Jay-Z Goes Limey With “American Boy” Rap at Glastonbury

Jay-Z might have caused a ruckus at Glastonbury by entering to “Wonderwall” — a slap in the face to doubter Noel Gallagher — but the highlight of his headlining act came via Kanye West’s new single for Brit singer Estelle, “American Boy.”

Hova rapped over it, briefly — just one dense verse packed with a UK reference in nearly every line. Let’s see how many you pick out:

London’s bridges are falling down
Not bridges but britches when Jigga’s in town
Lady show me your knickers
I might let you kick it if you don’t tell the missus,
Quick, run, before the tabloids come
Run from the night or we end up in The Sun
I’m just taking the piss — unless you’re gonna do it
Oh Nelly’s gone so Makaveli
Bring Tupac of condoms when you come to the tele
Tell me if this is true
If diamond’s are a girls’ best friend, my crew
Would like to extend an invitation to you
We like to invite you to
Our family —
Jewelry I mean ‘cause my jewels are currently being guarded by the queen

In lingo alone we caught five Britishisms right there, and the line about The Sun is not only smart but more so than anything that’s been published in the tabloid. (Their top stories usually include coverage of the reality show Big Brother.)

But we need your help with one line: “Nelly’s gone so Makaveli.” Makaveli is one of Tupac Shakur’s nicknames, and the “unless you’re gonna do it” line is from Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.” In the song, Nelly half-apologizes to a girl for this bold proposition:

I got a friend with a pole in the basement
I’m just Kidding like Jason
Unless you’re gonna do it

But is there a tie between him and Tupac? Readers, this one’s on you. (via AllHipHop)

MP3: Jay-Z – “American Boy” (Live at Glastonbury 2008)


6 responses to “Jay-Z Goes Limey With “American Boy” Rap at Glastonbury

  1. The Whole F'n Show

    1. Best guess as to the Nelly/Makaveli connection–Nelly hasn’t put out an album in 4 years (since 04’s ‘Sweat/Suit’ I believe), so he has effectively pulled a Pac and disappeared from the game, with an eventual return promised.
    2. Minor quibble–but i think the ‘K’ in ‘kidding’ should be capitalized since the punchline is a reference to Jason Kidd.
    3. The ‘Wonderwall’ does indeed sound like somebodies impression of a bad singer. Hilarious.

  2. Mr. Show:

    You raise a good point. The floor recognizes Mr. Kidd, the point guard from Dallas.

  3. Dude’s got it correct. Nelly did go ‘so makaveli’

  4. It all goes back to the “I’m just taking a piss” line. He’s saying “I’m just fucking with you”. Now with everything thats said Hov is saying “Lady show me your drawers… I’m just fucking with you- unless you’re really gonna do it?

  5. It’s word play: With the “Unless you gon’ do it!” comment he lets you know it’s the Nelly line being borrowed when he brings up the Nelly in that sense: “Ol’ Nelly’s gone so Makaveli” to say- I have these evil thoughts (Cuz he obviously has a wifey- Beyoncé so the cheating is considered evil) And to finish up he continues with the word play by telling the girl to bring 2 packs TUPAC of condom when she comes through…
    “Get it… 2… Pac?”

    This kind of word play shows you how mentally talented Jay is- he uses colloquialisms from a culture that’s foreign to him and makes it seem soooo EZ!!! I didn’t even know that the English say “Are you pissing me?” to mean I’m fucking with you!

    He’s a walking memorial!!! HOV

  6. The English don’t say ‘are you pissing me’ we use the term ‘piss taking’ but not in the way americans say ‘your shittin’ me’
    Also something that might interest you ‘knickers’ is a word we use for womans under wear (panties) its an old fashioned word in the lingo, was used a lot when larger knickers were called ‘bridges’ so when he says falling down… You see the connection. Very cleaver.

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