Parsing Jay Z's Alleged Mistress' Rap

Liv, a single-named rapper making tabloid appearances as Jay Z's alleged mistress, has a message for all of us. We're just not sure what that message is.

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Ooh, Mrs. Knowles-Carter is in for it now! We think! We're pretty sure! Maybe?
After being cast as Jay Z's mistress in several tabloid stories, the rapper known only as Liv has come forward with her take on Mr. Beyoncé's infidelity in a song called "Sorry Mrs. Carter." What, pray tell, is Liv's take? What hot allegations is she dropping? Unclear!
In the less-than-four-minute song that samples Outkast's "Sorry Ms. Jackson," Liv switches messages several times, all the while fitting in as many Bey/Jay song references as she can squeeze in. There is also an Aretha Franklin "Respect" reference, because why not?
Bey and Jay's possible divorce is the biggest gossip story of the year, and Liv is like Lassie, trying to tell us that Jay Z is down at the bottom of the well with another woman. So let's try to translate exactly what the rapper is saying here.
"I was gonna respect you, but since you crossed over into my lane, it's time to check it. Your man? He likes model chicks. He likes all-naturally flawless model chicks like me."
One spoken word intro and we're already off to the races! Yoncé has apparently done something to offend Liv, and she has decided to go on the offensive, implying that Beyoncé is not as naturally beautiful as she is. She did not wake up like this, is what Liv is saying.

"Got my name in the news, saying things I ain't do / Side chick never, mistress who?"

Liv disputes claims by tabloids like Life & Style that she's been with Jay Z. One quote even said, "Solange was upset when she saw him talking to me," which is a quote Liv herself gave.

"F*ck f*cking to the top, me and Jay never screwed / We connected on some hip-hop shit / He could be hisself with me, and he did"

Liv and Jay's connection is purely emotional, guys. Liv would never sleep with another woman's man. Calm down.

"When I stepped out his life, I took a piece of his heart / I know he still close his eyes and sees me in the dark"

Wait. So Liv did sleep with him? Or at least, they fell for each other enough to "take a piece of his heart"?

"Bet he wish I just stayed and played my part / Imagining what could have been with no regard"

Okay, we need more here. What part? Is it "side chick"? Are you not regarding Beyoncé?

"Coulda been close friends, but more than friends"

So far, this seems like Liv's version of OJ Simpson's If I Did It, the book where he gloated about killing his wife told us what would have happened if he had really killed his wife. Call it If I'd Screwed Him.

"I'm sorry, Ms. Carter / I am for real"

Liv's doing some A+ crazy double-lip-glossing in the video. Liv has the eye of the tiger. She is on her way to steal your man – and by "steal" she means "enthrall but leave hanging."

That is what this sounds like it's coming down to: Liv was a potential affair for Jay, but she didn't go through with it.

"Jigga man, I don't care if you rap / You gotta R-E-S-P-E-C-T that"

Remember when Liv said she and Jay connected about hip-hop? Liv does not remember that. She doesn't care if Jay raps. Stop putting words in Liv's mouth.

"You got 99 problems / I ain't trying to be one"

Jesus, Liv, really?

"You got a good girl / Why she messing with a bad guy? / F*ck you doing with a rap guy? / Down to ride 'til the very end / He never kissed you / Never held your hand"

There's more to this line, but I'm cutting her off, because she's clearly lost the plot. Here, Liv switches targets, as if she was in an elevator yelling at Jay and then wheeled around on Bey all of a sudden. Also: pretty sure Bey and Jay have kissed and held hands quite a bit! (If you must know, the rest of the line is "He's a pimp by blood / No relation," which is nonsensical and embarrassing. Take a lap, Liv.)

"Girls can't run the world fighting over men / All my single ladies better keep in mind / When those tables turn, you gon' be the wife"

Liv channels Chimamanda here, saying that women competing over guys is bad. She also then references "Single Ladies" by telling a hypothetical woman (Beyoncé) that she (Beyoncé) will be known as her man's wife when she (Beyoncé) finally gets that ring. Which ... no.

"And I hope you accept my apology"

She's kidding, right?

"It's time to tell these young girls some real shit / Tell them how you became a wife / You out here telling them how to surfbort / Come on now, surfborts?"

Liv is really concerned about the children, and wants Beyoncé to stop being so explicit with her music. Is that why she had a not-affair with Jay Z? Because she wanted to stop all the sexuality?

"Why don't you talk to these young ladies? They need you. Somebody has to change it. If you won't, I will. Yes Liv Can. The invasion has begun."

And the song ends as it starts: with a deluded spoken word section. Liv is ready to take over for Beyoncé if need be. She can lead the girls in running the world. Yes Liv Can.

Unless you're talking about Liv's potential affair with your husband that she totally could have had but decided not to. In that case, No Liv Can't. (But she totally could have. Liv is just saying.)

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.