Released: August 28, 2015

Songwriter: Lupe Fiasco

Producer: Robert Glasper

Pharaoh, pharaoh?

[Verse 1]
Dollar mission, Mississippi Masala getting
Guava Casaba melons, getting a spot at competition
Titties and teeth, so silly of me, no really, it’s free
Aye you can use the phone like a new computer wand
That’s an Ethernet pun, cause dial-up’s all done
When it took twenty minutes just to download one
Aye, you got a fine face, also a dime in your behind
Please can I find some time space to find base
Kinds of rhymes to describe how you’re designed great
And maybe remove the mind freight
Like it’s overhead cranes at the train yard
That Tom Cruise used in the War of the World's
Before the aliens came part
Remember that? Oh, not a fan of the sci-fi?
Like dial-up’s not a fan of the wi-fi
I’m in your eyes like little reflective little pools of tie-dye
And it’s 1972 and I’m some long-haired high guy
Driving a Volkswagen Beetle off into the California twilight
I usually got top cause I’m a guy right
But if you’re gay that’s straight too
Hey, I don’t hate, I got a couple of friends who went bi twice
Did that arrive right?
Do you like whole stories or just the highlights
Cause I like to write your life story on the sky
Made of Lite Brights, remember those?
10 years old, let me guess your age
You were a ten, ten years ago
Am I right, who you calling?
Maybe New Orleans
Where your Mother lives with your brother's kids
Because he locked up cause
Of what some other motherfucker did
Love to fib 'bout the Fibonacci sequence
Do you flicker like Liberace Sequins
Or maybe twinkle like little stars
And tingle like little scars
I run a wrinkle with you like a car hood
And crash test and beat-box while we rewrite
Saul Williams doing the slam set
Then wrap like saran over the pan
Keep the yams fresh, sweet
Five different songs, over five different beats
And this one’s called Valley
I wrote it on the plane in the chair by the galley
On the way to Cali, chicken in the salad
Sounds like a ballad
You loyal, so I’m Khaled
Buy your momma a palace, scratch that
Buy your momma what matters
Data says dollars hotter than two Nevadas
Burning hole in the pockets
And in the wallets of all the rappers
Trappers attracting all the yellowbone Instagrammers
But what about us?

Pharaoh, Pharaoh, Pharaoh

[Verse 2]
It burns inside like lactic acid
Exorcise demons, turn them into gods
Turning in the rods for the bags of the catfish
I don’t believe that God is a black man
Spoiled child getting robbed for his black mans
Mars and other stars in the CAT scans
Back when I listened to Killah Priest
Had my mind thicker and bigger than Philip Heath
Walking round in kufis with sunnis with dhikr beads
Remembering the movies my duty was killing beats
Social villain unwilling to live in peace
I told you children I’m wielding a living beast
Streets, this is where Helen and Ellen meet
So you can get lost like Gilligan on the beach
The players getting mad they not kicking it with the freaks
Cause they took away they pussy and giving it to the geeks
Like us, paradigm shifter, South Carolina Nine shrine shine giver
But not enough dimes to be a crime line tipper
The difference between "nigga", and "niggar"
Uh, Bernie Sanders need a Nike deal
Then I might consider that he might be real
If Phil Knight knight him, then I might like him
Until then children, enjoy the white icing on the cake
Cake, cake, cake, cake
On the cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
On the cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
On the cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
Yeah, yeah, pharaoh, height, yeah

[Verse 3]
What you need a little more? Okay, I’ll give-I'll give you a little more, I’ll give you a little more.. maybe like, like, yeah, yeah
Freestyle off the top, sitting on the stool on the block
Watching for the cops, watching for the thots, watching for the shots
I’m watching for a lot, I gotta use my eyes cause they use me
Cause to them I’m like a price, so I say surprises
And they don’t deprive us, I just demise us
And nothing ever lies yes, on my premisises
Watched for my demises
Maybe might like them, until then just enjoy the white icing on the cake
Cake, cake, cake, cake
The cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
The cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
The cake, cake, cake, cake,cake

Ameri-cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
The cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
The cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
The cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
Ameri- the cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
The cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
The cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
The cake, cake, cake, cake, cake
Ameri-cake, cake, cake, cake, cake

Lupe Fiasco

The Chicago born Wasalu Muhammad Jaco first tasted success when he featured on Kanye West’s hit “Touch the Sky”, a track that shortly preceded his real breakout, his 2006 debut album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor, and he never looked back. He has established himself as one of the greatest urban wordsmiths of all time, with Genius even dubbing him the ‘Proust of Rap’.

While he’s now regarded of one of the 21st Century’s Hip-Hop greats, he wasn’t always a fan of the genre, initially disliking it due to the prominence of vulgarity and misogyny within it. In his late teens, he aspired to make it as a lyricist. In his early twenty’s, he met Jay-Z, who helped him sign with Atlantic Records in 2005. The following year, he released his debut album (Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor), which was met with acclaim from fans and critics alike, as did his sophomore effort, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool.

The following eight years of his career saw far less output than many would’ve anticipated. This can be partly attributed to his struggles with Atlantic Records. The executives wanted him to sign a 360 deal; however, as he refused to do so they instead shelved his already completed 3rd album, Lasers, and wouldn’t promote him as they had previously. The overseers at the label also interfered with his music (as they had tried to do with his fan-favorite track “Dumb it Down”); subsequently effecting the quality and sound of his third and fourth albums.