Single Review: Nelly & P. Diddy “Shake Ya Tailfeather”

Shake Ya Tailfeather
Album: Bad Boys II Soundtrack
Year: 2003

Murphy Lee, Nelly, and P.Diddy successfully get butts on the dance floor in the rousing, good time of “Shake Ya Tailfeather.”

Over the “ooohs” in the Atlanta Braves’ Tomahawk Chop, DJ Clue listeners learn that Murphy Lee, Puff Daddy, and Nelly are about to rap. A siren goes off, setting the lively tone. Nelly and P.Diddy proclaim that the song isn’t to be taken seriously. They have great beats which cause cars to jump and aim to make money.(“We do it for fun/We just do it for fun/Dirty E.N.T…Bend them trucks…Stack them bucks…We do it for fun”).

P. Diddy advertises that is on the Bad Boys II soundtrack and to get the single started. (“Bad Boys II soundtrack, let’s go”).

In the first verse, Nelly sees a good-looking girl and immediately wants to know about her: her name, where she lives, who did she come with. He asks her about the size of her butt using a nonsensical phrase. He likes that she’s there and he namechecks his hit “E.I.” He tells her that she has an awesome body and asks her if she’s smart. ‘Cause being pretty and smart are mutually exclusive. It also makes him look like a hypocrite after using grammatical errors to introduce himself. At a young age, he hung out with the tough guys in the neighborhood. However, now he’s with included with The Bad Boys on P.Diddy’s label. (“come here girl/What your name is?/Where you from?/Turn around who you came with?/Is that your ass or your momma have reindeer?/I can’t explain it but damn sure glad you came here/I’m still a sucker for cornrows, you know I never changed that/Your body is banging mamma, but where your brains at?/I’m still the same cat when I was young I was running with bad boys/But now I’m older hope they saw I’m running with bad boys”).

Nelly boasts the random girl is the eighth girl he’s had and it’s only the second day of the week. He likes all races and doesn’t care if they aren’t wearing the latest fashion or not. They just have to be hot and shake their butts attractively on the dancefloor. (“8th girl this week and its only Tuesday/I like the cocky bow legged ones/Like white and Dominicans/Hispanics and Asians/Shake it for Nelly son/Manolos Ma-no-no’s I can’t tell/Everybody and their hootchies/When you do it do it well”)

The Braves’ Tomahawk Chop returns for the chorus. Nelly and P.Diddy, respectively, instruct the girls on how to show off their butts for them to maximize their view. ( Let me see you take it/Girl go and take it off/We can even do it slow…Take it where you want to go..Just take that ass to the floor/Pop something move something/Shake ya tail feather, girl go and take it low…”).

P.Diddy calls for the experienced girls to dance. He admires a girl in tight hotpants. However, his eyes soon find another rear end to ogle and after removing his eyes from it, he hits on her. He compliments her, calling her a young Janet Jackson. Wow! An actual kind, remark to a women. However, he tells her she’s hiding her great butt. He wants to see every inch of it. (“Now real girls get down on the floor/Get that money honey act like you know/Mama I like how you dance/The way you fit in them pants/Enter the floor, take it low, girl do it again… It’s Diddy, Murphy Lee, and Nelly how you love that?/Come on, we got another one player/From New York to the Dirty how they loving it player?/Baby you impressive let’s get/To know each other/You the best of the best and/You got to love it in the dresses, the sexiest/I had to tell her she’s a young Janet Jackson live in living color/Look here momma you’re dead wrong for having them pants on/Capri’s cut low so when you shake it I see your thong”).

In the bridge, Nelly hears the police coming but he’s just having too much fun and doesn’t want to end the party. (“Oh no I heard them bad boys coming/Can’t stop now/Got to continue my running/Because we go party till them lights come on/And then my song stop, f*** it, because my mic still on”).

In the third verse, Murphy Lee likes big butts and he’s not going to lie. He wants them to shake, shake that healthy butt. However, they only need one another quality: intelligence. How PC of Murphy Lee. Women arouse him. He also likes marijuana and money. He’s willing to collaborate on any song, even if it’s crappy, as long as he gets the million for it. He also pulls off some clever rhyme. His friends are shady but they are gentlemen like Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin. (“Yo, I’m the big booty type/I like them thick with their mind right/
Banging personality conversate when the time right/I’m not hard I’ve got women to handle that…Collect so much grass popo thinking we mow lawns…I’m young like Turk, like the cash and the money (I’m going to eat my money)/Man, I’m that damn hungry…Plus my rats come in packs like Sammy and Dean Martin/And I got so many keys you’d think I was valet parking”).

After the chorus and Nelly’s bridge, the song ends with the Atlanta Braves Tomahawk Chop.

“Shake Ya Tailfeather” is many things: objectionable, self-promoting, hypocritical. But it’s also a riot and a proper update of Sir Mix A Lot’s “Baby Got Back.”


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