Friday, March 15, 2013

The Meanings Of Lyrics To "Hey Little Mama" (Funky Y2C), Part III

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post is Part III in a three part series about the 1994 song "Hey Little Mama" (Funky Y2C).

Click for Part I of this series.

Part I provides examples of African American Vernacular English from the comment thread of a YouTube video of "Funky Y2C".

Click for Part II of this series.

Part II provides my transcription of the lyrics for the song "Funky Y2c".

The content of this post is presented for folkloric and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

FEATURED VIDEO: dj nadinho funk the puppies hey lil mama funky y2c

nadinho vieiraPublished on Feb 5, 2013
Information about this group from
"The Puppies is a child hip hop duo composed of brother and sister Calvin "Big Boy" Mills and Tamara "Dee" Mills.

Specializing in Miami bass music, the duo released two albums and scored one Top 40 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, 'Funky Y-2-C'."


"Ooh you so funky and hot!"
Basically means "You look real good in a fly girl [urban sexy] kind of way."

"Hey little mama, why you dance so funky?"
"Little mama" is commonly used by some African Americans as a referent for girls as young as toddlers. It seems to me that the referent "little mama" emphasizes what those who use it consider to be the main role of females - to be a mother.

"dancing funky" - basically means "dancing exceptionally well", with the added connotation that the person's dancing style is provocative.

"funky Y2C" - I think that the word "funky" in this song's title means that this song is spicy, exciting and not straightlaced or bland. And/or the word "funky" could mean that this is a Funk era version of the old R&B "Watusi" record as the "Y2C" in the "Hey Little Mama" song title is a nod to the 1962 R&B song "Watusi" by the Orlons. In both those songs "Watusi" (Y2C) refers to the Watutsi (Tutsi) people of Central Africa. However, neither the song nor the dance movements have anything to do with the Tutsi ethnic group.

Click for an instructional video on how to do the R&B dance called the "Watusi". That early 1960s dance is different than the dances that are done in the 1994 Funky Y2C video. Besides the term "popping", I'm not sure what the dance/s shown in that video are called.

"Get on the floor and shake it like a donkey." - This is a witty way of saying "Shake your ass" since another term for "donkey" is "ass" and that word also means "butt".

"Now break it down, to the ground" - In the context of this song, "break it down" means to do your best dance moves.

"Get real funky and don't you break it." - "Get real funky" probably means "to do you most provocative dance moves."

"Shake it/Don't break it" is a commonly found rhyming verse. It means what it says, with the "it" being your butt, your hips, other parts of your body, or your body in general.

“break it down to the ground” – move lower while you dance.

"Sweat me. sweat me, you little sucker." - In the context of this song "Sweat me" is a challenge. (Check out the video to notice how Tamara acts when she says this line.) "Sweat me" - to get real close to me [in this context] to test me & see how well I can dance.

Another way that "sweating someone" is used [although not in this song] is to closely following a person because you like her or him.

When you "sweat a person" you are so close to her or him that you can see the other person's sweat.

"sucker" is an insulting referent that has a similar negative meaning as calling someone "a loser".

"Don't you know they call me Tamara?" - In this line Tamara is saying that her "rep" [reputation] is that she is a really good funky dancer, her reputation is intricately tied to her name, and anyone who knows her name, knows her rep.

While all them boys out there say – “What!” - "What!" isn't a question. It's a clip of the phrase "Say what!" In the context of this song, both "Say What" and "What" are expressions of admiration for Tamara's dancing skills. In that sense, both of these exclamations can be interpreted as "Wow!".

"Don’t you know I’m down with the pup pound?"- "To be down" with a group or with someone means that you are in agreement with, and/or you are closely associated with, and/or you are accepted by that person or group. You can also be down with an idea or an action in that you are in agreement with that idea or action, or you fully understand it.

In the context of this song, Tamara saying that she's down with the pup pound is rather witty since the name of her duo is "The Puppies". [I'll share my thoughts about the meaning of that duo name later.]

"Pup pound crew is shakin again." - This is another reference to the duo's name "The Puppies". A "crew" are people that you "hang with" (spend social time with). Your crew are your "running partners".

Now that's the way to do it, dog!” - “Dog” is a relatively common African American reference for a man. In most contexts, the referent "dog" is neutral as it means the same thing as “dude”. However, “dog” as a male referent may also have the complimentary sexual connotation of a man who is able to get any woman he wants (for sex).

There are many examples of the use of "dog" names & references in Hip Hop culture, including rapper Snoop Dog (formerly Snoop Doggy Dog) and rapper/actor Bow Wow (forming Lil' Bow Wow.) One example outside of Hip-Hop culture of the use of "dog" as a referent for males, is the informal custom of members of the historically Black Greek lettered fraternity Omega Psi Phi, Inc. calling each other "Q dogs" or "dogs". Brothers [bruhs] of that fraternity are probably called “Q dogs” because of their reputations with the ladies. Also, the signature call for the Qs is the sound of dogs barking.

With regard to the brother & sister duo that recorded "Funky Y2C", I find it interesting that the duo's name is "The Puppies", because I don't know of any other example in African American culture where a female is positively referred to as a dog. Yet, I still believe that the duo's name "Puppy" is a nod to the street meaning of referent "dogs" as a puppy is a young dog.
Comments by Azizi Powell. Additions & correction are welcome.

And that's the way I give my interpretation of certain lines from "Funky Y2C" song, brothers and sisters.

Thanks to the Puppies for their recording of "Funky Y2C". Thanks also to the composer of this song, the producer of that video, and all those who are featured in that video. Thanks also to the uploader of this video.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment