When rappers grow wiser and convert


I just read this:


Jay-Z ‘Can’t Believe’ Some of the Lyrics He’s Written

Posted Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:52am PDT by Caryn Ganz

In Jay-Z’s upcoming book, “Decoded,” the superstar MC examines his career via a close analysis of his most famous lyrics. That, of course, required that his lyrics be written out — something Jay hasn’t actually done since 1996, when he scratched out the words to “Can I Live” for his debut “Reasonable Doubt.” Jay-Z, who has described his creative process as “no paper, no pen, just listen to the music,” appeared in Miami earlier this week. He was there to celebrate the launch of his partnership with search engine Bing — which involved an internet-driven, international scavenger hunt to locate pages from the memoir — where the lyrics to his 2000 hit “Big Pimpin’ ” were revealed in dramatic fashion, printed in giant type on the floor of the Delano hotel’s pool.

Ironically, that’s the one song Jay admits he had a hard time revisiting.

“Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing. Not ‘Big Pimpin.’ That’s the exception,” he told the Wall Street Journal in a candid new interview. “It was like, I can’t believe I said that. And kept saying it. What kind of animal would say this sort of thing? Reading it is really harsh.”

The lyrics to “Big Pimpin’ ” describe Jay-Z’s troubled relationship with women (in short: He wants them to look good, stay away from his money, and be available when he needs them), a subject he has abandoned since marrying Beyonce in 2008. In fact, Jay says all hip-hop needs now is love.

“We have to find our way back to true emotion. This is going to sound so sappy, but love is the only thing that stands the test of time,” he told the WSJ, name-checking two of the most iconic hip-hop records of the past 15 years. “‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ was all about love. Andre 3000, ‘The Love Below.’ Even N.W.A, at its core — that was about love for a neighborhood.”

[Photos: Jay-Z steps out with gorgeous wife Beyonce]

Jay-Z said he’d like to hear more about the real challenges facing people today — like the housing crisis and unemployment — in other rappers’ lyrics. This idea hearkens back to Public Enemy MC Chuck D’s oft-paraphrased observation that rap is CNN for black people. Jay-Z cites hip-hop’s efforts to help Barack Obama get elected as proof the community can help foster social change.

“Whether he does a great job or not is almost secondary to what it did for the dreams and the hopes of an entire race,” he said. “Just based on that alone, it’s a success — the biggest we’ve had. … It’s Martin Luther King’s dream realized. Tangible. In the flesh. You can shake his hand.”

Hip-hop “saved a generation,” argues Jay-Z, which is why it’s important to preserve its legacy and continue pushing it ahead. Every time he steps into the booth, he has to believe he’s going to make “the best album of all time.”

“You always fail,” he added, “But every time I go up to bat, I’m thinking how can I make an album better than “Thriller.”

Decoded, which was co-authored by writer-filmmaker Dream Hampton, will be released on November 16.

So I looked up the lyrics for Big Pimpin’. Are you ready for this?


You know I thug ’em, fuck ’em, love ’em, leave ’em
Cause I don’t fuckin’ need ’em
Take ’em out the hood
Keep ’em looking good
But I don’t fuckin’ feed em
First time they fuss I’m breezin’
Talking ’bout what’s the reasons
I’m a pimp in every sense of the word, bitch
Better trust and believe ’em
In a cut where I keep ’em
‘Til I need a nut
‘Til I need to be (in) the guts
The it’s beep-beep and I’m pickin ’em up
Let ’em play with the dick in the truck
Many chicks wanna put Jigga fist incuffs
Divorce him and split his bucks
Just because you got good head
I’mma break bread
So you can be livin’ it up
Shit I part’s wit nothin
Y’all be frontin’
Me give my heart to a woman
Not for nothin’ never happen’
I’ll be forever mackin’
Heart cold as assassins, I got no passion
I got no patience and I hate waitin’
Hoe get your ass in

Chorus 1
And let’s RI-I-I-I-I-IDE
Check ’em out now
And let’s RI-I-I-I-I-IDE
Check em out now

Chorus 2
We doin’ big pimpin, we spendin’ cheese (Check ’em out now )
Big pimpin’
On B.L.A.P.’s
We doin’ big pimpin’ up in NYC
It’s just that Jigga-man, Pimp-C and B.U.N.B.
Check em out now

Hook 1
Nigga it’s the big southern rappin pimp Presario
Coming straight up out the black bar-io (bar-rio)
Makes a Mil up off a sorry hoe
Then sit back and peep my scenario
Oops, my bad, that’s my scenario
No I can’t fuck a scary hoe
Now every time, every place, everywhere we go
Hoe’s start pointing and say “There he go!”
Now these muthafuckas know we carry more heat than a little bit
We don’t pull it out over little shit
And if you catch a lick when I spit, then it won’t be a little hit
Go read a book you illiterate son of a bitch and step up your vocab
Don’t be surprised if your hoe steps out wit’ me
And you see us coming downon yo’ slab
Livin’ ghetto fabulous, so mad, you just can’t take it
But nigga if you hate now, then you wait while
I get your bitch butt naked
Just break it
You gotta play like you ain’t wet with two pairs of clothes on
Now get your ass to the back
As I fly to the track Timbaland let me spit my pro’s on
Pump it up in the pro-zone
That’s the track that we breaking these hoes on
Hate the track that we flow’s on
But when the shit get’s hot, then the glock start poppin’ like ozone
We keep hoes crunk like Trigga-man
Who really don’t get no bigger man
Don’t trip, let’s flip, then throw it on the flip
Then blow with the muthafuckin’ Jigga-man

Chorus 2
We be big pimpin’, spendin’ cheese
We be big pimpin’ on B.L.A.P.’s
We be big pimpin’ down in PAT
It’s just that Jigga-man, Pimp-C and B.U.N.B.

Cause we be big pimpin’, spendin’ cheese
We be big pimpin’ on B.L.A.P.’s
We be big pimpin’ down in PAT
It’s just that Jigga-man, Pimp-C and B.U.N.B.

Hook 2
Uh, smoky-eyed, torn up, keepin’ it lit up in my cup
All my cars got leather and wood
In my hood, they call it buck
Everybody wanna ball, holla at broads at the mall
If he up, watch him fall
Nigga I can’t fuck with y’all
If I wasn’t rapping baby I would still be ridin’ Mercedes
Chromin’, shinin’, sippin’ daily
No rest until whitey pays me
Uh, now what y’all know bout them Texas boys
Comin’ down in candied toys, smokin’ weed and talkin’ noise

Chorus 2
We be big pimpin’, spendin’ cheese
We be big pimpin’ on B.L.AP.’s
We be big pimpin’ down in PAT
It’s just that Jigga-man, Pimp-C and B.U.N.B.

Cause we be big pimpin’, spendin’ cheese
We be big pimpin’ on B.L.A.P.’s
We be big pimpin’ down in PAT
It’s just that Jigga-man, Pimp-C and B.U.N.B.

What was he thinking? Not only did he write and record that disgusting song, he made a VIDEO for it.


So why does he regret the song now? Perhaps because what he made did not stand up to real life experiences, as shown by his marriage to Beyonce Knowles, the former Destiny’s Child member. But if it is inappropriate for him to do a song like that now, why was it OK for him to do it back then? Reality did not change just because his beliefs did.

This is almost like religious conversion. I myself spent years as both a Southern Baptist and as a Baha’i, and while I was sincere about what I was doing in both religions, I look back at my behavior and wonder how I could have been so fanatical and dogmatic about things that I would later reject. I was ignorant and regret all those things I did because of that.

When you convert from one religion to another, or reject all religion after having been a believer, you actually become a different person, even if you have the same name and memories of your former self. The case of Anakin Skywalker of the Star Wars saga illustrates this conversion. It happened to him, it happened to me, and it may have happened to Jay-Z too.

Note the profound difference in how Anakin treats Padme after his conversion. His love for her was not pure and turned to hate once he realized she would follow her own path, not his. Similarly, when people realize they can no longer follow a religion and leave it, they are often shunned and condemned by those who are still loyal to the faith. What kind of “love” does that?

And the suit that Darth Vader had to wear later was a symbol of his conversion. Darth Vader was not Anakin Skywalker, though they happened to share the same life. But Anakin’s true self could not be suppressed forever.

Perhaps Jay-Z has found his true self as well.

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