When Pop Culture Name-Drops “Tribeca”

angie-tribecaI have a constant search going of the word “Tribeca” on Twitter—I learn quite a bit that way, and of course it’s where Welcome to TweeBeCa comes from. Occasionally, the stream gets overrun by people quoting something from pop culture that happens to reference our little neighborhood.

Movie mentions are more or less nonexistent, but a TV one usually breaks out every year—such as the nonsensical last name of “Angie Tribeca” (2016). As co-creator Steve Carrell explained, “It specifically came through the name Angie Tribeca—the name made us laugh. [My wife Nancy and I] built the character based on the name and it expanded over time. We created this world of who this detective would be. We were just making each other laugh riffing on this name.”

Before that, there was Santana in “Glee” (2011), who said, “As soon as we get to New York I’m bailing to live in a lesbian colony or Tribeca.” And Schmidt in “The New Girl” (2012) who, while trying to stall a woman, claimed, “Oh my god, the Melmen funeral? We were sitting next to Uncle Jack? Oh my God, I used to do your hair in Tribeca.” And Lillian in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (2015), perpetually concerned about gentrification by hipsters, yells, “This is for what you crackers did to Tribeca!” (Cracker seems an odd choice; gentrifiers are not usually poor. Also, it’s offensive.)

Hip hop is where the action really is. The latest instance, and what got this post rolling, is the crass, banal “Same Hoes” from rapper Rick Ross. While listing the many men with whom he has shared women—no homoerotic subtext there!—Ross says that he and soccer player David Beckham have spent some quality time in Tribeca, possibly simultaneously.

Me and David Beckham fuckin’ the same hoes
Apartment in Tribeca on the third floor
Me and Busta Rhymes, we fuck the same hoes
Three days later, seen them in the hat and change clothes
They fuck with me but they say their favorite artist is J. Cole
Ain’t trippin’ baby, this is how the game goes

It’s unclear whether Pusha T was referring to those same hoes when he boasted, “Soho or Tribeca, three hoes, trifecta,” on Kanye West’s “I Don’t Like” (2012). Do you think he counted them off with a hearty “Ho, ho, ho”? In any event, for a long time, people would simply tweet “Soho, Tribeca…,” and others would finish the line.

courtesy Kim KardashianSpeaking of Kanye West (above left; courtesy his wife, Kim Kardashian)…. In this year’s “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1,” West waxed unpoetically about a situation that that I think we can all relate to.

Now if I fuck this model
And she just bleached her asshole
And I get bleach on my T-shirt
I’mma feel like an asshole
I was high when I met her
We was down in Tribeca
She get under your skin if you let her
She get under your skin if you-uh
I don’t even want to talk about it
I don’t even want to talk about it
I don’t even want to say nothing
Everybody gon’ say something
I’d be worried if they said nothing

Right when you think things can’t get worse, in walks Eminem. In “Medicine Ball” (2009), he seems to think the neighborhood is called “the Tribeca,” although that’s hardly the nadir:

Welcome to the Slim Shady Mecca, Rebecca
It’s the village in New York right next to the Tribeca
That’s my sector, homosexual dissector
Come again, rewind selector!
I said nice rectum, I had a vasectomy Hector
So you can’t get pregnant if I bisexually wreck ya
Hannibal Lecter into guy sex, and I bet ya
I tantalize ya and in less than five seconds I get ya

Happily, there’s life beyond hoes, homophobia, and bleach stains. Despite the reference to drugs, the mention in Curren$y’s “Roasted” (2010) is relatively wholesome—although I can’t help but hear these lines as if they were from a Digable Planets song:

Bitches crumbling nuggets I’m feeling lovely and blessed
Tribeca at Bubby’s I’m enjoying a lemon press
Not that Minute Maid crap—they squeeze these lemons they self.

Curren$y really is a fan of the restaurant….

It stands to reason, of course, that Jay Z would mention his neighborhood now and again: He’s prone to a braggy rap and “Tribeca” does carry cachet. From “Off That” (2009):

So I drive around town, hard top and it’s off
Uhh, in my Tribeca loft
With my high brow art, and my high yellow broad
Uhh, and my dark-skinned sis
And my best white mate, say what’s up to Chris
Uhh, how’s that for a mix?

The Chris in question, uhh, is Chris Martin of Coldplay, uhh, who used to be married, uhh, to Gwyneth Paltrow. The gold standard for Tribeca mentions is actually a different Jay Z song: The opening lines from “Empire State of Mind” (2009) still get quoted online, often by fairly unlikely people.

Yeah, I’m out that Brooklyn, now I’m down in Tribeca
Right next to De Niro, but I’ll be hood forever

Squadron tweetRelated post:
••• What Rhymes with Tribeca?



  1. Hilarious and… uh um scary… or something. I’m pretty sure Kanye could get a new unbleached t-shirt asap.

  2. This is one of the best things I’ve ever read in my life. I think the next Taste of TriBeCa t-shirts should have a font done with the afore-mentioned bleach stains to give it a little street/hip hop cred that I’m sure it’s been looking for….