Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg – Still D.R.E.

Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg – Still D.R.E. – Lyrics analysis & meanings

Gangsta-rap songwriting

 

Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg – Still D.R.E. – Lyrics analysis & meanings

Intro – Snoop Dogg

Yeah nigga

nigga : this term has become a gender marker. It is only in hip-hop that we designate ourselves like that, by collectively repeating a racist insult. It has also become a tic of writing, with time. A profound challenge is to devitalize the term of any hostile content, so that “ nigga “ finally wants to say “ man “.

I’m still fucking with ya

1st occurrence of the word “ still “, introducing the titlechorus and theme of the song.

Still waters run deep

Still waters run deep, calm waters go deep, is a proverb.

2nd occurrence of the word “ still “.

Still Snoop Dogg and DRE, ‘99 nigga

3rd occurrence of the word “ still “.

Guess who’s back

This question is asked by Snoop to Dre, but we understand that it is also asked by Snoop and Dre to the public.

Still doing that shit huh Dre?

4th occurrence of the word “ still “.

(Oh for sho ‘, check me out)

Now, it’s Dre the main rapper, introduced by Snoop. In the songs of NWA, Dre had precisely this role of presenter, that Snoop already takes in THE NEXT EPISODE.

 

Verse 1 – Dr. Dre

It’s still Dr. Day nigga, AK nigga

DRE DAY : Dre -song written by Dre against Eazy-E, to which Eazy replied by REAL MUTHAPHUCKKIN G’S.

AK : it’s the automatic Kalashnikov that has become mythical in rap, and it’s also a genre marker that sounds “authentic”. (Still, it’s cheap for a cardboard rapper to pay for kalash bursts, like look, I have four: AK-AK-AK-AK, that will not prevent Booba to make the title of one of his tubes.)

Though I’ve grown a lot, can not keep it home

I’ve grown a lot   : Stared since 1988, Dr. Dre has accumulated experience in the years 1988-1989, he has had ups and downs, great successes, and also some tragedies like the death of friends and colleagues, he will talk about it later.

can not keep it home a lot : the expression seems polysemic, thanks to the “ it “ which can designate:

  • Dr. Day, which has a double meaning, is Dre’s day of honor, and a day of nightmare for her enemies: this day, Dre can not keep it for himself
  • the AK that has just been quoted: Dre will not keep him at home, it’s done to serve…
  • or else, the “ it “ refers rather to a feeling that has not been named, but is in the air, and that the singer ignores by modesty: it could be his pain and sorrow, and also his pride, to come from this violent world and to have succeeded: that, Dr. Dre is not going to keep it for him, he will share it – in this piece.

’Cause when I frequent the spots that I’m known to rock

This verse connects logically : since he can not stay at home, he goes out, he frequents corners. This movement is consistent with the theme of the song : it is Dr. Dre who speaks of himself, who shows himself, who asserts himself. So symbolically, he goes out of his house, his conscience, to show himself, and since he is a musician, it is through music that he shows himself.

 

You have 3800 words of this article left to read.

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Tupac & Dr Dre – California Love

 

Gangsta-rap songwriting

TUPAC & DR DRE – CALIFORNIA LOVE – LYRICS

Chorus

California, knows how to party
California, knows how to party
In the city of L.A.
In the city of good ol’ Watts
In the city, the city of Compton
We keep it rockin’, we keep it rockin’

Verse 1 – Dr Dre

Now let me welcome everybody to the Wild, Wild West
A state that’s untouchable like Eliot Ness
The track hits ya eardrum like a slug to ya chest
Pack a vest for your Jimmy in the city of sex
We in that sunshine state with a bomb ass hemp beat
The state where ya never find a dance floor empty
And pimps be on a mission for them greens
Lean mean money-makin-machines serving fiends
I been in the game for ten years making rap tunes
Ever since honeys was wearing Sassoon
Now it’s ’95 and they clock me and watch me
Diamonds shinin’, lookin’ like I robbed Liberace
It’s all good, from Diego to the Bay
Your city is the bomb if your city making pay
Throw up a finger if ya feel the same way
Dre putting it down for Californ-i-a Yeah

Chorus

California (California) knows how to party (knows how to party)
California (west coast) knows how to party (yes they do)(that’s right)
In the city of L.A. (city of L.A.)
In the city of good ol’ Watts (good ol’ Watts)
In the city, the city of Compton (city of Compton)
We keep it rockin! We keep it rockin’ (come on, come on, come on)
Shake it shake it baby
Shake it shake it, shake it baby
Shake it shake it mama
Shake it Cali
Shake it shake it baby (that’s right, uh)
Shake it shake it baby baby, shake it shake it mama, shake it Cali

Verse 1 – Tupac Shakur

Out on bail fresh outta jail, California dreaming
Soon as I stepped on the scene, I’m hearing hoochies screamin
Fiendin for money and alcohol
The life of a west side player where cowards die
And its all war
Only in Cali where we riot not rally to live and die
In L.A. we wearing Chucks not Ballys (that’s right, uh)
Dressed in Locs and khaki suits and ride is what we do
Flossing but have caution we collide with other crews
Famous ‘cause we program worldwide
Let’em recognize from Long Beach to Rosecrans
Bumping and grinding like a slow jam, it’s west side
So you know the row won’t bow down to no man
Say what you say
But give me that bomb beat from Dre
Let me serenade the streets of L.A.
From Oakland to Sactown
The Bay Area and back down
Cali is where they put their mack down, give-me love !

Chorus

California (California) knows how to party
California, knows how to party (come on baby)
In the city (south-central) of L.A. (L.A.)
In the city of good ol’ Watts (uh, that’s right)
In the city, the city of Compton (yup, yup)
We keep it rocking! We keep it rocking (yeah, yeah now make it shake, c’mon)

Shake it shake it baby (uh)
Shake it shake it, shake it baby (yeah)
Shake it shake it mama
Shake it Cali (shake it Cali)
Shake it shake it baby (shake it Cali)
Shake it shake it, shake it shake it mama (west-coast) shake it Cali

Outro – Dr Dre / Tupac

Uh, yeah, uh, Long Beach in the house, uh yeah
Oaktown, Oakland definitely in the house
Frisko, Frisko
Hey, you know L.A. is up in this
Pasadena, where you at
Pasadena, où vous êtes
Yeah, Inglewood, Inglewood always up to no good
Even Hollywood trying to get a piece baby
Sacramento, Sacramento where ya at? yeah
Throw it up y’all, throw it up, Throw it up (I can’t see ya)
California Love
Let’s show these fools how we do this on that west side
‘Cause you and I know it’s the best side
Yeah, that’s right
West coast, west coast
Uh, California Love
California Love
Yeah

TUPAC & DR DRE – CALIFORNIA LOVE – ANALYSIS

California Love!…

Sometimes things are clear straight away. Take any hip-hop fan before 1995 and play the sample of these two words sung in this sharp, mannered voice, and ask him whether it’s gangsta-rap, and the answer will be a sarcastic laugh: “Rap sending love, hm ??” will retort any gangster among your friends.

In short, Dre and Tupac have announced the color: this song will establish a new style, freed from the depression and heavy negativity of black ghettos, and they will party under the same Californian sun as the hippies of the previous generation.

In other words, already well enriched at the time by their activities in show business, the two rappers have decided to get social, and not to let anyone at least in California ignore that they are now part of the musical scene and that they are happy to celebrate the American Dream, equal with the whites.

 

Chorus

California, knows how to party

Straight away, we can see that this song defines a new style of rap:

  • All previous songs began on the verse, the voice of a gangster who tells the essence of his message in a chorus-slogan. But here, we open on a chorus.
  • Straight away, the voice is tampered with electronics, and reminds very mainstream styles like the Dance music of the time.
  • This chorus is super catchy, dancy, positive, funky, and invites the audience to party. We are far from the hostile, aggressive, or sinister choruses of gangsta-rap before its breakthrough to the mainstream.

California : as often in songs, the singer defines his audience by naming it and adressing it directly.

  • This definition of this rather wide audience shows how hip-hop has made progress in pop culture, because we remember that the angry guys from STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON only claimed their streets of Compton – despite their ambition they were far, Dre said later, to imagine that they would have a success other than purely local; yet, 7 years, many hits and millions of dollars later, from Los Angeles Tupac & Dre now aim to seduce all of California. They have become more confident and ambitious than the original little street gangsters.
  • But California, people know what it is all over the world. California makes the Americanized masses dream, long-time prepared by a century of Hollywood cinema and California culture, largely to the glory of local icons :
    • Cowboys and sheriffs
    • Mickey Mouse and the rest of Disney and cartoon culture
    • Beat Generation writers
    • Hippies
    • Serial-killers
    • Cops (LA Police Department is one of the most famous police of the world, through movies and series…)
    • Gangsters
    • Rappers
    • Geeks.
  • Evoking California is an easy choice for a Californian artist, it’s a safe bet, because the public has already been conquerred for generations by the many charms of the Wild West. Compare: Could the criminal lives of young Pakistanese or Algerian or Russian males have touched the world as much as those of young Californians? No, because the world audience would not be prepared to take it into consideration.
  • In fact, this song marks the entry of hip-hop into cultural capitalism, the moment when it asserts itself as a mass product, the moment when the gangster, withdrawn from dangerous business, prefers to bank his public image, and the bank of the time in the world of music is MTV, the main prescriber. Conquering the world via MTV, robbing the whites with seduction, using the gangsta spirit to make it a super sexy ad for the American Way of Life, reviewed and corrected by the new black elites – because Dre and Tupac are already Millionaire stars, gangsta studio, far from the misery of the street – this is more or less the landline of this song.

California, knows how to party

In the city of LA

He will mention LA, then two neighborhoods or peripheral cities marked with a black majority or identity, knowingly forgetting a big city like San Francisco, or obviously, the rich cities like San Diego, Santa Monica…

In the city of good ol’ Watts

In the city of Compton

We keep it rockin’, we keep it rockin’

This line sounds surprising in the mouth of rappers. They rock, they do not rap ? This illustrates the choice to expand the audience of this song to make it an indisputable hit, a strategy that worked very well. The American audience of the time still runs on rock. So, Tupac and Dre play it rock.

 

Verse 1 – Dr. Dre

Now let me welcome everyone to the Wild, Wild West

 

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Gangsta-rap songwriting

N.W.A. – Fuck Tha Police

N.W.A – Fuck Tha Police – Lyrics analysis and meanings

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Fuck Tha Police – Lyrics

Intro

Right about now, N.W.A. court is in full effect

Judge Dre presiding

In the case of N.W.A. vs. the Police Department

Prosecuting attorneys are MC Ren, Ice Cube

And Eazy-motherfucking-E

 

Order, order, order

Ice Cube, take the motherfucking stand

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth

And nothing but the truth to help your black ass?

Ice Cube : You goddamn right!

Well won’t you tell everybody what the fuck you gotta say?

 

Verse 1 – Ice Cube

Fuck the police coming straight from the underground

A young nigga got it bad cause I’m brown

And not the other color so police think

They have the authority to kill a minority

Fuck that shit, cause I ain’t the one

For a punk motherfucker with a badge and a gun

To be beating on, and thrown in jail

We can go toe to toe in the middle of a cell

Fucking with me cause I’m a teenager

With a little bit of gold and a pager

Searching my car, looking for the product

Thinking every nigga is selling narcotics

You’d rather see, me in the pen’

Than me and Lorenzo rolling in a Benz-o

Beat a police out of shape

And when I’m finished, bring the yellow tape

To tape off the scene of the slaughter

Still getting swoll off bread and water

I don’t know if they fags or what

Search a nigga down, and grabbing his nuts

And on the other hand, without a gun they can’t get none

But don’t let it be a black and a white one

Cause they’ll slam ya down to the street top

Black police showing out for the white cop

Ice Cube will swarm

On any motherfucker in a blue uniform

Just cause I’m from the CPT

Punk police are afraid of me, huh

A young nigga on the warpath

And when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath

Of cops, dying in L.A

Yo Dre, I got something to say

 

Chorus

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

 

Interlude 1

Pull your god damn ass over right now

Aww shit, now what the fuck you pullin me over for?

Cause I feel like it!

Just sit your ass on the curb and shut the fuck up

Man, fuck this shit

Aight, smartass, I’m taking your black ass to jail!

MC Ren, will you please give your testimony

To the jury about this fucked up incident?

 

Verse 2 – MC Ren

Fuck the police and Ren said it with authority

Because the niggas on the street is a majority

A gang is with whoever I’m stepping

And the motherfucking weapon is kept in

A stash box, for the so-called law

Wishing Ren was a nigga that they never saw

Lights start flashing behind me

But they’re scared of a nigga so they mace me to blind me

But that shit don’t work, I just laugh

Because it gives them a hint not to step in my path

For police, I’m saying, “Fuck you punk!”

Reading my rights and shit, it’s all junk

Pulling out a silly club, so you stand

With a fake-ass badge and a gun in your hand

But take off the gun so you can see what’s up

And we’ll go at it punk, and I’ma fuck you up!

Make you think I’mma kick your ass

But drop your gat, and Ren’s gonna blast

I’m sneaky as fuck when it comes to crime

But I’ma smoke them now and not next time

Smoke any motherfucker that sweats me

Or any asshole that threatens me

I’m a sniper with a hell of a scope

Taking out a cop or two, they can’t cope with me

The motherfucking villain that’s mad

With potential, to get bad as fuck

So I’ma turn it around

Put in my clip, yo, and this is the sound

*2 gunshots*

Yeah, something like that

But it all depends on the size of the gat

Taking out a police would make my day

But a nigga like Ren don’t give a fuck to say

 

Chorus

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

 

Interlude 2

Yo man, what you need?

Police, open out!

Aww shit

We have a warrant for Eazy-E’s arrest

Get down and put your hands up where I can see ‘em

(Move motherfucker, move now!)

What the fuck did I do, man what did I do?

Just shut the fuck up

And get your motherfucking ass on the floor

(You heard the man, shut the fuck up!)

But I didn’t do shit

Man just shut the fuck up!

Eazy-E, won’t you step up to the stand

And tell the jury how you feel about this bullshit?

 

Verse 3 – Eazy-E

I’m tired of the motherfucking jacking

Sweating my gang, while I’m chilling in the shack, and

Shining the light in my face, and for what?

Maybe it’s because I kick so much butt

I kick ass — or maybe cause I blast

On a stupid-ass nigga when I’m playing with the trigger

Of an Uzi or an AK

Cause the police always got something stupid to say

They put out my picture with silence

Cause my identity by itself causes violence

The E with the criminal behavior

Yeah, I’m a gangsta, but still I got flavor

Without a gun and a badge, what do ya got?

A sucker in a uniform waiting to get shot

By me, or another nigga

And with a gat it don’t matter if he’s smaller or bigger

(MC Ren: Size don’t mean shit, he’s from the old school, fool)

And as you all know, E’s here to rule

Whenever I’m rolling, keep looking in the mirror

And ears on cue, yo, so I can hear a

Dumb motherfucker with a gun

And if I’m rolling off the 8, he’ll be the one

That I take out, and then get away

While I’m driving off laughing this is what I’ll say

 

Chorus

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

 

Interlude 3

The verdict

The jury has found you guilty of being a redneck

White bread, chickenshit motherfucker

But wait, that’s a lie! That’s a god damn lie!

Get him out of here!

Get him the fuck out my face!

I want justice!

Out, right now!

Fuck you, you black motherfuckers!

 

Chorus

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

Fuck Tha Police

 

Fuck Tha Police – Explanation of the lyrics

Intro

Right about now, Short NWA is in full effect

Right now : now, in linguistics, we call a deïctic word , that is to say a wordwhose meaning changes according to the context : “now”, the precise moment of the present, changes all the time , for example, this “now” of Dre from 1988 is now 30, it is not the now of 2018.

An advantage of the deïctiques is that they are updated gracefully according to the public – and so every time we listen to FUCK THA POLICE , their now from 30 years ago is now! (or the now of 30 years, 20 years, 10 years, or those in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years.) Which creates a realism effect and a sense of urgency : it will happen there under our eyes, right now . it’s always happening because the present is always present.

NWA court : the court of the NWA, the court of justice of the stylish niggers, by this expression, the authors introduce the theme of the song : it will be for the rap group to constitute a people’s court to judge the The most institutionally criminal institution of all states: I named this old sadistic torturer and always right, the police!

is in full effect : there is at once a parody of the jargon of justice and a counter-claim of power, in a rather macho fashion as usual.

Judge Dre presiding

In STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, Dre was a MC / presenter. In reality, he is a DJ producer and musician more than a singer.

As producer he assumes this first album of the NWA, which will launch his career and those of Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren, MC Yella. Later he will launch the careers of Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar.

As a DJ, he is already busy throwing samples, scratching, managing drum machines and effects, and launching the verses of his singers .

It is therefore quite logical that he has easily projected himself into this role of president of the judges, in a position of supervisor. By the way, 30 years later, he has made his career as a supervisor of the success of rap in America.

In the case of NWA vs. the Police Department

They define the main characters of the story :

  • Heroes : the NWA court
  • Antagonist : the police

Prosecuting attorneys are MC Ren, Ice Cube

So here, the singers play the role of prosecutors, so they will develop a case against the police in the position of accused.

So even if this song is narrative , since it tells a lawsuit, it staged speeches, as in STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON and many other rap songs.

And Eazy-motherfucking-E

It can be noticed that Dre and Eazy-E had a whole line to introduce, while MC Ren and Ice Cube had to share one. That says something about the history and power games internal to the NWA training, led by Eazy-E who was looking for Dre as a producer to set up a group with the money from his deals. From there, MC Ren and Ice Cube, among others, were recruited as singers . Eazy-E takes a prime position also because he bought his place.

Order, order, order

The parody continues, and the audience obviously finds funny this dramatic irony that there is to see gangsters claim the order 🙂

Ice cube, take the motherfucking stand

All along we will witness a strange explosive mix between the true identityof the singers and their parody . So here we have for example take the standthat sounds good legal, stuffed with a motherfucking that sounds … otherwise.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth

Here, same game: perfect parody of the role of judge, with typical formulas …

And nothing but the truth to help your black ass?

… then a verbal transgression betrays the fact that it is still a nigga that speaks.

Ice Cube: You goddamn right!

The little game of alternation between conformity and transgressioncontinues, since here, Ice Cube is precisely the opposite of what is expectedof a good prosecutor plenary, namely that he starts to swear like a pig, on God and more.

Well will not you tell everybody what’s the fuck you gotta say?

And hop, we replace the eloquence expected by the truculence of the street.

 

Verse 1 – Ice Cube

Fuck the police coming straight from the underground

Fuck the police : this will be the main gimmick of the song , the first words of each verse , and the chorus-slogan repeated 4 times.

coming straight from the underground : it’s an intertextual allusion to STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON.

 

You have 6600 words of this article left to read.

 

Gangsta-rap songwriting

The Notorious B.I.G. – Who Shot Ya?

Notorious B.I.G. ft Puff Daddy – Who Shot Ya? – Lyrics analysis and meanings

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Notorious B.I.G. ft Puff Daddy – Who Shot Ya? – Lyrics

Intro – Puffy

As we proceed to give you what you need
9-5, motherfuckers
Get live, motherfuckers
As we proceed to give you what you need
9-5, motherfuckers
Get live, motherfuckers
As we proceed to give you what you need
Now turn the mics up
East Coast, motherfuckers
Turn that mic up
Bad Boy, motherfuckers
Yeah, that beat is knocking to that microphone
Turn that shit the fuck up
Uh, what? Turn it up louder, yeah, uh
As we proceed to give you what you need
J.M. motherfuckers
J.M. motherfuckers
9-5, motherfuckers

Verse 1

Who shot ya? Separate the weak from the obsolete
Hard to creep them Brooklyn streets
It’s on nigga, fuck all that bickering beef
I can hear sweat trickling down your cheek
Your heartbeat sound like Sasquatch feet
Thundering, shaking the concrete
Then the shit stop when I foil the plot
Neighbors call the cops, said they heard mad shots
Saw me in the drop, three and a quarter
Slaughter, electrical tape around your daughter
Old school, new school need to learn though
I burn, baby, burn like “Disco Inferno”
Burn slow like blunts with yayo
Peel more skins than Idaho Potato
Niggas know: the lyrical molesting is taking place
Fucking with B.I.G. it ain’t safe
I make your skin chafe, rashes on them asses
Bumps and bruises, blunts and Land Cruisers
Big Poppa smash fools, bash fools
Niggas mad because I know that cash rules
Everything around me two Glock 9s
Any motherfucker whispering about mines
And I’m Crooklyn’s finest
You rewind this, Bad Boy’s behind this

Interlude

As we proceed to give you what you need
9-5, motherfuckers
Get live, motherfuckers
As we proceed to give you what you need
East Coast, motherfuckers
Bad Boy, motherfuckers
Get high, motherfuckers
Get high, motherfuckers
Smoke blunts, motherfuckers
Get high, motherfuckers
Ready to die, motherfuckers
9-5, motherfuckers

Verse 2

I seen the light excite all the freaks
Stack mad chips, spread love with my peeps
Niggas wanna creep, gotta watch my back
Think the Cognac and indo sack make me slack?
I switches all that, cocksucker G’s up
One false move, get Swiss cheesed up
Clip to TEC, respect I demand it
Slip and break the 11th Commandment
Thou shalt not fuck with nor see Poppa
Feel a thousand deaths when I drop ya
I feel for you, like Chaka Khan I’m the don
Pussy when I want, Rolex on the arm
You’ll die slow but calm
Recognize my face, so there won’t be no mistake
So you know where to tell Jake, lame nigga
Brave nigga, turned front page nigga
Puff Daddy flips daily
I smoke the blunts he sips on the Baileys
On the rocks, tote Glocks at christenings
Hammer cock, in the fire position and…

Outro

Come here, come here, (It ain’t gotta be like that, Big)
Open your fucking mouth, open your—didn’t I tell you?
Don’t fuck with me? (Come on, man)
Huh? Didn’t I tell you not to fuck with me? (Come on, man)
Look at you now, huh? (Come on, man)
Can’t talk with a gun in your mouth, huh?
Bitch-ass nigga, what? Who shot ya?

6 gunshots]​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Outro – Puffy

To give you what you need
9-5, motherfuckers
Get live, motherfuckers (who shot ya?)
Get high, motherfuckers
Ready to die, motherfuckers, hah!
As we proceed (who shot ya?)
To give you what you need
9-5, motherfuckers
East Coast, motherfucker (Who shot ya?)
West Coast, motherfuckers
West Coast, motherfuckers, hah!
As we proceed, to give you what you need
As we proceed to give you what you need
Get live, motherfuckers
9-5, motherfuckers
Get money, motherfuckers
As we proceed to give you what you need
Get live, motherfuckers
9-5, motherfuckers
J.M. motherfuckers
J.M. motherfuckers
As we proceeeeeeed to give you what you need… 9-5

 

Biggie Smalls – Who shot ya? – Explanation of the lyrics

Intro – Puffy

As we proceed to give you what you need

The text is said in a scary voice, because very ceremonious, perverse, sadistic.

The formula sounds like a religious ceremony text, where the priest says what he does, saying aloud, taking on a magical, almost performative character – he makes things sacred. With these connotations, this text will later suggest that this is a funeral ceremony, organized by those who will kill you, one, a sadistic half-mad, and the other, a giant to cold and brutal violence.

to give you what you need: we do not know who this “you” is, is it the audience, or someone else? And what does “what you need“ mean? Nothing will answer this question in a safe way, so that these words will simply continue to hover, heavy with potential threats. And, who defines what this “you“ needs? We know expressions like “you need a good correction“, where the need is forcibly attributed to the one who considers that the other needs it. The following will rather give reason to this last hypothesis. It is the executioner who defines what his victim needs.

9-5, motherfuckers

Violent contrast with the previous verse, so we must make a synthesis: ok, they are gangsters who play gore priests…

9-5 is simply the year of creation of this piece, it is a time signature and it also accompanies the “as we proceed“, the consciousness of the present time.

Get live, motherfuckers

This direct address sounds very aggressive and continues to stretch the song from the outset, to install a heavy, violent, tense atmosphere.

As we proceed to give you what you need

9-5, motherfuckers

Get live, motherfuckers

As we proceed to give you what you need

 

Intro – Notorious BIG

Now turn the mics up

A small intro shaped “heater”. These technical adjustments out loud are also part of the “raw” mood of the song, highlighting the live side of the performance.

East Coast, motherfuckers

Turn that mic up

Bad Boy, motherfuckers

Bad Boy Records is the name of Notorious BIG’s label

Yeah, that beat is knocking to that microphone

Turn that shit the fuck up

Uh, what? Turn it up louder, yeah, uh

As we proceed to give you what you need

JM motherfuckers

JM: Junior MAFIA, band with which Notorious BIG sang. The whole name means Junior Masters At Finding Intelligent Attitudes. That reminds the NWA, Niggaz Wit Attitude.

JM motherfuckers

9-5, motherfuckers

 

Verse 1 – Notorious BIG

Who shot ya? Separate the weak from the obsolete

Of course, the question “who shot ya?” takes the audience by surprise as a sudden aggression. The question sounds paradoxical: it speaks to the victim, though we know the person is dead thus unable to answer. Second thought: it is therefore a purely rhetorical question, said out of pure cynicism, of cruelty: the shooter knows that he speaks for himself, and claims the crime with irony. So, it starts strong, a killer who jokes about the death of his victim ???

Separate the weak from the obsolete: this half- quote takes up the structure of a well-known biblical sentence: “ separate the wheat from the chaff “, “Separate the wheat from the chaff”. Except that here Biggie replaced two terms that opposedpositive and negative, by two negative terms. Which amounts to nothing at all, and to reject both categories as equally bad, thus to shoot everybody unselectively. Very threatening.

It was only the first line, and you see, it’s already very strong, very twisted, very dense. This text will accumulate the effects, so hang in there!

Hard to creep them Brooklyn streets

Alone, this verse seems innocent, but located after the previous verse, it takes a double sense: in Brooklyn, the competition is so tough that it is even difficult to survive.

To mention Brooklyn up front is obviously also a way of signing, a great classic of rap, one represents and one says where one comes from.

You have 3800 words of this article left to read.

 

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Eazy-E – Real Muthaphuckkin G’s

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Eazy-E – Real Muthaphuckkin G’s – Lyrics

Intro

Compton, Compton, Compton
Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s
Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s
Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s
Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s

Verse 1 – Eazy-E

Hey yo, Doctor, here’s another proper track
And it’s phat, watch the sniper, time to pay the piper
And let that real shit provoke
See, you’s a wannabe ‘loc, and you’ll get smoked, and I hope
That your fans understand when you talk about sprayin’ me
The same records that you makin’ is payin’ me
Motherfuck Dre! Motherfuck Snoop! Motherfuck Death Row!
Yo, and here comes my left blow
‘Cause I’m the E-A-Z-Y-E and this is the season
To let the real motherfuckin’ G’s in
You’re like a kid, you found a pup, and now you’re dapper
But tell me, where the fuck you found an anorexic rapper?
Talkin’ ’bout who you gon’ squabble with and who you shoot
You’re only sixty pounds when you’re wet and wearin’ boots
(Damn, E, they tried to fade you on Dre Day)
But Dre Day only meant Eazy’s payday
All of a sudden Dr. Dre is the G Thang
But on his old album cover he was a she-thang
So, nigga please, nigga please
Don’t step to these muthaphuckkin’ real G’s

Chorus

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless
Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)
Boy, you should’ve known by now

Verse 2 – Dresta

Every day it’s a new rapper claimin’ to be dapper than the Dresta
Softer than a bitch but portray the role of gangsta
Ain’t broke a law in your life
Yet every time you rap you yap about the guns and knife
Just take a good look at the nigga and you’ll capture
The fact that the bastard is simply just an actor
Who mastered the bang and the slang and the mental
Of niggas in Compton, Watts, and South Central
Never ever once have you ran with the turf
But yet in every verse claim you used to do the dirt
But tell me, who’s a witness to your fuckin’ work?
So you never had no bid’ness, so save the drama, jerk!
Niggas straight kill me, knowin’ that they pranksters
This is goin’ out to you studio gangstas
See, I did dirt, put in work, and many niggas can vouch that
So since I got stripes, I got the right to rap about that
But niggas like you, I gotta hate ya
‘Cause I’m just tired of suburbia niggas
Talkin’ about they come from projects
Knowin’ you ain’t seen the parts of the streets, G
Wearin’ khakis and mob while you rhyme
Little fag tried to sag, but you’re floodin’ at the same time
And your set don’t accept ya; scared to kick it with your homies
‘Cause you know they don’t respect ya
So, nigga please, check nuts
Before you step to these muthaphuckkin’ real G’s

Verse 3 – B.G. Knocc Out

Well, it’s the Knocc Out, definition “Original baby gangsta”
Approach me like you hard, motherfucker, I’ma bank ya
Shank ya, with my fuckin’ shank, if I have to
Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg are fuckin’ actors
Pranksters, studio gangstas, busters
But this time you’re dealin’ with some real motherfuckers
G’s, nigga please, don’t try to step
‘Cause if you do, then a pealed cap is all that would be left
See, young niggas like me will break you off somethin’
Claimin’ my city — but Dre, you ain’t from Compton
Niggas like y’all is what I call wannabes
And ain’t shit compared to real muthaphuckkin’ G’s

Chorus

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless
Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)
Boy, you should’ve known by now

Verse 4 – Eazy-E

I never met a O.G. who never did shit wrong
You tried to diss the Eazy-E, so now, nigga, it’s on
You and your Doggy Dogg think that y’all hoggin’ shit
Both of you bitches can come and suck my Doggy dick
Beatin’ up a bitch don’t make you shit, but then again
Some niggas think it makes a man
Damn, it’s a trip how a nigga could switch so quick
From wearin’ lipstick to smokin’ on chronic at picnics
And now you think you’re bigger
But to me you ain’t nothin’ but a bitch-ass nigga
That ain’t worth a food stamp
And at Death Row, I hear you gettin’ treated like boot camp
Gotta follow your sergeant’s directions
Or get your ass pumped with the Smith & Wesson
Learn a lesson from the Eaze
Stay in your place and don’t step to real muthaphuckkin’ G’s

Chorus

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless
Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)
Boy, you should’ve known by now
Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless
Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)
Boy, you should’ve known by now
Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless
Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)
Boy, you should’ve known by now: Eazy Duz It

 

Eazy-E – Real Muthaphuckkin G’s – Lyrics analysis & meanings

Intro

Compton, Compton, Compton

Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s

At this point, after STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON and FUCK THA POLICE, we have already met a whole gallery of motherfuckers.

Yet Eazy in general tends to want to innovate, so here is the magic word again, with the exact spelling you need when you don’t intend to teach Moral Philosophy at Stanford: muthaphuckkin. It ‘s like motherfucker, with three extra faults, so that you really understand that your spelling rules, your English language that you are so proud of, and even your mother, all that the author fucks it. In Shakespeare’s day things were not so clear.

And so this time the motherfucker creature is a G. What’s that?

Greek? Gay? G-dot, Gravity? Good? Game?

Naaahhh… G is a secret code name that means gangsta. Only real G’s understand, and you’re not a G.

All this is a form of self-description, since here, apparently the real muthaphuckkin G’s have a language of their own, which you do not understand, which excludes you as your language excluded them. In fact, the author makes you live his experience of a dominated language speaker, so you can know what it is. If you do not understand, you’re probably American or English.

Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s

Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s

Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s

 

Verse 1 – Eazy-E

Hey yo, Doctor, here’s another proper track

Hey yo, Doctordirect address, but not to us as often, but to someone else, someone we know, an old friend: the Doctor, aka Dr. Dre, the ex-colleague of Eazy-E in NWA. To sum up their mess:

  • In 1986, Eazy-E and Jerry Heller found Ruthless records, hip-hop label.
  • In 1986, Eazy-E invites Dr Dre to found N.W.A. with him and a 3rd rapper named Arabian prince. Then Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella join them and Arabian Prince leaves the band.
  • In 1988, they release the LP Straight outta Compton.
  • In 1989, Ice Cube leaves the band after contract and money conflicts
  • In 1991, four-member NWA (Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren, DJ Yella) released a second album, on which is a brief interlude (“skit”) entitled MESSAGE TO BA, where NWA violently attacks Ice Cube.
  • Ice Cube responds the same year and attacks all his ex-colleagues in a diss-song, a slanderous and defamatory song, NO VASELINE.
  • NWA then responds on his album Niggaz4Life by attacking Ice Cube again.
  • In 1992, Dr Dre leaves the band N.W.A. and the label Ruthless records, to start his own label, Death row, and revives the war on his first album, The Chronic, on which he attacks Eazy-E in his diss-song, FUCK WITH DRE DAY  (AND EVERYBODY’S CELEBRATIN’).
  • In 1993, Eazy-E fights back with this REAL MUTHAFUCKKIN’ G’S diss-song against Dre.
  • The conflict will only go away with the death of Eazy-E in 1995, and this series of defamatory songs will continue in a series of songs of reconciliation.

One more track: yes, Dre could have thought that without him, Eazy would not continue making music, but Eazy went off alone, and as a revenge he swung his new track in the face of his former producer. It’s hostile, it’s rebellious, it’s aggressive and sly, it’s Eazy all spit.

And it’s phat, watch the sniper

Phat rather than fat, it’s like a parody of spelling, like painting gold on a garbage can to make it look like… like… like it’s painted gold, fool! It’s phantasy, not phantastic but not phamiliar, it makes phun of this bullshit spelling, and Authorities that go with it, which the author contests.

Watch the sniper: After the explosion of NWA, Ice Cube and Dre having left the group, Eazy-E made a solo career, like a sniper.

Pay the piper: this piper comes from THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN, an old German tale in which a musician, poorly treated by the inhabitants of a village, returns the year after to avenge himself, seduces all the children with the charming music of his pipe, to lead them to a cave, lock them in and let them die in it. This reference identifies Eazy with the Piper: if we do not pay him, he will come back to kill the youth with his music:)

This Piper has been evoked countless times in rap lyrics… Like… does this remind you of something?

“Best believe somebody’s paying the pied piper”.

Guessed it? It’s Eminem in LOSE YOURSELF.

And let that real shit provoke

We do not know 100% what this real shit is, it can be this rap, or this singer, who makes fun of his own image, or this Doctor that can be provoked to make fun of him too.

See, you’ve got a wannabe ‘loc, and you’ll get smoked, and I hope

So he challenges him the status of leader – that Dre actually had in NWA as a producer and DJ and singer.

A loc is a boss in the slang of the Crips gang.

That your fans understand when you talk about sprayin ‘me

The same records that you makin’ is payin’ me

Eazy very deliberately attacks Dre’s reputation with his fans, and ironizes that he still gets royalties from him, acting as if it were a form of theft (but unfortunately for Eazy, this argument is bogus, abusive).

Motherfuck Dre! Motherfuck Snoop! Motherfuck Death Row!

This is a very clear verse, insult to Dre, his new rap partner Snoop Dogg, and their Death Row label.

Yo, and here comes my left blow

This verse emphasizes the fact that the previous one was a punchline, a striking and particularly aggressive verse.

‘Cause I’m the EAZY-E and this is the season

cause: well, well, it’s always the same author so always the same logic of cause-without-cause. It’s like that because it’s like that (and because Eazy likes to believe he’s always the strongest, and that strength does not need reason).

To let the real motherfuckin’ G’s in

 

This was an abstract of Gangsta-rap songwriting. Wanna read more?

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Tupac & Dr Dre – California Love – Lyrics analysis & meanings

Gangsta-rap songwriting

TUPAC & DR DRE – CALIFORNIA LOVE – LYRICS ANALYSIS & MEANINGS

California Love!…

Sometimes things are clear straight away. Take any hip-hop fan before 1995 and play the sample of these two words sung in this sharp, mannered voice, and ask him whether it’s gangsta-rap, and the answer will be a sarcastic laugh: “Rap sending love, hm ??” will retort any gangster among your friends.

In short, Dre and Tupac have announced the color: this song will establish a new style, freed from the depression and heavy negativity of black ghettos, and they will party under the same Californian sun as the hippies of the previous generation.

In other words, already well enriched at the time by their activities in show business, the two rappers have decided to get social, and not to let anyone at least in California ignore that they are now part of the musical scene and that they are happy to celebrate the American Dream, equal with the whites.

 

Chorus

California, knows how to party

Straight away, we can see that this song defines a new style of rap:

  • All previous songs began on the verse, the voice of a gangster who tells the essence of his message in a chorus-slogan. But here, we open on a chorus.
  • Straight away, the voice is tampered with electronics, and reminds very mainstream styles like the Dance music of the time.
  • This chorus is super catchy, dancy, positive, funky, and invites the audience to party. We are far from the hostile, aggressive, or sinister choruses of gangsta-rap before its breakthrough to the mainstream.

California : as often in songs, the singer defines his audience by naming it and adressing it directly.

  • This definition of this rather wide audience shows how hip-hop has made progress in pop culture, because we remember that the angry guys from STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON only claimed their streets of Compton – despite their ambition they were far, Dre said later, to imagine that they would have a success other than purely local; yet, 7 years, many hits and millions of dollars later, from Los Angeles Tupac & Dre now aim to seduce all of California. They have become more confident and ambitious than the original little street gangsters.
  • But California, people know what it is all over the world. California makes the Americanized masses dream, long-time prepared by a century of Hollywood cinema and California culture, largely to the glory of local icons :
    • Cowboys and sheriffs
    • Mickey Mouse and the rest of Disney and cartoon culture
    • Beat Generation writers
    • Hippies
    • Serial-killers
    • Cops (LA Police Department is one of the most famous police of the world, through movies and series…)
    • Gangsters
    • Rappers
    • Geeks.
  • Evoking California is an easy choice for a Californian artist, it’s a safe bet, because the public has already been conquerred for generations by the many charms of the Wild West. Compare: Could the criminal lives of young Pakistanese or Algerian or Russian males have touched the world as much as those of young Californians? No, because the world audience would not be prepared to take it into consideration.
  • In fact, this song marks the entry of hip-hop into cultural capitalism, the moment when it asserts itself as a mass product, the moment when the gangster, withdrawn from dangerous business, prefers to bank his public image, and the bank of the time in the world of music is MTV, the main prescriber. Conquering the world via MTV, robbing the whites with seduction, using the gangsta spirit to make it a super sexy ad for the American Way of Life, reviewed and corrected by the new black elites – because Dre and Tupac are already Millionaire stars, gangsta studio, far from the misery of the street – this is more or less the landline of this song.

California, knows how to party

In the city of LA

He will mention LA, then two neighborhoods or peripheral cities marked with a black majority or identity, knowingly forgetting a big city like San Francisco, or obviously, the rich cities like San Diego, Santa Monica…

In the city of good ol’ Watts

In the city of Compton

We keep it rockin’, we keep it rockin’

This line sounds surprising in the mouth of rappers. They rock, they do not rap ? This illustrates the choice to expand the audience of this song to make it an indisputable hit, a strategy that worked very well. The American audience of the time still runs on rock. So, Tupac and Dre play it rock.

 

Verse 1 – Dr. Dre

Now let me welcome everyone to the Wild, Wild West

Now let me welcome : this oral formula can usually be found in the mouth of presenters – and here, with the mention of the wild west, it recalls the presenters of folklore shows. This could be said by a fun tour guide. But WILD, WILD WEST also was the title of a famous american television show in the 1960s, telling stories from the end of the 19th century. It’s like Dre is playing cowboy a century later, as if the gangster and rappers were a new form of this old myth: the californian outlaw. The same formula also recalls Dr. Dre’s role as MC (Master of Ceremonies, party spokesman) in the NWA hits, giving voice to his lead singers.

Everybody: so the song says it’s for everybody. As in the evocation of California as theme and audience, here it is about a wide, mainstream, even global audience, not at all limited to afro-american ghettos.

A state that’s untouchable like Eliot Ness

The Wild Wild West, a state… : this identifies California as exactly the same as the Wild Wild West, which is not quite true – the Wild West also covered Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Washington State, etc. But California is the most populous, the richest, the most known and the most representative of these states.

Untouchable : the term can have multiple meanings,

  • untouchable because full of pariahs (poor, excluded people) as in India,
  • untouchable because California is the most extreme and authentic area of ​​the Wild West, its reputation is well established and indisputable,
  • untouchable also because it is the heart of the West Coast rap, which Dr. Dre and Tupac come to represent in front of the global audience
  • and untouchable as in the movie THE UNTOUCHABLES, in which a group of nine U.S. federal law-enforcement agents led by Eliot Ness chase the Chicago gangster Al Capone. Elliot Ness is part of American mythology and so it is another safe bet.

At this stage of the lyrics, we have laid a clear and seductive background, California and some of his new Heroes, the gangsta-rappers, heir to the cowboys.

The track hits ya eardrum like a slug to ya chest

This beautiful metaphor implicitly refers to the singer himself, since he is the producer and composer of this track. And she describes him as a gangster who, therefore, shoots the audience with his track that hits like a bullet.

Pack a vest for your Jimmy in the city of sex

The verse takes up the previous metaphor, but… by metaphor: the beginning, pack a vest, invites the audience to put on their bulletproof vest, as if to protect themselves from the track / bullet, but in fact this vest designates a condom. Even if the allusion remains light, Dre and Tupac know that Eazy-E died of the consequences of AIDS a few months earlier…

We in that sunshine state with a bomb ass hemp beat

We in that sunshine state : the formula has two meanings and two possible grammars :

  • Either we understand “We, in that sunshine, state” (that…), where state is a verb, and that would mean: we, under this sunny sky, establish (that…)
  • Either we understand “We, in that sunshine state“, where state is a name, and that would mean ” We, in this sunny state “.

with a bomb ass hemp beat: this is a disguised allusion to californian weed (bomb ass hemp). This association between music and cannabis will last long in rap lyrics, especially when Dre sings with Snoop Dog.

The state where ya never find a dance floor empty

We reconnect on the theme and the set of California, which makes it again the hero of the song.

Dance floor: the indication of genre is clear, since through this allusion the rappers admit that they do Dance music and no longer just rap.

And pimps be on a mission for the greens

This verse evokes the world of delinquency, which is part of the decor.

This mission for them greens is also the mission of our rappers, who thus appear as pimps, men exploiting prostitutes. 50 Cent in his song IN DA CLUB will give an echo to this provocative self-assertion as a sex-slavist.

Lean mean money-makin-machines serving fiends

The verse sounds nice because of its amusing sound beauty.

These money machines also metaphorically represent our two rappers, ex-gangsters now engaged in show-business.

The term fiends is strong, and ambiguous. It means monsters or demons or addicts depending on the context. Here, one can think that it designates both slot-addicts as well as cynical operators of human vices: both are some kind of monsters, driven by the demon of gambling.

I been in the game for ten years making rap tunes

Half way, exactly at the 9th verse on 16, after a long introduction, the verse now changes theme, and the singer finally speaks at the first person, “I“.

He claims his seniority in rap – this assertion of himself as a kind of experienced Godfather of a musical genre takes over gangster stories.

Ever since honeys was wearing Sassoon

Honeys : usually it’s singular. Using this sweet word sounds ironic to the audience, but kind, correct. Dre no longer calls women “bitches“. Indeed, misogynistic insults could have compromised the commercial success of the song in the clubs of the Western world…

Sassoon is a famous hairdresser who reinvented the bob cut, shorter.

Now it’s ’95 and they clock me and watch me

Funny pun, between

  • the verbs to clock, to measure time, and to watch,
  • and the nounsa clock and a watch.

The meaning of the verse is “I have become a star they admire“.

Diamonds shinin’, lookin’ like I robbed Liberace

Diamonds shinin’ : note the effectiveness of this style of writing, in collage of strong expressions, without having to put everything in grammatically well structured sentences. More dense, stronger!

Liberace : allusion to a famous virtuoso pianist with a very kitschy image.

It’s all good, from Diego to the Bay

It’s all good also means, “With my wealth, everything is fine for me“. We are far from the original misery, gangsta-rap has learnt to male money and now lives in luxury.

From Diego to the Bay : this brings us back to the fast initial panorama that mentioned LA, Watts and Compton, but expands to two rich, white-majority cities: San Diego and San Francisco (whose famous bay was sung by Otis Redding).

Your city is the bomb if your city making pay

Double meaning : this is a potentially true generality, and it is also concretely the case of Dre, who has greatly enriched by selling the name of his city, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON.

Throw up a finger if ya feel the same way

Ambiguity again, since this finger in the air, sign of revolt and distrust, becomes a sign of gathering, usable to get socially accepted, a code which is prescribed, almost required (otherwise, you’re not cool like this rapper).

Dre putting it down for California Yeah

One last double meaning for the road:

  • to put it down, it is to mark a try, in American football.
  • to put it down is also to note something by writing it down.
  • So Dre marks the try for California by sharing his notes about California with us.

 

Chorus

California (California) knows how to party

California (west coast) knows how to party (yes they do)

In the city of LA

In the city of good ol Watts (good ol ‘Watts)

In the city of Compton

We keep it rockin! We keep it rockin’ (come on, come on, come on)

Shake it shake it baby

Shake it shake it, shake it baby

Shake it shake it mama

Shake it Cali

Shake it shake it baby (that’s right, uh)

Shake it shake it baby baby, shake it shake it mama, shake it Cali

These “shake it” (who? your ass!) also show that CALIFORNIA LOVE is a song made to seduce the clubs and mainstream audience with festive and sexy injunctions.

 

Verse 2 – Tupac

Out on bail fresh outta jail, California dreaming

Out on bail fresh outta jail: this is literally true, since this song and the entire album were recorded immediately after Tupac was released from prison with the help of Death Row producer, Suge Knight.

California Dreaming: this is the title of the famous song by the Mamas and Papas, the hippie band.

The juxtaposition of the two elements, the gangster autobiography and the hippie hit, sounds funny. It seems to mean that the singer has turned back directly from prison to the Californian dream – or more precisely, to a music studio in California where he’s singing rap while smoking local weed, like a hippie.

Soon as I stepped on the scene, I’m hearing hoochies screamin

To step on the scene is precisely what he just did when he began his verse, imposing himself on the auditory scene.

I’m hearing hoochies screamin: it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, a performative phrase, since in fact Tupac is talking about that to make it happen. The singer who wants people to love him sings “People love me“…

Fiendin for money and alcohol

A misogynistic thought in passing… those women would be hoochies, hysteric and materialistic…

The life of a west side player where cowards die

The life is a lot to say, given the little he has just told us about himself.

A west side player: a player is someone who plays with life, chance, women, pleasure. This self-portrait illustrates the hedonistic turn of gangsta-rap.

Where cowards die: by deduction, this implies that Tupac describes himself as brave, as he is still alive. The bad piece of news is that he will be murdered in LA about a year after the registration of this song. Which shows that, coward or brave it doesn’t matter, everyone dies all the same in the west.

And its all war

In the west side, it’s war:

  • cowboys Vs horse-thieves, settlers Vs the Indians
  • blacks Vs whites and vice versa, and of any ethnic minority Vs the others
  • police Vs crime and vice versa
  • gangs Vs gangs or the population

In short, it is true that it is a very conflictual place.

Only in Cali where we riot not rally to live and die

Nice play on soundsrepetition of the i and li.

Cali: this way of designating California brings it closer to Cali, the city of the famous Drug Cartel (dealing cocaine).

we riotallusion to the terrible riots of Los Angeles in 1992.

The portrait of California continues, showing that this state and its fauna are the central theme of this song.

In L.A. we wearing Chucks not Ballys (that’s right, uh)

Chucks are Converse shoes, a brand appreciated by popular youth, and not too expensive. Bally shoes are much more expensive and are appreciated by the upper class.

These mentions of brands of clothes are not insignificant because the people of Death Row and hip-hop obviously had some business ideas, and over the years we have seen more and more rich rappers invest in the industry (textile, real estate, cannabis…), and create brands.

Dressed in Locs and khaki suits and ride is what we do

Locs : glasses like those of Eazy-E…

These verses sound like an ad for the textile industry: clearly the rapper promotes his “streetwear” style which will be the big new niche of “fashion” in these years 1990-2000 – anything that comes out of the ghetto will become popular and massive, replacing the style of the previous wave of fashion, rock, hippie music and punk.

Ride is what we do: to ride means to ride a horse or another rideable animal, but also to drive, a car or a motorcycle or a bicycle. A whole culture stands behind this verb, to ride is also being cool at the wheel, being a Hell’s Angels on a motorcycle, driving a luxury or fancy car, etc. And so in fact what Tupac means here is that in California they have this culture of motorized coolness, which has become a second nature, “it’s what we do“.

Flossing but have caution we collide with other crews

We collide : a play on words, in harmony with the ride, as if clashing with other groups was the result of riding.

Famous ’cause we program worldwide

The blatant bragging of this verse, affirmation of success and ambition, is part of the movement of empowerment of the African-American population and of rap music, perfectly in step with the standard values of the White America, where people are judged by their celebrity, as if it were a good in itself. (This is a false value, because Hitler, Stalin, Charles Manson, Marc Dutrou, are also famous, so what?)

It’s not to piss Tupac admirers off, but this verse is almost a lie. Tupac and the Californians are not “famous because they program worldwide“. Tupac is not an intellectual and his knowledge about his society seems weak, which is logical given his futile interests (clothes, cars…)

Californians succeed and reach fame, not because of their ambition, but because…

  • they stole an entire continent after having genocided its inhabitants,
  • they exploited millions of slaves during 500 years,
  • they exploited nature in complete freedom, devastating their environment within one century, cutting forests, drying rivers,
  • they were the bankers who helped european countries to fight each other in the 2 World Wars and took profit of it,
  • they are one of the most populous states in the United States, which became the world’s exploiter in the 20th century

Born Californian rather than African or Chinese, Tupac inherits stolen privileges. If he would have been born in Nigeria or China, Tupac could have had all the global ambitions he wanted, he would not have succeeded at all as an artist. It’s an easy illusion to take personal credit for the power of the society you belong to…

The rappers themselves are famous also because they stole the money that was used to promote them and without which they would have remained obscure in the street. This is the case of the Death Row label that produces this song: it was initially financed with money extorted by Suge Knight to the white rapper Vanilla Ice.

In short, we have a rapper who ignores critical and historical knowledge, and who prefers to give a conscienceless excellent image of his native region. He becomes its advertiser, selling California to the world, who already loves it and drinks it every day like Coca-Cola. Artistic risk-taking amounts to zero, and from someone who pretends to live dangerously, it sounds like hypocrisy.

Let’em recognize from Long Beach to Rosecrans

We continue to make flattering nods to the inhabitants.

Bumping and grinding like a slow jam, it’s west side

Nice pictorial description of the mythical Californian traffic jams, in a State that likes to burn oil massively.

So you know the row won’t bow down to no man

Very nice assonancerepetition of 6 times the sound “o” or “ow”.

The row = probably the death row.

Say what you say

But give me that bomb beat from Dre

Compliment to Dre, this verse also participates in the logic of empowerment that permeates the song.

Let me serenade the streets of L.A.

Another direct adress to the Californian audience.

Serenade : the use of this term rather than another is remarkable. The basic meaning of the verb in this verse and this context is to sing. Singing the serenade is a way of singing for one’s darling when one is in love – so one can decode the metaphor as follows: “Let me sing the serenade to my darling, my darling being the streets of L.A.” French rapper Booba has exploited this same pretty idea in his song TOMBÉ POUR ELLE, which is a love song dedicated to the allegory of the street. Here, this term once again marks the will of Tupac and Dre to make a public hit, well beyond the borders of gangsta-rap and black ghettos.

From Oakland to Sactown

Oakland, city of San Francisco Bay, near the famous University of Berkeley.

Sactown, slang nickname of Sacramento, administrative capital of California.

From Oakland to Sacramento, it’s a drive of less than 2 hours, from the coast to the inland.

The Bay Area and back down

From San Francisco Bay to “back down”, we can think we reach the Los Angeles area, and it is a much longer journey then, 7 hours.

Cali is where they get their mack down, give-me love!

Bam! This verse is sincere and truthful, because indeed this is what Dre and Tupac did in this tube: to exchange guns against commercial success and the love of the audience. They had it.

 

Chorus

California knows how to party

California, knows how to party

In the city of south-central LA

In the city of good ol ‘Watts (uh, that’s right)

In the city of Compton (yup, yup)

We keep it rocking!We keep it rocking (yeah, yeah now make it shake, c’mon)

Shake it shake it baby (uh)

Shake it shake it, shake it baby (yeah)

Shake it shake it mama

Shake it Cali

Shake it shake it baby (shake it Cali)

Shake it shake it, shake it shake it mama (west-coast) shake it Cali

 

Outro – Dr. Dre / Tupac

Uh, yeah, uh, Long Beach in the house, uh yeah

We take again the soliciting of the cities.

Long Beach, small city near L.A.

Oaktown, Oakland definitely in the house

Frisko, Frisko

Frisko is the slang nickname of San Francisco.

Hey, you know L.A.is up in this

Pasadena, where you at

Pasadena, small town east of L.A.

Yeah, Inglewood, Inglewood always up to no good

Inglewood, a small town southwest of L.A.

Even Hollywood trying to get a piece baby

Hollywood: L.A. neighborhood, capital of the cinema industry, factory of the California dream. It’s funny to show Hollywood trying to “get some” Californian love given by this rapper. Tupac reverses the balance of power, acts as if he were the master who gives sugar to this poodle state, when in reality, he’s flirting with Hollywood – in total Tupac Shakur has been an actor in 10 movies.

Sacramento, Sacramento where ya at? yeah

Throw it up y’all, throw it up, throw it up (I can’t see ya)

California Love

Let’s show these fools how we do this on that west side

’cause you and I know it’s the best side

These verses contributes to the war Tupac wanted between East Side and West Side rappers, a conflict that he will feed with his hit HIT’EM UP, and which will perhaps lead to his assassination in 1996.

Yeah, that’s right

West coast, west coast

Uh, California Love

California Love

Yeah

Did you notice? No bitch, no nigga, no fuck you, no I’mma kill yaGangsta-rap really changed style.

 

SYNTHESIS

CALIFORNIA LOVE did not change the history of rap by the quality of its lyrics: they sound rather boring and poor, neither Tupac nor Dre being known for their literary talent. Tupac has charisma, confidence, phrasing, and Dre always signs a stylish, innovative, impeccable music. But neither of them is a poet like Ice Cube, Coolio or Notorious B.I.G., so much richer in their wordingsmetaphorspuns, and their dramatic constructions.

The very type of this song, a festive, clubby, dance song, accepts superficial, light, understandable lyrics – and CALIFORNIA LOVE still is written better than a thousand other stupid dance hits.

Nevertheless, it has a profound meaning that is particularly important, as it testifies to the adherence of these stars of the African-American ghettos to the American culture imbued with the constitutional “right to happiness”. The American Constitution states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Dre and Tupac have signed a gangsta-rap version of this claim to the right to happiness, in the great tradition of a militant song like I GOT LIFE by Nina Simone, the black woman who, in the 1960s was singing about having nothing but her body to enjoy life.

Basically, what is affirmed here under the pen and in the voice of these happy, richer and calmer, more seductive and less aggressive rappers, it is the aspirations of the African-American community finally fully endowed with its civic rights reconquerred in the years 1960-70, and their move to join the standard values of the American society, to get normalized and accepted at equality.

22 years later, the election of the first black president of the United States, Barack Obama, largely supported by the world of hip-hop, will confirm this collective evolution towards social integration.

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Eazy-E – Real Muthaphuckkin G’s – Lyrics analysis & meanings

Eazy-E – Real Muthaphuckkin G’s – Lyrics analysis

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Eazy-E – Real Muthaphuckkin G’s – Lyrics

Intro

Compton, Compton, Compton
Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s
Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s
Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s
Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s

Verse 1 – Eazy-E

Hey yo, Doctor, here’s another proper track
And it’s phat, watch the sniper, time to pay the piper
And let that real shit provoke
See, you’s a wannabe ‘loc, and you’ll get smoked, and I hope
That your fans understand when you talk about sprayin’ me
The same records that you makin’ is payin’ me
Motherfuck Dre! Motherfuck Snoop! Motherfuck Death Row!
Yo, and here comes my left blow
‘Cause I’m the E-A-Z-Y-E and this is the season
To let the real motherfuckin’ G’s in
You’re like a kid, you found a pup, and now you’re dapper
But tell me, where the fuck you found an anorexic rapper?
Talkin’ ’bout who you gon’ squabble with and who you shoot
You’re only sixty pounds when you’re wet and wearin’ boots
(Damn, E, they tried to fade you on Dre Day)
But Dre Day only meant Eazy’s payday
All of a sudden Dr. Dre is the G Thang
But on his old album cover he was a she-thang
So, nigga please, nigga please
Don’t step to these muthaphuckkin’ real G’s

Chorus

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless
Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)
Boy, you should’ve known by now

Verse 2 – Dresta

Every day it’s a new rapper claimin’ to be dapper than the Dresta
Softer than a bitch but portray the role of gangsta
Ain’t broke a law in your life
Yet every time you rap you yap about the guns and knife
Just take a good look at the nigga and you’ll capture
The fact that the bastard is simply just an actor
Who mastered the bang and the slang and the mental
Of niggas in Compton, Watts, and South Central
Never ever once have you ran with the turf
But yet in every verse claim you used to do the dirt
But tell me, who’s a witness to your fuckin’ work?
So you never had no bid’ness, so save the drama, jerk!
Niggas straight kill me, knowin’ that they pranksters
This is goin’ out to you studio gangstas
See, I did dirt, put in work, and many niggas can vouch that
So since I got stripes, I got the right to rap about that
But niggas like you, I gotta hate ya
‘Cause I’m just tired of suburbia niggas
Talkin’ about they come from projects
Knowin’ you ain’t seen the parts of the streets, G
Wearin’ khakis and mob while you rhyme
Little fag tried to sag, but you’re floodin’ at the same time
And your set don’t accept ya; scared to kick it with your homies
‘Cause you know they don’t respect ya
So, nigga please, check nuts
Before you step to these muthaphuckkin’ real G’s

Verse 3 – B.G. Knocc Out

Well, it’s the Knocc Out, definition “Original baby gangsta”
Approach me like you hard, motherfucker, I’ma bank ya
Shank ya, with my fuckin’ shank, if I have to
Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg are fuckin’ actors
Pranksters, studio gangstas, busters
But this time you’re dealin’ with some real motherfuckers
G’s, nigga please, don’t try to step
‘Cause if you do, then a pealed cap is all that would be left
See, young niggas like me will break you off somethin’
Claimin’ my city — but Dre, you ain’t from Compton
Niggas like y’all is what I call wannabes
And ain’t shit compared to real muthaphuckkin’ G’s

Chorus

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless
Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)
Boy, you should’ve known by now

Verse 4 – Eazy-E

I never met a O.G. who never did shit wrong
You tried to diss the Eazy-E, so now, nigga, it’s on
You and your Doggy Dogg think that y’all hoggin’ shit
Both of you bitches can come and suck my Doggy dick
Beatin’ up a bitch don’t make you shit, but then again
Some niggas think it makes a man
Damn, it’s a trip how a nigga could switch so quick
From wearin’ lipstick to smokin’ on chronic at picnics
And now you think you’re bigger
But to me you ain’t nothin’ but a bitch-ass nigga
That ain’t worth a food stamp
And at Death Row, I hear you gettin’ treated like boot camp
Gotta follow your sergeant’s directions
Or get your ass pumped with the Smith & Wesson
Learn a lesson from the Eaze
Stay in your place and don’t step to real muthaphuckkin’ G’s

Chorus

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless
Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)
Boy, you should’ve known by now
Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless
Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)
Boy, you should’ve known by now
Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless
Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)
Boy, you should’ve known by now: Eazy Duz It

 

Eazy-E – Real Muthaphuckkin G’s – Lyrics analysis & meanings

Intro

Compton, Compton, Compton

Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s

At this point, after STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON and FUCK THA POLICE, we have already met a whole gallery of motherfuckers.

Yet Eazy in general tends to want to innovate, so here is the magic word again, with the exact spelling you need when you don’t intend to teach Moral Philosophy at Stanford: muthaphuckkin. It ‘s like motherfucker, with three extra faults, so that you really understand that your spelling rules, your English language that you are so proud of, and even your mother, all that the author fucks it. In Shakespeare’s day things were not so clear.

And so this time the motherfucker creature is a G. What’s that?

Greek? Gay? G-dot, Gravity? Good? Game?

Naaahhh… G is a secret code name that means gangsta. Only real G’s understand, and you’re not a G.

All this is a form of self-description, since here, apparently the real muthaphuckkin G’s have a language of their own, which you do not understand, which excludes you as your language excluded them. In fact, the author makes you live his experience of a dominated language speaker, so you can know what it is. If you do not understand, you’re probably American or English.

Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s

Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s

Ahh, real muthaphuckkin G’s

 

Verse 1 – Eazy-E

Hey yo, Doctor, here’s another proper track

Hey yo, Doctordirect address, but not to us as often, but to someone else, someone we know, an old friend: the Doctor, aka Dr. Dre, the ex-colleague of Eazy-E in NWA. To sum up their mess:

  • In 1986, Eazy-E and Jerry Heller found Ruthless records, hip-hop label.
  • In 1986, Eazy-E invites Dr Dre to found N.W.A. with him and a 3rd rapper named Arabian prince. Then Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella join them and Arabian Prince leaves the band.
  • In 1988, they release the LP Straight outta Compton.
  • In 1989, Ice Cube leaves the band after contract and money conflicts
  • In 1991, four-member NWA (Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren, DJ Yella) released a second album, on which is a brief interlude (“skit”) entitled MESSAGE TO BA, where NWA violently attacks Ice Cube.
  • Ice Cube responds the same year and attacks all his ex-colleagues in a diss-song, a slanderous and defamatory song, NO VASELINE.
  • NWA then responds on his album Niggaz4Life by attacking Ice Cube again.
  • In 1992, Dr Dre leaves the band N.W.A. and the label Ruthless records, to start his own label, Death row, and revives the war on his first album, The Chronic, on which he attacks Eazy-E in his diss-song, FUCK WITH DRE DAY  (AND EVERYBODY’S CELEBRATIN’).
  • In 1993, Eazy-E fights back with this REAL MUTHAFUCKKIN’ G’S diss-song against Dre.
  • The conflict will only go away with the death of Eazy-E in 1995, and this series of defamatory songs will continue in a series of songs of reconciliation.

One more track: yes, Dre could have thought that without him, Eazy would not continue making music, but Eazy went off alone, and as a revenge he swung his new track in the face of his former producer. It’s hostile, it’s rebellious, it’s aggressive and sly, it’s Eazy all spit.

And it’s phat, watch the sniper, time to pay the piper

Phat rather than fat, it’s like a parody of spelling, like painting gold on a garbage can to make it look like… like… like it’s painted gold, fool! It’s phantasy, not phantastic but not phamiliar, it makes phun of this bullshit spelling, and Authorities that go with it, which the author contests.

Watch the sniper: After the explosion of NWA, Ice Cube and Dre having left the group, Eazy-E made a solo career, like a sniper.

Pay the piper: this piper comes from THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN, an old German tale in which a musician, poorly treated by the inhabitants of a village, returns the year after to avenge himself, seduces all the children with the charming music of his pipe, to lead them to a cave, lock them in and let them die in it. This reference identifies Eazy with the Piper: if we do not pay him, he will come back to kill the youth with his music:)

This Piper has been evoked countless times in rap lyrics… Like… does this remind you of something?

“Best believe somebody’s paying the pied piper”.

Guessed it? It’s Eminem in LOSE YOURSELF.

And let that real shit provoke

We do not know 100% what this real shit is, it can be this rap, or this singer, who makes fun of his own image, or this Doctor that can be provoked to make fun of him too.

See, you’ve got a wannabe ‘loc, and you’ll get smoked, and I hope

So he challenges him the status of leader – that Dre actually had in NWA as a producer and DJ and singer.

A loc is a boss in the slang of the Crips gang.

That your fans understand when you talk about sprayin ‘me

The same records that you makin’ is payin’ me

Eazy very deliberately attacks Dre’s reputation with his fans, and ironizes that he still gets royalties from him, acting as if it were a form of theft (but unfortunately for Eazy, this argument is bogus, abusive).

Motherfuck Dre! Motherfuck Snoop! Motherfuck Death Row!

This is a very clear verse, insult to Dre, his new rap partner Snoop Dogg, and their Death Row label.

Yo, and here comes my left blow

This verse emphasizes the fact that the previous one was a punchline, a striking and particularly aggressive verse.

‘Cause I’m the EAZYE and this is the season

cause: well, well, it’s always the same author so always the same logic of cause-without-cause. It’s like that because it’s like that (and because Eazy likes to believe he’s always the strongest, and that strength does not need reason).

To let the real motherfuckin ‘G’s in

These two verses sound curious, not to say absurd. There is no reason why there should exist a season to let the real gangsters in; for that to be possible, we should be inside a place where the gangsters can come in, but here, Eazy has not given us any information in relation to any place, so no place is active in the memory of the listener, and therefore these verses can not really make sense.

You’re like a kid, you’re a pup, and now you’re dapper

To understand this verse you have to know the contextYou, it’s still Dr. Dre. The puppy is his new artistic partner Snoop Dogg with whom Dre has just signed a diss-song, like the one Eazy is doing – the extended musical equivalent of an insult.

But tell me, where did you fuck anorexic rapper?

So it’s still Snoop Dogg, this anorexic rapper.

In fact, could Eazy explain how an anorexic rapper would be an outrageous rapper? What about the Slim Shady then? Too slim, too shady? And Notorious BIG,  too big to rap – though strong enough to scratch your mouth against a stone wall? What is this kind of logics, Eric? Would you say that a black, latino or female rapper, is unworthy because of the size or or weight color of some of his/her organs? Is that how artists can be judged according to Eric?

Those rappers are fun, they denounce racism all along their songs but use the same hateful kind of mentality to contribute to all the other oppressions of populations, like gays, women, anorexic or slim people.

Talkin’ ’bout who you gon’ squabble with and who you shoot

In previous verses, Eazy chained the degrading terms when applied to a gangster: kid, puppy, dapper, anorexic rapper. Suddenly, the terms squabble and shootactions from a kid and a puppy, are discredited.

You’re only sixty pounds when you’re wet and wearin’ boots

So this lightness goes hand in hand with the anorexic rapper. Eazy finds it clever to make fun of Dre and Snoop’s physical appearance – which shows by the way he hasn’t much to say against their real artistic talent?

The value at stake in the fight once again is manhood: Eazy-E is a voluntary vector of sexism for men, which asserts that a “real man” (yes, the others are fake men?) will necessarily be muscular, strong. It’s funny to hear that in the mouth of a man who does not conform himself to manly standards, because of his small size. Dre and Snoop had just parodied this small size in FUCK WITH DRE DAY‘s video, making dwarves dance around a ridiculous and smaller clone of Eazy. We have the humor we can.

But when Eazy died of the consequences of AIDS at the age of 30, after years of quarreling with the friends who had contributed to his success, including Ice Cube and Dre, they all regretted their stupidity. These artists have ruined, because of their adherence to a totally stupid virile ideology, a beautiful, politically strong artistic collaboration. They spoiled it with that kind of verse, worthy of kids.

(Damn, E, they tried to fade you on Dre Day)
So it’s about Dre and Snoop Dogg’s diss-songFUCK WITH DRE DAY, made to get Eazy’s reputation down.

But Dre Day only meant Eazy’s payday

New allusion to the fact that Eazy was getting royalties on Dre’s productions, because of contractual muddles.

All of a sudden Dr. Dre is the G Thang

Allusion to Dre’s song NOTHIN’ BUT A G-THANG on his first album THE CHRONIC.

But on his old album cover he was a she-thang

Allusion to the cover of Dre’s first band World Class Wreckin’ Cru‘s album, on which he wears very feminine disco style clothes, and makeup.

So this is a new way to de-virilize Dre, pointing to his feminine side. Fortunately this kind of bullshit today is called homophobia, and is forbidden (even if we can not ban human stupidity). We see that in 30 years of career, Dre has changed appearance, he became very manly, over-muscular. By a free choice, or precisely because of this kind of macho pressures all along his life?

So, nigga please, nigga please

Do not step to these muthaphuckkin ‘real G’s

“I defend my territory”…

 

Chorus

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless

Stop him in his tracks, that means stop him, block him, but in his tracks obviously alludes to the music tracks, the audio tracks of a sound mixing in production, so that tells Dre, stop your productions. Dre did not listen to him at all, besides, he continued!!

Show him that I am Ruthlessdouble meaning by allusion to Ruthless Records, Eazy-E’s rap label, which was joined by Dre and Ice Cube to found NWA. But a big guy named Suge Knight forced Eazy to terminate the contract between Dr. Dre and Ruthless Records, which allowed Dre to found his own label, Death Row, on which he produced his successful album THE CHRONIC. With this chorus, Eazy says he is faithful to his label.

Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)

Eazy sampled Dre’s voice on another record to make his own song sound more true. It is a small theft of copyright, added to the rest of the delicts and crimes in progress.

Boy, you should’ve known by now

Boy: another de-virilization, by the age this time. It’s also a common racist way for white men to adress black men as if they were children, unworthy as adult citizens.

You should’ve known by now: of course Dre knows that Eazy is Ruthless, he has known it for years. What Eric really means is that he assumes that Dre is listening to his record, raging, knowing that he is defamed, knowing that Eazy is ruthless.

 

Verse 2 – Dresta

Every day it’s a new rapper claimin’ to be dapper than the Dresta

New character, Dresta, who starts to attack the other rappers. The value at stake is who is “dapper” – previously Eazy reproached Dre for claiming to “dapper“.

Softer than a bitch but portray the role of gangsta

Again the same themes of the gay rapper and the fake gangsta.

Ain’t broke a law in your life

Fake gangsta.

Yet every time you rap you yap about the guns and knife

you rap / you yap: nice play on words.

Just take a good look at the nigga and you’ll capture

As if it was enough to see someone to understand who he is. Judging others so negatively and so superficially… looks like integrated racism. Is it really a good idea to use the same methods as a common, more dangerous enemy?

The fact that the bastard is simply just an actor

So, another reproach, Dre would just be an actor. Except that at the time of the release of this song, his colleague Eazy has already become a media star himself, and his music videos where he is an actor pass on MTV. So this verse, in the end, sounds a bit hollow…

Who mastered the bang and the slang and the mental

Unfortunately, the addition of this verse worsens the absurdity of criticism, because Dresta actually recognizes that Dre, who was indeed not a gangster and never belonged to a gang, masters the codes of gangsta rap, from his own point of view he sends Dre a compliment when he is supposed to criticize him, it is inconsistent, it turns ridiculous.

Of niggas in Compton, Watts, and South Central

Precisely the identity zones where they are now in competition with the rap public, all enjoying great credibility.

This self-destruction of talent among them is quite typical of these poor capitalist worlds, submitted to highly competitive ethics… Instead of getting united to fight against the system, they fight against each other. They are the dunces of revolutionary politics.

Never ever once have you ran with the turf

The metaphor is borrowed from the world of horse races.

But yet in every verse claim you used to do the dirt

Reproach: you did not work in the street, but you claim that you “used to do the dirt“, which probably means do the dirty work, as coal, or kill maybe.

There’s a kind of subtle joke between the turf and the dirt, horses riding raise dirt behind them.

But tell me, who’s a witness to your fuckin’ work?

So you never had no bid’ness, so save the drama, jerk!

Always the same accusation, you did not work in the street like us, like Eazy who was a drug dealer for example.

Niggas straight kill me, knowin’ that they pranksters

There is a nice style effect here, to use the expression “kill me”, which seems to be that of a victim, of a man killed so dominated, but in this context it is an antiphrase, “that kills me” means “I’m laughing”, so it does not kill me at all. It is a way to discredit in advance any threat of death against him.

This is goin’ out to you studio gangstas

Studio gangstas: This refers to Dre and Snoop Dogg. At that time, gangsta rap already sells millions of records. The studios gangstas are multiplying to infinity, the industry photocopies them.

See, I did dirt, put in work, and many niggas can vouch that

We continue to debate passionately about who is really gangster.

So since I got stripes, I got the right to rap about that

Stripes, which rhymes internally with right to rap, sounds military, legal, in short it takes the words of the dominant, military and judicial powers.

But niggas like you, I gotta hate ya

Ben Dresta, the anti-solidarity-negroes in your genre it’s not much better. If you fired on the Nazis rather than the other Jews on your side?

‘Cause I’m just tired of suburbia niggas

‘Cause, nothing!

Talkin’ about they come from projects

Knowin’ you ain’t seen the parts of the streets, G

There are probably two intertextual allusions here.

Dresta accuses Dre of not knowing the streets: it discredits the mythical introduction of Dre on STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON about street knowledge: he would be uneducated.

And “G” is sent here with a good dose of irony, alluding to the already quoted song of Dre, NOTHIN’ BUT A G THANG.

Think you started tryna bang around the time of the peace treaty

To bang around is literally to bang, so either shoot or make a sound that bangs. It would almost sound postive, if it were not associated with this time of the peace treaty, without knowing which that means. For people knowing little history, this may refer to 1945 or the end of the Civil War in 1865… or more recently, the general truce of the gangs after the LA riots of 1992!

Wearin’ khakis and mob while you rhyme

Probable allusion to Dre’s clip for FUCK WITH DRE DAY.

Little fag tried to sag, but you’re floodin’ at the same time

Basically, he describes him as an early ejaculator. De-masculinization.

And your set don’t accept ya; scared to kick it with your homies

Reproach: you do not rap with people from your neighbourhood, but with Snoop Dogg from Long Beach. Well, who cares?

‘Cause you know they don’t respect ya

Ah, for once, the causal relationship makes sense… Like everything happens 🙂

So, nigga please, check nuts

Before you step to these muthaphuckkin’ real G’s

“I defend my territory”…

 

Verse 3 – BG Knocc Out

Well, it’s the Knocc Out, definition “Original baby gangsta”

Another new character in our rappers gallery. So his name is KO, with a joyful, wild misspelling on Knock – just to help teachers hate the lyrics. In real life, he’s the younger brother of Dresta.

He takes the same tick as MC Ren in STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, to teach definitions

Approach me like you hard, motherfucker, I’ma bank ya

Virile threats.

Bank ya retakes the sarcasm of Eazy who receives royalties on the works of Dre.

Shank ya, with my fuckin’ shank, if I have to

shank is an improvised, homemade weapon that is used in prison to kill someone when there is no better weapon available. So it is typically a weapon of wild criminal violence, so it is particularly threatening and it sticks with the affirmation of “real gangster“.

Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg are fuckin’ actors

This verse is slightly repetitive, those insults turn in a loop, don’t they?

Pranksters, studio gangstas, busters

Two insults out of three have already been said…

But this time you’re dealin’ with some real motherfuckers

That too has already been said twice in stronger positions, at the end of the verse.

G’s, nigga please, don’t try to step

That too, already said.

In short, all this passage is hollow and badly written. This gentleman Knocc Out has not left his indelible imprint on the world of rap, even in a role of hater. If this is the level of a real gangsta, the class average should sink below the bottom of the ocean.

‘Cause if you do, then a pealed cap is all that would be left

The author is finally back to the requirements of creativity. Whew, he had been thought lost to art. He innovates with a banal metaphor which turns a little short.

See, young niggas like me will break you off somethin’

At this point in my comment, I’m not really ready to believe you anymore. Even Dre will not learn anything from your annoying stuttering.

Claimin’ my city — but Dre, you ain’t from Compton

Ok, so he’s from Compton. Who else? There were 80,000 people there, not to mention the zombies and a few cops trying to creep. It’s not 80,000 extraordinary rappers either. In short, there are talentless sweepers and super-cool Nike executives living in Compton, that proves nothing, it’s the argument of a boxer who has taken too many intellectual defeats in full face.

Niggas like y’all is what I call wannabes

In the meantime, you will notice, Dresta, that those niggas have made 30 years of career and a few tens of millions of discs more than you… So, you should just shut up because you have just one line before getting forgotten.

And ain’t shit compared to real muthaphuckkin’ G’s

Forgotten.

 

Chorus

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless

Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)

Boy, you should’ve known by now

 

Verse 4 – Eazy-E

I never met a O.G. who never did shit wrong

We thus find Eazy as singer of the final verse, so he will have sung half of the song, and his two new homies, a quarter each. This shows at the same time that Eazy embarked on a solo career where the other rappers are stooges that he frames and dominates, and that the song is mostly a settling of accounts between Eazy and Dre, while Dresta, Knocc Out, and Snoop Dogg, are actually not directly involved.

OG: still coded language, which just means Original Gangster, in the fashion of brands that justify their prestige by their seniority. This is one more term in the fight to death between the real and the fake gangsters.

You tried to diss the Eazy-E, so now, nigga, it’s on

You tried to diss: you tried to defame me, so that implies he did not succeed.

So it’s on: it’s the beginning of a double meaningit’s on, all by itself means it works, it’s on, but with what comes, it’s on / You and your Doggy Dogg, it means that the fact of defaming is on them now, as if Eazy had sent the ball back. So he says at the same time “ok, well received” and “well, I send you your shit back, in worse”.

You and your Doggy Dogg think that y’all hoggin’ shit

You and your Doggy Dogg think that…: this expression sounds great, because of the triple repetition of sounds in you / your, doggy / dogg, think / that.

Doggy Dogg: This of course parodies Snoop Dogg’s scene name, substituting Doggy for Snoop. Doggy means “of the dog” or, in the sexual field, leads to “doggy style”. So Doggy Dogg means something like doggie doggie, and so it’s supposed to feel doubly humiliating.

Play on meaning too: you and your doggie, you “hoggin’ shit”, it seems to be a metaphor that says “you think you are powerful“, where shit means “things, business“, but in association with the dog idea, obviously it sounds funny, we think of a dog poop.

Both of you bitches can come and suck my Doggy dick

Bitches: homophobic de-virilization.

Doggy dick: resumption and continuation of the parody of the name of Snoop Dogg, here this expression means dog’s dick, so he pretends to imitate his opponent… to better “fuck” him symbolically.

Still… this provocation sounds ridiculously paradoxical… since, he’s gay too if he gets sucked…

Beatin’ up a bitch don’t make you shit, but then again

Allusion to a painful anecdote for Dr. Dre: aggressive with women, especially in his youth (it seems that gentrification has calmed him down a bit), he beat up a TV reporter who had let Ice Cube defame him (yes, Ice Cube was in the same trip, making defamatory songs against his former NWA partners, showing how much the solidarity displayed in their mythical songs was actually fake.)

Some niggas think it makes a man

It’s ambiguous to play on this from Eazy, after his ultra-sexist and homophobic remarks, would it be credible to try Dre as an incorrect man with women? Eazy said on TV after Dre’s assault on the reporter that she deserved it and he did not care. This little joke shows that Eazy has pro-feminist convictions only when it can upset his ex-friend, that’s all!

Damn, it’s a trip how a nigga could switch so quick

We do not make you say it.

From wearin’ lipstick to smokin’ on chronic at picnics

A series of connoisseur allusions, to the album cover where Dre has a feminine style, and to Dre’s first solo albumTHE CHRONIC, a quality album that remains a founder in the history of rap.

And now you think you’re bigger

Resumption of the allusion to the thinness of Dre and Snoop Dogg.

But to me you ain’t nothin’ but a bitch-ass nigga

This bitch-ass nigga will still come to see you on your death bed, and he will be sincerely sad to have lost in you a valuable friend.

That ain’t worth a food stamp

These food stamps are a form of public charity, assistantship, in the United States. Eazy cruelly makes fun of his poor brethren…

And at Death Row, I hear you gettin’ treated like boot camp

Another gossip that has a broad background of truth. Death Row’s co-founder, Suge Knight, was that giant sized bodyguard who was ready for anything, forcing Eazy to let Dre go from his Ruthless label. Suge Knight was not tender either with Dre or with anyone, and from that, Eazy had the echo and takes pleasure in telling it, again to humiliate Dre.

By the way: years later, Suge Knight will take 9 years of jail for homicide and homicide attempt, proving he really was dangerous.

Gotta follow your sergeant’s directions

Allusion to the authoritarian nature of Suge Knight.

Or get your ass pumped with the Smith & Wesson

In total we will have seen a whole catalog of weapons. Here we can not know what weapon it means because this brand sold revolver as rifles. But it’s a hallmark of California’s mythology, Wild West cowboys, a white form of male sexism in America.

Get your ass pumped: another homophobic-sounding threat.

Learn a lesson from the Eaze

Allusion to the concept of street knowledge – the street is full of autonomous teachers who teach the brutal lessons of street life – and a permanent claim to be the smartest.

Stay in your place and don’t step to real muthaphuckkin’ G’s

“This is my territory”.

 

Chorus

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless

Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)

Boy, you should’ve known by now

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless

Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)

Boy, you should’ve known by now

Stop him in his tracks, show him that I am Ruthless

Yo, Dre! (What’s up?)

Boy, you should’ve known by now: Eazy Duz It

This pirouette-like conclusion alludes to another track by Eazy, EAZY DUZ IT, produced by Dre, on which they discuss, and of which Eazy takes over some of the instrumentation of this song… So Eazy tells Dre, look, I’m doing very well without you, even against you…

 

SYNTHESIS

A verbal duel

We saw how the verses of STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON and FUCK THA POLICE worked, on the same model roughly: the rapper introduces himself at the beginning of the verse, develops by showing his force while making a few hostile jokes, and concludes on an insult or threat of death.

Except that, in STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, the NWA gathered their force against the whole world, and in FUCK THA POLICE they constituted themselves as a popular court to judge and execute the police.

Here, in REAL MUTHAPHUCKKIN ‘G’S, we see the same kind of “I’m stronger than you” verse, with a major modification: this time the enemy, the Antagonist of the song, is a former friend and colleague of NWA, a black brother, another artist. Still, it’s war!

This whole battle may seem futile, but it is based on solid cultural foundations. These rappers who kill each other by diss-songs are the continuation of a very old tradition of conflicts between men, if we go back in time we find

  • the culture of battles and clashes in street hip-hop – we put a sound and we fight verbally against someone in front of everyone
  • the mythical duels between cowboys or between outlaws and sheriffs, after hostile verbal exchanges (“your time has come, Billy!”)
  • duels between nobles in the European classical era and between knights in the Middle Ages
  • oratory contests between European poets in the Middle Ages
  • and the ancient Greco-Latin culture that organized rhetorical duels – whether in the courtroom, on the political forum, or between philosophers and thinkers, who regularly turned to the full-bodied dispute.

Defamation and reputation

Above all, we can notice that these songs made to kill the image of the other, affect the general public because they give an aesthetic form to universal feelings whose expression is usually less artistic, less funny, less pleasant to live: anger, hatred, jealousy… and they are a central value in the world of rap as elsewhere: the good reputation, a positive, winning, dominant image. When you have little, you have at least your body, and your reputation. But these brand new stars from the ghetto, forged at the fire of ultra-liberalism and competition to the extreme, just had their reputation for sale; ready to do anything to defend it, they also represent their individualistic era, where everyone has become a product that must be sold on a market, in competition with other products.

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg – The Next Episode

Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg – The Next Episode – Lyrics analysis & meanings

Gangsta-rap songwriting

 

Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg – The Next Episode – Lyrics

Intro

La-da-da-da-dahh
It’s the motherfuckin D-O-double-G (SNOOP DOGG!)
La-da-da-da-dahh
You know I’m mobbin with the D.R.E.
(YEAH YEAH YEAH
What what what what?
(So blaze the weed up then!)
Blaze it up, blaze it up!
(Just blaze that shit up nigga, yeah, ‘sup Snoop??)

Verse 1 – Snoop Dogg

Top Dogg, bite em all, nigga burn the shit up
D-P-G-C my nigga turn that shit up
C-P-T, L-B-C, yeah we hookin back up
And when they bang this in the club baby you got to get up
Thug niggaz drug dealers yeah they givin it up
Lowlife, yo’ life, boy we livin it up
Takin chances while we dancin in the party fo’ sho’
Slip my hoe a forty-fo’ and she got in the back do’
Bitches lookin at me strange but you know I don’t care
Step up in this motherfucker just a-swangin my hair
Bitch quit talkin, Crip walk, stay down with the set
Take a bullet with some dick and take this dope from this jet
Out of town, put it down for the Father of Rap
And if yo’ ass get cracked, bitch shut yo’ trap
Come back, get back, that’s the part of success
If you believe in the S you’ll be relievin your stress

Interlude – Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre

La-da-da-da-dahh
It’s the motherfuckin D.R.E. (Dr. Dre MOTHERFUCKER!)
La-da-da-da-dahhh
You know I’m mobbin with the D-O-double-G

Verse 2 – Dr Dre

Straight off the fuckin streets of C-P-T
King of the beats you ride to em in your Fleet (Fleetwood)
Or Coupe DeVille rollin on dubs
How you feelin whoopty=whoop nigga whut?
Dre and Snoop chronic’ed out in the ‘llac
With Doc in the back, sippin on ‘gnac (yeah)
Clip in the strap, dippin through hoods (what hoods?)
Compton, Long Beach, Inglewood!
South Central out to the Westside (wessyde)
It’s California Love, this California bud got a nigga gang of pub
I’m on one, I might bail up in the Century Club
With my jeans on, and my team strong
Get my drink on, and my smoke on
Then go home with, somethin to poke on (whassup bitch?)
Loc it’s on for the two-triple-oh !
Comin real, it’s the next episode…

Outro – Nate Dogg

Hold up, waiiiiiiit
For my niggaz who be thinkin we soft
We don’t, playyy
We gon’ rock it til the wheels fall off
Hold up, heyyy
For my niggaz who be actin too bold
Take a seeaaaaaat
Hope you ready for the next episode, heyyyeyyy….
…smoke weed everday!

 

Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg – The Next Episode – Lyrics analysis

Intro

La-da-da-da-dahh

Of course by putting something other than intelligible words as opening text, we make an effect, we say something.

This intro reflects the good mood, so we are in a register at the CALIFORNIA LOVE “hip-hop not too contesting, rather happy, optimistic because win, so frimeur, teasing. We are far from the sinister or negatively aggressive mood of tubes like NWA’s STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, Coolio’s GANGSTA’S PARADISE, or WHO SHOT YA? of The Notorious BIG

It’s the motherfuckin DO-double-G (SNOOP DOGG!)

Ah, here we are back to something we know: a motherfucker ! He gives his blase, as part of a practice that resembles that of graffiti: the work is the name of the artist, his signature.

And to sign his work of entry, it is already a long time tradition, a code of the words rap, which fundamentally consists of saying “Yeah, it is me who speaks now”.

This artist’s name sounds at once

  • childish – everyone knows Snoopy
  • quirky – it’s a funny name for a gangster as for a rapper
  • ”Pop” – it’s a “ready-made”, a name found, appropriated, a parody of mass culture, as in the art of the 60s (Andy Warhol or Lichtenstein with comics…)
  • ghetto – the word dogg has a “g” in excess, it is written by a dunce, and the rappers, we saw it with the “muthaphuckkin ‘G’s” of Eazy-E, like to massacre the spelling, that their serves as a rematch after school humiliation
  • gangster – yes, gangster, because paradoxically, if you do not want to end up in prison, when you live illegally someone is better to tell everyone that your name is Snoopy the dog, rather than distribute copies of your identity card, including to your victims. In short, this ridiculous blase is the ideal hiding place of the crime – like a kilo of shit in the teddy bear of the little one, in the pram, it goes nickel at the airport.

In short, it looks like nothing, but it is rich in meaning, this name, and it will lend to various word games.

By the way, the real name of this singer is Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. He could have signed his real name, but he obviously preferred that scene name that hides his true identity. This real name itself could, by its strangeness, influence the nickname, because it is composed of namesthat do not really go together:

  • Calvin comes from the Swiss Protestant preacher, Jean Calvin
  • Cordozar sounds Spanish, which is curious for an African-American
  • Broadus sounds both Anglo-Saxon (“broad” means “broad”) and Latin, which a third time does not stick to the identity of an African-American.

I do not emphasize the problem for the sake of dissertation but really because it is a problem of substance of the African-American artists in the USA: they have a hard time having a name to them, since they are descendants people torn from their origins, they were named after their masters, and their names sound quite absurd, because borrowed from all but Africans – while the singers of the white world have no trouble assuming their civil status as rock or variety artists – we have the right to be John Lennon, Lou Reed, Britney Spears.

La-da-da-da-dahh

You know I’m mobbin with the DRE

The signature extends to DRE, whose real name is Andre Young. Snoop finds here a new way to say a name that’s already a code – DRE is a bit of Dre’s grandiose version (as if it was the acronym for a big, important thing like the UN) that is the familiar and shortened Andre who is a name of French origin quite common among African-Americans, and that sounded so trite and worthless. This poor name has become a multimillionaire artist’s name.

I’m mobbin ‘ is hard to translate. To mob is to mobilize for a cause. So it’s a metaphor, Snoop would be mobilizing for a big cause, that of Dre’s music.

(YEAH YEAH YEAH

You know who’s back up in this MOTHERFUCKER!)

What what what what?

Snoop has a very oral style, he plays it knowingly. He is one of the most playful authors, he plays with the words, the sounds, the rhythms, the intonations of the diction, the comic double meanings, the shortcutsscotchants etc. This style resonates well with the cartoon side of his name : he raps like a big child, a teenager joker.

(So ​​blaze the weed up then!)

Blaze it up, blaze it up!

(Just blaze that shit up nigga, yeah, ‘sup Snoop ??)

You see, it’s in this kind of situation that it’s better to be called Snoop. If there’s cop or citizen “war-drug” in the corner, it’s better not to shout your real name when you turn the big three-leaf…

 

 

Gangsta-rap songwriting

Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg – The Next Episode – Lyrics analysis & meanings

Gangsta-rap songwriting

 

Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg – The Next Episode – Lyrics

Intro

La-da-da-da-dahh
It’s the motherfuckin D-O-double-G (SNOOP DOGG!)
La-da-da-da-dahh
You know I’m mobbin with the D.R.E.
(YEAH YEAH YEAH
What what what what?
(So blaze the weed up then!)
Blaze it up, blaze it up!
(Just blaze that shit up nigga, yeah, ‘sup Snoop??)

Verse 1 – Snoop Dogg

Top Dogg, bite em all, nigga burn the shit up
D-P-G-C my nigga turn that shit up
C-P-T, L-B-C, yeah we hookin back up
And when they bang this in the club baby you got to get up
Thug niggaz drug dealers yeah they givin it up
Lowlife, yo’ life, boy we livin it up
Takin chances while we dancin in the party fo’ sho’
Slip my hoe a forty-fo’ and she got in the back do’
Bitches lookin at me strange but you know I don’t care
Step up in this motherfucker just a-swangin my hair
Bitch quit talkin, Crip walk, stay down with the set
Take a bullet with some dick and take this dope from this jet
Out of town, put it down for the Father of Rap
And if yo’ ass get cracked, bitch shut yo’ trap
Come back, get back, that’s the part of success
If you believe in the S you’ll be relievin your stress

Interlude – Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre

La-da-da-da-dahh
It’s the motherfuckin D.R.E. (Dr. Dre MOTHERFUCKER!)
La-da-da-da-dahhh
You know I’m mobbin with the D-O-double-G

Verse 2 – Dr Dre

Straight off the fuckin streets of C-P-T
King of the beats you ride to em in your Fleet (Fleetwood)
Or Coupe DeVille rollin on dubs
How you feelin whoopty=whoop nigga whut?
Dre and Snoop chronic’ed out in the ‘llac
With Doc in the back, sippin on ‘gnac (yeah)
Clip in the strap, dippin through hoods (what hoods?)
Compton, Long Beach, Inglewood!
South Central out to the Westside (wessyde)
It’s California Love, this California bud got a nigga gang of pub
I’m on one, I might bail up in the Century Club
With my jeans on, and my team strong
Get my drink on, and my smoke on
Then go home with, somethin to poke on (whassup bitch?)
Loc it’s on for the two-triple-oh!
Comin real, it’s the next episode…

Outro – Nate Dogg

Hold up, waiiiiiiit
For my niggaz who be thinkin we soft
We don’t, playyy
We gon’ rock it til the wheels fall off
Hold up, heyyy
For my niggaz who be actin too bold
Take a seeaaaaaat
Hope you ready for the next episode, heyyyeyyy….
…smoke weed everday!

 

Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg – The Next Episode – Lyrics analysis

Intro

La-da-da-da-dahh

Of course, putting something else than intelligible words as opening text, makes an effect, says something. This intro reflects some good mood, positioning the song in a register similar to CALIFORNIA LOVE : some not too contesting, rather happy, optimistic, sexy hip-hop. We are far from the sinister or negatively aggressive or sad mood of hits like NWA’s STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, Coolio’s GANGSTA’S PARADISE, or The Notorious BIG’s WHO SHOT YA?

It’s the motherfuckin DO-double-G (SNOOP DOGG!)

Here we are back to this creature we learnt to know from close in rap lyrics: a motherfucker! He gives us his artistic nickname, as part of a practice that resembles that of graffiti: the artwork is the name of the artist, his signature.

Signing one’s artwork straight away, it is already a long time tradition, a code of rap lyrics, which fundamentally consists of saying “Yo, it’s me speaking now“.

This artist name sounds at once:

  • childish – everyone knows Snoopy, the cartoon character
  • quirky – it’s a funny name for a gangster as for a rapper
  • “Pop” – it’s a “ready-made”, a name that was found, appropriated, a parody of mass culture, as in the art of the 60s (Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein recycling comics…)
  • ghetto – the word dogg has a “g” in excess, it is written by a dunce, and rappers, as we saw it with the “muthaphuckkin’ G’s” of Eazy-E, like to massacre spelling, as a rematch after school humiliation
  • gangster – yes, gangster, because paradoxically, if you do not want to end up in prison when you live illegally, then you’d better tell everyone around that your name is Snoopy the dog, rather than distribute copies of your identity card, including to your victims. In short, this ridiculous, generic name is the ideal hiding place for crime – like passing a kilo of weed in the teddy bear of a baby, in the pram, at the airport.

In short, this name looks like nothing, but it is rich in meaning, and it will lead to various puns.

By the way, the real name of this singer is Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. He could have signed his real name, but he obviously preferred that scene name that hides his true identity. This real name itself could, by its strangeness, influence the nickname, because it is composed of names that do not really fit together:

  • Calvin comes from the Swiss Protestant preacher, Jean Calvin
  • Cordozar sounds Spanish, which is weird for an African-American
  • Broadus sounds both Anglo-Saxon (“broad“) and Latin (“-us“), which a third time does not stick to the identity of an African-American.

I emphasize it because it is a problem of substance of the African-American artists in the USA: they have a hard time owning a proper name, since they are descendants of people torn from their origins, as slaves they were named after their masters, that’s why their names often sound quite absurd, because borrowed from all but African cultures – while the singers of the privileged white world have no trouble assuming their civil status as rock or variety artists – you can be John Lennon, Lou Reed, Britney Spears, but it’s harder to be Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. So fuck it, he’s not a slave, he’s Snoop Dogg.

La-da-da-da-dahh

You know I’m mobbin with the DRE

The signature extends to DRE, whose real name is Andre Young (a french first name and an English family name… another slave name !) Snoop finds here a new way to say a name that’s already a code – DRE is somehow the grandiose version of Dre (as if it was the acronym for a big, important thing like the USA, the UN or NATO) which is the familiar and shortened version of Andre. This usual first name of poor African-Americans has become a multimillionaire artist’s name.

I’m mobbin’ : to mob is to mobilize for a cause. So it’s a metaphor, Snoop would be mobilizing, implicitly, for a big cause, that of Dre’s music.

(YEAH YEAH YEAH

You know who’s back up in this MOTHERFUCKER!)

What what what what?

Snoop has a very oral style, he plays on it knowingly. He is one of the most playful songwriters, he plays with words, sounds, rhythms, intonations, double meanings, seizing shortcuts etc. This style resonates well with the cartoon side of his name: he raps like a teenager joker.

(So ​​blaze the weed up then!)

Blaze it up, blaze it up!

(Just blaze that shit up nigga, yeah, ‘sup Snoop??)

You see, it’s in this kind of situation that it’s better to be called Snoop. If there are some “I-love-war-on-drugs” cops or citizens around the corner, it’s better not to shout your real name when you’re rolling your big joints…

 

Verse 1 – Snoop Dogg

Top dogg, bite ’em all, nigga burn the shit up

Snoop starts strong!

Top Dogg is a pun that mixes the deliberately faulty name of the singer, and the concept of “top dog”, dominant dog.

By the way, this concept is smoky. Dogs’ behavior comes from the behavior of wolves, and the behavior of wolves, their social hierarchy in particular, has nothing to do with what Snoop Dogg thinks by calling himself a Top Dogg. Snoop Dogg mistakenly imagines that dogs and wolves work like him, a citizen of an ultra-competitive market economy. But dogs and wolves are considerably more altruistic and less competitive than Californian artists: they put the strongest ones at the head and queue of their pack to protect the weakest ones. In fact Snoop Dogg peddles there an old scientific error, this social Darwinism which inspired Nazism in Germany and the white racial policy in the United States, this social Darwinism which claimed to have found a “law of the strongest” at work in human societies, has been driven out of science since decades, but has remained as a cliche in many people who still believe it’s a fact, while we know it’s not.

Top Dogg can also refer to the doggy style sexual position, then in this case Snoop as a man would necessarily be the top dog, the dog above – the expression taking on an obvious misogynistic connotation.

Bite ’em all: the audience implicitly hears other words here, we understand that bite them all is the canine equivalent of kill them all. In fact, it’s the beginning of a long metaphor, Snoop describing himself as a dog in the human world, seeing everything in a canine way. Turning into a pet is also a good way to social criticism and social satire.

Nigga: we’re back to the typical target audience of rap. After mainstream hits, it’s as if Dre and Snoop wanted to go back to the basics.

Burn the shit up: in the context in which he just told us to blaze it up, we obviously think that this expression means “light this joint“, but as such, it has a more open meaning, and really means ” burn this shit up “- it can be your house or the world.

D-P-G-C my nigga turn that shit up

DPGC is the name of a band of rappers: Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound (Kurupt and Daz Dillinger), and others. So it’s another way to sign his artwork. We have just highlighted the canine side of Snoop Dogg’s metaphors and this band stands as his kennel.

C-P-T, L-B-C, yeah we hookin’ back up

C-P-T: the public and especially hip-hop fans know this acronym since the hits of NWA, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON and FUCK THA POLICE. This refers to Compton, of course, the city of Dre.

L-B-C: Long Beach, the city of Snoop.

We hookin’ back up: it’s slangy, oral and faulty English – the correct English version would be “We are hooking back up“. The term hook is polysemous, it means both “hook” as a piece of metal meant to seize something (and Hook is the original name of Disney’s Captain Hook, a friend of Snoop) and “chorus“, and it reminds of “hooker“, “whore“, while the verb “to hook up” means to go out with someone, flirting, from dating to sex. So We’re hookin’ back up both means:

  • We get partners, we cling by our hooks
  • We accost together, like prostitutes
  • We make choruses, we sing

And when they bang this in the club baby you got to get up

They bang this: pretty, gangster-style metaphor, in which the songwriter identifies his music with the “bang” of a gunshot.

In the club: as in CALIFORNIA LOVE, the new audience of Snoop and Dre is not only the black ghetto but, much more widely and ambitiously, the clubs of the world.

Baby: gradually the rap movement will push forward its crooners and lovers. This is the seed of the future hit of 50 Cent, IN DA CLUB, with his character of irresistible rapper-seducer.

Thug niggaz drug dealers yeah they givin’ it up

The original delinquency of rap is evoked warmly. This song makes a kind of synthesis between the “purist rap” spirit and the “commercial rap” spirit.

Lowlife, yo’ life, boy we livin’ it up

Pretty figure of speech! The line starts on low, and ends up

This line delivers a hedonistic message, quite new in rap but already assumed since songs like CALIFORNIA LOVE where rap was married to the white protest culture of the hippie movement.

Note the remarkable festival of rhymes in “up” that we have just attended:

  • burn the shit up
  • turn that shit up
  • we hookin’ back up
  • you got to get up
  • they givin’ it up
  • we livin’ it up

Which meets the injunction of the introblaze it up! light it, ignite it, in short, set it on fire. To set fire is to create heat, agitation, and the heat rises up, like the excitement of the public. In short, these rhymes in “up” are a good way to warm up the audience!

Takin’ chances while we dancin’ in the party fo’ sho’

Takin’ chances: the expression is polysemous, it means that we try our luck trying to flirt on the dancefloor, and we also try his luck as musicians to make the club dance.

Slip my hoe a forty-fo’ and she got in the back do’

This line is deeply ambiguousSlip my hoe a forty-fo’ is full of slang.

To slip can have several meanings, in the passive sense: to introduce something into something else, or active: to give something to someone, or to slide on something.

My hoe, it’s my whore, my bitch…

Fourty-fo’ is forty-four, and you’re not supposed to know what it is, since it most probably means a 44 millimeter pistol, or something like that.

So we can also understand the expression as:

  • I introduce a 44mm gun into my whore and she took the back door, where this back door would have an… anal connotation? 44mm being the rather large diameter of Snoop’s penis?
  • Or I give a 44mm gun to my whore and she took the back door, where whore would designate… his girlfriend, or an accomplice? and this situation would then be Snoop setting a trap to an enemy, sending his armed girlfriend through the back door.

Bitches lookin at me strange but you know I don’t care

Bitches: the word will gradually become commonplace and lose its offensive power, by being widely over-used.

but you know I don’t care: this dilettante attitude reminds the one of Eazy-E in REAL MUTHAPHUCKKIN ‘G’S, or of Coolio on a tragic mode in GANGSTER’S PARADISE, among others: the killer or sexist aggressor, contemptuous, indifferent to everything, even to his victims.

Step up in this motherfucker just a-swangin my hair

Step up: here, like in “slip my hoe“, there is no more pronoun, the very dense writing removes useless because easily guessable elements, and prefers to let the meaning of the words float without actualizing it concretely, as to make them more universal.

The line is ambiguous again, we can understand it in two ways:

  • I stumbled into this motherfucker while combing my hair, like I did not care about him, so it is an expression of contempt coherent with his bad way to talk about his “hoe” or “bitches
  • Or, I stumbled into this motherfucker and I did not care, as a reaction I just arranged my hair,  so it’s also contempt.

In short, either he despises you, or he despises you otherwise, but you have the choice, because he is so cool!

Bitch quit talkin’, Crip walk, stay down with the set

Crip walk: hip-hop dance style base on fast feet movements. Crip: LA gang to which some NWA members belonged.

Take a bullet with some dick and take this dope from this jet

Still a lot of ambiguity and puns in this line:

  • Take a bullet, sounds ambiguous, we can take it
    • actively, to use this bullet to load a gun and shoot,
    • passively, when someone else has just shot this bullet, an we’re the target.
  • With some dicksome dick makes the “dick” grammatically innumerable, as some milk or some money; by extension, it can be interpreted as a metonymy which means “take a man“. But to be a dick is to be stupid, like a dick; and in this case the expression means “take any guy, even a stupid one“.
  • Take this dope: it sounds with a double meaning again: Snoop tells the bitch to take this dope that is in this little plane, but he also tells the public to take this music.
  • From this jet: this little private plane, symbol of the jet-set of the time, and the gentrification of rappers.

Out of town, put it down for the Father of Rap

This line modifies and completes the meaning of the previous ones, clarifying the meaning of the ambiguous expressions: it was Snoop, or Dre, as a father of rap who had sent a bitch with a dick to get some dope.

The Father of rap: this ambitious boast sticks with the theme of the empowerment of African-Americans. Perhaps this father refers to Snoop Dogg himself, but then it sounds light and contrasts with the name of the artist, The Father = Snoopy the Dog??? Or it refers to Dre, more naturally, because he is really one of the founders of rap.

And if yo’ ass get cracked, bitch shut yo’ trap

And if yo’ ass get crackeddouble meaningyour ass means either literally “your ass” or by metonymy “you“, so in one case it means “if your ass is cracked“, = if you’re sodomized, and in the other case it means “if you get arrested“.

Come back, get back, that’s the part of success

The sexual allusions continue in the background, given the evocative power of this back and forth movement, which also refers to the trip of the drug courier.

If you believe in the S you’ll be relievin’ your stress

This line becomes ambiguous too because on the one hand, it is part of this little story of drug trafficking, and addresses the smuggler, telling her that she is under protection, and on the other hand it is addressed to the public of the song, to which Snoop is asking to trust himself as a super cool singer.

Conclusion: it was ambiguous from start to finish, every line had a double meaning!

 

Interlude – Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre

La-da-da-da-dahh

It’s the motherfuckin’ DRE (Dr. Dre MOTHERFUCKER!)

La-da-da-da-dahhh

You know I’m mobbin’ with the DO-double-G

Echo of the intro of the piece, which introduced Snoop, in the tradition of MCs, and consisted of a double signature, here reversed.

We are always in a pop’ art, offbeat, funny style.

 

Verse 2 – Dr. Dre

Straight off the fuckin’ streets of C-P-T

Allusion to the mythical lines of STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON.

King of the beats you ride to ’em in your Fleet (Fleetwood)

King of the beats: the expression goes hand in hand with the Father of Rap.

The Fleetwood is a luxury car.

Or Coupe DeVille rollin’ on dubs

Coupe DeVille is another luxury car, named in the French way.

Rollin’ on dubs: this is the vocabulary of the world of car tuning, evoking oversized, spectacular wheels.

How you feelin’ whoopty-whoop nigga whut?

Whoopty-whoop sounds comical, especially before the misunderstanding – whut? – that follows.

Dre and Snoop chronic’ed out in the ‘llac

Chronic’edallusion to Dre’s best-selling albumTHE CHRONIC, 1992.

The ‘llac: he is deliberately not saying the Cadillac, which would be too standard, he makes it more ghetto-style, more slang.

With Doc in the back, sippin on ‘gnac (yeah)

This Doc is a rapper named The D.O.C.

‘gnac is Cognac, the french liquor.

Clip in the strap, dippin through hoods (what hoods?)

Compton, Long Beach, Inglewood!

As in CALIFORNIA LOVE, the songwriters greet their audience.

South Central to the Westside (Wessyde)

South Central is a district of L.A. and the Westside is the west of L.A.

It’s California Love, this California bud got a nigga gang of pub

Dre cites his tube of 1995 with Tupac, CALIFORNIA LOVE.

This California bud: the term bud is known to connoisseurs of cannabis and refers to the flower, also called weed, grass; it is the part that get smoked and that makes people laugh or sleep. At the time, cannabis still stands as a dangerous drug in the public opinion, we are still in the stupid, repressive “War On Drugs” policy decreed by US Presidents, and openly claiming one has the right to smoke weed still appears bold an risky, it sounds criminal. In reality, this offense is ridiculous compared to what was mentioned in the original rap: murders, rapes, wild assaults: real crimes with real victims. 20 years later, many states in the United States decriminalize or legalize cannabis, admitting that they had banned it despite the rights and interests of society – but these jesters of politicians, cops, judges and repressive citizens have never been accountable for having promoted and put into practice for half a century a legislation contrary to human rights! Hip-hop has helped to popularize cannabis enough to bring down this disgusting repressive legislation, to put an end to millions of imprisonments that violate fundamental rights and freedom (including the right to smoke a big one), and to put an end to a huge spoil of public money that has cost billions in salaries of useless cops and jail employees. So, thank you hip hop, smoke ’em allburn ’em all. In any case poets have always loved and sung flowersnature, and dreams.

I’m on one, I might bail up in the Century Club

I’m on one: this simple expression is difficult to understandI am on one what? We can think it refers to the previous “nigga gang of pub” – or maybe the bud, which would mean that he is under the influence of cannabis?

Century Club: the name of this luxury club of LA can also stand as beautiful symbol in this song diffused in clubs in 1999 at the turn of the century.

With my jeans on, and my team strong

My team: this word takes up the old theme of the gangster group, but it actually refers to the new entourage of Dre, who has become one of the most powerful producers of American music.

Get my drink on, and my smoke on

Then go home with, somethin’ to poke on (whassup bitch?)

5th repetition of a series of 5 “on” since “I’m on one“. This helps to support the series of actions to make some of them striking and easy to imagine.

Somethin’ to poke on: it is obviously on purpose to use a misogynistic twist, to provoke the scandal. This is where we see that former victims of oppression (white / black) may very well contribute voluntarily to another oppression (men / women). This misogyny goes with the promotion of cannabis, to sound “bad boy“, in the same logic as Michael Jackson with his album BAD. But unlike the promotion of cannabis, that of misogyny does not really conflict with the dominant culture, which is also very misogynist.

Loc it’s on for the two-triple-oh!

Loc: slang term use by the L.A. Crips gang, which means “buddy“. It is a reference to the universe of OGs, the Original Gangsters.

The two-triple-oh, what is it? Small enigma of the singer to the public to test their IQ… Did you get it? It simply refers to the year 2000. Two, then triple zero.

Comin’ real, it’s the next episode…

In a very original way, the song has no real chorus, and its title is borrowed from this concluding line of the second and last verse.

By the way, the next episode… of what? Another small enigmaAnswer: Dre’s saga, of course, and he will not stop there.

 

Outro – Nate Dogg

Hold up, waiiiiiiit

The very parodic vocal style sticks with that of Snoop Dog and the cool and relaxed atmosphere of the song in general.

Hold up means wait, but it’s also obviously refers to a crime, armed robbery.

For my niggaz who is thinkin we soft

For my niggaz: definition of a rather ghetto type public. But it is to amuse the gallery, it is made to make the general public believe that they are still in the street, while they actually moved away from the bad neighborhoods and now live in villas, as Ice Cube recalled in his diss-song NO VASELINE:
“I saw it comin’ that’s why I went solo
And kept on stompin’
When y’all motherfuckers moved straight outta Compton
Livin’ with the whites one big house
And not another nigga in site”

We do not, playyy

Hm, yes, you do play.

We gon’ rock it til the wheels fall off

Comic resumption of the theme of the ride to L.A. in luxury car that Dre offered us in his verse.

Hold up, heyyy

For my niggaz who is actin too bold

Take a seeaaaaaat

This injunction is surprising: we expected a death threat or something like that.

Hope you ready for the next episode, heyyyeyyy….

This is the explanation of the surprising injunction: it was a little joke, where instead of threatening with death, he just advises to wait until the next episode… smoking grass. It is a form of false track.

… smoke weed everday!

Well yeah. It does not prevent to write novels about some lyrics, eh 😉

 

SYNTHESIS

The song sounds good, but the lyrics are not at the best level.

It does not have a very special form, is not built on a strong concept, and is not particularly noticeable by the depth or ambition or novelty of its themes.

It’s a good song in the vein of gangsta-rap, well mixed with elements coming from more mainstream, more pop-rock genres, like in the hit CALIFORNIA LOVE: humor, popular culture (cartoon, action movies…), festive spirit, Californian dream, Dolce vita, “thug life”.

It is spiced up by some “rogue” elements, like

  • the promotion of cannabis and the positive evocation of organized drug trafficking – but five years after the release of the film PULP FICTION, which also showed violence, machismo, humor, eroticism, and drugs, this theme of drugs was progressively losing some of its subversive power since the public opinion was in the process of reversing in favor of the decriminalization
  • a misogynistic, ultra-macho attitude, presented as Super Cool (but get raped on all fours, Snoop, then come back to sing misogynistic and homophobic jokes, we’ll see whether it’s fun and whether you keep your legendary good mood)
  • and the usual egotistical provocations, “I am the best rapper in the world“.

Finally, it is also a song that attests to the ghetto out of part of the world of rap, or part of the work of rappers from the ghetto. With the trivialization of this kind of songwriting, it is clear that rap is not (only) a poor, aggressive, brutal, negative, anti-system music, and that the rappers do not let themselves be locked in the sinister destiny of real gangsters. At the time of THE NEXT EPISODE, Eazy-E, Tupac and Notorious BIG ha died already, as so many other young talents. The survivors no longer cultivate hatred and aggression as much as those 3 dead artists, they represent a kin of rap that wants to enjoy life (smoking, partying, fucking…) and get acknowledged by their society by pleasing it, not slaughtering it. It is all the political ambiguity of this stream of the festive rap… it claims to be coming from the ghetto, but the bourgeois masses of the whole world find it exciting and dance on it without worry, sign that they do not see any real threat in it.

Gangsta-rap songwriting