Current President of MENSA/musical artist Ray J recently released what has been described by every human with ears as a Kanye West diss track about Kim Kardashian, called I Hit It First. But former Rhodes Scholar Ray J insists that we are wrong and that I Hit It First is not about his sexual escapades with a pre-famous Kim Kardashian at all. If this is the case — which it most assuredly is given Ray J’s record for intellectual and moral decency — then we must dig deeper and understand what Ray J truly “hit first.” A close-reading of the lyrics to I Hit It First yielded a few possibilities.
“She might move on to rappers and ballplayers/ But we all know I hit it first/ I hop in the club and boppers show love/ And I don’t even put in work/ I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it first. I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it first.”
These introductory lyrics to I Hit It First suggest that Ray J may have been the first (and greatest) player of the late-90’s cult-toy-darling, Bop It!
Ray J’s reliance on words like “hit,” “hop,” and “boppers,” as well as his claim that he can do it all without “even put[ting] in work” makes the Bop It thesis incredibly persuasive. Given the tactile nature of Bop It, in which one must “pull” and “twist” and “squeeze” and “bop” it, confusing Ray J’s lyrics for a song about sex is understandable but ultimately misinformed. Ray J’s repetition of “I hit it” at the end of the verse is a further shout out to Bop It and his mastery of it. He is proud of his Bop It skills and is challenging any and all listeners to challenge his prowess.
“I had her head going north and her ass going south/ But now baby chose to go West/ We deep in the building she know that I kill ’em/ I know that I hit it best.”
Many of those in the I-Hit-It-First-Is-A-Kanye-West-Diss-Track Camp point to these lyrics in particular to argue that Ray J is referencing Kim Kardashian’s decision to leave him and go “(Kanye) West.” What these critics are overlooking, however, are the general themes of travel and abandonment that mark Ray J’s ballad, and that completely transcend any current event or person. Rather, Ray J is reflecting on the earliest stages of American westward expansion.
Ray J’s references to all directions but east – -where the Atlantic Ocean lies — as well as his mysterious existence in the bowels of an important building and his willingness to “kill ’em” suggests what Ray J hit first may in fact be the concept of Manifest Destiny. It would be a stretch to claim that Ray J is actually the reincarnation of President Andrew Jackson, but it is a far more realistic claim than I Hit It First being about Kim Kardashian and Ray J’s misogynistic obsession with having sex with her “first.”
“Candles lit with that wine, money still on my mind/ And I gave her that really bomb sex/ No matter where she goes or who she knows/ She still belongs in my bed.”
It would be irresponsible to rule out the possibility that I Hit It First is about Ray J’s love for Snuggies.
Most people who own Snuggies wear their felty-BFF’s with their “candles lit” while drinking “wine” and the “money” they need to pay last months’ rent “still on (their) mind(s).” There are also tons of fun Snuggie sex positions (and a book!) that could definitely be classified as being “really bomb.” The passion with which Ray J claims that “she” – his Snuggie – “belongs in (his) bed” has the potential to strike an emotional chord with the very elusive Snuggie-Lover demographic, and if successful, Ray J would indeed be the first to “hit” that demographic. (Well, besides The Weeknd. But that has more to do with how good Snuggies and Nyquil go together than anything else.)
“Going hard in the streets, mobbin’ with my homies/ Sippin on the good, blowin’ on OG/ Me and ghost sittin’ clean with the matching rollie/ I did that first so everybody know me.”
These lyrics may reveal that Ray J is the first person to drink and smoke weed with a ghost. While the first line of this verse emphasizes how many “homies” Ray J has to “mob” with, the last three delve into his relationship with an unnamed ghost and how it sparked his infamy. Specifying that his ghost friend is the OG (Original Gangsta) can only mean one thing — Ray J is doing the good shit with Casper, The Not-So-Friendly-Anymore-I-Guess Ghost. It makes sense to sing a song about such an accomplishment.
“Steady on at the top where we finna be/ Apple juice and we mix it with Hennessy/ Give her no dough to come, but I gave her ten to leave/ I bet I hit it first, unless you took that girl virginity.”
At this point in the song, Bobby Brackins takes the microphone for a spin and sharts out the above lines. He describes a mystical place where he is “steady on at the top” but is also BYOB, because he must mix his own apple juice and Hennessy. This mysterious-BYOB establishment also has a $10.00 exit-fee that Brackins is willing to pay for the right person, regardless of their sexual status. This is noble. These lyrics are initially difficult to decipher, but it seems likely that Bobby Brackins and Ray J are claiming to be the first people to publicly mix apple juice and Hennesy at a penthouse party. I guess this is something to write a song and brag about on a “Fuck-The-Man!” level, because penthouse party drinks are expensive and weird (I’m assuming), and neither Ray J or Bobby Brackins are about that life. With the right PR team and Welch’s endorsement, I Hit It First could become just the anthem Occupy Wall Street needs to start up fresh.
“First come, first served is all a player know/ But I don’t wanna be a player no more/ That’s a lie, I’m way too fly.”
While Bobby Brackins has a crisis of conscience, then immediately stops having a crisis of conscience (because he’s “way too fly”) in the middle of Ray J’s song, something incredible is revealed about what Ray J may have hit first. These lyrics appear to be semi-subliminal shit-talk of Ray J’s behavior in buffet lines. Ray J always hits the buffet line first. Bobby Brackins knows it’s first come, first serve, but damn! Save some for all the players in the room.
“I love anything with ass that walk by/ Yeah you love her, yeah you hug her and you kiss her/ She dome me up, she give me face like some whiskers/ Tia’s and Tamera’s, I be knockin’ sisters/ And I still hit it, while you lonely and you miss her.”
Many listeners of I Hit It First lament at how Mr. Brackins exits I Hit It First by subjecting many wonderful childhood memories of watching Sister, Sister to a brutal death. But that is the incorrect lens through which to view his final lyrics. In reality, Bobby Brackins is describing a walking-tour he and Ray J accidentally joined at Disneyland one time because they “love anything with ass that walk by,” and the scent of overweight, sweating, middle-American booty was just too irresistible. This verse recalls how Ray J and Bobby Brackins got some dope The Lion King memorabilia — “she gave me face like some whiskers” — and their enthusiasm at seeing Tia and Tamera Mowry cardboard cut outs at the Sister, Sister exhibit that they enjoyed “knockin'” together and posing for pictures with. Bobby Brackin’s last line (“I still hit it, while you lonely and you miss her”) pulls at America’s heart strings and how weak those strings have become since Sister, Sister ended. As far as how any of this relates to Ray J hitting some/one/thing first, it is possible he is the first adult in history to go on a Disney Land walking-tour and genuinely enjoy himself.
“When I walk in the function/ You already know I’m leaving with something/ Girls know when I’m coming/ I give a girl real proper loving.”
As Ray J returns to running his song, he stresses the importance of knowledge by attending a function. A CONJUNCTION JUNCTION FUNCTION!
Ray J is not “leaving” this “function” with JUST “something” — Ray J is leaving with KNOWLEDGE. Despite the problem of Ray J insisting that only “girls” know when he’s “coming” and that they are in most dire need of a “proper” and “loving” education, his heart is in the right place. If his mission to teach the women of America succeeds, he will be the first person to hit on the true significance of Conjunction Junction as it relates to the instruction of women.
“And if you were to come back to me/ Girl I know just how you’d do me/ And if you were to come back to me/ Girl I know just why you’d choose me/ Girl, I’ll get it wet – Jacuzzi/ And if you were to come back to me girl/ We’ll make another movie.”
If anything, these lyrics alone should be enough to dismiss the members and burn the campsite of I-Hit-It-First-Is-A-Kanye-West-Diss-Track. After Ray J spends an inordinate amount of time discussing “girls” and a “Jacuzzi,” he says that he is up to “make another movie.” Anyone who has ever seen Ray J and Kim Kardashian’s sex tape knows that it is the furthest thing from a movie that was ever recorded on a movie-making device. There are first-grade recitals recorded in the mid-90s by parents with Parkinson’s and Tyler Perry movies that have more filmic potential than Ray J and Kim’s sex tape. And if Ray J was really talking about having sex with Kim Kardashian, the final lyric would be something more like “We’ll make you super relevant.”
Anyway, all that these particular lyrics suggest that Ray J was the first person to “hit” on the imagery of a woman having the force of Jacuzzi jets in her lower undergarments. It’s sexual – but it’s still not about Kim Kardashian, it’s still definitely not a Kanye West diss track, and it’s still stuck in my head.
“I put her on, I put her on, I put that girl on/ I put her on, I put her on, I put that girl on/I put her on, I put her on, I put that girl on/ I put her on, I put her on, I put that girl on.”
Ray J saves his most provocative lyrics for last. While many listeners have dismissed these lines as more uninspired sexual chatter about Kim K, what Ray J is really doing is announcing to the world his participation in trans-culture. Whenever he gets a chance, he literally “put(s) that girl on,” most likely using Whitney Houston’s old dresses and make-up and wigs. This interpretation of I Hit It First is ideal for Ray J’s public image. It paints him as brave and heroic — as well as the “first” mainstream black male musician in the United States to openly identify with trans-sexuality. The repetitive stuttering of “I put her on…” that takes place each time before Ray J can finally say he puts “that girl on” showcases his fear of admission but also the freedom that is possible when an individual stops living in denial.