A lot of MCs will front and act like they’re all hard all the time, but their lyrics tell us otherwise. Rapping about sweets almost always comes hand-in-hand with rapping about the ladies. And while not all of the references are themselves sweet, they do indicate something of a soft-spot.
The Wu-Tang joint “Ice Cream” (which is technically a solo single from Raekwon but features a few other Wu members) is a prime example. Everyone knows Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothin’ to mess with, but dudes can spit some sweet-talk when they want to. On the hook, Method Man relates ice cream treats to types of women: “Watch these rap [...] get all up in your guts, French vanilla, butter pecan, chocolate deluxe/ Even caramel sundaes is gettin’ touched, and scooped up in my ice cream truck, Wu tears it up”
On his verse, Ghostface describes his lady of interest in sugar and spice: “Caramel complexion, breath smellin’ like cinnamon/ Excuse me hon, don’t mean no harm, turn around again.”
Quick aside—I’m not sure if it’s an intentional allusion or not, but Big Pooh of the now-disbanded Little Brother starts off one of my very favorite LB tracks, “Whatever You Say”, with a very similar line: “What up brown skin, your body smellin’ like cinnamon/ Hair in a bun, your toes done so feminine.”
Wu-Tang wasn’t the only group of dudes to make a song about women as sweets. In fact, I’m pretty sure this next one got their inspiration straight from “Ice Cream.” I might be tarred and feathered by the die-hard hip-hop heads out there for daring to suggest that Gym Class Heroes belong in this post, but this track is so catchy, and it fits so well.
In “Cookie Jar,” which features Dream, lead-man and kinda-rapper Travis pull off an entire track based on the metaphor of getting “caught with your hands in the cookie jar” as cheating. He’s not the most gifted MC, but he comes out with some pretty clever lines: “I got a thing for Milano, biscotti Italianos/ And I never turn down some Oreos if you got those/ Butter pecan Puerto Ricans or them oatmeal raisin Asians/ Hazelnut Brazilians, Macadamia caucasians/ Double stuffed or thin mint, it don’t matter you gettin’ it/ Cuz I gotta sweet tooth that’ll never come loose.”
Keith Murray of the Def Squad trio has a poppy solo track called “Candy Bar,” which is all about the pursuit of a delicious honey who, the hook says, looks “like a chocolate candy bar.” The initial set-up isn’t that convincing. Aren’t chocolate bars kind of square and rigid? As the song goes on, it’s clear Murray’s concerned much less with making sense than he is with gettin’ at this girl, spouting all types of sugar-sweet corniness in the process: “Ayo, come and rest your feet my little chocolate soufflé/ I know you’re tired, you been runnin’ through my mind all day.” The way he says the tired ‘ole pick-up, you can tell he knows he’s straight cheese.
Then there’s “cake,” a multi-use slang term that can mean both cash money and other, less sweet things. Kool G Rap has a whole track called “Cakes” wherein he and RZA use the word in both of these ways and more.
On the Busta Rhymes track “Where’s Your Money” featuring ODB, they stick to the monetary meaning. Busta: “The way we stack cake, you know I know it’s making you sick/ Watch dough with diplomats from other countries [...].”
Bringing it back to the sweetness and the ladies, we close this episode out with a line I hate to love from an MC that should get no love. Even though he’s wack, his use of “cake” in its true form as a sweet treat earns him this mention. The song is “21 Questions” from 50 Cent, which features the late, great Nate Dogg. The line: “I love you like a fat kid love cake.”
The entire track is full of mushy, gushy lyrics like that one. Proof that the cats who act the hardest on the outside are the softest on the inside. Dessert: hip-hop code for ladies, money, and love. Until next time….