Lil Wayne, also known as Weezy, JR (Jay R Uh), Best Rapper Alive, Tunechi, President Carter, Birdman Jr., etc. Like many rappers Wayne has developed a number of nicknames over his long career, and the list will continue to grow as long as he remains relevant in the rap game. Wayne has had a remarkable career since the age of nine, which includes numerous Billboard Hot100 singles (recently passing Elvis Presley as the male with the most entries at 109), successful mix tapes, multiple platinum albums, and a Grammy award for best album of the year in 2008. Wayne’s credentials speak for themselves, but there is one song in particular that caught my attention in terms of the use of creative style. The song title is “6 foot 7 foot,” which was the first single recorded after Lil Wayne’s release from prison on an eight month sentence for gun possession. Wayne immediately asserted his power and shot back onto the scene, which is evident in the lyrics of the song. I believe Lil Wayne emphasizes this power to compensate for the low in life he just experienced.
Numerous creative styles were used in Wayne’s song, and they are evident right out of the gate. Using explitive, chiasmus, apostrophe, and assonance immediately in just the first line, “Excuse my charisma, vodka with a spritzer swagger down pat, call my sh*t Patricia.” The use of all of these creative styles in just the first line puts an immediate spotlight on an artist who hasn’t been able to put out new material for eight months. The use of alcohol too connects with both the idea that he has regained the freedom to drink, and he’s about to speak his mind regardless of the consequences. The statement initiates a message of power emphasized throughout the song, a type of power presented in much of rap music, but in this song it is done particularly well because of the lyrical creativity.
Lil Wayne continues to impose a sense of power in the lyrics, “ Young Money militia, and I am the commissioner you don’t want to start Weezy, ‘cause the F is for Finisher.” Auxesis, hyperbole, and consonance are all used in these lyrics to assert power and dominance not only through referring to himself in the third person through one of his many nicknames, but also maintaining poetic justice of rhyme in the art of rap. Lil Wayne uses allusion throughout the single referring to himself as commissioner and later saying, “I do it like a king do.” All positions of great power, and referring to the notion that he is indeed on top after being put in a prison, which is associated to being the lowest of the low universally. Unless of course we are discussing the rap game, which in many cases is contrary to most because prison time can add to an artists rep or prestige because they are then viewed as street credible in the eyes of other rappers, and listeners in some cases.
Wayne continues to market the idea of being above the rest and separates himself from others even more when he states:
No matter who’s buying, I’m a celebration black and white diamonds, f*ck segregation f*ck that sh*t, my money up, you n*ggas just Honey Nut Young Money running shit and you n-ggas just runner-ups I don’t feel I done enough, so I’ma keep on doing this shit Lil Tunechi or Young Tunafish.
I found it interesting that he uses imagery to describe people in the form of diamonds. The concept of segregation is interesting because he contradicts the ideas presented before that he is different from all other and yet he supports the idea of equality. He goes back to the concept of separation when he uses a derogatory term, and insults what I believe to be the competition or “haters” by calling them runner-ups and comparing them to off brand cereal. These lines are used to make distinction between him and the rest. The use of antithesis is essential to Wayne expressing the differential to others in multiple forms of saying the same thing.
“I beat the beat up, call it self defense swear man, I be seeing through these n-ggas like sequins n-ggas think they He-Men, pow, pow, the end talking to myself because I am my own consultant married to the money, f*ck the world, that’s adultery you full of sh*t, you close your mouth and let yo ass talk Young Money eating, all you haters do is add salt stop playing, bitch, I got this game on deadbolt mind so sharp, I f*ck around and cut my head off.” So much creative style being used in these verses, but one that sticks out in the beginning is the anthimeria with the word beat, which is used both in a noun and verb form in this sentence to also display a diacope. There is the use of expletive as well when talking about money and his haters almost to throw it in their faces. Prozeugma is at work as well to emphasize the point by joining similar ideas. Finally, anthimeria is used with the phrase sharp because it displays to meanings and creates imagery to show signs of intelligence through metaphoric imagery.
In the world of rap money is a sign of power because most of the artists discuss how they’ve came from nothing, so money is of more value. For example, Lil Wayne says, ”Young Money, Cash Money paper chasing, tell that paper, ‘Look, I’m right behind ya’ bitch, real G’s move in silence like lasagna.” Wayne utilizes the names of his record labels and relates to the concept of paper chasing, which is a cliché used by rappers for getting money. Then Wayne states that real G’s or gangsters don’t brag or talk about their money. Wayne uses the word lasagna because the g in the word is actually silent in the English language. Later Weezy contradicts his money talk and says, “yeah, with a swag you would kill for money too strong, pockets on bodybuilder.” Personifying pockets using a metaphor of pockets getting large, which relates to having lots of money. I’m not really sure if he’s trying to distance himself from being a gangster because of the prison experience or if he’s making money references to make fun of the idea that he can go to prison and still be on top of the world after?
The complexity of this song is astounding because Wayne is separating himself in terms of power and being atop the rap game through creative style. The lyrics are almost used to compensate for his life low of going to prison. Though Wayne has previously affiliated himself as street credible in terms of living in poverty, he still gained more credibility in the rap game by going to prison. The hype gained from his incarceration, helped establish his awaited return. Wayne was featured in some songs during the imprisonment, but the lack of a full-fledged hit single or album was missing.
This song’s tempo embodies an explosion or ticking time bomb that was ready to happen. Wayne reestablishes his spot as the best, and his lyrics reflect that even if he did hit a bottom in the eyes of society he is still a powerful character in the world. He uses creative style and subjects of power such as money, ability to get women, and powerful figures to assert himself lyrically to the top. The music video for the single was based off the movie Inception, which is perfect because Wayne’s return was unreal, and makes fans think “Is this real life or am I dreaming right now?” Ironically, Wayne’s situation is comparable to the unbelievable twist in the movie Inception.
Lil Wayne is on top of his game, and it was clear in the hit 6 foot 7 foot. Wayne’s creativity is explosive in this song because of the time away from rap, which lead to his hype and pent up thought process. Not to mention, people’s need for instant gratification in this day and age. Wayne’s wait is what gives the artist part of their power and I think we saw that once people gravitated toward this song. The fact that it couldn’t be aired on the radio and developed such popularity is astounding. For rap, a free Weezy is better for music.