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Meaning of the song ‘Ready Set Begin’ by ‘Craig G’

Released: 2003

In “Ready Set Begin”, Craig G uses his gritty bars to provide a raw narrative on the commercialization of hip hop and the struggles of navigating the music industry. The track, produced by DJ Premier, is a critique of the sellout culture, mindless pursuit of wealth, and lack of genuineness. The song is a call to action for all old school rap fans to reclaim the music they once held dear.

The first verse sets the scene with Craig G expressing his disdain for the rampant commercialization of hip hop and the superficial values promoted in mainstream music. Terms like “chasin riches” refer to the industry’s obsession with material wealth, while “payover assistant” refers to music artists who are being exploited or controlled by the music industry. Craig also touches on the consequences of such actions, asserting the belief in karma with the line “what you put out always come back”.

The DJ Premier scratches serve as a bridge, reinforcing the imminent start of a rebellion with a repeated “Ready… set… begin”.

In the second verse, Craig G paints a darker picture where the real hip-hop artists fight back, metaphorically “kick[ing] the fucking door off the hinge”. He brings up industry figures, the “VP”, “head of promotion”, and “fake diamond gyms” (artists who portray a flashy, materialistic lifestyle), challenging their authenticity. The mentioning of “Septembre 11th” is a sobering reminder of reality beyond the music industry, illustrating that material possessions and status don’t dictate one’s survival.

Again, DJ Premier’s signature scratches introduce the final verse, amplifying the intensity of the message about to be conveyed.

In the third verse, Craig G delves even deeper into the harsh realities of the game, hinting at violence and betrayal. The “stained” Benz signifies the possible lethal consequences of getting involved in the wrong business or dealing with untrustworthy people. He warns of manipulative industry figures who might change directions like the wind, alluding to their fickleness. Towards the end of the verse, he acknowledges his struggles and reiterates his lifelong commitment to hip-hop, signaling his intention not to abandon the culture despite its issues.

Lastly, DJ Premier wraps up the intense narrative with his final smooth scratches, marking the end of the call to action, but not the fight for the preservation of genuine hip-hop culture.

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