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Meaning of ‘327’ by ‘Westside Gunn’ feat. Joey Bada$$, Tyler, The Creator, Billie Essco

Released: 2020 • Features: Joey Bada$$, Tyler, The Creator, Billie Essco

“327” by Westside Gunn, featuring Joey Bada$$, Tyler, The Creator, and Billie Essco is a celebration of their high status within the industry, flaunting their richness, from exclusive fashion labels to exquisite dining. However, the song also delves into their reflective contemplation about their complicated relationships with fame, wealth, and hardship in their pasts, maintaining their authenticity amidst the glamorous rap lifestyle.

Westside Gunn’s verse kicks off with a repeated line “I swear Paris will be prayed for”, hinting at both a love for the city’s status as a fashion capital and a cry against its materialistic influences. The “unreleased Off-White” refers to the exclusive, high-end designer labels not available to common folks. Further, mentioning “Don C, Nigo in the same row” implies sitting side by side with renowned fashion personalities, symbolizing his ascendance in the fashion scene. Lines like “body parts on Cavalli dishes” and “my loafers crocodile” ooze opulence yet contain a dark undercurrent of crime and danger from his past life, reminding us of the rapper’s journey up from the streets.

Joey Bada$$ jumps in with a verse that’s both a reflection on hard times and a celebration of success. He spits about “rap songs about crack rocks and firearms”, reminiscing about the tough environment he rose from. This is juxtaposed with lines such as “I’m in that Maybach, I’m with Puff and Hova” signifying his rise to fame and fortune. The line “These niggas don’t want smoke, they want some marijuana” cleverly plays with street slang and signifies how Joey’s adversaries aren’t prepared for real confrontation.

Tyler, The Creator’s verse sings of embracing oneself, overcoming adversity, and remaining unapologetic. The words “Bitch, I’m all that, all that, Kenan, Kel” refer to the popular ’90s Nickelodeon show “All That”, indicating his rise to fame and recognition. The phrase “skin glowin’, my hair nappy” is a proud assertion of his black identity and heritage. Furthermore, “I ain’t cryin’, the wind is flyin’, stop makin’ assumptions” is Tyler pushing back against assumptions or judgments passed on him due to his emotional vulnerability in lyrics or public statements. His verse signifies defiance against hate and standing firm on his own footing.

The trio, through this song, expresses a profound dichotomy – the struggle and hustle versus the sweet taste of success and glamour. Their lyrical prowess sheds light on their past, their milestones, and their relentless pursuit for more, making “327” a hip-hop anthem for aspiration, self-confidence, and true grit in the face of adversity.

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