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Lupe Fiasco's "Failure" Appriciation Thread

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  • Lupe Fiasco's "Failure" Appriciation Thread

    As far as metaphors and creativity go this is seriously one of the greatest songs ever written. Everything about this song is absolutely incredible. We've talked about it randomly in a few threads but I felt the need to give it it's own thread. Every time I listen to this song it seems like I figure out something new that makes me just drop my jaw in amazement. Here's an explanation line for line of the song, I got most of it from a web site but I added a few things that I found for myself to it as well. It's also still missing alot.

    It's mean, soldiers
    Now let me put the streets down like steamrollers
    ^^steamrollers pave streets, i.e.put them down

    With the CATS that push
    ^^Caterpillar steamroller; "cats" = animal theme

    40 oz. through the hood like King Cobras
    ^^animal theme; malt liquor

    See me sling soda
    'Cause the extra four in the split is mixed
    It's really 36
    ^^seems to be a reference to 40 oz with 4 ounce of soda mixed = 36 ounces (36 oz = a ki)

    Used to buy toasters and clips
    ^^Guns & Ammo
    You can tighten your circle or boa constrict
    ^^animal theme

    While you was lighting your purple, I was over the scripts
    See, I couldn't walk the walk, couldn't really talk the talk
    ^^scripts, see = "script glasses"
    Had to get my talk to properly explain my walk
    'Cause this lack in talk had my walk looking off
    Now I'm over the limp
    Watch how they mugs drop when they see my Verbal's able
    (That's the Usual)
    ^^Revelation in Usual Suspects of Kevin Spacey / Verbal Kint
    At the moment Palminteri finds out he's "able" to walk, i.e. no limp, he drops his mug
    When I was po' I was low
    Now me and my Chaps cop Purple Label
    It's Ralph Lauren on the rap laureate
    ^^Chaps as chaps or friends
    Chaps, Purple Label = Ralph Lauren clothes
    also 'when I was po' I was lo...po+lo = Polo

    *****s brownnose, they are like Alf to him
    ^^Brown nosing is to... have one's nose in someone's ass... as in suck up.
    Alf a brown alien from the late 80s/early 90s sitcom.

    Runners at Interscope are not as Stoute as him
    ^^Steve Stoute, exec at Interscope
    Please don't Interscope
    ^^the 2nd "interscope" he's saying "enter scope"

    It's gonna be a whole lot of IV'ing and respirating
    ^^IVing, as in intravenous medication, and Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope

    If I lean out this window with Irene

    *****s as tall as Yao Ming
    With L-U-P-Emperor
    ^^Emperor Ming
    Is the foundation's high beams and the antennas
    It's so serious every time I write my John Hancock like
    Could damn near see Detroit
    *****s is scared of heights
    ^^Hitting on the tall idea, i.e. Yao Ming
    John Hancock Center is a Chicago skyscraper, 16th tallest building in the world
    Antennas sit atop
    High beams as a building's structual high beams and high beams as in a high beam signal that links with an anetnna signal
    serious = sears tower
    This is saranwrap and aluminum foil
    Some potpourri, a little machine oil
    ^^all used to disguise the smell of drugs from police dogs
    a/k/a "throw off my SCENTS'

    I stack my paper and throw off my 6
    ^^ Ties into the previous line...6 = CENTS (only keep the bills, don't worry abt the coins)
    This is top floor, better look out before
    Pennies from heaven is the same as the semi from the second
    ^^old chicago urban legend about someone being killed by a coin
    thrown from the observatory @ the top of the sears tower (throw off my cents)
    hence "pennies from heaven" having the same effect as a bullet
    And I reign supreme
    Turn your umbrellas upside down
    Did you even catch the change in theme?
    ^^As in normally when it's raining your umbrellas is right side up
    but turn your umbrellas upside down so you can CATCH THE CHANGE (ties into aforementioned chi urban legend about falling coins)

    And them *****s ain't Was nor from his regime
    ^^wasalu muhammad jaco = lupe's govt

    Gangsta lean
    Hats on tilt
    ^^tilt, lean
    like ya snickers ain't drop out the vending machine
    You gotta put more money in
    ^^when you wanna get something from a vending machine and the item does not drop you have to put more money inside so you can finaly get the item.

    And I shake *****s up every time I drop a bar
    (2 for 1)
    ^^shaking as what you'd do to the vending machine to try and get a "2 for 1"

    It's horse in the Porsche
    ^^animal theme; horsepower

    ^^and bricks in the box
    brick = kilo of cocaine stashed
    Like mo' money them every time I cop a car
    ^^Ever time he picks up a car (with the coke) funds increase from sales

    You see I'm a roller, right
    ^^another reference along the lines of steamroller

    So it might be a Rover, right
    ^^Range Rover

    But every time I drop a 'r'
    (Get off the streets)
    It's "over ight"
    ^^Remove the 'R' from "Rover" you get "over," remove the 'R' from "Right and you get "ight"
    Bet I be in the head like overnight
    ^^overhead storage

    Like rollers, right
    ^^You put rollers in your hair for a certain look

    She the chauffeur, right
    So I keep her sober
    ^^Friends don't let friends drink and drive

    She don't get Fed Ex like overnight
    ^^Fed Ex as in overnight shipping
    "feed ex" as in ecstasy, keeping her sober still
    I am Dolemite
    All that gas can't help you but solar might
    ^^Maybe reading too much into it: GAS CAN't
    Anyway, solar vs. fossil fuel energy

    Just call on sun
    ^^sun / son

    Drop a 's'
    Pick up an 'o'
    Uno, put it all on "one"
    ^^y'know / uno
    "sun" drop an 's" = 'un' and an 'o' = "uno" = Spanish, Italian, etc. for "one"
    For that quiet ***** that relocated down south
    Coming back to floss"
    ^^Reference to Nas' NY State of Mind PT II with "floss" being used in the mouth theme

    ***** get your molars right
    ^^mouth theme

    Fix your grill
    ^^mouth theme

    No plaque but a whole lot of cheese
    ^^no platinum plaque but a whole lot of money, i.e. cheese
    mouth theme: plaque as in tooth decay, cheese as in smile
    This the drill
    ^^mouth theme

    Mr. Chill
    ^^Chilly, Lupe's 1st & 15th partner

    Gave me the green light like Yoda knife
    So I'ma force my will
    Like the Force I wield
    ^^green light as in "go ahead"
    Yoda's light saber was green
    Star Wars: "Force be with you"
    Of course you will
    Take my time
    But weight behind only pertains
    To that Porsche grill
    ^^time / wait / weight
    "weight" as in drugs as in "bricks in the box"

    It's snakes in the hood
    Gotta watch for that Cobra bite
    ^^animal theme; snakes as in shady people
    earlier reference to King Cobra

    Let me see
    There's snakes in the hood
    A bird, a horse behind the grill
    ^^animal theme; bird = cocaine...a ki of heron hidden behind the grill of the porsche
    Something gator on the seat
    ^^animal theme; gator leather seating

    And a fox behind the wheel
    ^^"fox" as in "attractive, alluring person"

    For achiever
    My procedure's
    To proceed at all cost
    With no breather
    I'm all walk
    Rain, snow, or fever
    ^^Postal Service: through Rain, Sleet, or Snow
    I'm all coughs coming after your teacher
    ^^I don't know; coughs as in trying to get the teacher sick?
    which contrasts with the previous fever reference

    I'm on the ball like FIFA
    ^^Federation Internationale de Football Associatio; soccer

    ^^soccer chant
    Lupe Duce
    Long live the leader
    ^^Italian from Latin duke, meaning Emperor (see earlier) or leader
    viva il duce" (long live the leader) = mussolini reference
    the word Duce, without necessarily historical context, relates to Emperor, from the earlier line, and the general Euro sensibility which goes with Uno and FIFA.

    I remember I ain't have sneakers
    It was welfare
    Coming up for air is like
    Whales there
    ^^Whales, unlike fish, have to come up from the water for air, coming up for "airs" as in Jordans and Nike's
    ^^Shoe company know for soccer ware

    But now I'm well here
    I'm Shamu with twelve pair
    ^^Shamu the whale

    And *****s wanna take me back to zero like tare, fair
    Well, my scale's clear
    You Sea World
    ^^ on a scale... the "tare" button resets the scale back to 0.0..See world, Sea World home of Shamu

    It's Braille here
    ^^"see world" Braille how blind people read and write
    I'm Bumpy Johnson, I stick to the streets
    ^^Bumpy Johnson = Harlem gangster
    ties into Braille refrence...dude is connecting Harlem street legends to reading for the blind

    Keep my dogs out in front of me
    ^^dogs in front of him because he's blind, seeing eye dog / dogs = chaps

    You see what I'm saying
    And I push ki's wonderfully
    ^^"see" what he's saying, blind theme push keys as in piano, push ki's as in sell kilos of coke

  • #2
    You see I'm a roller, right?
    So it might be a rover, right?
    But every time I drop a 'r' get off the streets
    It's over, aight?

    So sick...


    • #3
      Irene = gun


      • #4
        I just figured out the Rover line today believe it or not lol and also I never noticed the "catch the change" in theme. I always understood the rest of that metaphor but I guess I thought too hard about that line. Crazy though.


        • #5
          Dreftsnoop Co-Signs
          I ran like a cheetah with thoughts of an assassin


          • #6
            that rover line is ridiculous



            the whole song is just crazy

            whats this from?
            Last edited by r.i.p. shady; 06-09-2008, 07:19 PM.


            • #7
              ^ Fahrenheit 1st and 15th Part I: The Truth Is Among Us
              I ran like a cheetah with thoughts of an assassin


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dark5859 View Post
                You see I'm a roller, right?
                So it might be a rover, right?
                But every time I drop a 'r' get off the streets
                It's over, aight?

                So sick...
                i dont get it


                • #9
                  You see I'm a roller, right

                  ^^another reference along the lines of steamroller

                  So it might be a Rover, right

                  ^^Range Rover

                  But every time I drop a 'r'
                  (Get off the streets)
                  It's "over" aite

                  ^^Remove the 'R' from "Rover" you get "over"

                  loi - those ain't even the best lines in the song...


                  • #10
                    i must be trippin, maybe IM on a spaceship


                    • #11
                      whole song is amazing .. the "catch the change" thing is fuckin crazy ..


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pandemic View Post
                        You see I'm a roller, right

                        ^^another reference along the lines of steamroller

                        So it might be a Rover, right

                        ^^Range Rover

                        But every time I drop a 'r'
                        (Get off the streets)
                        It's "over" aite

                        ^^Remove the 'R' from "Rover" you get "over"

                        loi - those ain't even the best lines in the song...
                        oh,now i see


                        • #13
                          This is the GOAT song of its kind. No ones made a complex lyrical song this tight. Ever.


                          • #14
                            i love that snickers shit
                            Bored? CHECK IT!


                            • #15
                              Shit is off the chain!


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