Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion gave us “WAP” (an acronym, of course, for “Wet-Ass Pussy”) when we needed it most. It was August 7, 2020. A day earlier, President Donald Trump signed an executive order threatening to ban TikTok, one of our only blessings in quarantine. A day later, U.S. coronavirus cases surpassed 5,250,000. It was a dark moment, but the chart-topper pacified our pain with graceful lines like, “Put this pussy right in yo’ face / Swipe your nose like a credit card.”
Appropriately, the sexually charged bop was welcomed by oodles of acclaim. The New York Times called the performance “a powerful show of solidarity between two contemporaries who — had they emerged a generation or two ago, when plenty of people in the music industry believed the self-fulfilling lie that only one successful female rapper could exist at a time — might have been pitted against each other as rivals.”
Like any momentous anthem, it also sparked resentment, especially among political conservatives on Twitter. In a since-deleted tweet, Republican James P. Bradley, who was campaigning for a California congressional seat, said the song’s sexual messaging, which he allegedly heard “accidentally,” made him “want to pour holy water” into his wet-ass ears. Wrong wet hole, buddy!
Regardless of anyone’s personal opinion, “WAP” has undeniable staying power, proof of which are newly uploaded YouTube covers of the ballad performed in the style of popular 1990s bands, from Pearl Jam to Nirvana to Alice in Chains. The clips were uploaded by a YouTuber named “bax,” who has over 11,000 subscribers and sadly didn’t respond to my request for comment. Nevertheless, we can celebrate his magnificent creations.
Below, bax approaches “WAP” as if it were Nirvana’s “Polly,” which was originally an ominous number about the kidnapping of an adolescent girl.
Here, the mysterious YouTuber expertly merges Cardi B’s masterpiece and “Dani California” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was formerly about the hard, fast, unsettled life of a young Southern woman who moved to Cali.
“Rooster” by Alice in Chains, “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden and “Even Flow” by Pearl Jam have also been professionally WAP-ified by bax, and the results are a confounding combination of amusement and trepidation.
The strange combination of lyrics like, “Spit in my mouth, look at my eyes / This pussy is wet, come take a dive,” and bax’s attempts at the angsty vocals of Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder and their grunge brethren make for an unbridled listening experience. Bax successfully transforms songs that once covered sinister topics like homeleness, moodiness and PTSD into sexual, albeit seedy, serenades.