I Translated “Tunnel Vision” by Kodak Black into Slang-Free Prose

I Translated “Tunnel Vision” by Kodak Black into Slang-Free Prose

In 2005, I was a contestant in Xi Man, a sorority event which I would basically summarize as a ‘man pageant.’ Each guy needed a talent for the evening and, since I mainly attribute my actual ‘skills’ to writing, I decided to do what any good writer would do – translate a rap song into actual English.

Well, it’s been 12 years and the hip hop game has changed. Not to fear. Google tells me that a top-10 rap song right now is called “Tunnel Vision” by Kodak Black. I admittedly know very little about Kodak Black, but I grew up in the same city where Kodak is based, so you could say I have an inside track into this genius’s mindset. Also, Kodak Black was released from prison today, so this is also a moment of celebration.

Without further ado, here is my translation of his song. The original lyrics are in standard format; mine are in bold and italic. Enjoy.

Gleeee! (I’m happy)
(Southside) (This is where I am)
And Li’l Metro on that beat (Oh, and my song has a producer)

Li’l Kodak they don’t like to see you winnin’ (I’m speaking to myself in the third person regarding others’ displeasure with my success)
They wanna see you in the penitentiary (In fact, these individuals wish that you were incarcerated)
I need me a li’l baby who gon’ listen (In unrelated news, I have an urgent demand for a petite woman who will listen to me)
Girl I don’t wanna be the one you iggin’ (And it’s important that you don’t ignore me)
My mama told me, “Boy make a decision” (My mother, giver of life, compelled me to be decisive)
Right now I gotta keep a tunnel vision (So, at this current juncture, it’s critical for me to remain singularly focused)
I need me a li’l baby who gon’ listen (As previously noted, I still have an urgent demand for a petite woman who will listen to me)
Girl I don’t wanna be the one you iggin’ (Again, as previously noted, it’s also important that you don’t ignore me)
Li’l Kodak they don’t like to see you winnin’
They wanna see you in the penitentiary
I need me a li’l baby who gon’ listen
Girl I don’t wanna be the one you iggin’
My mama told me, “Boy make a decision”
Right now I gotta keep a tunnel vision (You may notice a trend here, but I feel that if I repeat my greatest needs, their level of importance may be more clearly defined. So once again, as previously stated, and more succinctly clarified, people aren’t happy that I’m successful, they wish I were imprisoned, I desire a female companion who is an adept listener, who will also remain focused on me, and once more, my mother has encouraged me to be more decisive.)

They sendin’ all my homies on a mission
And I ain’t tryna miss out on these millions (My friends have been given an unidentified task by an unspecified third party. In perhaps related news, it’s paramount that I capitalize on my opportunity to earn a lucrative income.)

I jumped out of that Wraith, Kodak bought a Wraith (I swiftly exited a Rolls Royce Phantom, a vehicle which I purchased.)
I get any girl I want, any girl I want (There are no exclusions with regards to the woman I might obtain.)
She want me to save the day, but I ain’t got a cape (A particular female wishes that I would do something heroic, but alas, I am not an accredited superhero.)
She wanna see me everyday, she wanna be my bae (This same woman has an urgent desire to remain in my company, daily in fact. She desires a level of commitment in the confines of a relationship.)

That money make me cum it made me fornicate (Revenue makes me ejaculate and engage in sexual intercourse)
Uh, I’m the shit, I need some toilet pap-er (I am excrement, though not literally. Nevertheless, as with excrement, I must be reckoned with.)
Follow my player rules then we gon’ be okay (I operate by a particular set of guidelines, and if so obliged, your cooperation with those guidelines will result in a mutually satisfactory relationship.) 
On the real, I need a bih’ who gon’ cooperate (Lest you doubt the sincerity of my previous statement, I truly desire someone who will meet the demands of my aforementioned guidelines.)

I told you niggas, I’m gon’ be that fuckin’ nigga (You may recall that I told many of you that I would become a successful individual.)
Everything be good until you doin’ better than ’em (This was fine with you, until my self-prophecies became fulfilled.)
They wanna see a nigga shot or see me in the system (Now, these same individuals wish physical harm upon me by way of gun violence, or perhaps incarceration.)

All you niggas out here poison like snake venom (I would compare this danger to that of a venomous snake, or perhaps to conjure up images of the serpent mentioned in the book of Genesis, in the bible.) 
Codeine in my liver, rockin’ Balenciaga denim (In unrelated news, the pain-relieving sedative, codeine, is in my liver. I am wearing semi-fashionable Balenciaga denim jeans.)
I’m booted even when I’m sober, I don’t need a jigga (Impossibly, I am under the influence of substances even when I am sober, and I require no ecstasy pills.)
They sendin’ all my niggas on a fuckin’ journey (Once more, an undefined third party is sending my closest acquaintances on an excursion.)
I told that baby to come over ’cause I’m fucking horny (In unrelated news, I requested that a young woman join me at my residence in lieu of my now-rising sexual desires.)
My mama told me kill these niggas, son keep it goin’ (My mother demanded that that I murder those with whom I am not affiliated, and to continue on with my own endeavors.)
I’m thug to the bone, but I’m still her baby boy (I have street credibility and criminal tendencies, though my mother still views me as her child who is in need of nurturing.)
Li’l Kodak, boy they hate to see you in a foreign (Once again speaking to myself in the third person, it is to be noted that unaffiliated third party individuals find great displeasure when I am in an imported vehicle, particularly one of a luxury brand.)
They miss when you was in that ‘Yota kickin’ door (Those same folks, perhaps jealous with your success, would rather you operate and commute in an old model Toyota.)


One thought on “I Translated “Tunnel Vision” by Kodak Black into Slang-Free Prose

  1. Perfection. The translation was superb and it made my week!
    I needed this interpretation after quite a weird week of everyone dissecting Comey’s testimony. It is amazing
    How I have never seen a translation of rap!

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