The Big Hurt: What's really raw?

Plus, another 'Big Hurt' quiz
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 9, 2011

 Big Hurt raw

I was quite taken with Tyga's new single, "REALLY RAW." It's got one of the best Neptunes beats in quite a while, some promising rhymes from Tyga, a decent Snoop verse (even when he's on autopilot, he's still Snoop), and an amusing appearance by the Game — he's not what you'd call a great punch-line rapper, but calling himself "the California Nas" may be his funniest moment ever.

The real strength of the song is the hook, where Pharrell regards the concept of "really raw" in a manner most zenlike. He doesn't attempt a definition of really rawness, which would be pure folly — it's like a Derrida deconstruction, you could write a whole book on really raw without scratching the surface. Instead, he illuminates it by answering the unasked question "What's really raw?", as if contemplating a koan. "KFC by the bucket, that's really raw," he tells us. "Watchin' pornos on the iPad, that's really raw." Other examples include gargling with Champagne, Miami cribs on blue water, 20 niggas on four-wheelers, and going green (but I think he's being sarcastic about the last one).

If you check Twitter (the very pulse of human thought), you'll see a lot of people attempting to match P's wisdom, and their success varies wildly. For the most part, what tweeters describe as "really raw" is pretty weak compared to pornos on the iPad:

KJuan18: about to eat some chicken, thats #REALLYRAW

BigBangKob: playing basketball that's #REALLYRAW

We already know that eating chicken isn't really raw unless it's KFC and it's by the bucket — or maybe it's unrelated to the song and he's about to risk salmonella. Playing basketball hardly rises to Pharrell's standard of really raw — it's definitely not on the level of gargling with Champagne. Of course, the majority of people who attempt really raw just fail miserably, like this unfortunate dude:

JaaxsSwaags: on my volleyball jersey i put "swag" on my back.. ahaha! #reallyraw.

No, JaaxsSwaags, there is absolutely nothing really raw about playing volleyball, no matter what you write on the jersey (except maybe "HE HATE ME").

I like to think "Big Hurt" readers are pretty hep, so I've devised a little quiz. Can you identify which of the following are really raw? Please note: these examples are my own, but I verified the accuracy of my answers via the psychic link I share with Pharrell. True or false?

1. Dropping a chandelier on a hater, that's really raw.

2. Koala riding shotgun in the Lambo, that's really raw.

3. Catching chagas off a jaguar bite, that's really raw.

4. Watching Popeye in the shower, that's really raw.

5. Mixing Nesquik in Moët, that's really raw.

6. Pancakes for dinner, that's really raw.

7. Naming your son Skylar, that's really raw.

8. Posting pictures of your dinner on Facebook, that's really raw.

9. Smoking dutch with Bryan Brown from Cocktail, that's really raw.

10. Drinking lean from the Holy Grail, that's really raw.

11. Buying hundred-dollar bills for a thousand dollars, that's really raw.

12. Unironically enjoying Muse's Grammy performance, that's really raw.

13. Reaching total enlightenment at Burning Man, that's really raw.

14. Losing at chess to a blind guy, that's really raw.

15. Eating both Twix at once, that's really raw.

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