Menu Close

I’m spraying like a fountain

Water spurting from a drinking fountain

Image: Albert Flamingo via Unsplash

  • Track: White Silk
  • Artist: Action Bronson
  • Album: Well Done
  • Year: 2011

Action Bronson is an interesting looking fellow. Instantly recognisable by his size and luxuriant ginger beard, he started out as a gourmet chef. As such, references to food abound in his lyrics.

He also hosts a TV show about food and judging by how he comes across on air (and how much he eats), he’s partial to the odd marijuana cigarette too.

Now I’m not a huge Action Bronson fan, but he does have some good tunes and an interesting style. Unfortunately, this track contains some rather regrettable lyrics.

In 2016 George Washington University banned him from performing. Students criticised Bronson’s homophobic, transphobic and misogynist language.

Bronson defended himself (and to his credit apologised), saying his raps are mere stories, and he’s speaking through characters. You can read his open letter here. That just about holds up as a defence, and definitely does in other areas of the arts. As Bronson says in his letter, film-makers aren’t normally held to account for the attitudes of their characters.

But I think, in this track at least, there’s no real suggestion Bronson is taking on an alternative persona (although arguably he’s always playing an unpleasant, arrogant twat). On the other hand, if we take his lyrics literally, we’d have to accept he visits massage parlours and owns a mansion with a moat. Not sure I believe at least one of those things.

Bronson’s often compared to Wu-Tang stalwart Ghostface Killah. A compliment indeed. Their rap styles and ways of storytelling are similar. But Ghostface tends to more overtly set up narratives for his stories, with more clearly introduced characters. So do we give Bronson the same benefit of the doubt? Dear reader, I’ll leave it up to you to make your own mind up.

Anyway, we’re here to look at the similes.

Coming in at just under three minutes, this track is as tightly-packed as Jack Black’s backpack. The irresistible hook comes from jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery’s cover ofA Day In The Life. Mmmmm, nice.

It’s good to finally get a track from the last decade logged into the database. A lot of music I listen to is from the 90s and 00s, although I’m making a more concerted effort to discover more recent stuff. If you’ve got any suggestions, why not let me know?

So, bearing in mind some of this makes for uncomfortable reading, let’s have a gander.

The lyrics

View full annotated lyrics on Genius.com.

[Verse 1]

I smoke drugs as if it’s cigarettes, popping like a Giga Pet
See my silhouette, right behind me bitches pirouette

If there’s one thing I like more than track that opens with a simile, it’s one that opens with two similes. Action starts off with one of many boasts, this one about his remarkable tolerance for drugs.

Giga Pets were a part of the 90s virtual pet craze (think Tamogatchi but more American). The internet isn’t clear about whether they popped or not, so I’m not sure what that’s about.

That’s a dance move, it’s origin is French
I’m chilling in the park with several warrants on the bench
Suspended licence, over four years, that’s three cars after
Cause I’m like a mush, everything is a disaster

Thanks for the French lesson, Action. It’s a bit odd to start a verse boasting about your constitution, only to immediately admit you’re a terrible driver. Mr Bronson is certainly a man of contradictions.

I’m not sure what he means by ‘like a mush’. Maybe just ‘a mess’. But because I want to get to the food references early, I’m going to declare this a reference to this appetising-looking oatmeal porridge. I’ve never tried it, but by the looks of it, ‘disaster’ would be an apt way to describe it.

Put ’em in the bathroom, ‘cause that’ll be the answer
Let ’em know I’m sick and every flow is like a cancer

Are we to take it from this that Bronson’s preferred location for dusting up his rivals is the bathroom? Odd choice of location, but I suppose you can wash your hands immediately afterwards.

I’m surprised that after looking at eight tracks, this is the first simile with a reference to cancer. I can think of a few other examples, and sure we’ll meet another at some point. Sadly I’m not sure I can get away with classifying SNAP! as hip-hop.

Catch a rooster, cut his fucking nuts off
Serve ’em for a hundred dollars, sesame and plum sauce
Try to dip the bill, the Mexicans’ll let the guns off
Or cut you with a pleasure similar to getting nuts off

Regrettably, I just Googled ‘rooster testicles’ and now I’m probably on a government watch list. Again, we can see Bronson’s fondness for food coming across.

I don’t think the image of an orgasmic Mexican cutting my testicles off will leave me any time soon. Maybe we should move on.

Your whore told me that your putz soft
Plus she caught you in the basement with a tranny getting sucked off
Where’s your morals? Your genitals are floral
Like it in the back just like a fucking epidural

So here we go, examples of the type of unpalatable ideas that might, say, get you banned from performing at a university. Pretty obnoxious stuff, even if you do accept he’s playing a character.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Action Bronson is actually a bit obsessed with male genitalia. He mentions them an awful lot. Perhaps he’s trying to tell us something?

Me, I’m like a caveman, raised from out the mountains
Oriental bathhouses, laying on the couches
Cop a rub-and-tug until I’m spraying like a fountain
Take a hundred out my pocket, lay it on the counter

Well at least the mysterious unnamed narrator is big enough to admit to his troglodyte ways. Apart from giving me a post title, the second simile doesn’t really need discussion. I couldn’t resist using that image. Sorry.

Peace, arrivederci, bouncing towards the exit
Asian lady crying because I left her fucking legs split
Dookie blunt of regs ’til I’m Pookie in the face
Queens, the kid’s a star like a Mookie on the base

Deftly swerving that unpleasant first couplet, let’s turn our attention to the second. ‘Reg’ is apparently a term for low-grade weed. But that’s not going to stop our, uh, hero smoking it until he’s Pookie (Chris Rock’s crackhead character in New Jack City).

And the simile? Bronson compares himself to William ‘Mookie’ Wilson, a baseball player for the New York Mets.

The flow’s water, like rafting on the Congo
Take a hit of drugs and I’m passing like I’m Rondo
Motherfuckers sweeter than when Omar kisses ‘Naldo
Get it straight sick, so I simmer up the caldo de pollo

Hooya, three similes in four lines! That’s why it’s going in the database. This section alone ramps up the simile per minute count.

The first simile is pretty self-explanatory – and marks the second time we’ve seen a rapper compare their flow to that of a river. It’s a pretty obvious comparison to make, let’s face it.

The second simile is the track’s second sporting reference. Bronson is as good at passing the joint as LA Lakers’ Rajon Rondo is at passing basketballs.

Action tucks away the third simile in a row with a crafty reference to classic Baltimore crime drama The Wire. Omar is the badass gangster, and Renaldo his (romantic and crime) partner.

And if you’re wondering, caldo de pollo is a Mexican chicken soup thing.

Look in my eyes you know I’m royal
Hustle up some money like Sidney and Billy Hoyle

Sidney and Billy are the two lead characters, as played by Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson respectively, from 1992’s White Men Can’t Jump.

Puerto Rican shorty, features like she rosy
Titties like a motherfucking pocket full of posies

Much as it pains me to say, I actually find this quite a quaint way to describe the object of one’s desires.

It’s not clear whether it’s ‘rosy’ or ‘Rosie’; Genius lists it as the latter. There’s a lack of any obvious clues as to who Rosie might be (it’s a stretch to think it might be the 1967 Rosalind Russell film). So I’m going with ‘rosy’, which only makes slightly more sense.

I’m not sure why, but I was surprised to find out Ring a Ring o’ Roses was popular in the US. And even more surprised to find out that a ‘posy’ isn’t a flower. I have made it nearly 40 years on this planet thinking that it was. Not the sort of thing I thought I’d learn through over-analysing rap similes.

[Hook]

Uh
Elevator, just take me to the top please
Rocking all white silk, whipping drop V’s
Elevator, just take me to the top please
Rocking all white silk, whipping drop V’s
Yeah, I wanna be rocking all white silk, on the beach
In the moonlight, with my Nubian queen
Yeah I said it, I love you

I’ve never come across a voice-activated lift, so Action is clearly kicking around in some high-end establishments. If you understand what whipping drop V’s might begin to mean, do give me a shout.

[Verse 2]

Obama copped me the sandwich, I dipped the cops like I’m Sanders
For minor work, get your momma murked, napkin covered designer shirts

Bronson scores his popular American sports-reference hat-trick here. After copping a sandwich from a former president (no, me neither), he escapes the police with the skill of a nimble American footballer. It’s not clear whether he’s referencing Deion Sanders or Barry Sanders, so take your pick. It doesn’t matter much to me, having never heard of either of them.

‘Cause we eating like some animals to say the least
Bronsolin’ bust a nut right in your favourite niece
Smoke in my lungs when I’m driving on the FDR
Steering with my knees, and I’m rolling, almost wrecked the car
Squatting twelve plates, all I do is set the bar
Call your father, you’re a doula coulda stacked the bar

I’m not sure about you, but at this stage of proceedings I’m getting a little tired of Bronson’s incessant boasting. In this bit alone he ticks off his:

  • veracious appetite
  • predilection for doing unsavoury things to your niece. Your favourite niece.
  • fondness for driving under the influence of marijuana
  • proficiency at dead-lifting weights
  • something or other about a doula that I don’t understand

I’ll tell you what isn’t boast worthy though: rhyming ‘bar’ with ‘bar’.

Making dough, baking bread just like the French
Hustle until we’re living right, sleeping on the benches
Swinging for the fences, helicopter chauffeur
Cyclops catch you with the lasers in the lenses
Arnold Palmer on the graphic in the beverage
Everything I do myself, I’m using that for leverage
About to rape the game ’til this motherfucker haemorrhage
Moat around the crib and garages full of Benzes

Speaking of lazy rhymes, here we see ‘French’ and ‘bench’ being rhymed for the second time in one track. But at least this one contains a nice simile, combining two of Action Bronson’s favourite things: food and money.

After one more visit to his sentient lift, Action winds the track up.

[Hook/outro]

Uh
Elevator, just take me to the top please
Rocking all white silk, whipping drop V’s
Elevator, just take me to the top please
Rocking all white silk, whipping drop V’s
Yo shouts to the Lord man
Get seared up like fucking salmon
Uh
Bronsolino, Statik Selektah
Queens to Boston
Puss

So with one final tasty culinary simile, we’re done here.

While Action Bronson’s ‘storytelling’ excuse for bigoted lyrics might be questionable, his expert use of simile definitely isn’t. This track sneaks in 19 in under three minutes, giving him top spot in our similes per minute rank.

Like an ostrich’s egg, that’s going to take some beating.

The stats

Similes:19
Words:557
Words per simile:29.32
Length:2m 54s
Similes per minute:6.55
Perfectly innocent references to male genitalia:7

3 Comments

  1. Pete

    More likely to be Barry Sanders (a running back) than Deion (who played a few positions – and professional baseball, incidentally – but mostly in defence, I think). Could it not be Colonel Sanders though – a chicken dipper?

    • Rayner

      I’ll bow to your crap American sports knowledge. Last time I knew anything about American Football was a fleeting obsession with John Madden on the Megadrive in about 1994. Love the Colonel Sanders idea though, thanks for that. I’d be tempted to update the database if it wasn’t a bit of a pain. I’m as lazy as an ill sloth who’s just eaten a 14 piece Party Bucket.

  2. Pingback:MCs be hooked like addicts - Internet Hip-hop Simile Database

Leave a comment. Bonus points for similes.