The Onegin Rap:
Lyrics and Commentary
Jonathan Thirkield English 305: Nabokov Paper#1 October 4, 1994
I. Listen up y’all while I sing this rap.
I kick the mad translation in this cultural frappe.
Comin’ straight out of NYC Onegin,
the mac-daddy wanna be.
He knew all the rhymes, he worked those skills,
Like the Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill.
Rippin from the best tracks he could find
None ever commin’ straight from his mind,
(That task y’all bein’ left to me)
Onegin, homeboy on avenue three.
II. The urban black phenomena that we all use,
Hip-Hop makes money for rich white dudes
Born that way myself, though I wish it wasn’t true,
Livin’ in New York gave me my muse.
Beat-Boxes, street rhymers, the city is rife,
Though I’d rather chill in the quiet life.
My city, my race–how can I regret–
Any other similarities you can just forget;
Onegin and I are a different breed,
A show-off and performer I am not, indeed!
III.His pants were baggy, his stomach was lean,
His tongue was the sharpest in the clubing scene.
The slimmies looked slammin’ all dressed in black,
Every night a new one he made that beast with backs.
Everyone knew that he could play the game,
But night after night it was all the same.
The summer was ending, he had no more school
A college grad, and a pedantic fool,
Onegin lay back in his Beemer all stylin’
Drove up to parent’s house in Long Island.
IV. The quiet country for those who can afford it,
Lawyers, doctors and the otherwise sordid,
Relax in the Hamptons as Onegin did,
By their gardens and pools remaining well hid.
Robins, trees and flowers, landscaped and designed
Did little to stimulate Onegin’s clouded mind.
But Pardon me, all ears that hear
My rap has strayed a bit I fear.
Such may happen to one in my place,
Proclaimed scholar and hipster, I’ll pick up the pace.
V. Enter Lenski Onegin’s boy
From Santa Cruz, the land of soy,
He peeped those books, Foucault and such,
Damn! That boy could deconstruct.
Insight and rhetoric, Lenski could front,
And Yo, that boy could roll a blunt!
Environmentalist hippie, don’t eat no meat
Drivin’ a Jag with no shoes on his feet.
Onegin and he once traveled in France,
Now they spend their days watchin’ True Romance.
VI. “Yo, ‘negin,” Lenski said one day.
” Have you peeped those fly biddies from around the way.”
Olga and Tatiana were the girls next door
From Vermont, but they weren’t poor.
Lenski and Olga they mad hooked up
Onegin would sweat him, sayin”‘That’s fucked up,
Girly’s so fat and her face is wack,”
“Nah,” replied Lenski, “Baby’s got backs”
“Hippie boy, goin for the homegirl type,
Hit Tanya, she’s got Berkenstocks rides a bike.”
VII. To late anyway, cause Tanya had fell,
Onegin was her man, ya she could tell
Watchin’ MTV twenty-four seven
He was her dream, her rap star heaven.
Just like all those mac-daddys on the Grind,
Onegin was the closest she would ever find.
Forever she dreamt of steppin’ in the fast lane,
But New York City seemed too insane.
Onegin, though, she thought was sweet
A city boy at a country retreat.
VIII. Strange the perception a girl, sweet and warm
Thinking a homeboy, Onegin without harm.
Why must we always look behind an image?
Sometimes one’s soul is as flat as his visage.
And what am I, you may ask, beyond my bite?
One who only watches all that I write.
But once again this rap is starting to abate,
Nowadays attention spans being in such a state
Television screens moving at such a rate,
I’ll try not to lose you, or hesitate.
IX. Steppin’ to the clubs, they went all decked
Tanya lookin’ fine in her new Spandex.
Music’s pumpin’, he’s droppin the beats
Onegin frontin’ like he’s down, from the streets.
At last a chance to drop some skills
Tanya hit the dance floor and got mad ill.
Mackin’ on Olga, Onegin didn’t care
Not for Tanya’s dancin’ or Lenski’s stare.
Onegin looked up, “What you gonna do?”
Lenski grabbed his nine, “I’m gonna cap you.”
X. Too much hesitation, maybe too much thinkin’,
Onegin was faster, and Lenski was sinkin’.
Onegin left alone, escorted by cops,
He killed his friend just to get the props.
Onegin’s love has grown in jail,
Every other day he sends her mail.
But Tanya no longer cares for this past,
She has moved to New York with a man at last!
Coldly she reads his letters and scoffs,
“Onegin’s a loser, I wish he’d step off.”
I. 2 Kick: work, do. Mad: extreme, serious
I. 4 Mac-daddy: A modern urban colloquialism for a casanova, more specifically referring to a young urban AfricanAmerican male of similar qualities.
I. 6 The Beastie Boys are a rap group consisting of three white Jewish boys from New York. Cypress Hill is a Los Angeles based rap group, known particularly for their promarijuana political stance. Both groups are extremely popular among white college students.
I. 7 Rippin’: as in ripping off; Tracks: songs
I. 10 Due to the recent mainstream appeal of “Hip-hop’, culture, that is, the musical interpretation of black urban life, the number of wealthy urban whites emulating that culture has increased. Hence, the word homeboy that originally applied to someone of the same ethnicity and neighborhood, can also be used as a descriptive term for anyone associated with Hip-hop culture.
II. 5 Beat-Boxes: audio equipment
III. 3 both ‘slimmies’ and ‘slammin’ are urban colloquialisms, the former referring to girls, the latter meaning excellent.
III. 9 Stylin’: a modern derivative of stylish. Beemer: a BMW
IV. 3 The Hamptons, located near the eastern tip of Long Island, NY, are known for the mainly the expensive beachfront property, and its large population of vacationers from New York City.
V. 1 Boy: good friend
V. 3 Peeped: read, looked at, checked out, etc.
V. 5 Front: to put on a front, i.e. pretend in one way or an other.
V. 6 A blunt is a cigar skin that is emptied of its tobacco and filled with Marijuana, a common practice of urban Marijuana smokers that has started to spread to other domains of American culture.
V. 8 Jag: A Jaguar
V. 10 ‘True Romance,” released in 1993, is an extremely violent movie, popular among college students, about a man who falls in love with a prostitute, marries her, kills her pimp and steals his cocaine, and then drives to Los Angeles to sell it.
VI. 2 Fly: hot or extremely attractive. Biddies: girls. The term ‘around the way’, referring to someone from the neighborhood, was first made popular in the late 1980’s by the rap artist L.L. Cool J. by his song ‘Around the Way Girl’.
VI . 5 Mad hooked up: seriously got together
VI. 7 Wack: an antonym of good
VI. 8 The term “Baby’s got back,” was popularized in the early 1990’s by a song of the same name. It was about the singer’s preference for women with large buttocks.
VII. 3 Twenty-four seven: all of the time, a derivative of twentyfour hours, seven days a week. VII 5 The Grind is an extremely voyeuristic show on Music Television which depicts tightly clothed people dancing in front of the camera.
IX. 1 Decked: dressed up, looking good 1X 6 Mad: very, extremely. Ill: crazy, good IX 10 Cap: shoot
X. 4 Props: derived from “proper respect” a modern concept for with many teenagers are senselessly killed. X 10 Step off: get out of the picture..
X 10 Step off: get out of the picture