Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jay-Z and the "domestic abuse line"

Ok, here's my take on the "Eat the cake, Anna Mae," line in "Drunk in Love":

At the Grammy performance, Jay-Z and Beyonce proudly pronounced Hov's joke lyric about a domestic violence-related scene in What's Love Got to Do With It. Tina and Ike Turner's relationship, as illustrated in the movie, was abusive, and I am not minimizing the pain Tina went through. But I think the more interesting question here is why so many things that are popular now (Hannah and Adam in "Girls," Twilight, this song), force us to try to differentiate violent abusive sex and violent consensual sex. We love trying to figure out that sick little line.

But more importantly, as for Jay-Z's lyrics, he also references Mike Tyson's ear incident, and in the words of Jake Sweeney-Samuelson, "I don't think we're supposed to assume he does that in bed."

Also, just some FOOD for thought:

Hov's grammatical subjects are vague, and I would guess on purpose. After the Anna Mae lyric, he talks to a plural "y'all," leaving us to wonder who he actually told to eat the cake:

I'm Ike Turner, turn up, baby, no, I don't play
Now eat the cake, Anna Mae said, "Eat the cake, Anna Mae!"
I'm nice, for y'all to reach these heights
You gon' need G3, 4, 5, 6 flights

So JUST SAYIN', this lyric might be a self-referential verse to Jay's lyrics in Drake's "Pound Cake," where Hov transforms the delicious word into a million modern day metaphors. In case you didn't know, "cake" in hip-hop means money:

Cake, cake-cake, cake-cake, cake
500 million, I got a pound cake
Niggas is frontin', that's upside-down cake
Get 'em a red nose, they clown cakes
They shoulda never let you 'round cake
Look at my neck, I got a carrot cake
Now here's the icin' on the cake
Cake, cake-cake, cake-cake, uhh

If this hypothesis is right, Hov would not be talking about shoving his penis violently in Beyonce's face, as we all so keenly inferred. He would, instead, be declaring, "look at how much money I have, bitches!", Anna Mae then serving as a symbol of all the world's haters, and cake serving as a symbol of money - not domestic abuse.

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