The Literary Genius of Lil Wayne:
The case for Lil Wayne to be counted among Shakespeare and Dylan
This blog post is supplementary to and NOT featured in the book.
Having been a political science major at the University of Houston alongside Lil Wayne when he majored in political science there as well, I know that all political science majors at U of H read John Locke.
In "6 foot, 7 foot," Lil Wayne drops the line:
"the fruits of my labor, I enjoy them while they're still ripe."
This is the well known "spoilage principle," credited to 17th century British philosopher John Locke. Here's the original:
John Locke's 2nd Treatise:
"It will perhaps be objected to this, that if gathering the acorns, or other fruits of the earth, &c. makes a right to them, then any one may ingross as much as he will. To which I answer, Not so. The same law of nature, that does by this means give us property, does also bound that property too. God has given us all things richly, 1 Tim. vi. 12. is the voice of reason confirmed by inspiration. But how far has he given it us? To enjoy. As much as any one can make use of to any advantage of life before it spoils, so much he may by his labour fix a property in"
"by placing any of his labour on them, did thereby acquire a propriety in them: but if they perished, in his possession, without their due use; if the fruits rotted, or the venison putrified, before he could spend it, he offended against the common law of nature"
There are other less explicit ties between Wayne's track and Locke's Treatise, for example:
"if these niggers animals, then I'll have a mink soon"
Locke writes that G-d gave animals to man for his use and enjoyment.
"satisfied with nothing; you don't know the half of it."
"paper chasing: tell that paper, 'look, i'm right behind you.'"
Locke writes that man's over-accumulation of wealth is made possible by the invention of money.
"I beat the beat up: call it self-defense."
"swag you would kill for. money too strong; pockets on bodybuilder."
Locke writes, he who would take my horse would take my life; i.e. he who would steal from me, would just as soon kill me, which justifies self-defense killings even against thieves.