Listen I had to do something with this analysis of Niggas in Paris

I would like to take the following few lines, dear reader, in order to respond to Andrew Ketchums review of the Kanye West and Jay Z song “Niggas in Paris” on the (now not so) recent episode of Nice Tunes “Bjork – Debut”. Andy for some reason takes a few minutes to do a mini review of this song, and although he says nothing “wrong” ‘per’ ‘say’ he does make a few misguided comments, and I would like to expand his discussion of that song (or text if you prefer (snark mark)).

First of all, Andy does say that he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about when it comes to hip-hop, that’s cool. It’s a good disclaimer because what he says doesn’t really make sense. He says that he doesn’t like the style of rapping on the song which is a fine enough comment to make, but then he goes on to say that it sounds like they’re just yelling stuff which I have to rebuke. I’ve listened to rap where the lyrics are yelled, and neither Jay Z or Kanye West prescribe to that style at all. Jay Z has a smooth flow most of the time, and Kanye too has a pretty standard and, at times, almost sing songy style. If Andy wants to listen to rappers that yell he should listen to Wu-Tang(RZA, Ghostface, Raekwon…), or The Beastie Boys(who are the kings of yelling as far as I’m concerned).

Tim then chimes in with something to the effect of “mumble mumble…braggadocio”, which is sort of right, but I don’t think that braggadocio fits the whole bill. There is something far more interesting going on here than there appears to be which is where the song’s brilliance lies. If you examine Jay and Kanye’s lyrics you will see that in fact: yes they are not rapping about anything, really. Jay Z devotes his bars to watches, basketball, and money. The hook is about “balling”, I suppose in a general sense. Kanye’s verse is about a girl not used to living like a superstar: “what she order? fish filet”, and just general bragging about how awesome he is which let’s be honest is not out of place in a Yeezy track. However West ends his verse with the lines: “Got my niggas in paris and they going gorillas” followed by the infamous blades of glory sample:

“I don’t even know what that means / Nobody knows what it means, but it’s provocative… gets the people going.”

Now we could take this analysis a few directions(no one knows what “nigga” means, no one is able to understand Kanye because he’s on another level), but I think there is evidence that supports this as a subversive move. Since the track has thus far been so much about “nothing”, the listener really can’t make much of the song. West is turning the pop song around on the audience and laughing. He’s saying of course you don’t know what it means, “nobody knows what it means”, but you like it don’t you – it gets you going. This is in service of an entrance, a real entrance to an album because “Niggas in Paris” is not just a hugely popular song, that sample and the following outro is welcoming you to the whole Watch the Throne album.

To make this point I will have to go into the album more as a whole(and at this point I realize yes, this has nothing to do with Andy’s argument). So the album starts with this incredibly thematically dense song about religion and sex and race in which the rappers more or less ascribe themselves as a new religion. And then that’s followed by a vapid song about success with their bae Beyonce. So when “Niggas in Paris” comes on the next track and it ends with their “You are now watching the throne” they are saying: this is what we are. We are pop songs yes, but we are also going to talk about some rougher stuff, and we might hide it in layers of pop, but we know it and we own it. And I think that holds up for the rest of the album. With “Niggas in Paris” they prove, “These other niggas is lyin, actin’ like the summer ain’t mine” and then they do the summer their way.

My Strawberry Milk Shirt

Tim just entered the room and put on a black T-shirt(after removing his other mostly black T-shirt).

“Oh yeah baby. This is my strawberry milk shirt. I.E. the shirt I wear when I drink strawberry milk.”

I look over to his desk and see a pink plastic container of strawberry milk.

“You’re a fucking psychopath. You need to be stopped.”

Tim tilts his head back maniacally and laughs.



Alegro finds himself in a hallway. It isn’t well lit. It feels confined and red. He doesn’t see it. He doesn’t see red at all, but he feels it. The floor is bare wood, hard and old. It has felt the touch of feet before.

Alegro is wearing a white tracksuit, and he wishes he had chosen something else. He doesn’t know where he is, but he can feel that this moment is important to him. Perhaps not to you or to any one else, but this is an important moment for him.

His soul carries him down the hall. Zippers chafe his skin as he realizes he isn’t wearing any undergarments under the tracksuit. Now he really wishes he was wearing something else. Shadows stick to the walls of this hallway like wet sickly flies to the side of a Southern barn. Alegro’s shadow has left him.

To the left there is a door. It is painted with a strange insignia: almost an orange fireball with an excruciatingly thick black border. Alegro gets a feeling in his gut that it was a failed design from some shity design firm in a place far from here where there is a giant bookstore and where a man 10 times smarter than another man who wears a hat and yells things makes 10 times less money. His hand hovers over the doorknob. The doorknob itself looks old. This…house? Hotel? Wherever he is it looks like it was built in the 50’s or something. The shiny coating, that had once made this handle something for wives to boast about to their less fortunate friends, has all but peeled off revealing a dirty underbelly. The knob twists with a sick slur of profanity and then the door swings wide. Something shoves Alegro from behind and he falls face forwards.

Alegro finds himself on the grass. His hands caught his fall. The world is painted a sickly orange.

“Honey, you tripped,” says a strong male voice.

The presence besides Alegro grabs his arm and yanks him up harder than he would have liked.

“You’ll get your dress all grassy,” says the man.

Before him, there are five rows of folding chairs forming an isle. Even through the orange coating that has seemed to envelope this new world Alegro can see that the chairs are set up in a pattern: orange, black, orange, black… Alegro, finding that his feet have begun to move in order to keep up with the older man at his side, peers down the aisle in which he is quickly progressing.

It is just then that he notices that a band is playing. Trumpets and loud drums are banging some formless song made, no doubt, in a sixth grade class competition to create the best song in which the prize was a free ice cream bar of dubious quality. An invisible choral body chants, “Raw raw raw! Fight fight fight!” Alegro wonders what he has done to deserve such a fate.

At the end of the aisle awaiting him is a woman in a business suit holding an allen wrench which Alegro can’t help but notice is sporting Tim Allen’s face on its face and which she is tossing restlessly up and down in her hands. Around her neck she is wearing a tie furnished with images of little power tools and even calculators with tiny glow in the dark screens. Alegro shakes his head and tries to dig in his heels. The man’s grip tightens

“Don’t get cold feet now,” he whispers into Alegro’s ear.

Standing behind his wife…groom? to be is the most frightening figure. A dark, looming figure. A mass of a beast so formidable no one has ever heard it speak. The giant beaver in a football jersey is holding a bible and wearing a priestly pellegrina. He stands solemnly under an out of place white arch with formless eyes.

Alegro is pushed into place and is forced to face his future companion. Her face is foreign to him. In all manners is it foreign to him. Her eyes don’t seem as eyes but rather a screen through which a bevvy of numbers spew and refract.

The beaver produces the rings and hands them to Alegro. His heart beating out of its chest, Alegro accepts. Perhaps marriage won’t be such a bad thing. And no one would care if he got divorced, right? Everyone does it… Once, twice. Six times even is ok, right?

The beaver gestures to Alegro’s future bride’s outstretched hand. Alegro passively slips the ring on to the woman’s hand. Then with a second gesture the beaver invites the ring to be placed on Alegro’s own hand. Wowooweeezzaaa. Nails shoot through Alegro’s feet and he screams, but it was as if no one can hear him. He knew they could hear him. But he also knew they didn’t care. He was rooted. The beaver gleefully slips the ring over Alegro’s trembling finger, and for a minute the beaver is close enough to smell. Like an electric tractor.

This woman steps closer and lifts the orange veil from Alegro’s face. And though the world is no longer masked in orange, it appears just as terrible. Alegro bites his lip, and a touch of blood seeps out of his flushed skin.

Just then a trumpet sounds and a dozen cheerleaders in their short black, orange trimmed skirts parade out into the audience and start to make out with each other while the beaver reads from an Israeli postmodern novel.

Huh. Well that wasn’t so bad.

This one has Chris Pratt in it.

I walk through halls of white effervescent walls, humming…the walls hum. I don’t. I’m just quiet. There’s a breeze. It’s warm. There shouldn’t be a breeze down here. I’m underground. It’s numbly lit down here.

I might be going to a pool. The bleached walls say pool. There’s a door with a little black plaque over it that reads, “01”. Also on the door is a window lined with metal bars. Past the window it’s dark. There’s a rumble. I think the breeze might be coming from back there.

My feet keep moving, but it’s hard to tell if I’m going anywhere. It’s just white walls everywhere. It smells like hot chlorine.

There’s a girl now. A girl with ruby colored hair down on the ground. Did she fall?

Now, I’m walking out of a bar. I didn’t get any drinks, but my parents did. They have come to visit me. Or maybe it’s spring break. Chris Pratt brushed by me on my way out. I couldn’t place his name. I think I said something to him. He was nice.

Why is the girl with the ruby colored hair on the floor like that, in this place that may lead to a pool? She’s laying so that her back is lifted off the ground, so that she’s made a little bridge with her head and her hips. She’s looking up at me through square glasses. Her eyes close and open. Close and open. She’s got a bag. It’s down on the floor too. I wonder.

She’s like an anime character. She twists her head. If she had bigger eyes she’d be an anime character.

I’m down on the ground now too. I’m kneeling. I can’t remember if we say anything. I think we do. I know her. She knows me. My mom is there. I say, this is X-san.

She’s different than normal. I kiss her like that, with her head upside down, or is it mine that’s upside down? I kiss this girl who doesn’t kiss boys. I never wanted to kiss her. Not really. Not especially. But it feels right, even after.

But the wind doesn’t stop. I can still hear the rumble. My mom is talking to Chris Pratt.

I ask X-san when she got here. She’s not supposed to be here. She said that she’s going to be coming over more now to take a swimming class. They have at least two olympic sized pools where she comes from. Why come here? I can’t complain.

My mom says that it’s time to go now. I’m touching her hand, and I’m feeling her plump belly through her shirt. Why is she on the floor.

Silly silly silly. Just like you Drac. Just like you to want something you could never have. Silly silly silly.

Curious Carl Weathers

Laura was eight, and when she was eight she joined a soccer team. They were the Bobcats. They were cats. They had two coaches Bob and Hope. She was friends with the other girls. She liked to play forward because her father was a porcupine and her sister was an oregano. Her sis didn’t play soccer.

Clocks spun, people stood and sat. Mostly they sat. Mostly Laura ran. Three other girls stayed on the team, and then she was 17. Laura watched the lord of the rings extended edition trilogy and then the two hobbit movies  that were out all in a row, and it wasn’t even the first time, and then went hiking and thought she was in the hobbit. Laura went to a cook out, but that was before, and that was where a hot dog made her sick because she wasn’t used to meat. Laura was vegetarian, but she had meat sometimes, and also she was vegan for a week, and then she just ate meat. Laura applied to college at OSU and WSU. Laura played soccer with the Bobcats, and looked at her trophies. Laura kept them on a shelf above everything else, and they are still there today even though most everything else moved out to the dorm. Bob and Hope made them run laps and sign a ball. Laura tried to wash grass stains out of her socks, but instead she threw them away. The day came and the four girls that had been together over 10 years huddled around each other and cried. They shared popcorn and trimmed eyelashes over pictures of defeated Crocodiles, Tigers, Sharks, and other predatory animals. They ate too much ice cream. The sun was out. They watched slideshows with salty walls of sappy, sticky sorrow filming the experience.

Mmm. Yes, the team is dead now. Bob and Hope spend their time at home with a dog named Borat. Laura lives in West with a new clique. Bobcats live on the wind and feet forget what they were for. It’s almost as if 10 years and six hundred hours mean nothing. They text though.

i’m feelin fine

twirling twirling twirling! layers of magic. Magical Cartwheel. are you looking. look! look! LOOK! jump. unicorn over to there, under those twisty branches.

ok now you ask me a question. hurry hurry! the magic shield isn’t going to work much longer. look at that wizard over there reading the spellbook. he is doing his part! so come on! we have to help him! I know the answer! I know this one! Indian Ocean!

hands rubbing together and the sticks crumble. crumbly dusty pile at my feet and it goes in through my toes like little bits of food stuck in teeth. Ew at dentists. wiggle wiggle wiggle my toes feel free.

Hop hop hop! LOOK see it’s working. we can stay out here forever and ever now. Right, look. big bad lizard monsters stay out! And now we can live ever after like we’re all happy princes and princesses. doggeee! can we go pet the doggeee? good doggeee. hi! yummy yummy fur wrapped around my fingers! oooh wet licking on my face! hehehee. that’s my face! i’ll lick back, you know!

bye bye! look the wizards leaving. he doesn’t look so happy. did we do something wrong? oh well! Uh uh, you see, Garlack the Destroyer is coming back with even more powerful magic. won’t be easy next time. can’t just wait and and time to go. no its not. and look.

hand over hand up into the tree. my big boots are good for climbing. thats why we picked um. up and up. that’s where i have to go to get the best spot. i have to collect the sunrays like a big sunflower. just like mrs. Garfield says. and oooh there’s the sun. don’t worry i got it. don’t worry! im not that high! stretch stretch. more powerful than ever. there’s doggee out there. he’s like a big plane in space. fine. down down down. woah, world fall. sucked away. knee part open. rip open. ow.

oh Garlack! you evil man got the tree to bite me! i wanted to trust you treeeeee! why treee! this place isn’t safe anymore. can we go somewhere else. bad tree. bad.

lifted up by Beautiful One. like skies fingers up there, but bad! i just see the tops of the big boxes where i can’t go. i get big sloppy kisses. ewww. i don’t want um. tree must have poisoned me, it still hurts, still sings like pain. i don’t like that song. It’s like Daddy’s songs.

big red cage with choking that smells as much as Sandy’s mom that zooms. no. back in is not what i want. i just want my knee to stop singing. do you know a spell like that? back home! no! the backyard is boring! i feel fine. look, it’s not bleeding. see all dried up cause i told it too. i can get leaves and things and make a cover too.

were moving in the gray now. and it’s loud and it’s rumbly. i smear my hand in the red. i lick it. that’s how i get my power back. that’s what Jade said. its good, i know it’s what is right. i don’t like the rumble in my belly. i don’t like the sound of other cars whooshing past. i don’t like hearing the honking. i like looking up at the big sky ocean and watching the pretty white bird fish swimming and i want to be up there too and i think that if people are good then they get to go up there with the birds i think someone said that but i wasn’t listening too much oh well i can up there if i want everybody says so.

yeah. how much longer? bounce bounce bounce. i’m feelin fine.

Purple, green, haha

Purple, green, haha blue/black flipiing and wiling in the true blue yellow high man yep it’s coming, what you doing in the red of the zone it’s going south fast, don’t you know. The people down there are dying in the fiery red light of the high type zone Nihon in the yatzee in the paper pad it’s like up from the sky in the star place it’s in the yellow interview. Coming in through the paper it was cut a hole with a tongue and made an eyehole, don’t let it fool you they want to taste as much as look, the feeling its true more true when the senses are connected that’s why the grey goop won’t work, that’s why the dead chopped up people won’t take over it’s in the red zone of the big red crater planet where there is no life where we want it; we don’t want to be alone like a trashbag caught in the sidewalk hand brought up through the grates of the sewers and grabbed the bag with a dozen eggs unsheathed and gleaming wet heavy with time and yolk. They don’t crack don’t crack don’t crack. If we don’t want to be alone then we also don’t want this. We’d rather be broken than held. We’d rather have an enemy than nothing at all, but so, isn’t it? Lovely mess like soup of yellow and the other colors too that make you sick to your stomach when the rain comes and you have no coat and no umbrella and no hat and no protection at all and you’re caught in the storm and you incredilously weep because you can’t move and can’t stray and can’t change your life. You’re wet and shamed and endlessly it is full of water – that is you are and you know it so why do the tears bite? and why does the rain singe? Can you find no love in your heart that can’t be locked away going away through the canyon riding away on a rockity horse that is falling apart at the bolts, it’s wooden heart overheating and burning like a fired-nut. Can you see the cross burning? it’s all there in the high sky if you look, all that is inside you is up there in the unified field and if your mind opens then it all comes flooding in and what separates you from the high is nothing and what the sky was is everything and you are everything and you are no longer on the ground and no longer anywhere because you are everywhere, but you look alone. This is the power of expansion and turning down the ridden and the repeatable and changing your mind to the new; you’ve got to get off your tracks, off them and on to the wide open grassy field where the dragons roam and steampunk trains can fly through the air, that is where you should be and also big buildings with scripts you can read and sometimes they aren’t there, but that’s OK. When you reach these places it is with a good heart, no heart attacks and all soul just like grroooooovvvvyyyyy babbby, and suddenly you’re somewhere new.