Ay yo, here's a little story, something for your ear
Like the new millennium version of Paul Revere
Except this ain't fiction, this is real life here
There’s a lot going on in these lines. Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” from 1860, was part of his Tales of a Wayside Inn collection of poems that tried to capture the flavor of oral tradition. It was explicitly meant to be read aloud (something for your ear).
The poem depicts Paul Revere as a mythic hero — the “new millennium version,” as R.A. styles himself, is very much an anti-hero. The allusion is more apt when you consider the title of the song, and the poem’s unofficial title, “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.”
Though it’s based on a real event, Longfellow’s poem is hugely inaccurate, to the extent that R.A. calls it fiction. He’s probably alluding to the habit rappers often have of claiming to talk about real life while making a lot of shit up. R.A. promises to give you the unvarnished truth.
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