When Biggie said, “Blow up like the world trade…”
This lyric comes from the song Juicy, released in 1994. The tragic 2-plane attack on the World Trade Center did not happen until September 11, 2001. On the track, B.I.G. could have meant “blow up” as in: to increase in wealth, like the investors and businessmen in the building would do. However, there was also a lesser-known attack on the North Tower of the WTC on February 26, 1993 – one year before the song was released. The lyric is undeniably a double entendre, given the rapper’s skill, to refer to both. Additionally, the 1993 attackers were Islamic radicals and at this time, Biggie’s Bed-Stuy Brooklyn neighborhood was home to several mosques seeing an increase in African American converts. Some speculate that Biggie could have heard some intel about the attack. To this day, some radio stations and streaming services still censor this line of the song. May he be resting peacefully in heaven.
When Baby Bash said, “Doing what we do, watching screens…”
The song Suga Suga, still one of the smoothest classics out of the era when Hip-Hop & RnB were inseparable, was released in 2003, before smartphones were even a thing. Fast forward to today, and we are on the iPhone X and constantly looking at our screens.
When T.I. said, “It ain’t like I’m Donald Trump or somebody…”
The movie ATL came out in 2006. In the scene where he was trying to convince New New to let him drive her all the way home, T.I.P.’s character, Rashad, was using Trump as an example of someone with power and connections. Little did he know, the Donald would go on to earn the highest position in U.S. politics in the 2016 presidential election – a decade later.
When Tupac predicted his own death with the album title, The Don Killuminati: 7 Day Theory
Tupac’s final album was released on November 5, 1996. Pac was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on September 7 of the same year. He died September 13 – the 7th day of his hospitalization.
When Tupac said, “We ain’t ready to see a black president…”
While many argued that 44 presidents was too long to wait for a black man to represent the American people in the white house, Pac knew that more controversy than unity would come from such a radical challenge to the status quo. Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and served two terms, but arguably left the country even more divided leading up to the election of his successor. The lyric on the song Changes was released in 1998. What’s more, Obama’s campaign slogan was the title of that very song.
When Tupac said, “I fear [or flee] computer chips…”
Pac favored flying under the radar (which is why people today claim that he still lives) over surrendering to the Man, the government, or the illuminati. On They Don’t Give a F*** About Us, released in 2002 but obviously written way earlier, Pac imagined a world where computers and artificial intelligence would rule. In 2017, Three Square Market in Wisconsin became the first U.S. company to voluntarily insert chips the size of a grain of rice into the hands of its employees that will allow them to enter the building, log onto their computers, and even purchase lunch. More commonly, the apps Find Friends and even Snapchat allow easy tracking of mobile devices, and therefore, their owners. OK, I could go on with Tupac, but I digress.
When Ashanti’s sideburns preceded the women’s body hair trend
We credit Ashanti for some of the most iconic slow jams and choruses of the early 2000’s, but not many recall the epic sideburns of her early career. She came to the spotlight just when hip hop was transitioning from baggy and afro-centric to slim and sexy. Not until recently did the movement to rock natural curly hair come back around. Today, stars like Amber Rose are advocating to keep your bush, remain body positive, and love the skin you’re in. The spotlight is especially on women of color to embrace the God-given beauty of every complexion and type.
Anything Kanye West ever did
Kanye was the first rapper to take hip-hop out of its street storytelling, inner-city roots and make it fine art. He collaborated with highly accomplished artists outside of music to create his album covers, for example. His formal training in the arts and genius mind led him to becoming the Neil Armstrong of rappers in fashion. He bridged the gap between rapping and singing on 808’s and Heartbreak. Critics first rejected this album, but now we’ve popularized artists like Drake, who himself credits Mr. West as one of his influencers. Ye pushed the envelope so far, in fact, that these days rap songs are only as popular as the artist’s aesthetic – and lyrics take a backseat.
When J.Lo said “My only problem is their insecurities…”
and described my every relationship that didn’t work out. I’m just being real.
When Jae Millz said, “In about 3 years holla at me Miley Cyrus…”
From the group Young Money’s debut single, Every Girl, this lyric was used in a comical song about the allure of women’s natural sensuality. At the time, Miley was a child actor on Disney Channel, and had talent in singing and songwriting. To our surprise, she went on to wild out on the music scene, even making some waves in hip-hop on the song 23 with Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, and Mike WiLL Made-It.
When Eminem said, “Feminist women love Eminem…”
The Real Slim Shady spoke this lyric back when he was blonde, but there are plenty of females today who listen to and love hip hop culture. Paradoxically, the genre is notorious for objectifying women. Although there have been great female MC’s since hip hop’s inception, the legacy continues with artists like Cardi B setting records for sales and streams, as women battle for respect and equality in all arenas.
So what do you think, conspiracies or prophecies?