Wiz Khalifa’s “Roll Up:” A Literary Analysis

5 Jul

The muse quitely ponders his convoluted relationship

Some of today’s top hits make me want to do heinous things to adorable animals. We really can get enough of the Black Eyed Peas rhyming “Flow-joe” and “X-O” in “Just Can’t Get Enough,” and I’m still out hunting for the miscreant who let Selena Gomez out of the Disney dungeon in order to record “Who Says.” However, when I tune into the radio I can’t help but turn up the volume to a bass-pounding level immediately upon hearing the first deliciously melodious notes to certain songs. One of these titans of tuneage amongst sing-a-long powerhouses like “Rolling in the Deep” and “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” is Wiz Khalifa’s “Roll Up.”

Cameron Jibril Thomaz a.k.a. Wiz’s voice is endearing and soulful as he tells the story of presumably male subject who is trying to explain to a female that he is dependable. Though the song is the musical equivalent to a priceless Vermeer, one major question remains in regard to the plot of its lyrical composition. Is the main character involved in a sexual relationship with his “shawty,” or is their affinity merely a platonic bond with the potential for penetration?

These are the burning questions that keep America awake at night.

From the onset of the song, Wiz Khalifa explicitly states that the female lead is in a relationship, as it is her anniversary, but “her man ain’t actin’ right.” This woman then boards an airplane to visit the narrator and the befuddlement begins. He claims, “When you at home that’s your man, soon as you land you say that’s all me,” suggesting that the narrator has the same (sexual) relationship with this woman when she visits as she does with her boyfriend at home. Yet this connection is never made clear.

In spite of this apparent conclusion, a question about the narrator’s intentions remains. The chorus does not paint the narrator as a villain who is attempting to steal his “homie” from her man, but rather a dependable guy who will “roll up” whenever this woman needs him. The narrator repeats, ” Whenever you need me, whenever want me, you know you can call me, I’ll be there shortly.” In the chorus, he makes quite clear that their friendship is the most important part of the relationship, even referring to himself as her “best friend.” Even if there is no chance of road head or Skype sex, this guy will be there for this stupid betch. If their relationship is already sexual, what does he have to gain by indulging her every whim? Why does he still promise that he will “roll up”? From the chorus it seems as though he has not yet consummated the relationship and their correspondence appears platonic, although he clearly yearn for her.

Both Khalifa's devotion and true genius are on full display throughout the song

Furthermore, the narrator utilizes buzzwords reminiscent of the sordid sexual escapades of two star-crossed lovers. When integrated into the story of the song, they initially appear ordinary, but when analyzed alone, the verses sound more conspicuous than sores on herpes-infected genitals. Words like “fucking” and “ride” refer directly to the act of intercourse, while a reference to “handcuffing” subliminally prompts listeners to think of their own steamy fantasies of light bondage. More subtly, in one line the narrator claims that this woman is “cooking eggs in the morning.” This statement could refer to the fact that she is hungry in the morning because she is ravenous after a night of passionate love making, or possibly the efforts of the narrator’s sperm to fertilize or “cook” her eggs. Based on these findings, I have come to the conclusion that these two people have engaged in sexual relations. Although this in never made explicit, the manner in which Mr. Khalifa portrays their relationship connotes a bond that could only have been formed by nights spent groping her incredibly hot and voluptuous body while Marvin Gaye’s voice drowns out screams of pleasure.

Now that’s fresh.

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7 Responses to “Wiz Khalifa’s “Roll Up:” A Literary Analysis”

  1. A very calm, reasonable person July 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Granted, I have not read past the first paragraph so perhaps you should take this with a small grain of salt. However. THIS POST IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR MANKIND. YOU HAVE RUINED HUMANITY FOREVER. HOW DARE. HOW FUCKING DARE YOU. YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT “WHO SAYS” IS TO ALL OF OUR SPECIES. IT IS THE ONE PIECE OF MUSIC THAT WAS DESTINED TO SAVE OUR PLANET AND REVIVE OUR HUMANITY. YET IN THIS ONE POST YOU HAVE DEFAMED AND SLANDERED THAT UNTHINKABLY CONSEQUENTIAL WORK. IN DOING SO YOU HAVE DOOMED US ALL. So. In conclusion. To quote Selena: “who says you’re not perfect?” I do. I say you’re not perfect. I say you’re heinous.

    • Peter Stein July 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

      …calm down Tom.

      • A very calm, reasonable person July 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

        No, no. I think that everyone who knows him would verify that Tom is not a very calm, reasonable person. And I clearly am. So. Duh.

  2. Rachelle Blinder July 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Fucking trolls…

    Anyways, I have a couple of questions regarding my own particular steamy fantasies of light bondage. First of all, is it natural if my curiosity is only stoked every time I hear Phil Collins on the radio? And second, I have trouble enjoying said bondage fantasies unless they involve David Letterman and a jar of peanut butter. Is there anything a can do to remedy this situation?

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