New Site Decodes Rap Lyrics

Rap Genius breaks down Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, and more

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 5, 2009 11:42 AM CST

(Newser) – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ song “Empire State of Mind” is everywhere, even at the World Series. But do you know what the lyrics mean? If not, Rap Genius (formerly Rap Exegesis) can clue you in the way it educated Nick Antosca of the Huffington Post. Some of the explanations the site offers:

  • Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind”: “Catch me in the kitchen like a Simmons whipping pastry” refers first to cooking up crack, second to fellow rapper Rev. Run’s daughters and their clothing line.

  • Lil Wayne, “A Milli”: “Got the Maserati dancing on the bridge, pussy poppin’” refers to a dance move involving a woman standing on her head or hands and “popping her pussy.”
  • Ghostface Killah, “Big Girl”: “Toney with the Montana, I came to play” uses the rapper’s nickname (“Pretty Toney”) and slang for cocaine (“Montana”), while also referencing Al Pacino’s Tony Montana character from Scarface.
  • The Notorious BIG, “10 Crack Commandments”: “Your wig pushed back” refers to a scalp being shot off a person’s head.

Jay-Z performs with Alicia Keys before Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, in New York.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Lil Wayne performs at the 9th Annual BET Awards on Sunday, June 28, 2009, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
From left, Kid Rock, Flavor Flav and Ghostface Killah arrive at the 2008 VH1 Hip Hop Honors show, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008 in New York.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
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Jay-Z and Alicia Keys perform "Empire State of Mind" at the World Series.   (MrHockeyman70)

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