Lyrics Unlaced – A Guide to Wale’s “’88″

by Tee Jay Void

Wale’s 88Source: Nicekicks

“On my vision board, I look at MJ jumping across that line, and I want to ball out in my own way” - Wale

People find inspiration in a multitude of places. Wale’s passion for sneakers and sports are well documented both on this site and in the lyrics of his music. The DC-based, Maybach Music Group rapper is dropping his third album on June 25th entitled, The Gifted. On the heels of the much anticipated album, he tapped into the inspiration that he garnered from the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest that saw Michael Jordan capture the title with an astonishing dunk from the free throw line while rocking the Air Jordan 3. Wale used that memory to pen the soon-to-be-classic “’88″ single that debuted today in Chicago.

Nice Kicks delved into the lyrical power of this record to explain the importance of Jordan references found within the song’s numerous metaphors. Follow along as we give you A Guide to Wale’s “’88″, focusing on the references to Michael Jordan, his sneakers and the Windy City. Check them out and give us your favorites in the comment section.

“I’m in my Laney’s but nothing JV about this balling”

Wale’s 88 2

Reference: Michael Jordan attended Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. Jordan did not make the Varsity as a sophomore, but starred on the JV squad. Inspired by the Laney Buccaneers team colors, the Air Jordan 5 Retro+ 3/4 Hi “Laney” was released in May 2000.

“My rapping skill is on Chapel Hill but you ain’t see it (UNC)”


Reference: Michael Jordan attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. The Tarheels are known as legendary basketball powerhouse.

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