October 1, 2020
Todd plays "WAP" on the piano.
CARDI B ft. MEGAN THEE STALLION - WAP
A pop song review
Todd: Sometimes you hear a song and you just immediately know that, just, things are different now.
Clip of time-lapses of clouds with sad piano song in background
Todd (VO): You can just feel it, you can see it, the sky has changed color, the air tastes different. [clip of West Coast wildfire smoke] I mean, I'm in California now so both of those things are literally true. But that's not what I'm talking about.
Todd: What I'm talking about is that I heard a song, and I just knew that we are in a new era. There's just a smell in the air. The smell of...
Clip of Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion - "WAP"
Megan Thee Stallion: ...wet-ass pussy
He bought a phone just for pictures of this wet-ass pussy
Todd (VO): So, a month ago...
Todd: ...Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion...
Todd (VO): ...released a song called "WAP". It stands for, um... [arrows point to walls of the house in the video] "Wallpaper and Paint". See?
Todd: It's all about interior design. Ahem.
Cardi B: Certified freak, seven days a week
Todd (VO): "WAP" rocketed right to #1 and it's been going [clip of BTS - "Dynamite"] back and forth with BTS for the top spot ever since. [back to "WAP"] I suspect it'll be back at #1 again soon.
Todd: It's a real milestone in music history 'cause by the end of it, it may end up being the...
Todd (VO): ...biggest song ever made by a female rapper, it's already way up there.
Todd: But I think to most people, it's more importantly...
Todd (VO): ...the filthiest, most graphically sexual song ever to reach this level of success.
Cardi: Spit in my mouth, look in my eyes
This pussy is wet, come take a dive
I think the dirtiest #1 hit previously was [clip of...] Rihanna's "S&M."
Rihanna: Come on, come on, come on
Todd (VO): That song feels about as raunchy as [clip of...] a training video for Office Depot now.
Clip of "WAP"
Cardi: Look, I need a hard hitter, I need a deep stroker
One thing's for sure. This song has taken the world by storm. There are only a few songs I've ever reviewed where I remember the first time I heard it. This was one of them.
Todd: It, uh...
Cardi: Macaroni in a pot
That's some wet-ass pussy
Todd (VO): Macaroni in a pot. Whoo, boy.
Todd: This is, uh, gonna be a weird one to talk about. The song definitely gets your attention.
Cardi: He got a beard, well I'm tryna wet it
Todd (VO): That's really remarkable to have a song that lives up to the hype this year.
Todd: Like, I hate to keep bringing this up, but it's been such a weird year...
Video for Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber - "Stuck with U"
Todd (VO): ...of blockbuster team-ups that fizzled and died. [brief clips of Travis Scott & Kid Cudi's...] Like, "THE SCOTTS", [...and "TROLLZ" by...] Nicki and 6ix9ine.
Todd: Did any of you even notice that [clip of lyric video for "The Adventures of Moon Man & Slim Shady" by...] Kid Cudi and Eminem put out something this year? [back to Todd] They all just "Poof!" Disappear after a week.
Todd (VO): So I thought it might happen again. Like, I was on vacation when it dropped, and I was worried that by the time I got to it, it was gonna be, you know...
Todd: Not so fresh.
Todd (VO): But it's going the distance. And, I guess it's continued success is odd, 'cause...
Todd: ...it's hard to say what it's doing that's that different or new.
Video for Megan Thee Stallion - "Big Ole Freak"
Todd (VO): Like, both Cardi and Megan have put out plenty of sex songs. As have plenty of rappers before them. And hip hop didn't invent dirty talk.
Todd: So I really wouldn't call this a game changer. [screenshot of headline calling WAP a "joyful role reversal"] I saw one take that called it, like, "A glorious role reversal." No, what?
Video for Lil Kim ft. Sisqo - "How Many Licks?"
Todd (VO): Women rapping about sex is not a reversal of anything. If anything, female rappers get criticized for rapping about sex too much.
Todd: There's plenty of songs like this, it's practically its own genre.
Todd (VO): And honestly, I kinda hesitated to review this song, 'cause, [sighs] this kinda strip club rap,...
Todd: ...it's, just, not my thing.
Clip of KHIA - "My Neck, My Back (Lick It)"
KHIA: My neck, by back
Lick my pussy and my crack
Todd (VO): Uhnnn. And I can hear people being like, well, what's that about Todd? Are you...
Todd: ...intimidated by sexually confident women? My answer to that is "Yes." 100%, that is absolutely the reason. A woman even makes a passing reference to sex in front of me, I get all flustered and I put on my "Horrified Hank Hill" face. [clip of Hank Hill] Uhhh! Uhhhhh! I'm kidding.
Todd (VO): I-I do listen to some dirty hip hop. But it is true that it's not, like, the first thing I'd pick to listen to.
Todd: [shrugs] So, I guess...
Todd (VO): ..."WAP" must be doing something different, 'cause when this dropped, I listened to it, like, fifty times in a row. I just couldn't get enough WAP.
Todd: Like, okay, I'm Mr. Negative.
Todd (VO): I'm not great about talking about things I actually like. So I don't know it I can describe what makes this track so amazing. But, here's my best attempt.
Todd: This shit's fuckin' hilarious.
Cardi: Out in public, make a scene
I don't cook, I don't clean
But let me tell you how I got this ring
Todd (VO): This is the funniest song of the year.
Todd: I guess that...
Video for Justin Bieber ft. Quavo - "Intentions"
Todd (VO): ...love song from Bieber was pretty funny.
Justin: Heart full of equity, you're an asset (Asset)
But as for being funny on purpose, I think Cardi and Megan probably take it.
Cardi: I don't wanna spit, I wanna gulp
I wanna gag, I wanna choke
I want you to touch that lil' dangly thing that swing in the back of my throat
Todd: It's so great!
Todd (VO): I honestly think that me liking it means it's actually not good at all. 'Cause, you know, what would I know about a good sex jam?
Todd: But everyone else seems to like it too.
Todd (VO): A song this dirty shouldn't be this successful. It should be off-putting to most people. Certainly scrubs like me. And I think its success is just 'cause they sound like they're actually having so much fun with it.
Todd: Sex is supposed to be fun, right?
Todd (VO): The song's as aggressive as any other strip club anthem, but it's also silly and loose.
Todd: There's even a bunch of comical Weird Al style sound effects in it.
Clip of "WAP", followed by an image of a semi truck as the honk sound plays in the song
Cardi: Park that big mac truck
Right in this little garage *HONK*
Todd: Even the beat is fun. Especially the beat is fun.
Frank Ski: There's some whores in this house
There's some whores in this house
Todd (VO): Honestly, I think that sample is what diffuses it from being too much.
Todd: It's from an old house track from the '90s.
Audio clip of Frank Ski - "Whores in This House"
Frank Ski: There's some whores in this house
There's some whores in this house
Todd (VO): And the guy who recorded it said he wanted it to sound like a drill instructor.
Todd: But I actually imagine it more like a, uh, [image of...] a "Fire-and-Brimstone" preacher.
Todd (VO): Like, I guess you can take that guy as being celebratory. You know, "Yay, whores in this house." But to me, it sounds angry.
Todd: Just full of disapproval.
Todd (VO): You can just imagine him in the background being all upset.
Cardi: Now from the top, make it drop
That's some wet-ass pussy
Todd (VO): [image of preacher holding a cross, Todd speaks with a heavy southern accent] Harlots! I condemn you to hell for you want and sins!
Clip from Game of Thrones accompanied by audio from "WAP"
Septa Unella: Shame! Shame! Shame!
Todd: It's like it's making fun of people being scandalized by it. Like, you can't take yourself too seriously after listening to it.
Todd (VO): Also, Cardi and Megan have kinda different styles. At the risk of oversimplifying it, Cardi's more about the lyrics, Megan's more about the flow. And they just play off each other really well.
Todd: Like, every time they hand the mic off to one another, it just destroys.
Cardi: But let me tell you how I got this ring
Megan: Gobble me, swallow me, drip down inside of me
Todd (VO): I feel stupid trying to talk this song up.
Todd: Like, there are thirty instantly memorable lines in this song. You don't need me to talk it up.
Todd (VO): Like, that's why this song was just immediately this giant thing. East coast, West coast, young and old. Everyone likes this.
Todd: You know, mostly.
Clip of Fox News story with Tucker Carlson
Tucker Carlson: Here's the woman who sings it, Cardi B, explaining to women how they can become more useful sex objects. Watch.
Todd (VO): There were a couple conservative pundits who tried to make a scandal of it.
Clip of Ben Shapiro's video on WAP
Ben Shapiro: It's not really about, you know, women being treated as independent, full, rounded human beings. It's about wet ass P-word.
Text appears with twinkling sound effect: "Ben Shapiro - Champion of Women"
[sarcastically] Yes. Thank you, Ben Shapiro. Women everywhere listen to that and wept in gratitude. Not a dry eye in the house.
Todd: Not a dry eye.
Todd (VO): As far as I'm concerned, this was part of the official marketing campaign. Ben Shapiro got paid for this, I swear to god.
Todd: Nothing could have been better for this song.
Ben: Uh, it gets really, uh, really, really, really, really vulgar.
Todd (VO): We are still living in politically intense times.
Video for Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus - "Old Town Road (Remix)"
And just like "Old Town Road" got huge by somehow becoming a statement about institutional racism, listening to "WAP" became this way to just stick it to a bunch of shit-heads you already didn't like.
Todd: I'm not sure that's a healthy way to listen to music, but...
Todd (VO): ...it sure enhances the song. 'Cause before this happened, [headline that reads "Why Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's Empowering Anthem "WAP" Is So Important" appears on screen] people were already making the case for "WAP" being a big, empowering moment in pop culture.
Todd: I was like "I don't know. I guess." In the same way that every confident female rap song is empowering.
Todd (VO): I'm not sure I really bought into it until the song proved that it was big and important enough to piss off all the right people.
Clip of Fox News story from earlier
Tucker: Again, we're not being prudish here. This is not James Brown being sexually suggestive on stage.
Good to know you're not prudish, Tucker!
Todd: Plus, unlike in the past, where [image of Time magazine cover reading "Thunder on the Right. The Growth of Fundamentalism"] people like this had any cultural power or moral authority,...
Todd (VO): ..."WAP" just washed past all its haters like a mighty flood.
Todd: The thing is, this attempt at "controversy" just made it so much less controversial.
Cardi: Wet-ass pussy, make that pull-out game weak
Todd (VO): And obviously, yes, "W-word A-word P-word" is an obscene song.
Todd: The video on YouTube had to use a censored version.
Cardi: Telling with some wet and gushy
Bring a bucket and a mop
For this wet and gushy [Eww.]
Todd: And the version on the radio is a censored version of that version!
Audio clip of radio version of "WAP"
Cardi: Telling with some wet, wet, wet
Bring a ****** and a mop
For this wet, wet, wet
Todd (VO): I didn't think this song could get any funnier, but the radio version makes me howl.
Cardi: ****, I wanna ****
I wanna ***, I wanna *****
It's so redacted, you'd think Cardi and Meg were rapping state secrets.
Todd: Obscenity is baked into the beat!
Todd (VO): The actual music is just that vocal sample, so every third note has to be bleeped out!
Frank Ski: There's some ****** in this house
There's some ****** in this house
It takes effort to get that much of your song erased by the censors. I've never heard a reference to the uvula get bleeped out before.
Cardi: I want you to touch that, touch that
That swing in the back of my ******
Todd: In fact, is "uvula" a dirty word now? Can I even say that?
Todd (VO): So, yeah. it is just packed with profanity. [clip of Fox News story from earlier] But all the attempted outrage did was highlight that it's actually extremely innocent.
Todd: You know, this is post-Me Too.
Clip of Women's March on Washington
Todd (VO): Everyone is on edge trying to parse what is and isn't respectful.
Todd: But no one bought that this was degrading to women.
Todd (VO): Like yes, the two talk sexually about sexual sex with a lot of colorful metaphors, but so what? It's 2020!
Todd: [sarcastically while throwing hands up] Gasp! Women enthusiastically...
Todd (VO): ...describing heterosexual intercourse?!
Todd: Oh no!
Clip of live performance of...
Todd (VO): Did that delinquent Gene Vincent perform "Bop-a-Lula" too?!
Todd: [normal] It's not even out of wedlock!
Todd (VO): Cardi's married!
Todd: So, yeah, it is a vulgar song, and...I didn't do a sponsorship for this video for that reason just to be safe. But if I ask my sponsors, I'm pretty sure they'd be okay with it!
Todd (VO): I'd call them up like, [image of...] "Hey, Pop-Tarts, should I do a plug during this episode?"
Todd: And they'd probably be like, "Yeah...
Todd (VO): ...we're actually doing a promotional [image of Frosted Strawberry Pop-Stars box with Cardi and Megan slotted in and "Pop" replaced by...] 'WAP'-branded tie-in! Make sure you mention the 'WAP' Pop-Tarts!"
Todd: To be fair, it's not just the pearl clutchers. There's also the attacks from the [image of hipster holding a glass of red wine] snobbier hip-hop crowd who've never liked Cardi. They're like, "Why are you so into that mindless trash when you could be listening to real rappers with a message like...[mumbles while text appears: "namedrop of rapper they don't actually listen to"]?"
Todd (VO): Like, I'm not trying to say that you have to like this song. I actually am one of those snobs. But, it's...pretty right and good that everyone who's acted "too good for this" being treated like a bunch of fucking wieners.
Todd: It also helps the song that there's a lot of good will for Cardi and Megan right now. 'Cause, you know, they're having... [pause] man problems to put it lightly.
Clip from TMZ
Todd (VO): Right before this song came out, Megan Thee Stallion [shot of TMZ article: "Megan Thee Stallion: I WAS SHOT IN THE FOOT!!! New Vid Shows Bloody Footprints"] went to the hospital after being...shot in the foot by her boyfriend, Tory Lanez.
Todd: It's...a real ugly story, and [clip of Tory Lanez' Instagram story about the incident] Tory is now denying it, but he doesn't really have an explanation for how she got shot. I guess there was a [image of JFK shooting with Lee Harvey Oswald circled in red] second shooter on the grassy knoll or something? Whatever. Fuck that guy.
Video for Offset ft. Cardi B - "Clout"
Todd (VO): Cardi's situation is thankfully less intense, but it's also not great. She just filed for divorce from Offset.
Todd: There were rumors he was cheating. She says it wasn't like that, but I think people are taking her side anyway.
Todd (VO): I do wanna say that it's an amazing power move to top the charts with a song about how you need some good dick and then [image of divorce papers with two broken rings] immediately file for divorce.
Todd: So, yeah, there's a lot of sympathy for Cardi and Meg. And there's the outrage factor.
Todd (VO): These things might have helped push it from just the big hit to a phenomenon. Or maybe it didn't need it. Maybe the song's just that good on its own.
Todd: But there is one other factor I'd like to consider.
Clip of CNN News broadcast about the coronavirus pandemic
Todd (VO): You have probably not forgotten that we are living through traumatic times. And as a critic, it is hard for me to look at anything that comes out right now without seeing it through pandemic-colored glasses.
Todd: Which...[sighs] it's a little forced, I know.
Todd (VO): This song would've been a hit regardless, in any situation, at...
Todd: ...any time in the last hundred years.
Clip of people dancing to "The Twist"
Cardi: Now from the top, make it drop, that's some wet-ass pussy
Now get a bucket and a mop, that's some wet-ass pussy
Todd: Okay, maybe not any time. But...I do kinda wonder what it means that the biggest song of the year is also the horniest song of the year.
Clip of Powfu ft. Beabadoobee - "Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head)"
Todd (VO): Like, the last song I covered was all about death. And the connection to the zeitgeist was really obvious. We keep hearing about nothing but death!
Todd: With "WAP", it's the exact opposite.
Todd (VO): It's a song about having bomb-ass sex at a time when basically no one is getting any! [image of webcam girls with caption: Hot Women in your area want to meet you! but they can't. what's even the point] Even my spam ads have gotten weird! Like, I'm...
Todd: ...kind of impressed anyone wants to hear a song like this, 'cause after six months of being [image of house chained up] locked in my house, any mention at all of physical intimacy tends to just make me angry!
Clip of Marvin Gaye - "Let's Get It On"
Marvin: Let's get it on
Todd can only groan
Todd (VO): 'Cause, you know, I was slayin' it before the lockdown. [text briefly appears: You can't prove I wasn't!] But it is interesting at least. Like, some of us only want to hear gloom and doom right now 'cause that's all there seems to be.
Todd: But, I think some of us maybe are listening to this song in backlash to the pandemic. [image of farmer children during...] Like, you know how during the Great Depression, all anyone wanted to do hear was lollipops and sunshine? If this is the case...
Todd (VO): "WAP" may break down the door for a golden age of just the raunchiest music that's ever existed. [pause] And that's gonna make my job a lot harder.
Todd: Talkin' about nothing but wet-ass pussy for the next couple of years. Jesus.
Todd (VO): I'm doing my best, but talking about all this dirty stuff in public, it just-it just makes me uncomfortable. I don't like doing it.
Todd: If that's where music is going, I'm not going to follow.
Todd (VO): I'm just gonna sit here on camera and [image of boy...] read a book or something instead.
Todd: So, yeah. This was a one-off. I'm not gonna be doing anything even remotely suggestive on here anymore. I'm just gonna sit here and eat my lunch. [puts pan on top of piano and pretends to eat] This is some wonderful-ass pasta!
Cardi: That's some wet-ass pussy, huh
Closing Tag Song: Tom Jones - "What's New Pussycat?"
"WAP" is owned by Warner Bros. Records
This video is owned by me
THANK YOU TO THE LOYAL PATRONS!!
Clip of The Ben Shapiro Show
Ben: These women are suffering from some sort of serious...I mean, a bucket and a mop? This sounds like th-there's some...there's something that is going on here that is not biologically normal.
Todd: [beat] Okay, serious question here. Do I sound like that? I mean, I will take lyrics too literally when I'm reaching for a joke, but, like, I-I'm not that bad, am I? [sighs]
Gets up and leaves