A Virgin?: A Slick Rick Story
One of my first Hip-Hop memories is learning the lyrics to Slick Rick’s “Mona Lisa”. For some reason my dad wanted my brother and I to learn this song and to take turns with the lyrics. It would be like:
Me: Well, it was one of those days
Jason: Not much to do
Me: I was chillin downtown
Jason: with my old school crew
Me: I went into a store
Jason: To buy a slice of pizza
Me: And bumped into a girl, her name was mona
Me: Mona Lisa!
We would dance around and do our fucking terrible handshake that my dad had taught us (stand across the room posing in a b-boy stance, walk past each other, giving a high five while passing then turn to each other from opposite positions and b-boy pose again). It was glorious. We did it when friends came over. We did it for my big sister when we met her. I wasn’t embarrassed, either. I thought this shit was cool!
I vividly remember being excited to learn the song. I wanted to know what everything meant. I had attitude with the posh Mona Lisa that Slick Rick depicted in the song. There was one line in particular when Mona Lisa refers to herself as a virgin. Slick Rick thinks that’s ridiculous! He responds with:
A virgin?! Honey needed a slap
She tried to tell me she's a virgin
With her yea-wide gap
“Dad, what’s a virgin?” My dad gave the most roundabout answer ever. I gathered that Slick Rick thought she wasn’t a nice girl. Bam, got that covered. Now for more character development. Dad, what’s a yea wide gap? To this day I remember the struggle on his face (I was 7), but I don’t quite remember how he got out of this one. Somehow he did get out of explaining that “yea-wide gap” was Mona Lisa’s worn out vagina. Good job, Dad.
I’m sure he was regretting this project by now, but we were all in. I needed to learn more misogynistic lyrics. I even learned who Walter Cronkite is. And for the icing on the hip-hop cake, my sister was in on it as well! She stood on the side grooving to the music while waiting to sing the “Walk On By” part at the end. My dad had masterpiece theater going!
My siblings and I rarely get to hang out together. Recently we’ve been talking about prioritizing seeing each other. I can’t wait to get the gang back together for one last reunion performance of “Mona Lisa”. The song didn’t age well but it’ll still be worth it. I’ll be sure to record it and share it to the world. I can’t wait to cross paths with my brother and give him a dumb ass high five as I ready my b-boy stance so my sister can sing. Until next time…