"Failure" as written by Wasalu Jaco and Dj Enyce,....
It's mean, soldiers
Now let me put the streets down like steamrollers
With the CATS that push
40 oz. through the hood like King Cobras
See we sling soda
'Cause the extra four in the split is mixed
It's really 36
Used to buy toasters and clips
You can tighten your circle or boa constrict
While you was lighting your purple, I was over the scripts
See, I couldn't walk the walk, couldn't really talk the talk
Had to get my talk to properly explain my walk
'Cause this lack in talk had my walk looking off
Now I'm over the limp
Watch how they mugs drop when they see my Verbal's able
(That's the Usual)
When I was po' I was low
Now me and my Chaps cop Purple Label
It's Ralph Lauren on the rap laureate
Niggas brown nose, they are like "after him"
Runners at Interscope are not as Stoute as him
Please don't Interscope
It's gonna be a whole lot of Iovine and respirating
If I lean out this window with Irene
Niggas as tall as Yao Ming
With L-U-P-Emperor
Is the foundation's high beams and the antennas
It's so serious every time I write my John Hancock like
Could damn near see Detroit ( I see you )
Niggas is scared of heights
This is saran wrap and aluminum foil
Some potpourri, a little machine oil
I stack my paper and throw off my 6
This is top floor, better look out before
Pennies from heaven is the same as the semi from the second
And I reign supreme
Turn your umbrellas upside down
Did you even catch the change in theme?

Lupe to the F to the I to the A to the S to the C to the O
from the west side of the C to the H to to the I - C - A to the G to the O

This is gangsta man

And them niggas ain't Watts nor from his regime
Gangsta lean
Hats on tilt like these niggas ain't drop out the vending machine
You gotta put more money in
And I shake niggas up every time I drop a bar
(2 for 1)
It's horse in the Porsche and bricks in the box
Like mo' money them every time I cop a car
You see I'm a roller, right
So it might be a Rover, right
But every time I drop a 'r'
(Get off the streets)
It's "over" aite
Bet I be in the head like overnight
Like rollers, right
She the chauffeur, right
So I keep her sober
She don't get Fed Ex like overnight
I am Dolemite
All that gas can't help you but solar might
Just call on sun
Drop a 's'
Pick up an 'o'
Uno, put it all on "one"
Brace yourself like overbite
"For that quiet nigga that relocated down south
Coming back to floss"
Nigga get your molars right
Fix your grill
No plaque but a whole lot of cheese
This the drill
Mr. Chill
Gave me the green light like Yoda knife
So I'ma force my will
Like the Force I wield
Of course you will
Take my time
But weight behind only pertains
To that Porsche grill
It's snakes in the hood
Gotta watch for that Cobra bite
Let me see
There's snakes in the hood
A bird, a horse behind the grill
Something gator on the seat
And a fox behind the wheel

For achiever
My procedure's
To proceed at all cost
With no breather
I'm all walk
Rain, snow, or fever
I'm all coughs coming after your teacher
I'm on the ball like FIFA
Viva
Lupe Duce
Long live the leader
I remember I ain't have sneakers
It was welfare
Coming up for air is like
Whales there
Fila
But now I'm well here
I'm Shamu with twelve pair
And niggas wanna take me back to zero like tear fare
Well, my skill's clear
You Sea World
It's Braille here
I'm Bumpy Johnson I stick to the streets
Keep my dogs out in front of me
You see what I'm saying
And I push ki's wonderfully

This is gangsta, man


Lyrics submitted by ak1ra07

Failure song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment"This is saran wrap and aluminum foil
    Some potpourri, a little machine oil
    I stack my paper and throw off my cents/scents/sense"

    I think there's triple wordplay here. He throws off the *scents* of the drugs by mixing in other pungent aromas. He throws off his *cents* because he's stacking his paper (bills) so high that it's not even worth keeping the change; he just throws it away. But the more paper he stacks, the more he changes and becomes obsessed with money, which throws off his *sense* - money makes you crazy.

    I think this might be the most brilliant couple of lines in Lupe's music.
    haikuson January 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenteverytime i listen to this song, it's like i never heard it before...the metaphors are excellent, and there's so many times where he stacks more than one or two meanings onto one line

    the ending bars are probably one of my favorites:

    "Well, my skill's clear
    You Sea World
    It's Braille here
    I'm Bumpy Johnson I stick to the streets
    Keep my dogs out in front of me
    You see what I'm saying
    And I push ki's wonderfully"

    just because of how it weaves together in such a complex way; he plays off of the word 'clear' AND uses 'you, see world' to refer back to his whale reference (Sea World), then goes on to play off of the vision theme and THEN ties in a double meaning for being blind by referring to things blind people do AND Bumpy Johnson ('stick to the streets, keep my dogs out in front of me, you see what i'm saying). and that last line makes me think he was implicitly making a double meaning to Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder 'ki's (keys)', anybody else agree with me on that?

    Lupe is on a WHOLE other level than 95 percent of hip-hop and rap. Period.
    deuceishiphopon May 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttight song

    amazing lyricism
    sodakrison August 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's mean, soldier
    Now let me put the streets down like steamrollers
    With the CATS that push
    40 oz. through the hood like King Cobras *( King Cobras are a brand of 40oz's) *
    See me sling soda
    'Cause the extra four in the split it is mixed
    It's really 36
    Used to buy toasters and clips
    You can tighten your circle or boa constrict
    While you was lighting your purple, I was over the scripts( *Lighting your purple = purple tops, set the stage with purple lights)*
    See, I couldn't walk the walk, couldn't really talk the talk
    Had to get my talk to properly explain my walk
    'Cause this lack in talk had my walk looking off
    Now I'm over the limp
    Watch how they mugs drop when they see my Verbal's able
    (That's the Usual)
    When I was PO I was LO( * Ralf Lauren Polos* )
    Now me and my Chaps cop Purple Label
    It's Ralph Lauren on the rap laureate
    Niggas brownnose, they are like Alf to him * Alf is a dog I think, Dogs sniff ass*
    Runners at Interscope are not as Stoute as him
    Please don't Interscope(endoscope)-(* [ i]Endoscope is a medical instrument used to view internal organs, so i think he's referring to respiration or I.V.[/i]) *
    It's gonna be a whole lot of IVing ad) res pirating
    If I lean out this window with Irene
    Niggas as tall as Yao Ming
    With L-U-P-Emperor
    Is the foundation's I-Beams and the antennas
    It's so serious every time I write my John Hancock like
    Could "damn near see Detroit *( other than his signature The Height of the John Hancock Center) *
    Niggas is scared of heights
    This is saran wrap and aluminum foil
    Some potpourri, a little machine oil
    I stack my paper and throw off my scents/cents
    This is top floor, better look out below
    Pennies from heaven is the same as the semi from the second *Pennies from heaven (will hurt) the same a semi from the second (finger, trigger finger).*
    And I rain supreme
    Turn your umbrellas upside down
    Did you even catch the change in theme?

    And them niggas ain't Was( * Wasalu ) nor from his regime( FnF *)
    Gangsta lean
    Hats on tilt like ya snickers ain't drop out the vending machine
    You gotta put more money in
    And I shake niggas up every time I drop a bar(2 for 1)
    It's horse in the Porsche and bricks in the box *( [ i]The Porsche logo has a horse with black and red colors symbolizing bricks, I think that what it is i'm not sure[/i] )*
    Like mo' money them every time I cop a car
    You see I'm a roller, right
    So it might be a Rover, right
    But every time I drop a r
    (Get off the streets)
    It's over aite
    Bet I be in the head like overnight
    Like rollers, right
    She the chauffeur, right
    So I keep her sober
    She don't get Fed Ex like overnight *( NVM, thats self explanitory*
    I am Dolemite
    All that gas can't help you but solar might
    Just call on sun
    Drop a s
    Pick up an o
    U no, put it all on one
    Brace yourself like overbite
    For that quiet nigga that relocated down south
    Coming back to floss
    Nigga get your molars right
    Fix your grill
    No plaque but a whole lot of cheese *( no plaque or album, but a whole lotta chease or money) *
    This the drill
    Mr. Chill
    Gave me the green light like Yoda knife ( Yoda’s saber from Starwars)
    So I'ma force my will
    Like the Force I wield * The force from Starwars*
    Of course you will
    Take my time
    But wait/weight behind only pertains
    To that Porsche grill * Porsche designed the rear-engine sports car*
    It's snakes in the hood
    Gotta watch for that Cobra bite
    Let me see
    There's snakes in the hood
    A bird, a horse behind the grill
    Something gator on the seat
    And a fox behind the wheel
    No, its not Noah's Ark

    For achiever
    My procedure's
    To proceed at all cost
    With no breather
    I'm all walk
    Rain, snow, or fever
    I'm all coughs coming after your teacher
    I'm on the ball like FIFA
    Viva Lupe Duce ( [ i]Long Live the Leader[/i] )
    Long live the leader
    I remember I ain't have sneakers
    It was welfare
    Coming up for air is like
    Whales there
    Fila
    But now I'm well here
    I'm Shamu with twelve pair
    And niggas wanna take me back to zero like tear fare
    Well, my skill's clear
    You See World
    It's Braille here
    I'm Bumpy Johnson I stick to the streets
    Keep my dogs out in front of me
    You see what I'm saying
    And I push ki's wonderfully


    theres more at boards.atlanticrecords.com/artists/lupefiasco/forums/a/tpc/f/261104763/m/5681049329/p/…
    Lm_wfcon August 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsome of his best punchline raps here.
    le9iton March 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti only listen to the first verse cuz that's the only real song. here's just how i take it. most bars have double meanings. i'll put it in sections.

    ------
    It's mean, soldiers
    Now let me put the streets down like steamrollers
    With the CATS that push
    40 oz. through the hood like King Cobras
    See we sling soda
    'Cause the extra four in the split is mix
    It's really 36

    *now let me put the streets down like steamrollers- let people know what's up.

    *we're the CATS push - dudes who push or sell 'product' /caterpillar makes heavy machinery, like steamrollers

    *40 oz through the hood like king cobra, see we sling soda - it makes sounds like drinks but it's actually talkin bout the 'product', 40 oz of it, about a kilo, the soda is baking soda

    *cuz the extra 4 in the split is mix, it's really 36 - they cut the 'prodcut' to profit, 4 ounces is baking soda, the other 36 is the real

    ------
    Used to buy toasters and clips
    You can tighten your circle or boa constrict
    While you was lighting your purple, I was over the scripts
    See, I could walk the walk, couldn't really talk the talk
    Had to get my talk to properly explain my walk
    'Cuz this lack in talk had my walk looking off
    Now I'm over the limp
    Watch how they mugs drop when they see my Verbal's able
    (That's the Usual)

    *basically this part just means what it says. had the swagger, but not the words to express. had to correct that. now he's over that 'over the limp'.

    *watch how they mugs drop - sound of glass breaking / faces in shock

    *when they see my verbal's able (that's the usual) - his words are right on / at the end of the usual suspects you find out verbal kint who seemed average was actually keyser soze the baddest dude ever and he played everyone, if you never saw it i just ruined the ending

    --------
    When I was Po I was Lo
    Now me and my Chaps cop Purple Label
    It's Ralph Lauren on the rap laureate
    Niggas brown nose, they are like Alf to him

    *Polo, Chaps, and Purple Lable are all Ralph Lauren brands

    *I have no idea what he's sayin about alf. that was a show with an alien who was a brown dude, alf stood for alien life form, but i don't think that's what he's talkin about.
    ----------
    Runners at Interscope are not as Stout as him
    Please don't endoscope
    It's gonna be a whole lot of Iovine and respiratin
    If I lean out this window with Irene

    *Stout - Steve Stoute, google him with interscope records

    *endoscope is a medical tool which falls in with Iovine (iv'ing intravenously)

    *Iovine - Jimmy Iovine, google him with interscope records too

    *Irene ?? no idea thought there was a song or movie or somethin with somethin like "i call my gun irene" but i don't think that's it

    --------
    Niggas as tall as Yao Ming
    With L-U-P-Emperor
    Is the foundations, I-Beams, and the antennas
    It's so serious/Sears every time I write my John Hancock like
    Could damn near see Detroit
    Niggas is scared of heights

    *yao ming's tall. this part just starts the tall building/skyscraper theme.

    *L U P Emperor spells lupe

    *foundations, I-beams, antennas - all parts of buildings, continuing the theme

    *it's so Sears everytime i write my John Hancock - Sears Tower and the John Hancock building, both skyscrapes in chicago

    -------
    This is saran wrap and aluminum foil
    Some potpourri, a little machine oil (aqua)
    I stack my paper and throw off my scents/cents
    This is top flo', better look out below

    *don't know if it actually works or not, but back to drugs, if you put them in the saran wrap, alum foil, with the potpurri and machine oil, it should through off their scent (cents/scents) in case k-9s were search for it

    *top flo' - best flow / top floor. top floor goes to the building/skyscraper theme and the rest of the verse.

    ------
    Pennies from heaven is the same as the semi from the second
    And I rain/reign supreme
    Turn your umbrellas upside down
    Did you even catch the change in theme?

    *pennies from heaven - goes back to the skyscraper theme and the 'stack my paper and throw off my cents' line. if you throw your 'cents' off the roof their pennies from 'heaven' or high up.

    *are the same as a semi from the second - this builds more on the tall building/pennies cents theme. there was an urban legend that if you drop a penny from the top of a tall building like the empire state building it could kill someone, just like a handgun or 'semi-auto' could

    *and i reign/rain supreme - reign supreme he's the best / rain as in the pennies or cents or change that he threw from the top of the building

    *turn your umbrellas upside down, did you even catch the change in theme? - if pennies/cents/change was falling from the sky all around you and you held an umbrella upside down, you'd probably 'catch some change' in it
    ---------

    i could be completely wrong, that's just how i take it and it's a sick song. i want more people to get it and to get lupe cuz all his songs are wild if you listen to the lyrics.
    squallywordyon April 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalso after could damn near see detroit he says in the background "i see you" / "ICU" to go with the hospital medical theme (intensive care unit)
    squallywordyon April 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf I lean out this window with Irene
    (Name of the gun)
    I stack my paper and throw off my scents/cents
    (Doesn't carry change)
    Pennies from heaven is the same as the semi from the second
    (pennies will have the same effect on the human body dropped from a high height as bullets from a semi automatic weapon will in one second, but the pennies take longer to fall than the bullets do to hit you.)
    Bet I be in the head like overnight
    (some people go to bed wondering what his lyrics mean. hence, being in people's heads overnight.)
    Just call on sun
    Drop a s
    Pick up an o
    U no, put it all on one
    (WTF PEOPLE WAKE UP! lol get it, wake up, the roosterin the song...whatever. Call ON SUN. Drop an S, that gives you UN, pick up an O, that gives you UNO, as in YOU KNOW, or U no, also giving you an ON! PURE UNFILTERED GENIUS!)
    But wait/weight behind only pertains to that Porsche grille
    (other meaning with the engine thing is right, but could also mean a slang word for cocaine, "weight" see Rick Ross' Song "The Boss" for proof. There's no weight behind him, saying he doesn't deal cocaine. don't people who sell stuff usually have their items behind them?)
    It's snakes in the 'hood
    (snitches in the 'hood)
    A bird,
    (a slang word for gun, don't ask me how it originated.)
    a horse behind the grill
    (horsepower in the engine, which is usually behind the grille of a car.)
    Something gator on the seat
    (alligator skin seats.)
    And a fox behind the wheel
    (calling himself a fox.)
    My procedure's
    To proceed at all cost
    With no breather
    (keep going without taking a break)
    kamikaze-boyon July 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNiggas brown-nose, they are like Alf to him

    Alf the alien from the TV show he was completely brown and furry. Brown-nose like Alf, he had a brown nose.
    yaktown1on August 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalso, pennies from heaven is a frank sinatra and billie holiday song.
    kamikaze-boyon September 04, 2008   Link

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