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 "DontGetIt" and then, in "Start a Fire," riffs on the band name "Blood, Sweat and Tears"—who reached their height of popularity that same year (1969).
The R Kelly reference in "Start a Fire" seems out of place, which is often a clue that it's a challenge from Weezy for us to figure out. Well, this one is fairly simple: both Jerry Lee Lewis ("Great Balls of Fire") and R Kelly married young underaged girls.
Types of Rhyme:
Macaronic Rhyme (rhyming words in different languages) and a polysyllabic rhyme (or "multi") of five syllables (common for Wayne; extremely rare for anyone else):
"Great Wall of China / (5 syllables)
...Day all mañana" (5 syllables)
continues with 5-syllable "multi"s through
"all monotony /
"Great Balls of Fire /
...Streetcar (Named) Desire." [Tennessee Williams play featuring multiple ellicit affairs, including a teacher/student affair, consistent with the Jerry Lee Lewis / R Kelly theme]
Yet another example of a pretty mediocre (by lyrical standards) Lil Wayne song being much more sophisticated than other rappers' bests.
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