I did not invent the wheel, I was the crooked spoke adjacent
Spokes emanate from the center of a wheel as its support structure to retain its shape as a circle so it won’t flatten when bearing weight. A crooked spoke cannot operate properly and thus would have no part in the creation of a wheel or the invention of the wheel. It hints at the ‘Outcast’ status of the author as well. The ‘unattended’ object.
On another level Aes is stating that he was not one of the progenitors of hip-hop, but is still relevant to the original form, even though he has a unique, “crooked” style that makes him completely different.
Perhaps an even stronger meaning behind this lyric revolves around work and industry, which is what the whole song relates to. Aesop is saying how most 9-to-5-ers are simply just cogs working for a bigger machine. So rather than being the men at the forefront who are breaking new boundaries (inventing the wheel), most workers merely helped in the process (like a spoke) and weren’t involved in the innovation. 9-to-5-ers are merely a support for one man’s vision.
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