Admittedly, this is a bit of an homage to my old days as a hip hop blogger. It’s been a while since I’ve flexed those muscles, so bare with me.
It’s only fitting that my momentary return to hip hop come with a CyHi The Prynce post.
The very first article I ever wrote was an album review of Cruel Summer, Kanye’s collaborative effort with the G.O.O.D. Friday squad. CyHi was one of, if not the most promising member of that team, combining layered wordplay with some of the longest and most complex rhyme schemes I’ve ever played witness to.
Unfortunately, following a few sporadic feature verses and a couple of mixtapes that failed to move the needle, CyHi faded to the background as his fellow collaborators – Big Sean, J. Cole, Pusha T, etc – all found individual success.
Well it seems that he is ready to resurface, and he decided to officially announce his comeback with a lyrical work of art, in “Legend”.
Now, it’s a bit of a stretch to share this on an MMA site, but there were two extremely clever UFC references that I felt compelled to break down. Partially because the ‘lyric meanings’ I’ve read were way off. Partially because they’re simply awesome lines.
Besides, as a former hip hop blogger and current MMA writer, who is more qualified to break down a collision of the two worlds. Aside from Matteo Urella, that is. Anyway, here goes:
My girl say I’m hardly home, I get paid to rock these poems / Kick this shit off the dome like that Ronda Rousey chick
So the ‘lyric meaning’ I read was that Rousey is a good mixed martial artist, and CyHi is comparing his rap skills to her fighting ability. That may be the extent of it for most emcees, but with CyHi, you always have to dig deeper to see the true meaning.
In reality, the whole bar is an allusion to Holly Holm. He intentionally slurs the phrase hardly home making it sound like Holly Holm. So when he goes on to say that he kicks this shit off the dome, he’s obviously referring to the infamous headkick knockout of Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. All while bragging about his abilities to kick freestyles off the top of his head.
That Ronda Rousey chick is Holly Holm. He doesn’t need to reference her by name, because anyone paying close enough attention would have caught the double meaning in the previous line. Brilliant.
Black Conor McGregor, no losses under my records / But if I did and I see you again, I’m coming to reck ya
This one isn’t quite as subliminal, but there’s still a ton of double meanings, so let’s dive in.
The use of the word record is a clever reference to both fight records and musical records, with Conor being a mixed martial artist and CyHi being a recording artist. No losses is not factually accurate, as McGregor fell short a couple times, early in his career. But Hardcore fans barely recognize accomplishments or failures outside of the Octagon, so I seriously doubt casuals do.
That being said, McGregor is essentially undefeated in the eyes of the general public with one blemish to his name. Nate Diaz. What happened after he suffered that loss? Conor relentlessly chased down a rematch and earned a victory over his rival.
Strikingly to similar to what CyHi promises to do by saying I’m coming to wreck ya the next time he sees the guy who defeated him. Really good writing from one of the game’s best wordsmiths. I hope this is a sign of things to come.
Check out the full song below.