Most people have no idea what Jay-Z is saying in his near-ubiquitous song “Empire State of Mind” when he name-drops LeBron and Dwyane Wade. The exact line is:
“If Jeezy’s paying LeBron, I’m paying Dwyane Wade”
Understandably, the presumption by most is that Jay, who has a small ownership stake in the New Jersey Nets, is essentially saying that “If I can’t sign LeBron as a free agent this summer, I’ll just sign Dwyane Wade — the next best thing.”
But that’s not correct.
The chart below basically tells you what’s going on, but this guy at The Awl breaks it down for you in full, which will help ensure you aren’t like one of those people walking around singing “excuse me, while I kiss this guy” or “the girl with colitis goes by.”
The lyric in question is usually misconstrued in one of two ways. Either:
1) It’s misheard as: “If Jesus paying LeBron, I’m paying Dwyane Wade.”
2) It’s heard correctly, but taken literally, as: “If Jeezy’s paying LeBron, I’m paying Dwyane Wade.”
Here’s how the different scenarios break down:
1) “If Jesus is paying LeBron, I’m paying Dwyane Wade.” A lot of people assume that this means that there’s someone named Jesus who owns a large equity stake in an NBA franchise who is vying for LeBron James (one of the best NBA players of all time, and close friend of Jay-Z) when James hits the market as a free agent in 2010. Well, you know what they say about happens when you assume, and that’s just what you’ve done. No one named Jesus, pronounced like the son of God and not in the more commonly used Hispanic way, owns any part of any NBA team. Sorry.
2) “If Jeezy’s paying LeBron, I’m paying Dwyane Wade.” So now you might think, okay, maybe the popular rapper Young Jeezy owns a bit of an NBA team, just like Jay-Z does, and he’s saying that if Jeezy signs LeBron, Jay-Z will then settle for Dwyane Wade. Again, you could not be anymore incorrect, I’m sorry. Young Jeezy also does not have any points in an NBA franchise. It seems weird that you even thought that.
So what they hell is Jay talking about then?
Well, it actually has nothing to do with the NBA. He’s just bragging about how cheaply he can purchase cocaine, which since he doesn’t actually sell drugs anymore is just really him saying he’s kind of a big deal.
See, Jeezy made a song called “24 23 (Kobe LeBron)” in which he repeatedly said that while other drug dealers had to pay “Kobe” (meaning Bryant’s jersey number of 24 aka $24,000 per kilo) for their wholesale coke purchases, he had now climbed the blow-slinging kingpin ladder to such a degree that he now only had to pay “LeBron” (aka $23,000 per kilo). And Jay is countering that he only pays “Dwyane Wade,” which at $3,000 a kilo means that would pretty much have to be Pablo Escobar’s son. He may as well be saying he picks up his drugs along with Tyrone Biggums at the Five O’clock Free Crack Giveaway.
The only real point here is that I just came across the chart below at Doomztastic. Which pretty much says all this same stuff a lot quicker and includes a joke or two that will likely only be funny to people who already knew all this stuff to begin with. (via I Love Charts)
And what does THAT mean?
That I just wasted a bunch of my time typing all this out. What else is new?
- Jeezy’s $23,000 & $24,000 figures: Young Jeezy – “24-23 (Kobe-LeBron)”
- Jay-Z’s $3,000 figure: Jay-Z – “Empire State of Mind” (featuring Alicia Keys)
- $28,500 figure for wholesale price of cocaine, 2009: UNODC, “World Drug Report 2009: Section 3.4 Prices, pages 215 to 234,” June 2009.
via, a rising star in the chart game, doomz