Between the Bars: “15th and the 1st”

By Kwase Lane, Contributor

Hello, and welcome back to Between the Bars. This week we’re going to look at the first verse and the hook of Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame’s “15th and the 1st”. This is a little shorter than the last piece we looked at, but I think it’s a good intro to the party weekend that’s coming up. Gucci and Waka drop some carefree lines over a banging beat in this 2011 party anthem. Just like during our last visit, I suggest you listen before or while you read so you can get a feel of the music.

Read More: Between the Bars: “New Slaves”

“Uhh, uh… / Ayy Gucc’ Mane, we good right now man!”

Waka Flocka’s intro exemplifies a feel-good and carefree nature that the rest of the song carries on. What follows is an extravagant and braggadocious look into the two men’s world.

“It’s a white girl in town: name is “cocaine” / It’s some dirty birds in town: Gucci Mane & Waka Flame / We fly in, I’m buyin’, say you got more birds? You lyin’ / You trying and lying, you boys ain’t supplying / I pitch like Nolan Ryan, got cocaína flying”

Gucci Mane begins, letting the audience know that he and Waka have flown into the city expecting a great night. Gucci is no stranger to drugs, dropping numerous cocaine references across his discography, and this song is no different. He makes it obvious at first, calling it out by name and letting us know that he has it with him. In the third line, he refers to birds, this could be yet another coke-callout, but it also functions to let listeners know that Gucci has many lady callers – almost assuredly more than you or I.

“And I’m gone off that purp’, and I’m slurrin’ my words / I swerved in my Benz, bangin’ my Forgis on the curb / The lean, the herb, pay me like the first / You cross Brick Squad, get hurt / I got work – Gucci”

Gucci’s having a good time and more than his fill of lean. The Alabama native is so intoxicated that he’s damaged his luxury Forgiato wheels on the curb. He makes it clear to the audience twice that he has an ample supply of illicit materials and what will happen if he doesn’t get paid what he is owed. Brick Squad is another name for Gucci Mane’s label 1017 Records, and they’re not to be messed with.

“My homeboys will get you, pay you on the 33rd / Two pints of lean’ll have me slurrin’ on my words / Undertaker car, triple black drop bird / Stomach full of money, so hundreds I’ma burp / All the hoods love us like the 15th and the 1st”

On the hook, Gucci and Flocka unite in a shared dismissal of responsibility in favor of pure fun. The 33rd will never come, and Flocka offers this line as a sly way of letting them know they won’t be getting their money. Just like Gucci, Flocka’s also drinking lean and it has much of the same effect on him. In another boastful line, they let us know that their choice of drink is so expensive that even their burps are worth hundreds of dollars. In the final line of the hook, the audience’s love of Gucci and Flocka is compared to the 15th and the 1st. Many who live in poorer neighborhoods depend on welfare checks to get by and those get sent out on the 15th and the 1st of the month.

Well, it seems like our time for this week is up. There wasn’t as much hiding under the surface of these lines, but I hope you enjoyed it, and I look forward to seeing you again next time. Until then, from all of us here at ACRN: Happy listening and Bass God bless.

Give “15th and the 1st” a listen here:

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