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Wiz Khalifa's "Roll Up:" A Literary Analysis

Wiz Khalifa's "Roll Up:" A Literary Analysis

Some of today's top hits make me want to do heinous things to adorable animals. We really can get enough of the Black Eyed Peas rhyming "Flow-joe" and "X-O" in "Just Can't Get Enough," and I'm still out hunting for the miscreant who let Selena Gomez out of the Disney dungeon in order to record "Who Says." However, when I tune into the radio I can't help but turn up the volume to a bass-pounding level immediately upon hearing the first deliciously melodious notes to certain songs. One of these titans of tuneage amongst sing-a-long powerhouses like "Rolling in the Deep" and "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" is Wiz Khalifa's "Roll Up." Cameron Jibril Thomaz a.k.a. Wiz's voice is endearing and soulful as he tells the story of presumably male subject who is trying to explain to a female that he is dependable. Though the song is the musical equivalent to a priceless Vermeer, one major question remains in regard to the plot of its lyrical composition. Is the main character involved in a sexual relationship with his "shawty," or is their affinity merely a platonic bond with the potential for penetration?

These are the burning questions that keep America awake at night.

From the onset of the song, Wiz Khalifa explicitly states that the female lead is in a relationship, as it is her anniversary, but "her man ain't actin' right." This woman then boards an airplane to visit the narrator and the befuddlement begins. He claims, "When you at home that's your man, soon as you land you say that's all me," suggesting that the narrator has the same (sexual) relationship with this woman when she visits as she does with her boyfriend at home. Yet this connection is never made clear.

In spite of this apparent conclusion, a question about the narrator's intentions remains. The chorus does not paint the narrator as a villain who is attempting to steal his "homie" from her man, but rather a dependable guy who will "roll up" whenever this woman needs him. The narrator repeats, " Whenever you need me, whenever want me, you know you can call me, I’ll be there shortly." In the chorus, he makes quite clear that their friendship is the most important part of the relationship, even referring to himself as her "best friend." Even if there is no chance of road head or Skype sex, this guy will be there for this stupid betch. If their relationship is already sexual, what does he have to gain by indulging her every whim? Why does he still promise that he will "roll up"? From the chorus it seems as though he has not yet consummated the relationship and their correspondence appears platonic, although he clearly yearn for her.

Furthermore, the narrator utilizes buzzwords reminiscent of the sordid sexual escapades of two star-crossed lovers. When integrated into the story of the song, they initially appear ordinary, but when analyzed alone, the verses sound more conspicuous than sores on herpes-infected genitals. Words like "fucking" and "ride" refer directly to the act of intercourse, while a reference to "handcuffing" subliminally prompts listeners to think of their own steamy fantasies of light bondage. More subtly, in one line the narrator claims that this woman is "cooking eggs in the morning." This statement could refer to the fact that she is hungry in the morning because she is ravenous after a night of passionate love making, or possibly the efforts of the narrator's sperm to fertilize or "cook" her eggs. Based on these findings, I have come to the conclusion that these two people have engaged in sexual relations. Although this in never made explicit, the manner in which Mr. Khalifa portrays their relationship connotes a bond that could only have been formed by nights spent groping her incredibly hot and voluptuous body while Marvin Gaye's voice drowns out screams of pleasure.

Now that's fresh.

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