The Funniest Genius Annotations From Nine of the Year's Biggest Hits
For some artists, the lyrics are the most important piece of their music -- they tell the story, share the message, and can even read like poetry -- but with the words that carry the song’s tune, also comes interpretation. What did they really mean when they said this? What was their inspiration for that verse?
While we may never know the writer’s true original intentions when it comes to many of our favorite songs, thanks to Genius, music fans have a space to theorize, annotate and analyze the lyrics of their favorite songs. Below we give you some of the funniest and most obvious Genius annotations of some of this year's biggest hits.
DJ Khaled featuring Lil Wayne, Chance the Rapper, Quavo, & Justin Bieber, “I’m the One”
Annotation: "Cable television is a subscription based service that provides access to an array of premium channels and networks. It has more of a variety than the popular video streaming platform Netflix, but it’s also more expensive."
On Chance’s verse in DJ Khaled’s single “I’m the One,” the Chicago-based rapper gives a nod to Netflix and chilling. Because streaming television online is now the mainstream, one annotation does a service for us all by explaining the song’s reference to “cable,” an ancient, forgotten technology.
Ed Sheeran, “Shape of You”
Annotation: "Ed employs a trope comparing his attraction to this girl to magnetic forces (e.g. 'opposites attract'). It may also be a reference to the literal back and forth, pushing and pulling motions of sex. Magnets 'push and pull' each other because their like poles repel and their unlike poles attract."
In elementary school, most everyone did a number of science experiences with magnets -- they have North and South poles and opposites attract. Even though the basics of magnets are not necessarily an advanced concept, one comment points out that we revisit the principles in the lyrics of Ed Sheeran’s Divide hit “Shape of You.”
Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert, “Bad and Boujee”
Annotation: "Although Jacuzzi is a brand name of a company that produces several different spa systems, he’s referring to a hot tub and women wearing two piece bathing suits."
While Migos' hit “Bad and Boujee” has countless well-crafted trap and bourgeois references, not every line is as difficult to interpret. Here, though, we can find a clarification of "Jacuzzi," both a brand and synonym for hot tub.
Lil Uzi Vert, “XO TOUR LIif3”
Annotation: "Uzi is known to be very philosophical."
Katy Perry featuring Nicki Minaj, “Swish Swish”
Annotation: "Where does one drink pimp juice out of? A pimp cup of course!"
Pop music queens Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj join forces on Perry’s new hollaback single “Swish Swish.” On the track, Minaj references her “pimp cup,” which here is clarified to be the rap royalty’s gauntlet.
Selena Gomez, “Bad Liar”
Annotation: "'King size' references a standard mattress size in North America, the largest there is. Typically king size beds are occupied by two people."
A number of songs -- like Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar,” and Rihanna’s “California King Bed” before it -- reference mattress sizes to allude to the desolation of a relationship, but if you were not already privy to this information, one Genius annotation provides a succinct explanation and even a graphic for reference.
Kyle featuring Lil Yachty, “iSpy”
Annotation: "A coaster is what you put under a drink to prevent it from getting the surface beneath it wet. Kyle is saying he can get girls so wet they will something like a coaster to keep it dry."
The popular collaboration between Kyle and Lil Yachty features many verses that play on words, including the above line's reference to “coasters.” To deter any confusion, though, Genius has provided a succinct explanation of the coffee table accessory.
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay, “Something Just Like This”
Annotation: "The Doo-doo-doo is added to these lines as if his wish was something for the good of him and represents positivity. It also feels like he is building them to the chorus with simplicity and ease."
Here, we learn that the melodic "doo-doos" featured in The Chainsmokers & Coldplay's "Something Just Like This" and utilized in a number of other songs are far more meaningful than we every gave them credit for.
Lil Yachty, “Peek a Boo”
Annotation: "OK, let’s stop for a second. Before you come at me, I'ma let you know. I'ma blame my A&R. Because he listened to that song many times and he allowed me to say that.. I guess for a second, I thought a cello was a woodwind instrument and it is not. And nobody ever said shit. Nobody ever pulled up a pic and said, “Hey man. I don’t know if you know what this is, but it ain’t that.” I f--ked up. I thought Squidward played the cello. He don’t. That’s a flute. I f--ked up. But it do sound good."
Lil Yachty recently received some flack for mistaking a cello for a flute in a lewd lyric from his Teenage Emotions single "Peek a Boo," a controversy whose plot was advanced on Genius -- via a note from Lil Boat himself -- with the nautical rapper acknowledging he had made a whoops in his lyrics, in possibly the greatest Genius exchange to date. (And of course, for the record: Squidward actually plays the clarinet.)