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Meaning of ‘PAPERWORK’ by ¥$, Ye, Kanye West feat.Ty Dolla $ign

Released: 2024Features: Kanye West, Ty Dolla $ignAight, let’s dig into “PAPERWORK” by ¥$, Ye, Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign. At face value, this track is a jam about the pursuit of riches, living that wild life, and the price of fame. But really, it’s a deeper exploration of the hip hop lifestyle, financial stability and the lengths artists will go for their craft and the luxuries it affords.

The chorus is all about chasing that dough – “Let me get my paper right / Then come out, let’s play tonight.” ¥$ is communicating that their priority is to secure their financial position first before indulging in the party lifestyle. The phrase “get my paper right” is slang for securing finances or making money.

Continuing this money centric narrative, ¥$ refers to Benjamin Franklin, whose face adorns the $100 bill, as his neighbor – illustrating he’s living in a world dripping with wealth. The line “She took the pipe, now she famous” plays into the trope of individuals gaining notoriety or fame in unconventional or controversial manners, using sexual innuendos to make his point.

Ty Dolla $ign then steps in to lay down a more relaxed, mellower verse that centers around a woman who’s taken care of by their man so she doesn’t need a “real job”, enforcing the laid-back and fully financed lifestyle of the two artists.

In the last verse they’re pondering how the girl would react if the roles were reversed. This is a tongue-in-cheek way of addressing the power dynamics in relationships, showing that women too, can play the game. When Kanye drops the line “She said, “You’ll make mami late for work””, he’s implying that he’s so irresistible that a woman would risk her job to spend time with him.

The track ends with the repeated line “You’ll make mami late for work”, which is a clever way to bring home the theme of the song; the allure of fame and fortune in the music business can make one disregard their regular 9-to-5 grind.

So to cut it short, “PAPERWORK” is a tight showcase of the artists’ lavish lifestyles fueled by their success in the hip-hop game. But never forget, underneath all that glitz and glam, there’s also a candid exploration of the pursuit of wealth, fame, and the power dynamics in relationships.

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