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Meaning of the song ‘Potholderz feat. Count Bass D’ by ‘MF DOOM’

Released: 2004

Features: Count Bass D

“Potholderz” by MF DOOM is a multi-layered odyssey that, on a surface level, tackles the trials and tribulations of the artist’s life. It’s an exploration of the hustle, the struggle, and the rewarding, yet damning consequences of the ‘game’. But diving deeper, it unveils societal commentary and philosophical reflections intertwined within the fabric of its narrative.

The song opens with a repetitive chant of “Hot Shit”, priming listeners for incoming intricate wordplay and sharp critiques. DOOM makes references to popular culture while providing socio-political commentary. He mentions Tyson, hinting at the commercial exploitation of chickens, then juxtaposes it with holocaust imagery, thereby creating potent critique of the meat industry. His admonishment to “Ignore cordon bleu, stand up, get up, lunge for your knife, don’t forget your potholderz” is him urging others to question norms and resist unethical practices, like a culinary call-to-arms.

DOOM’s lyric “MCs is crabs in a barrel, pass the Old Bay” is a biting critique of the competitive nature and cannibalism within the rap industry, likening it to crabs pulling each other down to escape a barrel. He further demonstrates his defiance to societal pressures and materialism, claiming he could have owned a V-8 F-150 quad cab, a symbol of luxury, but is content without it.

The second verse introduces Count Bass D, who continues to operate within the song’s established framework but introduces reflections about life and death, the fleeting nature of money, and the constant struggle to stay grounded. His introspective contemplation, “Born under a bad sign, I’m serious about this curse of mine/ I strive to flip it into fine wine”, speaks to the hardships he’s experienced and how he tries to turn adversity into strength.

The line “Poor music taste, ten years from being grown up/ Rappers don’t blow up, heads do” is a jab at the music industry’s inability to appreciate true talent, emphasizing the often-misplaced focus on marketability and commercial viability over true lyrical artistry. His name-drop of Dwight Spitz towards the end references his own alter ego, reaffirming his artistic identity and authenticity in an industry that often demands conformity.

The song closes out with a final repetition of “Hot Shit”, framing the sonic journey it initiated, leaving listeners to ponder the philosophies and critiques presented. Remember, whether you’re navigating the demanding pressures of societal norms or battling the game of life or hip hop, as DOOM tells us: “Don’t forget your potholderz”.

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