“Bottoms Up”

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Meredith Whitmore

Album Review

You might think that after 25 or so years of rap songs about playas getting drunk while ogling equally wasted women at dance clubs, fans would be clamoring for different subject matter, maybe something with a bit more depth.

But you’d be wrong.

This hit by 25-year-old Tremaine Aldon Neverson—who goes by the stage name Trey Songz—is but the latest in a long line of lewd rap celebrating both alcoholic and sexual excess. “Bottoms Up” is the first single from Trey’s fourth album, Passion, Pain & Pleasure, which debuted at No. 2. The track is accompanied by a video showing the rapper surrounded by strippers and welcoming to the microphone Nicki Minaj, a young female rapper who is also a rising star on the hip-hop scene. Thus the song’s title does double entendre duty as a shout out to drinking and dancers thrusting their, um, bottoms up.

We need only hear a few lyrics to get a representative feel for things here: “Bottoms up, bottoms up, ay, what’s in ya cup?/Got a couple bottles but a couple ain’t enough/ … Girl, you know I love the way you shake it in them jeans/ … Tell me whatcha drank, tell me whatcha think/If I go get these bottles, we go alcohol insane.” A bit later, Trey “explores” said insanity further as he brags about the degree to which he’s inebriated and how he’s surrounded by attractive women: “My vision’s blurred, my words slurred/It’s jam-packed, a million girls/And I ain’t tryin’ to lead, oh/We drunk, so let me be your alcohol hero.” Along the way, he employs the n-word, “a‑‑” and “b‑‑ch.”

Nicki quickly one-ups him, requesting top-shelf tequila, two kinds of cognac and a bottle of wine—all at once. And when she’s done placing her order, she demands the keys to her date’s car, saying, “Keys to the Benz!/M‑‑‑‑‑f‑‑‑er right, yeah, weed to the 10/If a b‑‑ch try to get cute/Ima snuff her/Throw a lotta money at her, then yell f‑‑‑ ha, f‑‑‑ ha, f‑‑‑ ha, then yell f‑‑‑ ha!/Then Ima go get my Louisville Slugger!”

Then she tries to make up for it all by chanting, “And we be doin’ donuts while we wavin’ the .380/We give a lotta money to the babies out in Haiti.”

Did you notice how much that doesn’t make up for it?

Meredith Whitmore
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