What Ray J's "I Hit It First" is Really About
Current President of MENSA/musical artist Ray J recently released what has been described by every human with ears as a Kanye West diss track about Kim Kardashian, called I Hit It First. But former Rhodes Scholar Ray J insists that we are wrong and that I Hit It First is not about his sexual escapades with a pre-famous Kim Kardashian at all. If this is the case -- which it most assuredly is given Ray J's record for intellectual and moral decency -- then we must dig deeper and understand what Ray J truly "hit first." A close-reading of the lyrics to I Hit It First yielded a few possibilities.
"She might move on to rappers and ballplayers/ But we all know I hit it first/ I hop in the club and boppers show love/ And I don't even put in work/ I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it first. I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it, I hit it first."
These introductory lyrics to I Hit It First suggest that Ray J may have been the first (and greatest) player of the late-90's cult-toy-darling, Bop It!
Ray J's reliance on words like "hit," "hop," and "boppers," as well as his claim that he can do it all without "even put[ting] in work" makes the Bop It thesis incredibly persuasive. Given the tactile nature of Bop It, in which one must "pull" and "twist" and "squeeze" and "bop" it, confusing Ray J's lyrics for a song about sex is understandable but ultimately misinformed. Ray J's repetition of "I hit it" at the end of the verse is a further shout out to Bop It and his mastery of it. He is proud of his Bop It skills and is challenging any and all listeners to challenge his prowess.
"I had her head going north and her ass going south/ But now baby chose to go West/ We deep in the building she know that I kill 'em/ I know that I hit it best."
Many of those in the I-Hit-It-First-Is-A-Kanye-West-Diss-Track Camp point to these lyrics in particular to argue that Ray J is referencing Kim Kardashian's decision to leave him and go "(Kanye) West." What these critics are overlooking, however, are the general themes of travel and abandonment that mark Ray J's ballad, and that completely transcend any current event or person. Rather, Ray J is reflecting on the earliest stages of American westward expansion.
Ray J's references to all directions but east - -where the Atlantic Ocean lies -- as well as his mysterious existence in the bowels of an important building and his willingness to "kill 'em" suggests what Ray J hit first may in fact be the concept of Manifest Destiny. It would be a stretch to claim that Ray J is actually the reincarnation of President Andrew Jackson, but it is a far more realistic claim than I Hit It First being about Kim Kardashian and Ray J's misogynistic obsession with having sex with her "first."