Slaughterhouse- Goodbye (Joe Budden’s Verse)

Welcome to the newest post of Understanding the Rhymes.  This week’s song is titled Goodbye by Slaughterhouse.  Slaughterhouse is comprised of four members; Crooked I, Royce da 5’9’’, Joell Ortiz, and Joe Budden.  Because of how long this song is, this post will only analyze the first verse by Joe Budden.  If anyone would like to hear a full song analysis or another specific verse, feel free to post in the comments section.

In this song Budden goes deep into a life-changing experience.  He’s been through many struggles in life, especially trying to make it in the rap game, but in this song he describes what must be one of the hardest moments in his life.  Below is the link to the song followed by the amazing lyrics of Joe Budden’s verse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vg8IaRDBcc

I remember it like it just happened
I could’ve sworn it was a dream
But in reality it hit me like a nightmare
Or at least that’s how it seemed
I just got a grip on our relationship
We was ironing things out, started picking up steam
And when we didn’t need it is when it all got heated
And we both said some things that we probably didn’t mean
Then God intervened, guess more was at stake
Thought we left nothing over, He put more on the plate
She came home from the doctor with news I’ve been wanting
Says family was incoming, she’s pregnant, twins coming
But that’s gotta be a lie
She sighed, couldn’t stop the tears coming from her eyes
That birth control she on, for them it’s suicide
As long as it’s still inside, two of them wouldn’t survive
Hard turn from memorable to cynical
Picturing clothes for what would’ve been identical
Similar outfits, similar names
My deceased kids’ ultrasound in a frame
So I’m deprived of my chance to be a better dad
Staring at my twins that I never had
I shed a tear, looking up in the sky
Even though y’all just got here, goodbye

[Hook]
Goodbye, goodbye, so long, farewell
But it’s not the end of the chapter
Goodbye, goodbye, so long, farewell
I’ll see you again in the afterlife

Budden starts his verse off by recalling a certain moment in his life.  Everyone knows the feeling when a moment so powerful in life happens, it almost feels like a dream.  Unfortunately for Joe, this memory was a nightmare.  Budden’s relationship with his girlfriend was not going great and they were starting to fight more and more.  Sometimes when anger builds people say things they don’t mean, an experience that happened to Joe.

All of a sudden Budden and his girlfriend found out that she was pregnant with not one baby, but twins.  Budden didn’t think this was possible.  His girlfriend was on birth-control pills.  He couldn’t believe what this would mean.  If she was taking birth-control pills while she was pregnant, the babies would not survive.  Usually child birth is extremely happy and it’s shocking how different some cases of birth can be like this one.  Not being able to stop day-dreaming about what the twins could have been, he thinks of buying matching outfits, and naming them.

Next Budden says what I think is one of the most powerful lines in all of hip-hop, “My deceased kids’ ultrasound in frame.”  The thought of staring at the ultrasounds of your twins who you knew weren’t going to survive is next to unimaginable.  Now imagine actually experiencing it.  Because his twins aren’t going to survive, Budden raps that he does not get the chance to become a better Dad.  Even with this extremely challenging moment in his life, Budden has kept going and is still writing music.  However, he will never forget the day he had to tell his twins, “Goodbye.”

Thanks for reading this week’s post.  I hope everyone enjoyed these deep lyrics.  Budden is going on a solo-tour now starting Novembers 24th.  He is even coming to Los Angeles which I will be attending.  If you are interested in seeing him, here are the tour dates.  I’d love to hear comments and requests are always encouraged.  Until next post…

Joe Budden’s Tour

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Mac Miller- Clarity

Welcome back to Understanding the Rhymes.  This week we are still going to be analyzing song lyrics but in a slightly different way.  Social media has played a huge part in getting some no-name rappers popular.  Some people love him, some people hate him, but it can’t be denied that Mac Miller did everything he could with social media in order to make it to the top of the charts.  So for this week’s post, we will be analyzing Mac’s song Clarity off of his recent mixtape Macadelic.  Because of Mac Miller’s great presence on twitter, the big catch is…each analysis will be done in the form of a tweet.  Here are the lyrics and link to the song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYJUZ4Tz-eI;

[Verse 1: Mac Miller]
Figure all this out, I ain’t gonna take a charity
Marry me, wish everyone could shake and play the tambourine
Perfect, I know I love you I ain’t tryna let those words slip
Pure bliss, I knew that we would stay together, we in cursive
Infatuation, when every single move you make is fascinatin’
Gravitatin’ towards anything that gives a sense of happiness
Activist, love activist
Sendin’ my love for girls who got some cuts at their wrists
Hope you found what you lookin’ for, I hope you found what you lookin’ for

[Hook]
You take away the pain and I thank you for that
If I ever get the chance, bet I’m paying you back
Ima be waitin’ for that (x2)

[Verse 2: Mac Miller]
Misery, you represent love, you the epitome
So wish for me, I’ll come out of nowhere, your epiphany
Disconnect, from everybody who don’t understand my vision yet
In a jet, is where my mind is so I light another cigarette
To calm me down, so calm me down
Everybody who can save me now is not around, chopper down
Busy today, but can you tell me how tomorrow sounds?
In between, purgatory ain’t as bad as it would seem to be
Live a dream, that’s so cliche but I can’t tell you what it means to me

[Hook]

At first @MacMiller raps about wanting a girl who really loves him, not a girl who just wants his money.  #golddiggers #girlproblems

He thn describes how he really loves this girl thinking they’ll be connected forever like how cursive letters are always connected #truelove

@MacMiller finishes his verse by saying how this girl makes him happy and how he wishes he could make suicidal girls happy as well

The chorus is about thanking this girl for taking away Mac’s previous pain. He will always be waiting for the chance he gets to repay her

The last verse starts about @MacMiller believing this girl represents love and how he feels disconnected with ppl who don’t see his vision

He continues rapping about over-thinking and needing to calm down. Everyone who can help is not around. #staycalm #wheremyfriendsat

To finish, Mac raps that he is busy today but wants to see this girl tomorrow. Most people know their dream but Mac still needs to find his

Thanks for reading this week.  Hope you liked the change-up of format.  If not, don’t worry, next week will return to normal.  Let me know what you think of my analysis and if you agree in the comments section.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- White Walls (feat. Schoolboy Q)

Welcome to the newest post of Understanding the Rhymes.  I know there has been a slight delay between posts but busy times called for a two week hold.  A quick shout-out to dramsta; thanks for the request.  I’ll get you your song meaning soon and am sorry for the hold up.  If any other readers have song requests feel free to comment and I will get back to you.

This week’s song is off Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ new album titled The Heist.  This is an excellent album that I recommend but the specific song of the week is titled “White Walls” featuring Schoolboy Q.  We will be focusing on just Macklemore’s verse.  If you would like an analysis on Schoolboy’s verse as well feel free to let me know in the comments.  Here is a link to the song followed by the lyrics.

*Warning* *Explicit Lyrics*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoPMOcFq9vA

I wanna be free, I wanna just live
Inside my Cadillac, That is my shit
And I throw it up (I throw that up)
That’s what it is (that’s what it is)
In my C A D I L L A C bitch (biatch)
Can’t see me through my tints (nah ah)
I’m riding real slow (slow motion)
In my paint wet drippin shorty like my 24’s (umbrella)
I ain’t got 24’s (no oh)
But I’m on those Vogues
That’s those big white walls, round them hundred spokes
Old school like old English in that brown paper bag
I’m rolling in that same whip that my granddad had
Hello haters, Damn y’all mad
30k on the Caddy, now how backpack rap is that?

[Hook]
Got that off-black Cadillac, midnight drive
Got that gas pedal, leaning back, taking my time
I’m blowin’ that roof off, letting in sky
I shine, the city never looked so bright

[Verse 1: Macklemore]
Man I’m lounging in some shit Bernie Mac would’ve been proud of
Looking down from heaven like damn that’s stylish
Smilin’, don’t pay attention to the mileage
Can I hit the freeway? I’m legally going 120
Easy weaving in and out of the traffic
They cannot catch me, I’m smashing
I’m ducking bucking them out here
I’m like go fuckin their tastic, I am up in a classic
Now I know what it’s like under the city lights
Riding into the night, driving over the bridge
The same one we walked across as kids
Knew I’d have a whippin’ but never one like this
Old school, old school, Candy paint, two seater
Yea, I’m from Seattle, There’s hella Honda Civics
I couldn’t tell you about paint either
But I really want a Ducati so I put in the hours
And roll on over to the dealer
And I found the car, junior, problem with this geezer
Got the keys in and as I was leaving I started screaming

Besides from being incredibly catchy this song also has some fun meaning.  Although it is not as deep on the surface as some songs previously discussed, Macklemore does a great job taking a passion he has for Cadillac cars and putting it into a song.  The intro of the song is all about showing off a brand new “Caddy.”  Macklemore mentions the tinted windshields, the new paintjob, and specifically his Vogue wheels.  For those who don’t know Vogue wheels are all white with a lot of spokes as shown below.

The chorus doesn’t bring much new meaning to the song but reinforces the ‘coolness’ and the great feeling driving a Cadillac brings.  It is also extremely catchy and a great sing-along-moment.

To start Macklemore’s verse he mentions Bernie Mac, an actor who played a car salesman in a movie.  Although he has passed away, Macklemore feels he is looking over Cadillac drivers in happiness.  Being a brave and different individual, Mack continues to rap about his individuality.  He loves Cadillac cars and could care less about the mileage.  Being from Seattle, he is surrounded by drivers of fuel efficient cars like Honda Civics and Toyota Priuses.  Instead of conforming, Macklemore follows his heart and buys the car he wants, his beloved Cadillac.  This also symbolizes his career.  At first Macklemore would try to mirror other rappers’ life-styles, including heavy drug and alcoholic use.  In his song titled “Otherside” he discusses how he started drinking cough syrup after Lil’ Wayne had rapped about it.  Unfortunately this put a halt on his career.  Now, after a short setback, Macklemore has learned to be himself and do what he does best; tell stories through his raps.  Coming out of his slump must have been tough but he has done an amazing job and put together a great album.

The Heist includes many deep songs with a lot of meaning but every album needs its uplifting songs.  White Walls is a great for the job because not only does it have a happy vibe, it also has deeper metaphorical meaning under the surface symbolizing Macklemore’s change of lifestyle evolving to just being himself instead of trying to be someone else.  If you interpreted the song in a different way or have questions either send me a message or post it in the comments section.  Thanks for reading this week’s post.

Common- Blue Sky

Welcome to post number three of Understanding the Rhymes.  Today we’ll be traveling back to 2011 to take a look at  one of Common’s must have songs, Blue Sky.  Not only does it use a well-known hook from the uplifting song Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra, but it also has a positive “never give-up” message.

Here is the link to the song followed by a sneak peak of the lyrics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZkkFYfh8V0

[Verse 1: Common]
Aston Martin king, Luther with dreams
The young Denzel the way I move through scenes

Pretty as the skyline, the sky is my eyeline

Son of the most so from up high I shine

This is my inception, I’m writing my dreams

[Verse 2: Common]
It all started with a dream, I wanted to be Run–D.M.C

Open my eyes, yes sir this is what I’m made for
To go hard in the paint like D. Wade or
D. Rose, from the same streets that we rose

Red carpet magic, taking pictures with the president
Told him for health care, my music is the medicine

Different state resident, this is hood elegance

[Verse 3: Common]
Close my eyes to see things in front of me
I’m gone now, imagine what I’m gonna be

Dirty to worthy, now I’m all wordy
My broad up in Paris, looking all purty
-Do you have a craving for all of the lyrics? I thought you might.  In that case, you should buy the song!

Why is the song a must have?  In the rare case you are still unsure after listening I’ll let you know.  Reason one is based on his accomplishments.  At this point there is nothing Common can’t do.  He built himself up from nothing as he discusses in his first verse and now he has finally made it, “Aston Martin King, Luther with dreams.”  The opening line is about how he had a dream like Martin Luther King Jr. and went and chased the dream and became successful, now owning an Aston Martin (very expensive sports car).  Do you have a dream? Of course you do.  Listen to Common and use him as a role model to achieve not only your dream but more.  He is a very successful music artist winning multiple BET awards and even two GRAMMYs for Best Rap Performance by Duo or Group and for Best R&B Song.  But music was not enough for Common.  He has gone on to star in multiple movies like Street Kings, Date Night, and Wanted. His lyrics, “The young Denzel the way I move through screens,” refers to him acting like Denzel Washington.  From nothing to starring in movies!  This man is incredible.  Common is now a successful author with a novel released in September of 2011. With his drive Common is able to accomplish everything he sets out to do.  No matter where you are from, what you want to do, what you have done, and where you want to be, you can do anything.  Common supports your dreams so support him by buying and listening to his song.  As he says, “pretty as the skyline, the sky is my eye line.”  He’s already made it to the top.  Now it’s your turn.

In his second and third verse we notice Common’s resilient attitude.  This type of attitude is what contributed to Common’s success and what you should strive for as well.  If you want to be successful you need to have a proactive personality and a positive attitude.  Listening to this song gets you well on your way to having the drive to succeed and the needed personality.  “To go hard in the paint like D. Wade or D Rose, from the same streets that we rose.”  Yes Common grew up in the streets, the south end of Chicago to be precise but he was thirsty for succeed.  Like his fellow south end stars, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose (famous basketball players), they overcame the odds of never leaving the streets of Chicago and followed their dreams.  “It all started with a dream, I wanted to be Run-DMC.”  He proved everyone wrong and not only went off to college, but also went on to become a star, following in Run DMC’s foot-steps.  Who doesn’t love the story of a hard-working man making his way to the top? This man’s resilient attitude and arduous   journey deserves to be recognized.  As he says in his third verse, “I’m gone now, imagine what I’m gonna be.”  Do you ever imagine what you could be if you tried to follow your dreams?  Stop imagining and be like Common; go out and do it.

Like Common’s lifestyle, hip-hop has also been changing but not always for the better.  The rap-game has become extremely repetitive. Rap is now always about the same themes; getting money, getting girls, drinking, and doing drugs.  Now sure, these themes are fun to listen to every now and then but there is only so much you can listen to before it gets old. Common is unlike any other rapper.  He has his own unique ratio of balancing the repetitive themes with different topics like chasing his dream.  For example, in his first verse Common says, “Young, fresh, with dollars, ladies go gaga.”  Common sneaks in that he can get the ladies but isn’t going on about it for the entire song.  Buying most rap songs is repetitive and pointless because you are constantly hearing about the same things for 4 minutes straight.  Not only is this song catchy, but buying it is so essential because it is unique and uplifting.  No other song will have lyrics about Common’s journey to the top.  If you are for the cause of being unique and being special then you need to buy this song.

Buying the song Blue Sky is obviously a worthy investment.  Not only will you start achieving a highly desired personality, you have someone’s support to following your dreams and becoming whatever you want.  If this song doesn’t show you anything is possible, nothing will.

WZRD- High off Life

Welcome to post number two of Understanding the Rhymes.  This week we will be going into detail of WZRD’s song High off Life.

WZRD is a group comprised of two members: Kid Cudi and Dot da Genius. After two very successful albums, Cudi decided to collaborate with Dot da Genius to create a slightly different style of rap music, one heavily rock influenced.  While WZRD was writing their album, Cudi was going through a major lifestyle change, sobriety.  On his first two albums Cudi would rap mostly about weed and alcohol. Cudi would write songs with lyrics like, “pretty green bud all in my blunt, oh I need it, we can take off now, oh marijuana.”

“I dont smoke weed anymore. Ill leave it to the kids. Im 27 with a business to run and I need to be alert and focused with my mind strong. For those who still get it on, smoke one in my memory as your favorite lonely stoner.” –Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi suffering from writer’s block

This lifestyle change unfortunately caused the former pot head to go through a writer’s block lasting 5 months.  Finally he was able to break the block and began on another album.  This song, as the title suggests, is about being high on life rather than drugs.  Here is the link to the song followed by the lyrics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecNUu0b3cpo

[Verse 1]
Moved on up to the condo in Chicago
Out in LA I got the house in the hills
Hand out the window feel the wind on my fingertips
Cruisin’ cruisin’ I’m on my way
Searchin’ searchin’ I need to find some more of it
New things and new places to go
Fiending fiending oh I want another hit
It takes me up and I never come down

[Hook]
I never ever thought it could be
Never thought the day would come for me
When I would be high off life
Oh there’s so much I haven’t seen

[Verse 2]
Hey mama I’m livin’ la vida
No need to worry bout’ your baby no more
I am feelin’ the rush, takin’ hits up off of experience
Floatin’ floatin’ I am on my way
Searchin’ searchin’ I need to find some more of it
New things and new places to go
Fiendin’ fiendin’ oh I want another hit
It takes me up and I never come down

[Hook]

[Bridge]
Help me
I’m OD’in off the life
Say it

[Hook]

Analysis

The first verse starts with lyrics reminiscent of “the old Cudi.”  His verse is a mix between two sides.  One is rapping about drugs, “Searchin’ searchin’ I need to find some more of it,” and “fiending fiending oh I want another hit.” He is also describing the natural world around him, about the wind on his fingers and finding new places he can visit.  It makes us ask the question, ‘are the drugs making him feel this way?’

In the chorus everything is cleared up. We discover that this new drug he is on is life.  “Never thought the day would come for me, when I would be high off life,” holds a lot of meaning for Cudi.  He not only battled a marijuana addiction, but he was also arrested for possession of cocaine in 2010.  In an interview with MTV, Cudi discusses his addiction stating that, “Doing bumps [of cocaine], I was able to get through the day, but then I would smoke weed to calm me down — it was the only way I could get through the day without people noticing I was doing it.”  To be sober after a history of dangerous drug use is impressive and even Kid Cudi himself expresses this surprise through his songs.

The second verse is almost identical to the first, except for the beginning.  Cudi is finally happy and his mom doesn’t need to worry about a drug overdose or possession charge anymore.

This song has a great message; drugs are not needed to make great music.  It also gives hope for people with drug problems.  No matter what someone’s past is they can overcome it and move on to a positive future.  Kid Cudi battled drug problems that could have endangered his life.  Now, not only is he a successful rapper, but he is also healthy and living a happy life.

Brother Ali- Uncle Sam Goddamn

Welcome to the first post of Understanding the Rhymes.  On this blog specific hip-hop song lyrics will be analyzed.  The first song is Uncle Sam Goddamn by Brother Ali.  This song was released in 2007 and is not a new song but the lyrics are very deep and powerful.  This song has been highly criticized due to its lyrics about government issues.  Here is the link to the song followed by the lyrics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO18F4aKGzQ

Ah, the name of this song is Uncle Sam Goddamn
It’s a show tune, but the show ain’t been written for it yet
We’re gonna see if Tony Jerome and the band can maybe work this shit out for me
And straighten me out right quick
I like it so far man
Yeah
Come on, lets go

Welcome to the United Snakes
Land of the thief home of the slave
Grand imperial guard where the dollar is sacred and proud

Lets do this shit for real, come on now

[Verse 1]
Smoke and mirrors, stripes and stars
Stolen for the cross in the name of God
Bloodshed, genocide, rape and fraud
Writ into the pages of the law good lord
The Cold Continent latch key child
Ran away one day and started acting foul
King of where the wild things are daddy’s proud
Because the Roman Empire done passed it down
Imported and tortured a work force
And never healed the wounds or shook the curse off
Now the grown up Goliath nation
Holding open auditions for the part of David, can you feel it?
Nothing can save you; you question the reign
You get rushed in and chained up
Fist raised but I must be insane
Because I can’t figure a single goddamn way to change it

[Hook x2]
Welcome to the United Snakes
Land of the thief, home of the slave
The grand imperial guard where the dollar is sacred, and power is God

[Verse 2]
All must bow to the fat and lazy
The fuck you, obey me, and why do they hate me? (Who me?)
Only two generations away
From the world’s most despicable slavery trade
Pioneered so many ways to degrade a human being
That it can’t be changed to this day
Legacy so ingrained in the way that we think;
We no longer need chains to be slaves
Lord it’s a shameful display
The overseers even got raped along the way
Because the children can’t escape from the pain
And they’re born with poisonous hatred in their veins
Try and separate a man from his soul
You only strengthen him, and lose your own
But shoot that fucker if he walk near the throne
Remind him that this is my home, now I’m gone

[Hook x2]

[Bridge]
Hold up, give me one right here
Hold on
You don’t give money to the bums
On a corner with a sign bleeding from their gums
Talking about you don’t support a crackhead?
What you think happens to the money from your taxes?

[Verse 3]
Shit the governments an addict
With a billion dollar a week kill brown people habit
And even if you ain’t on the front line
When massah yell crunch time, you right back at it
Plain look at how you hustling backwards
At the end of the year, add up what they subtracted
Three outta twelve months your salary pays for that madness
Man, that’s savage
What’s left? get a big ass plasma
To see where they made Dan Rather point the damn camera
Only approved questions get answered
Now stand your ass up for that national anthem

[Hook] {x2}

Short Summary:

Ali raps in his verses that America is not the great place people make it out to be.  He reminds us that slavery was present only two generations ago and extremely violent hate crimes occurred in the country.  He also compares paying taxes to paying a homeless man for crack.  Tax money is just supporting the war in the Middle East.

Ali certainly calls out the American society in this song.  Is America really not the home of the brave? Is this still a free country or are we all “unchained slaves?” Comment your thoughts and share any different ideas towards lyrical meaning.  To see a full analysis of the song read the full analysis below.


Full Analysis:

The title and the opening introduction of this song actually derive from a song titled Mississippi Goddamn.  This song discusses racism in the south and it is easy to see where the connection comes from.

The hook then starts and Ali calls the country “the United Snakes” instead of States due to his opinion of the country being slippery and shady.  Again Ali uses another play on words and instead of the phrase, “Land of the free, home of the brave,” says, “Land of the thief, home of the slave.”  He also goes on to say we have imperial ways and are devoted to money and power.

“Smoke and mirrors, stripes and stars” is alluding to fraud and treachery in America.  Then Ali goes on to remind us that the U.S. was stolen from the Native Americans and the country has even killed people because the written law allowed it.

The next line uses a metaphor to compare the U.S. to a latchkey child.  A latchkey kid is someone who would come home from school every day to an empty house because of working parents.  Ali is saying the country of the U.S. ran away from Europe and started “acting foul.’

The next lyrics describe how we took over the uncivilized new world and never apologized properly to the slaves once freed.

To start the wrap up of the verse he uses a metaphor to compare America to Goliath and states that if you question the government you will be thrown in jail.  Ali feels he is alone and is insane for going against this type of government but does not know how to fix it.

Following the chorus Brother Ali goes right back into the fray saying citizens of the U.S. must follow the rules of politicians who have no care for their appearance.  Then he struggles to see how the government wonders why others look down upon us.

The next line is very powerful.  “Two generations away from the world’s most despicable slavery trade.”  Slavery was happening in our country not long ago and the most horrible things were thought up just to downgrade human beings.

After this are lyrics hinting that everyone is under the control of government and are “unchained slaves.”  Not even children can escape because standing up will only lead to being in trouble.

The last section is also very deep.  “Try and separate a man from his soul, you only strengthen him, and lose your own.”  You can try to kill someone and take away his passion, but doing this makes you a terrible person. And can you really take away someone’s passion?  Brother Ali believes no.  He finishes by saying it is impossible to take charge.

In the bridge Ali hints that giving a homeless man money for crack is the same as giving the government tax money for war in the Middle East.  At the beginning of the final verse he continues his thought calling the government and addict.  He goes on to say paying for taxes is practically fighting the war with the government just not in the line of fire.  He finishes by telling America to stand up for the national anthem, a history filled with slavery and racism.

Thank you all for reading and post your thoughts in the comments section.  If you have any different meanings of what the lyrics did for you I would love to read them in the comments section.