Now that all the fretting about samples and hand-wringing about rap skills and worrying about daughters and but-buts and but-butts and butt-butts and if-and-butts about it are out of the way, we can all admit that Nicki Minaj's “Anaconda” is a pretty great song. Great, lasting music is about going for the most obvious idea, and when it comes to obvious ideas, sampling “Baby Got Back” and making a song about butts in an almost nursery-rhyme cadence is both something that seems so obvious that it should have already been done and something that is just a little too clever for anyone else to have thought of. “Anaconda” gets right to the point, and the point is butts. But that's not the only point. The other point is dudes, especially Michael, the guy who has these beguiling words rapped about him:
“This dude named Michael used to ride motorcycles/Dick bigger than a tower I ain't talking 'bout Eiffels”
This line raises a big (literally) question: If Nicki Minaj isn't talking about the Eiffel Tower, what tower is she talking about when she says Michael's dick is bigger than a tower? The Eiffel Tower is 986 feet high, which made it the tallest structure in the world for 41 years after it was built, and which still is big enough that it would be the seventh-largest building in Nicki's home city of New York. More to the point: If Michael's dick is bigger than a tower and we're not talking Eiffel, how big of a dick are we talking here, anyway? Since I am a dude, and dudes are constantly measuring their dicks against other dudes—nowhere more so than in building huge ass skyscrapers, incidentally—I ran the data on some towers to figure out what tower we're talking and, by extension, what kind of dick we are talking re: Michael and his ascendant appendage.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Photo by Saffron Blaze via Wikipedia
At 183 feet, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a lot shorter than the Eiffel Tower, but, in terms of imagery, it offers a much better sense of girth. Because frankly, if we are talking about Eiffel, the proportions are way skinnier than your average dick, let alone your brag-about-in-a-rap-song dick. After the Eiffel, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is definitely one of the world's most famous towers, so it may spring to mind when this line comes up—and with its 5.5 degree incline, it looks like something else springing up too. Need proof? The leaning tower looks so much like a dick the mayor of Pisa had to ban dick-themed Leaning Tower souvenirs in 2011.
The Burj Khalifa
Photo by Donaldytong via Wikipedia
As the tallest building in the world at 2,722 feet, Dubai's Burj Khalifa is the kind of tower that was built to have rap lyrics made about it. Like any tall building, it looks a lot like a dick, but the fact that it sticks straight up out of the desert gives it an extra thrust in that direction. It's the biggest there is, and if you're going to rap about something, you might as well go big. Plus, it's often literally above the clouds, so you could probably say you're high like Khalifa for a sick double entendre if you're looking to rap about it. But in this case we're talking about rapping about dicks. Stay focused.
The CN Tower
Photo by Ujjwal Kumar via Wikipedia
Not only is Canada's premier dick-shaped landmark very tall at 1,500 feet, referring to this tower would send Drake into paroxysms of penis-based envy, continuing Nicki's reign of total emotional control over him.
The Oriental Pearl Tower
Photo via easychinatour.com
Not only is this Shanghai tower tall and therefore somewhat dick-like, there is a building below it with two large orbs, which means that, viewed from the right angle, it looks like a dick and balls. Anyway, it's 468 meters (1,535 feet) tall, which means this dick-shaped object plus one is (ready) four 69. Feel free to use this line if you're ever with a partner you're looking to orally stimulate and are also at the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower.
The Washington Monument
Photo by Diliff via Wikipedia
If Michael used to ride motorcycles, it stands to reason that he's American, and the Washington Monument is basically America's dick.
The Freedom Tower/One World Trade Center
Photo by Joe Mabel via Wikipedia
The real King of New York? These 1,776 feet of pure shaft, baby.
Ypsilanti Water Tower
Photo by Dwight Burdette via Wikipedia
Once christened the most phallic building in the world by Cabinet magazine, the Ypsilanti Water Tower deserves consideration due to the fact that it looks particularly dick-like, even compared to other dick-shaped buildings. But perhaps more intriguingly, Nicki begins “Anaconda” by introducing us to a boy toy named Troy who used to live in Detroit, and Ypsilanti is a Detroit suburb. Are Michael and Troy somehow connected? Is “Anaconda” a song all about one sex vacation to Michigan, a state which admittedly looks like a hand reaching up to grab a dick? Is Michigan simply a state full of dicks riding motorcycles? Who knows, but man this water tower sure looks like a big ol' schlong.
30 St. Mary Axe (The Erotic Gherkin)
Photo via Wikipedia
We already know that Nicki has a British alter-ego, and the British are famously at odds with the French, so it stands to reason that in Nicki's mind, the counterpoint to the Eiffel Tower is London's famously phallic financial district landmark. Plus, Michael is a pretty British name, as evidenced by the fact that Michael Caine is British. This may very well be the dick-shaped tower we are looking for.
Kyle Kramer is an editor at Noisey. You can make dick jokes with him on Twitter - @KyleKramer