Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What The African References Mean In Migos Ft Drake - Versace African Remix

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents comments about the lyrics of Migos Ft Drake's 2013 African remix of their hit song "Versace".

The content of this post is provided for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to the composers and performers of this song. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

"Migos are an American hip hop group from Gwinnett County, Georgia...….They are best known for their 2013 single "Versace"….went viral[7] and peaked at number 99 on the Billboard Hot 100.[8] It also inspired rapper Drake to join for the official remix."...

"[Drake] is a Canadian recording artist, rapper, songwriter, and actor....Drake has sold over 5 million albums worldwide.[5] His work has earned him a Grammy Award, three Juno Awards, six BET Awards, and set several significant Billboard records. With twelve number-one singles, Drake has more than any other artist on Billboard's Hot Rap Songs chart"...

SUMMARY STATEMENT ABOUT "VERSACE AFRICA REMIX" describes Migos' hit song "Versace" as a gleefully monotonous fashion-shout-out track" in which the rappers brag about their expensive Versace clothing and jewelry.

The African remix to that song substitutes the word "dashiki" for the "Versace", includes shout outs to several notable Africans, and other African references. In my opinion, the substitution of dashikis for Versace doesn't work since dashikis have never been viewed as luxury clothing. And the types of fake African print dashikis that the rappers wear in the African remix video are particularly viewed with derision by afro-centric African Americans.

That said, some traditional Yoruba (Nigeria) dansiki which served as the model for the African American originated dashiki are made out of silk, or brocade, or lace, or some authentic African fabrics and therefore can be quite expensive. Had Migos worn a silk or lace three piece African agbadas (robe), dansiki (undershirt/tunic) and sokotos (pants) such as those shown in this video "Best Of Nigerian Fashion "natives" along with the jewelry worn by people photographed in that collage, they would have had much more credibility extolling the expensive nature of African fashion.

Unlike the original song "Versace" (and the remix of that song featuring Drake), the African remix includes no profanity and no "n words" - which is a plus for me. I'm aware that this remix is meant to be lighthearted fun, but I'm using it as a way of sharing information about African culture.


TreandIce production, Published on Nov 10, 2013

Note: Each line numbered for referencing purposes.

1. Dashiki, dashiki got these patterns on me like I'm in a circus
2. don't get it twisted my brothas just get one and try to get like us
3. Dashiki game crazy and this is indeed getting ridiculous
4. Akatas be copping my style but my brothas that don't even bother me
5. Drown in dashiki and come out on top like Nelson Mandela
6. I think I'm buying a million of these and nothing is stopping me

7. Born in the Congo but I'm also a son of mother Africa
8. Forget what you heard, dashiki gang bout to take over America

9. Haaan dashiki, dashiki we stay in a hut when we visit the villages
10. The pillow dashiki, the sheets are dashiki, just made it on world star
11. fashion so wild I got the world asking what the heck is he wearing
12. Always got a back up dashiki and it indeed always come in handy
13. We started this movement we bout to blow up soon so man just wait on it
14. This year I'm eating fufu and my
15. table got so many plates on it
16. Wearing dashiki look in the mirror like man I look good in it

17. I'm balling im balling I'm balling just call me mutombo
18. Repping my country and that's right I am from Congo
19. Buying dashiki's cuz business is business, it's strictly financial
20. We always the first one to wear it that's how we lead by example
21. Dashiki, dashiki, dashiki, dashiki, dashiki, dashiki
22. Word to the A cuz I got all my African girls calling me alhadji
23. Fashion stands out, take a village girl out and there's always paparazzi
24.I'm trying to make Halle berry cook me fufu and no one is stopping me

25.Dashiki dashiki dashiki dashiki just call me Aladji
26. I called my fatha and told him papa I need more dashikis
27.I need more dashikis cuz all i do is wear it with my homies
28.He told me it's cool cool cool I got more dashikis
29. I don't wanna buy it online cuz I don't mess with the scamming
30. I wish I can have a closet a closet full of dashiki
32. I wear it the morning and night but don't go to sleep with it

33. Dashiki dashiki straight from Togo to Congo Kinshasa
34. Dashiki dashiki dashiki dashiki just call me Mandingo
35. Dashiki dashiki dashiki the girls wanna call me Mandingo
36. Aladji Aladji Aladji Aladji Aladji Aladji
37. Mandingo Mandingo Mandingo Mandingo Mandingo
38. Dashiki dashiki dashiki dashiki just call me Aladji

39. Ya ya ya ya
40. dashiki dashiki dashiki dashiki ya
41. in the studio trying to make it ya
42. posting videos on youtube some you guys can watch it ya
43. trying to make it out of the hood so no one should judge us ya
44. Dashiki dashiki dashiki dashiki ya
45. Monuowo Monuowo Monuowo ya
46. This African wishing the* knew us ya
47. The next big thing is here you better believe it ya
48. I'm playing the girls call me balotelli ya
49. I'm playing the game call me mikel obi ya
50. Ya ya wait am trying to rap call me 2chainz ya
51. Kiss my lips if you hating, only if you're a girl no homo ya
52. Dashiki dashiki dashiki dashiki ya
53. Monuowo Monuowo Monuowo monuowo ya ya ya!


* This may be a typo and probably was meant to be "he"
1. Refers to the multi-colored zig-zags and geometric designs on the iconic, fake African print dashikis of the 1960s and 1970s

2. "don't come to the wrong conclusion"

3. This line says that more people are wearing dashikis [which, in my opinion, is only minimally true in the USA, although the natural looks in hair-care is being revived]

4. "Akata" is a derogatory reference for African Americans ; click this link to a pancocojams post on that subject

5. "drown in dashikis" = wear a lot of dashikis; This line could also mean "to be immersed in African culture" and be looked down upon or face negative consequences because of that, but in the end be victorious "like Nelson Mandela", the first Black African president of South Africa.

7. A person who is born in the Congo would be a song of mother Africa. Therefore, I don't understand the "but" in that line. However, a commenter to that video's viewere comment thread wrote "congoboy killed it, batika yo, ezo makasi". end of quote; Is "congoboy" a stage name for one of the rappers?

9. gives this entry for the word "haaan" - "An add on to the end of an interesting statement. Doesn't have a real meaning, but it is closely related to the word 'yay'.” end of quote
Presumably, that word means the same thing when it is found at the beginning of a sentence. I'm not sure if "Haaan" originates or is commonly used this way in Africa. However, it conveys an "African" or at least a non-American flavor to the sentence.

13. "about to blow it up" = about to be a big success

13. fufu = a staple food in many African and Caribbean countries

17. I'm balling - from the referent "big baller", "originating from a term referring to a very talented basketball player, typically a pro or from "street ball", who lives lavishly--this phrase is commonly used to refer now to anyone who likes to "live large"; in the context of this rap "I'm balling" means "I'm living a life full of (material) riches and am treated like the rich person that I am".

"Mutombo" - a reference to Dikembe Mutombo, a professional basketball player from Democratic Republic of the Congo

18. "repping" = representing

19.- 21. In my opinion, the substitution of "dashikis" for "Versace" doesn't work because in the United States are considered largely informal garments or are associated with afro-centric lifestyles.

22. "Word to the A" is probably "word to the African" which means that you are giving a shout-out to Africans (shout-out=publicly acknowledging; publicly complimenting)

"alhaji"= a Muslim who has been to Mecca; in the context of this rap, this probably means a person with high status

33. Togo is a West African nation; Congo Kinshasa is the same as the Democratic Republic of the Congo which was formerly called Zaire; Kinshasa is the capitol of that central African nation; Congo Brazzaville another central African nation. Brazzaville is its capitol.

34. Mandingo is a West African ethnic group. However, "Mandingo" has become a colloquial referent for a well endowed Black man because of an American book and movie with that title about an enslaved Black man in the United States South.

36. Aladji - means the same thing as "alhadji" ; Read this comment from a video titled "Decale Aladji" "By Francophone is call Aladji, in yoruba is call Alhaji, meaning some one who has been to Saudi Arabia to perfom the yearly muslim pilgrim"... end of quote

In the context of this United States rap, "aladji" probably means "a person with high status"

39. "ya" probably means "yeah" when it is used alone or at the end of lines

43. "hood" - "neighborhood"; i.e. trying to become economically successful

45. Monuowo =?

48. Mario Balotelli - an Afro-Italian professional footballer (soccer player)
49. Mikel Obi - a Nigerian professional footballer (soccer player) who plays for the English club Chelsea and the Nigeria national team

50. 2chainz - a Hip- Hip recording artist from College Park, Georgia

51. "Homo" is usually considered to be a derogatory referent for a homosexual.

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