Lil Wayne continued his triumphant return to hip-hop from jail this week with the release of his first post-incarceration verse. The Young Money boss man unleashed his customary razor-sharp wordplay on Birdman’s “Fire Flame (Remix)” and the performance was well received by rap fans thirsty to hear if Weezy F. Baby kept his chops sharp while spending the last eight months in New York’s Rikers Island jail. Upon further review of the cut, it’s clear that the F stands for fresh. With that successful display on record it’s only right that we went back and reviewed some other notable post-incarceration verses, just from this year. There was definitely a solid crop to choose from.
After serving a six-year sentence on sexual battery and extortion charges Mystikal dropped a homecoming verse on Lloyd’s aptly titled single “Set Me Free.” That same month the “King of the South” T.I. marked his return with the emphatic single, “I’m Back.” A month later, Brooklyn rapper Shyne made his long-awaited return from a 10-year sentence with the critically panned “Messiah.” Then, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane wasted no time getting back to music when he was released from a Georgia prison in May. Though he hit the streets running with two previously recorded singles from his April mixtape, Burrprint 2.0 HD, one of Gooch’s earliest post-prison releases was the Swizz Beatz produced “It’s Alive,” which hit the Internet in June. Last but not least, hip-hop’s predicate felon DMX jumped into the booth fresh off a four month bid to join Cam’ron, T.I., Ghostface, and Swizz Beatz on the remix to Busta Rhymes’s “Stop The Party (Remix)” in mid-July.
Studying all these post-incarceration verses we found that these rappers had some similar messages and themes once they hit the booth as free men. Like 2Pac did in 1995 on his post-prison smash single, “California Love,” there was some mention of their time spent away (“Out on bail, fresh outta jail”). A foreshadowing of events to come and some natural aggression that comes with having all those creative juices pent up. Check out some of the themes we found in the five aforementioned releases.
REFLECTIONS ON THEIR TIME AWAY
Everyone needs a moment to remember the time.
“Your flow is garbage, they let me out just in time,” —Gucci Mane, “It’s Alive”
“I went away for a minute, it’s like I’m back from the dead,” —DMX, “Stop The Party (Remix)”
“N-gga probably just seen Wayne, Gucci Mane, Me and Boosie all go to prison,” —T.I., “I’m Back”
“I’m black and mean, But I got mean from being behind that fence,” —Mystikal, “Set Me Free”
“Fresh out from my bid,” —Lil Wayne, “Fire Flame (Remix)”
“From Gangland to the Oval Office, next ten years I’ma control the market,” —Shyne, “Messiah”
Naturally, after being caged for so long the animal instincts kick in for these newly freed rappers once they enter the booth. So it was no surprise that a few species get mentioned throughout the process.
“You suck, real talk/C’mon with the bull!,” —DMX, “Stop The Party (Remix)”
“Snitches take a nap with the fishes and the rats,” —Shyne, “Messiah”
“I’m disappointed in you, dog, you ain’t hold it down at all,” —T.I., “I’m Back”
“I’ma dog on the song/I’ma beast on the beat,” —Mystikal, “Set Me Free”
“If these niggas dogs, I’m animal cruelty,” —Shyne, “Messiah”
It’s only right that after you’ve done your time you feel the need to enlighten others. Drop some knowledge on the listeners.
“Think the power is in your gun but overall it’s in your heart,” —T.I., “I’m Back”
“Once you violate, like a ribbon, it’s a wrap,” —Shyne, “Messiah”
“I’m in the ‘hood like a mayor around election time it’s a suggestion/Don’t park your car next to mine,” —Gucci Mane, “It’s Alive”
“Suck my dick if you fucked up with it,” —Mystikal, “Set Me Free”
“And they say time is of the essence but what if their clock is wrong?,” —Lil Wayne, “Fire Flame (Remix)”
“Guns clap like applause,” —DMX, “Stop The Party (Remix)”
With all that solitude we’re sure one gets to know himself a little better.
“I’m like left over pizza, I’m gettin cold,” —Mystikal, “Set Me Free”
“Dont fuck with me at all, ‘cause I’m twisted like an Rubik’s Cube,” —Lil Wayne, “Fire Flame (Remix)”
“I’m so profound it goes down and I never let you down,” —T.I., “I’m Back”
“Lemme see – my plate’s empty, yours is full,” —DMX, “Stop The Party (Remix)”
“This is not a rap, fool, this is not an act,” —Shyne, “Messiah”
“I’m so fuckin’ gudda it don’t make no sense to switch for none of these muthafuckas,” —Gucci Mane, “It’s Alive”
Once free, these rappers let us know what they’ve been plotting for their release.
“I’ll have money back for breakfast smell like, Bitch, I’m rich cologne, ha!/I’m so relaxed my Gucci flats ain’t got a scratch,” —Lil Wayne, “Fire Flame (Remix)”
“I smash these rappers and beat up the track at the same time, homie,” —Mystikal, “Set Me Free”
“Step inside super fly to the shoes and the coupe, then exit out with all the bitches like we always do,” —T.I., “I’m Back”
“I got the city on my back, Pretty women in the sack,’ ‘Rollin’ in the Rolls,” —Shyne, “Messiah”
“Relapse on you niggas, and crack some heads,” —DMX, “Stop The Party (Remix)”
“I run laps around lames with my shoes untied,” —Gucci Mane, “It’s Alive”