In Case You Ever Wondered About That LeBron/Jeezy Line in "Empire State of Mind"




"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.


The Awl gives the proper explanation:

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 [24], but now I pay LeBron [23]." 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 [00]."

But then everyone would be confused because no one knows who Darnell Jackson is, and that doesn't make for good rap songs.

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