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Article Dec 7 2017 Written by

The Most Perfect Rap Song Ever Written: Electric Relaxation

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If someone I knew told me that they’d never heard of A Tribe Called Quest and they needed a recommendation of what albums to start with, (assuming they weren’t aliens, from another planet) I’d immediately play them Midnight Marauders.

Midnight Marauders is easily one of the best albums from the 90’s with classic joints on the record like “Oh My God”, “Lyrics to Go”, and “The Chase Part III”. Though there are many notable tracks on Midnight Marauders, the argument for the most perfect rap song begins and ends with “Electric Relaxation.”

You may recognize the sample from Ronnie Foster’s Mystic Brew, a song whose signature bassline can be heard on other artists’ albums (J. Cole and Madlib being the most notable ones). “Electric Relaxation” is great for its fluidity and smooth chorus (a chorus that has been infamously hard for many to distinguish the lyrics).

What makes this song so remarkable is that although it is a song for the ladies, hypermasculine men don’t have to feel awkward or uncomfortable if it came on at the crib or in the car. It is a song that accomplishes the rare feat of being sensual without being corny (Think of L.L. Cool J.’s “I Need Love” and any song by Drake for examples of times that it didn’t work). What makes this song even more remarkable is that although it is a very *ahem* suggestive song, it avoids being outright vulgar.

[Q-Tip]

Honey, check it out, you got me mesmerized

With your black hair and your fat-ass thighs

Street poetry is my everyday

But yo, I gotta stop when you trot my way

If I was working at the club you would not pay

Aiyyo, my man Phife Diggy, he got something to say

[Phife Dawg]

I like ’em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian

Name is Phife Dawg from the Zulu Nation

Told you in the jam that we can get down

Now let’s knock the boots like the group H-Town

You got BBD all on your bedroom wall

But I’m above the rim and this is how I ball

A gritty little something on the New York street

This is how I represent over this here beat

Talking ’bout you

[Q-Tip]

Yo, I took you out

But sex was on my mind for the whole damn route

My mind was in a frenzy and a horny state

But I couldn’t drop dimes cause you couldn’t relate

[Hook]

Relax yourself girl, please set-tle down

Relax yourself girl, please set-tle down

Relax yourself girl, please set-tle down

Relax yourself girl, please set-tle down

[Q-Tip]

Stretch out your legs, let me make you bawl

Drive you insane, drive you up the wall

Staring at your dome-piece, very strong

Stronger than pride, stronger than Teflon

Take you on the ave and you buy me links

Now I wanna pound the poontang until it stinks

You can be my mama and I’ll be your boy

[Phife Dawg]

Original rude boy, never am I coy

You can be a shorty in my ill convoy

Not to come across as a thug or a hood

But hon, you got the goods, like Madelyne Woods

By the way, my name’s Malik

The Five-Foot Freak

Let’s say we get together by the end of the week

She simply said, “No”, labeled me a ho

I said, “How you figure?” “My friends told me so”

I hate when silly groupies wanna run they yap

Word to God, hon, I don’t get down like that

[Q-Tip]

I’ll have you weak in the knees that you could hardly speak

Or we could do like Uncle L and swing an ep in my jeep

Keep it on the down, yo, we keep it discreet

See, I’m not the type of kid to have my biz in the streets

[Phife Dawg]

If my mom don’t approve, then I’ll just elope

Let me save the little man from inside the boat

Let me hit it from the back, girl I won’t catch a hernia

Bust off on your couch, now you got Seaman’s Furniture

[Q-Tip]

Shaheed, Phife and the Extra P

Stacy Beadle, PJ and my man L.G

They know the Abstract is really soul on ice

The character is of men, never ever of mice

Shorty let me tell you about my only vice

It has to do with lots of loving and it ain’t nothing nice

[Hook]

Relax yourself girl, please set-tle down

Relax yourself girl, please set-tle down

Relax yourself girl, please set-tle down

Relax yourself girl, please set-tle down

If you talk to five different people you will get five different responses for what the most memorable lines are in this song. Q-Tip takes a smoother approach with his more poetic lyrics while Phife Dawg attacks the mic with humor and absurdity (the Seaman’s Furniture, BBD and H-Town punchlines were right on for that time period). The mix of both styles of rhyming creates a balance throughout the song that makes this a song for many occasions.

You can jam this song at the park on a Sunday morning while playing ball, or you can blast it in your living room on a Saturday night, playing cards with your peoples. This song sounds just as good on a Friday night, cooling out with that significant other of yours (hopefully rolling up something good), as it would cooking dinner with your parents on a Monday. This is why “Electric Relaxation” is the most perfect rap song ever written.

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Written by

Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be f…

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