Lyrics Analysis of the Song Hit EmUp by Tupac Shakur

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Hit Em Up by Tupac Shakur is a song with many dimensions that warrants a lyrical analysis. The song is set on a sad mood and it has tragic tales of how friendship between Christopher Wallace, also known as Notorious B.I.G, and ended. The song performance is based on the Tupac’s view and directed to the Bad Boy Record camp; more specifically, to Wallace. The artiste affirms his affiliation with the West Coast and their rivalry with the East Coast rappers (Golde et al.). The purpose of this paper is to do a lyrical analysis of the song Hit Em Up by Tupac.

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In the first verse, the lyrics lay foundation for the whole song as every verse reiterates all the threats and claims made by Tupac. He reminds the audience of his coital relationship with Wallace’ wife; but, claims his dislike of Wallace’ associates. Tupac acknowledges Wallace’ assertion of being a player but belittles it with a claim he slept Wallace’ wife. The verse continues with a lot of chest thumping from Tupac as he claims superiority over the Bad Boys Records camp and members of its organization. Tupac threatens the life of a person in Wallace’s camp. The lyrics mention Kim whom Tupac calls too diminutive in stature to share a platform. However, despite how unattractive she is, Tupac writes she will come for her later even though this seems impossible. “So let the West side ride tonight hahahah. Bad Boy murdered on wax, and killed. Fuck wit’ me and get ya caps peeled, you know … see …” (Golde et al. N.p). From the lyrics, the end of the verse has non-specific mentions of violence against Bad Boy Records employees.

The chorus starts with a call that that audience should get their firearms ready in search of Mr. Shakur. The lyrics also invite the police to the point in what seems like a safeguard actions. The words of wonder suffice in the chorus as Tupac recollects on who shot him; merely injuring him. He threatens to reiterate by inflicting pain on any member belonging the Mr. Wallace’s organization. “Check this out, you muthafuckas know what time it is. I don’t even know why I’m on this track, ya’ll nigguz ain’t even on my level” (Golde et al. N.p). The lyrics take audience aback with the claim that Tupac should not be doing the song in the first place because Wallace and company do not worth it. He is wealthier and more successful than they are through genuine means.

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The succeeding verses: second, third, fourth, and fifth are more repetitive and redundant from the interpretation perspective. In these verses, the members of the Outlawz chip in to make hypothetical claims such as Mr. Wallace being oversize, gun violence, and inhalation of marijuana among others. The message in the lyrics quells the notion that the song attracts supremacy battle; but, a war against felonious homicide. The authors write, “All your fake-ass east coast props brainstormed and locked” (Golde et al. N.p). The lyrics express dissatisfaction with Bad Boy Record artistes’ failure to create; instead, they copy the West Coast group. The authors again in this verse boast of rap game supremacy.

In the concluding verse, the lyrics display the most venomous in the rap song genre in history. Tupac uses vulgar language, at one point, the writer says Mobb Deep group suffer from sickle cell anemia. The writer of the song advises the group to stop argument with them because of dire repercussions; getting heart attack, though no link between sickle cell and heart attack is given. It is again claimed in the last verse that the West Side artistes are supreme in selling record labels; there are more threats of violence; and anger and hatred.

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  1. Golde, Frame, Hitchings, Duane S., Lambert, Dennis, and Shakur, Tupac. Lyrics to “Hit Em Up.” SongMeanings, 2018
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