Day 196: "Best of Me" – SQ4, 2002
Last night, my hometown basketball team, the best and most important program in the history of collegiate sports, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, won the NCAA men's basketball national championship. I was elated, even if most of the world seemed uninterested in what was clearly a magical redemption story. Not long after the championship points were tallied, GIFs of Jay Z and Mya in the video for "Best of Me" started circulating, since said video is perhaps the pinnacle of UNC's pop culture appearances (we are, after all, a state whose brushes with the hip-hop mainstream come down to Petey Pablo, Little Brother, and J. Cole). So you can imagine my enthusiasm today, as I was trying to figure out what to post about Lil Wayne, when I realized that not only did Lil Wayne rap over that beat on SQ4 but he also made his own string of Carolina blue references to outshine Jay's. Just in case you don't get the allusion, he also sets up his bars in the same way. He then ends by correcting himself and reiterating his long-running love of the Lakers and Kobe specifically.
Three, two, one:
Carolina blue kicks, Carolina blue fitted
Carolina blue whip, Carolina blue twenties
Carolina blue seats, Carolina blue ice
Carolina blue bike, Carolina blue lights
Carolina blue jersey, Carolina blue gator
Ah fuck it my favorite team is the Lakers
Laker yellow Lambo, Laker yellow 'rari
Laker yellow 9-11, Laker yellow mami
Laker yellow Converse, Laker yellow Remy
Laker Yellow number 8 Kobe Bryant authentic
Damn, look at all that Carolina blue! And I know you might be thinking, "yes, but in the end he prefers the Lakers" or "yes, but all this is just a figure of speech," but guess what! There is more. This freestyle also includes what is now one of my favorite Lil Wayne lines ever, which is, "I'm so groovy, I might know how to play a fucking banjo." OK, first of all, that's just a dope line. Secondly, if you know anything about North Carolina, you know that the reason the NC rap scene sucks is because a large share of the musicians in the state are bluegrass musicians. In fact, when I think of things that remind me of home, after Carolina basketball, picnics with both bluegrass and barbecue are near the top. And what is a key bluegrass instrument? The motherfuckin' banjo! Which Lil Wayne is so groovy he might know how to play. So, yes, Wayne is true blue Carolina, and we are champions, and this is the song for that. Beyond all of that, though, this is a great freestyle, and you should listen to it and enjoy the sweet thrill of victory.
Illustration by the author
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