"Kool Thing" as written by Kim Gordon, Lee M. Ranaldo, Steven Jay Shelley and Thurston Joseph Moore....
Kool Thing sittin' with a kitty
Now you know you're sure lookin' pretty
Like a lover not a dancer
Superboy take a chance here
I don't want to, I don't think so
I don't want to, I don't think so

Kool Thing let me play it with your radio
Move me, turn me on, baby-o
I'll be your slave
Give you a shave
I don't want to, I don't think so
I don't want to, I don't think so

Yeah, tell'em about it,
Hit'em where it hurts
Hey, Kool Thing, come here, sit down
There's something I go to ask you.
I just want to know, what are you gonna do for me?
I mean, are you gonna liberate us girls
From male white corporate oppression?
Tell it like it is!
Don't be shy
Word up!
Fear of a female planet?
Fear of a female planet?
Fear, baby!
I just want to know that we can still be friends
Come on, come on, come on, come on let everybody know
Kool thing, Kool thing

When you're a star, I know you'll fix everything
Now you know you're sure lookin' pretty
Rock the beat just a little faster
Now I know you are the master
I don't want to, I don't think so
I don't want to, I don't think so

Kool thing walkin' like a panther
Come on and give me an answer
Kool thing walkin' like a panther
What'd he say?
I don't want to, I don't think so
I don't want to, I don't think so

Lyrics submitted by shut

"Kool Thing" as written by Lee M. Ranaldo Kim Gordon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Kool Thing song meanings
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  • +10
    General CommentIn response to the comments about the women in the Black Panthers, I can tel lyou that many of them WANTED to be there. But they were belittled and subordinated by their male counterparts-- which ties into the "Panther" and "Kitty" comment. Thus, I think the concept behind this song is to question patriarchal authority in all spheres, not just in white middle-class america but in the music scene, too.
    Wildest of Honeyon September 14, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI heard that this song was about LL Cool J which would be the reason for the lyrics about 'panthers' and 'radio' (taken from the names of his songs). Kim was going to have LL sing but later decided to have Chuck D on instead.
    drivel75on May 04, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General Commentactually its about the black rights movement group the "Black Panthers" and the women who supported them - not because they cared about black rights, but because they wanted the men.
    atthedrive-inon December 14, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDefinitely an attack on gender (specifically male) constructs and general identity. But it's more playful than that. This feminism is passe, formulated two decades before the release of Goo, and she's playing with it. Life isn't quite so simple, and she hints at an element of pleasure in both the traditional framing, as well as the institutionalized rebellion. There's a hint of satisfaction in the offer of a shave, and she's also singing directly to the target of her attack. Whether Chuck D or LL Cool J, they're very much in on the game, as well, the wink being offered in both directions.
    conetoaster11on November 12, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment“Kool Thing” was inspired by an interview that Kim Gordon had with LL Cool Jay when she was writing a piece for the music-magazine Spin. (See article below). Essentially the interview was a ridiculous idea, the two did not get along, and the song was meant to mock LL Cool Jay, who had recently released the 1989 album “Walking With a Panther” – for which he was booed on stage by fans for its pop-sellout nature. As we should all know, LL Cool Jay came back with one of his most known singles “Mama Said Knock You Out” an epic masterpiece.

    I don’t believe Gordon knew exactly herself where she was headed with the political themes listed in the song, but I believe in the interview she meant to associate herself with the fight of the Black Panthers against the white male – which turned out to be a movement that left women uninvited, (as women are weak and inferior and have half the size of brains that men do and were put on this planet to make sandwiches and stuff and do laundry and you know, other non-man things – to put it as a white male oppressor would). I think this may have pissed off Kim. “Kool Thing” is littered with LL Cool Jay references, such as the voice of Chuck D representing the rapper’s careless attitude towards the political realm.

    adk04don December 06, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTo gibsonsg87- couldn't "kitty" be a reference to the Panther side of things? The word "kitty" could be used as a patronising diminuitive, ironically or otherwise, for the women who supported the movement
    little-offseton July 18, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOh-- and when I say they WANTED to be there, I mean they actually wanted to take part in the actual activism, not just a hook-up. Angela Davis, anyone?
    Wildest of Honeyon September 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentChuck D as a representative of an apolitical attitude? That makes no sense, either in general or in the context of this song. Chuck D is politically outspoken personally and in his music. And in his cameo in Kool Thing--during the part Kim is delivering the most explicitly political lines in the song--Chuck is cheering her on. "Hit 'em where it hurts. Let everybody know!"

    OTOH there's so much irony in this song, it can tie your head in knots. Kool Thing--and its associated photo shoot--were an obvious (and perhaps slightly desperate) effort by Geffen to put Sonic Youth on the pop charts. Which failed, despite this being among the band's more accessible songs. (Getting Butch "Nevermind" Vig to produce Dirty didn't help, either.) But relative to SY's musical approach and their place in the rock world, "accessible" is a relative term, and it doesn't add up to Top 40. However catchy it may be, the guitar work flirts with atonality; this drives many a would-be listener to stick in their ear plugs (literally?)

    Not that it matters. It's difficult to think of any band having Sonic Youth's combination of creative freedom and prominence. They can put release an homage to Stan Brakhage and never worry about having to get a day job. In return Geffen looks cool. Even if Sonic Youth had gone Metal Machine Music from the first day they signed with DGC until the present, all would be forgiven; what could have been more beneficial to the label than their advocacy of Nirvana?
    foreverdroneon June 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSeems to be an attack on the macho masculine male, and how they will/won't do certain things to show how how masculine they are.
    Songmeaningsuseron September 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's sad that this song is about oppression and subjection of women but the whole time I keep thinking how hot Kim sounds. : ( I agree with everything she says but.......God. I'm an idiot.
    PeaceFrog33on December 10, 2005   Link

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