The Notorious B.I.G. is a rapper and hip-hop artist from Brooklyn, New York City, and he is sometimes known as Biggie Smalls. He released his debut album, Ready to Die, in 1994, and it is one of the best east coast hip-hop albums of all time. His songs are usually dark and autobiographical, but “Juicy” is very positive and discusses Biggie’s success and rise to the top.
You know very well who you are
Don’t let them hold you down. Reach for the stars
You had a goal, but not that many
‘Cause you’re the only one. I’ll give you good and plenty
Grammar: past habits with ‘used to’
Before Biggie Smalls became very successful and wealthy, he was very poor and had a rough life. Biggie Smalls celebrates his rags-to-riches story, and he compares his old life with his new, more luxurious life.
It was all a dream. I used to read Word Up Magazine.
Born sinner. The opposite of a winner. Remember when I used to eat sardines for dinner.
Girls used to diss me. Now they write letters ’cause they miss me.
We used to fuss when the landlord dissed us. No heat. Wonder why Christmas missed us.
Used to implies a past habit or recurring action. If you used to smoke cigarettes, it means you have smoked many cigarettes in the past, but you do not smoke anymore. If you have smoked only one cigarette in your entire life, you didn’t use to smoke because one cigarette is not a habit.
Subject + used to + base verb
Subject + didn’t use to + base verb
Did + subject + use to + base verb?
- I used to read Word Up Magazine. Biggie Smalls read Word Up Magazine for inspiration. After he became famous and wealthy, he stopped reading it.
- I used to eat sardines for dinner. Sardines are very cheap and inexpensive fish. When Biggie was poor, he often ate sardines. He ate lobster and drank champagne when he became successful.
- Girls used to diss me. When Biggie Smalls was poor, girls did not like him. They disrespected him. After Biggie Smalls got a lot of money and fame, girls and women adored him.
- We used to fuss when the landlord dissed us. Biggie and his family complained many times after the landlord dissed them. Not anymore.
Pronunciation of ‘used to’
Many Americans pronounce used to like /justə/
Common Error: ‘used to’ & ‘be used to’
Used to is for habitual actions in the past. Be used to means something is familiar and you are accustomed to it.
I was used to packing gats and stuff.
Subject + be verb + used to + noun
Subject + be verb + not + used to + noun
Subject + be verb + used to + ~ing verb
Subject + be verb + not + used to + ~ing verb
- I was used to packing gats and stuff. I was familiar and comfortable with guns, but I am not accustomed to guns now.
- I am used to waking up very early in the morning. I have woken up early many times. In the beginning, it was difficult to wake up early. Now, it easier to wake up early.
- She is not used to listening to hip-hop music. She usually listens to R&B and rock. Hip-hop music is too fast, and she is not familiar with it.
What is the secret to success? How can we become successful? What are your dreams and your goals? How long will it take to reach your dreams and accomplish your goals? Did your life use to be difficult? How is it better now? Please write your comments below!