Between the Bars: “Rapp Snitch Knishes” by MF DOOM

By Kwase Lane, Staff Writer

Hello, and welcome back to Between the Bars. I’d like to start this year with one of my favorite artists, MF DOOM. We’re going to be examining the second verse of “Rapp Snitch Knishes” from his album MM.. FOOD. In this piece, DOOM mocks his fellow rappers who choose to brag about their less-than-legal exploits in their music. I’ve included a link to the song below so you can listen while you read. Let’s hop right into the analysis.

Read more: Between the Bars: “November” by Tyler, The Creator

“True, there’s rules to this shit, fools dare care/ Everybody wanna rule the world with tears for fear/ Yeah yeah, tell ’em “Tell it on the mountain hill”/ Running up they mouth bill, everybody doubting still”

In these first four lines, DOOM makes it known that he doesn’t approve of loose lips when it comes to his contemporaries. He understands that they might be trying to earn the fear or respect of others by detailing their antics, but he dismisses this quickly saying that no matter how much they talk, it doesn’t garner respect from anybody.

“Informer, keep it up and get tested/ Pop through the bubble vest or double-breasted”

DOOM goes on to explain the dangers present in not being discrete, especially when the people you may be selling out are not above participating in illegal acts. Talking to the wrong people can only end badly, especially when you don’t know when you can’t keep your mouth shut.

“He keep a lab down south in the little beast/ So much heat you woulda thought it was the Middle East/ A little grease always keeps the wheels a-spinning/ Like sitting on twenty threes to get the squealers grinning”

The next few lines detail the benefits and dangers of having a large amount of money from illegitimate businesses. The person in question has a lot to show for their work and can even bribe the authorities if they need to cover their tracks. However, using the money to buy flashy items, like 23-inch rims, is a surefire way to catch the ire of people who would rather not see you succeed.

“Hitting on many trees, feel real linen/ Spitting on enemies, get the steel for tin men/ Where no brains but gum flap/ He said his gun clap, then he fled after one slap/ Son shut your trap, save it for the bitches/ Mmm, delicious, rap snitch knishes”

The final lines of this verse serve to further warn chatty individuals who haven’t gotten the message yet. DOOM draws parallels between snitches and the heartless tin man and brainless scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. He doesn’t feel any sympathy for people who meet the consequences of their snitching. The last line, referencing the song’s title, links the song’s themes to that of the album which has a connecting theme of food-related ideas.

That’s it for this week guys, I hope you enjoyed learning about your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Until next time, from all of us at ACRN, happy listening!


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