My whole team ball
Everyone in Jay-Z’s team is a baller, either figuratively like Kanye or literally like LeBron.
Jay is also carefully structuring these two lines, referencing classic aspects of hip hop (one of its landmark albums, ILLmatic, along with the idea of ‘balling’ — which has been spoken on so many times by so many rappers that it has become a distinctive idea in hip hop, subject of one of 2011’s most memorable lines).
In the same breath, intermingling the ideas, Jay mentiones two of the modern art world’s most distinctive names: Basquiat and Warhol (see above annotations).
The point of this song, and indeed its music video (which got its inspiration from the famous performance piece The Artist is Present by Marina Abramovic who made an appearance in the video), is to reconcile the two worlds: hip hop and modern art. By mentioning distinctive elements of both in the same breath, Jay is showing that this can be done. As he said, speaking about exactly this:
We’re artists. We’re alike, we’re cousins. That’s what was really exciting for me — bringing the two worlds back together.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Picasso Baby” by Jay Z Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box