In this feature, I examine the lyrics to a current Top 10 hit in excruciating detail for no reason other than to mock it—and maybe to encourage better pop songwriting.
The hit: “Give Me Everything” by our good pal Pitbull. The Miami rapper gets some hook assist from R&B crooner Ne-Yo. Also, apparently folks named AfroJack and Nayer somehow contributed enough to get themselves credits, because why have one featured guest when you can have 14?
Chart position: Holding steady at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, kept out of the top spot by the continuing awesomeness of “Rolling in the Deep.” The song was the week’s top radio-airplay gainer, though, so it’s probably only a matter of time before it surpasses Adele.
The general idea: Pitbull advises all the dudes in the club to live for the moment and find a sexual conquest to take home, echoing the famous biblical passage Isaiah 22:13 (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Eat, drink and rub your junk up against a sexy lady on the dance floor, for tomorrow we die.”
LET’S NITPICK THIS SUCKER!
Me not working hard?
Yeah right, picture that with a Kodak
Or better yet, go to Times Square
Take a picture of me with a Kodak
Not working hard? You mean like rhyming “Kodak” with “Kodak”? Look, I understand what Pitbull is getting at: He has become so famous that his face is on billboards, right next to the famous Kodak Times Square Gallery, but he just kind of sprinkles the verse with most of the appropriate nouns and expects listeners to piece it together. It’s understandable. He’s probably too busy working hard on his billboards to spend time coming up with a coherent rap.
Took my life from negative to a positive
Here’s some credit where credit is due: I like this line. It makes nice use of the established photography references and communicates a lot about Pitbull’s attitude toward his newfound fame. It’s almost enough to make me forgive him for those first four lines. Almost.
Forget what they say
All my cares, they play
Nothing is enough
Till I’ve had enough
What the heck is this Nayer lady talking about? Enough isn’t enough unless she’s had enough? Her cares are playing? This appears to be just a cliche salad.
Grab somebody sexy, tell ‘em hey
Give me everything tonight
Is this a come-on or a hold-up? (Credit for this quip goes to my lovely fiancée.)
Take advantage of tonight
‘Cause tomorrow I’m off to do battle
Perform for a princess
The Internet cannot make heads or tails of what Pitbull is saying in this verse. The most widespread interpretation contends the middle line is “’cause to more and more to do bad,” which is just a hilarious jumble. The translation printed above is the one officially sanctioned by lyrics service Gracenote, and I have to admit it sounds an awful lot like whatever Pitbull is blurting. “‘Cause tomorrow I’m off to Dubai to perform for a princess,” as this site supposes, can’t be right unless Pitbull is thoroughly mispronouncing “Dubai.” I bet he wishes he’d written it that way, though, because that would actually make some damn sense.
Hustlers move in silence so I’m tip-toein’ to keep blowin’
Do hustlers really move in silence? If I’ve learned anything from Jay-Z, it’s that a hustler issues near-constant reminders about his hustling abilities. Even if they do, I’m not sure that images of you tip-toeing around (not to mention “blowing”) are anything you want associated with your hustling cred.
I got it locked up like Lindsey Lohan
So, in other words, repeatedly released early, unable to stick to terms of its probation, and demonstrating a worrisome self-destructive streak and a complete squandering of talent?
Can’t promise tomorrow, but I promise tonight … dale!
Hey, it’s our old friend Dale! How’s it going, Dale? Still working on getting the whole world on the floor?
Reach for the stars
And if you don’t grab ‘em at least you’ll fall on top of the world
Thank about it
I am thinking about it, and it doesn’t make sense. Is falling on top of the world a good thing?
‘Cause if you slip I’m gon’ fall on top of your girl (ha ha)
There’s more slapstick action on this dance floor than a Three Stooges film. Watch out, ladies, that you don’t accidentally fall on his penis. Ha ha!
When I’m involved, it goes deeper than them aces
Once more, the Internet is baffled. I have no idea what “them aces” are or how deep they go. Some other proposed versions of this line include:
- “What I’m involved in is deeper than the mazes.”
- “What I’m involved in is deeper than the Masons.”
- “When I’m involved they be sleepin’ at the Macy’s.”
Oh man, that one about Macy’s is classic. Pitbull be putting shoppers to sleep, yo! “Masons” make the most sense. Again, I bet Pitbull wishes he’d written it that way.