Jesus died at age 33, there's 33 shots
From twin Glocks, there's sixteen apiece, that's 32
Which means one of my guns was holding 17
27 hit your crew, 6 went into you
Asked what this line means, the Rap Buddha explained: “O Rap Genius Editor, this line needs no explanation! Just do the mathematical proof..”
- 33 = 33 (reflexive)
- 16+ (16+1) = 33 (The one is the last bullet left in the chamber of a Glock
- Aha! 17!
- = 33
Just as Jesus performed miracles, so too is it a miracle that from two guns that held 16 bullets apiece, Nas fired 33 shots…Or maybe what’s actually a miracle is that every bullet hit its mark. Nas is a good fucking shot!
To speak fairness that line is pretty puzzling and many listeners consider it either an expression of Nas' so called bullshit, some math stuff for an umpteenth demonstration of our boy’s mysticism. As far as i am concerned, i roll with the last two.
I) “The Lord is my Shepard” — military honors
The first bar rests on the idea that the lord is our — Christian people at least — Shepard (The Holly Bible, Psalm 23). This being said, the QB general draws a parallel between a president and the Holy Jesus. Far fetched? You be the judge. A Shepard is a guide, a leader.
Military honors are generally served to deceased senior officers and to commanders in chief, i.e. presidents whether in office or retired. For instance when a president dies he gets honored with a set of ceremonial gun salute including both a 21-gun salute and, later on, a 50-gun salute. The latter consists in the firing of 50 cannons — one round for each state — as an honor.
Nasir is on some “Hail to the chief” type of stuff, his intent being to render honor to the Shepard i.e. Jesus. This is the reason why Nas spits “(…) there’s 33 shots,” one for every years Jesus spent on earth. Hat’s off to our boy for shifting it all from the 50-gun salute to some kind of twin-glock salute… and for obviously being ambidextrous!!
II) “Use your Braiiinnnnnn” — arithmetic clash
This is what Jay says just before going hard at Nas' catalogue by the end of the third verse of his epic “Takeover” diss track. For the record Jigga went through some arithmetic mock — “You said you’ve been in this 10, i’ve been in this 5 (…) i could DIVIDE (…) that’s one hot album every ten years average” — which obviously caught Nas' attention. Nas decides to take Jay at his word and literally use his brain.
Unlike Jay, Nasir operates with a couple of arithmetic operations including multiplication, subtraction and addition, the message being something like step up your math Jay. In other words, smarten up…Jigga man!
MULTIPLICATION: “Twin glocks there’s sixteen a piece, that’s thirty two” i.e. 2 X 16 = 32 ;
SUBTRACTION: “which means one of my guns was holding seventeen” i.e. 33 (shots) — 32 = 1 which is the miracle referred to by rapgenius scholar ;
ADDITION: “twenty seven hit your crew, six went into you!” i.e. 27 + 6 = 33 which match the first bars and implies that those 33 shots were not fired in the air.
As for the 27/6 part I guess it stems from Nas' intent to refer to #6 since Jay used it in order to brag about being one buoyant artist on “Heart of the City”. It goes like “Jigga held you down SIX summers. Damn where is the love?”. Dude actually dropped one album per year from 1996 to 2001. Nas “rewards” him with six bullets for every LP he dropped.
It is to be noted that our boy was hog-tied to refer to #27 given the above-mentioned…
This one here is dedicated to all y'all who be sayin stuff like Nas' intent was to make it sound clever without any meaning to it. Dude had his low moments but overall he made heck of a lot for hip-hop.
BTW: no diss to Jigga, this all stuff is over…
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