“On Sight” by Lil Skies
When “On Sight” came out, Lil Skies’ career was suffering from a decline since the admirable success he has achieved in the late 2010s. Various critics have chimed in to express that “On Sight” isn’t really anything to write home about. Perhaps such a disposition would have something to do with, on top of the track being a bit terse lyrically, the rapper not appearing to really be attempting to tread new or creative ground.
But the purpose of this post is not to critique the song but rather expound on what is being put forth therein.
Song’s Title (“On Sight”)
As far as the title goes, the meaning can be deemed twofold.
What it alludes to generally though is gun violence, i.e. the term “on sight”, in context, being an indirect reference to a gun scope. So on one hand, as relayed in the chorus, the vocalist relatedly boasts about running with a gang of “shooters”. But on the other, as also implied in the chorus and via the song’s cover art, Skies knows that he has enemies also, which would probably be one of the reasons why he’s runnin’ with trigger-happy thugs in the first place.
Song’s Sole Verse
Then, there is only one actual verse to this song, which doesn’t stick to that topic. Rap music tends to be both open and confined at the same time. In other words, rappers are not required to faithfully stick to a topic, as put forth in a title/chorus, as much as artists in some other genres are. Yet simultaneously, what they rap about tends to fall into certain established categories. Lil Skies basically covers all of those in this verse. That is to say that he touches, even if only briefly cases, on the subjects of sex, violence, money and drugs, let’s say presenting himself favorably in all those regards.
But it should be noted that as far as getting high goes, what he is actually speaking to is an affinity for weed, not any of the hard, artificial stuff. But that said he still references, somewhat oddly, a woman who is presumably a romantic interest that “hit the blunt and committed suicide”, i.e. smoked some herb and then killed herself. Well, it’s very, very rare that you hear of someone having such an adverse reaction to a weed high. So more likely what the vocalist is saying, in general, is that this lady did not respond well to the blunt, as ganja isn’t for everybody.
Back to the Chorus
Then going back to the chorus, what Skies is reiterating is that since he runs with a gang of hard n–gas, he ain’t sweatin’ no opps. And in terms of this particular part of the song he is by and large addressing one such individual, i.e. a dude that is ‘coming for him’. What Skies is telling this person is that he ain’t hiding, and by implication said opp best be prepared to deal with his “thirty shooters” if he does decide to make a move.
In the bridge, the lyrics take a different turn, with Lil using the opportunity to give a shoutout to his son, who is just a toddler at the time. What he appears to be saying more holistically as far as this passage goes is that regardless of all the drama he goes through, the vocalist is going to make sure that he saves a healthy amount of dough for his child’s future.
So reading in between the lines, with Skies also putting forth that the addressee ‘switched and lied’, perhaps the aforementioned opp is one of his former homeys. And whereas the rapper may come off as being excessively confident, at the same time he knows that anything can happen in the streets. So that’s why he’s making sure his son is right, you know, just in case. But besides that, he also wants the child to enjoy “a better life” than he had.
Credits for “On Sight”
“On Sight” was produced and co-written by Slim Pharaoh and Vendr, the former being from Germany and the latter, Pennsylvania. The Keystone State is also where Lil Skills, the other co-writer and vocalist of this song, grew up.
Release of “On Sight”
Lil Skies has thus far released two studio albums. The first, “Shelby” (2019), impressively peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200. However, his sophomore joint, “Unbothered” (2021), didn’t perform as well. It is from that latter project that we get “On Sight”, which was officially released as its third single on 6 November 2020. The labels responsible for this outing are All We Got Entertainment, Atlantic Records and the Artist Partner Group.
In all, “Unbothered” produced five singles, including “On Sight”. The others are:
Lil Skies’ father, one Michal Burton Jr., actually collaborated with him during the early stages of his career. In fact Skies’ professional career began somewhere in 2010. And since he was born in 1998, that means he first started seriously rapping seriously before even becoming a teenager.