#AdventBoost Day 23 – Silvana Imam

Holy shit, it’s the day before Xmas.

Today I’m continuing my brief Swedish streak by adventboosting lesbian half-Lithuanian, half-Syrian Swedish rapper Silvana Imam. Now I’ll be honest: I hesitated about including her in AdventBoost because she’s a fucking superstar who doesn’t need signal boosting from small-time bloggers like me. Even so, I figure that a lot of the non-Swedes who read my blog might not be super read-up on the Swedish hiphop scene (not that I am, hah!). So I thought it was worth doing anyway!

So… Silvana Imam. Great music, great fucking lyrics. She’s a pulls-no-punches anti-homphobic, anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-fuckery rapper whose lyrics and attitude are sexy in the sort of way that can easily give young girls epiphanies about their sexuality. Like, Leonard Cohen and Xena helped me realize I was bi, but if I was 13 right now, it’d be Silvana Imam who did it for sure.

She has so many good songs. In her Imam Cobain, which begins with the lyrics “Imam Cobain, makes your mama gay.”, the final lines has become a sort of private anthem of mine. The song addresses right-wing homphobic, racist forces and general fuckery, and ends with the lines “du ska gå min skola, du ska lyssna, jag sa vi ska vinna” (you will go to my school, you will listen, I said we will win!). Whenever I read about some assholery taking place in my country, or the so called Swedish Democrats, our fascist, racist party, do something particularly stupid, I think of those lines. The song Simone, about her niece, routinely makes me cry on the bus. Other faves include Sett Henne and Tänd Alla Ljus.

I normally have a strict “no translating while drunk” policy but… I’m in a mood tonight so I’m going to provide y’all with an impromptu translation of the song Ta Av Dig, my current fave. You can listen to it here on Spoitfy and read the Swedish lyrics here. I’m probably not at all the right person to translate hiphop, but I’m “3 glasses of snaps”-brave, so here we go:

Take it off by Silvana Imam

Turn the light on, make me grateful
Shh, breath, shh, listen, we’re fucked up
But I want you here and now
Take it off before the song ends
Swimming pool, how I rehydrate you
Completely wet for me, Oil of Olay
Forgotten how to do it, you’ve made me stupid
Think you have to teach me
You’re so sexy, makes me so greedy
You’re so lightly dressed, so eager
Here around me it happens easily
Take it all off, don’t be ashamed, you’re so blessed!
But since yesterday, you’ve been disobedient
You know how that goes, I’ve been so clear
Give me my time back, stop teasing me
Behave, you’ve done wrong, and you know it

[Chorus] Take my hand, make me grateful
You’re smart, right? Set a standard
No-one beats me in strip poker
Take it off so I can put it on you
Take it off so I can put it on you
Nothing else can reach me so long as I can have you
Take it off so I can put it on you

You’re done with, shyness, no time for that
You want it, I want it too
Double egoism over equality
When you give me, give in for eternity
Come, stand up, let me see your ass
(Come, sit down), show me what your mouth does
Fuck it, show me what your friend does
Ought to thank God, ought to say a prayer
Your pussy makes me religous
The way you’re looking, I’m exploding
Think I’m playing, I’m serious
Your lips – You’re so fine
Too smart to dream, should’ve though twice
No empty threats, there’s meaning
Try my courage, come if you dare
I see your gaze, don’t play decent
Behave, you’re so wet, and I see it

[Chorus] Take my hand, make me grateful
You’re smart, right? Set a standard
No-one beats me in strip poker
Take it off so I can put it on you
Take it off so I can put it on you
Nothing else can reach me so long as I can have you
Take it off so I can put it on you

Ain’t that hot? Even in my stumbling translation, like damn. I’m not sure if I wanna seduce or be seduced to this song. Maybe both. Two notes: 1) line 4 of verse two is some artistic license because the original has some ambiguity. 2) the Swedish lyrics for the repeated choruse line is “ta av dig, innan jag kan ta på dig”. Ta av dig means take your clothes off (literally take off you) whereas ta på dig has a built-in ambiguity between “dress you” (put your clothes one) and “touch you”. In spoken language these are distinguished by emphasis, which is slightly obscured when sung/rapped. I mean, contextually I can guess which one is intended but there’s still ambiguity, which was why I opted for the translation of “put it on you” which is ambiguous between “put the clothes on you” and “put the moves on you”, rather than a more literal translation.

That was fun. I should translate music more often, just for the practice and enjoyment. Aaaanyway, you should go on Spotify and listen to all her songs. And check out her YouTube channel for official videos. And follow her on Twitter @SilvanaImam. Go! Listen! Now!

I need more LGBT rappers in my life, for real. G’night, lovelies.

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