Meaning of “I Got 5 on It” by Luniz (ft. Michael Marshall)
Succinctly put, Luniz’s “I Got 5 On It” is an ode to enjoying grass, i.e. weed, in a cypher. A cypher is basically when an individual is enjoying a smoke with one or more associates. Thus in the chorus the singer is telling the addressee, his smoking partner, that he has “five” dollars. And he wants the addressee to likewise come up with five bucks so that they can purchase a “sack” of “Indo weed”, with indo being a ubiquitous-colloquial term from that era pointing to highly-intoxicating grass.
One of the premises behind this song is the idea that the Luniz, who are the guys who actually want to participate in a cypher, don’t have enough financial resources to pull one off on their own. But they’re not going to let such trivialities stop them. Indeed the issue that seems more pressing isn’t so much their own lack as that of those around them. As such they are not privy on the idea of letting anyone smoke with them without said person making some type of contribution.
But overall the financial situation of the artists is more like the gimmick of the track. For they make it abundantly clear that, generally speaking, they have no issues with getting high and drunk regularly. Rather, as alluded to earlier, “I Got 5 on It” is a song dedicated to the idea of getting high and drunk regularly. So if nothing else, the listener will walk away knowing that such intoxication is something the lyricists enjoy.
Facts about “I Got 5 on It”
“I Got 5 on It” was brought to us by Luniz, sort of a one-hit wonder hip-hop duo from Cali.
In fact it is the lead single from their first album, “Operation Stackola”. And it was released by Virgin Records and Noo Trybe Records with the album on 4 July 1995.
This track can also be considered the signature song of R&B singer’s Michael Marshall’s career.
“I Got 5 on It” scored globally, charting in Oceania, Europe and the United States, which included scoring a number 1 in the Netherlands, number 8 on the Hot 100 and number 3 on the UK Singles Chart.
Moreover this song has been certified Platinum in both Germany and the United States. In fact Billboard declared it one of the top sellers of 1995.
Part of the appeal of “I Got 5 on It” is its catchy instrumental. It uses samples from three songs which predated it. First is “Jungle Boogie”, a 1973 track by Kool and the Gang. Second is the classic R&B tune “Why You Treat Me So Bad” (1987) by Club Nouveau. And third is the classic rap song “Top Billin’” (1987) by the Audio Two.
Being that this song relies on so many prominent samples, there are quite a few co-writers credited. So in addition to the Luniz themselves (Numskull and Yukmouth), the aforementioned Michael Marshall and the track’s producer, Tone Capone, we also have Robert “Kool” Bell, Khalis Bayyan, Don Boyce, George Melvin Brown, Denzel Foster, Jay King, Thomas McElroy, Roberts Mickens, Dennis Thomas, Claydes Smith, Ricky West
And the instrumental has gone on to be sampled by a number of other rappers, including Puff Daddy (1999) and Meek Mill (2013).