5AM in Every Rapper's Life Edition

Post Author:
Rap Genius, Genius Lines of the Week

This week saw the release of Chance the Rapper's superb Acid Rap collection, easily one of the year's highlights. We at RG have been fans of the Chicago phenom for a while now, and the project more than lived up to our sky-high expectations. We already gave you our favorite moments of that album so here are our other favorite lines of the week (with one Chance gem thrown in for good measure).

5. “As I get blowed smoking Keisha Cole/Unravel that pack of weight, twist up like a pita roll” — Freddie Gibbs, “Cruising USA” lyrics
Gibbs' simile had us cracking up, and likely would have landed this lyric on the list by itself. However, the fact that the beat samples Stevie Ray Vaughn's sublime ballad “Lenny” makes this an incredible (and oddly sad) listening experience.

4. “I got the Chicago blues/ We invented rock before the Stones got through” – Chance the Rapper, 'Everybody's Something' lyrics
Speaking of the blues, Chance brings us a multi-layered meditation on the music's history in his native Chicago. The term “Chicago blues” is a pun, of course, referring to Chance's own depression and to the blues sub-genre that bears that name. One of that style's foremost exponents was the Chess record label, whose headquarters the Rolling Stones famously made a pilgrimage to in 1964 during their very first U.S. tour.

3. “Love hip-hop? Stop it, I don't believe ya/And 'Love & Hip Hop' don't got nothing to do with either” — Talib Kweli, '5 AM in Brooklyn' lyrics
Our first of two “5 AM in Toronto” freestyles (and the second one to be called “5 AM in Brooklyn” — can we please think of a better name?) has Kweli in an angry frame of mind. His dis of the popular reality show Love & Hip Hop, and by extension the celebrity-obsessed culture that produced it, is vicious and clever in equal measure.

2. “How you know octagon, or much less Tetragrammaton?/To get the good stuff, you need to get out to the Amazon” — MF DOOM, 'Bookfiend' lyrics
We'll admit, we had to look this one up! The Tetragrammaton is the Hebrew way of writing God's name (using four letters, hence the “tetra” part). The “Amazon” line is both a pun on the shamanistic drugs found there (and often sold to adventurous tourists), and to the online bookseller — check the title of the tune again.

1. “I know exactly how you got my fucking number, homes/t's in your mother phone/Leave me the fuck alone/I ain't wanna bone/But it's okay, see — she gave the Thunder dome” — J.R. Writer, '5 AM in Harlem' lyrics
The most recent and best of the “5 AM” freestyles comes from the writer of writers. The “okay, see” here also scans as “OKC” — as in the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder, who play in an arena nicknamed “The Thunderdome.” Writer's crew is called the Thundabyrdz, which opens up the raunchier half of the pun.