Big Sean – “No Favors” Ft. Eminem (Lyrics Review & Song Meaning)
Last year a lot of rumors spread with a possible beef between Big Sean and Eminem which was a bluff in the end, when Big Sean brought Eminem out to perform in his concert in Detroit. And then we knew instead of a series of diss tracks we would rather get one heck of a collaboration. Big Sean has apparently written up his verses for “No Favors” and sent it to Eminem where he did his bars and replied-says Big Sean with an interview with Zane Lowe. Sean says it meant the world to him and as a result of this gesture, we have the hottest hip hop/rap collaboration of 2017 so far.
“No Favors” appears on Big Sean’s upcoming album ‘I Decided’ which was released on 3rd February, 2017. The track has been produced by WondaGurl.
Listen to “No Favors” by Big Sean Featuring Eminem
“No Favors” lyrics contain some real harsh truths just how both these artists do music. However, the beat may have been a little slowed down for the Rap God, but there isn’t a beat he can spit on. So Eminem joins in on the track with verse 2 which is a continuous 2 minute flow of smoothness.
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “No Favors”
Hook by Big Sean:
Make it, make it, make it, boy, we gotta make it
You can save your hand, I ain’t gotta shake it
Everything lined up for the takin’
And what I need from ’em? No favors
Clique too big, bread gotta break it
‘Cause these others lowkey with the snakin’, fakin’
Everything lined up for the takin’
And what I need from ’em? No favors, no favors
What I need? No favors
Everything lined up for the takin’
And what I need from ’em? No favors
The song is about empowering yourself to be better, be great and make it on your own even the whole world has turned it’s back towards you. In the course of making it on your own, you have to drop the dead weight that appear in the form of ‘friends’ in your clique, else they would just weigh you down.
If you really put an effort out there, Big Sean says everything is lined up for taking. It’s you who gotta move and grab it.
Verse 1 by Big Sean:
I’m about gettin’ the job done, boy up every night
I’m about rollin’ a seven when I toss up the dice
I’m about gettin’ my logo off, flooded with ice
I’m about takin’ a risk that might fuck up your life
Big Sean talks about his commitment to work-music. He has mentioned the late nights he pulls in “Blessings” as well. Lucky seven is a dice game called ‘craps’. A logo is someone’s identity and ‘ice’ here means diamonds. Big Sean is getting filthy rich in the music industry. He takes risks and others don’t, so Big Sean beats them in competition.
Tell ’em point and shoot like camera crews
In front of cameras too (Brrr!)
Damn, Sean, what happened to the humble attitude?
I’m like, “Niggas took the flow, but I’m still standin’ too.”
‘Point and shoot’ is something used in wars and when taking pictures. Big Sean addresses the politics behind the wars as he says the wars are being faught infront of cameras. And he gets a shiver (“Brrr!”) off of that thought.
Big Sean thinks he has dropped the humble attitude. Why? Because ‘friends’ tend to use him when he is too humble. Maybe the same reason he was talking about shredding the dead weight.
Thought I had the Midas touch
And then I went platinum too
Motherfuck all your comparisons
I’ve been talking to God like that’s my therapist
“Midas Tough” comes from the story of King Midas when he prayed to God for the ability to turn anything into gold when he touches. This blessing becomes a curse when he touches his daughter and turns her into a golden statue. Big Sean thinks he has this blessing with the music he makes. His 2015 album ‘Dark Sky Paradise’ was certified Platinum by RIAA.
Big Sean does not care about other artists whom he is being compared to. His mentor is God himself and he is at peace with the rest.
I’m African-American in America
I ain’t inherit shit, but a millionaire under 30
So He must be hearin’ shit
Big Sean is an African American-possibly the worst time to be one in US right now. But he is porud of his heritage. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he is a millionaire before he hit 30 years of age. So he thinks God must be listening to his prayers.
Don, don, don life, I do this for the crib
The D to Flint, kids who get sick with lead
I assume Big Sean’s ‘crib’ is Detroit where he is based. The Flint city changed its water source from Detroit to Flint River and kids have been getting sick due to high amounts of lead in water.
Others get hit with the lead
From where they need a handout
But they tell you put hands up
Only deals I have is from the Sam’s Club
And maybe Flint city doesn’t have the worst of it because in Detroit you get hit with actual lead (bullets) because of all the gang wars. Big Sean also brings out police brutality in these lines. Sam’s Club is a grocery store known for bulk discounts.
Now it’s blue blood in my veins
Though you know what I came for
Born in a world going where they told me I can’t go
In my lane, though, I’m in the same boat as Usain Bolt
Get ahead by any means so the head’s what I aim for
Sean wasn’t born rich. Blue blood is a reference to nobility and he says he had the exact opposite upbringing. He was born and raised in Detroit which is considered one of the most violent cities in the US due to gang and drug related conflicts.
It was US’s greatest industrial city before it got run over by the gangs. Music was the furthest thing from Detroit. So music was something of a bad career move in Detroit. But he made it. Big Sean is in a separate lane from where the city is going. He compares himself to Usain Bolt-the fastest man on Earth.
When my grandma died, I realized I got an angel
Show me everything’s a blessing dependin’ on the angles
Look, I am the anomaly, never needed favors or apologies
That’s my new lifetime policy
Big Sean has been very affectionate about his grandmother. He talks about her in “Blessings” and “One Man Can Change the World” as well. His grandma passes away in 2014 and Big Sean says she is definitely in heaven and now he has a guardian angel of his own.
It was his grandma that taught Sean to look at everything in a positive light. Everything can be pictured as a blessing if you see it in the correct angle. You just need a better perspective.
When someone has had success through a tough upbringing, that really builds up character and strength. Big Sean feels as if no one has done any favors for him thus far and he definitely needs none right now. No favors and no apologies is his policy for life.
Woodgrain steering wheel, this bitch feel like a pirate ship
How many hot verses ’til you bitches start acknowledgin’
The pictures we been paintin’? My nigga
Connected to a higher power
How I know? ‘Cause I don’t write this shit, I think it, my nigga
Look, all I ever did was beat the odds
Woodgrain steering wheel is a steering wheel with a wood texture-mostly found in classic cars and newly modified cars. It feels like a pirate ship because of the wood-grain steering wheels on ships.
Big Sean has the impression that some higher power is in works with his music. The verses are always hot and has some real and true meaning behind them and he makes it flow. The mental pictures he paints with his songs are like straight from heaven. Big Sean says he doesn’t write and re-write his lyrics. He merely thinks it (freestyle thinking) and flows drop out. Wonder if “No Favors” was a freestyle!
‘Cause when you try to get even it just don’t even out
Never stoppin’ like we hypnotized
Watch what we visualize on the rise, be the G.O.A.T.
While we alive, when we die, we gon’ be the gods
Big Sean is already on the map of music. His plan is to be a Greatest Of All Time when alive and be an immortal name in music when dead. I think he is pretty there even now.
Eminem’s Verse from “No Favors”
Eminem goes full savage on his 2 minute long in “No Favors” as he brings out his Slim Shady a bit in these lines.
If she was flavor, I won’t save her
No taste buds, ho, later!
Fuck you lookin’ at, hater?
I saw them eyes, like an ass raper
A flavor is something that fades away quick and you put a girl on the same context and Eminem has no time to deal with her. No tastes? Goodbye is all she gets.
Try to copy my swag like a cheating classmate
I’ll be the last face you see before you pass
When you get your fuckin’ ass graded like a math paper
Eminem’s music game is unparalleled. It is not even at a level that can be copied. But if someone attempts, he would have to go through Eminem and he will make sure his face is what you see when you bury their music career.
So ahead of my time, “late” means I’m early
My age is reversing, I’m basically 30
Amazingly sturdy, zany and wordy
Brainy and nerdy, blatantly dirty
Insanely perverted, rapey and scurvy
As if we needed any more introudctions to Marshall Mathers, Em goes on a spitting spree describing himself in a ballistic fashion. His music game is so ahead of time that even the music he produces at age 40 is so fresh than the music produced by young rappers.
They blame me for murdering Jamie Lee Curtis
Said I put her face in the furnace, beat her with a space heater
A piece of furniture, egg beater, thermos
It may be disturbing, what I’m saying’s cringeworthy
Jamie Lee Curtis is an actress who has publicly spoken about his dislike for Eminem’s music saying that it’s a bad influence in the household. And looks like Eminem is full aware of the fact and he is not regretting any of it. How do we know? Because the lines that follow are pretty disturbing to say the least…
But I’m urinating on Fergie, call Shady number 81
Surely I’m turning into the Aaron Hernandez of rap
Fergie took these lyrics as a joke and tweeted the following.
— Fergie (@Fergie) February 4, 2017
Shady is Eminem’s other persona which is pretty dark and wacky. So it’s as if “No Favors” has got a taste of Eminem and Slim Shady both on the lyrics.
Aaron Hernandez was accused of murder Odin Lloyd, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado and Eminem would do the same with his competition.
State of emergency, the planet’s having panic attacks
Brady’s returning, matter of fact I may be deserving
Of a pat on the back, like a Patriots jersey
Inexplicable stomach growl from the pit of it
Like a fuckin’ Terrier hittin’ it
Eminem’s verses usually results in panic attacks among many which is why he is regarded one of the best. Much like Tom Brady who is considered one of the greatest there is, Eminem is in the same hall of fame.
‘Pat’ is short for Patriots and Eminem plays on words here.
Despicable, dumb it down, ridiculous
Tongue is foul, shoot off at the fuckin’ mouth
Like a missile, a thunder cloud
Hundred pound pistol, pull the trigger, this gun will sound
And you’ll get a round, like Digital Underground
A foul tongue shooting out words is a dangerous business, it makes so much noise like a missile or a thunder, but the words have no meaning or no significance.
Digital Underground is a rap duo from back in the days who collaborated with Tupac, which makes sense in this context because of the gun violence theme Eminem built up in the previous line. Tupac spoke very adamantly about gun violence.
And fuck Ann Coulter with a Klan poster
With a lamp post, door handle, shutter
A damn bolt cutter, a sandal, a can opener, a candle, rubber
Piano, a flannel, sucker, some hand soap, butter
A banjo and manhole cover
Ann Coulter is a social and political commentor with strong conservative ideas and Eminem implies that she is no better than the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) which is a dangerous group of people with extremist propaganda. They were at their peak in the 1800s and now has resurfaced on media with the election of Donald Trump who has a similar approach towards white supremecy and nationalism.
Ann Coulter lashed out at Eminem about her association with KKK.
Watch Ann Coulter Comment About “No Favors” Lyrics by Eminem
Hand over the mouth and nose smother
Trample ran over the tramp with the Land Rover
The band, the Lambo, Hummer and Road Runner
Go ham donut, or go Rambo, gotta make an example of her
That’s for Sandra Bland, ho, and Philando
Eminem continues to pain a picture of how he is going to assault Ann Coulter. Pretty self explanatory. He also gives a shout-out to two victims of police brutality-namely Philando Castile and Sandra Bland.
Eminem Calls President Donald Trump a Bitch on “No Favors”
Hannibal on the lamb, no wonder I am so stubborn
I’m anti, can’t no government handle a commando
Your man don’t want it, Trump’s a bitch
I’ll make his whole brand go under (Yeah)
Eminem continues his assualt on Donald Trump by calling him the b word in this track. Em also expressed his strong dislike of Trump in his lengthy “Campaign Speech” track.
And tell Dre I’m meeting him in L.A
White Bronco like Elway, speeding
I’m bout to run over a chick, Del Rey CD in?
Females stay beatin ‘em, bet you they’ll lay bleeding
And yell, “Wait!” pleading—but screaming is pointless
Like feeding Michel’le helium
Leaving them pale-faced, medium-sized welt
Straight treating ’em like a cellmate
Seedy, I’m climbing hell’s gate
Bitch, I’m like your problems: self-made
Meaning someone else’s help ain’t needed, ’cause I’ma…
Eminem continues to showcase his profound awareness of the social matters of the past and the present and the beauty about this is, that he can make them into perfectly rhythmic and meaningful sentences while maintaining the flows. That is why he is the Rap God.
Big Sean comes back on “No Favors” to repeat the hook and the song ends with the following outro.
(I know you feeling yourself right now.)
(But I’m not sure she’s the one—I would call them in.)
“Hey, I’m outside.”
What are you doing here?
“No Favors” capture so many important and timely issues besides the theme of Big Sean’s ideas on self dependency. Doing that with a killer beat and a consistent flow is not something every rapper out there can do. That is one reason that this rap collaboration is one of a kind. Both artists have sacrificed their lives for music.
“No Favors” is already top on Billboard + Twitter real time chart and it will most likely see itself on a high rank on Billboard Hot 100 chart as well.
If you enjoyed “No Favors” by Big Sean and Eminem make sure to leave a comment below of your opinions on the song and your own interpretations of the lyrics.