The Power Of One Word

Listening to music is great, but there are those instances when people mishear what the artists say. Sometimes the changes are small and insignificant, but other times they can be drastic. I can remember listening to my cousin misquote Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice. In his version, Snoop was sending a completely different message to the world. I don’t believe Snoop Dogg ever admitted to “rolling down the street smoking indo, sipping on titty juice!” (We still laugh about this one!)

Changing one simple word can completely alter a message. Most people who choose to enable the autocorrect on their cell phones know exactly what I mean. I would Google some funny autocorrect examples, but I think that dead horse has been beaten to a pulp.

Here are some examples of how changing one word can completely shift the message of a song. I have chosen a famous line from one of the best rappers to ever speak into a microphone, the late Notorious B.I.G.

These words are from the song, Big Poppa.

“How you livin’ Biggie Smalls? In mansions and Benzes. Givin’ ends to my friends and it feels stupendous.”

     The original lyrics are pretty self-explanatory;   Biggie is asked about his lifestyle and he brags and boasts about some of his possessions and the great way he treats his friends.

{Change 1}

“How you livin’ Biggie Smalls? In mansions and TRENCHES. Givin’ ends to my friends and it feels stupendous.”

If Biggie said this, we would have no idea what he was talking about. People would have heard these words and believed that Biggie was some wealthy patriotic World War I buff who lives like a king on most days, but every so often enjoys digging trenches and reenacting his favorite battle scenes.

{Change 2}

“How you livin’ Biggie Smalls? In CADILLACS and Benzes. Givin’ ends to my friends and it feels stupendous.”

In this second example, one would arrive at the conclusion that Biggie was a complete idiot who chose to spend all of his money on fancy cars, only to be forced to live in the vehicles. This would have been tragic, but at least we know he was ensuring that his friends were living comfortable. Thankfully for him, he was not an imbecile.

{Change 3}

“How you livin’ Biggie Smalls? In mansions and Benzes. Givin’ ends to my TENS and it feels stupendous.”  

If this was the change, it would have been clear that Biggie enjoyed being around beautiful women, who in his eyes were at the top of the one to ten scale, but sadly he would have freely confessed that their services were paid for. Biggie would have appeared to be a lonely man looking for love in all the wrong places.

{Change 4}

“How you livin’ Biggie Smalls? In mansions and Benzes. Givin’ ends to my friends and it feels PRETENTIOUS.”

This is my favorite example. We get to see a man who is not without fault, but completely honest. Biggie would have been saying that he indeed had more money than the average person, but he also would be candid enough to admit that his life wasn’t as glamorous as he was making it out to be. There was still a dark side that proved to be more fatal than anyone expected.

{Change 5}

“How you livin’ Biggie Smalls? In mansions and Benzes. Givin’ HEAD to my friends and it feels stupendous.”

This final example is the most extreme modification. If these were the actual lyrics, Biggie would have been the first openly gay commercial rapper. He would have preceded Lady Gaga as the GLBT community’s most beloved artist. Thankfully, we never had to witness the Notorious B.I.G. in skinny jeans!

Can you guess, which object is no longer in existence?

A) The Notorious B.I.G.

B) World Trade 1

C) World Trade 2

D) None of the above

(Please remember to use a number two pencil on the scansion sheet. Your answers can be emailed to

***Remember, words can be chosen freely, but do as that old dude in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade said; “choose wisely!”***

     Please don’t go changing any of my words!


Published by Peter Teixeira

First and foremost, I enjoy writing stories. I recently completed my first novel, and I successfully co-wrote a short film script, which won the grand prize in the words made easy competition.

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  1. I have misheard some songs too. Now it just seem unbelievable that I could actually think those were the right lyrics :).

  2. Nice post and word play. My favorite form of this is if you take all the titles of novels, poems, songs, etc., that have the word “Heart”, and replace it with the word “Dick”. The meaning actually becomes more salient. (i.e. “Now don’t break my dick, my achie-breaky dick…”)

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