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“Laugh Now, Cry Later” by Drake (feat. Lil Durk) — Lyrics for English Students

Laugh right into learning English

Ready to look at song lyrics and learn about the slang and culture behind them? You’re in the right place! I chose this song specifically because it was popular last year (2020) and some of this year. I like many Drake songs, especially their musical composition. Even more than the song, the video really sparked an interest in me. I love the allusions and cameos of famous athletes throughout. Plus, it’s all about Nike. My dad raised me to adore Nike.

Even more than all of this, the video is filled with silly moments and scenes of backbreaking laughter, and it feels so good for the soul to laugh like that. It’s fun to see Drake dying of smiles and getting beat at every single sport by professionals. Laughing now shows us that, despite the hard facts of life, we can always find ways to lighten up and laugh our tears away. Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading the lyrics and learn something new about English!

A Brief Note On Accents

As far as the song’s accents, Drake is a Canadian from Toronto. His speech might be influenced by African American English due to lots of interaction with American rappers, especially in the South. Lil Durk is from Chicago and his accent reflects him living in an underprivileged area, having much influence from the inner-city streets. That is to say, many parts of these lyrics are highly informal and come from street talk. Ok, let’s get into it!

Drake laughing his arse off

“Laugh Now Cry Later” Lyrics

Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry, but I guess you know now, baby

I took a half and she took the whole thing, slow down, baby

  • Other Meanings: This line can be a reference to drinking or taking some drug, and the lady is taking it too quickly. She wants to live fast and recklessly.

We took a trip, now we on your block and it’s like a ghost town, baby

  • Figurative Speech: He and his crew took a break, possibly from recording. The “block” is the same as a street or a neighborhood in most cases, often as a reference to “the hood.” The “ghost town” refers to there being no one around who wants to speak up or criticize him to his face.
  • Grammar: “Now we are on your block …”

Where do these n***** be at when they say they doin’ all this and all that?

  • Expressions: “This and that” is a way to generalize a series of actions. Another variation is “All that.”
  • Other Meanings: Again, he refers to no one being around to criticize him to his face.
  • Grammar: “Where are these n***** at …?” Though the way he says it is correct in African American Vernacular English.

Tired of beefin’ you bums, you can’t even pay me enough to react

  • Slang: “To beef” or “to have beef” is to have a problem, conflict, or some other kind of rivalry with another person. It’s usually used to talk about rappers and singers who are rivals, but not always. A “bum” is generally a homeless person. Sometimes it’s used as an insult to people that you don’t like, or who have poor qualities.

Been wakin’ up in the crib and sometimes I don’t even know where I’m at

  • Slang: The “crib” is the same as a home or house. In normal use, a crib is where you put a baby to sleep.

Please don’t play that n**** songs in this party, I can’t even listen to that

  • Other Meanings: He sounds like he doesn’t like a certain singer’s songs. He’s probably talking down on certain more recent singers’ styles.

Anytime that I ran into somebody, it must be a victory lap, ayy

  • Expressions: A “victory lap” is a run made after someone has already won something. It is a form of commemoration. “Ayy” is also a very popular word nowadays. It doesn’t have a specific meaning, but is used to acknowledge something good, also a form of commemoration.

Shawty, come sit on my lap, ayy, they sayin’ Drizzy just snap

  • Slang: “Shawty” or “shorty” is a popular way in some communities to call a girl or woman.
  • Other Words: “Drizzy” is another name for Drake.
  • Other Meanings: “Just snap” is a reference to his king-like power, such as, he only has to snap and people will attend to him.

Distance between us is not like a store, this isn’t a closeable gap, ayy

  • Puns / Figurative Speech: A gap in normal English is a space between two objects representing distance. When he refers to the gap as a store, it is probably in reference to the Gap, a popular clothing store that has been closing a lot of its shops lately. It’s a kind of a pun or play on words.

I’ve seen some n***** attack and don’t end up makin’ it back

  • Phrasal Verbs: “Making it back,” meaning that their careers don’t survive. They don’t come back from it.

I know that they at the crib goin’ crazy, down bad

  • Grammar: “I know that they are at the crib …”
  • Casual Speech: They are feeling down, sad, etc.

What they had didn’t last, damn, baby

Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry, but I guess you know now, baby

I took a half and she took the whole thing, slow down, baby

We took a trip, now we on your block and it’s like a ghost town, baby

Where do these n***** be at when they say they doin’ all this and all that?

I’m in the trenches, relax

  • Slang: The “trenches” is some kind of situation that is tight and has a lot of pressure. The reference comes from wars when soldiers had to fight in the trenches. The trenches can also be a very dangerous and tough neighborhood. Saying he’s “from the trenches, relax” seems like he’s saying he is strong and we don’t need to worry about him.

Can you not play that lil’ boy in the club? ‘Cause we do not listen to rats

  • Other Meanings: Again, a reference to some new artist whose style he doesn’t like.
  • Slang: A “rat” in this case refers to someone perceived as dirty, not cool or interesting, with a bad quality in some way.

We in Atlanta, I buy her a wig, she tellin’ me Tae is the best

  • Grammar: “We are in Atlanta, I buy her a wig, she tells me that Tae is the best …”
  • Other References: Arrogant Tae is a popular hair stylist that spends lots of time in Atlanta, apparently. I had to research that one.

Point at the n**** who act like a killer, but you only one from the ‘net

  • Grammar: “who acts like a killer, but you are only / just one from the net …”
  • Other Meanings: It sounds like he’s calling an attacker (in other words a killer) a fake or a bluff since he only has the courage to attack on the internet.

I’m like DaBaby, I’m not just a rapper, you play with me, you gon’ get stretched

  • Slang: “Stretched” is the same as being put on an ambulance stretcher; basically, put in the hospital. “Play” here refers to starting trouble, not playing for fun.
  • Other References: He refers to DaBaby because he’s a rapper who allegedly killed someone to protect himself.
  • Grammar: “You play with me, you are going to get stretched …”

Bring Drake to the hood, surround Drake around Dracs

  • Slang: “Dracs” refers to a Draco, a kind of AK-47 rifle.

Even though I got a case, I’ma do what it take

  • Expressions: A “case” is often used to talk about having a criminal case or charge against oneself.
  • Grammar: “Even though I have / I’ve got a case, I’m going to do what it takes.”

And I never been embraced

  • Grammar: “And I have never been embraced …”
  • Other Meanings: He’s never been taken care of, nurtured, hugged, or otherwise accepted in some community. Maybe he’s never been accepted as a great artists.

And the money’s hard to make

So I bet they on they face right now

  • Grammar: “So I bet they are on their faces right now …”
  • Other Meanings: Referring to other rappers being with their face to the ground, crying or upset.

I know that they at the crib goin’ crazy, down bad

What they had didn’t last, damn, baby

Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry, but I guess you know now, baby

I took a half and she took the whole thing, slow down, baby

We took a trip, now we on your block and it’s like a ghost town, baby

Where do these n***** be at when they say they doin’ all this and all that?

When he tell the story, that’s not how it went

  • Grammar: “When he tells the story …”

Know they be lyin’, a hundred percent

  • Grammar: “Know that they lie, a / one hundred percent …”

Moved out the Ritz and forgot ‘bout the Bent’

  • Other References: The Ritz is a chain of famous, very expensive hotels.
  • Informal Speech: “And forgot about the Bentley …” (car)

Valet just called me to tell me, come get it

Knocked that boy off and I don’t want no credit

  • Casual Speech: To “knock (someone) off” is to take them out of power, fame, or anything that gives them success.
  • Grammar: “And I don’t want any credit …”

If it was me, they wouldn’t regret it

  • Grammar: “If it were me …”

Left me for dead and now they wan’ dead it, yeah

  • Other Meanings / Figurative Speech: Someone left him to die, but now they want to die. This probably isn’t supposed to be literal, but the intention is strong.

Heart is still beatin’, my n***** still eatin’

  • Slang: “Eating” refers to people making money, so they have plenty of food to eat.
  • Grammar: “My n***** are still eating …”

Backyard, it look like the Garden of Eden

  • Grammar: “Backyard, it looks like …”
  • Religious Reference: For those that don’t know, the Garden of Eden was the original paradise where the first man, woman, and all life were originally created in the Hebrew and Christian religious texts. It’s a reference to a beautiful and natural paradise.

Pillow talk with ’em, she spillin’ the tea

  • Expressions: “Pillow talk” is the intimate kind of conversation people have together, generally in the seclusion of their own bedroom or home.
  • Cultural References: Drinking tea is often a reference to British or high-class society, though not always. “Spilling the tea” would mean that a lady Drake is with is not used to high class things, so she spills the tea. It can also mean that she made a mess or was being messy in their relationship.
  • Other Meanings: “Spilling the tea” can also be like the expression “spilling the beans.” This means some kind of secret or sensitive information is released. She told Drake all of her personal info.

And then shawty came back and said she didn’t mean it

It’s hard to believe it

Then the lyrics repeat.

Join Culture Surf to see more lyrics in the future. I’ll also post about English speaking habits and regional slang and expressions as we move along.

Do you have a song you’d like to analyze the lyrics of? Do you want to write about music or art in a language you appreciate? What about sharing your own language, culture, and regional expressions with others? Join the publication and write a post! Or, you can comment down below. Thanks for coming, and peace to you.

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