In Three Bars About Hobbies, Lil Wayne Explores the Nature of Rhyme Itself

Listen to "I'm a Beast," from the 'Carter III' leaks.

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Sep 1 2017, 7:54pm

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Day 347: "I'm a Beast" – The Drought Is Over 2 (The Carter 3 Sessions), 2007

One thing Lil Wayne was doing especially well in the Great Leak Period between Tha Carters II and III was putting together snappy back-to-back rhyme sequences, such as the line, "I'm on a yacht playing table tennis / expensive linen, women sinning." Or, of course, the opening lines to "I'm a Beast," which go like this:

Rapping is my hobby, my house has a lobby
My bitches act snobby because I feed them thousands
I know that didn't rhyme, but I'm only being honest
You can't pay me in cash now I'm only seeing commas

I like those lines because not only does he rhyme the words "hobby," "lobby," and "snobby" in quick succession but he also, right after that particularly satisfying sequence of syllables, forces you to consider the nature of rhyming itself. And then a moment later, he poses a question about the point of rap: Do you prize rhyming or honesty? Or is it whatever leads to the funniest punchline? Lil Wayne makes cases for all of the above here, and it comes out of him simply riffing on a couple silly lines. I'm not here to tell you how to feel about the art of poetry at large, but I think that is a conceptual achievement on par with anything the great formalists of English letters have done elsewhere.

Additionally, a housekeeping note: If you think this is interesting—or if you have enjoyed any of a Year of Lil Wayne—make sure to tune into Noisey Radio on Beats 1 this weekend. I'm on there talking about A Year of Lil Wayne and Lil Wayne's career. You can listen here. The show airs at 9 AM ET on Saturday or 9 PM ET on Sunday. Please check it out!

Follow Kyle Kramer on Twitter.

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