Remember “Detroit vs Everybody” cypher by Eminem from 2014? This 6-minute track featured some of the best Detroit-native rappers including Royce da 5’9″, Dej Loaf, Danny Brown, Trick Trick, and Big Sean. Six years later, it all comes back in full circle as Big Sean enlists Eminem and Royce da 5’9″ on his “Friday Night Cypher,” alongside a whole lot more artists.
“Friday Night Cypher” is the nineteenth track on Big Sean’s latest album ‘Detroit 2’ released on September 4, 2020, a Friday. Big Sean released a single off the album “Harder Than My Demons” just a few days back.
“Friday Night Cypher” enlists a staggering 11 arists, namely; Kash Doll, Payroll Giovanni, Royce da 5’9″, Sada Baby, Drego, Boldy James, 42 Dugg, Eminem, Cash Kidd, and Tee Grizzley. Songwriting credits on the track extend to even more artists such as Pusha T, Jadakiss, No Malice, Pharrell Williams, and a few others. This mammoth track runs for 9 minutes and 30 seconds.
It is also notable that Eminem and Tee Grizzley are featured on this track, despite having a beef with each other.
Listen to “Friday Night Cypher” by Big Sean
Throughout the track, we see a lot of humility among the featured artists, giving shoutouts to each other. Tee Grizzley shouts out to Big Sean, Kash Doll, and the producer of the track Hit-Boy. Kash Doll in turn shouts out to Cash Kidd, Pusha T, Big Sean, and Helluva Beats. Big Sean also claps back at Cash Kidd, and 42 Dugg. Royce da 5’9″‘s verse shouts out to Danny Brown, Big Sean, Sada Baby, Tee Grizzley, and also to J. Cole, and Adele. Eminem’s verse gives a shout out to Kendrick Lamar.
“Friday Night Cypher” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
We will only go into details of the verses by Big Sean, Royce da 5’9″, and Eminem below.
Big Sean is continuing with his theme of try-hard attitude for his life’s success. He admits that ‘overdoing’ everything is his best and worst habit. It is the kind of habit that will push you beyond success, which can be dangerous.
Big Sean also remembers the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant who passed away on January 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash. This obviously shook the entire world as this is one of the least expected ways of someone passing away. Big Sean realized how fragile life is and that he does not want to waste any second of it. The only “waste” he wants to do is his lady’s waist around his face!
Big Sean also shares that he is not one to run his mouth a lot, especially about his problems. He would rather see through his problems than share them with anyone else. His girl sees this as a fail in his communication skills.
The last line Sean says is that he is exactly where he wanted himself to be. Even on “Harder Than My Demons,” he said that right now he is the idol that he was inspired by when he was still on the grind.
The eleventh verse on “Friday Night Cypher” is by Royce da 5’9″.
Straight away, Royce acknowledges the power of ‘knowledge.’ He admits that knowledge is the key to a lot of successes. But he does not necessarily mean just the knowledge from the books, as he follows up his claim with “I did it all without a college degree.”
Royce da 5’9″ also reflects on how his life has not been smooth sailing so far. It has been a rollercoaster ride from hustling on the streets to an OG from Detroit.
Another key takeaway from Royce’s verse is the lyric “A wise man knows a wise man knows nothin’.” This insinuates that there is very little we know about this world and about each of us. It takes some amount of wisdom and maturity to realize that we actually know little to nothing.
Another ‘Eminem goes last’ moments in music.
Eminem kicks off his verse on “Friday Night Cypher” by reassuring that his skills in the rap game are nothing to comparable to his competition. Just because a rapper says that he is killing his verses on his own track, doesn’t make it the truth. Eminem also goes onto say that he could have taken on this competition even if he was handicapped–as in a fist fight and you only have one hand to fight with!
Eminem also flips on the popular qoute ‘you need two hands to clap,’ and says he will still make noise even if he was handicapped without a hand. He also shouts out to 50 Cent’s ‘Animal Ambition’ album.
Eminem follows up the next lines on his verse with several plays on words such as “stick” and “manual transmission,” “voodoo dolls” and “pokin’ fun.” He adds on to the latter with “pins” which sounds like ‘pens’ are like loaded guns to him, inferring that his weapon of mass destruction is his wordsmith skills.
Another load of puns on the way with vacuum cleaners! Em says that the streets he grew up in Detroit such as 8 Mile and Hoover are notorious. They are more likely to rip apart the weak. Funny enough, Hoover is a popular vacuum brand, and ‘8 Mile’ is a shoutout to the legendary movie based loosely on his life. If one vacuum brand was not enough, Em drops another brand name Roomba to emphasize how much it sucked!
Another important statement by Eminem is that he believes if it wasn’t for Dr. Dre’s assistance in the early stages of his career, he would have still blown up at some point. Dr. Dre is often credited for bringing Eminem on to the map.
Eminem also addresses his haters who say that it is time Eminem retired from rap. But he does so with style. He brings in the rapper Logic who announced his retirement in August 2020 with his final album ‘No Pressure.’ Eminem says that he finds no logic in these requests for him to retire.
Following a shoutout to his own track “Yellow Brick Road” from 2004, he goes onto further improve on his references to the classic children’s tale ‘The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz.’ “Chick with a dog” is a reference to Dorothy Gale, the lead character of the story, who travels through a yellow brick road heading to Emerald City. “missing a heart” is a reference to the ‘Tin Man,’ one of the travel mates Dorothy finds along the way. He is made out of the metal tin and has no heart. “giving out a brain” is a reference to ‘Scarecrow,’ another travel mate, who is without a heart. The Wizard of Oz gives Scarecrow a brain at the end of the story. Does anyone need more evidence of Eminem’s genius?
Eminem finishes up his verse by saying that rap music possesses him, and it is too late for any recovery from that.
What are your thoughts on “Friday Night Cypher” by Big Sean and the Detroit crew? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.