Can I kick it? (Crowd: Yes you can!)
Can I kick it? (Crowd: Yes you can!)
Can I kick it? (Crowd: Yes you can!)
Well I'm gonna (Crowd: Go on, then!)
Can I Kick It (Live) by Jay Electronica

Classic opening from the song “Can I Kick It?” by A Tribe Called Quest.

Q-Tip asks:

Can I kick it?

The crowd responds:

Yes, you can!

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I'm from the era of Gazelle shades and flashy gold
A pair of Ballys, some Girbauds, and a classy Lo
Can I Kick It (Live) by Jay Electronica

Jay recalls the fashion of Hip Hop during it’s golden age (1986-1993): Gazelle sunglasses, gold chains, Bally sneakers, jeans by Marithe & Francois Girbaud, and Polo shirts

In “Exhibit A,” he mentions similar things.

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I'm never spitting nothing lesser than a nasty cold Can I Kick It (Live) by Jay Electronica

“Nasty” and “cold” are both adjectives used to describe verses, songs, and rappers that are particularly skilled. He plays on this by saying he’ll spit (rap) phlegm (flaming-hot verses).

Also, this could be another reference to Superman, since he could freeze enemies by breathing on them.

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Candy man, USB flip cam handy man
You couldn't never catch me slipping on a grassy knoll
Or at the bottom of a well screaming "Lassie, no!"
Can I Kick It (Live) by Jay Electronica

This is not the first time Jay has alluded to the JFK Assassination.

Jay’s usage of “USB flip cam” is the camera with which his assassination (should it ever happen) would be filmed with. He updates the technology (JFK was killed in 1963, and this song was made post-2008); times have certainly changed since ‘63. Also, see the Zapruder Film.

By this phrase, Jay will never be caught unaware of his surroundings, as President Kennedy and his Secret Service agents were when JFK was shot dead.

In this second part, Jay refers to Lassie, the famous TV show about a Border Collie that alerts the authorities to crimes and misfortunate accidents. He wouldn’t dare rely on a dog in a life or death situation.

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But what they didn't understand is according to statistics
I'm supposed to be hanging from my neck in jail
Or on a slab in the mortuary
Freezing with a blank stare on my face, letting off a wretched smell
Can I Kick It (Live) by Jay Electronica

At the time of this song’s recording, Jay was over 30. By that time, many people expect black men, especially those in urban environments to be dead, either from a prison suicide (“hangin' from my neck in jail”) or murdered in a morgue, with a horrible odor (“on a slab in the mortuary, freezing with a blank stare on my face, letting off a wretched smell”).

So, when these concert goers attend his show and call him a failure, they don’t realize that Jay has already defeated the odds of society in terms of life expectancy. This, surely, diminishes the importance of their criticisms of him.

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They saw my name on the forums and the blogs
And they said, "He's a herb, he's a lame, it's a epic fail
FOH, SMH, nigga ... LOL!"
Can I Kick It (Live) by Jay Electronica

Before he blew up with “Exhibit C”, Jay took some flak online for his more leftfield efforts, such as the acoustic guitar backed “Eternal Sunshine (of the Spotless Mind)”.

There’s also an allusion to the infamous Fail Blog, which has videos documenting all sorts of failures.


  • FOH (fuck outta here)
  • SMH (shaking my head)
  • LOL (laugh out loud)

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It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a epic tale Can I Kick It (Live) by Jay Electronica

This is Jay’s second take on the famous Superman quote. The first is here.

The “epic tale” that his fans recognize is probably this song, itself. Jay is also comparing himself to Superman.

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Fast for 40 days and 40 nights Can I Kick It (Live) by Jay Electronica

Here Jay is alluding to Jesus’s Temptation by Satan during his 40 day fast in the Judean Desert.

Satan then took Jesus to a high area, perhaps a mountain where he offered to give Jesus the rule of all the earthly kingdoms.

This line also implies that Jay is a disciplined individual. Fasting 40 days is hella difficult, surely, and the implicit rejection of the earthly kingdoms and their wealth would require a person who sees beyond the material world and it’s trappings.

Also, Jay Electronica has a history of comparing himself to Jesus. Check most any song of his, and you’re likely to find a few.

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I'm the king of diamonds, my chain still speaking Ebonics King Of Diamonds by Rick Ross

Ross’s chain has black (Ebonic) diamonds in it.

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And still feel belittled sittin' here spittin' riddles
Amongst clown ass rappers who tend to give me the giggles
Intro by Clipse

Related to the two lines prior to this, Cats (other rappers or onlookers), seem to think that the rap game and the talent possessed by Malice was just handed to him. He mentions how the heartbreaks he suffered helped mould him to where he is now, yet even with his great punchlines/flow, he still feels belittled rapping among the fake rappers, who are silly enough to make Malice laugh when he hears their trash.

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