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Meaning of ‘Ali Bomaye’ by ‘The Game’ feat. 2 Chainz, Rick Ross

Released: 2012

Features: 2 Chainz, Rick Ross

“Ali Bomaye” by The Game featuring 2 Chainz and Rick Ross, is a hard-hitting anthem declaring their immense wealth, success, power, and their unabashed confidence. The track is steeped in a grand bravado characteristic of a genre often afire with displays of superiority. Yet, it does not shy away from speaking of the conservative societal prejudices they’ve had to contend with.

Starting off, The Game vividly captures his struggles as a Black man, drawing parallels between luxury cars and oppressive chains, both literal and metaphorical. He’s calling out society’s racial profiling, highlighting the prejudice he faces for driving expensive cars while Black. In a further act of rebellion, he proudly states he smokes ‘Indo’ in his expensive car, aware it irks those who judge him based on his race and wealth.

2 Chainz steps in with his verse, keeping the theme of wealth and grandeur alive. Touting expensive cologne and luxurious black currency cards, he is unapologetic about his affluence drawing attention to the exotic women he’s with, and his cautiously valuable two-toned chains. He even uses his cache to assert his dominance, warning potential adversaries of his reach and influence. The repeated chant of “Ali Bomaye”, a reference to a chant heard during Muhammad Ali’s historic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ fight, recasts the boxers’ triumph as their own; they’re preparing to ‘rumble’ and win, sporting their ‘new Kanye’s’ like boxing gloves – a shoutout to rapper Kanye West’s line of sneakers.

The Game’s verse follows, it starts with a call for the freedom of incarcerated rappers, and a stark reminder of the violence prevalent in neighborhoods like Compton, drawing parallels with cities notorious for their crime rates, like Baltimore and New Orleans. The verse is loaded with references to street life, including a nod to D12, the rap collective that included the renowned artist Eminem. He also compares his own survival to that of a child in Africa bearing heavy weaponry, implying he’s had to fight for his life since he was born.

2 Chainz resurfaces to close out the song, continuing the work-life of a high-level drug dealer. He recommends keeping work separate from personal life – “If you got work, go to work, don’t work at your residence” – solid advice for anyone involved in criminal activities, or even metaphorically, for anyone wanting to maintain a balanced personal life. He closes his verse with a tribute to Muhammad Ali (referred to as Muhammad), likening his own navigation of dangerous territory (jungles, in this case, meaning his neighborhood) to Ali’s legendary fights.

Peppered with references to pop culture, the struggles of the Black community, and layers of symbolism about their own lives, “Ali Bomaye” is a powerful anthem of ambition, assertiveness, victory, and a grappling reality – a testament to the complexity and depth hip-hop can embody.

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