“Jail, Pt. 2” by Kanye West (ft. DaBaby and Marilyn Manson)

Kanye West’s “Jail, Pt. 2” is a complicated piece, or perhaps more accurately we can say one that is multi-subjected in sort of a subliminal way. But generally speaking the term “jail”, as used within, doesn’t point solely to the concept of being incarcerated or even in trouble with the law. Rather it speaks to the idea of being condemned, either by outside forces, as touched upon by DaBaby, or internally, as implied by Kanye.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Dababy's Jail, Pt. 2 at Lyrics.org.

In fact all of us familiar with Yeezy know that as far as rappers go, he’s one of the more clean-cut acts in the game. So in the first verse when he alludes to himself once having been arrested or what have you, again such is likely not meant to be taken literally. 

A Trip to Jail

And when Kanye asks “guess who’s going to jail tonight” within the context of the second verse, what it actually reads like he’s speaking to is the notion of karma. More specifically, since he mentions the victim being stricken with “single life” and all, it sounds like Yeezus (backed by Dem Jointz) is mocking someone, presumably his ex, who “made a choice” that caused the dissolution of their romance and now is trying, unsuccessfully, to get back with him. 

So by referencing “jail”, what Kanye is actually saying is something like karma is a b–ch once it actually catches up with you.

It can also be understood that he’s referring, in part, to the same troubled romance in the first verse, i.e. domestic “violence” between himself and the addressee. And in that regard, i.e. in relation to the pre-chorus, Kanye is not trying to come off as if he’s innocent, thus the afore-referenced mention of his “priors”. 

Or as the vocalist puts it, “we all lairs” and have had to deal with the negative consequences of our dishonesty, in one or another, in the past.  But as far as ”who’s going to jail to tonight” that would obviously be the addressee, his romantic interest, who has now been exposed or ostracized by Yeezus.

DaBaby steps in

DaBaby also dedicates ample lyrics to romantic interests and at one point later in his verse likewise implies having issues with an unruly female. But let’s not forget that 2021, the same year this song was dropped, was also when DaBaby was being served a hot plate of cancel culture due to some anti-gay remarks that he made in public. 

And in response he feels that certain parties, i.e. those who tried to cancel him, took thing too far. In other words, cancellation, as it is defined in such circumstances in relation to celebrities, means denying someone exposure and work opportunity – such as DaBaby resultantly being dropped from a number of music festivals. That also means that he lost out on a few paychecks. So what the vocalist is really saying is that those who took his statements to that level denied his family food.

But he “ain’t really mad” at ‘em. Instead, that ordeal also revealed to DaBaby who’s who as far as his true friends are concerned. Moreover it served as a hard dose of real-world education, with the implication being that next time something like this may happen he’ll be more prepared to deal with it.

DaBaby also harps on certain less-than-ideal aspects of his upbringing, seemingly trying to evoke sympathy from the audience. As of the writing of this post some six months after the fact, the backlash against him has died down. But back when it was still fresh, yes, at times it did seem like DaBaby might take a major, career-ending L. 

But overall, what he’s putting forth is that even certain “haters open(ed) up the jail” and tried to cast him therein, he’s not intent on going out like that.

Long and Short of “Jail, Pt. 2”

So again, what the word “jail”, as used in this song, is to some degree open to listener interpretation. But for the most part, Kanye and the gang aren’t referring to literal incarceration. Rather “jail” is some type of unfavorable condition of extreme personal discontent that one can cast themselves in or be put in by others. As such, theoretically any of us can face the threat of being cast into “jail” at any given time.

But that said, Yeezus, DaBaby and Manson even – someone who is concurrently dealing with his own cancel-culture woes – assert that at the end of the day God will save them from such trials.

"Jail, Pt. 2" Lyrics

Facts about “Jail, Pt. 2”

“Jail, Pt. 2” was released on August 29 of 2021 as part of rapper Kanye West’s album, “Donda”. West had two big names, DaBaby and Marilyn Manson featured on the track.

“Jail, Pt. 2” was composed by a team, comprising its performers, West, DaBaby, Marilyn Manson and the following songwriters:

  • 88-Keys
  • Dem Jointz
  • John Moylett
  • Malik Yusef
  • Mark Williams
  • Raul Cubina
  • Sean Solymar
  • Warryn Campbell

The chorus of “Jail, Pt. 2” is sung by Kanye and Marilyn Manson. This is actually the first time that West and Manson are working together in a professional capacity.

It should be noted that the vibe (including the drum solo) of “Jail, Pt. 2” sounds very similar to Phil Collins’ iconic hit “In The Air Tonight“.

The “Donda” Album

Donda” happens to be the American rapper’s 10th studio album. It was originally scheduled for release in July of 2020 but experienced a number of delays before its eventual release in August of the following year.

The album features quite a number of acts including, the Playboi Carti, Lil Baby, the Weeknd, Jay-Z and Vory.

The following songs were released as singles from the album:

On the 5th of August 2021 “Donda” set a record for having the biggest live stream on the music streaming platform, Apple Music. This happened during a public listening event for the album which took place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

The album put up an impressive performance on charts across the globe. It peaked at No.1 in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Italy, New Zealand and many other countries.

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