For some odd reason, rappers love Pac-Man — or at least rapping about him. Perhaps it's because the pixelated puck literally eats his foes for breakfast, which plays into hip hop's tendency toward braggadocio lyrics. Or maybe it's because a lot of the guys who reference the video-game icon probably grew up trading their allowance for a weekly fix of power pellets back in the 1980s.
Regardless of the reason for the infatuation, we can now add Rick Ross and Pill's unoriginally titled song “Pacman” to the list of a dozen or so rap tunes before it to reference Namco's legendary mascot. I'm not a huge fan of this track (off of the upcoming Self Made Vol. 1 album), partially because it reminds me of what I don't like about hip-hop music these days but also because of the hilariously awful hook.
For the part of the song that's suppose to be catchy, the Teflon Don spits:
"There he go, that's John Doe/
All my power pellets turn you b**** n****s to ghosts/
Pac-Man over 100 sold/
Pac-Man just sold 100 more/
Pac-Man you can fry it in the pan /
Pac-Man in no time you'll be buying land /
Pac-Man do it for your mom and them /
Pac-Man until I get 100 in/"
At least, I think that's what he's trying to mumble from the back of his throat. I'm not cool enough to know exactly what all of it means, but I'm pretty sure at least a couple of those lines are about drugs. Does the signification actually matter, though? The casual listener isn't likely to pick up on what these lyrics are code for. In fact, Ross supposedly plans to walk out with Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao for his upcoming fight against Shane Mosley with this anthem playing as the background music. What's he talking about? Who cares? He said Pacquiao's nickname for cross-promotional synergy, and this song sounds gangster; that's all you need to know.
If you're curious to see other rap references to the 1980s arcade hit, check out this humorous write-up on the subject from HipHopisRead.com. Artists such as Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Ludacris — hell, even Shaq — have recorded songs that specifically mention Pac-Man and his penchant for eating.
Most of the lines are uninspired and borderline embarrassing — usually just a simple reference to the yellow guy and consuming — since it apparently isn't terribly difficult to rhyme "Pac" and "man" with other words. The author of the post gives the award for best use of lyrical video-game imagery, however, to Beanie Sigel for his track (wait for it), “Mac Man.” In it, Sigel delivers gems like,
"All I do is stack loot, run around and eat fruit/
And harass these lady cops named Pinky and Sue/."
And for the hook, he boasts,
"Pac-Man, y'all n****s know my name/
It'll take a quarter key to survive my game/
They call me Pac-Man, and aint a damn thing change/
Even though I got signed I'ma still slang thangs/.”
Yeah…. Anyhow, if you're an aspiring rapper who's also a gamer (or vice versa), do yourself a favor and avoid name-dropping this classic video-game icon. That is, unless you can come up with something more clever than what Kid Cudi spits at the end of this 2008 "freestyle” (around 4:01):