Song Analysis “Five Fingas of Death” – D.I.T.C.

5 Fingas Of Death (Note: The following post contains lyrics from a rap that includes language that some of my readers might find objectionable

or even offensive. Reader, be warned.)

[Meaning-making begins with the title. The phrase “five fingers of death” probably means a hand holding a gun.]
(feat. Big L, Lord Finesse, A.G., Fat Joe)

“Where are you?” “Hey, there you are!”
“How does it feel to know you only have a few more seconds to live?”
[Cut and scratched] “Big L”

[Big L]
Check it, I stay jeweled up, pockets swelled up from banks I held up
Plenty bitch-ass niggas Big L stuck
I never catch cold feet when I hold heat
We roll deep, Triple Fat dogs in their old jeep
I catch a fag three o’clock in the morn
On the block all alone and put the glock to his dome
Tell him “Give it up quick, you nitwit, don’t try to get slick
Or I’m a let this four-fifth spit and leave your shit split”
Grip, it ain’t nothing decent about me
A true thug for real, you can ask the precinct about me
A rap junkie, don’t try to play me like some flunky
Jewels be chunky, pockets lumpy, attitude grumpy
Mad niggas be fronting the life
Popping mad shit, trying to be something they not
Your faggot ass better stay to dancing, don’t even look at me
I might break your jaw for glancing, that’s right
In ’97 Harlem kids is blowing
And we don’t trip, we’ll let a bitch starve til her ribs are showing

[This guy is talking about the crimes he’s committing. He robbed banks. He says he never catches cold feet

when he holds heat. This means he never backs down when he’s carrying a gun.  “Rolling deep” can have

multiple meanings. Its more obvious meaning is to walk around with a large group of friends. But it can

also refer to an attitude of being hard and not to be messed with. Triple Fat is a brand of heavy winter coats

stuffed with down. When he says he’s putting a “glock to his dome,” he means he’s taking a pistol to his

head. The part about letting the four-fifth spit refers to firing a .45 caliber pistol. He talks about how he’s

real and other guys are fake.]
[Cut and scratched] “Lord Finesse”s

[Lord Finesse]
It’s the divine mastermind, I turn nickels to dimes
The authentic genuine that’s out to shine
The cool cat, the true mack, the smooth raps
Chickens be like “Who’s that?” I be doing my thing, kid (True dat)
Forget fronting, I’m beyond that, I roll with brothers ready for combat
All for eye-to-eye contact
With skills, G, yo it’s ill, see, for real, B
Ain’t no barbeque, niggas better stop trying to grill me
Huh, sent that style to the essence
Got niggas stressing my style, pull like fluorescence
No question, tough type to clutch mics
No positive upright, I’m the “I don’t give a fuck” type
Expose the facts, you know the haps
We go to laugh astrological, like the signs in the Zodiac
To rap you, out the stack glue, word up
My style’s tighter than a fat bitch in a cat suit
Surprise G, it’s not wise see to size me
When I operate, it’s Smooth Sailing like Ron Isely

Gotta do my thing, word up (Beg ya pardon?)
Time to bounce, gotta skate like Tonya Harding

[Turning nickels to dimes means to double one’s money. He’s talking about how great a guy he is – a cool

cat, a true mack, with smooth raps. Macking, being a mack, or mackonomics refers to capturing the affection of attractive

young women. Chickens are chicks or girls. The line about barbecue plays on the word “grill” which

is being used as a verb here, meaning “to interrogate.” The “haps” is short for the “happenings” or what’s going on.  Another

pun occurs where the rapper brags that his style is tighter than an obese woman in a skimpy costume, here playing on the word

tight which can mean cool but also has a more mainstream meaning of being narrow.

Tonya Harding was an Olympic figure-skater in the 80’s and 90’s who tried to sabotage the career of another

American figure-skater, Nancy Kerrigan.]
[Cut and scratched] “A.G.”

Yo I’m the cleverest, top ten terrorist
Chickens ever diss, they become featherless
Hate derelicts, certified gold medalist
You play fly cause I’m the most high like Everest
Look at all these fakes, musically you imitate the crates
Won’t succeed moving at full speed with no breaks
Like Jake, watch me take your entourage
Can’t see me, I’m camouflage, and besides, I’m God
Mad hard, like the S.A.T., have shorties
Caught up in the mental, watch her bless A.G.
Evidently, you still don’t know, because you tempt me
Thought you was the boss when your fat thoughts were empty
Not Fat Joey Crack, but still Jealous One’s Envy
Who sent me? D.I.T.C., good and plenty
Like the doctor, smoke a Spike Joint and watch “Clockers”
Get rude like Shabba, make moves behind my blockers
Crazy sickness, you want the pure, you’d better pick this
Bitches can’t get this, faggots remain dickless

[Cut and scratched] “Fat Joe”
[A.G. here is not attorney general as it is in the world of American politics. A.G. is short for Andre the Giant and he is in the

same crew as Big L (former member) and Lord Finesse.

He refers to the SAT as “mad hard,” i.e. very difficult. Remember that the audience is probably lower-class

urban youth, a group that is likely to view the SAT as being “mad hard.” But he’s playing with the meaning

of hard. When he’s using it to describe the SAT, he means difficult. But when he uses it to describe himself,

he means hard to defeat. D.I.T.C. stands for “Diggin’ in the Crates,” and names A.G.’s rap crew. The name reflects how

the group searches through boxes of old records to find samples. “Clockers” was a Spike Lee Joint, i.e. a movie directed by

the visionary Spike Lee, and focuses of the lives of drug dealers. I believe Shabba is Shabba Ranks, a Jamaican ragga musician

and getting rude has a range of meanings from “being cool” to “having sex.” I think A.G. is basically trying to say that he’s

a great rapper and a major gangster.]
[Fat Joe]
Before we get started, let’s talk about these coward-hearted MC’s
That claim to be true O.G.’s and war specialists
Forever busting guns on the circus ship
But when the beef comes, get on the ???
You know the deal, I come with nothing but the real
Certified pejente, recognize mi gente
Whether East Coast or West Coast, I’ll lick ’em all
Strip naked, bitch niggas will never be respected
Joey Green, bagging doubles up in Bowling Green
For all my team, packing the nine, for soon as this team is rolling clean
You know the team, never giving a fuck
Playing thick in the cut, get your shit laced up

[ “Mi gente” means “my people” in Spanish, generally means, “my homies.” The reference to East

Coast and West Coast harkens back to the rap battles of the late 90’s which pitted East Coast rappers like

NYC’s Notorious B.I.G. against West Coast rappers like Tupac Shakur. A lot of this is hard to follow because of obscure

slang and references. I know what “double bagging” is but I think that’s different from “bagging doubles.” A lot of places

are called Bowling Green, but since D.I.T.C. is from the Bronx, I think it refers to a part of NYC that features a public park

and a subway station. Also, “packing the nine”, probably means carrying a gun, a Tech Nine.]

[Cut and scratched] “Diamond D”

Yo I’m flipping on niggas like Dre’s and Cracks
My raps react on your cardiac like a heart attack
Some niggas front for stunts who want
Take a puff of the blunt and play a nigga like a chump
But I don’t play that shit for no chicks
Sucking the next nigga’s dick, moving pricks
I’m too slick for you high school dropouts
You got knocked and tried to cop out
Couldn’t fight when the kids pulled the mop out
And wails you out, right at home saying “Bail me out”
Little small time, fucked up when you called mines
D Squared, one of the greatest of all time

Yeah, D.I.T.C. representing for the ’97, word life
[ The cardiac is the heart. He’s saying that his raps affect people down to their hearts. The “puff of the blunt” means a hit of

marijuana. The “mop” may be a homemade pen. He’s making the point that a rapper armed with a pen can defeat a thug with

a gun. D Squared could be expressed algebraically as DD, which stands for Diamond D, the rapper himself.]

5 Fingas Of Death Lyrics on , additional help from Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary]

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