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*
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?
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.