Arts Desk

Some Commentary on Kanye Putting the Pussy in a Sarcophagus

I will wholeheartedly contribute to the glut of Kanye-exegesis by analyzing the delivery of a specific line from 2010's Most Annoying Album. Nearly everybody likes the song "Monster," but if you pin down nearly all of those folks, they'll express some sort of discomfort with this line: Have you ever had sex with a pharaoh?/I put the pussy in a sarcophagus.

Of course, the perils of the Sarcophagus Line have been noted, as has Kanye's "near total fear of pussy." And I'm not here to argue the finer points of whether pussy belongs in a sarcophagus. (My stance: It doesn't.) I'm here to focus on why that line sucks outside of its sexual baggage.

It's simple, really: First off, if you're gonna use a word like sarcophagus, you need to do it casually. With Wu-nuance. Y'know, just drop it in there as if it's something you talk about every day. Like you're one of those dudes who thinks about Reptilians constantly. Because if you're one of those dudes, you've probably got Egyptology books on your toilet tank. Kanye, however, says it as if he just got back from a coolhunting trip to the Met: The word "sarcophagus" is dope, yo!

And that neophyte flavor also defeats what seems to be his overall intention: "Sarcophagus" is the kind of term that dudes drop into the cipher so that other dudes get worked up and wave their hands around almost like somebody made a nasty fart. Those moments are awesome, and if Kanye wants that kind of reaction, he's being way too obvious about it.

Y'know what makes me laugh at him, in that awesome nasty-fart way? When he tweets shit like "Man... whatever happened to my antique fish tank." That's his cipher genius, right there.

(Photos: Left: Artfinding.com | Right: Kanyeversity.com via Dimemag.com)

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  • http://theantidc.blogspot.com Marissa

    I ranked Monster as the 2rd best song in my Best of 2010 list. (The winner was Big Boi's "Shutterbugg." The resurgence of the vocoder clinched it. And No. 3 was Antoine Dodson/The Gregory Brothers' "Bed Intruder," which astonishingly didn't get the recognition it deserved.)

    Anyway, to the point: People I know don't like "Monster" because of Kanye's lines; they (including myself) like it for Nicki Minaj. She even puts Jay-Z to shame.

    But yeah, good point on the importance of nonchalance whilst dropping words like "sarcophagus." And Kanye shall remain a much better producer than rapper.

  • Easy

    Marissa you dont know aht music is, do a little traveling gain some knowledge and culture HIP HOP IS DEAD

  • http://www.undersoundmusic.net E Major

    I think if you asked him it's a 40 Yr Old Virgin reference. How that dude was "putting the pussy on a pedestal." He's calling himself a Pharoah obviously and he highly regards the pussy enough to want to keep it forever. In a sarcophagus. Kinda silly but I think it's supposed to be... ya know... cause it's funny. He's not trying to be slick and make people go crazy with that line.

  • Nedwardio Sanchez

    I don't understand why everybody misses this joke. The point is that Pharoahs would be buried along with all their favorite possessions, and in this case specifically their favorite cats (yeah, 'gyptians were big on cats), which they would have buried with them in their sarcophagi. That's it. That's the joke.

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