The Acceptance of Degrading Lyrics

Rap singers have the potential to change the world but many just sell out for the sake of sales. I love the song Yeah by Usher, who doesn’t? (Here’s the video: “Yeah” by Usher) It has a great beat. Usher is adorable and talented and his lyrics aren’t generally sexist or violent, but this song, which is about meeting girls in a club and leaving with them, has some cringeworthy bits. Another rap singer, Ludacris, sings the bridge, and every time I hear these lyrics I flinch. Yeah is considered a tame song and was (and still is) a huge success, selling a bajillion copies and remaining a radio staple. I have numbered the lines for easier translation.

Bridge to song Yeah by Usher and Ludacris:

1.  My outfit’s ridiculous, in the club lookin’ so conspicuous.
2.  And rowl! These women all on the prowl, if you hold the head steady I’m a milk the cow.
3.  Forget about the game, I’m a spit the truth, I won’t stop till I get ’em in they birthday suits.
4.  So gimmie the rhythm and it’ll be off with their clothes, then bend over to the front and touch your toes.
5.  I left the Jag and I took the Rolls, if they ain’t cuttin’ then I put ’em on foot patrol.
6.  How you like me now, when my pinky’s valued over three hundred thousand.
7.  Let’s drank you the one to please, Ludacris fill cups like double D’s.
8.  Me and Ush once more and we leave ’em dead, we want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed.


1.  I’m dressed like a pimp and everyone is looking at me.

2.  Growl! The women in the club want to mate with a guy with lots of cash and I take advantage of this. If you hold the head steady I’m a milk the cow means that after the woman I have chosen for the night performs fellatio, she is to hold her head steady so I can ejaculate in either her face or mouth.

3.  I am not interested in talking. My only goal is to get them naked.

4.  She must take her clothes off and bend over.

5.  I own two luxury cars. If the woman does not comply with my sexual demands, she must get out and walk.

6.  You should be extremely impressed that the ring on my little finger is worth $300,000.

7.  I’m not sure exactly what this means, but obviously it has to do with enormous breasts, the number-one focus of millions of people both old and young.

8.  Usher and I only want women who are polite in public but wild in the bedroom (or vehicle).

Rap singers have enormous influence. By constantly inferring that women are nothing but whores and that flashy jewelry, cars, and double D size breasts hold the highest priority, they set the worst example possible for young listeners.

13 responses to “The Acceptance of Degrading Lyrics

  1. I hate to sound like Tipper Gore, but you are absolutely right. The problem is that we have normalized this kind of music, talking, thinking and then we are surprised that we have a violent disrespectful society.

  2. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we are going nowhere as a species.

  3. How romantic. Shakespeare, eat your heart out.

    Imagine if the song actually contained your translated words. People would die of shock and demand it off the radio. Yet it’s okay as it is – masked.

    I’m glad I never listen to music on the radio.

    • Ha ha, a real sweet-talker.

      I tried to look up what the lyrics to this song mean on forums, and everybody just kept saying it didn’t matter because “it’s such a great song.” Well it is great music, but the words are horrible. That’s how the industry suckers you in and makes it accepted.

  4. Hey Darlin –
    As far as I’m concerned, rap music doesn’t exist unless I read something about a rapper that killed himself. I don’t know if anyone has compiled research or not, but I’m willing to bet that the percentage of those above 35 years of age that actually listen to rap is very small.
    From what I can tell, rap music isn’t so much about making music but, making money so they can feel superior to those around them and others in the music industry such as Kanye West has shown.
    Just my 2 cents worth of cowboy wisdom 🙂

    • Hi Cowboy, there are rappers and hip hop artists who have gone so mainstream you’re likely to hear them in a supermarket. I hate Kanye West because of the famous picture of him giving Arizona the finger over immigration laws and telling everyone to boycott the state—and his lyrics, like so many others, are known for misogyny. You’re right, it’s all about publicity and money…and bitches and ho’s.

  5. I’ll take it over “Some Enchanted Evening,” the immortal hit from “South Pacific.” I consider this song responsible for 3/4 of the nation’s divorces. It’s about a glandular reaction to a stranger across a crowded room. “Somehow you know you’ll see her again and again… night after night the sound of her laughter will sing in your dreams.” Every day thousands of people go to a party, a bar, a picnic, a funeral etc and there is that special someone across a crowded room, hormones kick in and the spouse or longtime significant other is dumped for the stranger. Someone you dont even know. That cackling in the dreams will do it every time. ANyway as an epilogue, in the show the song is sung by an older widower with two mixed-race kids by his late wife. The cute perky stranger, a hick from Arkansas who turns out to have sentiments mirroring those of the KKK!

    Long live YEAH!!!

    • I don’t doubt bad song lyrics have been around for as long as there has been music. But modern lyrics that romanticize an unattainable lifestyle while keeping women subservient can only make our world worse. Even the latest issue of Rolling Stone pans a long-awaited new CD by Jay-Z and Kanye West:

      …an onslaught of Rollses and Gulfstream jets, five-star hotels…this is “luxury rap”…they are obsessed with their own king-size lives…more often we hear about “big rocks” and “gold bottles”…boasting and gloating…it’s a shame two of music’s greatest storytellers don’t extend their gaze beyond their own luxe lives.

      sample lyrics: “In sheepskin coats, I silence the lamb.” Great if you’re into killing animals for fur-obsessed rappers.

  6. Why does it bother me?

    The rapper dude on this song is just VILE. It is just as well he is rich, because there is no other way he would EVER get a woman.

    • WDIBM, a lot of them are vile. I had forgotten how they all wear fur, too, and don’t give a shit—in fact they defend their right to do whatever they want. I don’t hate the music, but damn I hate the lyrics.

  7. Actually it’s worse, because ‘foot patrol’ is referencing prostitution. So he’s saying he’s going to pimp them out.

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