I Gotsta Get Paid

Album: La Futura (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is a revamp of fellow Texan DJ DMD's 1989 rap hit "25 Lighters," which is Houston ghetto slang for taking Bic Lighters apart, removing the innards and filling them with crack. Billy Gibbons explained to MusicRadar.com how the veteran rockers ended up reworking a hip-hop tune: "25 Lighters was a hip-hop chart topper 15 years ago, and it just so happened to be one of the tracks that our engineer, Mr. Gary Moon, was around for when he served as chief engineer at John Moranz Digital Services," he explained. "That house specialized in rap and hip-hop clients.

    While our studio was being worked on, we took refuge in that house," Gibbons continued, "and it was there that ZZ Top got friendly with a bunch of the hip-hop and rap guys. We were comparing notes and exchanging ideas; they were showing us beats and I was showing them guitar stuff. A great time was had."
  • As a band who usually record their own original material, ZZ Top weren't used to the machinations of getting permission to rework an original song. Said Gibbons to MusicRadar: "What we discovered is that when an artist covers a song, it's called a 'cover version.' When an artist begins to modify and change it, after a certain percentage, it's a 'derivative work,' and that requires the new version to be reviewed by the originators. If the originators like it, they can wave holy water over it and you're good; if they don't, you're stuck.

    The two original performers, Lil' Keke and Fat Pat, had passed away," he continued, "and it was the last day to decide if we could do it that we tracked down the executor of the estates. We played him the track over the phone. 'I don't know if I can understand this,' he said. 'I'm going to put the phone to my little girl. She's 14.' When she heard it, she said, 'Daddy, they're playing your song!' So the executor got back on and said, 'Looks like you've got a winner.'"
  • ZZ Top were seen playing the song in an advertising campaign for Jeremiah Weed Root Brew.
  • Discussing the long player, Gibbons said, "We thought long and hard about what this album should be. We wanted to recall the directness of our early stuff but not turn our backs on contemporary technology. The result of this melding of the past and the present is, of course, La Futura."

Comments: 6

  • Clarence from Connecticut The DJ DMD song came out in 2001. I'll say it again, Lil Keke is still alive!!!!!
  • Bboone from TexasLil Keke isn’t dead
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaI was assuming "lighters" was some sort of Southern slang for IOUs or invoices, & that they were piling up slowly, no biggie, but 25 was too many.
  • Mark R Jackson from Taylor TxLil keke is not dead, but Fat Pat is.
  • Phil from Neenah, WiI don't care if this song is about selling drugs of the illegal kind, getting paid for various work skills and the occasional odd job, or just for the sake of playing some bad@$$ Texas styled southern rock infused with the blues. I see it as a great blues inspired southern rock tune that's great for cruising down the road to, whether you're in a '32 Ford coupe that's rodded out, a '70s Caddy of your choice whether it be a convertible or hardtop DeVille or Eldorado, or in a new 2013 Chrysler 300. It's a lot like ZZ Top's 'I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide' hit or the back - to - back hits 'Waitin' For The Bus' and 'Jesus Just Left Chicago'.
  • Barry from Gagetown Nb Canada, -... and a very fine little tune from Texas it is !!!!
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