Pop annotations: "U Can't Shine Like Me" by Lil' Romeo (feat. the Old Prospector)

This week, Floss' senior annotator warms the bench while the Old Prospector tries his hand at a little pop cultural deconstruction. From his unhealthy obsession with precious metals to his impenetrably filth-laden colloquialisms, who better to tackle an anachronistic annotation of ghetto ingenue Li'l Romeo's new single? Let's get it started!

Are you serious, man?
They must not know who I be!
We got tha hood pressure in tha buildin'!

Are ya pullin' my donkey's tail?
They done woke up tha wrong doggie
It's hog-killin' time at the hookshop, sakes alive!

You can't shine like me
You know, ride like me
Pull dimes like me if you ain't from tha streets
I'm a hood star, you know who I'm is
I rock big ice, you can't live how I live!

Yer mail-order cowboys can't hold a candle
Can't grab the nubbin like me
Lasso the buckle bunnies if ya don't hail from tha tenderloin
I'm a celebrated mudsill of the first water, acknowledge the corn
I boast ducky notions, I'm fine as cream gravy

10 karats on my earlobes
BBS on my wrist
20 karats on my neck
While y'all slidin' in tha little bit '06 vette
I'm waitin' on tha runway for my G4 jet

Got much specie "˜neath mah hat (these ain't prarie-pancakes)
Bonanza "˜round my hand
Like Neil Young, I'm afta the gold rush
Though y'all squeeze the biscuit on that crowbait jackass
I hang fire on the trail for mah widowmaker

I'm ahead of tha game
You see you boys got next
Did a lil' bit of actin' just ta stack a few chips
I ain't gotta remind y'all how tha game go
I'm tha youngest widda clothin' line, first widda TV show

Won't catch me suckin' hind tit
Cool yer heels, you shave-tails'll soon absquatulate
Strung a few whizzers just to earn ma grubstake
But I needn't stretch the blanket for ya
I'm a button wit' a concern o' bib and tucker, big bug wit' a bill show

I do it big, I guess you say I'm jus' the best at it
Made a mil early, man, I done learned my mathematics
Boy stop stuntin', if I wanted I could have your chick
Don't get it twisted, Richey Rich, so gutta!
You'z a momma's boy, I'm tha son of a hustla!

I'm the biggest toad in the puddle; I'm the rip-snortin' sockdolager
Got my poke o' plunder as a shaver, twigged tha numerical palaver
Enough ballyhoo, pilgrim, don'cha kick up a row; should I take a notion I could cut a rusty wit' yer soiled dove!
Don't get it honey-fuggled, I'm a dude what's hit pay-dirt
Yer a tenderfoot desperado, I'm a bunko artist's guttersnipe!

See me, I'm so fly I'm diff'rent from them otha brothas
Only 16 and I don't live at home wit motha
Kids poppin' they grillz in, they think they gettin' tougher
They tryna take off they shirts, think they gettin' buffa
I'm benchin 180 and that just wit one muscle

Lookee here, I'm a huckleberry 'bove a persimmon
Between hay and grass but don't bunkroll with momma
Whipper-snappers think they been through tha mill
They strip off their long johns, fancy they cut a swell
But I c'n take a rag off the bush six ways from Hell

I see dudes tryna act like me, be like me, dogg even dress like me
No, ya not me and there won't be anotha
So many rocks on my hand I'm a certified hustla
Got a wizard on ya hands, kinda like Ron Butler

Greenhorns playin' to tha gallery, even wear my union-suit and hat
Horsefeathers! You'll catch a weasel asleep "˜fore you cap my climax
Many nuggets in the sluice box, I'm a jo-fired hornswoggla'
Hot as a whorehouse on nickel night, I'm a dandy conjura'

I jus' learn from da best
Hoodstar down South wit a mansion on the West, yes
I got a Bentley that I don't even drive
And I bought a Phantom just to see how it ride!

I suckled from the boss teat
Cattle baron tenderfeet wit' a lean-to on the rollin' plain
Got a broomtailed mare I don't even ride, bayin'
An' I dickered a bangtail just to burn the breeze, sayin'
Can I get two whoops an' a holla?

Stradivarius Violins Get Their Distinctive Sound By Mimicking the Human Voice

Italian violinist Francesco Geminiani once wrote that a violin's tone should "rival the most perfect human voice." Nearly three centuries later, scientists have confirmed that some of the world's oldest violins do in fact mimic aspects of the human singing voice, a finding which scientists believe proves "the characteristic brilliance of Stradivari violins."

Using speech analysis software, scientists in Taiwan compared the sound produced by 15 antique instruments with recordings of 16 male and female vocalists singing English vowel sounds, The Guardian reports. They discovered that violins made by Andrea Amati and Antonio Stradivari, the pioneers of the instrument, produce similar "formant features" as the singers. The resonance frequencies were similar between Amati violins and bass and baritone singers, while the higher-frequency tones produced by Stradivari instruments were comparable to tenors and contraltos.

Andrea Amati, born in 1505, was the first known violin maker. His design was improved over 100 years later by Antonio Stradivari, whose instruments now sell for several million dollars. "Some Stradivari violins clearly possess female singing qualities, which may contribute to their perceived sweetness and brilliance," Hwan-Ching Tai, an author of the study, told The Guardian.

Their findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. A 2013 study by Dr. Joseph Nagyvary, a professor emeritus at Texas A&M University, also pointed to a link between the sounds produced by 250-year-old violins and those of a female soprano singer.

According to Vox, a blind test revealed that professional violinists couldn't reliably tell the difference between old violins like "Strads" and modern ones, with most even expressing a preference for the newer instruments. However, the value of these antique instruments can be chalked up to their rarity and history, and many violinists still swear by their exceptional quality.

[h/t The Guardian]

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