Paperwork - T.I. ft. Pharrell Williams



The Experience: T.I. and Pharrell come together for a hip-hop about growing up with dreams, but feeling sandwiched between poverty or crime. Your criminal record becomes an obstacle to your dreams, paperwork that means everybody gone need something on you. 

Official Video: Waiting.

The meaning of Paperwork tells T.I.'s autobiography - a story about growing up in the ghetto. The coolest people around are those selling drugs, in T.I.'s case, his uncle Quint. They have the good life, it seems. Then Quint's doing 10 years in jail. Pretty soon, T.I. ends up doing the same, dealing drugs, and doing jail terms. 
The meaning behind the story of paperwork is the tragedy of thinking the choice is: be poor, or deal drugs. Too many poor neighborhoods feel these are the only options. And who is giving them hope about really changing around?
At the end of the day, it isn't T.I.'s drug past that made him who he is. The real power in his life story is "Open fire if you seem to be blocking my dreams, yessir." Dreams, hope and fighting spirit get you past the lies of die poor or die drug-dealing. But society should do a whole lot more to make people's dreams come true.

Ask yourself: Do I follow my dreams? Do I let society crush them? Do I crush other people's dreams or help them to make them come true?


LYRICS:
[Pharrell Williams:]
(Paperwork)
Don't do no business until you check his (paperwork)
And if all else fails, I just hope that this (paperwork)
Wanna swing Bentley doors, blow smoke through the roof
Everything got a cost, they gone need something on you
(Paperwork)

[T.I.]
ATL, Westside, that's the only home I know
In '85, me and Uncle Quint used to ride around in the big Bronco
Took me up to Charles' Disco
Daytime, set me down at the bar
Where I drank Shirley Temple
'Til he walked out with a bag and we got back in the car
"What you wanna be he asked?" When you grow up big, kid?
I just wanna be like you, ridin' round town gettin' bread
We shot a couple Lac, couple summer pass
Uncle Quint ain't nowhere to be found
Later we learn that someone ratted him out
For that reason 10 years he won't be around

[Pharrell Williams:]
(Paperwork)
Don't do no business until you check his (paperwork)
And if all else fails, I just hope that this (paperwork)
Wanna swing Bentley doors, blow smoke through the roof
Everything got a cost, they gone need something on you
(Paperwork)

[T.I.]
Picture me in '93
I'm the only man I see
Fresh up off the porch
Lookin' for a drop Porsche and a fake ID
Introduce me to the crack game
Rap game was the furthest from my mind
Had a notebook full of rhymes
And a pocket full of crack rock dimes
Time on my side, lift .45 in my jeans
Open fire if you seem to be blocking my dreams, yessir
Welfare, food stamps
Section eight, me and Ma lived in the trap
I said fuck school, it holdin' me back
I wanna bankroll, chasin' after that

[Pharrell Williams:]
(Paperwork)
Don't do no business until you check his (paperwork)
And if all else fails, I just hope that this (paperwork)
Wanna swing Bentley doors, blow smoke through the roof
Everything got a cost, they gone need something on you
(Paperwork)

[T.I.]
Look at me, at 17
Livin' on my own, peddlin'
Quarter ki, now and then sellin' weed
Tokin' too, cost my first felony
That's one of many, that were to follow
Drinkin' Henney up out the bottle
Told a child I think I'm bein' followed
Family don't think I'll live to see tomorrow
Plenty have a story like mine
Know many of you had a little nine
Know many of you did a little dirt
Too many of us did a little time
Wake up, 10 years of your life passed
When you get your cake up
Don't it seem like that
When the Feds on your ass passin' out

[Pharrell Williams:]
(Paperwork)
Don't do no business until you check his (paperwork)
And if all else fails, I just hope that this (paperwork)
Wanna swing Bentley doors, blow smoke through the roof
Everything got a cost, they gone need something on you
(Paperwork)

[Pharrell & T.I.]
If you think that you high, baby look above you
It's drones in the sky, there's nothing you could do
So left, two, three - snap!
Right two, three - snap!
Don't get serious now - it's too late for that
Cause they got
Time on my side, lift .45 in my jean
Open fire if you seem to be blocking my dreams, yessir

[Pharrell Williams:]
(Paperwork)
Don't do no business until you check his (paperwork)
And if all else fails, I just hope that this (paperwork)
Wanna swing Bentley doors, blow smoke through the roof
Everything got a cost, they gone need something on you
(Paperwork)

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