Santana who was a part of a rap group called Dipset or the Diplomats.
Expressions / Slang: To “run it back” means to do something again like repeat a song or phrase, or to go back to a place. To “hit up” a place means to visit it or go to it.
Personal meaning / Location: He could be talking about a bar in San Antonio called the Green Lantern, since Travis is from Texas and I’ve heard he went to this place.
Slang: “Broads” is another term for young women. It’s an older term that can be seen as disrespectful to some women.
Slang / Expressions: “In the cut” here means that he is in a place, probably a really nice place. It’s one of those non-specific slangs that could be a number of other things too. To “lay low” or “lie low” means to take it easy, relax, not do much work, enjoy one’s time.
Life references / Dual meanings: Medusa could be referring to the logo on Versace brand clothing, or a popular restaurant in Atlanta.
Slang: “Roll up” here refers to rolling up a joint (of cannabis). It could also refer to rolling his window up to feel stronger effects from the weed since we assume he is in a car.
Grammar: *”You need to text back because you know what I need …”
Deeper meaning: We can only imagine what he might need from this person he’s texting.
Expressions: “Oh me, oh my” is an old-fashioned expression that sounds like a kids song. “Oh my” is a way to show shock or surprise. It’s short for “Oh my God / goodness / word.” Also, saying “Oh, please!” like this can be like telling someone to stop because they are lying or saying something outrageous. “You wrestled a lion? Oh, please!” Of course, it can also be like saying “Please, stop.”
Grammar: *”We have / we’ve been moving …”
Expressions: “Moving” here refers to making moves, or doing things to make money and have success.
Slang: “Flex” in this context means to show off, present what you have to everyone else, usually in a way that is misleading. Of course, it relates to flexing a muscle, showing your strength, proving that you have been exercising a lot.
Do you want to know the lyrics to “Day ‘N’ Nite” by Kid Cudi? Great, you’re in the right place! The song was featured on his 2008 album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, but was also released on a previous mixtape and single. This page is geared toward explaining to English learners some of the expressions, idioms, slang, and cultural points in the song that most native English speakers probably know already.
I suggest reading the song lyrics and explanations first. Then listen to the song with the lyrics to check for comprehension. If you know most of these explanations, then cool. Your language skills are on point! Ready?
Informal Writing: Just a note about the spelling; in the song’s title, “N” is the same as “and” but a popular way to spell it in informal titles or writing. “Nite” is the same as “night” but also an informal alternative spelling. This happens a lot when texting for words that don’t spell like they sound. Ex: Tho (Though), Rite (Right), U (You), 4 (For)
Expressions: “Tossing and turning” is another way to say that you can’t sleep. It’s a very common expression.
Expressions: “For keeps” means something you want to keep or hold on to. It usually means you will win the object you want after playing some game. “Let’s race. Whoever wins gets a new car.” “Are we playing for keeps?”
Culture/Literature: This line is reminiscent of a popular fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The two animals race and the hare becomes cocky thinking he will easily beat the tortoise, but the tortoise ends up winning after slowly but steadily staying on track. Maybe Cudi assumes he’s going to win like the hare did, but he gets beat in the end.
Informal Speech: *Because day and night …
Slang: A “stoner” is someone who gets high on drugs, especially cannabis. Similarly, getting “stoned” means getting high on cannabis.
Other Vocabulary: You might have picked this one up, but a “loner” is someone who spends most of their time alone. They don’t interact much with other people.
Expressions/Dual Meaning: This one’s pretty obvious, but it can also mean to “wait” in general. This is similar to other expressions like “Hold on,” “Hold up,” and “Hold it.” These all mean to wait. Even though “hold the phone” sounds pretty specific, there are other phrases like this that mean to wait. Ex: “Hold the front door,” and “Hold your horses.” These are a little more silly and informal, though.
Popular Vocabulary: “Solo” means solitary or alone. I think we got it from Spanish but it’s pretty common to say that you are “solo” or doing something “solo.”
Informal/Unusual Expressions: “Dolo” I think is the same as solo. I haven’t heard this expression much, but I guess “solo-dolo” means being alone but feeling relaxed or okay about it.
Figurative Speech: Saying “Mr.” before some kind of quality means that the person is full of that quality, as if they were the owner of it. “Okay, Mr. Bossy, you don’t have to order people around all the time.”
Idiom: Being “on the move” is to be active in making plans or moving from place to place.
Slang: To “shake” in this sense means to avoid or escape something, like to shake off. “The cops are behind us. I can’t shake them.” Shade here has the sense of something ominous or sad. In slang, “shade” can also be general disrespect or dislike that comes from people who don’t like you. A similar concept is “hating on” someone.
Slang/Possible Dual Meaning: The repeating of “made” here reminds me of another expression. Saying that someone is “made” or they “have it made” is like saying they have everything they dreamed of, they have all the success they could want. They’re living the good life. They “have it made.”
Other Vocabulary: “Peep” is any very small sound. It’s usually said in phrases like “won’t hear a peep” or “don’t make a peep.”
Grammar/Informal Speech: *The girl he wants doesn’t seem to want him either … The way he says it sounds better in this case, though.
Common Speech: When something is “through,” it means it is done or over. It has ended.
Slang/Casual Expression: “Slow mo” means slow motion. Here, he says it probably to mean slow down or wait.
Foreign/Musical Term: When used in English, “tempo” specifically has to do with the speed of a rhythm, like in music. It has almost become synonymous with speed. I believe it comes from Italian.
Slang/Informal Expression: To “slow up” is the same as to slow down or go slower, interestingly enough. It is just another cool way to express this idea. “New new” is a fun concept. It basically means something that is new or hasn’t been experienced before, like an emerging trend. It’s like saying “new thing” but the focus is on the impact of that new thing as opposed to the new thing itself. “You still wear the old brands, but I’ve got that new new. You want to see some?”
Slang/Idiom: We probably all know this one, but feeling “blue” is feeling sad.
Expressions: “Man” here is just an exclamation, it doesn’t mean anything really.
Informal Speech: The way he pronounces “cool” is a very common way to say it in some accents. It also rhymes a lot better with blue.
Casual Expression: To “slip into” something means to wear it or put it on. “I’m going to slip into a nice dress.”
Informal/Alternative Speech: The way he pronounces Nikes (referring to shoes) is an informal way that only certain communities say, though it can also just be an alternative or sarcastic way of pronouncing it. It also rhymes better with nights.
Slang: Smoking a “clip” is smoking the leftovers of a blunt of cannabis.
Idiom/Expressions: To be “on the way” means to be arriving somewhere or going somewhere specific.
Casual Expressions: Adding “status” after something like a quality or a place means that person is acting like that quality or representing that place. “He’s on Brooklyn status with his Nets jersey and his old Brooklyn Dodger hat.”
Slang: To “grind” in this case means to work hard and put in an effort. A similar concept is to be “on your grind.”
**I hope you enjoyed reading the lyrics to “Day ‘N’ Nite.” Did you understand these pretty well? What part of the lyrics do you still have trouble with? Tell us what your favorite lines are, or what other songs you like by Kid Cudi. You can contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or to collaborate. Read more posts like this one at Lyrics “Explained.” Thank you for coming! Peace.
From Donald Glover’s initial “ya, ya, ya’s” to Young Thug’s closing mumbles, “This is America” has become such an iconic song. Pretty much every country has done their own spinoff at this point. But for those of you learning English out there, did you understand the lyrics? This post isn’t an attempt to explain hidden meanings in the video or deep explanations in the lyrics. I’m just trying to explain some of the common expressions and slang he uses in the song, things that might be harder for non-native English speakers to understand. Watch the video if you like and accompany the song. Ready? So here we go!
Society: This sounds like what certain prejudiced Americans say to immigrants or groups they don’t like (black, Muslim, poor, etc.)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go away
We just wanna party
Informal Speech: *We just want to party
Party just for you
We just want the money
Money just for you (Yeah)
I know you wanna party
Party just for free
Girl, you got me dancin’ (Girl, you got me dancin’)
Grammar: *You’ve got me dancing… Also, You have me dancing…
Dance and shake the frame (Yeah)
Slang: “Frame” here refers to the woman’s body.
We just wanna party (Yeah)
Party just for you (Yeah)
We just want the money (Yeah)
Money just for you (You)
I know you wanna party (Yeah)
Party just for free (Yeah)
Girl, you got me dancin’ (Girl, you got me dancin’, yeah)
Dance and shake the frame (Ooh)
This is America
Don’t catch you slippin’ now
Slang: To “catch” someone doing something is to find or witness that person. It’s usually when you find someone doing an act that is not right. “Don’t let me catch you stealing.” “Slipping” here means to make a mistake or do something wrong.
Pronunciation: The lyrics I found say “now” but it sounds kind of like “no.” Gambino could be doing this intentionally. Either way, it has about the same meaning. “Don’t let them find you doing something you shouldn’t be doing, being weak, doing something illegal.”
Don’t catch you slippin’ now
Look what I’m whippin’ now
Slang: “Whipping” in slang usually means to make or come up with something. It’s mostly used like “whipping up” something. Whipping can also have to do with cars, as in “Look what I’m driving now.” Whipping traditionally has to do with using a whip to punish someone like a prisoner or slave, or turning milk into a “whipped” cream, for example.
Pronunciation: “Now” here kind of sounds like “on,” so it almost sounds like “Look what I’m whipping (beating, hitting) on.”
Culture: The “whip” is also a popular dance, by the way.
This is America (Woo)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now
Don’t catch you slippin’ now
Look what I’m whippin’ now
This is America (Skrrt, skrrt, woo)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (Ayy)
Look how I’m livin’ now
Police be trippin’ now (Woo)
Grammar: *Police are tripping now…
Slang: “Tripping” here means to act in a way that is wrong or dumb to others, constantly making mistakes and bad choices. “My dad is always punishing me for stuff I didn’t do. He’s tripping.”
Figurative speech: His “area” can be his neighborhood, as in, he lives in an area with lots of guns. It can also be literally in his personal area, like in his possession. It most likely refers to America as a whole, though.
Slang: “Word” when used like this is just a way to acknowledge what someone says. It’s like saying “really, true, yep, etc.”
I got the strap (Ayy, ayy)
Grammar: *I have the strap…
Slang: A “strap” in this sense refers to a gun, gun strap.
Less Obvious Meaning: He has to carry guns, as if for protection or because that’s the stereotype.
Yeah, yeah, I’mago into this (Ugh)
Informal Speech: *I’m going to go into this…
Expression: “Go in” in this sense means to really do well, have a lot of success, really analyze, look hard at, and make an overall really cool song.
Yeah, yeah, this is guerilla (Woo)
Double Meaning: Like guerilla warfare where trained common civilians get involved in warlike fighting. “Guerilla” rhymes perfectly with “gorilla” which is kind of a derogatory term against black people. This is probably on purpose as if to say, “This is about black people.”
Slang: “Cold” in slang can mean a few things. It can mean that someone is “coldhearted” and doesn’t care about anything, or a mean person. It can also mean that someone is really cool and good at something.
I’m so dope like, yeah (Woo)
“Dope” can also mean really cool, something that’s liked by others.
Slang: “Blow” or “blow up” in slang means to come out and have a ton of success, become really popular. “Straight up” is slang that is usually used to agree with someone. It means something like “true, for real, etc.”
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (Woo, woo, don’t catch you slippin’ now)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (Ayy, woah)
Look what I’m whippin’ now (Slime!)
This is America (Yeah, yeah)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (Woah, ayy)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (Ayy, woo)
Look what I’m whippin’ now (Ayy)
Look how I’m geekin’ out (Hey)
Slang: “Geeking out” is to be dressed in a really stylish but kind of formal way. A similar expression is “geeked up” with about the same meaning. This phrase became popular when a style of dance called jerking got famous. This term also means to get high on drugs, but that’s different from what Gambino’s talking about. “Geek” traditionally is a mean term used to make fun of kids that are seen as nerds or who have awkward style. The meaning was turned to be stylish in a weird way. “Geeking out” can also be to show off one’s intelligence or get excited by “nerdy” or “geeky” subjects.
Figurative Speech/Dual Meaning: “On Gucci” could mean that he is wearing Gucci and is in a phase where he likes this brand. This could be that he is “on” this brand like a drug since we usually say “on” when someone is using or is addicted to a drug. That would relate to being geeked out/up from before. “He’s on LSD.” It could also mean he likes or is acting like Gucci Mane, a famous rapper. Being “on” someone can also mean to make fun of them, so this line has a few probable meanings.
I’m so pretty (Yeah, yeah, woo)
I’m gon’ get it (Ayy, I’m gon’ get it)
Informal Speech: I’m going to get get it… “Get it” could refer to making money. “Get it!” is often what people yell to encourage someone to do something well, like dancing. The way he says it though, “Gon’ get it” is used commonly to mean that the person is in trouble or is going to have serious problems. “Ooh, you broke mom’s lamp. You’re gonna get it! (you’re in big trouble)”
Watch me move (Blaow)
This a celly (Ha)
Grammar: *This is a celly…
Slang: “Celly” here refers to a cellphone.
Society: This relates to some police officers that shot innocent black people confusing their cellphones with a gun.
That’s a tool (Yeah)
Slang: A “tool” here refers to a gun, saying the cellphone looked like a gun to the police.
Society: They could also be using this excuse as a “tool” to get out of trouble.
On my Kodak (Woo) Black
Culture/Figurative Speech: Now he’s on Kodak, which is probably that he’s taking photos or recording what’s happening. Kodak is a company that has produced lots of photography products. Kodak Black is a rapper, so he could also be saying that he is acting like Kodak Black. He could also just be saying Kodak to refer to the word black, as in, he is “being black,” acting in a stereotypically black way.
Ooh, know that (Yeah, know that, hold on)
Grammar: *You know that…
Slang: “Hold on” means to wait, or also to be strong and not give up, not stop.
Get it (Woo, get it, get it)
Ooh, work it (21)
Slang: “Work it” means to do something really well, especially related to dancing.
Rapper: “21” refers to 21 Savage, a rapper in this song.
Slang: A “plug” is someone who provides illegal contraband for another party, usually drugs. It also can be just a person who has anything another person needs.
Society/Geography: He’s saying he has a drug supplier in Oaxaca, a state in Mexico. This state isn’t famous for drug activity, but he says it likely because it’s in Mexico, a country infamous for drug cartels. He’s not being serious though.
Culture/Sounds: “Blocka” is the sound a gun makes. They’re going to find you and shoot you, basically. This sound has been popularized by rappers of Caribbean origin and is now used by all kinds of rappers, especially in trap music.
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody
America, I just checked my following list, and
Media: His following list on social media.
You go tell somebody
You m********** owe me
Grandma told me
Get your money, Black man (Black man)
Get your money, Black man (Black man)
Get your money, Black man (Black man)
Get your money, Black man (Black man)
Black man (1, 2, 3—get down)
Culture/Music: This is a popular line in funk and soul music from the mid-1900s, made most popular by artist James Brown. He usually said this before he started dancing, which is exactly what happens in the music video.
Expression: To “get down” in music means to start dancing and having fun. Similarly, “Get down!” is what people yell when someone starts shooting a gun.
Deeper Meaning: A “barcode” is that black and white code that people scan to buy something or check the price. He could be saying black people are seen as something to buy or that have a price. Just objects.
You just a black man in this world
Drivin’ expensive foreigns, ayy
Slang: “Foreigns” are foreign cars. Rappers usually love to sing about foreign cars.
You just a big dawg, yeah
Slang: “Dawg” is a word that refers to another person, usually a man. It’s the same as dude, bro, etc.
A “kennel” is a shelter where dogs are kept. This plays on the word “dawg” from before, meaning he puts this man in his place or probably buries him in the backyard.
No, probably ain’t life to a dog
For a big dog
Understanding: These last two lines I can’t really understand what he’s saying, but this is more or less it.
“This is America” is such a cool song because its lyrics are full of double meanings, cultural references, and sarcastic criticisms. Again, I don’t really want to get into the deeper meaning of the lyrics, but it’s apparent that he is criticizing lots of modern hip hop. The video expresses this even more and his criticism shifts against America as a whole, even though he focuses more on the black experience.
Violence, racism, discrimination, and constant stereotypical pressures are just part of what can make life in America very tough for anybody, and especially the disadvantaged groups of people. Of course, black Americans are one of the greatest examples of this, and we see proof of it time and time again. The song is fun to listen to and dance to. The video is enticing with just as much meaningful content as the lyrics, and this song was a hit since the second it reached our screens.
Have you ever wanted to practice your English while listening to Megan Thee Stallion? Well, you’re in luck! Take a listen to the song and read the lyrics. Learn some new vocabulary, phrases, or cultural pointers here in Lyrics “Explained.” If you have time, answer some follow-up questions below and read some other lyrics here on CultSurf!
Queen B, want no smoke with me (Okay)
*You don’t want any smoke… “Smoke” here refers to a conflict. It probably comes from guns, since sometimes people say smoke to refer to guns or shooting.
Been turnt, this motherf***** up eight hundred degree (Yeah)
*I’ve been turnt… “Turnt” means having lots of fun, feeling good about yourself, etc. It comes from “turned up” which means about the same thing. “Turning it up” refers to making the temperature hotter, or making things more exciting and fun. *Eight hundred degrees…
My whole team eat, chef’s kiss, she’s a treat (Mwah)
*My whole team eats… “Eat” in this slang sense means to get money and to have success. Remember that “bread” and “cheese” are also terms for money. A “treat” is normally something tasty to eat like candy. It can also be used to talk about a situation, event, or person that is really nice and that you like, almost like it is a gift. “Coming to see you during the holidays is always a treat.”
*She is so bougie… “Bougie” is another word for fancy or someone who has expensive taste. “Bon appétit” comes from French and is used in many languages to mean “enjoy your food.” This mixes well with the word “bougie” which comes from the French word bourgeoisie. Also because the French language, fashion, and food are considered fancy by many Americans and others.
“Savage” has become a way to compliment someone who is really cool, has lots of style, skill, and other good features. “Nasty” normally means that some food doesn’t taste good. In a sensual way, it can mean that someone is highly sexual and acts inappropriately. Having a “nasty attitude” means to be upset or angry about something. Megan is probably mixing all of these meanings into one.
Talk big s***, but my bank account match it (Ooh)
*my bank account matches it… To “talk s**” (also “talk crap,” “talk mess,” “talk stuff”) is to talk badly about someone or to brag about yourself. Basically she brags a lot about herself but she actually has the money to prove it, or to back it up.
Hood, but I’m classy, rich, but I’m ratchet(Oh, ah)
The “hood” is a lower-class neighborhood usually for underprivileged communities or ethnic minorities. Often these are places with more poor people, drug trafficking or gang violence, thought not always. To “be hood” is to act like the stereotypical person from these kinds of neighborhoods, which could mean loud, confident, but also enjoying fights and conflict. Again, this is the stereotype. “Ratchet” is a similar term that is used to describe women who act loud, cause conflict, and can get very “in-your-face.” It’s like she’s saying she’s the best and worst all wrapped into one.
Haters kept my name in they mouth, now they gaggin’ (Ah, ah)
*my name in their mouth, now they are gagging… She means that her haters talk about her a lot or criticize her. “Gag” is a form of choking, so her haters are now choking on Megan’s success. The origin of this phrase might be to “make someone eat their words.” This means to prove somebody wrong and be successful, especially when others are criticizing you. “John always calls me stupid. I’ll make him eat his words when I go to college.”
Bougie, he say, “The way that thang move, it’s a movie” (Ooh-oh)
*he says, “The way that thing moves… “Thang” is just another way to pronounce “thing.” It’s usually used more often by black Americans to add emphasis to that word. Here you might be able to guess what “thang” she’s talking about.
I told that boy, “We gotta keep it low, leave me the room key” (Ooh-oh)
This line comes from the term “down low” or “keep it on the down low.” Sometimes people say “on the low” or “low down” but it’s basically the same. The “low” is a secret or something secretive. The “room key” refers to a hotel room. Megan is showing her dominance by kicking her “boy” out of the room.
I done bled the block and now it’s hot, b****, I’m Tunechi (Ooh-oh)
*I have bled the block… Saying “done” like this is another way to say that “you have gotten done doing something” or you “finished something.” “Ouch! I done hit my toe!” “Bleed” here is related to the slang word “kill” which means to have a lot of success in something. Megan “bled the block” so she had a lot of success (in music, I’m guessing) on her block, or in her city. “Hot” of course means it is fresh, new, and everyone likes it. “Tunechi” is another name for rapper Lil Wayne. He made a famous song a while ago called “Tha Block is Hot“. Lil Wayne is also a very good and respected rapper, so she is kind of paying respect to him.
“Acting stupid” doesn’t necessarily mean that she is acting dumb or unintelligently. Sometimes “stupid” can mean funny, silly, or crazy. The way she pronounces “acting” like “ackin” is an informal way that some people might pronounce this word. Again, it’s more common in African American communities. Her “what’s happening?” isn’t a real question really. It’s just a rhetorical question seeing if anyone has something to say now. She’s doing so well that she leaves her haters speechless!
B****, what’s happening? (Woah, woah, okay)
B****, I’m a savage, yeah (Okay)
Classy, bougie, ratchet, yeah (Ratchet)
Sassy, moody, nasty, huh (Nasty)
Acting stupid, what’s happening? (Woah, ooh-oh)
B****, what’s happening? (Ayy, ah, ooh-oh)
Hips TikTok when I dance (Dance)
“TikTok” is the name of a famous social media app, maybe you’ve heard of it? It has a double meaning here though, since “tick-tock” is the sound a clock makes when the hands move. It’s like saying her hips shake and move back and forth like a clock. A lot of people view and like videos on TikTok, so it can also mean that her hips get lots of love.
On that Demon Time, she might start a OnlyFans (OnlyFans)
“Demon Time” is a series on the OnlyFans website that has to do with strippers and erotic dancing. OnlyFans is a place where people can post exclusive content directly to their fans and interact with them. It’s kind of known for having provocative content so that’s where the reference comes from.
*that B stands for… “Bands” is the same as money; a thousand dollars is one band.
If you wanna see some real a**, baby, here’s your chance
I say, left cheek, right cheek, drop it low, then swang (Swang)
“Swang” is the same as “swing.” It’s same idea as “thang” and “thing” from before.
Texas up in this thang (Thang), put you up on this game (Game)
To “put someone on the game” is to make someone attracted to you or what you are doing, or to get them “hooked” onto something.
IVY PARK on my frame (Frame), gang, gang, gang, gang (Gang)
Ivy Park is a clothing brand founded by Beyoncé. It’s on her “frame” or body, so she’s wearing her own brand clothing. “Gang” is just something that some people say to show excitement or enthusiasm for your “crew” or the people you represent. It comes from a song too, “GANG GANG” by Jackboys.
If you don’t jump to put jeans on, baby, you don’t feel my pain (Hol’ up)
“Hold up” is the same as “wait a minute.” This lyric is a reference to her butt, by the way.
Please don’t get me hype(I’m hype), write my name in ice(Ice, ice, ice)
To “get hype” is to get excited. It can also mean to get out of control, which is probably how Beyoncé means it. “Ice” in slang can mean diamonds. Writing her name in diamonds would be cool, and it also refers to her being “cold” or really good at what she does, maybe ruthless or someone hard to compete against. This comes from the phrase “write my name in stone” which means you are famous forever and people will always know your name.
Can’t argue with these lazy b******, I just raise my price
I’m a boss, I’m a leader, I pull up in my two-seater
“Two-seater” is a sports car with just two seats. It can also mean a person with a really big butt.
And my mama was a savage, n****, got this s*** from Tina
He want a b**** like thee Stallion with the knees (With the knees)
*He wants a… Megan is referring to the way she dances.
He be like, “Damn, how that thang movin’ in them jeans?” (Yeah, yeah, them jeans)
*He’s thinking… or He is like… How is that thing moving in those jeans? Saying “like” can be used to introduce a thought or dialogue in informal speech. “I was like, Come over, and he was like, Okay.” In informal speech some people say “them” when they mean “those.” “Them are some nice shoes! I want to buy them.”
Ayy, even D4L couldn’t do it like me, like me
“D4L” (Down For Life) is a rap group based in Atlanta that was popular in the early 2000s, especially for their song “Laffy Taffy.” They made a song called “Betcha Can’t Do it Like Me” which is probably what she’s referring to. D4L was like a one-hit-wonder, so she might be saying that she can make lots of hit songs.
Ooh, ah, ooh
I done got this body ready just for you
Girl, I hope he don’t catch me messin’ ’round with you
*I hope he doesn’t catch me messing around… To “catch” someone in this sense means to find them doing something they aren’t supposed to do. To “mess around” can be another way to say cheating on someone or sleeping with someone. It can also be just spending time with someone or having fun. Mess around has other meanings too, but these are some of them.
Talkin’ to myself in the mirror like, “B****, you my boo“
*you are my boo… “Boo” is a loving term that you call someone you love and appreciate like a partner, spouse, and less commonly a family member. Here she’s calling herself “boo” in the mirror.
I’m the s***, ooh
Saying this means that you are really great and awesome. It sounds like a contradiction, but that’s what it means.
I need a mop to clean the floor, it’s too much drip, ooh
“Drip” is style, confidence, attractiveness, and all of that good stuff in one. She uses a metaphor, saying she has “drip” but comparing it to a literal liquid dripping on the floor that needs to be mopped.
I keep a knot, I keep a watch, I keep a whip, ooh (Keep it real, ooh)
These are all things used to control or dominate someone. A knot (she keeps her men tied, they are stuck with her), a watch (she keeps them on the clock, as if they were working for her), and a whip (like slavery, basically, or maybe like Fifty Shades of Grey?). To “keep it real” means to be open, tell the truth, and show things the way they really are. Not hiding or lying about yourself.
Let’s play a game, Simon says I’m still that b****, ayy
“Simon says” is a schoolyard game where one person is in charge (Simon) and everyone else has to do what that person says. “Simon says, touch your toes. Simon says, stomp your feet” etc. When someone says, “I’m that __,” it means that they are the best or the one being talked about. “Wait, so who are you?” “I’m that dude. Ask your friends, they know.” Megan also could be saying that she is the same as before and hasn’t changed her ways, in a good way.
I heard they askin‘ for the Queen, they brought some cameras in here
*I heard that they were asking for the Queen…
I’m a bad b****, she’s a savage, no comparison here
A “bad B-word” is a term of respect and admiration for a woman who takes care of her business, has good looks, makes good money, and so on. Not all women like this term and it could be offensive depending on who says it or hears it. This goes back to the meaning of “bad” as something really good or cool.
I’ma flip my hair and look back while I twerk in the mirror
*I’m going to flip… You should know what twerking is. If not, just look up Miley Cyrus or somebody. Better yet, watch a Megan Thee Stallion video.
All this money in the room, think some scammers in here
A “scammer” is someone who tricks others into making money for themselves or makes money in a number of illegal ways. Megan and B make so much money that it looks as if they were doing it illegally.
I’m comin’ straight up out that Third (ah)
To “come straight up out of” something just means to come out of it or come from it. “Straight up out” here just adds rhythm and emphasis to the sentence, but it doesn’t change the meaning in any major way. Think of the slogan “Straight Outta Compton” (NWA came directly from Compton). The “Third” she refers to is the Third Ward of Houston, which I guess is where Beyoncé lived for a while. Interestingly, the way she pronounces “ah” after Third sounds like she could be saying “Third eye”, which is a light reference to the mystic third eye and deep perception. It’s actually referenced quite often in modern music and could just be used to mean a deeper level of awareness and success. It’s kind of associated with the Illuminati too …
“Whip” is a slang term for a car. When talking about cooking, “whip” means to stir something quickly and repeatedly until it forms a foam or cream. That’s why she also says “stir.” Basically, she’s driving her fancy car as if she were whipping some type of food, driving it in circles, doing tricks in her car, and so on.
Woodgrain, we swervin‘, keepin’ his mind all on these curves (Uh)
*We are swerving… “Woodgrain” is a finish on wood that makes it look more natural. The design of woodgrain has lots of curves and swirls in it. To “swerve” is to curve quickly, usually in a car around a corner or sharp turn.
Coupe flylike a bird (Bird), cold on ’em like, “Brrr” (Ice)
“Coupe” is another word for a nice car or two-seater, too. Also, a coop is a place where chickens and sometimes other birds are kept, so she plays with this pronunciation. “Fly” here has the slang meaning of being stylish and attractive, although she compares it to the literal sense of a flying bird. “Cold” here probably has a mixed meaning of ice (diamonds and jewelry) and looking really good, fresh, stylish, etc. Cold is an adjective but she uses it like a verb, which happens a lot in English. “Brrr” is the sound someone makes when they are cold (temperature). It’s also the sound rapper Gucci Mane makes a lot in his music, much for the same reasons as Beyoncé just now.
Always keep my words, no, I don’t do crosswords
To “keep your word” means to be honest and do what you said you were going to do. It’s like not giving up. “Crosswords” are those word puzzles that you see in newspapers or puzzle booklets. She plays with the idea of a crossword puzzle and “crossing” someone, meaning to lie, trick, or cheat them. It’s also like saying “she doesn’t go back on her word” (she doesn’t say one thing and do another).
Stallion when I ride, he like them hot girls with them hips, ah (Skrrt, skrrt)
*He likes those hot girls with those hips…
I hopped that s***, the way I hopped out and slid, ah (Skrrt, skrrt)
Repeating “skrrt skrrt” makes me think she really is referring to a car. She hopped out and slid (got out of) her car. That sound is very popular in hip-hop music lately, and it almost always is talking about a fancy car, usually when someone is arriving or leaving somewhere. I’ll leave you to figure out the rest of what she means.
I pop my s***, now watch me pop up again, ah (Woah)
This line is more inappropriate but an interesting note: to “pop up” can mean to show up or appear unexpectedly.
I mop the floor, now watch me sweep up these Ms, ’cause I— (Ah)
Mopping the floor is a reference to the previous line talking about “drip.” Now she’s sweeping up “Ms” (millions of dollars).
And the lyrics repeat.
Wow, that was a lot. This song is packed full of slang, informal expressions, double meanings, and pop-culture references. The whole song is basically about how cool, stylish, and awesome these two women are. They make lots of money, are sexy, close big business deals, and can walk the talk. There’s nothing much more to explain here.
What did you think of this song? Do you prefer the original or the remix?
Why do you think they focus so much on their physical attributes? Does hip-hop as a genre encourage this?
What’s your favorite Beyoncé or Megan Thee Stallion song? What is that song about?
Would you rather be a savage, classy, nasty, bougie, ratchet, or sassy? (What’s happening)
Good vibes and vacations. Here are the song lyrics along with some explanations for “Colorado” by Kota the Friend, from his Colorado album. Use the lyrics to practice your English and learn more about the culture. Also, the song has a really smooth beat, so listen to it below! Comment with suggestions for songs you want me to “explain” next. Here it is:
Bill collector knockin’ at the door
Baby momma yelling in my ear
Honestly, a lot is going on
This is another way to say that things are happening. “What’s going on?” “Nothing’s going on.”
Only thing is I don’t really care
*The only thing…
People wonder how I keep a smile
Tell ’em it’s ’cause I don’t give a f***
*I tell them it’s because… When you don’t give a “F,” this means that you don’t care (at all).
I’ve been in my slippers for a while
Even all my haters show me love, yeah
To “show love” can mean to show true romantic love like in a relationship. In other cases, it can mean to show respect, honor, or appreciation for someone. Even his haters (people that normally are against him) are now showing him respect.
I just wish ’em well though
To “wish someone well” is a common phrase, a good one to remember.
Hope you gettin’ money, hope you doin’ well, bro
Heard your sister love me, I’m in Colorado
*I heard your sister loves me…
Do not f****** at me, I been on vacation ’cause I need it badly
*I’ve been on vacation because… When he says “do not at me,” it reminds me of the more common phrase “Don’t come at me.” To come at someone means to criticize them, go after them in a mean way, or attack them somehow, usually with harsh words. Maybe he left out the “come”? If it is normal to say “don’t at me,” I just haven’t heard it before. It also sounds like he might be saying “do not add me” like on social media, but that doesn’t make as much sense in the context. The “F” word here just adds anger or emphasis to his statement. Also, needing something “badly” means that you really need it. “I wanted to get some ice cream so badly, but now I’m over it.”
Hotel California my escape
“Hotel California” is an old rock song by the Eagles. It is kind of a calm and relaxing song, at least for a rock song. His reference can be to the calm music, to a hotel (on vacation), and for California itself since California is a popular vacation spot and is known for generally good weather. Also, listen to “Hotel California” here.
P-P-Pulling up in Mexico with New York City plates, ayy
To “pull up” is to arrive at a place, usually in a car. “Plates” here refer to license plates on a car. Also, “ayy” is something you might hear frequently in music, especially in hip hop. It’s an expression that can be used in lots of situations usually to show excitement or that you like something.
Neighbors want a photo when I visit where I stay, ayy
If you talking drama, get the f*** up out my face, ayy
*If you are talking… “Up” here has no real meaning. It just adds emphasis and feeling to his statement.
Dodging bad vibes like skrrt
To “dodge” is to avoid. “Vibes,” I’m sure many of you know, are vibrations in the figurative sense. If something gives you good vibes, it makes you feel good, and the same goes for bad vibes. “Skrrt” is a sound you’ve heard a lot if you listen to recent hip hop or trap music (Migos, looking at y’all). It’s basically the sound a car’s wheels make when you drive away or turn fast. The idea in this song is that he is dodging bad vibes with a big turn, like how you might try to avoid an obstacle in the road.
Drama on my line like skrrt
His “line” is the group of people that message him or interact on social media. But skrrt, he’s avoiding it.
Left it in the past like skrrt
*I left it…
Getting to the bag like skrrt
To “get to the bag” means to make money since “bag” in general is a slang term for money. Also, in this sense, skrrt doesn’t mean he is avoiding something. It sounds more like he is driving in a hurry to go and make money.
Skrrt, skrrt, skrrt, skrrt
Skrrt, skrrt-skrrt, skrrt
Skrrt, skrrt, skrrt, skrrt
Skrrt, skrrt, skrrt, skrrt
People really think my life is perfect
Maybe ’cause I’m laughing through the worst s***
Yeah, I know the Devil is alive but
“The Devil is alive” is a popular phrase in the Christian community here in America. It basically means that the Devil is being active, working, and trying to make bad things happen. In a not-so-literally sense, it just means that something bad is trying to challenge us and get in our way. By acknowledging the Devil is alive, it’s like scaring away the bad thoughts or actions in some way. I feel like a lot of people also say “the Devil is a lie” without noticing any difference.
The way that I been moving got him nervous
*I’ve been moving has him nervous… To “get/have someone nervous” just means to make them nervous.
Mac, I hope you know you did your thing
Mac is referring to Mac Miller, a famous American rapper who died a few years ago due to a mixed drug and alcohol overdose. Saying someone “did their thing” is a form of admiration, meaning they did something well while being original and having fun with it. You can also wish someone to “do their thing” with the same meaning. “Man, you look like you’re having fun. Go do your thing.” It’s a type of compliment.
Get your rest ’cause, homie, you deserve it
“Homie” is a friend or trusted person, usually. Again, he is referencing Mac Miller and his early death. A similar phrase is “rest in peace.” To “rest” is a lighter way to refer to death, or someone being dead.
Ocean always deeper than it seem
*The ocean is always deeper than it seems…
And people only looking at the surface
*And people are only looking… The idea is like an iceberg. There’s much more under the surface.
Pa-paparazzi caught me hopping out my bag, ayy
I’m not sure if paparazzi is a common word in other languages. They are those reporters who go after and take photos of famous people. To “catch” here means to find someone. It usually means finding someone doing something that is not right or something the person is trying to hide. “I caught momma kissing Santa Claus” is a prime example. “Bag” in this lyric is a little confusing to me. In slang, it usually means money, goals, or a style. In this case, I can’t really tell. Is he hopping out of his money? Maybe he’s hopping out of his car, since “hop in/out” is usually used when talking about cars. Maybe there’s another meaning to “bag” that I don’t know about.
Hopping in the Uber on my way to get the bag, ayy
Used to drink a bottle every day ’cause I was sad, ayy
I hit up my dad like I hope that we could patch things
To “hit someone up” is to send them a message, like on your cell phone. To “patch” or “patch up” mean to fix something, usually a situation or relationship that has gone bad.
Women could not put me in my feelings, n****, f*** that
To be “put in your feelings” means to feel emotional or sensitive about something. It’s common to talk about this after a breakup or after being put down verbally by someone else. “F that” is a common curse to say that you don’t like something or don’t accept something.
If she do not want the realest n****, then she dumb wack
*If she does not want the most real n****, then she’s… I’m not sure that “realest” is a real word, but it sure is used a lot. It’s a popular term, especially used in the black community, and often referencing hip hop. To be “the realest” means to be someone who tells things truthfully, is strong, really good at what you do, and just all-around successful and confident. It’s basically a compliment that covers all good qualities. When a person or thing is “wack” it means you don’t like it or you think it’s stupid. “Turn this song off, I don’t like it. It’s wack.” “Dumb” here doesn’t mean stupid or unintelligent, though. It is like saying really or super. “If she doesn’t like me, then she’s super wack.” It can be positive too. “Kevin Hart is dumb funny! You should watch his standup.”
I don’t ever trip, but I bet that you would love that
To “trip” means to act out of character, act in a weird way, or be upset for no reason. “Why are you tripping, man? Calm down.” It can also mean to have weird experiences like hallucinations while high on drugs, but that’s in other situations.
I don’t ever trip, but I bet that you would love that
Then the lyrics repeat.
Oh, “Colorado.” It’s funny that Colorado isn’t even mentioned but once, I think, in the entire song. He talks about New York, Mexico, and California too. The point of the song isn’t Colorado itself, but he’s talking about getting away from the noise of New York, which is where Kota is from. The lyrics focus on him escaping bad vibes and noise and drama. He also brings up some issues that he’s going through, and how people usually judge what they see on the surface without considering the deeper pain or struggle in a person’s life. Kota is a person like us all, and we all go through things sometimes. He also adds a kind tribute to Mac Miller, which fits in nicely with the theme of going through struggles and trying to find an escape. Ultimately, it’s about getting out, ditching the drama, and making his bag.
Did you listen to the song? What did you think about the beat? Can you relate to some of Kota’s feelings and thoughts in your own life? Let me know down below! As always you can reach me by email at: email@example.com