Welcome to the tenth installment of The DIVE Series*. It is an honor to have written ten consecutive articles for FiveTwenty Collective. I am your host, DJ Expander. If you are new to this series, thank you for tuning in! I genuinely appreciate all of the support this series has been receiving.
If you are a recent or consistent reader of the series, you will have noticed that last month I went over Ty Brasel’s latest and most complete album, TRANSCENDENT.
I recently came across a relatively new song by Red Tips. The music was so good that I could not pass up the opportunity to write an article about this single called Nino Brown.
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” - Psalm 119:105
About the Single
Red Tips‘ single Nino Brown was released on July 24th, 2022. This track is easily one of my favorite tracks from Red Tips. That is saying something. I will extract and cover only the most important meanings of the track to clarify what Red Tips is attempting to convey in the single to the best of my ability.
Interpretation of the Single (Part 1)
The most critical “meat” of the first verse is as follows:
“I got that Bible on me like a kilo. Leave the devil with a stitch like he Lilo. I got the sauce like Hoshino. Had to cut off the dead weight, keto. Momma told me, ‘Don’t do nothin’ illegal’. I’m pushin’ the Word on my name Benny Siegel. Get out or lay down! Bad and I’m brown like Nino. Holy one with the chips like a Cheeto. Lawyer called and he told me I’m free ‘to. Satan thought he won’t get hit wit a veto (Ha!).”
Here, Red Tips makes it clear that he often keeps the Word of God (the Bible) by his side. As a follower of Jesus, this is essential to his walk with God. He speaks about leaving the devil with a stitch (or leaving the devil in the dust) like he’s Lilo, referencing the 2002 Disney film “Lilo & Stitch.” Next, he talks about how he has charisma and cuts off his dead weight like he was on a keto diet. This “dead weight” line is likely a pun because he probably means he lost weight physically and cut some ties with toxic people.
Red Tips implies that his mom raised him right and he’s genuine about publicly conveying that he follows God’s Word. He is unashamed of the Gospel and isn’t afraid of being known to be deeply rooted in the Bible.
He also conveys that it is good to be holy and have money to provide. (Note that he is not saying the love of money and material items is good. The love of money is the root of all evil, but having money and material things to provide for yourself and others is alright). Lastly, he mentions how he’s free (likely referencing what Jesus did for him on the cross). Satan thought he wouldn’t get shut down by Red Tips, but Satan ended up getting rejected by him due to his faith in God.
Interpretation of the Single (Part 2)
Red Tips’ awesome pen game continues with this in the chorus of the song:
“If that’s what you want then go get it. All my dogs gotten straight out the trenches. Penthouse we ain’t gettin’ no mentions. In the game, we ain’t ridin’ no benches. Get out of yo’ feelings, get out of yo’ boss. Start wheelin’ and dealin’. My life raisin’ up ’cause I ain’t got no ceilings. My neck and my wrist the only thing that’s chillin’. You only want me, you can’t call up a feelin’ (Woo woo woo). Shinobi out there hittin’, live how I’m feelin’. I been kickin’. Give me the disc, I’ma throw it like krillin’. It’s nothin’ to me. I step in and he parted the sea. He told me that he livin’ through me. That mean I got the heart of a G (Yeah). It’s nothin’ to me.”
Based on everything that I understand in the chorus of the track, Red Tips is likely expressing:
- How important it is to have a good work ethic to achieve your goals in life
- How important it is not to feel sorry for yourself and get to work on your goals and dreams (hence the term “wheelin’ and dealin’)
- How he’s going nowhere but up due to his hard work
- How has an icy neck and wrist (neck and wrist with jewelry on them)
- How he lives authentically and hangs out with friends in contentment
- How God directs his paths
- How God lives through Red Tips, meaning he has the heart of a G (someone who is not fake)
The entirety of verse 2 is the following:
“I’m goin’ for bro, I’m takin’ all of the risks. When I shoot now it’s shot like a wrist. Ball, like I’m ’bout it, get signed with a niche. Lash on the bread like I’m takin’ a pic yeah. It’s a movie, how we do it. Ratatouille, I get to it. Got a cross on my back I can’t lose it. I got the gospel of peace I’ma use it. Quick fast, quick pass. Hit hard so I got whiplash. How you bring that thing back with no tag? How you pushin’ the whip with no gas? I put faith in the tank and I dash. Read the word, and I pray, and I fast. Goin’ Hulk in a hole and I smash. Satan, I’m kickin’ yo’— (*Beep*).“
In this verse, he indicates that he is not afraid to take risks, shoots his shots willingly, and has his niche in the Christian Rap space. Red Tips mentions how his life is like a movie, giving the movie “Ratatouille” as an example of his work ethic.
He speaks about having a cross on his back (referencing how Jesus carried the cross to Calvary to die on that same cross for our sins). He also mentions how he has the Gospel of peace (otherwise known as the story of Jesus Christ) and is not afraid to use the Gospel to help others find their way to Jesus.
I want to address five consecutive bars that end the second verse. He asks how people can drive a car with no gas and then proceeds to make the analogy that driving the vehicle is living a fulfilled life. That the gas needed to live a fulfilled life in Christ is faith in God. He continues by saying he reads the Bible, talks with God, and fasts (which are all fundamental Biblical principles). He goes on to say he’s “goin’ Hulk” or going “beast mode” against Satan and hits Satan with a burn saying, “I’m kickin’ yo’ [behind].” Let us make sure that we understand how he’s “kicking Satan’s [behind].” Red Tips has made it clear that he wants nothing to do with Satan’s schemes and rejects Satan’s temptations with the help of the Holy Spirit.
The chorus runs one last time and then the song ends.
Today, this record has over 110,000 Spotify streams, making it the third most popular track on Spotify for Red Tips. Just behind HIT MY LINE and STUFF BACK.
Based on the given information, Red Tips’ primary point he is attempting to convey is likely the following:
He has worked hard to achieve his success; rejects Satan’s temptations and schemes; frequently prays, fasts, and uses God’s Word as a light to guide him through his life.
As stated in Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” This is an excellent theme verse for this track, given what Red Tips is likely attempting to convey to his audience.
It is important to Red Tips to make a positive difference in his audience’s lives. It is equally important to him to make that difference by unashamedly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help lead others to God.
In the same way, God’s people should reject Satan’s temptations, pray without ceasing, frequently fast, and ultimately use God’s Word as a light to guide us through our lives.
About The DIVE Series*
In this series, I DIVE into the precise and potential meanings of Christian Hip Hop singles, albums, and EPs.
In Special Edition installments of the series, I interview the artist(s) involved to get an exact idea of the true meaning of their art.
Thanks for checking out today’s edition of FiveTwenty Collective’s DIVE series! I drop a new installment of this series on the 5th and 20th of every month (except on Sundays).
**Listen to the full Nino Brown single at the end of the article!**
Want more content from The DIVE Series? Check out the previous article now!