Boy, I’m drinking, I’m singing on the mic to my boy toys
Then I fill the tub up halfway then ride it with my surfboard, surfboard, surfboard
Graining on that wood, graining, graining on that wood
I’m swerving on that, swerving, swerving on that big body
Been serving all this, swerve, surfing all in this good, good
I’ve got no idea what’s going on here. I’m a honkey surfer bro who grew up in an affluent, obnoxiously white area starved of diversity or a healthy hip hop culture. So, as you can imagine, things were not off to a good start for me when it came to decoding hip hop lyrics.
And watching Beyonce Knowles pantomime sex in front of millions of people during her Grammys performance with her wealthier-than-God husband (Jay Z) while singing about masturbating in the bath tub brings me no closer to enlightenment. The performance leaves me a tad befuddled, a state that I can only attribute to my own sheltered upbringing, since millions of people recognize the pair as artistic geniuses, and I’m just a halfwit surf writer with a tin ear.
Of course, I can relate to the part about drunkenly masturbating after a night out. After all, who among us hasn’t come home from the club empty-handed and spent a futile half an hour tugging away at our keyboards?
But what does Beyonce actually mean when she’s talking about surfing?
Upon further reflection, I suppose she’s referring to Jay Z when she sings,”I’m swerving on that, swerving, serving on that big body.” I don’t imagine you’d refer to your detachable shower head as a “big body.” Which would mean that the surfboard she’s riding in the bathtub is, in actuality, her husband’s penis. (I’d like to add, bathtub sex isn’t really that great. In fact, the best sex you can have in either the shower or tub is solo. Otherwise there’s just not enough space, and fresh water makes for terrible lubrication.)
I’m not sure I’d enjoy it if my wife were to refer to my penis as a surfboard, either. It may be small, white, curved and dirty, but I prefer not to be reminded of those facts. However, where Jay Z is concerned, Beyoncé makes it clear with, “graining on that wood, graining, graining on that wood,” that Jay Z ain’t hanging no high performance four ounce glass stick. Homeboy’s rocking a custom mahogany monstrosity. Heavy as hell and too big for most to ride, it’s nevertheless a majestic creation, the type of board you’d want to give a good polish and hang over your fireplace for the world to admire.
I take solace in the fact that most women, like your average surfer, aren’t looking for a 12’ koa and redwood log. While they may look impressive, they’re a hassle to lug around, and getting whacked by one is going to leave you sore for a week. Better to be the proud owner of a fun little minilog. They’re fun, unintimidating, and easy enough to replace that she might be willing to loan it to one of her friends for the weekend.
Back to the task of deciphering Beyonce’s surfy-ness.
Rap Genius, a nifty website that aims to reveal “the meaning of rap, R&B and soul lyrics” says Beyonce’s surf allusion in the song Drunk in Love is referring to oral sex. Maybe. Cosmopolitan says the surfboard is a sex position.
Or maybe she’s really talking about surfing. Surfing that good, good. On her surfboard. Her surfboard.
Totally. That good, good. She knows exactly what she’s talking about.