A Year of Lil Wayne: Tired of Being Sick and Sick of Being Tired
In which a Wayne verse on a 2009 Yo Gotti single explains everything.
Day 35: "Women Lie, Men Lie" – Yo Gotti feat. Lil Wayne, single, 2009
It's funny to witness the power a truly massive hit song has on recasting a formerly niche artist's legacy, whether that's Juicy J appearing on a Katy Perry single or,in slightly more modest terms, Yo Gotti landing a viral smash with"Down in the DM." Obviously that song had endless meme potential,which is the truest marker of success in 2016, but I can't imagine Yo Gotti originally intended it to be much more than a novelty hit, and many people understandably responded as if it were the work of a novelty artist rather than one with a 15-year track record. But for anyone interested in songs about transparency and secrets who was listening to rap radio in 2009, what Yo Gotti accomplished this year was old hat. First, there was this song.
When people talk about Lil Wayne as the best rapper, they tend to point to things like his rapping on Da Drought 3 or the fact that Tha Carter III is one of the only rap albums ever to go platinum in its first week of sales. But the truest indicator of his impact is probably that there was a period of a couple years where Wayne's mere presence on a single more or less guaranteed radio play. And for the casual music fan, Wayne's legacy doesn't live so much in lost deep cut mp3s where he caught the perfect flow as it does in these dozens and dozens of short but charmingly effective cameo appearances, such as this one, which kept his voice on the radio at all hours of the day.
I say that to say: My own Wayne fandom was birthed far earlier, but perhaps nothing cemented his legacy as overwhelmingly as the summer of 2010, when I would drive home from my job at the mall and hear song after song of Wayne gleefully bodying the songs of ever other person on the radio. There was a period during which this may have been the Wayne verse most likely to be on the tip of my tongue, even though, since I heard it on radio and it was edited, I never knew who exactly he was tired of. I did, however, know that he was "tired of being sick and sick of being tired," which I thought was an incredibly clever line. I still think it's incredibly clever, and it's topical because I am both sick and tired today, and that's what launched this whole post to begin with. Being sick sucks,and so does being tired.
Still, despite being sick and tired, I would be remiss if I didn't add that Wayne has another refreshingly realist moment here, where he quips, after complaining about liars,"shit, let em lie as long as they ain't snitching." Where Gotti is the voice of blunt force rationale, Wayne is the avatar of mischievous humanity, recognizing that nobody's perfect and that every behavior is relative. In Wayne's world, nothing is totally fixed how it is, and there is always a little room for the unexpected—why do you think he's so good at turning rap verses on their heads? He also makes a good point about numbers not lying by way of bragging about having a threesome, but I'll let you untangle that one for yourself. Suffice it to say, I would never lie when I tell you that it's inverses like this that Wayne proves just how great he is.
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