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Meaning of ’23’ by ‘Mike WiLL Made-It’ feat. Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J

Released: 2013

Features: Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J

“23” by the super producer Mike WiLL Made-It, which features Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, and Juicy J, is an infectious ode to sneaker culture, party lifestyle, and individualism. The song brings together elements of trap music, popular hip-hop, and mainstream pop, creating a unique sound that exemplifies the hybrid nature of modern music.

The track heavily references the classic Air Jordan sneakers, colloquially known as “J’s”, which have become a staple of hip-hop fashion and streetwear. In the hook, Miley boasts about her style with lyrics like “J’s on my feet, so get like me”, confidently aligning herself with the hip-hop culture. In this case, the “J’s” refer to the Air Jordan brand of sneakers, which are notorious for their association with Michael Jordan and the culture of swag and exclusivity they represent in the sneakerhead community.

The verses embody a celebration of the high life, with references to drinking, partying, and a no-care attitude. Wiz Khalifa brings in his signature motif of marijuana and a laid-back lifestyle with his lyrics “Got a joint if you wanna get stoned, Got choppers if they wan’ try me”. Here, ‘stoned’ is slang for getting high on marijuana, and ‘choppers’ are firearms.

Furthermore, the lyric “Waitress asked how many bottles? I said 23” is a clever double entendre. This could be taken literally as ordering 23 bottles of liquor, but could also be interpreted as a reference to Michael Jordan’s jersey number, which is 23. This is a classic example of wordplay in hip-hop, where a single line can have multiple meanings.

Juicy J jumps in with a hint of sneakerhead culture, mentioning “Flu game 12, Space Jam 11”, referencing specific models of Air Jordans that are coveted in the sneaker community. In this line, he’s bragging about his extensive sneaker collection, which includes these rare and highly valued models. ‘Flu game 12’ is a reference to the Air Jordan 12 model Michael Jordan wore in his infamous “Flu Game” during the 1997 NBA Finals, while ‘Space Jam 11’ refers to the Air Jordan 11 model featured in the movie ‘Space Jam’.

In the grander scheme of things, “23” embodies the spirit of hip-hop culture, touching on elements of style, rebellion, and swagger. So, whether you’re trying to decipher the lyrics or just want to bob your head to the beat, “23” offers something for everyone.

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