Lil Wayne’s Hustler Musik and How It Is The Most Motivational Song Of Any Genre
It's a question of who wants it most.
- What is he doing? - He's winning!
To the body!
Rocky, knock his head off!
You're gonna do it!
Rocky Balboa has done the impossible...
Call me a sucker for a comeback story, or a kid with too much hope and ambition, but when “Eye Of The Tiger” played in a Rocky movie it motivated even the 9 year old I was when I first witnessed Rocky Balboa take down the unbeatable Russian in Ivan Drago. It was inspiring to say the least. Galvanizing. The extreme conditions of the area he chose to train in, along with the immensely impossible task of defeating Drago, to have a song such as “Eye Of The Tiger” thundering in the backdrop is enough to will on anyone to great triumph. Never has anything so breathtaking graced my ears with motivational purpose. An ambition greater than even the task at hand made into song. I wanted to be Rocky, but even more I wanted to believe in what he stood for just because of the song. That is until 2006, like every black male teenager in america, Lil Wayne’s bars had permeated our music palette and made us all Wayne-head’s. Beginning with the inception of “Hustler Musik”.
In 2006 Lil Wayne officially became the best rapper alive. When he said it on wax the first time you thought “Ehhhhhh…idk. You got Eminem, Andre and those guys”. But when he said it on the track of the same name, you agreed without hesitation. Weezy could out rap the Jay-Z’s, Eminem’s and battle rappers as well of that era. It was a no-brainer prior to the time “Hustler Musik” dropped as a single. A no-brainer to most of the rap world. The rest of the rap world wanted to know, where were the conscious yet lyrical songs at? I mean prior to “Tha Carter 2”, Wayne was lyrical on the initial “Tha Carter” album, but I feel he was more technical than lyrical though. Weezy F could place his words well within bars and put together a healthy rhyme scheme, but when are we gonna hear him ACTUALLY speak about something in a profound way? When will we feel what he is saying to our core. We would hear that Wayne on “Tha Carter 2”.
Long was gone of the Mannie Fresh production which was made famous on the original Cash Money and Hot Boyz albums. Songs like “Bling Bling” and “Tha Block is Hot” is the first time a lot us came to hear Weezy F, although in his big white tee and cornrows phase. A time when the south was on the rise in hip hop and truthfully Lil Wayne, more so Juvenile, and the rest of the Hot Boyz and those at Cash Money Records are partially responsible for. With the release of “Tha Carter 2” the days were gone of a mostly “99' and the 2000” (I couldn’t resist”) southern draw and welcomed music you felt, like Hustler Musik. When it came along you knew at that point the game was changing or has changed back. You could go either way. Simply because we have the hustler talk back. We all, if an avid hip hop fan, missed the mafioso talk of those like Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls. Those dopeboy rhymes that sounded more of the lifestyle of Frank Lucas and Al Capone than a Rich Porter. With Hustler Musik we had that sound back, but this time with grimier twist because it came from someone with no New York ties. A rapper from New Orleans taking over the hip-hop world on a major scale is motivational enough.
In Hot Boyz/Cash Money Weezy was always a wild card. You knew Juvenile was the front runner and would be possibly be the biggest artist to come out of that camp. BG was the New Orleans legend. Turk was the guy still in the streets with some bars here and there. Mannie Fresh had the beats and Birdman was boss. That leaves Wayne. Who was usually used for the hook. As mediocre as that sounds, at the time the world should have known what I’m sure Weezy and Birdman knew the entire time. The future and the millions are in the catchy hook, but I don’t think they could have predicted such bars would come to compete with such great hooks. On Hustler Musik he took a chance. He experimented with his sound, which is something he would do for the rest of his career. On the track he would carry more of a hip hop sound. From the production sounding like a Just Blaze track with a Jay-Z esque rhyme scheme to match. As well as the video which looked to be filmed in New York as if Fat Joe or Jadakiss looked to make a cameo at any second. Wayne was no longer in a box tagged “Country Rap Tunes”. Lil Wayne was hip-hop as much as the next GOAT.
Lil Wayne could have easily, with no hesitation at the time, passed this hook on to another hustler rapper and been done with it. Passed it on to a rapper like Jay-Z or a Rick Ross who’s careers were built off the mafioso talk unlike a Lil Wayne. Lil Wayne could have stayed true to the “Go DJ”’s and “Bling Bling” with just good bars on the former as well as fun money blowin’ raps on the latter. Would have been a lot easier, but wouldn't have drawn the same attention as “Baby you gotta know that I’m just out here, doing what I gotta do for me and you and we eating. So bitch, why the fuck is you tripping? I’m taking these chances”. As rude as the name calling is on the hook, it’s as aggressive and ambitious as one can get. Securing the bag for oneself, as DJ Khaled would put it, is one thing. Taking on the world for the love of the money and the hustle for you and your loved one is another. Putting it all on the line with undoubted savagery so you could feed your “bitch” is as a loving sentiment as it is an insensitive gesture.
As Lil Wayne took the world by storm in the mid 2000’s and eventually reaching the top, he did so by being genuine yet unapologetic in his rhymes. Hustler Musik cemented that without a doubt. Was it his most successful song? No. Was it his most critically acclaimed song? No. Was it the most important song of his career? Absolutely YAAASSSSSSSSSSSS. Without Hustler Musik, he wouldn’t have a code to stand by. He wouldn't have made his moniker that of a person who grinds day in and day out without it. Thus having to actually do so, thus self motivating his own self with his own song. The saying is as old as Hip-Hop(probably older), “to talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk”. Weezy Baby talked. Ran off and sold a million in a week.
……………………………………………P.s, Tha Carter 3