I woke up this morning and waited patiently for my family’s much-loved babysitter to come so I could hide in a room by myself and watch the new Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion video for “WAP.” I’d been on Twitter already; I knew what WAP stands for. So I also knew this was not a video I really wanted to have a long chat about with my 6- and 3-year-olds before breakfast.
When the time finally came, I put my headphones in and hit “play,” prepared to watch them nail that “wet-ass pussy” chorus in their fantasy palace of butt statues and snakes. I was prepped! Imagine my surprise, then, when the chorus I heard over and over, the supposedly “clean” version they’d recorded for radio and for the music video, was actually so much dirtier than “wet-ass pussy.” Because in the clean version, it’s not “wet-ass pussy.” It’s “wet and gushy.” And I am here to tell you that “wet and gushy” is, in fact, a much, much nastier version of this song.
On the face of it, sure, “wet-ass pussy” seems more explicit. It has both ass and pussy, words anyone’s middle-school teacher would scold you for saying in class. No one’s getting sent to the principal’s office for the word and. As a whole phrase, though, you will never convince me that “wet-ass pussy” is dirtier than “wet and gushy.” First, while “wet-ass pussy” is more anatomically specific, it lacks action. The wetness of the pussy in that image is already a fait accompli. It’s there, available; it’s a plain, clearly stated fact.
Meanwhile, every ounce of obscenity in the clean version comes from the word gushy. Where “wet-ass pussy” is a primed but inert sexual organ, gushy comes with some built-in action. The combination of wet and gushy gives the image an additional sense of motion, and it’s much more detailed in a sensory way. Nothing gushes passively. Nothing that gushes is controlled or manageable — the whole idea of the word is uncontrolled excess. The phrase is also just a touch less direct. “Wet-ass pussy” leaves nothing to the imagination, but “wet and gushy” is oblique enough that it feels much more evocative.
I’ve now listened to both the “clean” and “dirty” versions a few times, and I do think “wet-ass pussy” works better as a chorus. The sounds in each word are more percussive, and there’s a rhythmic precision you’ll just never get with the sloppy, soft sounds in the word gushy. But if the aim of the song is to make “wet-ass pussy” a proudly, gloriously, heinously filthy phrase that really sinks into the cultural lexicon, then trust me: “Wet and gushy” has the filthiness crown.
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