Retro Review

John Cena’s You Can’t See Me – Does It Still Slap?

Paige Brearley talks about one of her favourite wrestling memories, John Cena’s ‘You Cant See Me’ album and sees if it is still a banger, fourteen years on.

There has been a lot of music released in the past fifteen years that could be related to wrestling, but if you don’t think of John Cena’s album, whats wrong with you?

Sure, I am a tad biased because Cena is one of my favorite wrestlers, but the ‘You Can’t See Me’ album is filled with brilliance. Seventeen songs of straight up brilliance.

In 2005, when the album was released, I was thirteen years old just getting back into wrestling again for the third time. John Cena was my favorite and I wanted his album badly, so I did what any kid would at the time: went to WWE’s website and won it. Hey I was thirteen, don’t judge me! Once I got my copy of the album, I think it never left my CD player. Did I understand all the lyrics and what they meant? Hell no, but it was fun to listen to anyways. Of course WWE sent me the non explicit version because, ya know, I was a child but making guesses at the bleeped out parts sure was fun.

Fourteen years later and this is still one of my most played albums. I still can rap along with the majority of the songs and can name the songs by just hearing the first few notes. Seeing Cena live out two dreams was pretty cool and to do it with his cousin Tha Trademarc was even better. Love or hate him, Cena has always made things happen and his short lived rap career is one of those things.

While Cena has gone on to do some incredible things in his wrestling career and outside of the ring, I thought it would be fun to throw it back to his rap career and review some of the songs. Let’s get to it shall we?

Bad Bad Man

If you were watching wrestling back in 2005, you’d remember seeing videos for a few singles off the album, one being ‘Bad Bad Man.’ Cena even performed this one on an episode of Monday Night RAW.

This song of course featured Tha Trademarc and Bumpy Knuckles. If you go
back and watch the video you’ll see it played homage to the 80s. Honestly, looking back on it Cena’s album pays homage to a lot, like Boston and his wrestling career.

The video for ‘Bad Bad Man’ is just a lot of fun. It’s a reminder that John is cool making fun of himself a little or just doing random things to get a laugh. He always has a good time and in this video you could see that, but don’t forget he is still a bad, bad man (Ed Note: Also a Bad, Bad Man: our own Christopher Brockbank).

The Time Is Now

I mean we can’t talk about this album without mentioning the song it’s most famous for. There are very few people I know that don’t know this song immediately. While it isn’t my favorite John Cena entrance music (Basic Thugonomics’ is right there guys), you can’t help but make your own trumpeyt noise and rap along when it comes on. Or you get ready to pick which side you’re on, does Cena suck or are you cheering for him?

I won’t say too much on this one, I mean we’ve heard it so many times over the years, but if you have never listened to the song fully you should. Trademarc’s verse is honestly fantastic. Go on your Spotify or Youtube and let the song play fully, it is really great.

Don’t F*** With Us

Bet you weren’t expecting this one, were you? I mean, who would? Even during that time of ruthless aggression I wouldn’t have thought Vince would have been cool with his hottest superstar’s album having a song with this name. Nevertheless, this song goes hard, it’s in my top three songs from the album.

“We into big things, bank account’s overgrown
All types of cheese – swiss, cheddar, provolone”

I mean, come on. It’s one of my favorite lines from the song. The man could buy whatever he wanted and he wanted you to know it. Lots of money, lots of cheese, cars etc. He wasn’t hiding it.

Just Another Day

This is another one in my top three, it’s just too good. It’s a reminder of not only the life John leads because of wrestling, but where he came from and what many others go through. In it, Cena says a line about how vets backstage would look at him like he wasn’t ready for the limelight, but he hustled to get where he was. It wasn’t easy, but he had the passion for it and went with it.

The flip side of the song, Trademarc rapped it of course, was how rock bottom things can be. Basically, Trademarc raps about how broke he is and that one day he hopes to look back at where he was and realize how strong he was. Complete opposite of the part Cena was rapping on.

I think this is my favorite song off the whole album because it’s so real. No matter where you’re at in life things can be tough. With Cena’s part things may look great on the outside, but you may be getting no sleep and have no friends. Trademarc’s part shows that you could be broke and just holding on for the best. It’s an honest and raw track, at least to me.

Summer Flings

This is another song that if you didn’t own the album or ever look into it, you’d probably never know about. Well, you should check it out. You could take a guess from the title what this one is about and why it probably wasn’t a single at the time.

While for kids it was totally an inappropriate theme, it definitely wasn’t the worst song about this type of stuff you could hear. Like most of the songs on the album, its catchy as all hell.

Right Now

Anyone I have ever talked to about this album points to this song as their favorite and I can’t blame them because its one of mine as well. I mentioned earlier that this album pays homage to a lot of things John loves, this song is probably the biggest example of that. The video was filmed where John grew up back in West Newbury and showcases his family and friends.

In the video, it’s just a big family barbecue, almost like a family reunion of sorts. Not only do you get to see the love Cena has for his family, you get a bunch of throwback photos and special moments from throughout his life. Its the most personal song on the album, which is why I think it resonates with so many people.

Okay, so there you have it: a little retrospective look at John Cena’s album. I could go on all day about the songs off of it and Cena himself, but I’ll stop myself. If you have never listened to the album, take the time to; it’s filled with a bunch of bangers and I think you may get a new appreciation for Cena himself. If I am being honest this album, and Cena, helped me feel more a part of wrestling back then, which is why I am always down to talk about it. So if you listen to it or have listened to it, tell me about your favorite songs or memories of the album! Also, John if you see this: make another album!

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You can find the author of this article on Twitter @paigeyb88. Thanks for reading!

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