Ice Cube is an American rapper from South Central Los Angeles, and he is considered one of the founding members of gangsta rap. His lyrics are unflinchingly honest, and his songs usually revolve around the danger and violence of the inner city of Los Angeles. In “Dead Homiez” Ice Cube thinks about the many young men who have died because of gang-related violence.
Up early in the morning, dressed in black
Don’t ask why? Cause I’m down in a suit and tie
They killed a homie that I went to school with
I tell ya life ain’t shit to fool with
I still hear the screams of his mother
While my nigga laid dead in the gutter
And it’s getting to my temple
Why is that the only time black folks get to ride in a limo?
The senseless violence in Ice Cube’s neighborhood is really bothering him. He reminds us that life is very valuable and precious and ponders why there is so much violence in the first place. Here are 9 vocabulary words and phrases that you’ll need to understand the song:
- dressed in black (poetic phrase) – Most Americans wear black or dark clothes to funerals.
- homie (slang, noun) – a friend
- getting to my temple (idiom) – If something is getting to your temple, it is getting to your head. It is a problem that bothers you. You cannot think about anything else, and it is bugging you out.
- pay my repsects (phrase) – to honor somebody after their death, usually by going to the funeral.
- shed a tear (verb) – to cry, especially because you are very sad.
- get blitzed (idiom) – to get very drunk or intoxicated. If you get very blitzed, you might go to the hospital.
- be six feet deep (idiom) – to be dead and buried underground. If you are six feet deep, you are no longer alive.
- dressed up (adjective) – wearing fancy or dressy clothes. Many people get dressed up for funerals.
- messed up (adjective) – unhappy, confused, disorderly, shocking. The high crime rate is so messed up! They need to do something about it!
How can society solve the problem of violence? Do you think humans can ever be 100% peaceful? Will there always be fighting and conflict? What is the cause of violence in big cities? Do we need stricter laws to prevent violence, or more education programs? Please write your comments below!