I just pressed the backspace key so long my finger started to cramp up. I wanted to find a passage from the book I was reading to show you guys. I wanted to find something deep and lovely. And then I gave up, because it’s really late and I still need to feed Nicki Minaj before I go to bed.
So I tore my eyes from the page and settled them on my iPhone’s screen, where, deep inside, the gears were a-turnin’ and a-churnin’ to deliver ‘Sunday Candy’ by Chance the Rapper to my ears.
This song is brilliant. I want to taste all the words, I want to know what they smell like. I want to know what Jamila Woods was wearing when she sang that hook. I want to dance to this song with the super-cute pre-med kid I’ve been dating.
Here we go, the first verse. It is my favorite, and this is the piece I find artistically gripping.
“She could say in her voice, in her way that she love me
With her eyes, with her smile, with her belt, with her hands, with her money
I am the thesis of her prayers
Her nieces and her nephews are just pieces of the layers
Only ones she love as much as me is Jesus Christ and Taylor
I got a future so I’m singing for my grandma
You singing too, but your grandma ain’t my grandma
Mine’s is hand made, pan fried, sun dried
Southside, and beat the devil by a landslide
Praying with her hands tied, president of my fan club
Stand tall, something told me I should bring my butt to church”
The first two lines are cute. It’s about a girl, from the point of this guy, and he loves her, or at least he thinks about her a lot. He wants her affection. The third line is what really drives that point home. Her prayers are coiled around him, like a dissertation always vines back to its thesis. If that’s not love, I’m not sure that that is. And I’m not a religious person, but I’ve always found it comforting when someone said I’d be in their prayers, like they care enough about me to entrust their higher power to look after me. The sixth line, I really believe is about the artist’s actual grandmother, and how he’s singing to perhaps make a better future, or to make her feel proud of him. The next line explains that the girl is a singer too, but she has a different grandma. I believe this line is crafted to explain that lovers can have similar interests, but perhaps their motivation from larger life decisions can come from different places. To blow this idea up, it could mean that everyone’s motivations for doing things comes from the same place- the betterment of lives- but can be done in different ways. The last four lines are probably my favorite. Handmade, pan-friend, sun-dried are all words that make me think of my own grandma and her cooking prowess, and the doo-woppy beat of this songs gives it an air of nostalgia. The way he speaks of those images and metaphors so frankly leads me to believe that she’s either super dead or healthier than ever- enough presence either way to really motivate the singer.
This next little bit here is a phrase from Verse 2. I like it because it is simple and it leaves a lot for the listener to think up in their own head. At lot of times, when I write creatively, and even more obnoxiously, more professionally, I like to add a lot of details. It’s like there’s a good idea, and it’s trapped in a fish tank with a zillion other little notions. I want to emulate the way he crafts this phrase because it’s simple and thought-provoking, and then he moves right along. He says:
“I like my love with a budget, I like my hugs with a scent
You smell like, light, gas, water, electricity, rent”
It makes you think about this guy and this girl. Why is he focused on having a home and having her sort of stamped on it? Is there a real reason, deeper than the simple basic human need to have a home to go to? Why does he like associating acts of affection with someone’s smell? I wish my writing was more thought-provoking, like this.
And I wish I’d shut up a bit more.