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Showing posts from November, 2014

Weezy's "Start a Fire" full of allusions, multi's

Start a Fire wasn't released in time to make it into "The Literary Genius of Lil Wayne," but it serves as yet another example of Wayne using sophisticated literary devices on his tracks. The section headings here correspond to chapter titles in the book:

Lil Wayne, Folk Artist:
In the last release, "Off Day" (which is analyzed in the book), Wayne alluded to his early track (feature) "Back That Azz Up." This time, with "Start a Fire," he hearkens back to "DontGetIt" from Tha Carter III, repeating "They Just Don't Get It" in the chorus, whereas "DontGetIt" begins with the line "Stood in the heat, the flame." 
Both songs feature late-50's and 60's references:
"Great Balls of Fire," quoted in "Start a Fire," and Perry Mason, cited in "DontGetIt" both premiered in 1957.
Lil Wayne riffs on the famous pun from The Beatles' 1969 track "Come Together" in &…

D5: Wayne's puns go deeper than you think

Still re-listening to Dedication 5 this weekend:

I've said I love the pun:

"I should prob'ly see a shrink but I'm afraid he'll make me little."
("Devastation," D5)

but I'm gonna spell out why it's special:

It's not just about shrink->little in the sense of changing size,
It's also about psychologists making us revisit our childhoods,
i.e. when we were "little." This interpretation is supported by the next line ending with "since I can remember."

We find another instance of such a double pun in "Still Got That Rock":
"take all your possessions / call it poltergeist"
The more obvious pun is possessions as in belongings and also as in spiritual/supernatural possession. But there's also a pun in poltergeist that goes with the "belongings": polterg-"heist" as in "take all your possessions." So, again, both meanings of both words apply at the same time. 

Weezy tweet; and...the best pun ever in rap?

Thanks, Weezy, for the shoutout on Twitter today. @krestonkent

"@LilTunechi: Much luv for Professor Kreston Kent!"

My newest favorite song, which I'd overlooked before, is "Don't Kill" from D5.

Brilliant combinations of rhyme and pun and allusions.

"...We got beef

...Bone gristle


...Cold cripple"

Notice, "cripple" makes a pun on co-cane ("with a cane")
and also rhymes with gristle, which is a pun on "we got beef."

But wait! There's more! The rhyme for "bone gristle" is adumbrated back in the previous verse with "snakes tryina TONGUE KISS US." Snakes have cold tongues (cold blooded) and no arms or legs. "Cold cripples."

The rest of the song is packed full of puns, polysyllabic rhymes, and enigmatic allusions too.

"Cooking up two quarters" is one other.


Read "The Literary Genius of Lil Wayne: the case for Lil Wayne to be counted among Shakespeare and Dylan.&q…

All Out Show Followup

I want to thank the callers to the All Out Show and Jude himself last night for bringing up Kool G Rap and Black Thought as examples of rappers who might rival Lil Wayne's use of literary devices. I've spent the last 24 hours looking into the most lauded tracks of each, and the ones that are particularly noted for multi/poly-syllabic rhymes.

The results:

I have not found a single example from either Kool G Rap or Black Thought of a pair of lines where more than 4 syllables rhyme at the end of a line. If any of you out there find any, please post. The only lines I found that had 5 syllables rhyming were broken with a 1-2 syllables early in the line and 4-3 at the end, but never 5 syllables consecutively.

As I've written in the book, Lil Wayne routinely rhymes 4 or 5, sometimes 8, up to 15 consecutive syllables line-to-line. So, let's up the ante and ask for lines from other rappers that match/rhyme 8+ syllables line-to-line.

Furthermore, I haven't seen the attention…
During my interview with the All Out Show tonight, they asked me which Lil Wayne song to play. I chose "Watch My Shoes" (No Celings). While I was on hold listening to it as it played, I noticed for the first time and shared the following:

The set of lines:

gun fit /
I'm so unfit /
cuz all I eat is (w)rappers /
...get my fast food faster /

relates later in the song to:

gun on the waistline /

So, we have unfit/fastfood : waistline :: wrappers : waste.
Lil Wayne has over a thousand songs. Looking for the ones that best display his literary genius?

Try these 10 songs:

Demolition Freestyles I & II from Guddaville mixtape
Watch My Shoes from No Ceilings mixtape
Wayne On Me from No Ceilings mixtape
Break Up from No Ceilings mixtape
Hustlin from Dedication 2
Same Damn Tune from Dedication 4 mixtape
You Ain't Got Nuthin from Tha Carter III
Abortion from Tha Carter IV
Krazy from Tha Carter V
Last of a Dying Breed from Ludacris' Theater of the Mind

Read "The Literary Genius of Lil Wayne"