Machine Gun Funk – Unraveling Biggie’s Lexicon of the Streets


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The Notorious B.I.G.'s Machine Gun Funk at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Gospel According to Biggie: Truths and Trials
  5. The Highs of the Lows: The Allure and Illusion of Street Life
  6. Digging for the Deep Cut: The Hidden Meaning in the Funk
  7. Brooklyn’s Beat Drops: The Neighbourhood’s Narrative
  8. Standout Syntax: The Rhymes That Make Biggie Unforgettable

Lyrics

So you wanna be hardcore
With your hat to the back, talkin’ ’bout the gats in your raps
But I can’t feel that hardcore appeal
That you’re screamin’, maybe I’m dreamin’
This ain’t Christopher Williams, still some
MC’s got to feel one, caps I got to peel some
To let niggas know, that if you fuck with Big-and-Heavy
I get up in that ass like a wedgie
Says who? Says me, the lyrical
Niggas sayin’, “Biggie off the street, it’s a miracle”
Left the drugs alone, took the thugs along with me
Just for niggas actin’ shifty
Sticks and stones break bones, but the gat’ll kill you quicker
Especially when I’m drunk off the liquor
Smokin’ funk by the boxes, packin’ Glocks is
Natural to eat you niggas like chocolates
The funk baby

(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)

All I want is bitches, big booty bitches
Used to sell crack, so I could stack my riches
Now I pack gats, to stop all the snitches
From stayin’ in my business, what is this?
Relentless approach, to know if I’m broke or not
Just ’cause I joke and smoke a lot
Don’t mean I don’t tote the glock
Sixteen shots for my niggas in the pen
Until we motherfuckin’ meet again
Huh, I’m doin’ rhymes now, fuck the crimes now
Come on the ave, I’m real hard to find now
‘Cause I’m knee deep in the beats
In the Land Cruiser Jeep with the MAC-10 by the seats
For the jackers, the jealous ass crackers in the
I’ll make you prove that it’s bulletproof
Hold ya head, ’cause when you hit the bricks
I got gin, mad blunts, and bitches suckin’ dick
The funk baby

(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)

So I guess you know the story, the rap-side, crack-side
How I smoked funk, smacked bitches on the backside
Bed-Stuy, the place where my head rests
Fifty shot clip if a nigga wan’ test
The rocket launcher, Biggie stomped ya
High as a motherfuckin’ helicopter
That’s why I pack a nina, fuck a misdeameanor
Beatin’ motherfuckers like Ike beat Tina
What’s love got to do
When I’m rippin’ all through your whole crew
Strapped like bamboo, but I don’t sling guns
I got bags of funk, and it’s sellin’ by the tons
Niggas wanna know, how I live the mack life
Making money smoking mics like crack pipes
It’s type simple and plain to maintain
I add a little funk to the brain
The funk baby

(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)
(I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk)

Full Lyrics

Machine Gun Funk’ stands as an indomitable monument within The Notorious B.I.G.’s illustrious catalog. Christopher Wallace, better known as Biggie Smalls, has long been revered for his adroit lyricism and his ability to weave intricate tales of street life with remarkable clarity. The track, embedded deeply in the raw texture of 1990s New York City, captures the essence of an era and the grit of the street hustler’s spirit.

This song is not merely about the heavy bass line or the haunting samples; it’s a complex narrative that juggles themes of legitimacy, violence, and the hustle of the urban landscape. It’s a microscopic view into Biggie’s psyche, his personal evolution, and his interpretation of the ‘funk’ – a life drenched in the hard reality of Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy.

The Gospel According to Biggie: Truths and Trials

From the very first lines, Biggie separates the posers from the real deal. He reveals a disdain for those who fabricate a hardcore image without living the lifestyle, while simultaneously reflecting on his own journey. Biggie acknowledges his street past – the drugs and violence that were once part and parcel of his survival.

His direct and no-nonsense approach sheds light on the often-glamorized notion of street life in hip-hop. The song thus serves as both a reminder of his credibility and a warning to those who might emulate such a life without understanding the full spectrum of its dangers.

The Highs of the Lows: The Allure and Illusion of Street Life

The intoxicating blend of danger and success is a recurring theme within ‘Machine Gun Funk.’ For Biggie, the ‘funk’ encompasses the allure of fast money, the camaraderie among fellow hustlers, and the adrenaline rush of living on the edge. However, it’s not a glorification; there’s an undeniably dark undertone to this thrill.

Through his visceral descriptions, Biggie authentically portrays the highs that come laced with inevitable lows, such as the threat of snitches and the constant risk of violence that casts a long shadow over the so-called glamour of the streets.

Digging for the Deep Cut: The Hidden Meaning in the Funk

Of all the textures in ‘Machine Gun Funk,’ perhaps the most compelling is Biggie’s subtle nod to transitioning his life. He speaks of leaving drugs behind and taking friends along for a different kind of ride, one where his rhymes—his art—become his weapon of choice, not just for defense but for success.

There lies an undercurrent of aspiration, a hidden layer where Biggie aspires to a higher level of existence, moving away from the shackles of street life into the expressive world of music as his new hustle. This represents the intrinsic human pursuit of evolution and the search for a meaningful existence beyond one’s given circumstances.

Brooklyn’s Beat Drops: The Neighbourhood’s Narrative

Biggie’s lyrics don’t just tell his own tale; they serve as an ode to Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. The neighborhood becomes a central character in ‘Machine Gun Funk’, representing both the nurturing mother and the harsh teacher. It’s the soul of the song, the heartbeat that gives Biggie’s words a palpable gravity.

The borough’s tension, diversity, and vibe bleed through the music, making ‘Machine Gun Funk’ more biographical than fictional. It’s an homage that celebrates the community while acknowledging the toil and turmoil embedded in its streets.

Standout Syntax: The Rhymes That Make Biggie Unforgettable

Lines like ‘I live for the funk, I’ll die for the funk’ and ‘smokin’ funk by the boxes, packin’ Glocks is natural’ hit with the force of Biggie’s proverbial ‘gat.’ These words blend the everyday with the emblematic, creating memorable lines that pulse with the raw energy of street wisdom.

His rhymes reflect a lifestyle and an era, but they are eternally charged with the power of connection—listeners from all walks of life can find a piece of themselves within Biggie’s storytelling. And it’s this universality that cements ‘Machine Gun Funk’ as a masterpiece in the annals of hip-hop.

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