By Michael Harriot
What is “ratchet?”
No, it is not a socket wrench (At least not in this use). Ratchet is a term derived from the mispronunciation of “wretched,” and connotes something with no redeeming qualities. If “ghetto” had a baby out of wedlock with “hood, ” they’d name it “Ratchet.” Anything can be “ratchet.” Vodka and grape Kool Aid is a ratchet drink. A Ziploc bag filled with water on a back porch is a ratchet insect repellent. But you shouldn’t be offended by the racial connotation if the word. You should embrace it, instead. Just like flip flops are Wypipo’s version of fine footwear and Bud Light is hillbilly champagne, “ratchet” is the Black version of “redneck.”
And then there is “ratchet music.”
I don’t care how sophisticated or refined your musical tastes are, there are moments when ratchet music is the only thing that hits the spot. I don’t want to hear Anita Baker, Miles Davis or Talib Kweli at the strip club. There is space for that in all of our lives, but there are also times when we need to shake our asses. Sometimes the cure for our malaise is to pop our pussies. There is a verse in somewhere in the Bible (I think it is in Psalms) that reads:
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Praise him with the ratchet music of thine heart. And My people, who are called by my name shalt throw thine hands in the air and know that he in heaven is the one that doth care.
To help you in your hour of need, NegusWhoRead has compiled a list of the top 10 most ratchet songs of all time:
10. Shake Ya Ass
The first line of this song encompasses every form of ratchedness from sex, to dancing to fighting:
“I came here with my dick in my hand.
Don’t make me leave here with my foot in yo ass!
9. Back That Azz Up – Juvenile ft Lil Wayne
If we were judging on song quality alone, “Back Dat Azz Up” would be number one, because when you hear “Cash Money Records taking over for the 9-9 and 2000…” you catch a little bit of the Holy Ghost.
Where Juvenile separates himself from the rest of the ratchet movement is that this song is a love song to the entire woman–not just to her ass. According to the great lyricist, Juvenile–she’s a big, fine woman, which necessitates that she back that ass up.
8. Fuckin Problems – A$AP Rocky featuring Kendrick Lamar, 2Chainz and Drake
This is the most recent song on the list, and although it hasn’t proven its staying power, I dare you to have one drink and not dance to this song. Just try it. Maybe you could, but that would only mean you didn’t love bad bitches.
Now that’s a fucking problem.
7. Knuck If You Buck – Crime Mob featuring Lil Scrappy
This song is the first on the list that is not about sex, but its ratchedness lies that it is an entire song inviting someone to a fight in the most ghetto, genteel way possible. It is as if Crime Mod is saying, “If thou hast a problem with us, ye mayest engage in knucking…
But only if thou art buck.”
6. Pop That Pussy – 2 Live Crew
The grandfathers of the ratchet movement must be on the list. During Black History Month we must honor our ancestors.
5. My Neck, My Back – Khia
The first woman on the list, but this is not affirmative action. This song is one of the ratchetest of the ratchet. In fact, it may have the ratchetest open of any song ever recorded–just the acapella sound of Khia imploring women:
“All you ladies pop your pussy like this
Do it, do it”
4. Ignition Remix – R. Kelly
I know, I know. But when making a list of this type there is no room for political correctness. Besides, I’m not asking you to pee on little girls or even go out and buy the record. I’m just saying the song is fire. I know what he did, but let’s not be intellectually dishonest and act as if the song ain’t dope.
Some people will say R. Kelly is not ratchet.
Bruh, this is the only song I have ever heard that is about NOTHING! It is a song about being the remix to another song! And it rhymes car sounds. If that ain’t ratchet…
3. Let Me See It – UGK
This song is appropriate for all ratchet occasions: Cookouts, strip clubs, riding in the car on the way to a party with your homegirls, bachelorette parties, rolling a blunt…
2. Wait – Ying Yang Twins
The Ying Yang Twins easily have four or five songs that could go on this list, but “The Whisper Song” beat them all. All of America should stand and applaud the artistic genius it took for them to make a song that presents the penis as if it were a surprise gift. They create anticipation and anxiety with nothing but tales of how they “gon’ beat that pussy up.” I know some people might favor Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life but nothing in “Love’s in Need Of Love Today” or “Knocks Me Off My Feet” compares to the pure ratchetness of the lyric “Wait till you see my dick…”
1. Akinyele – Put It In Your Mouth
As Mr. Seuss once said (before he got his doctorate) “Oh, the ratchet places you will go!”
When you hear this song, you can be sure you are in ratchet surroundings. They don’t play this at wedding receptions or kids’ birthday parties. Your aunt Wilma can’t hear this at the cookout. You actually have to be somewhere with blunt smoke in the air, dancing with a guy who smells a little bit like Hennesy and Black & Milds, or with a woman whose weave tracks you can see from across the room.
But no one cares.
Because this is the ratchet that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Thong Song – Sisqo
No Hands – Wacka Flocka ft. Wale
Nann nigga – Trick Daddy ft. Trina
Get Low – Lil John ft Ying Yang Twins
Yeah – Lil John ft Usher
Big Pimpin – Jay-Z ft UGK
Baby Got Back – Sir Mix A Lot
Freak It – Lathun