Features: Lil Wayne
“Make It Rain” by Fat Joe is a celebration of the high-life, summing up the rapper’s hustle and success in the game. It’s a blend of slick talk, braggadocio, and a vivid portrayal of his street-hustler-turned-music-mogul lifestyle. This track, steeped in nuances of the gritty street culture, tells the story of an underdog rising to the pinnacle of his craft, achieving wealth and power, and dealing with the new challenges they bring.
The constant refrain of making it rain “on them hoes” is an unmistakable tip of the hat to strip club culture. In this context, “making it rain” refers to the act of throwing money in the air – a showy display of wealth common in such venues. But Fat Joe ain’t just flexing his bills; he’s building a narrative of struggle and triumph that resonate with the streets. The “Terror” he mentions is short for Terror Squad, Fat Joe’s hip-hop collective and record label, symbolizing his squad and the power they wield in their world.
“Crack, crack, crack, you hear the echo” is a play on Fat Joe’s nickname, Joey Crack. As he spits about seeing the best go because they didn’t have that “metal” (a reference to guns or firepower), he establishes himself as a street-savvy hustler hustling to survive and thrive. His lines “I see you in NY, I’ll send you an invite / You gon’ need you a pass, that’s the code that we live by” speaks to territorial street codes, further grounding his street credibility.
“Now why’s everybody so mad at the South for? / Change your style up, switch to southpaw” is a clear mention of the then-ongoing North-South divide in the hip-hop scene, with Fat Joe advocating for adaptability and unity in the game. The line “Lil’ mama try hit me with that shoulder lean” is a nod to southern hip-hop dances, showing cultural appreciation.
His lyrics, “a nigga lose his life tryna roll on me” and “Gotta stay strapped ASAP ‘case y’alls hate Crack and wanna rain on us” echo the harsh reality of his position. Success has painted a target on his back, illustrating the dangerous paradox of ascension in the gangsta rap narrative. And yet, Fat Joe ain’t phased. He’s in the game, making it rain, living his truth and showing every listener that from the BX to the strip club, he’s on his hustle living his version of the American dream.