Day 42: "My Homies Still" feat. Big Sean – I Am Not a Human Being II, 2012 / "Martians Vs. Goblins" – The Game feat. Lil Wayne and Tyler, the Creator, The R.E.D. Album, 2011
Happy Halloween! If you're like me and like the idea of scary stuff right up until the moment you're watching a horror movie and beginning to think there might actually be ghosts in your home, it's a great day for minor fright! And in that case I recommend turning to the best minorly frightening medium, music, and listening to some scary rap songs. There are loads of them out there—I'd recommend Three 6 Mafia or Gravediggaz—but, as it turns out, you won't find too many in Lil Wayne's catalog. He does excel at portraying himself as a martian, which is Halloween-adjacent (especially if we're talking War of the Worlds), and he once famously dismissed threats of danger with the line "what's a goon to a goblin?" Goblins are creepy! He also loves mischief: As previously discussed, when he was five his favorite movie was Gremlins. So there is some monstrous spirit to Wayne, but if you're looking to pure Halloween music, he's not exactly your guy (free costume idea: instead of a shitty blackface Lil Wayne, dress up as an alien, which is just a cool costume).
That's not to say Wayne doesn't have his share of scary situations and elaborate threats in his music, but most of the violence boils down to talking about shooting people rather than describing Saw-style torture chambers. And while some people are convinced there are illuminati symbols in his music, Lil Wayne is far more about tricks and treats than raising demonic spirits. You can still run with that approach and make it scary, though.
Back in 2011, when everyone was busy trying to capture the terrifying magic of Odd Future—whose own projects Goblin (Tyler, the Creator) and Blackenedwhite (MellowHype) are macabre rap classics perfect for Halloween—The Game tried to latch onto the craze by making a song with Tyler, the Creator and sampling Lil Wayne's line about being a goblin. The result, "Martians Vs. Goblins" has one of the more tryhard rap videos of all time and exposes The Game's dorkiest rap tendencies, while also for some reason doubling as a Lil B diss ("tie Lil B up to a full tank of propane / swag, now watch him cook / and just stand there and look / have a bonfire with old Harry Potter books"). But it's a decent song, and it has a great (albeit full-on gay-bashing Odd Future 1.0) verse from Tyler—great mostly for the fact that it centers around a punchline making fun of The Game ("and that shit was expected like Jason like whenever he namedrops"). Wayne was still in prison when the song was made, which is why he's relegated to the hook, but his presence looms here: The Game rightly recognized that his semi-frequent collaborator was a predecessor for Tyler's own anti-mainstream weirdness. If it felt forced when older rappers tried glomming onto the sensationalized repulsiveness of Odd Future's music, that's probably because they were missing the point. The horrorcore side of it wasn't so much about the lyrical content but rather about acting out and causing mischief in the face of the status quo.
That's a mode in which Wayne excels, which is probably why he took so enthusiastically to the other side of the Odd Future aesthetic when he was released from jail, getting really into skateboarding and garishly colorful clothes. That period yielded the odd spectacle of Trukfit and the single that was "My Homies Still" with Big Sean. The song's wacky video is atypical of Wayne's usually straightforward videos, but it captures the all-over-the-place appeal of his variegated flow. It also serves as the most Halloween-appropriate Wayne video, between the table of masked women eating Wayne's head on a platter and the movie theater full of skeletons where he hangs out with Birdman at the end.
It's not one of Wayne's best or most entertaining songs by a long shot, although it has some good lines, including this set of bars that thoroughly sums up the four pillars of modern Wayne raps: "I skate until my feet hurt / Hot Boy, free Turk / pussy for dessert / put your ass beneath earth." Elsewhere, Wayne raps, "before I fuck this bitch, I gotta put that patch over my third eye, Slick Rick," which may be a convoluted punchline but does raise an important question that comes with Wayne calling his penis his third eye: Is Lil Wayne's dick extremely woke? Have we been talking about dicks this whole time with the third eye stuff? Is Third Eye Blind secretly a band about erectile dysfunction or one about fucking indiscriminately? Wayne, as always, raises important questions.
More importantly, though, "My Homies Still" stands up surprisingly well because, although it's nothing radical, it's a stupid brand of fun that Lil Wayne is great at capturing. While it uncharacteristically doesn't have any toilet humor, "My Homies Still" is the song version of Wayne's love of poop jokes (credit where it's due, he does rap "Trukfit T-shirt / talk second, skeet first"). Wayne's transition to from teen grown-up to grown-up teen has been a weird one, but it's also instructive: Maybe it's more fun to egg the neighbor's house than to buy it—or haunt it. Take that with you as you head out tonight, and stay safe.
Follow Kyle Kramer on Twitter.