It was the menu order heard round the world.
Moments after Kanye West's new album "Yeezus" leaked, Twitter was already atwitter about a particular line from the third track “I Am A God.”
Did 'Ye, one of the most clever and perceptive lyricists of our time, really just rap "At a French-ass restaurant / hurry up with my damn croissants?" Has he actually reached the point in his art where those flaky and buttery bits of crescent-shaped heaven are a necessary thing to discuss in song? Is he truly so God-like now that he can't spare a minute or two for the pastries? A good croissant takes time, after all. And is this possibly the least bad-ass boast in hip-hop history?
Kanye's damn croissants became a much-mocked meme -- check out our own collection of photoshopped pics -- but he's far from the first artist to try to describe the human condition in terms of baked goods.
Long before North West's dad was using croissants as a symbol of his importance, impatience and French-ass restaurant attendance, musicians from all walks of life were using everything from buttered toast to cake to describe love, loss and naughty things. From the infamous melting cake from Richard Harris's "McArthur Park" to Sir Mix-A-Lot's rapturously described "Buttermilk Biscuits," flour-based muses have a long and storied history in music.
Here are the 10 tastiest tunes we could cook up:
"Buttermilk Biscuits" by Sir Mix-A-Lot
<strong>Baked Good(s): Buttermilk biscuits</strong> <strong>What They Represent: Buttermilk biscuits</strong> "Lord have mercy," the "Baby Got Back" legend quips partway into this ode to the southern food staple. "Mix-A-Lot's out here rapping about biscuits now." And that's exactly what he does for the next three minutes. Whether you're into to making them, putting something on them or rubbing them on your body, the MC has it covered in this song. (Note: biscuit consumption will help baby get back.)
"Bread & Butter" by The Newbeats
<strong>Baked Good(s): Bread, toast What They Represent: Deceit (and sex?!)</strong> The narrator of the biggest hit from blue-eyed soul trio The Newbeats lets us know that he likes bread and butter and toast and jam and that's what his baby feeds him because she knows what he can and can't take. Then he catches his baby eating chicken and dumplings with some other guy and, as a result, he can't eat bread and/or toast with their corresponding toppings anymore. Maybe we're reading too much into things with our dirty minds, but we suspect that he's not just talking about breakfast here.
"MacArthur Park" by Richard Harris
<strong>Baked Good(s): Cake What It Represents: Love and its fragile and irreparable nature </strong> Some people eat cake to help them deal with a breakup. The composer of this maudlin little number, Jimmy Webb, chose to write about it instead, using the deep and delicious dessert as a metaphor for the end of his relationship with Linda Ronstadt's cousin. “Someone left the cake out in the rain/ I don’t think I can take it/ ‘Cause it took so long to bake it/ And I’ll never have that recipe again,” the song rather infamously goes. The tragic implications of this issue are probably lost on kids these days, though, because they keep all of that stuff on their Pinterest boards.
"Doll Parts" by Hole
<strong>Baked Good(s): Cake What It Represents: Love, perfection </strong> Courtney Love desperately coveted two things when she wrote one of her band's most iconic songs in the early '90s. The first was Kurt Cobain, who she thought was busy chasing another woman at the time. The second was her friend's well-curated cosmetics collection. Apparently, Love was so inspired by the woman's matching Body Shop shampoos that she vowed she would have matching makeup when she grew up and became famous. So when Courtney sings "I want to be the girl with the most cake," she's singing about wanting it all.
“Poker Face” by Lady Gaga
<strong>Baked Good(s): Muffin What It Represents: Lady parts</strong> The omnisexual pop star wrote "Poker Face" about her efforts to pretend that she was really into the guy she was fooling around with when she was actually thinking about a woman. So when she says that she's "bluffin' with her muffin," she means that she's, well, bluffin' with her "muffin." Or her "lil' Lady Gaga," if you prefer.
J Dilla's "Donuts" album
<strong>Baked Good(s): Donuts What They Represent: Donuts</strong> Why did the hip-hop legend J Dilla name his last album, a collection of instrumental tracks and soul samples, "Donuts?" Stones Throw Records, the label that released the disc, said it best: "Easy explanation. Dilla likes donuts," they wrote in a short statement on the matter. Dilla's mom confirmed this fact in the producer's New York Times obituary in 2006. "I just bought two dozen a week ago," she <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D05EEDA123EF937A25751C0A9609C8B63" target="_blank">told them</a>.
"Cups And Cakes" by Spinal Tap
<strong>Baked Good(s): Cakes, toast What They Represent: Communion and nostalgia</strong> Completely serious and real metal band Spinal Tap reflect on a recent tea party and all of the cakes, toast, treacle and friendship that was involved in it in this touching ballad. The narrator finishes the song full of both the baked goods and the happy tidings that came with them, and while he's sad that the event had to come to an end, he is also thankful that it happened at all.
"Cherry Pie" by Warrant
<strong>Baked Good(s): Pie (cherry) What It Represents: The Platonic Form of womanhood, a sexual ideal, everything</strong> When Warrant declare that "she's my cherry pie," they're not simply singing a song about a tasty vulva; they’re also singing about the sexual and romantic perfection of the woman who possesses it. This "she" is so wonderful, in fact, that a simple pie metaphor is not enough to describe her, and the hair metal band must also compare her to other comestibles like a tall drink of water and ice cream in an effort to capture her general brilliance. And then they go on to mention that they have to think about baseball to avoid any premature ejaculation around her, just in case they were being too subtle with the rest of the lyrics.
“American Pie” by Don McLean
<strong>Baked Good(s): Pie (American) What It Represents: Innocence, hope for the future</strong> Get your heads out of the gutter, kids. Long before Jason Biggs pretended to stick his parts in a pie in that movie also called "American Pie," Don McLean was using it as a symbol of everything that was lost when the Big Bopper's plane went down. So when he sings "Bye bye, Miss American Pie," he's saying "Bye bye any sense of meaning or hope that I ever had for my life in the face of this tragedy and my impending adulthood," not "bye bye my sticky sex aid pastry."
"Cheeseburger In Paradise" by Jimmy Buffett
<strong>Baked Good(s): A big warm bun What It Represents: The receptacle through which your most illicit desires are realized</strong> Gentrified calypso singer and Parrothead cult figurehead Jimmy Buffet doesn't just write songs about margaritas and their eponymous cities, he also sings about food sometimes. "Cheeseburger In Paradise," for example, is a tune about being on a diet and indulging in fantasies of your favourite food. While most of the song is dedicated to fetishizing the cheese and other toppings involved in this cheeseburger (in paradise), none of it would be possible without "a big warm bun and a huge hunk of meat."