Over here at Rap Genius, we can be a pretty serious bunch. The grind of running the site, overseeing so many annotations, and expanding into heretofore uncharted genres (hi, Bible Genius!) keeps us on our grind 24-7. This is perhaps why levity is so welcome and finds its way into most of our choices this week. Whether it's 2 Chainz beating us into submission with the word “work,” Jim Jones acting like a Borscht Belt comic, Sheek Louch reminding us of lazy TV-watching afternoons of our childhood, or Chance the Rapper imagining a baby born full-grown, a bit of humor goes a long way. Only Pharoahe Monch doesn't join the comic party this week, but his personal, alliterative genius is, as always, in a class of its own.
5. “Cocaine, dope man, got them J's smoking out a Coke can/Nigga got so much work, talking work, when I'm in the car, they still say I'm riding in the work van” — 2 Chainz, 'Dirty Cup' lyrics
The rapper formerly known as Tity Boi wins us over this week with sheer persistence. His insistent repetition of the word “work” turns the word's dual meaning into a pretty funny joke.
4. “Up and down like a see-saw, then hopped off and kissed the head/Damn, she came so many times, you'd thought that bitch had pissed the bed” — Jim Jones, 'Harlem Shake (Remix)' lyrics
Jim Jones, never one to pass up a good trend, jumped right on the “Harlem Shake” bandwagon with this remix. He puts his own inimitable style on it, though, especially with this rather graphic dirty joke.
3. “Hit the gym, back looking fucking Ferrigno/Don-Don, bitch been on my dick from the get-go” — Sheek Louch, 'Hater Love' lyrics
Sheek sounds incredibly energized through this whole verse, but it's the mention of Lou Ferrigno — the bodybuilder who played The Incredible Hulk on the late 70's-early 80's TV series of the same name — that really takes the cake.
2. “Good Lord, I know these ladies love luxury/That's laminated at the top of the list — but look, luckily/At least, when my lungs were lacerated/I never behaved scorned or gave a sworn affidavit” – Pharoahe Monch, 'What's Love' lyrics
Pharoahe's verse on this song is an absolute masterpiece. He meditates on love by using alliteration on all four letters in the word itself. The “l” section here is mind-blowing (and confessional — the rapper famously suffers from asthma), even without the bigger context.
1. “Every time I fly in her city, she buying a titty/Or selling a kidney, or trying to get me/To believe she’s having a kid and that the kid has a moustache and raps pretty” — Chance the Rapper, 'Wendy N Becky' lyrics
Chance and Joey Bada$$, two of RG's favorite rappers (and, not coincidentally, who both have incredibly entertaining verified accounts), created this high-concept song. Chance is from Chicago (“Wendy” = “Windy,” as in the Windy City), and Joey is from Brooklyn (“Becky” = “B.K.”). Together, they make a near-unbeatable team on this rap about some female admirers. Chance has a long, elaborate joke, excerpted here, about a lover trying to convince him that she's pregnant. For space reasons, we couldn't include the whole thing, but both this section and the puns on “Plan B” that follow ensured that this ends up on top this week.