EW Description: “A mournful new track by the recently imprisoned hip-hop star features some vocal assistance from Christina Aguilera. T.I. pulls back the curtain on a seemingly enviable life and exposes its ugly truth.”
When I first started to listen to this song, it made me think of Good Charlotte’s “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” From the first verse, it really sounds like a rich person whining, but as the song goes on, the message is a lot deeper than that. T.I. is talking about how all the money, awards, and other material things don’t really mean anything if your children are failures or you are singing about things that don’t matter. One of the lines is especially poignant: “Why should the verses I have laid be more important to me than the persons I have raised.” I really appreciate that thought because I feel like it’s something that falls by the wayside a lot. So many people think that they and their families will be perfectly fine as long as they’re rich and have lots of materialistic things, but these families are often the ones with the biggest problems.
That’s not to say this song is perfect. One of the lines seems extremely homophobic. When he’s listing off all the possibilities of how he could go wrong with his children, he mentions one of his daughters becoming a stripper and one of them “ain’t straight.” To me, it sounds like he’s saying he’s a failure as a parent if his children aren’t heterosexual, which I find incredibly problematic. It’s also possible I’m misinterpreting the line, but that’s what I feel is the likely scenario. Please feel free to correct me if you are more familiar with rap lyrics and different slang terms because that’s not exactly my area of expertise. He also mentions how he didn’t “snitch” when he got arrested and the whole “stop snitching” message is something I also find disturbing. I get the pride issues involved with it and how people are supposed to protect their friends and family, but much of the mentality behind that movement is not something with which I agree.
I love that T.I. is rapping about something so close to him emotionally and it is a very good song, overall. The Christina Aguilera part is so catchy and I will probably fall asleep singing it to myself. It’s got a really great beat and the majority of the lines are really interesting. It’s much better than singing about shooting people or fucking hoes.
I put a video with the song below, so let me know what you think about it.