As always, the lyrics first. The verse starts about 40 seconds in.
Who put a stick in the spokes and broke your momentum?
The same one they said was a joke is soldier to venom
Pendulum swing swing shit
I was Edgar Allen po’ most of life, but now I’m Richie Rich (ching ching)
Fresh air, fundamentalist bottling oxygen
Recovering sneaker freak seeking a hangar to keep the boxes in
Box me in? You got Harry Houdini balls
Thundercat, disappearing act, you couldn’t see the pause
Three lines back, rewind that, and register
Now you know how Joan of Arc felt when they killed the messenger
Birthed cursed and gifted, I burped, puked, and shitted
On any of these pedestrians claiming this shit’s a gimmick
I’m aiming to make a statement
You claiming to be the greatest
But I am not impressed in the slightest
I hope your ghostwriters get arthritis
And it’s back to square one
Alchemist and Travie, the saga’s only begun
This is the guy from Gym Class Heroes, right? He’s the guy who dated Katy Perry? He’s the same one who was mooning over her while ripping off Supertramp and spitting tongue-twisting lines while reinterpreting Jermaine Stewart’s “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off”, saying “Change my name to Mr. Did-He-Really-Say-That-Shh?”
Because he sounds like an entirely different dude here. He comes with a biting, perfectly metered verse that may or may not be taking shots at the frog’s croak on the hook. “I’m aiming to make a statement/You claiming to be the greatest/But I am not impressed in the slightest/I hope your ghostwriters get arthritis/And it’s back to square one,” is a hell of a statement, both melodically and figuratively, from a guy who owes his career to Fall Out Boy, directed at the last guy to sell a million CDs in a week.
But then, Wayne launched himself into ionospheric heights with a few well-aimed and utterly ludicrous shots at Jay-Z that stuck. Now all Travie has to do is continue on the road to the riches and diamond rings by turning into the world’s most profligate promethazine-swiller and most productive rapper. This verse is a start.