Day 349: "BedRock" feat. Lloyd – Young Money, We Are Young Money, 2009
Not to knock Lloyd, whose hook for "BedRock" is truly sublime, a feat of inventive writing quite unlike just about anything ever accomplished in pop music, a concept so catchy and stupid that it's incredible nobody had thought of it earlier, but it says a lot about Lil Wayne's star power in 2009 that he could make a song where he rapped eight bars and the hook involved the phrase "call me Mr. Flintstone" and it would go to number two on the Hot 100. It was deprived of number one by the Black Eyed Peas' "Imma Be," which tells you a lot about where pop music was at the time, too. But anyway, point being: Lil Wayne was king, and he ruled rap so absolutely that he could throw a bunch of new artists and a couple of his knucklehead friends on a song and have it played on the radio until it was stuck in the heads of virtually every person in America. He could make "BedRock," a song too ridiculous for this earth.
To be fair, the success may have been due to the rising star power of Nicki Minaj and Drake, who run away with the song's standout verses (despite one of Drake's worst lines ever, "I love your sushi roll, hotter than wasabi"). Drake gets in the parting riposte of "oh that was your girl? I thought I recognized her," while Nicki makes history by rapping the phrase "put this pussy on your sideburns" in a massive hit song. Nonetheless, we are in Wayne's world, his exposition of the new Young Money talent, his chance to share his esteemed friend Gudda Gudda with the world. Gudda Gudda took advantage of the opportunity by coining one of the greatest dumb rap lines of all time, "and I got her, nigga: grocery bag." This line—and this song more broadly—proved to be the inflection point for the much-derided, oh-so-2009 practice of "hashtag rap," where you would set up a concept and then land the punchline by just saying a thing that the concept was like, e.g. "I keep her running back and forth: soccer team."
But once again: star power! It says a lot that Lil Wayne and his cronies could take credit for a style of rap so completely that it became associated with this one song. But he was that big! I don't know how else to make you understand! This is how Drake and Nicki Minaj became stars: because, somewhere along the line, Lil Wayne rapped the line "I hate to see her go but I love to watch her leave," and it was so poetic that everybody in the world wanted to listen to it and by extension them and somehow also Tyga. And now it's 2017 and all these people are famous for completely different stuff except for Jae Millz and Gudda Gudda, who is still mostly known for the grocery bag thing even though that's not even his best line about bags on a Lil Wayne song. But enough of that. It would be ridiculous to overthink this song.
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