"If Jeezy's paying LeBron, I'm paying Dwyane Wade."
That line from Hova's "Empire State of Mind" is misheard and misunderstood all the time. "The Really Big Show" tackled the question of what the line means a few weeks ago, brushing aside one theory that it was about cocaine pricing in favor of an incorrect explanation that said Jeezy owns part of some NBA team, and that Jay-Z would sign Dwyane Wade if Jeezy's team signed LeBron.
In Young Jeezy's song "24-23 (Kobe-Lebron)," Jeezy uses the players' jersey numbers to articulate the price he's paying of a kilogram of cocaine.
The chorus of that song goes, "I used to pay Kobe , but now I pay LeBron ." This means that he used to pay $24,000 for a kilo of coke, whereas now? He only pays $23,000, you see.
So. In "Empire," Jay-Z takes this one step further, so as to show his impressive status in New York. He suggests that, while Jeezy may be paying $23,000, Jay-Z is paying a mere $3000 (expressed as Dwyane Wade's jersey number) for a kilo of cocaine.
Jeezy will naturally have to respond. Maybe something like:
"If Jay-Z payin' Dwyane Wade, I'm payin' Darnell Jackson ."
But then everyone would be confused because no one knows who Darnell Jackson is, and that doesn't make for good rap songs.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.