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Meaning of ‘Man I’ by ‘Gorilla Zoe’

Released: 2009

“Man I” is a statement track by Gorilla Zoe, where he boldly spotlights his transformation from a life of hardship to one of affluence and fame in the hip-hop industry. This track predominantly talks about his rags-to-riches journey while also touching on topics like materialism, relationships, and his newfound status.

The song kicks off with Zoe repeating the phrase “Man I” followed by assertions of his past struggles like being broke and sleeping on the floor (“Man I Used To Be Broke, Man I Used To Be Sleepin On The Flo”). This serves as a powerful introduction, immediately setting the tone for the track.

In the first verse, he speaks about his new-found popularity among women (“Everywhere i go girls take photos”) and asserts his continuing connections to illegal activities despite his success (“Still sell low doe keep it on the low low”), reminding the listener of his less glamorous past. His mention of wearing “bobo” in the 5th grade is a reference to his childhood poverty, as ‘bobo’ is slang for cheap, off-brand items.

Zoe continues to reinforce the contrast between his past and present throughout the next verses, with phrases such as “Used to hit Wal-Mart used to get Play-Doe, Now I’m Gucci down i be shoppin on Rodeo”. The B- side of success is equally presented as he openly expresses his lustful desires for famous women like Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez, portraying his confidence and blatant disregard for social norms in a typical hip-hop bravado style.

The chorus sections emphasize his transformation further, highlighting his present affluence and success in phrases like “Man I Man I Man Im Gettin Paid, Now Im Ridin 28s On Chevrolets”. The phrase “28s on Chevrolets” denotes his luxury lifestyle now, as 28-inch rims are often associated with high-end, customized cars.

Through the later verses, he continues to flex his wealth and celebrates his journey from being considered a “zero” to having “dinero” (money). He also alludes to his posse, comparing them to goodfellas, a term synonymous with gangsters. His indulgence in cannabis is also emphasized through phrases like “Big kush blunts like we smokin on burritos”. This song establishes Gorilla Zoe’s triumphant rise in hip-hop, intervening from his past to his current achievements and indulgences, while retaining the street culture that heavily influences the genre.

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