Juicy by The Notorious B.I.G. Lyrics Meaning – A Testament to Triumph and Hip-Hop’s Promised Land

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The Notorious B.I.G.'s Juicy at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


(Fuck all you hoes! Get a grip, motherfucker!)

Yeah, this album is dedicated
To all the teachers that told me I’d never amount to nothin’
To all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of
Called the police on me when I was just tryin’ to make some money to feed my daughter (it’s all good)
And all the niggas in the struggle
You know what I’m sayin’? It’s all good, baby baby

It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up! magazine
Salt-n-Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine
Hangin’ pictures on my wall
Every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl
I let my tape rock ’til my tape popped
Smokin’ weed in Bambu, sippin’ on Private Stock
Way back, when I had the red and black lumberjack
With the hat to match
Remember Rappin’ Duke? Duh-ha, duh-ha
You never thought that hip-hop would take it this far
Now I’m in the limelight ’cause I rhyme tight
Time to get paid, blow up like the World Trade
Born sinner, the opposite of a winner
Remember when I used to eat sardines for dinner
Peace to Ron G, Brucie B, Kid Capri
Funkmaster Flex, Lovebug Starski
I’m blowin’ up like you thought I would
Call the crib, same number, same hood
It’s all good (it’s all good)
And if you don’t know, now you know, nigga

You know very well
Who you are
Don’t let ’em hold you down
Reach for the stars
You had a goal
But not that many
‘Cause you’re the only one
I’ll give you good and plenty

I made the change from a common thief
To up close and personal with Robin Leach
And I’m far from cheap
I smoke skunk with my peeps all day
Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way
The Moët and Alizé keep me pissy
Girls used to diss me
Now they write letters ’cause they miss me
I never thought it could happen, this rappin’ stuff
I was too used to packin’ gats and stuff
Now honeys play me close like butter play toast
From the Mississippi down to the East Coast
Condos in Queens, indo for weeks
Sold-out seats to hear Biggie Smalls speak
Livin’ life without fear
Puttin’ five karats in my baby girl’s ear
Lunches, brunches, interviews by the pool
Considered a fool ’cause I dropped out of high school
Stereotypes of a black male misunderstood
And it’s still all good
And if you don’t know, now you know, nigga

You know very well
Who you are
Don’t let ’em hold you down
Reach for the stars
You had a goal
But not that many
‘Cause you’re the only one
I’ll give you good and plenty

Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis
When I was dead broke, man, I couldn’t picture this
50-inch screen, money-green leather sofa
Got two rides, a limousine with a chauffeur
Phone bill about two G’s flat
No need to worry, my accountant handles that
And my whole crew is loungin’
Celebratin’ every day, no more public housin’
Thinkin’ back on my one-room shack
Now my mom pimps a Ac’ with minks on her back
And she loves to show me off of course
Smiles every time my face is up in The Source
We used to fuss when the landlord dissed us
No heat, wonder why Christmas missed us
Birthdays was the worst days
Now we sip Champagne when we thirsty
Uh, damn right, I like the life I live
‘Cause I went from negative to positive
And it’s all (It’s all good, nigga)
And if you don’t know, now you know, nigga

You know very well
Who you are
Don’t let ’em hold you down
And if you don’t know, now you know, nigga
Reach for the stars
You had a goal
But not that many
‘Cause you’re the only one
And if you don’t know, now you know, nigga
I’ll give you good and plenty

Representin’ B-Town in the house
Junior Mafia, mad flavor
Uh, uh, yeah, aight

You know very well
Who you are
Don’t let ’em hold you down
Reach for the stars
You had a goal
But not that many
‘Cause you’re the only one
I’ll give you good and plenty

Biggie Smalls, it’s all good, nigga
Junior Mafia, it’s all good, nigga
Bad Boy, it’s all good, nigga
It’s all good
That’s right, ’94
And on and on, and on and on
You know very well
Who you are
Don’t let ’em hold you down
Reach for the stars

Full Lyrics

In the pantheon of hip-hop anthems that have shaped the genre, ‘Juicy’ by The Notorious B.I.G. stands as a gilded monument to the dreams and realities of urban life. Released as a lead single from his debut album ‘Ready to Die’ in 1994, ‘Juicy’ is not just a track – it’s an autobiography etched in vinyl, a self-fulfilled prophecy that gripped the collective consciousness of the streets and the charts alike.

Far beyond the looping sample from Mtume’s ‘Juicy Fruit’ lays a narrative of transformation, of a life marinated in struggle that finds its redemption in success. Each verse peels back layers of Christopher Wallace’s journey, painting a mural of an era, an ascent, and the eternality of hope. It is in dissecting these verbal brushstrokes that ‘Juicy’ emerges as an intricate testament, airy in its celebratory beats yet dense with a street-smart philosophy.

From Starving to Stardom: The Real American Dream

The candid confessional of Wallace’s early life is unapologetically vivid. ‘I used to read Word Up! magazine,’ he reminisces, reminiscing over formative experiences with hip-hop culture. These lines traverse through time, from the tangible ‘red and black lumberjack With the hat to match’ to the intangibles of ambition and inspiration fueled by icons of the era rotoscoped in his mind’s wall of fame.

The transition from ‘sardines for dinner’ to explosive fame is not simply a rags-to-riches trope. It’s the gritty appropriation of the American Dream, reconfigured by the urban reality. The layers of aspiration encoded in these lyrics speak volumes of a dream that draws breath from the streets, of a pursuit that started with nothing but the ‘juicy’ potential of a ‘born sinner’.

Decoding Symbolism: The Odes to Resilience in ‘Juicy’

Much more than a reflection on success, ‘Juicy’ is a mosaic of symbols that endorse resilience. B.I.G. hints at the landmarks and lifestyle tenements of the time – ‘Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis’, which were not just game consoles, but trophies of a childhood deprived and then lavishly adorned.

The ‘one-room shack’ and ‘no heat on Christmas’ depicted a past marred by poverty, while ‘money-green leather sofa’ and ‘sippin’ Champagne when we thirsty’ capture the newfound immersion in luxury. However, hidden within the champagne bubbles and the throws of ultra-purist materialism are deeper truths about social mobility, systemic barriers, and the determination to break free from them.

Unveiling The Hidden Meaning Behind ‘Blow Up Like the World Trade’

Possibly one of the most misunderstood lines of the song, ‘Time to get paid, blow up like the World Trade’ is not a psychic premonition of future tragedies but a double entendre referring to a past event. The World Trade Center was bombed in 1993, and Biggie uses this as a metaphor for his explosive rise in the hip-hop industry.

This line arguably encapsulates the song’s hidden essence: the violent metamorphosis of an individual and an art form. B.I.G.’s success came through shattering perceptions, overcoming odds, and unsettling the status quo. ‘Juicy’ is thus a chronicle of triumph and a reminder that acclaim often has its roots in turmoil.

An Ode to the Fallen: Remembering The Voices That Shaped an Icon

Biggie pays homage to the figures of his musical milieu – the DJs and rappers like ‘Mr. Magic’, ‘Marley Marl’, and ‘Lovebug Starski’, who were beacons in the dark alleys of his journey. These shout-outs are a homage to the shoulders of giants upon which he stood, but also a recognition of the kinship and collaboration that forms the bedrock of hip-hop culture.

The serenade of names drops serves not only as a humble acknowledgment but also as a ribbon tying the past to the present – a way of honoring the lineage of an art form that made room for his voice. Biggie understood his success was not isolated but was part of a continuum, a collective history of beats, rhymes, and life lessons.

The Memorable Lines That Defined a Generation

‘And if you don’t know, now you know, nigga’ – serves not just as a catchy hook, but as an invocation of awareness, to know one’s worth and to own one’s story. These words resonate, not just as a triumphal ending to each chorus but as a reminder that self-knowledge is the cornerstone of empowerment.

These words, etched into the minds of listeners, proffer a wealth of wisdom within the space of a bar. They impel listeners to recognize their potential, confront ignorance, and value the arc of their narratives. It is this universal significance, this magnetic catchphrase, that has immortalized ‘Juicy’ in the lexicon of cultural zeitgeist.

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