Lil Wayne & Slick Rick Show Lyricism Is The Root Of Hip-Hop
Yesterday (July 15), DJ Premier released his five-song Hip Hop 50: Volume 1. The five songs feature Preemo beats with an array of MCs from different generations, regions, and styles. The last song on the Mass Appeal Records release unites Slick Rick and Lil Wayne. “The Root Of It All” bonds two MCs representing different generations and regions, but each is a master of cadence and flow. Together, they rap about money—something each artist had used in lyrics throughout their respective careers. However, they do it differently than the typical.
These two masters of cadence and flow are approximately 10 years apart in their genesis. However, the two men sound great together on “The Root Of It All.” The last song on Hip Hop 50, Vol. 1 finds Rick taking the chorus: “My future’s lookin’ promisin’ / Problem with my mom again, troublin’ / Money think it’s runnin’ things / When no income isn’t comin’ in / Runnin’ with the wrong again / Gone again, money.” Then, MC Ricky D begins, “I keep spendin’ cash demeanor / Workin’ for it meaner / Puts a hurtin’ on a senior—have to curtain, cook and pee-on / Did I stutter? It’s root of all boo, all you loyal to it, useless / Bruise try’na do vocal, lose no one / I still pull him out a grave—’Tryna play, chap? Okay’ / Dust him off, nobody’s touchin’ us and rush him off / Loose lips, Rick dances with wolf, kid.” Slick Rick and Preemo previously linked for “I Need Some Bad” from Jonah Hill’s The Sitter soundtrack.
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Wayne enters with a vengeance. “Money versus everybody; ‘Money isn’t everything’—that’s cap / And I put that on everythin’; I don’t look back, I never blink / I’m at the bank, I’m thinkin’ ’bout the fact / How I don’t have to think about a way to rob the bank / I f*ck around and buy the bank / Dollar bill, dollar bill, water bill, power bill / Power struggles, power moves and power drills ’cause I reveal / I gotta ball, gotta plot, got a wall full of clocks / Still ain’t got no time to kill, got on a watch, the diamonds real / Money make the world go round, money racin’ hurdles now / Take the drapes, the curtains down / Don’t money make the perfect clouds?” Then Wayne comes back to point out the perils of paper, while shouting out his first-time linking with Premier. “This that Tunechi and Preemo—we connect like a magnet / And we grew to Magneto / Like the root of all evil: money.”
Rick adapts his poetic chorus for a poignant closing: “My future’s lookin’ promisin’ / Problem with my mom again, troublin’ / Money think it’s runnin’ things / When no income isn’t comin’ in / Runnin’ with the wrong again / Gone again, money / When ponderin’ a con again / Morality in front of when or once again / Money thinks it’s runnin’ things / See you got a honey, young and thin / Buy they honey ton of things / Flatterin’, money.”
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This song, and all five from Hip Hop 50, Volume 1 are currently included in the official Ambrosia For Heads playlist—the first time in AFH‘s history that a entire projects makes the playlist. There are also songs by Curren$y, KRS-One, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Method Man, and Nas on the playlist.
#BonusBeat: On the most recent episode of AFH’s What’s The Headline podcast, it is an analysis MCs’ Top 5 Rapper Lists. That includes Wayne’s recent list, as well as numerous peers who include Slick Rick and Wayne in theirs: