Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Sorry I'm A Champion..... "Lost Ones" by Jay-Z & my thoughts on its meaning

Okay, here's a little change of pace, I'll do a little analysis today of a song that I've really been thinking a lot about lately.

Jay-Z's last album "Kingdom Come" was disappointing to some who expected to be completely blown away. But much like most things in life, often times we have an expectation for something mind-blowing or big without really thinking what exactly would be required for you to be satisfied (e.g. New Years). As such it's sorta like the guy can't really rap about selling drugs or living in the projects when that's not what he does anymore. Instead he ends up rhyming about his current life style to varying degrees of success.

Unlike a lot of stuff you'll hear on the radio "Lost Ones" actually shows an incredible amount of honesty. Instead of flossing about money, cash, & hoes, Jay-Z rhymes about losing someone. "Lost Ones" is really about three people Jay's lost, whether it be professionally, relationship-wise, and in his family. If you actually consider yourself a friend of mine then you know I put this song on my last podcast :)

Uh, Uh, Uh, Uh
It's Not A Diss Song, It's Just A Real Song
Feel Me?

I Heard Motherfuckers Saying They Made Hov
Made Hov Say, "ok So, Make Another Hov"
Niggaz Wasn't Playing They Day Role
So We Parted Ways Like Ben And J-lo
I Shoulda Been Did It But I Been In A Daze Though
I Put Friends Over Business End Of The Day Though
But When Friends, Business Interests As They Go
Ain't Nothing Left To Say Though
I Guess We Forgot What We Came Fo'
Shoulda Stayed In Food And Beverage
Too Much Flossing
Too Much Sam Rothstein
I Ain't A Bitch But I Gotta Divorce Them
Hov Have To Get The Shallow Shit Up Off Him
And I Ain't Even Want To Be Famous
Niggaz Is Brainless To Unnecessarily Go Through These Changes
And I Ain't Even Know How It Came To This
Except That Fame Is
The Worst Drug Known To Man
It's Stronger Than, Heroin
When You Could Look In The Mirror Like, "there I Am"
And Still Not See, What You've Become
I Know I'm Guilty Of It Too But, Not Like Them
You Lost One

[chorus W/ Marsha (jay-z)]
Lose One, Let Go To Get One
Left One, Lose Some To Win Some (you Lost One)
Sorry I'm A Champion, Sorry I'm A Champion
You Lost One

I Don't Think It's Meant To Be, Be
But She Loves Her Work More Than She Does Me
And Honestly, At Twenty-three
I Would Probably Love My Work More Than I Did She
So B, Ain't We
It's Me, And Her
'cause What She Prefers Over Me, Is Work
And That's, Where We, Differ
So I Have To Give Her
Free, Time, Even If It Hurts
So Breathe, Mami, It's Deserved
You've Been Put On This Earth To Be
All You Can Be, Like The Reserves
And Me? My Time In The Army, It's Served
So I Have To Allow She, Her, Time To Serve
The Time's Now For Her
In Time She'll Mature
And Maybe We, Can Be, We, Again Like We Were
Finally, My Time's Too Short To Share
And To Ask Her Now, It Ain't Fair
So Yeah, She Lost One

Lose One, Let Go To Get One
Left One, Lose Some To Win Some (oh Yeah, She Lost One)
Sorry I'm A Champion, Sorry I'm A Champion
You Lost One

My Nephew In The Car I Bought
So I'm Under The Belief It's Partly My Fault
Close My Eyes And Squeeze, Try To Block That Thought
Place Any Burden On Me, But Please, Not That Lord
Time Don't Go Back, It Go Forward
Can't Run From The Pain, Go Towards It
Some Things Can't Be Explained, What Caused It?
Such A Beautiful Soul, So Pure, Shit
Gonna See You Again, I'm Sure Of It
Til That Time, Little Man I'm Nauseous
Your Girlfriend's Pregnant, The Lord's Gift
Almost Lost My Faith, That Restored It
It's Like Having Your Life Restarted
Can't Wait For Your Child's Life, To Be A Part Of It
So Now I'm Child-like, Waiting For A Gift
To Return, When I Lost You, I Lost It

Lose One, Let Go To Get One
Left One, Lose Some To Win Some (colleek, I Lost One)
Sorry I'm A Champion, Colleek, You're A Champion
You Lost One
The first stanza (in purple) is about Damon Dash, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella records with Jay-Z had split from to head up Def Jam records. They went from buddies to professionally divorced. Particularly interesting is Hova's rhyme that "We forgot what we came fo' ... I ain't even know how it came to this/Except that fame is the worst drug know to man"

The second stanza (in green) I believe is about Beyonce. Basically he says that his relationship with her is not what it used to be because she still wants to pursue her professional career and put their relationship on the backburner. He even hints about marriage (I think) by saying "to ask her now, it ain't fair." Although "ask[ing] her" could just refer to asking her to choose him over her work...

But I think the most poignant lines are in the third stanza (in blue). Jay writes about the guilt he feels about having someone die in a car that he purchased. "My nephew died in the car I bought/So I'm under the belief that it's partly my fault." The car he bought refers to his nephew Colleek Luckie who died in a car accident in June 2005. Jay had bought the 18-year old a Chrysler 300 as his graduation present. He then continues "You girlfriend's pregnant, the Lord's gift...It's like having your life restarted/Can't wait for your child's life, to be a part of it." This really touching stuff about a guy who is haunted by something which is not his fault. At the end he then changes the chorus from "Sorry I'm a champion" to "Colleek you're a champion"

I know it's a little weird to go stanza by stanza for a song but I just think that in hip-hop these days you don't see a lot of very honest songs and this one struck me. Like most songs I guess I get lured in by the beat first, the lyrics second. This is a mellow slow fire which I would say is a gem on an album which is actually not too bad when you take a step back and listen to it.

watch the video....


Anjali said...

Excuse me, but could you please decipher the meaning of Jay-Z's other poetic epic "Girls Girl Girls"?

Thank you. I await your findings.

Faiza said...

haha anjalis jkzz..girls girls girls was before he met beyonce boo..anyway i love this song i lvoe tht chu broke up the stanzas an whatevr=)

hc said...

a great entry with an insightful analysis of the song. breaking it down by stanza was good. keep up the good work!

Shakes said...

hey thanks for the props...once in a while I actually do try to be serious :)

Anonymous said...

hey :) thanx for song lyrics, an especially for analise, coz this i think is most important. keep doing what u doing, it helps ppl not to understand the songs, but also they lifes... sometimes ppl dont have much time to think what somebody meant with some lyrics, so thats why u should be the lyric guide to ppl, its really great mission. :)

mikeyd said...

you idiot its not " i never died in the car i bought" its "my nephew died in the car i bought" your a terrible analyzer

Shakes said...

@mikedy, don't be retarded. it's funny how your comment mocking a typo in my post, actually contained a typo (two of them).

good work.

more importantly, if you actually read my analysis you'd see that it's based off of the proper lyrics. before you say my analysis sucks you should think about stating why it does first.

crawl back into your little hole.

Anonymous said...

That was very well put. thanks.know i understand the song.