When I first heard Jay-Z’s The Black Album their were songs I loved (What More Can I Say, Dirt Of Your Shoulder, Encore) songs I hated (Justify Your Thug will never grow on me) and songs that were good. Allure feel into that category.

As time has gone on, Allure has grown on me; not only the beat, but the concept behind it. The extended metaphor of “the life” pulling you back in works both as a wily veteran about to retire and a young hustler who has grown tired of the streets. Its a man coming to term with a decision he doesn’t want to make but has to come to terms with.

And thats where my relationship stood with this particular opus…until about a month ago. A friend of mine (I’m looking at you Miles Coltrane aka FeFe Dobson bka Jazzmen) used the term 11ty billion. I had only heard the term used in this song…and it ALWAYS bugged me. Like was its 11ty billion, its not a real number, that shit is made up. If you look on urban dictionary, the terms doesnt so much have a definition as it has a string of words with numerical meaning. All the hate for that word came rushing back, making me question the greatness of the song.

The yesterday, I choose to examine the line that term appears in:

“The game is a light bulb with 11ty billion volts/and I’m just a moth”

Now, in context, the line adds to the metaphor of the song. He’s a man, small compared to the attractive pull of the game he loves. Great. Wonderful.

But as my film geek and engineering friends that read this blog will quickly notice, LIGHT BULBS AREN’T MEASURED IN VOLTS. THEY’RE MEASURED IN FUCKING WATTS. So not only is Jay making up numbers, he isn’t that keen on the science tip either.

Times like this, I wish i didn’t pay attention in science class. That one line destroys the metaphor for me (much like my typo’s destroy the flow of my articles lol).

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