A girl's provocative voice was asking a rapper to show her his "grill." It didn't sound good, whatever it was. Probably another pseudonym for a body part, I thought, feeling alienated yet again from pop culture.
But I mustered some energy to power up my laptop and find out exactly what this song was about. Apparently, grills have been around for over a decade, sported at first by hustlers and pimps. As with many things in hip-hop culture, the trend has spread into high schools around the country. Madonna and Johnny Depp both wore them to the Academy Awards. While grills have mostly been worn by guys, a new trend is for girls to wear them to their proms. (A side note is that they're causing teeth decay and dentists are alarmed.)
The entire meaning of the song changed once I knew the rapper wasn't talking about body parts but about bling for his teeth. When I looked up the lyrics, I realized that while the rapper was still commanding his listeners to rob jewelry stores and using innuendo, the song wasn't 1/10th as sexually charged as I'd feared.
Another fifteen-minute episode in my life as an alien in the foreign land of pop culture. I learned — again — not to judge something there without taking the time to understand it. Not that I'm getting a grill made for myself or anything — I wear my bling in my ears and on my ring finger, thank you very much.