Finding God in Rap: Skee-Lo “I Wish”

One of my favorite Rap Songs from the second generation of Rap/Hip Hop Artists was this throwback to clean fantasy lyrics called “I Wish” by Chicago native Skee-Lo. The song starts off with a DJ from the imaginary station called WSKEE (a play on his name) taking calls on what is called the ‘Wish Line’. After calling in, Skee-Lo begins a funny and lyrically harmonious rant about what wish he’d like to have granted.

In 1995 I was in my junior year in college; had accepted the fact that I was forever going to be 5’8 1/2, and even though getting attractive girlfriends hadn’t been an issue since I stopped wearing my overweight glasses in eighth grade, I deeply related with Skee-Lo’s wish to be more than what he was.

This song by Skee-Lo represents the starting point to the our trek to Mount Calvary. It’s usually, just at this moment, when we have our own lives all mapped out, and know exactly what will make us happy and give us a perfect little existence that God begins to intrude and deigns to show us the better way. The Gospel of Mathew (19:21-22) explains it this way: “The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.”

I find that there is this beautiful tension that occurs in the spiritual life when what we want our lives to look like finally comes into direct conflict with how God wants our lives to look like. The journey to the narrow road begins when we start the process of voluntarily conforming our self-will to the will of God. Indeed, Christian maturity is realized when we accept the fact that the only will that will be done on earth as it is in Heaven is God’s; therefore, the true expression of the free-will that God has given us it to bring it back in harmony with its source. This is possible through cooperating with the grace of God.

I do remember secretly wishing I was a little bit taller and a better baller; not so that I could get a ‘Leoshi’, but so that I could play point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers and win championships. Today my wishes have turned into prayers. I pray for the heights of holiness through Christ Jesus, and rather than wishing for better shooting and passing skills, I pray for complete freedom to share what He has given to me share.


        Hey, this is radio station W-S-K-E-E
        We’re takin’ calls off the wish line
        Making all your wacky wishes come true


        I wish I was little bit taller,
        I wish I was a baller
        I wish I had a girl who looked good
        I would call her
        I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat
        and a ’64 Impala

        I wish I was like six-foot-nine
        So I could get with Leoshi
        Cause she don’t know me but yo she’s really fine
        You know I see her all the time
        Everywhere I go, and even in my dreams
        I can scheme of ways to make her mine
        Cause I know she’s livin phat
        Her boyfriend’s tall and he plays ball
        So how am I gonna compete with that
        ‘Cause when it comes to playing basketball
        I’m always last to be picked
        And in some cases never picked at all
        So I just lean upon the wall
        Or sit up in the bleachers with the rest of the girls
        Who came to watch their men ball
        Dag y’all! I never understood
        Why the jocks get the fly girls
        And me I get the hood rats
        I tell ’em scat, skittle, skibobble
        Got hit with a bottle
        And put in the hospital, for talkin’ that mess
        I confess it’s a shame when you livin’ in a city
        That’s the size of a box and nobody knows yo’ name
        Glad I came to my senses
        Like quick-quick got sick-sick to my stomach
        Overcome with my thoughts of me and her together
        So when I asked her out she said I wasn’t her type
        (rpt 1, 1)

        I wish I had a brand-new car
        So far, I got this hatchback
        And everywhere I go, yo I gets laughed at
        And when I’m in my car I’m laid back
        I got an 8-track and a spare tire in the backseat
        But that’s flat
        And do you really wanna know what’s really wack, What
        See I can’t even get a date
        So, what do you think of that?
        I heard that prom night is the bomb night
        With a hood rat you can hold tight
        But really tho’ on figuero
        When I’m in my car I can’t even get a hello
        Well so many people wanna cruise Crenshaw on Sunday
        Well then I’m gonna have to get in my car and go
        You know I take the 110 to the 105
        Get off on Crenshaw tell my homies look alive
        Cause it’s hard to survive
        Livin’ in a concrete jungle and
        These girls just keep passin’ me by
        She looks fly, she looks fly
        Makes me say my, my, my
        (rpt 1, 1)

        I wish I was a little bit taller…
        I wish I was a baller…
        I wish I was a little bit taller y’all
        I wish I was a baller (3)

        Hey, I wish I had my way
        ‘Cause everyday would be a Friday
        You could even speed on the highway
        I would play ghetto games
        Name my kids ghetto names
        Little Mookie, big Al, Lorraine
        Yo you know that’s on the real
        So if you’re down on your luck
        Then you should know just how I feel
        Cause if you don’t want me around
        See I go simple, I go easy, I go greyhound
        Hey, you, what’s that sound?
        Everybody look what’s going down
        Ahhhh, yes, ain’t that fresh?
        Everybody wants to get down like that
        (rpt 1, 1)

        I wish, I wish, I wish…