Unpacking Kanye West’s “Drunk in Love” Remix
Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” is the song that keeps on giving. First of all, it changed the pronunciation of two words in our English language: “Club” is now pronounced “cloob,” and “surfboardt” with a “T” has replaced regular, boring old “surfboard.”
Next, the song became the national anthem for Olympic skating duo Meryl Davis and Charlie “Hair Like a Cherub” White when it was realized that “Drunk in Love” perfectly synced with the team’s recent Sochi performance. Pause for reflection:
Then, on Saturday, I found myself repeatedly tagged in a video Beyoncé posted to Instagram. Horses! Beyoncé! Beyoncé and horses! It wasn’t until I switched my volume on that I realized Mr. West was also in the building.
And he’d remixed “Drunk in Love.”
Now, I’m still working through my emotions on this. There’s a lot of overlapping components: Kanye is rapping sexually explicit lyrics — assumably to Kim — over Bey’s already erotic song regarding her husband Jay Z who also raps in this very same hit. It’s an audio orgy. It’s a music mogul swingers convention. It’s an NY Mag sex diary of the best variety. This video has the full lyrics, but let’s unpack my favorite lines together.
Right off the back Kanye opens with this:
Woo! You will never need another lover.
I really appreciate his enthusiasm here. The “woo” is fun, it’s positive, and it says “I am here to party.” I like both Kanye’s confidence in his own sexual capabilities but also, his commitment to monogamy.
Woo! ‘Cause you a MILF and I’m a motherfucker.
North West, ear muffs. This is a clever play on words and according to technical definition, it’s also true. (In the versions I’ve found he doesn’t actually finish the f-word. But still, it’s implied.) Come on Kanye, not in front of the children.
Now you got your own money, you don’t need nobody else
But far as hell with all that ass, I think you gon’ need some help.
Kanye knows that Kim did just fine before him and she’d do just fine without him. She is, to quote Beyoncé, “a grown woman.” Then he makes a joke about her derriere that is equal parts funny and flirty. Bedroom banter. Cute.
Another butt-line Yeezy throws out (“got a great future behind you“) has officially replaced my overused Lil’ Wayne lyric: “I hate to see you go, but I like to watch ya leave.” To all my friends who are sick of this tired joke: you’re welcome.
Yup! On the 35th of Nevuary
Yup! You love the way I’m turnt
So here we are, back again with the enthusiasm — doesn’t “Yup!” sound like it comes from the mouth of an excited 12-year-old boy from the 1950s named Timmy?
“Do ya like baseball son?”
But I have to ask you guys: what the shit is Nevuary? And do I love the way he’s turnt? Does that mean “turned on,” but with the adopted “T” from surfboardt? Maybe that line’s directly intended for Kim. Please advise.
I put you on that bike, you bound, girl
Obviously he has to reference his own song and music video…there’s also a “Flashing Lights” moment in there. But what I really, really, REALLY need to address is this:
Play the song, listen hard at 1:30, pause at 1:32 and meet me after.
Did he just say “oatmeal?”
I put you on that bike,
you bound girl.
We too wild,
won’t turn down
we drunk in love,
But now it’s your turn. Break this shit down for me.
– Amelia Diamond