19 February 2010

Timbaland with Justin Timberlake: Carry Out

All two of the regular readers of Lyrics, Weakly may have noticed that i haven’t had much to say about today’s music—the most recent song i’ve offered commentary on was 1992’s “Save the Best for Last”. Well, it’s time for that to change, and so we move directly into the current top twenty, with the hit “Carry Out” by Timbaland, with supporting vocals from Justin Timberlake (and with both of them, but particularly Mr. Timberlake, looking particularly dorky in the video).

There’s really nothing much to say to lead in to the utter joy that is the stunning incoherence of this song’s lyrics, so let’s just go ahead and get started, shall we?

Eh, eh, eh

No, i’m not kidding. This really is the first line of the song. With a start like that, you just know it’s gonna be fun!

Even better, this is followed by a few lines that are Auto-Tuned into such submission that not only am i unable to figure out what nearly any of them say, i haven’t been able to find a transcription of them in any of the expected places—many sites simply skip them, while others transcribe them as the following:


No, really—i’m not kidding.

The lines i can figure out from this section, though, seem to more or less match the chorus, so i’m not going to stress too much about not knowing for sure what they say. I’ll just move on to the bits that i could figure out, given a bit of help from various online sources.

Baby, you’re lookin’ fire hot

I have to admit that this is a good line. The Auto-Tuning makes it kind of weird, but whatever—that’s the sound Timbaland was after, and even if it undercuts some of the smoothness of the seduction, it at least gets you to pay attention.

In any event, this is obviously going to be a lesson in the best pickup lines in the business. I’m sure all of us will learn something we can use from every single line of this song.

I’ll have you open all night like you’re IHOP

Or maybe not.

I mean, really? You’re comparing the woman you’re trying to get in your bed to an IHOP?!? As in International House of Pancakes? With the blue roof and everything? And you’re telling her this to her face, and expecting it to work?

Of course, you’re a successful R&B and hip-hop performer and producer, so that might mitigate the expected effects of this particular line. Just pick a woman who’s already drunk enough that she wouldn’t be able to tie her own shoes if they were slip-ons, and it might work for you anyway.

I’ll take you home baby, let you keep me company
You give me some of you, I give you some of me

This is only one of approximately 2,348 references to the act of sex in this song, but it merits highlighting because it may be the only one of them that isn’t actually insulting in some way.

Oh, and the rhyme of company with some of me would belong in the bad rhyme hall of fame, except that…

You look good baby must taste heavenly
I’m pretty sure that you got your own recipe

…the rhyme of heavenly with recipe beat it there.

So pick it up, pick it up, yeah I like you
I just can’t get enough I gotta drive through

I know this is a sexual reference, but for the life of me i can’t figure out what it means. I mean, drive through? If Timbaland came up to me and said “Dude, i’m gonna have sex right through you”, i would fear for my physical safety and edge carefully away. But apparently the object of his desire doesn’t, ’cause he just keeps singing to her.

Cause it’s me, you, you, me, me, you, all night
Have it your way, foreplay before I feed your appetite

All the food imagery might be making you hungry, it might be making you queasy. All i know is, if you’re anything like me, it sure ain’t making you horny.

Nothing personal, Timba, but this really isn’t the smoothest set of lines i’ve ever heard.

Let me get my ticket baby let me get in line

At least it’s a nicely subtle way of saying he’s cool with sloppy seconds.

Which i suppose is yet another food reference.

I can tell the way you like it baby supersized
Hold on, you got yours, let me get mine
I ain’t leavin’ till they turn over the closed sign

The whole supersized thing has progressed to the point of cliché, but that’s alright, i’ll let it pass, ’cause i’m a bit surprised by what we find in the next line—we heard Timba say that the object of his affections has a supersized it, just like Mr. Land himself does. Given that Timbaland is saying that he has a supersized it, and i’m pretty sure we all know what he means by that, it’s making me think that this song is actually a below-the-radar gay anthem. I mean, that’s the only logical conclusion to draw. Right?

Timbaland and Timberlake, sittin’ in a tree…

Ahem. On with the song—we’re up to the chorus now.

Check it
Take my order cause your body like a carry out
Let me walk into your body till you hear me out
Turn me on my baby don’t you cut me out
Turn me on my baby don’t you cut me out
Take my order cause your body like a carry out
Let me walk into your body ’til it’s lights out
Turn me on my baby don't you cut me out
Turn me on my baby don't you cut me out

As always, smooth.

I mean, comparing someone to a carry out? I’m just trying to imagine pulling this one off: “Hey babe, your body makes me think of a place that serves cheap, greasy food in styrofoam containers.” All i can say is that the folks at the clubs Mr. Land frequents are way different than those in any clubs i’ve ever been too.

And let me walk into your body? That’s either admitting clumsiness, or it’s just plain disturbing. I can’t get anything from that line that doesn’t result in some degree of disgust, or at least annoyance.

And Justin Timberlake is taking over the vocals here, though with the amount of Auto-Tune going into this it’s effectively impossible to tell Timberlake apart from Timbaland.

Number one, I take two number threes
That's a whole lotta you, and a side of me

What in the world is a number three? Number one and number two i know about, but i haven’t heard about number three. Well, i figure that anything i don’t understand from the hip-hop world i can find in the Urban Dictionary, I go there only to discover that number three is [insert drum roll here] masturbation.

So Mr. Timberlake is telling us that the first thing he does is masturbate. Twice. And this is supposed to be seductive.

I guess it’s just me, but i don’t get the allure.

Now is it full of myself to want you full of me?

But i’ve gotta give credit where it’s due—this is actually a pretty clever line.

And if there’s room for dessert, then I want a piece
Baby, get my order right no errors
Ima touch you in all the right areas
I could feed you, you could feed me
Girl, deliver that to me, come see me

Wait—did he just rhyme errors and areas? Yes? Wow. This is getting into America territory here.

And is it just me, or does the whole get my order right no errors thing sound a little threatening to you? At least he plans to make physical contact with her in all the correct places as a reward for getting his order for a Rooty Tooty Fresh ’N Fruity right. Fair trade, i suppose.

Cause it’s me, you, you, me, me, you all night
Have it your way, foreplay, before I feed your appetite
Do you like it well done ’cause I do it well
Cause I’m well seasoned if you couldn’t tell
Now, let me walk into your body till you hear me out
Turn me on my baby don't you cut me out

The do you like it well done line seems a reasonable enough way to pick up your local IHOP waitress, but then Justin has to ruin his groove by calling himself well seasoned. Since i didn’t know what that means, i again turned to my good friend the Urban Dictionary to find out that he’s describing himself as a…Oh. Let’s just say it isn’t likely to turn her on.

Especially since we then have to listen to the chorus a couple more times, where Misters Timbaland and Timberlake threaten to walk into her body. Again.

But in an attempt to recover from that faux pas, they try to distract her by asking questions.

What’s your name? What’s your number?
I’m glad I came, can you take my order?
What’s your name? Girl what’s your number?
I’m glad I came, can you take my order?

You know, you’ve already propositioned her repeatedly—it may be a little late for questions like these.

Come over here (What's your name?)
Come closer (What's your number?)
Over here (I’m glad I came)
A little closer (Can you take my order?)

Or maybe it’s just a bit of the old Protestant work ethic—if you’re a playa, you’ve got a job to do, and the fact that you’ve only got a bunch of not-really-sexually-explicit food references to work with isn’t gonna keep you from doing your job.

’Cause that’s the only way i can get any of this to make sense to me.

And then we get the chorus several times as the song ends, reminding us all that they think of their waitress as somehow, inexplicably, similar to a carryout restaurant. I’m guessing the song stops right before the waitress at their table “accidentally” spills most of a fresh pot of coffee into their laps.

(And yes, i just discussed a song with Justin Timberlake in it without mentioning wardrobe malfunctions. Interesting, though, that he has yet another hit—i wonder how Janet Jackson’s imploded career feels about that?)


  1. Oh man, I just have to say that Rob (the boyfriend) describes Justin Timberlake as a total dork (exact word) ALL the time. I didn't realize this sentiment was so widely embraced. (I don't have an opinion either way about JT, but always questioned his irrational outbursts of "DORK!!" everytime he appears on the TV screen.)

    You should consider doing a positively mind-blowing lyrics review once in a while, ones filled with metaphors so rich and meaningful that it would make WBYeats cry.

    BTW, do you actually know Susan from the Loggins and Messina post, or is she seriously just a passer-by "business associate" of L&M?

  2. I never actually thought of Justin Timberlake as particularly dorky, but in that video…yep, dorkus maximus.

    And i’ve thought for a while that i need to do commentary on a couple songs i like despite the bad lyrics—“Sandman” actually fits that criterion (oh, the shame!), but i haven’t done any others i feel any real affection for.

    And no, i don’t know Susan. All i can figure is that her job is to patrol the internet for the scandalous claim that maybe, just maybe, Loggins and/or Messina cut some tracks that were less than stellar.

  3. Must go read past comments...

    I don't think I've ever heard that song. Thank goodness. But, seriously, I expect nothing better from Justin Timberlake or Timbaland.