(Andre 3000 verse)
I’ve never met an Andre 3000 verse I didn’t like, much less love. Precisely why he always makes my top 5. Since his unofficial retirement from the game, he seems to only make rare appearances on tracks that (I’m guessing) he deems worthy or just feels like jumping on. Most recently he graced an interlude/track that is part of a series off the Carter IV album. Reading it only, does Dre’s verse half the justice though because his delivery is and always will be a major component. Here it is nonetheless, short and as always sweeeeet.
Today, I feel electric gray, I hope tomorrow neon black
I tell a nigga all those flows are borrowed, it’s the phar-oh, Three Stacks
Dre starts the verse describing what I interpret to be his current state when it comes to music making. It is an odd pairing of opposites (the chosen adjectives with these colours not known to be either), but represents his uniqueness. I take electric gray as being almost there. Essentially, him feeling inspired to jump back in the game and neon black would be a full return to his important place in Hip Hop. Dre tells the newbie rappers that all of their flows are borrowed from legends like himself, which he likened to a great Pharaoh
I woke up in Cai-ro, lookin’ at stars so bright in the sky I thought they were marbles
No car doors, whatcha call those? A whole carload of raw hoes
In a Jeep Defender, please remember, don’t feed the Simba
Three’s a symbol like nobody, he’s a symbol of what’s safari
In the next couple of bars Dre even switches up his rhyming pattern (that’s why I say it is better heard). Carrying over the Egyptian/King-like theme, he paints a story of how he has risen back up from a dormant state and continues to bring the scene to life stating “don’t feed the Simba” as a warning not to test him – He will come and eat your food (lyrically). He further boasts that there is no other like him and compares himself again to a Lion, which could be thought of as the symbol to represent a safari and obviously the King of the jungle. In addition a safari is a journey or a trip, which is what Dre does – He always takes you somewhere, often undiscovered with his music.
Pulled her ponytail to my body, she’s the only girl that was smart e…
…nough to call me Mr. Benjamin in the middle of a wild party
Skin was cinnamon, I pound it harder, how come the only girls that are thought of
Are the light ones? Well, tonight, then, we gon’ do it, do it, do it for the dark ones
It’s important that you are more than, welcome to the Carter IV and
Y’all enjoy it, I will go ‘head, and I’ll kiss y’all on y’all forehead
He closes the verse in the scene of a party. Basically stating that he likes woman who approach him properly with respect. Addressing him (Andre) and not the celebrity amidst all the wildness and groupies that the industry brings. Though the girl he describes is light in complexion he reflects on that saying why is it always the aforementioned that are talked about and he’s going to rep for the ladies of darker complexion as well. The last statement is a bit of a rolling one I think and depending where you break it up, can mean different things. I think he’s saying it’s cool to like this or anticipate this album (Carter IV) or any album for that matter but don’t make it the only thing important in your life, “Get Up Get Out and Get Something”. Nonetheless, he hopes everyone enjoys it and he ends it with a kiss on our foreheads like a father would give his children, because basically he just schooled us.
Even without the breakdown the verse is just laid out so nicely and gives great visuals for your imagination. Shout out to Nas’ verse though which easily could have been this highlight (as the who’s was better debate begins…). Honestly, everyone’s verse was impressive – Tech, Bun, Busta. Well, almost everyone.