One of the strangest reasons for people not liking a rapper and their lyrics is when they say, "I can't relate to this." Therefore in their mind, the music is not good or it lacks substance.
Let's take Eminem for example. People on social media have said things such as "Y'all listening to a dude talking about his mom's drug addiction and him wanting to kill his baby mama? Can't relate." Yeah, no shit you probably can't relate.
But it's not about the lyrics themselves that you need to relate to in order to understand or feel the message being presented. In some cases, rappers aren't trying to be relatable. They're just trying to live their truth.
And they say the truth shall set you free.
"First Day Out"
November 6, 2016
There's something about those Michigan rappers, they really know how to tell intricate stories. This single from Tee Grizzley was recorded just two days after he was released from jail. And from that point on, his life would never be the same.
This was supposed to be a single just to get his name out there, instead it made his name one to be respected. Not only in the streets as someone who has lived through some shit, but as a new up and coming artist with dreams of going from nothing to everything.
"First Day Out" starts out soft and subtle. He is going through his mind and thinking about everything he has gone through to get to this point. Whether that was cooking dope, being dead broke, or sitting in the court room wondering if he would ever experience another "free" day in his life.
Grizzley talks to all the people who have been through the fire with him. Reminiscing on all the violence and criminal activities they committed before they were able to learn from their mistakes. He is essentially setting the table for what is about to be a hefty meal for the listener.
Go get a thermometer for the pot, I need this shit cooked right
What starts out as a song that songs like a heartwarming comeback story, turns into a hard hitting moment of truth. At about a minute and a half into the song, the beat and mood of the story completely changes. Grizzley turns from a man of reflection into a man with his sights set on everything.
His entire spirit is exacerbated and he allows himself to let out all the feelings he had cooped up while in his jail cell. Three years of being behind bars was a small price for him to pay to achieve this level or artistry.
One can only imagine what it is like to be locked up and feel like the world is against you. While facing multiple charges for armed robbery and home invasions, he continued to fight the system and his own demons so that he could keep pushing forward.
Some people could have easily folded in this position. Allowed the system to hold them down and continue to fall into the same criminal traps to get them right back where they were. But Grizzley knew he was destined for more.
Don't let them get the best of you, just get the revenue nigga
The constant bars in this song are unmatched from many artists in the game right now. And considering the fact that he wrote this just two days after getting out of jail while being an unsigned artist, truly makes this story that much more powerful.
Every bar is a story within the story. Every line means something to him, the person he is referring too, or the situation he was in at the time.
He wanted to share this moment with his younger brother. Getting out of jail, and having that first day with his family meant the world to him. However, his brother was already in jail by the time he had made it out. Only adding more fuel for his fire to make sure his message was felt by the world.
The feds say my name hot like when the oven on
It's not always about what music is most relatable to you. If every song you listened to made you say "Same" then you as a listener would never allow yourself to put yourself in someone else shoes for a day.
This man told his story of his "First Day Out" of jail. Something most, if not all of you, will never experience.
So the next time you are listening to a rapper spit some shit that makes absolutely no sense to you, think about where they were coming from when they wrote it. Think about how they must've felt when they were able to finally put their story in writing and get through it without having second thoughts about whether or not to share it with the world.
These words are more than just bars to them, it represents their moment.