Phailed Hi-Phop Phragments

Here Lies Miss Groby

Phailed Hi-Phop Phragments
Fragment of Sappho’s poem “An Old Age” (Photo credit: MasurCC BY-SA 2.5)

Puppets Hypnotize

Hah! sicka than your average, Piggy
twist Kermit head—instinct: froggies don’t think ponds stink.
Pink nighties, my Ses’me tighties;
shoes for my Fozzie Bear over there...
Dead right: if he head right, Piggy there e’ry night...
Piggy been pink since days when Hooper think,
Never bare, never care to; scare frogs who
dare jump in peat bogs—lair: slimy green logs.
Dogs walk to us, wanna do us in, screw ’em.
Who, us? Yeah, Piggy and Kermit—
close like Ernie and Bert—hit the dirt...


Piggy, Piggy, Piggy, can’t you see?
Sometimes your herds just hypnotize me,
and you just love my splashy ways:
Guess that’s why I croak and you’re so weighed (uh).
Piggy, Piggy, Piggy (uh-huh), can’t you see? (Uh)
Sometimes your herds just hypnotize me (hypnotize),
and you just love my splashy ways: (uh-huh)
Guess that’s why I croak and you’re so weighed (ha).

Pipe Organ Rap

Yo, I wake up e’ry day,
lis’nen’ to Duruflé!
I wake up e’ry day,
lis’nen’ to Duruflé!

How he make them soun’s?
I ain’ got no clue;
All the pipes is roun’—
Even the flues!

Wait, lemme take that back:
Some pipes is square;
But when he mix it up,
Yo—it stan’ up my hair!

[Chorus 2x]
Yo, I wake up e’ry day,
lis’nen’ to Duruflé!
I wake up e’ry day,
lis’nen’ to Duruflé!

Day Trader King

I shortin’ all y’alls positions,
faster than the pistons
off a Baltic Dry Index ship:
shut yo’ trap, or catch a clip!

[Chorus 1]
When you sell, I be buyin’
When you low, I be flyin’
When you well, I be cryin’
When you snow, I be shinin’.

Yo, I’m rollin’ in them pork bellies,
Phatter than a thousand Nellys;
Don’t spit at me ’bout Guccis
Till you stackin’ up them Futures.

[Chorus 2]
When you sweet, I be sourin’
When you hot, I be glowerin’
When you neat, I be dourin’
When you shot, I be flowerin’

Where you go to school at—
West Texas Intermediate?
Whatchu think I’m doin’ wit’ that oil—
muthaf*ckin’ eatin’ it?

[Chorus 3]
When you nap, I be hoppin’
When you eat, I be ploppin’
When you cap, I be stroppin’
When you street, I be foppin’.

Hit me when yo’ head straight,
we reppin’ light sweet Brent;
Contract, inbox me by eight,
or get yourself bent—I’m out.

[Chorus 4]
When you slip, I be laughin’
When you stay, I be naffin’
When you trip, I be gaffin’
When you pray, I be calfin’.

E-2024 Choices (Yup)

They be votin’ trumped-up felon in November (nope),
but at leas’ the orange man able to remember (yup)
that no beef ain’t never not been real between us (nope),
an’ no woman jus’ cain’t never have no penis (yup).

Author’s Notes

The subtitle is taken from James Thurber’s “Here Lies Miss Groby,” first published in The New Yorker in 1942 and later appearing in his collected works, including My World and Welcome to It and The Thurber Carnival.

“Puppets Hypnotize” is a partial parody of The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1997 hit, “Hypnotize,” reimagining the characters as various Muppet characters. Some care was taken to retain the meaning or the rhyming scheme of specific lines from the original work.

“Pipe Organ Rap” features a rapper who is (perhaps improbably) also keen on listening to the organ music of Maurice Duruflé. Reference is made to two of the various types of organ pipes.

In “Day Trader King,” the protagonist brags that he is a better trader of commodities than his rivals by flaunting various trading terms: short-selling, the Baltic Dry Index, pork bellies, futures, West Texas Intermediate, light sweet Brent crude, and options contracts. (Investopedia is a good resource for looking up definitions of investing terminology.) In the uncharacteristically unique four choruses, a complex set of rhyming schemes features various combinations of short, long, and diphthong vowels while simultaneously exploiting inventive wordplay and disses—two other prominent features of some types of rap music. Note that each diss consists of a pair of opposite actions or states of being, some of which may seem obfuscated at first glance. Nelly, Gucci [Mane], and Future are all rappers; the double meaning of Gucci (the brand name) and futures as a trading term are intended.

The title of “E-2024 Choices (Yup)” is, of course, an unveiled reference to E-40’s “Choices (Yup),” as well as to the 2024 United States presidential election. This short fragment takes indirect shots at one side in the first two lines, and at the opposing side in the last two (yup)—or does it? (nope).

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