Azealia Banks’ “212” Translated for 40-Somethings

Being a 40-something who grew up listening to hip-hop and rap isn’t easy. Most of the (c)rap that passes for hip-hop today sucks. And when you do find something incredible, it was performed by someone who was born the year you graduated college and seemingly speaks a foreign language.

Azealia Banks’ single, “212”  is incredible. And completely unintelligible for anyone over 40. What follows is a translation of “212” written by a 40-something for 40-somethings. If you were born after 1980 you don’t need to read this, and in fact you should be out having fun doing all of the things I wish I could: like seeing a movie without getting a babysitter. Seriously, enjoy life while you can: soon you will be old too.

Actual Lyrics Translation for Old People
[Verse 1] [Holy shit, what is this?]
Hey I can be the answer If you don’t understand the first stanza, this translation is for you. And you are old
I’m ready to dance when the vamp up I am prepared to dance once the hook is established
And when I hit that dip, get your camera When I do dance, be prepared to take pictures. Of course I mean digital pictures, since film is for dinosaurs. Like you.
You could see I been that bitch since the Pamper Note that I have been extremely talented since I was but a baby (Around when you were in your 20s).
And that I am that young sis, the beacon Also note that I am now a young, attractive woman
The bitch who wants to compete and An extremely confident young woman who desires her shot
I could freak a ‘fit, that pump with the peep and If I chose to I could look extremely desirable in a more typically feminine pair of high-heeled shoes with open toes
You know what your bitch become when her weave in Much like the woman in your life does when she dresses well
I just wanna sip that punch with your peeps and My desires are simple: I’d like to have a drink with your friends;
Sit in that lunch if you’re treating Join you for lunch, should you be willing to purchase it
Kick it with your bitch who come from Parisian Hang out with your girlfriend from Paris
She know where I get mine from, and the season Who not only recognizes the labels of the clothes I wear, she can also tell what time of year I bought them
Now she wanna lick my plum in the evening By nightfall she will be so smitten with me that she wants to perform cunnilingus upon me
And fit that ton-tongue d-deep in Like those pornos you “never watch”
I guess that cunt getting eaten I am so confident/carefree with my sexuality that I will carelessly allow your woman to go down on me
I guess that cunt getting eaten Although the sheer repetition of this line
I guess that cunt getting eaten Will certainly make you think
I guess that cunt getting eaten That maybe I will also go down on her
[Verse 2] [Wow, that was cool! She’s dirty. Wait, where is this going?]
I was in the 212 I was in the Manhattan borough of New York City
On the uptown A, nigga you know what’s up or don’t you Riding the A train towards Harlem, surely you know which direction the trains run in New York
Word to who made you I pay respect to my elders, specifically your mother
I’m a rude bitch, nigga, what are you made up of? I am also exceptionally “street”, a quality I believe you lack
I’m-a eat your food up, boo I will take that which is yours, starting with your bare necessities
I could bust your eight, I’m-a do one too, fuck ya gon’ do? I will either: 1) Open your 8-ball of cocaine and snort it all, or 2) I will render your 8-line battle rap useless with my 8-line battle rap. Either way, you are impotent before me
I want you to make bucks, I’m a look-right nigga, bet you do want to fuck I believe there is room in this market for the both of us. I being a pretty woman, and you a man who would obviously like to have sex
Fuck him like you do want to cum But I am so much better than you, your only hope is to sleep your way to the top. With other men.
You’re gay to get discovered in my two-one-deuce You have forsaken your sexuality in an effort to make it in New york
Cock-a-licking in the water by the blue bayou It all started when you began giving blowjobs to producers in New Orleans
Caught the warm goo in your doo-rag too son But even that you suck at, as you let them ejaculate on your headwear.
Nigga you’re a Kool-Aid dude Now you lack street credibility and will follow anyone
With your doo-doo crew son, fuck are you into, huh? Do you have any idea how far you and your friends are in over your heads?
Niggas better oooh-run-run You should all leave town: melodically and quickly.
You could get shot, homie, if you do want to Only bad will become of
Put your guns up, tell your crew don’t front You and your friends pretending to be gangsters
I’m a hoodlum nigga, you know you were too once I am willing to do anything to succeed, a position you were in before (her intended target has changed to another female rapper)
Bitch I’m ’bout to blew up too Now I am on the verge of obtaining complete success as well
I’m the one today, I’m the new shit, boo, young Rapunzel My fresh style and long hair make me more relevant today than you
Who are you bitch? New lunch For what are you really but fodder for my rhymes?
I’m-a ruin you, cunt I will steal your market share and your fans
I’m-a ruin you, cunt Because I am more worldly than you
I’m-a ruin you, cunt Evidenced by my British use of the word “cunt”
I’m-a ruin you, cunt Which I obviously learned while in London
[Bridge] [The part of the song you will (try) to sing around the office tomorrow. It is also addressed to herself]
Ayo, I heard you’re riding with the same tall, tall tale Hello, word is you continue to represent yourself with familiar fictions
Telling them you made some Boasting to the world that are successful
Saying you’re grinding but you ain’t going nowhere And claiming to be hard-working, yet you are unsuccessful
Why you procrastinate girl Stop wasting time
You got a lot, but you just waste all yours and You are talented, but allow said talent to go to waste
They’ll forget your name soon Stardom is fleeting
And won’t nobody be to blame but yourself yeah And you are the only one holding you back
[Hook] [Wait, what? I liked the melodic part! I don’t understand this screaming]
What you gon’ do when I appear I am looking forward to seeing what happens to you
W-when-when I premiere When my album is released
Bitch, the end of your lives are near The date of which shall signal the end of your career
This shit been mine, mine As my hostile takeover of your fanbase and market share is so assured I refer to it in the past tense
[Verse 3] [I’m lost, but I still like it]
Bitch, I’m in the 212 Lest the bridge has made you think I’ve gone soft, I will remind you that I still lack respect for you. I remain in Manhattan
With the fifth cocked nigga, it’s the two-one-zoo Where I carry a loaded and cocked handgun, because it is a wild and crazy town
Fuck you gon’ do, when your goon sprayed up You may think this is all fiction, but I sincerely question your ability to respond well to one of your friends getting shot
Bet his bitch won’t get him, betcha you won’t do much Because you are lame, by extension so are your friends and their girlfriends. Whoever shoots one of your crew need not fear retaliation from anyone, especially you.
See, even if you do want to bust Should you actually have the courage to fire your weapons outside of a shooting range
Your bitch’ll get you cut and touch you crew up too, Pop Everyone in your life will come to harm, Old Man
You’re playing with your butter like your boo won’t chew You are so pathetic that your woman refuses to please you forcing you to please yourself
Cock the gun, too — where you do eat poon, hon? You’re impotent even with a loaded weapon, and you perform unrequited cunnilingus upon your woman
I’m fucking with you, cutie-q Oh, have I hurt your feelings? I’m just pushing your buttons. I still want you to buy my albums
What’s your dick like homie, what are you into, what’s the run, dude So let me flirt with you just enough to make you feel manly: Are you well endowed? What acts will you perform on me? What can you tell me about what’s going on?
Where do you wake up? Do you currently have a girlfriend?
Tell your bitch keep hating, I’m the new one too, huh Explain to her that she is now your ex-girlfriend.
See, I remember you when you were the young new face And to all you other rappers out there: I remember when you were “it”
But you do like to slumber, don’t you Now that you’ve made it, you are coasting on your fame
Now your boo up too, hon Now your fame is up
I’m-a ruin you, cunt My career shall supersede yours.

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