(August 16, 2020). People have been complaining for years that music isn’t creative anymore and how lyrical nuance and metaphor were lost with the 20th century.
Enter Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s viral sensation and soon-to-be-crowned No. 1 single “WAP” to save the day!
“WAP” is full of creative references that show just how talented the song’s writers are. (In addition to the two female rappers, the writers ironically include three men – James Foye III and Austin Owens, plus Frank “Frank Ski” Rodriguez, whose classic “Whores in this House” provides the looped sample that appears throughout “WAP”).
If nothing else, it shows that the use of metaphor is still alive and well in music, it’s just that some folks don’t always like the innuendo being used, or the fact that it’s being used so vividly by liberated women such as these two.
DJROBBLOG found twenty different comparative phrases that the two rappers so eloquently used to describe their WAPs and their prowess, which we’ll analyze here.
But before DJROBBLOG peels back this onion, it’s important to understand the difference between the metaphor and other types of comparative speech: like the simile and euphemism, which are also in abundance in “WAP.”
First, a metaphor is a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.” We all know that God is not really a fortress, but has properties that are similar to one. Also, for those who didn’t catch it, the term “peel back the onion” we used in the previous paragraph is also metaphorical, as there were no onions anywhere in sight during the writing of this article.
By contrast, a simile is a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.” It usually includes words such as “like” or “resembles” to make clear that the comparison is indeed just that – a comparison.
And finally, the use of euphemism is also prevalent in “WAP,” with euphemism being defined as the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.
And speaking of being blunt, by now everyone who cares – and many who don’t – know that WAP stands for “wet-ass p-ssy,” with some folks now expanding the meaning to include the much safer “women against patriarchy” to reflect the song’s empowerment of women to take ownership of the narrative about their sexuality and their bodies – particularly in music and entertainment.
But it’s the acronym’s original meaning that’s had heads turning and tongues wagging for over a week now, and it’s that meaning around which the song’s lyrical metaphors, euphemisms and similes – or to coin a new acronym, MES – are all built.
We found twenty of them, so let’s take a dive into this MES – in order of appearance in the song’s lyrics – shall we?
- “Certified freak”: This is a metaphor. There are many professions that require a professional certification, but being a freak isn’t one of them, at least not to our knowledge. Still, if one’s freak game is that tight, you might think she’s holding many official certifications.
- “Make that pullout game weak”: In this context, there are really no “games” involved. In fact, the issue of whether or not to pull out during sex is anything but a game. But here, Cardi is suggesting that her sex is so good that a man would fail at any attempt of pulling out before ejaculation, and she’s using a metaphorical “game” reference to drive home the point.
- “Bring a bucket and a mop”: Have no fear, fellas. Even the wettest of WAPs won’t require a bucket and a mop to cleanup the mess afterwards. This is definitely a metaphor, meant to suggest that not only are we talking WAPs here, but these women – Cardi and Megan – have some serious gushers, and perhaps you should be a little afraid before you dive in.
- “Beat it up…catch a charge”: Now before you go committing a criminal act that involves physical assault and then being sent up for a bid, know that Cardi didn’t really want you to do all that. The euphemism simply means that she likes it a little rough in the sack. Nothing more, and definitely nothing less.
- “Swipe your nose like a credit card”: Picture the action of swiping a credit card through a card reader when making a payment and you’ll get the simile used here (without being too crass). A simile is usually easier to detect because the comparison is explicitly made – in this case, it’s explicit both because it’s direct AND because it’s XXX-rated.
- “Hop on top, I wanna ride”: Remember the famous R. Kelly lyrics “You remind me of my Jeep…I wanna ride it.” Well, now Cardi is flipping that simile into a euphemism in “WAP.” We know she’s not talking about riding in a motor vehicle or on a horse or some amusement park ride. But the ride she is taking will rock your world nonetheless.
- “Come take a dive”: Here, the figures of speech get a little confusing. This could be either a euphemism or a metaphor for entering one’s vagina: metaphorical in that the WAP is obviously being compared to a swimming pool or worse – a river, lake or ocean; or euphemistic because the diving action is a much cleaner way of saying what’s really on these ladies’ minds.
- “Park that big Mack truck right in this little garage”: This is perhaps the best use of metaphor in “WAP.” The visual is invoked by using common descriptors (“big” and “little”) in front of familiar items. The visual is especially effective because we all know a Mack truck of any size isn’t getting inside your average garage, especially a small one – perhaps of the single-car variety(?) – like the one Cardi is invoking with this line. But then, maybe here we’re being asked to think of Cardi’s WAP as “the little garage that could”?
- “Gobble me, swallow me”: But not in the literal sense, fellas. No, here Megan is simply letting you know that she likes the mouth action down below. She’s not looking to be chewed up and ingested like the euphemism suggests, but she’s gonna have fun while you make every attempt to make the suggestion a reality.
- “Now get your boots and your coat”: Why? Are we going outside where there’s a downpour? No, just go back to the bucket-and-mop metaphor described above. Same concept here, except the different word selection for this metaphor suggests that maybe the shenanigans will take place outdoors this go-round.
- “Make it rain”: This is generally considered a euphemism for throwing substantial amounts of dollar bills into the air and letting them fall to the ground like rain, particularly on or around strippers in a strip club, which Cardi can certainly teach us a thing or two about. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a euphemism for ejaculation or semen, although it could be seen as that in the WAP context.
- “I need a hard hitter”: This is the simplest metaphor in “WAP.” Here, Cardi is not looking to be “hit” in the literal sense, and certainly not hard. Stretching the metaphor to competitive sports, any number of them could be invoked, including baseball, football and boxing. But unless Cardi is donning a uniform or getting into the ring with someone anytime soon, think of the hard hitting here as being nothing more (or less) than carnal in nature.
- “Not a garter snake, I need a King Cobra”: Lets be clear, Cardi isn’t looking for a slithery pet here, and she certainly isn’t promoting bestiality. No she’s just letting you know that size matters and, by metaphorical comparison to penis sizes, she’d prefer the longer, more dangerous venomous king cobra to the smaller, harmless garter snake.
- “Pussy A1, just like his credit”: This is a simile. It’s clear what two things she’s comparing while asserting that only financially secure brothers stand a chance with her.
- “In the food chain, I’m the one that eat ya.” In the literal sense, this statement of hers would make Megan a cannibal, which clearly isn’t the case. However, this animalistic euphemism should still not be taken lightly, as Megan makes it clear that she’d be the one to emerge victorious in any love match…either that or she’s got some serious oral skills.
- “I let him taste it, now he diabetic”: Actually, no he’s not. That’s just metaphorical talk – and hella bragging – about how sweet Cardi’s WAP is, like cake or cookies. No scientific evidence exists that someone might develop diabetes – a permanent health condition resulting from one’s inability to regulate his or her blood sugar – from cunnilingus. There may be other health consequences, but diabetes isn’t one of them.
- “My head game is fire, punani Dasani”: Here, Cardi is making both a fire and a water analogy in one statement. Fire is slang for very good and, as such, it‘s a metaphor here. However, “punani Dasani” is metaphorical in that not only is Cardi’s thing really wet, but it’s also as good as name-brand bottled water. See the earlier explanation for “game” in No. 2 above.
- “I spit on his mic and now he tryna sign me”: The microphone Cardi refers to in this statement is metaphorical for her partner’s penis, so you can assume that the spitting part is either meant literally, or it’s euphemism for slobbing the knob – as opposed to her “spitting” rhymes (itself a metaphor in hip-hop parlance).
- “He’s a bottom feeder”: This statement is very simple, yet when Megan says it, there are so many metaphors that she could be invoking. For one, she’s stating this in the context of the food chain, so the literal definition of a bottom feeder – that of an aquatic creature that feeds at the bottom of a body of water, with water (or more accurately bodily fluids) being the main point of “WAP” – is the first thought. Or, because she prefaced the statement with “If he ate my ass,” the “bottom” becomes the key part of the phrase and it is more of a euphemism – or a nicer way of saying which body part her partner prefers. Then there’s the stretch meaning of the phrase, where “bottom” refers to a prostitute who is her pimp’s main girl, the one who’s been with him the longest. We doubt Megan thinks of herself as a prostitute here, so we’ll just stick with the first two reads.
- “Macaroni in a pot”: Not all of us are great cooks, but even the non-culinarily skilled among us can remember our mamas making this favorite pasta for those tasty mac-and-cheese dishes in our youths. And if you recall the sound it makes as its being stirred in the pot, you can pretty much figure out where Cardi is going with this metaphor as she finishes the final chorus in “WAP.”
And there you have it, a one-by-one explanation of all the metaphors, euphemisms and similes Cardi and Megan so cleverly used in the most talked-about song of 2020 so far.
Oh, and since we’re on an education tip here, we thought we’d take the time to explain that the “lil’ dangly thing that swing in the back of (Cardi’s) throat” she wants her partner to touch is her uvula. In fact, we all have one.
Armed with this education, we now expect you not only to articulate what these two rappers mean when they say “beat it up,” but also to explain which figure of speech they’re using as well.
DJRob is a freelance blogger from Chicago who covers R&B, hip-hop, pop and rock genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff! You can follow him on Twitter @djrobblog.
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