Nothing compares to opening up your preferred streaming service, listening to a rap song, and attempting to decipher lyrics and bars spit by your favorite rapper. From onomatopoeias to alliterations and cryptic messages, an artist’s chosen lyrical content can tell us more about them than an intrusive Reddit thread ever will. Today we’re digging into Skillibeng’s “Whap Whap.” The dancehall record blew up this year and since the onset of its widespread popularity, fans have been left wondering what the catchy chorus really means.
Sit back and watch the rapper decipher the meaning of his 2022 viral hit with help from Uproxx’s Cherise Johnson. Hailing from Lyssons, Jamaica, Skillibeng tells us “whap whap,” is his home country’s term for corporal punishment. That’s right, the phrase represents the sound you’d hear while unfortunately getting whipped. The rapper didn’t stop there though, he’s turned the phrase on its head using it to express a montage of gunshots instead. His intention was to forego gruesome lyrics and add Jamacaain humor to the record which proved to be a successful effort. Skillibeng’s spanking-inspired record earned him features from Fivio Foreign and French Montana. Outside the record’s success, the infamous Nicki Minaj remixed his 2021, “Crocodile Teeth.”
You can watch Skillibeng’s Bar Stories explanation for “Whap Whap” above.