48 by Tyler the Creator Lyrics Meaning – The Heartbeat of Hustle and Consequence

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Tyler the Creator's 48 at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


Crack fucked up the world, and I wonder if they realized the damage
I mean, they come from an era who made a lot of money of that shit
I wonder if it fucked with their conscience
It fucked with me being out there, I couldn’t stand it
I couldn’t stand seeing people fucking themselves up like that on the shit
And that’s where the money came from

48, 48, 48 states I get it in
48, 48, 48 states I get it in
They call me Mr. Treat your nose
If you really need some blow
I can get it for the low

48, 48, 48 states I get it in
48, 48, 48 states I get it in
They call me Mr. Treat your nose
If you really need some blow
I can get it for the low

Shit is getting warmer on that corner
Gotta watch out for them 5-0 phoners
Your mother is a goner
I warned you before you super sized my fries with that dollar
You got a daughter, shits getting harder
The only thing you wanna bump her was your freedom
You can’t afford to get caught up but you in too deep
And the seashore ain’t soil
You got a mother, she don’t support you
But you bought her a new house cause you love her
Growing up you barely had a roof
Now you got a coupe and it doesn’t have a roof
I guess you’re accustomed to what you’re used to
So you bought two nigga
They are coming for you nigga
Niggas be hating I’m doing them bitches
Like Susan and Karen be doing your pockets
And running the man and he’s losing his fucking mind and it’s all an illusion
Who was alluding all of this potent
I am the reason your family is using and shootin’ up, it’s my fault
You can blame me motherfucker, for killin’ your aunties and uncles
The hustle and hunger, all I wanted was a cheeseburger
And a little chain, tuck, didn’t realize this game fucked up some lives
Oh how’s mine my conscience eats it up all the time
But other than that I’m fine, I got a little money in my pocket

48, 48, 48 states I get it in
48, 48, 48 states I get it in
They call me Mr. Treat your nose
If you really need some blow
I can get it for the low nigga

48, 48, 48 states I get it in
48, 48, 48 states I get it in
They call me Mr. Treat your nose
If you really need some blow
I can get it for the low

Nigga, we broke as fuck
Homie got a chop shop I sold that truck
And I sold that dope
Motherfuckers hope this nigga go broke
But like my work I give no fucks, I’m sorry
She could have been a doctor, nigga, I’m sorry
Could have been a actor and won that Oscar, said, I’m sorry
I sold that soap and I killed black folk, I’m sorry
But I got a nice car, put my sister through school
While my momma all cool, I’m sorry
I’m in too deep and I can’t see the shore, I’m sorry

You get addicted to the flip, the transaction, the hustling
Even more than the money, it’s just your job
You feel like it’s your duty to be the man in between the man
And make this happen for that person, to do this and do that
You become the go to guy forever and next thing you know you’re in too deep
Way too deep, scare the shit out of you
You wind up with so much work, that you’ll be scared to death
It’s important for us to realize man, we gotta get out of that man
Dudes is buying choppers to shoot down people that look just like them
Dudes is buying guns to take down each other, nobody wins
Ya known what I mean?

Full Lyrics

Tyler the Creator’s ’48’ is not just a song; it’s a cinematic tableau of struggle, ambition, and the stark reality of life lived on the edge of society’s legal limits. Told with the raw candor that Tyler is celebrated for, ’48’ strips away the glamour of the hustle to reveal the haunting underbelly of success built on the back of communal devastation.

The track from the album ‘Wolf’ delves into the psyche of a drug dealer who sees the full map of America as his playground while simultaneously grappling with the moral implications of his actions. Blistering with introspection and societal critique, Tyler the Creator orchestrates a thought-provoking narrative set to the rhythm of his unique lyrical prowess.

The Echoes of Crack: Understanding the Song’s Raw Opener

Tyler doesn’t hesitate in diving headfirst into the dark history of crack’s impact on society. The song begins with a monologue that feels like a flashback to the heydays of the crack epidemic, highlighting the generation whose wealth accumulation came at a high cost to their own community’s health and wellbeing.

’48’ uses these opening lines to set up a dialog between the financial allure of drug dealing and the significant moral quandaries it creates. This painful awareness colors the remainder of the narrative, challenging listeners to also grapple with the complex issues surrounding poverty, addiction, and economic desperation.

Nationwide Desperation: Dissecting the Omni-Present Reach of ’48’

The chant ’48, 48, 48 states I get it in’ isn’t just a boast about commercial reach; it’s a suffocating realization that the protagonist’s actions have consequences stretching coast to coast. It’s a reflection of a system that goes beyond individual choice and speaks to a widespread crisis.

Tyler cleverly contrasts ‘Mr. Treat your nose’—a playful moniker—as a nod to the drug dealer’s notoriety with the severe fallout from the narcotics trade. This duality paints a picture of a persona that is lionized and reviled, addicting and destructive, loved and lamented, encapsulating the dichotomy at the heart of ’48’.

The Irreversible Ripple: The Song’s Hidden Meaning

’48’ is more than a narrative about drug distribution; it’s a microcosm of the systemic issues that perpetuate cycles of poverty and crime. Tyler the Creator examines how quick financial solutions often lead to long-term community damage, questioning the worth of material success when weighed against societal decay.

Through the lens of the drug dealer’s introspection and regret, Tyler confronts listeners with the unseen costs of drug use and distribution. Each verse peels back layers of justification to reveal a core of understanding the irreversible ripple effect of their choices, implicating the dealer and, by extension, the listener in the shared responsibility.

Memorable Lines: ‘Traveling Down the Narrow Path of Morality and Materialism’

Lines like ‘The only thing you wanna bump her was your freedom’ and ‘Could have been a doctor, nigga, I’m sorry’ reflect a tense balance between pride, remorse, and the fleeting nature of freedom in this high-stakes lifestyle. Each word resonates with the weight of what could have been versus what is.

These bars aren’t just memorable for their clever wordplay; they’re etched in the mind for their raw depiction of the transactional nature of life on the edge. They articulate the tension between survival instincts and the human desire for growth and redemption, illuminating the personal cost embedded in each sale.

The Conclusion’s Caution: ‘We Gotta Get Out of That, Man’

As the song winds down, a spoken word outro serves as a final reckoning. It’s a clarion call to recognize the depths of the problem and the urgent need to change—a sobering reminder from the narrator who finds himself ‘in too deep’ and now understands the futility of fighting fire with fire.

’48’ doesn’t just land a gut punch with its brilliant storytelling—it also leaves room for redemption and transformation. With these parting words, Tyler the Creator empowers the listener to envision a different path, one of healing and hope, rather than the deadly dance of the street hustle.

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