On the overlap between Christ’s message and LL Cool J’s lyrics in “Doin’ It”
A few days ago, in a fit of drunken rage, I posted something about Tim Lincecum. In that post I embedded LL Cool J’ “Doin’ It,” because I bade you to sire the next generation of Alabamans and I damn well couldn’t expect you to do that without a soundtrack. Here’s the song again, since it is essential to this post.
I’ve been thinking about LL’s lyrics—and not just the sexy ones—nonstop since I posted it the first time. Since I, too, do it well, I relate to most of the song, but there is one lyric that has always puzzled me. Behold, the chorus:
[LeShaun] Doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well. (3x)
[LL Cool J] I represent Queens, she was raised out in Brooklyn.
Um, huh? What difference does it make where these two lovers were raised?
Well, one of the things hip hop is known for is feuds. By far the largest feud was the East Coast-West Coast rivalry of the 1990s, with the two sides embodied by the Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac, respectively. But that feud is so well-known only because hip hop was so much bigger in the ’90s compared to the ’80s; there were plenty of geographic rivalries in the ’80s, albeit on a smaller scale. Queensbridge, led by Marley Marl’s Juice Crew, feuded with the Bronx, led by KRS-One and his outfit Boogie Down Productions, over which borough was the true home of hip hop. BDP member DJ Scott La Rock was shot to death in 1987 in an unrelated incident, and the rivalry died down for a while. Though I don’t know of any public feud between Queens and Brooklyn, it’s certainly plausible that there was one (I’m not gonna look it up because if I’m wrong then my premise is ruined).
Supposing there was indeed a feud between Queens and Brooklyn, LL’s lyrics not only make sense, they send a beautiful message: regional differences can be overcome with some good lovemaking. This message is thematically similar to Jesus’ Gospel.
Jesus said basically the same thing. The main thing about Jesus, putting aside questions of his divinity, was his message of universal love. Each human is a unique snowflake, and on top of that we form cliques based on race, ideology and anything else you can think of. All these individual and (for lack of a better word) tribal differences between us have the potential to create animosity and ultimately war. Jesus’ suggestion for preventing that was basically to love everyone totally and unconditionally.
LL’s message is more specific to a certain historical context and the love he used to resolve our petty differences was purely physical, so you, the skeptical reader, may not buy my argument. I implore you to look past such cosmetic differences—after all, that’s what Jesus and LL Cool J would want, what they’ve been telling us all along.