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Notebook: Dissecting the whimsical wordplay of rapper Cam'ron

By Jackson Howard, Daily Arts Writer
Published March 20, 2013

We’ll never know.

“Make China stretch like Yao Ming / Ching chong chinga-linga: Ciao, meng / I’m bilingual ma” (“Hey Lady”)

Cam is saying that he can make the cocaine (China) stash he’s selling expand like the Chinese basketball player Yao Ming. However, I’m most interested in the latter section of this rhyme. Cam tries to speak some Chinese and then proudly states “ciao, meng,” a double-entendre of sorts meaning simply “bye” yet also referencing chow mein. Ah. Clever. But Cam’ron, first of all, “ciao” is Italian. Secondly, just because you said the words “ching chong chinga-linga” does not mean whatsoever that you speak Chinese, and it certainly doesn’t mean you are bilingual! I mean, that doesn’t sound like Chinese at all.

Oh, well. There’s no use going on. I guess Cam’ron will always be Cam’ron. And I hope it stays that way. Here’s to another 15 years of greatness from our generation’s Confucius.