Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Plies – Becky



Martin Skidmore: I don’t know when ‘becky’ became slang for a blow-job, but it could hardly be clearer that that is what he is on about. It has the leering misogyny you probably expect from that, and the reasonably dramatic production and his swaggering delivery don’t do enough to negate the relish with which he acts like an asshole.

Michaelangelo Matos: Is he really asking her to peg him?

Anthony Miccio: According to Harold & Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo Bay and urbandictionary.com, getting head while taking a shit is actually called a “blumpkin.” I don’t know if “Becky” is a regional derivative or just a mistake on Plies’ part.

Al Shipley: After racking up a half dozen hits by pairing his goonish taunts with the prettiest R&B hooks money can buy, Plies is finally feeling confident enough to release a single without Ne-Yo or T-Pain cooing sweet nothings in between verses. And he’s not half stepping either, going all the way with a brazen blowjob metaphor that will make every Becky in the world hate him more than the Jennies hated Tommy Tutone in ’82. This gets a couple extra points on balls alone.

John Seroff: Plies is probably the biggest non-crossover hip hop star of the moment. His lack of a high profile mainstream pop persona is surely less about aspiration or talent and more about his self-appointed role as rap’s most resolute pussyhound; American Top 40 tends to be more patient with avowed druglords and murderers than guys who want to fuck your daughter. As oral sex songs go, this one is several notches below Prince’s “Head”; Plies isn’t blazing any artistic (or, as you prefer, unartistic) ground long since uncovered by Uncle Luke. The simple handclap beats and bareknuckle bass synth do a reasonable job of supporting Plies’ eighth-beat-late, heavily accented flow, producing a dirty playground rhyme that is embarrassingly catchy, dumb as a box of rocks and cannily self-aware; Plies actually climaxes by asking a blowjob to marry him. Fair warning to him: I tried this once with pizza and it didn’t work out well.

Hillary Brown: While I now feel bad for all the Rebeccas I know, the dirty, grinding hook of the song can’t be denied. This is like the definition of guilty pleasure.

Mordechai Shinefield: The real life Becky must feel ripped off. If she had caught Paul Simon’s eye, this song would be about breaking hearts and shaking confidences. Instead her song is the apotheosis of perverse, sexually-loaded degradation. This assumes the eponymous Becky is still a person, and not simply a new way of referring to fellation (“Give me that Becky,” Plies says, some sly swagger in his register). I could feed a line about how the subject matter is parodic, but I’ll come clean and admit that “Becky” is beyond politically problematic. It’s misogynistic and lyrically vile. Too bad it’s such a fun listen.

Rodney J. Greene: An obscenity is only repellant so long as it has the power to shock and discomfit. The nature of such language is that, by repeat exposure, what was once offensive becomes mundane, losing whatever effect it may once have had. With this in mind, Plies is pop’s premier vulgarist. He understands that if you really want to disgust people, you’ve got to come fresh, with new and exciting dirty words that cross all sorts of uncomfortable lines. Where he only did this sparingly, but memorably, before, “Becky” takes his gift for the perverse to its logical extreme, with Plies lustily chanting his naughty neoligism throughout. Of course, this is exacerbated by his highly unpleasant voice, a mushmouthed yowl that would sound gross announcing the weather, but here is like he might well be drooling all over you. Fuckin’ guy.

Jordan Sargent: Just when I think that my life can go on indefinitely without hearing a new Plies single, someone like Drake comes along and reminds me of how nearly vital Plies’ frothing vulgarity is to balancing out the bended-knee swooning that is hip-hop and R&B radio in 2009. “Becky” isn’t as good as “Shawty” or “Bust It Baby, Pt. 2” (no T-Pain or Ne-Yo), nor is it as good as “Every Girl” (which barely survives Drake’s elementary mythologizing), but it is a worthy addition to Plies’ X-rated catalog, one full of catchphrase songs that you love to rap in the car by yourself but wouldn’t dare do in front of anyone else. And if I ever hear it mixed after “Run This Town” I’ll appreciate it as much for the levity as the irony.

Alex Ostroff: Edit: I just heard the un-edited version. Strangest edit ever, in that it’s just filthy enough that I didn’t realize it was edited. Without the hilarious shoe-horning of “Becky” as a slang term for head, the actual song is about four times as sleazy and even more tiresomely, needlessly filthy. The beat still saves it.

Alfred Soto: I’d have more patience for the title hook if it had actually been “bacon,” which, I swear, is what I thought he said the first time. The two-note synth hook isn’t enough to alleviate the novelty, or my appetite for something crispy and lethal.

Pete Baran: At least now I can complete my set of songs named after Roseanne’s children (Led Zeppelin’s “Darlene” and “Rock DJ” for the other two, if you have to ask).

34 Responses to “Plies – Becky”

  1. LOL Alfred, I am now always going to hear this song as “gimme that BACON!”

  2. i can’t listen to Ne-Yo on ‘Make Me Better’ without hearing him say ‘You made me a sweater”

  3. I wanted to get into the race politics of this song -something like “Becky: stereotypical white girl name; white girls: stereotypically good at giving head, hence ‘Becky’ as slang for fellatio and a song that’s implicitly about white girls, even if the girl he’s asking for Becky isn’t necessarily white” – but felt it would come off as too much of a tangent.

  4. Btw, I’m pretty sure he asks her to “peck” him, but I pegging would be funnier.

  5. [s]I[/s]

  6. Whatever I was trying to do, I botched it.

  7. “Plies is probably the biggest non-crossover hip hop star of the moment.”

    Gucci Mane? (And when this guy charts as much as he does, and all of his hits feature Akon or T-Pain or Ne-Yo, how is he a non-crossover?)

    ““Becky” isn’t as good as “Shawty” or “Bust It Baby, Pt. 2? (no T-Pain or Ne-Yo)…”

    And both of THOSE songs are 2’s at best. The guy is easily the most intolerable, noxious rapper of the decade. He’s recorded about three non cringe-worthy verses in his life (one being his spot on ‘Out Here Grindin’).

  8. i think the biggest non-crossover hip hop star of the moment is whichever wu-tang member that is pushing an album.

    i also heard it as “peg me” btw and will now choose to hear it as “bacon” as well

  9. I think Gucci Mane is a good reply to that (certainly better than Plies), but if I define “biggest non-crossover hip hop star” as “biggest hip hop star who doesn’t really get burn on Top 40 radio”, I’d say Young Jeezy. “Soul Survivor” might be an exception there, but that was several years ago.

  10. I just don’t see Plies doing a crossover track with Mariah as both Jeezy and Gucci have… though watch this happen before the end of the week.

  11. i guess i may be defining this as “biggest star that the average pop fan has never heard of” to the extent that most hip hop fans have some awareness of Hannah Montana but fewer know Ingrid Michaelson

    obvs very subjective

  12. Your average pop fan is a lot more likely to know Plies than Gucci Mane, who has mostly been an underground success to date, even if he is on the brink of becoming huge. And even if Plies hasn’t done a song with Mariah, he’s shown much more willingness to hew closer to bubblegum on his own singles (“Becky” is more the exception than the rule) than either either Gucci or Jeezy have.

  13. I disagree, but okay.

  14. “Btw, I’m pretty sure he asks her to “peck” him, but I pegging would be funnier.”

    Actual line: “Before we fuck, can you neck me?”


    Just for the record.

  15. “Shawty” and “Hypnotize” and “Bust It Baby” were/still are all fucking over the radio in Seattle, where the Mariah remix is the only thing I’ve heard by Gucci on the air and “Soul Survivor” is the only Jeezy track that approached that level of airplay. Things might be different where you are, but Plies definitely has a greater mainstream presence here.

  16. I’m right coast, but you’re gonna tell me that ‘Break Up’ isn’t on the radio 24/7? And that ‘Love in this Club’ wasn’t everywhere for at least a month or so? ‘Bust It’ was the closest thing to a mainstream hit Plies got and that was a minute. All three are heavy on the mixtape monster set; all I’m saying is that Plies strives to be buckass nasty ign’ant more than either of those two other guys (which is saying something) and it’s not helping him break out to the bubblegum set. In a part of my blurb that got cut, I suggest that coining a dirty euphemism is a way out of that ghetto; that’s what that line was building to.

  17. But no argument: Gucci and Jeezy are absolutely on the same plane.

  18. Rodney: “I wanted to get into the race politics of this song -something like “Becky: stereotypical white girl name…”

    I was actually going to go into this had I remembered to blurb this in time. Not the part about giving head — and in fact, the fact that I didn’t realize that that’s what the song was about is probably a good reason I didn’t blurb it — but about whether “Becky” was in fact a stereotypical white girl’s name, which I immediately thought as well.

    On one hand, it’s usually short for Rebecca, which is a pretty Jewish name (not that Jewish people aren’t usually white, but they’re not “stereotypically white”). On the other hand, you’ve got English lit heroine Becky Sharp (from “Vanity Fair”; played by Reese Witherspoon in the recent movie); “Ghost World” character Becky Doppelmeyer (whom her best friend labels a “skinny blonde WASP — what every guy wants”); and last year’s Be Your Own Pet song “Becky,” where the violence in the narrative is meant to work ironically against the many references to dorky suburban white girlhood, e.g. friendship bracelets and slumber parties (not to mention the song’s ’50s rock-and-roll flourishes, which evoke that whole “Leave It to Beaver”/”Happy Days” construct of whiteness ).

    Other than the fact that I personally have never met any black women named Becky, I’d be curious to know what else made us think “Becky = white.”

  19. Oh wait, shit: “Baby Got Back”!

  20. I haven’t even heard “Break Up”. Yeah, “Love In the Club” was huge here (and a couple other Jeezy features), but I was mainly talking about Jeezy’s own songs. All three of the Plies songs I listed were big mainstream hits in my locale that still get played on the radio all the time.

  21. i agree in principle with rev’s points re jeezy but he did allow kanye & his autotune to warble some self-involved emo shit on one of jeezy’s hardest bangers (kanye really makes the song next-level great of course, but it could’ve been a disaster) and he has also worked with keyshia cole who isn’t of ne-yo/t-pain popularity i suppose but is still a really important & big sappy r&b singer to jeezy’s demo

  22. I’m not arguing that any of those three haven’t made fairly obvious crossover moves, because they all have.

    Btw, John: “Shawty”, “Hypnotized”, and “Bust It, Baby” peaked on the Hot 100 at #9, #14, and #7, respectively. I got facts.

  23. Becky codes more teenage than white to me – like Vicky, it’s the kind of name which seems to be all over the place in school, but most women I know now have switched the the more adult-sounding Rebecca/Victoria.

    I guess it does code white, though I’ve met black women called Rebecca, but it’s hardly the most white-sounding name out there (Emily, Ashley, Jessica, Katie?).

  24. (Apropos of nothing, my favourite example of name coding subversion was a girl I knew at university w/Pakistani heritage, called Susan – she told me her parents thought this would be “safer”. And in her school, there was a white girl called Sunitha, so named because her parents thought it was pretty.)

  25. It might be different in the UK, but the name Becky (not Rebecca, I stress) definitely codes as white trash in the US, thus also having heavy class connotations, too, but I don’t think those are as interesting in this case.

  26. Also, this is probably a US/UK thing too, but every Vicky I know is over the age of 40.

  27. It might be different in the UK, but the name Becky (not Rebecca, I stress) definitely codes as white trash in the US

    cf Becky Connor

  28. Rodney and Anthony I was going to disagree that Becky was a white trash name, because I knew lots of Beckys (and Beckis) growing up. Then I remembered “OH SNAP I AM WHITE TRASH”.

  29. Yeah, “white trash”? I don’t get that at all. Certainly not as white trash as Tammy or Crystal. (Note: this is borne out by actual statistics!)

  30. When have stereotypes ever had anything to do with statistics?

  31. You’re right, they don’t. (When I read that book, though, and came across that table, I was surprised to find that it actually *did* correlate with my personal stereotypes.)

  32. Okay, so having heard the dirty(er) version, he says “peck” in the radio edit and “neck” in the unedited song.

  33. This is one of those songs where the clean version is better than the dirty, btw.

  34. When u said baby got back shows example of a black Becky that is wrong. That part made fun of a white girl talking to her friend “Becky” about the black girls but. Listen to the accent of the voice. “like, oh my god” very white valley girl lol