Can't Tell Me Nothing
Kanye West Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

La, la, la-la
Wait 'til I get my money right

I had a dream I could buy my way to heaven
When I awoke, I spent that on a necklace
I told God I'd be back in a second
Man, it's so hard not to act reckless
To whom much is given, much is tested
Get arrested, guess until he get the message
I feel the pressure, under more scrutiny
And what'd I do? Act more stupidly
Bought more jewelry, more Louis V
My mama couldn't get through to me
The drama, people suing me
I'm on TV talking like it's just you and me
I'm just sayin' how I feel, man
I ain't one of the Cosby's, I ain't go to Hillman
I guess the money should've changed him
I guess I should've forgot where I came from

La, la, la-la
Wait 'til I get my money right
La, la, la-la
Then you can't tell me nothin' right?
Excuse me, was you sayin' somethin'?
Uh-uh, you can't tell me nothin'
(Ha-ha) you can't tell me nothin'
Uh, uh, you can't tell me nothin'

Let up the suicide doors
This is my life homie, you decide yours
I know that Jesus died for us
But I couldn't tell you who decide wars
So I parallel double-parked that motherfucker sideways
Old folks talking 'bout, "Back in my day"
But homie, this is my day
Class started two hours ago, oh, am I late?
No, I already graduated
And you can live through anything if Magic made it
They say I talk with so much emphasis
Ooh, they so sensitive
Don't ever fix your lips like collagen
Then say something when you gon' end up apologin'
Let me know if it's a problem then
Aight man, holla then

La, la, la-la
Wait 'til I get my money right
La, la, la-la
Then you can't tell me nothin' right?
Excuse me, was you sayin' somethin'?
Uh-uh, you can't tell me nothin'
(Ha-ha) you can't tell me nothin'
Uh, uh, you can't tell me nothin'

Let the champagne splash
Let that man get cash, let that man get past
He don't even stop to get gas
If he can move through the rumors, he can drive off of fumes 'cause
How he move in a room full of no's?
How he stay faithful in a room full of hoes?
Must be the pharaohs, he in tune with his soul
So when he buried in a tomb full of gold
Treasure, what's your pleasure?
Life is a, uh, depending how you dress her
So if the Devil wear Prada, Adam Eve wear nada
I'm in between but way more fresher
With way less effort
'Cause when you try hard, that's when you die hard
Your homies lookin' like, "Why God"
When they reminisce over you, my God

La, la, la-la
Wait 'til I get my money right
La, la, la-la
Then you can't tell me nothin' right?
Excuse me, was you sayin' somethin'?
Uh-uh, you can't tell me nothin'
(Ha-ha) you can't tell me nothin'
Uh, uh, you can't tell me nothin'

La, la, la-la
Wait 'til I get my money right
La, la, la-la
Then you can't tell me nothin' right?

(I'm serious, nigga)
(Ayy)
(Yeah)
(Ha-ha)
(Yeah, yeah)




(You know I'm serious, nigga)
(I got money)

Overall Meaning

In “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” Kanye West reflects on the pressure that comes with being a successful rapper, and the struggles he faced in his hometown of Chicago. The song opens with the line “La, la, la-la, wait 'til I get my money right,” which serves as a sort of mantra for West to focus on his material successes and ignore those who would try to bring him down.


The second verse is particularly introspective, with Kanye reflecting on the choices he’s made in the past and the consequences that come with them. He expresses regret that he disregarded his mother’s advice and got caught up in materialism and drama. Though he acknowledges his own mistakes, he also rejects the idea that he should be ashamed of becoming successful, saying “I guess the money should've changed him / I guess I should've forgot where I came from” and “Let the champagne splash / Let that man get cash, let that man get past.”


The chorus repeats the “La, la, la-la, wait 'til I get my money right” line, emphasizing the central theme of the song — that for Kanye, financial success is a means of empowerment and self-actualization.


Line by Line Meaning

La, la, la-la
The singer starts humming because he knows he can't be told anything.


Wait 'til I get my money right
The singer is waiting until he has enough money to feel secure in his life.


I had a dream I could buy my way to heaven
The singer wishes he could use money to achieve an ideal life.


When I awoke, I spent that on a necklace
The artist quickly spends his money on superficial things instead of using it wisely.


I told God I'd be back in a second
The artist feels guilty and promises to come back to his religious beliefs soon.


Man, it's so hard not to act reckless
The singer admits to struggling with impulsivity and recklessness despite knowing it's not in his best interest.


To whom much is given, much is tested
The more advantages one has, the more they are challenged and tested in life.


Get arrested, guess until he get the message
The artist explains that sometimes getting in trouble is what it takes to learn a lesson.


I feel the pressure, under more scrutiny
The artist is feeling increased pressure and criticism as his celebrity status grows.


And what'd I do? Act more stupidly
Despite feeling pressure, the artist admits to making foolish decisions in response.


Bought more jewelry, more Louis V
Instead of investing in something meaningful, the singer continues to spend money on material items.


My mama couldn't get through to me
The artist's mother was unable to persuade him to make better choices.


The drama, people suing me
The singer is caught up in personal drama and legal disputes.


I'm on TV talking like it's just you and me
The singer doesn't feel like a celebrity and speaks as if he's just talking to a friend.


I'm just sayin' how I feel, man
The singer is being honest and authentic with his emotions.


I ain't one of the Cosby's, I ain't go to Hillman
The artist identifies himself as an outsider in the entertainment industry and didn't go to a prestigious college like others in his field.


I guess the money should've changed him
Others expected the artist to change with fame and fortune, but he hasn't.


I guess I should've forgot where I came from
People assume that the singer should forget his roots and past in order to succeed.


Let up the suicide doors
The singer wants to live life carefree and without fear of consequences.


This is my life homie, you decide yours
The artist is letting others know that they are free to define their own lives, regardless of his actions.


I know that Jesus died for us
The artist has a religious belief that Jesus died for humanity.


But I couldn't tell you who decide wars
The artist doesn't have all the answers and doesn't understand why wars happen.


So I parallel double-parked that motherfucker sideways
The singer parks his car recklessly to reflect his carefree attitude.


Old folks talkin' 'bout, 'Back in my day'
The artist hears criticism from older generations about how things were different in the past.


But homie, this is my day
The singer asserts that he is living in the present and things have changed.


Class started two hours ago, oh, am I late?
The singer is late for class or doesn't care about attending in the first place.


No, I already graduated
The singer has moved beyond the traditional education system.


And you can live through anything if Magic made it
The artist is showing admiration for Magic Johnson's ability to live with HIV and still live a full life.


They say I talk with so much emphasis
The artist is aware that people criticize his communication style.


Ooh, they so sensitive
The singer thinks people are too easily offended.


Don't ever fix your lips like collagen
The singer advises not to speak untruths or empty promises.


Then say something when you gon' end up apologin'
The artist warns that if someone doesn't follow through on their words, they will have to apologize for it.


Let me know if it's a problem then
The artist invites others to communicate openly with him about any issues or problems.


Aight man, holla then
The artist dismisses the conversation and is ready to move on.


Let the champagne splash
The singer celebrates their success with champagne.


Let that man get cash, let that man get past
The artist believes in letting people succeed and move forward without interference from others.


He don't even stop to get gas
The singer is demonstrating how his success has given him the ability to ignore everyday problems like getting gas.


If he can move through the rumors, he can drive off of fumes
The singer compares overcoming rumors to driving on fumes--if you can do one, you can do the other.


'Cause when you try hard, that's when you die hard
The singer advises not to try too hard or else it will lead to failure and exhaustion.


Your homies lookin' like, 'Why God'
The artist's friends might not understand or agree with their choices.


When they reminisce over you, my God
The artist is aware that even when he is gone or forgotten, he will still be remembered and talked about.


I'm serious, nigga
The singer wants others to know he is serious about his words and actions.


(Ayy)


(Yeah)


(Ha-ha)


(Yeah, yeah)


(You know I'm serious, nigga)


(I got money)




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, WARREN MUSIC PUBLISHING, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Aldrin Davis, Kanye Omari West, Connie Thembi Mitchell

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@solenzo2006

Welcome to this world YE
Who all things are under control
All the media all the theatre all the banks
Zionist is everywhere since a long time

Keep it real bro
You are à legend who speak with your heart

FREEDOM



All comments from YouTube:

@MOEMTEE

THIS MAN IS STILL LIVING UP TO EVERY LINE IN THIS SONG.

@alphachyna7219

😂😂 true

@hotcakesjubaby7300

You right!

@vuyophandle1903

LMAO! absolute legend!

@kamaljay1

@Jase Jase i just thought about this song this morning on my way to work and this line made me think he was talking about these fucking jews,i guess this nigga ain't crazy after all, we are the ones who's been lied to

@seansullivan4823

He needs prayers. He's by himself.

92 More Replies...

@WJAYY

This is the song you play when you move out of your parents house.

@mopedi3252

😂😂😂Saying you can't tell me nothing to your parents right?

@Bima971220

You a bad kid

@Bima971220

You a bad kid

More Comments

More Versions