While we knew (based on the album artwork) that there would be frequent references to drug use, paraphernalia and different types of addiction throughout the album, what we didn’t expect was so many pop-culture references as the 12-track LP progressed.
After a few listens, VIBE was able to compile a few of the pop-culture references that stood out. Whether Cole was playing with words or giving us music and world history lessons, we weren’t disappointed. Check it out below.
“Haven’t you heard? I’m as cold as the tip/ Tip of the iceberg that tipped the Titanic”
The cause of the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic was the ship’s collision with a massive iceberg.
“Platinum wrist ridin’ in back like Miss Daisy/ Platinum disc and I own masters, b**ch, pay me”
Driving Miss Daisy was a 1989 film starring Jessica Tardy as Miss Daisy Werthan, who is driven around in a 1949 Hudson Commodore and hires a black chauffeur (Morgan Freeman).
“B**ches been askin’, ‘Where have you done lately?’/ I stacked a few M’s like my last name was Shady”
Eminem…a.k.a Em…a.k.a Slim Shady.
“Now Cole, he important My ni**as beside me like Tommy and Martin”
Of course, this is an homage to the classic 90s sitcom Martin, and its characters Martin, Tommy and Cole. RIP Tommy.
“We ball in your court and Escape with your b**ch like we Tonya Harding”
This is a reference to the infamous Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding. He may be saying “turnin’ ya heart in,” which would be an excellent play on her name.
“You really wanna know who Superman is? Watch this, pow!”
A line from Superman.
“Spill promethazine inside a double cup/Double up my cream, now that’s a Double Stuff”
Who doesn’t love a Double Stuffed Oreo reference?
“He exempt, Shawn Kemp, he keep that .40 on him”
Basketball star Shawn Kemp not only had the jersey number 40 during his 14 season run in the NBA, he was arrested in 2005 for possession of a .40 caliber handgun and drug possession.
“And I got bread like I’m Green Day”
A nod to the popular punk-rock band Green Day, who has accumulated a lot of money throughout their run, which began in 1990 through the release of their debut album, 39/Smooth.
The title is based on the moniker of famed comedian, Kevin Hart.
“…Hey, if my father was alive today, I would go home and say, ‘Dad, I wanna tell you how much money I made.’ You know what he’d say? ‘You’s a lying motherf**ker! Joe Louis didn’t make that much money!”
The comedian in the beginning of the song is none other than Richard Pryor. He reportedly told an audience about what his father would have said to him about having exorbitant amounts of money had he been alive during the time he became a household name. This may also be a nod to Cole’s own father, who reportedly left his mother when Cole was a baby.
“Once an Addict (Interlude)”
“Late as sh*t, cigarette smoke and greatest hits from Marvin Gaye/ She kill a whole bottle of some cheap chardonnay”
This could be a reference to Big Sean’s single off of his album Finally Famous, “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay.”
“Blame it on the rain, Milli Vanilli with the disk skip”
“Blame It On The Rain” was one of Milli Vanilli’s biggest hits. Disk skip could refer to their infamous song skip on MTV, which lead to allegations and their subsequent admission of lip-synching their songs.
“We wasn’t s’posed to get past 25/ Jokes on you motherf**ker, we alive”
This is reference to Kanye West’s The College Dropout track “We Don’t Care.”
“Just remember what I told you when your sh*t flop/ In five years you gon’ be on Love & Hip-Hop, ni**a”
Well, as a few musicians have proven, being on the popular Vh1 reality show is not the worst thing, but on “No Role Modelz,” Cole mentions his disdain with reality shows and “out of touch with reality h**s.”