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Meaning of ‘Grown Man Sport’ by ‘Pete Rock’ feat. InI

Released: 2017 • Features: InI

“Grown Man Sport” by Pete Rock, featuring InI, is a gritty ballad of maturity, resilience, and survival in a difficult world. This hip-hop piece navigates the complexities of urban existence, encapsulating the struggles of maintaining authenticity in a culture that often prioritizes material gain.

The opening lines, “Natty Dread like Bob so rock steady / With no spaghetti with meat sauce / Maybe salads with one toss”, illustrate a grounded, straightforward lifestyle in contrast to indulgent and gluttonous living. The reference to “Bob” is likely a nod to reggae legend Bob Marley, further emphasizing the desire for a simple, uncomplicated life just like Marley who was known for his humble living. The phrase “Natty Dread” is Rastafari slang referring to a member of the Rastafari community who has dreads, reinforcing the connection to Marley who was a devout Rastafarian.

The lyric “It’s religion never suspicious / You’re too delicious for the tongue,” showcases the idea that living authentically isn’t just a choice, it’s a way of life, a ‘religion.’ The use of ‘delicious’ here can be seen as Pete Rock’s fondness for the inherent richness of genuine living.

In the gap between both verses and the choruses, Pete Rock and InI emphasize the phrase, “It’s a Grown Man Sport”. This phrase is the core message of the song. The phrase conveys that life, with its challenges, struggles, and victories, isn’t a game for boys but a sport for grown men.

Pete Rock throws a shade at the lack of authenticity and originality in the sector. In the lines, “But your inventions confuse me on the surface / Ya nervous, because your lack of purpose” and “But, you got in it like a pussy, in fact / Bein’ pussy kept your wack ass back,” Pete Rock criticizes artists for their lack of integrity and depth in their music, accusing them of being superficial.

In the lines, “I’m givin’ thanks to the most high for plantin’ me firm / Upon this world that’s forever changin'”, the mention of “the most high” is a reference to the divine, showing gratitude for the strength to navigate through the shifting sands of time and society.

The finale of the song includes a dedication to the “almighty god / Rastafari Selassie”. This dedication to Haile Selassie, seen by many Rastafarians as a divine figure, further underscores the spiritual and religious themes found throughout the song, and closes “Grown Man Sport” on a note of reverence and deference to a higher power.

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