Nuthin' But a "G" Thang
by Dr. Dre
The lyrics to "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" aren't very specific. It seems Dre and Snoop are too caught up in the music and pumping themselves up to really get to the "thang" they're talking about. Take these lyrics:
Now it's time for me to make my impression felt
So sit back, relax, and strap on your seatbelts
You never been on a ride like this before
with a producer who can rap and control the maestro
At the same time with the dope rhyme that I kick
You know, and I know, I flow some ol' funky s---
to add to my collection, this selection
symbolizes dope, take a toke, but don't choke
If you do, you'll have no clue
of what me and my homie Snoop Dogg came to do
The delivery is in traditional couplet form, but "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" doesn't really have a subject. At best, the lyrics hover around gettin' funky on the mic or delivering rhymes, but the typical rap braggadocio and location promotion obscure what the "G Thang" really is.
In a sense, the G-ness is communicated through the entire aesthetic experience of the song, from the music, the lyrics, the pitch of Dre and Snoop's voices, to the corresponding imagery in the video.
For a comparison, take a look at some Parliament Funkadelic lyrics from "Give Up The Funk":
We're gonna tear the roof off the mother sucker
Tear the roof off the sucker
You've got a real type of thing going down, getting down
There's a whole lot of rhythm going round
We want the funk, give up the funk
we need the funk, we gotta have that funk
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, ow
And that's it—that's the whole song. The Parliament song has no easily identifiable subject. It's about the funk, whatever that is. Like "Nuthin'," the purpose of the song lies in its experiential qualities. Both songs were composed during impromptu jam sessions, which is probably part of the reason why they can be so effective and sound so authentic even while failing to define the "funk" or the "thang."