The fan-worshiped, Kendrick Lamar-assisted “Mona Lisa” track of Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V is indisputably one of the project’s standout records and worthy contender in the top three picks of the album’s 23 tracks.
“Mona Lisa” tells the tale of a scandalous temptress who is tasked by Wayne with deceitfully luring men into the New Orleans rap icon and his stick-up goons’ robbery ambushes. Weezy’s titular inspiration stems from the world-renowned Leonardo da Vinci painting and the dubious expression on the woman’s face in the artwork, construed by some art critics as telling of the woman’s treacherous nature.
According to some hip-hop critics, K-Dot also drew some inspiration from a rather widely-known and historic happening for his verse on the track, too: Weezy’s former relationship with ex-video vixen and book author, Karrine Steffans.
Kendrick assumes the character of a man scorned by suspicions that his lover has been sleeping around with rappers, like big-time ballers Weezy and Kendrick, in the verse. The man’s infuriated rant to his woman about her infidelities is interrupted when her phone starts ringing. It’s then that he learns she even has Wayne’s X-rated “Lollipop” single as her ring tone, sending him further into a rage of emotions and tears.
Genius points out the similarities between Kendrick’s lyrical narrative and a quote from Steffans’ former VladTV interview where she said that she’d maintained her exclusive relationship with Weezy even amid both her marriages and other intimate relationships.
“And you know it’s him because it’s his voice rapping or singing about me, and that’s the tone. And it goes off at 4 o'clock in the morning, and I jump up and I get dressed and I leave, you stop being able to take it after a while.”
When taking Kendrick’s verse about decoding his lover’s secret relationship with Wayne from a simple ring tone and the Superhead author’s statement into consideration, it’s nearly impossible not to notice the parallels. If anyone knows K-Dot as the covert storytelling maven he is, the likelier chance is that he’ll leave the suspicions up to fan interpretation instead of confirming any of them.
We'll let you be the judge after putting an ear to his bars on the “Mona Lisa” track below.
(Photos from left: Dave J Hogan/Dave Hogan/Getty Images, Brian To/FilmMagic, Daniel Boczarski/WireImage)