Home » Hip-Hop Lyrical Analysis

Hip-Hop Lyrical Analysis

Today, @kingthanos and I meet for the first time to analyze lyrics from two of our favorite hip-hop artists.

First, we looked at Immortal Technique‘s “4th Branch:”

This song explores the concept of the “4th Branch” of the U.S. government, identified by Technique as U.S. corporate media interests.


We discussed the hypocrisy of the U.S. “war on terrorism” and doctrine of “bringing democracy to the oppressed,” which Technique highlights by referencing events in Iraq, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Jenin (Palestine).


The second song we examined was “I Gave You Power,” by Nas.


In this one, Nas personifies a gun, rapping about his purpose and (mis)use.  His gun-self tells us why he was made:

“I was made to kill, that’s why they keep me concealed.”

“My creation was for Blacks to kill Blacks.”

This interestingly led @kingthanos and I to think of the same scene from the movie, Friday:

What kind of power does the gun give?

He gives confidence, the power to take a life, but not safety and security– “I see niggas bleeding, running from me in fear.  Stunningly tears fall down the eyes of these so-called tough guys.”

In the end, the gun rebels against it’s very purpose, and decides to jam itself to prevent another senseless killing:

“He pulled the trigger but I held on, it felt wrong // Knowing niggas is waiting in hell for him // He Squeezed harder, I didn’t budge, sick of the blood // Sick of the thugs, sick of the wrath of the next man’s grudge.”

Unfortunately, there is another that is willing, and the gun’s owner is shot down.  It isn’t the gun that kills- it only gives the power- it’s the human with his finger on the trigger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *