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Meaning of ‘We Paid’ by ‘Lil Baby’ feat. 42 Dugg

Released: 2020

Features: 42 Dugg

“We Paid” by Lil Baby and 42 Dugg is a representation of the artists’ rise to fame and fortune, and the gritty life they led before reaching stardom. The track chronicles their experiences in the streets, their encounter with the law, and how they turned their losses into monumental wins. Packed with nuanced slang and references, this song provides an insider look into their journey from poverty to prosperity.

Starting with the line, “‘Fore I go broke like Joc”, Lil Baby is implying he’d rather resort to illicit routes than go broke, referencing rapper Yung Joc who faced significant financial struggles post his fleeting fame. “Not that rock, that pit'” is a pun, ‘rock’ being a slang for diamond or crack cocaine, and ‘pit’ indicating pitbull — drawing a parallel between the aggressive pitbull and Lil Baby himself ready to fight for his survival.

The lyrics, “I had it hard, Seen my bitch broke bad, I ain’t had a heart” shows Lil Baby talking about his tough upbringing. His use of “broke bad” is a colloquial term for when a good person starts making bad decisions, usually due to desperation or hardship. Similarly, when he states, “I kept taking L’s, finally got me a M”, he’s recounting losses he’s suffered (‘taking L’s’ in street slang) prior to earning his first million (‘got me a M’).

42 Dugg’s verse continues the narrative, elucidating the life of extravagance they lead now. Lines like “First young nigga in the A2 Lam”, and “Run up 14 mil’, started 14 grams” juxtapose the present luxury with their humble and risk-filled beginnings, selling drugs in small quantities. The repeated chorus, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, we paid” is a triumphant assertion of their new status, a far cry from their past lives.

The song employs language deeply rooted in hip-hop and street culture, making it a powerful expression of their transformative success stories. Despite their tainted pasts, they have risen through the ranks to declare, with unabashed honesty, they are indeed, paid.

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