Lupe Fiasco – ITAL (Roses)

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‘Raris too expensive and they way too hard to maintain/Get yourself a Camry, “nigga said a Camry?”/ Watch that ho depreciate and then you’ll understand me/ It’s called being fiscally responsible/ Don’t let these lying images up in hip-hop here conquer you/ The TV’s not your father fool, that video’s not your momma/ Try your best to be a man and your worst to be a monster

Luxury cars are known to diminish in value very quickly, in comparison to less expensive cars.  Lupe recommends that a Camry will be a better purchase for your pockets if you are not as wealthy as the rappers on TV.  Lupe knows that what he is saying might be preachy and hard to understand, considering many rap artists on TV are living the lavish life in their Lambos and Ferraris.  Why wouldn’t kids and rap fans want to be like the rappers on TV?  They are living the glorious life with all the coolest status symbols.  However, in Lupe’s point of view, most of these rappers are lying and/or sending a bad message to kids.  Whether it’s the glorification of consumption, drug use and/or womanizing, Lupe believes that people shouldn’t naively consume these empty messages.

Instead of idolizing many rappers that reinforce that people need “the latest that they saw on someone famous“, be a better man.  Instead of being a monster that wants to emulate the negative lifestyles that most rappers communicate in their songs/videos, try being a better person and seek out different interests/goals/activities in this vast world that can inspire and help you grow as an individual/intellect.

Diddy – New Bugatti

 

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The whole city screaming where that boy Diddy at/ Blue Yankee fitted, boy I brought the city back/ I’m a Harlem nigga, I’m a Ciroc boy/ Fuck a penthouse, I bought the block boy

Diddy is the “brand ambassador” of Ciroc, owning  50% shares of the profits.  This led to heavy marketing of the liquor in the past six years, where Circoc was featured in almost every rap video and rap related media that was released.  Hence why Diddy is a Ciroc Boy.  However, he is not the only Ciroc Boy out.  People such as Rick Ross, French Montana, and Funkmaster Flex have publicly supported the brand through endorsements and rap references.

Diddy completely rebranding Ciroc has helped sales go from 40,000 cases (2007) to 2.1 million (2012).  The influential hip-hop style of Diddy and his Ciroc Boys led to huge profits and a highly recognizes liquor brand throughout the club scene.  Take that, take that.

Jay Z – U Don’t Know (rmx)

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Mo’ fire, more Roc-a-wear attire/ Mo’ money, mo’ murder now that M.O.P.’s hired/ Mo’ further for the Roc Empire

Around 2002 (at the time of this song’s release), Roc-A-Wear was one of the most lucrative clothing lines  for young people.  What originally was targeted to urban youth eventually transcended to the masses thanks to countless rap references, product placement in music videos and successful media placements in the right television networks and magazines.  Jay around this time was in the process of building a global empire, and Roc-A-Wear was one of his first business ventures.  Though he severed ties with former partner Dame Dash, the Roc Empire he referred to wasn’t Roc-A-Fella affiliated, but rather Roc Nation.

Today, Jay Z has his hands on various business ventures.  But it all started  with the iconic Roc-A-Wear.

Tesfa The Twin – Make Time

 

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“Now we don’t even train, we just show up to the game and drop a 100 on each mane/ Man I take things and I make things and I hate gangs/ All up in your (e)x-box and I don’t play games”

Tesfa has no problem playing y’all if you want to challenge him. Since he is a busy guy on his grind, he probably doesn’t have time to practice yet will still be able to drop buckets on every one of your players (metaphorically speaking). How does he retain his skills? By continuing to make things like dope rap records and swooning all the ladies that come his way. And if you are loser that not only got a 100 dropped on you but also lost a girlfriend, best believe Tesfa The Twin will be in your “ex” box. But he ain’t talking about Microsoft. Not that XBox. He doesn’t play those games. The XBox he is talking about is a private part and the fruits of his labor and hard work.

I wonder if Tesfa played SNES though, considering he is rapping over this dope ass Donkey Kong Country instrumental. Maybe he is trying to say that he is Donkey Kong from the 80s, stealing Mario’s girl and getting her Ex-Box? Or maybe it’s just a dope beat he himself chose to produce.

If you guys liked his wordplay/metaphors/production on this track, then check out his Soundcloud and follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Support your local artists and check out my man’s dope rhymes!

Fabolous – Breathe

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Only way you catch an F/ To the A-B, it’s in the May-B, rolling with my baby/ Gripping on a toy that you won’t find at KB

Fab is too illustrious and famous to be caught in the streets.  But in those rare occasions you do see him, you’ll most likely spot him cruising in the Maybach while gripping on a toy.   Don’t confuse this toy with something that toddlers are going to run into KB Toys for.  This isn’t Tickle Me Elmo or Legos.  This toy is something you need to get from your local gun dealer or a 3D printer.  That is because Fabulous is talking about a gun.  Even with his fame and Maybach, Fab is compelled to carry a weapon with him in case people are out to steal his baby.

Since KB Toys is now out of business, we shouldn’t expect anyone to run off to the store and look for this toy that Fab is speaking off.  The oblivious ones that don’t understand rap lyrics can go to Toys R Us.

Kanye West – Murder To Excellence

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New crib, watch a movie cause ain’t nothin on the news but the blues/ Hit the mall, pick up some Gucci, now ain’t nothing new but your shoes

Many human beings do whatever they can to suppress negative emotions. We are bombarded by depressing news stories, so we decide to watch movies in order to escape from reality. We see so many people living these glamorous lives (especially on TV), so we spend our money on the latest high end fashions. We focus our attention on the new crib, movies and shoes they we get. But at the end of the day, are these really changing our lives for the long term? Are they making us happy or are they just ways to cope with reality and self-esteem issues?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to watch a movie or buying new products. But hopefully it doesn’t become an obsession with movies (and the stars in them) and buying the latest shoes.

Nas – Triple Beam Dreams

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He gives me powder, he has faith in Nas’ ambitions to distribute coke/ Had addictions to gold chains, Mercedes Benz hopes, but I’m again broke/ This shit ain’t cut for me, other dealers, they up their orders/ Barely at 62s, they already up to quarters/ They out there every day, some true hustlers for you/ I’m at it half way, none of my customers are loyal

Nas details the dichotomies between a low level drug pusher versus a more experienced veteran.  As a newbie dealer, the hopes and ambitions to make it big and own a Mercedes clouds the mind of a young hustler.  The motivation is there, but at the same time you are competing with other dealers that have more experience and loyal customers.  Though that Mercedes Benz is inspiring the young dealer, it may take a lot of time and experience until you are making the big bucks like the established hustlers.  Without the loyal customers, there will be no luxurious cars or gold chains.

The drug game can help young kids in impoverished areas make quick cash.  But is the Mercedes worth it at the end of the day?