Well, well, well…. Tupac, huh?
I have to start off with saying that I was aware of Jay’s ”03 Bonnie and Clyde’, and I was ware the hook came from Tupac, but I had never really listened to the Tupac track…. or rather should I say, Makaveli track.
When I saw the subject of your email and knew it was going to be Tupac, I have to admit, this was not the track I anticipated. I was thinking it would have been ‘Me Against the World’ or ‘Hit ’em Up’, but not ‘Me and My Girlfriend’. I totally see why you chose it now, however. The first listen fell kind of flat for me. I found myself listening for metaphors, but didn’t find myself finding one I truly enjoyed, or to be honest, find any whatsoever. I struggled to really pull something out, thus affirming my reasoning for never listing to too much Tupac. Then it clicked. It was listen two, I believe, where I started to realize that although he was spitting about a female, he was also equating it to something else. I first thought it might be “the thug life” (I feel like I have to put that in quotes because I’m too white) or something along those lines. It was a few more listens before I truly realized that he is actually not spitting about a female but rather his gun. Duh. Then I realized the metaphors were SOOOO abundant! There were literally in every line. Every line.
When it comes to choosing a favorite metaphor, I have to say that it’s a tie. There are two that I truly love. The first one comes at the beginning of the second verse. “I was too immature to understand your ways, inexperienced back in the days / Caused so many arguments and strays”. Now, if one wasn’t aware that he was actually spitting about a firearm, this wouldn’t be a metaphor at all. It was one word that really struck me in this line on my first listen, and that was, of course, ‘strays’. Had he been simply discussing some girl it would refer to breakups or breaks in their relationships. Since he is in fact rapping about a gun, strays refers to stray bullets. The lack of accuracy. When he was just a youngin he wasn’t accurate with his shooting, he was ‘inexperienced’. His gun was pulled out at disagreements due to his immaturity. Since, Pac has learned the ways of the gun and has become a deadly, spot on shot. I dig this.
The other line that really struck a cord with me has to be a line he drops at the end of the third verse: “After a hit you break apart, then back to one piece.” Once I realized he was taking about his gun, I heard this line and instantly thought of a Sniper movie. After an assassination the sniper would quickly dismantle his rifle and stow it away. When it came time for the next ‘hit’, the rifle would be reassembled and used again. In terms of the track being about some girl, the line would refer to something along the lines of: after a breakup or a fight (a hit), the girl’s heart would break, but time heals all, and eventually her broken heart would mend and she’d be ready to get back out there. That’s not the type of hit Tupac is referring to. He’s referring to a hit, as in a killing. Like the sniper in a film about snipers, Pac dismantles his gun after a hit. Later, because there’s never only one hit, he would put the gun back together and it’d be ready for another.
There is definitely some respect for Pac gained here. I decided to go back and listen to Hov’s ”03 Bonnie and Clyde’ and I find it interesting that Jay is actually spitting about a girl (Beyonce) and not a gun as Pac did. I think this shows just how crafty Pac was with his words. I guess there really is a reason why Pac is at the top of MC lists.
Solid pick ‘cole.