|Posted by Kristen Geil on October 25, 2011 at 10:55 AM|
For those of you who aren't Twitter-savvy yet, listen up, because this is one of my favorite aspects of The Twitter thus far in our relationship. Every morning, Jay Bilas lovingly selects an inspiring rap lyric and tweets it to the world, followed by the catchphrase, "I gotta go to work." With that simple press of a touch-screen, my morning is jumpstarted and I am ready to attack the day myself; often, I too tweet an IGGTW message in hopes of having the same impact on some of my followers. In this blog feature, I thoughtfully analyze Jay Bilas's IGGTW tweet and how you, the everyday reader, can apply it to YOUR dreary mornings before work. Let's get it on.
Instead of hearing from Jay Bilas, today we will be analyzing the lyrics chosen by my baby sister, Rachel Geil, aka the Prodigy. Rachel has made it her personal mission to tweet inspirational lyrics before she goes to school (as a high school senior, she has yet to ever go to a real day of work in her life. I've worked since I was 15 and currently have 3 jobs. I'm not bitter). Much like Jay idolizes Young Jeezy, Rachel has chosen Kanye West as her modern day prophet. Today, I really liked her lyrics. Also, I want to switch it up before Jay Bilas gets too big of an ego (even though he has yet to acknowledge my tweets). Rachel, leggo.
@rgeil3: Alpha, step. Omega, step. Kappa, step. Sigma, step. Gangstas walk, pimps gon' talk. Oh hecky naw that boy is raw. I gotta go to school.
From Kanye West's highly acclaimed debut album The College Dropout, the single "School Spirit" parodies Greek life as it relates to Kanye's experience dropping out of school. Let me give you some more context: Kanye received a scholarship to attend Chicago Academy of Arts for painting, and quickly transferred to Chicago State University to major in English. While taking classes, Kanye simultaneously pursued his rap career and realized that he would never be able to be truly devoted to one without giving up the other. So, at the age of 20, he risked the wrath of his mother (a professor at CSU and prominent figure in his life) and became a college dropout. Of his decision to quit school, his mother commented, "It was drummed into my head that college is the ticket to a good life... but some career goals don't require college. For Kanye to make an album called College Dropout, it was more about having the guts to embrace who you are, rather than following the path society has carved out for you."
Kanye takes an unusual stance in this song, telling his listeners that school isn't always the best path for everyone. In fact, sometimes it can get in the way of "chasin' y'all dreams and what you got planned." Sometimes, a college degree isn't even that useful, especially in this economy: "This n word graduated at the top of my class.. I went to Cheesecake, he was a motherfudging waiter there." Interesting, Rachel, that you would choose this lyrics before heading off to high school. Are you foreshadowing something here?
Let's continue under the assumption that Rachel is not, in fact, about to break my mother's heart and drop out of school. This may be a stretch, but when Kanye/Rachel reference alpha and omega, they could subtly be stating that they are the best around, from the beginning to the end. Alpha also has the connotation of leadership and power; stepping with one's alpha foot would mean being a leader for all the other hustlers in the game.
Sigma and kappa... I got nothing there, besides some nerdy math and psychology usages.
"Gangsta's walk, pimps gon' talk. 'Oh, hecky naw, that boy is raw.'" With this statement, Rachel and Kanye illustrate some typical behaviors of those around them. A gangsta's walk is easily identified by its signature limp that results from a shootout injury or something of the sort; therefore, it implies a toughness gleaned from true-life street experience. Pimps are always going to talk about your business, but pay them no heed, as they are only trying to distract you. Having people talk about you and call you 'raw' only means you're doing great things. Kanye and Rachel seem to believe that any press is good press; Young Jeezy, by contrast, would probably advocate keeping your head down and avoiding trouble. The two conflicting viewpoints set up an interesting debate as to which is a better path to success.
Ladies and gentlemen, Rachel Geil has gone to school.