“And if I ever die,
She would commission monuments on her bosom to hum”…
Lupe Fiasco also subtly hinting at the deaths of great hip-hop legends like Tupac and Notorious B.I.G., who, after they were both found murdered, have since been cemented as merchandising by having their likenesses imprinted on the fronts of shirts, hats, and so forth.
The Streets has the name of every previous lover she seduced and had killed tattoed across her chest; previous lovers include Alexander the Great, Al Capone, and even Free Chilly, the name of Lupe’s friend and joint executive producer for First and Fifteenth who was sentenced to 44 years in prison over a drug bust.
“Rain” is also a homophone of “reign”, which has been alluded to constantly in the previous several lines.
Rappers have a tendency to wear massive amounts of bling, or jewelry, once they hit it big. Materialism is slighted by many critics as a mindless motif in much of hip-hop.
In the video for Lupe Fiasco’s hit single “Superstar”, The Streets character is shown with dollar signs glowing in her eyes. (Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty0u1PzXfTo)
Greed is NOT good, kids!
“Paper” here is slang for “money”.
Again, rappers are lured into the rap game because of the crass commercialism and materialism negating black culture. A kid sees their favorite rapper on the cover of a magazine, and their new goal is to reach that same position.
“Every vessel” could mean either a blood vessel (“vein”) or a plant vessel (“flower”).
“Bullet lodged” either refers to Michael Young History himself (in “The Die” off the same album, he is shot several times while waiting around in a car) or the victims of Michael Young History (“bullets lodged” in various rivals he has had shot). With this interpretation, “every vessel” and “every flower that I ever took apart” takes on additional meaning, with “vessel” and “flower that I took apart” standing for dead bodies riddled with bullets.
“With every flower that I ever took apart” also conjures up the familiar practice of some lovesick sucker, who, contemplating on whether or not his or her lover truly loves them, picks the pedals off a flower in order to guess if “they love me, they love me not.”
Dang, Lupe!! You make Rap Genius work hard!!
Multiple interpretations are possible here:
1) Michael Young History is spoiling his mistress The Streets with all types of luxury that he can afford.
2) He has fallen head-over-heels in love with The Streets.
3) When the two have sex, he doesn’t use a condom (“raw”).
4) Lupe also uses great wordplay here with the words “spoil”, which could mean cherish/satisfy someone or conversely ruin food over time, hence “raw” food.