Took the wood from the slave ships and furnished my abode
That boat is now my bed, desk, dressers and my drawers
Now that's a house of pain!
Lupe suggests his house is made of the very wood that housed the slaves as ships to America during the slave trade. Perhaps not literally, but instead Lupe is describing how he is a living representation of his/his people’s past.
Lupe suggests here he is inseparable from his troubled history, which still lives out today both in the bars of this album but also through the perpetuation of words like “nigga”. The resonance of that term today stems from this same history — “nigger” used during the slave trade. Lupe lives figuratively in this house of pain and literally through that devolved term. His house, though, is not to be confused with the dumbed down House of Payne consumed by the mainstream.
But in living this history, Lupe is also optimistic here. After all, he rode in on the “biggest wave” and embraced his heritage (“no pommade”). So this furniture also symbolizes how he has chosen to embody & live in both the history and the present of who he is/his people are.
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