Akon’s Dilemma

In “Sexy Bitch,” a song by the French DJ David Guetta and the Senegalese-American singer Akon, Akon faces a dilemma familiar to anyone who cares about language and is smitten with love. The problem: how to discuss your lover’s beauty without resorting to cliché or objectification.

She’s nothing like a girl you’ve ever seen before

Nothing you can compare to your neighborhood whore

I’m trying to find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful

The way that booty movin’ I can’t take no more

Have to stop what I’m doin’ so I can pull up close

I’m trying to find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful

In true gentlemanly fashion, Akon’s lament is both flattering and self-deprecating. He acknowledges that what’s he inclined to say about this woman could be perceived as misogynistic hyperbole, and yet he believes anything short of misogynistic hyperbole would be inadequate to explain her beauty. The fault, according to Akon, lies with his own inability to characterize her properly. After all, Akon makes no claims to being a poet; he’s just a “Konvict” who served three years in jail for stealing cars.

By singing openly and humbly about his linguistic limitations, Akon transforms his shortcoming into a demonstration of his sincerity. The final line of the chorus – “I’m trying to find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful” – is delivered as though it were a powerful anthem, even though it expresses the singer’s failure to fulfill his duties as a bard. In this way Akon joins a long tradition of scribblers who have composed a verbal tribute to a beauty that confounds their capacity for words.

Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?

Not hardly!

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Damn, girl!



  1. You know – I was listening to Buju Banton’s ‘Til Shiloh album the other day. There’s a song called “Champion” – upon first, second, and third listenings the only lyrics I would discern were, “Walk Like a Champion, Talk Like a Champion…”

    At first I was kind of juiced. I thought, “What an interesting departure for Buju. A positive anthem! Most of his lyrics are about getting laid.” So then I looked up the lyrics:

    “Buju Banton wanna walk like a champion
    Talk like a champion
    What a piece of body gal
    Tell me where you get it from
    Knock ‘pon your entrance
    Ram pa pa pam pam
    Gal let me in
    Me have a thing that you are waiting”

    And it makes me like Buju even more.

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