Let me just step right in. I got things to invent!
(Jobs is extremely eager to begin the battle, as he has a lot of ideas for new inventions. He even cut off his own introduction to start his verse.)
I'm an innovator, baby; change the world!
(Many of the products based on Steve Jobs' ideas influenced the future of technology, changing everyday life for people.)
Fortune 500 'fore you kissed a girl!
(A few years after its founding, Apple, Inc., then Apple Computer, made the list of Fortune magazine's 500 fastest moving and most valuable companies. Jobs suggests that Gates hadn't even kissed a girl by that time; he would have been 27.)
I'm a pimp; you're a nerd. I'm slick; you're cheesy!
(Jobs had the charisma to be able to sell anything at the drop of a hat. He says that contrary to his charm, Gates is just geeky.)
Beating you is Apple II easy!
(Building on the previous verse, Jobs believes that defeating Gates is too much of a cinch, if not as easy as the Apple II series of computers that he helped design with Apple co-founder and partner Steve Wozniak. It is also a pun on the name "Apple II", being "Apple", then "too", forming "apple, too easy". This can also be seen as a dualism for the Apple IIe, which was one of the company's most popular desktop computers in its day.)
I make the product that the artist chooses,
(Apple's Macintosh computers and professional software are highly favored in graphic design as well as film.)
And the GUI that Melinda uses.
(The Macintosh graphical user interface (GUI) is so easy-to-use that Jobs suggests even Melinda Gates, Bill's wife, uses one. As a programmer, Melinda (née French) developed the ill-fated Microsoft Bob GUI overlay for Windows 3.1. GUI is pronounced like "gooey", which can indicate sperm. Therefore, Jobs indicates that Melinda likes to have sex with him.)
I need to bring up some basic shit.
(Jobs plays on two IT terms: "to bring up" can mean "to launch a program" or "to display a data file"; BASIC was a common programming language used from the 1960s through the early 2000s.)
Why'd you name your company after your dick?
(Microsoft, the company owned by Gates, was named for creating microcomputer software, but Jobs says the company is really named after Gates' penis, inferring that it is small and fails to "get hard", or become erect for sex.)
(To those who knew him intimately, Jobs may have come across as arrogant and set in his ways. Saying someone blows means they suck. Gates makes a pun out of "blow" and Jobs' last name, thereby making the word "blowjobs", a sexual act.)
With your second-hand jeans and your turtleneck!
(Jobs was known to wear only a simple black turtleneck and jeans to his presentations of Apple products. Gates thinks the outfit looks used, as it might be the kind of thing one finds in a thrift store.)
I'll drill a hole in the middle of your bony head,
(Jobs was almost completely bald by his 40s, so it seemed obvious that he had a bony head. Gates will make an opening through Jobs' head.)
With your own little spinning beach ball of death!
(Gates will use the infamous rainbow-colored spinning wait cursor found in current versions of macOS (first called Mac OS X and OS X), which might look like a buzzsaw. The Spinning Beach Ball of Death (SBBoD) is, in principle, like Windows' hourglass or ring cursors when the computer is busy, but the "death" comes in when this cursor sticks around too long and programs freeze. This could also be a reference to trepanning, an old stone age practice of drilling holes in skulls to cure sickness, e.g. Jobs' cancer which had spread to his brain.)
Hippie, you got given up at birth!
(Jobs' use of LSD and his thick rounded glasses made him appear to be a hippie. As Jobs matured, he adopted a holistic lifestyle approach, and it is said that he rarely bathed. Jobs was given up for adoption by his American mother, Joanne Carole Schieble, when his Syrian father, Abdulfattah Jandali, left. He was subsequently taken in by Paul and Clara Jobs.)
I give away your net worth to AIDS research!
(As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates contributes portions of his wealth to causes that move humanity forward, like reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the developing world and finding a cure for it.)
Combine all your little toys, and I still crush that!
(Apple's properties combined would be worth but a fraction of Microsoft's holdings, says Gates. At the time of the battle, Windows and related Microsoft assets accounted for close to 90% of the computer market and more than a third of the set-top gaming market. Apple accounted for 10% of the computer market but did not have gaming hardware apart from the iPhone and iPad, which weren't counted as such. In hindsight from the present, Apple is actually valued higher than Microsoft; but at the time of the battle, the two companies were roughly neck-and-neck.)
iPhone, iPad, iPwn, iSmack!
(A jab at Apple's "i"-heavy product naming scheme as started by Jobs, the "i" standing for "interactive". "Pwn" and "smack" are colloquial terms for a beatdown, which Gates is in the process of delivering unto his rival.)
A man uses the machines you build to sit down and pay his taxes.
(Jobs is illustrating the fundamental differences between Mac and Windows users; this implies that stereotypical Windows users seem to do more job-related things like paying taxes.)
A man uses the machines I build to listen to the Beatles while he relaxes!
(Meanwhile, he says that the stereotypical Mac user will spend most of his time doing recreational things like listening to his iTunes collection. The Beatles' collection was posted to iTunes in 2010, ending a long dispute with Apple Corps, Ltd., the Beatles' record label and estate since 1968, in a multi-million dollar distribution deal—a landmark achievement considering that the two firms had previously agreed to share only the Apple moniker so long as one had nothing to do with the other. Steve Jobs loved to listen to the Beatles as well, adding more weight to this reference.)
Well, Steve, you steal all the credit for work that other people do!
(Jobs' purported arrogance led many to believe that he took the credit for work done by teams under his direction. While it may have been true in Jobs' early career, he frequently invited team members on stage during his keynotes in later years.)
Did your fat beard Wozniak write these raps for you, too?
(Gates is insinuating that Steve Wozniak was asked to write Jobs' raps for him, after which Jobs took all the credit. Wozniak, of course, wrote his own autobiography, iWoz, so this is feasible. Gates is also dissing Woz, who has a beard and is slightly overweight. In business, a "suit" is someone in an upper-level position such as an executive, a salesman, or a PR manager concerned with pushing a product or service; and a "beard" may be an engineer, programmer, or production-line worker responsible for making or transporting the product, or performing the service.)
Ooo, everybody knows Windows bit off Apple!
(In 1988, Apple sued Microsoft for copyright infringement of the Lisa and Macintosh GUI's. The court case lasted four years before almost all of Apple's claims were denied on a contractual technicality. Subsequent appeals by Apple were also denied. Microsoft and Apple entered a final, private settlement of the matter in 1997. This also references Apple's logo of a bitten apple.)
I tripled the profits on a PC!
(Gates is saying that thanks to Windows, the profit margins on PCs increased threefold at a time when Apple was losing money; the latter's OS was still a closed system and there were too many Apple systems with identical hardware, which confused buyers.)
All the people with the power to create use an Apple!
(Apple products are usually known as the products for "creative" people, since the company sells most of its wares to artists and songwriters. This plays off a historic Apple tagline, "The power to be your best.")
And people with jobs use PC!
(A counter to Jobs, saying that the "creative" people Jobs sells his products to are unemployed. PCs are also commonly found in work areas.)
You know, I bet they made this beat on an Apple.
(Apple's GarageBand and Logic composition software are both widely used to create music, including raps. Here, Jobs breaks the fourth wall by saying that the beat Jobs and Gates are rapping to must be made on a Mac.)
Nope, FruityLoops, PC!
(FruityLoops, now known as FL Studio, is a program made for Windows to compose and mix music. Gates counters Jobs' previous statement of the beat they're rapping to being made on a Mac. The rap battle's music track was indeed produced by FL Studio. The product's name was changed to sidestep copyright confusion with Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal.)
You will never, ever catch a virus on an Apple!
(All computers have the potential to catch viruses or other forms of malicious software (malware) and thereby multiply the risk of a user's data being corrupted or otherwise compromised; at best, an infection may simply slow a computer's processing speed. Yet, until 2008, Apple under Jobs routinely boasted that the Macintosh and its OS were largely invulnerable to malware as was more prevalent on Windows machines; the company even made this a key selling point for Mac hardware. Since 2008, however, Apple users have been targeted by Trojan horses and other rogue software, prompting the company to slowly reverse its position on security. Apple began implementing baseline malware screening in 2009.)
Well, you can still afford a doctor if you bought a PC!
(Apple's products are frequently perceived as outrageously overpriced. Gates says they are so expensive that one can't afford a doctor if he buys Apple gear. On top of this, if an Apple product becomes broken, you would have to buy another just to replace it, whereas a PC can just be fixed and function correctly. Furthermore, continuing from the previous line, viruses would be like diseases to computers, and since a consumer would spend their money on an Apple product to prevent getting a virus, it is less likely for them to be able to pay for real medical services when they need it. It also plays on a proverb, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away.")
Let's talk about doctors. I've seen a few
(Going back to Gates' previous line, Jobs continues talking about doctors, as he had seen several of them to attempt to address the health conditions he experienced over the years.)
'Cause I got a PC, but it wasn't from you.
(Jobs was famously diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer (abbreviated as PC, though not the same as a Personal Computer), which was also the cause of his death. Before his untimely demise, Jobs had to see a lot of doctors to prevent his sickness from getting any worse. His tumor was an extremely rare and inoperable case known as a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, which ultimately metastasized (broke apart and spread) to other organs.)
I built a legacy, son. You could never stop it.
(Jobs was met with great successes throughout his life: the founding of Apple, then NeXT and Pixar, followed by his return to Apple and its renaissance as a top media power. In the current Mac lines, the iPhone, the iPods, the iPad, and everything in between, one can see the influence of Jobs' attention to detail and his obsession with simplicity. These are integral to Jobs' legacy. Gates can do nothing to drown it out.)
Now, excuse me while I turn heaven a profit…
("To turn a profit" means to make money. Jobs' foremost accomplishments in life came when he retook Apple as CEO and returned it to massive profitability from more than a decade on the precipice of bankruptcy. Here, he knows he's going to die, so why not go out and turn Heaven itself a profit in the process? Basically, his investing skills are so great, he'll even make money in the afterlife.)
Fine! You wanna be like that? Die then!
(Gates couldn't care less about Jobs dying, but he is actually upset that his lifelong rival and friend is dying, leaving him alone. This assertion, however, is only accurate in the context of the battle. As stated prior, Jobs had no control over his cancer despite best efforts.)
The whole world loved you, but you were my friend!
(Shockwaves from Jobs' passing were felt the world over, as many knew Jobs through his products and speeches about his products. Before this, Jobs and Gates were close rivals and fast friends.)
I'm alone now with nothing but power and time,
(With Jobs dead, Gates is seemingly in control of all things cyberspace, as he has all the time and money in the world.)
And no one on earth who can challenge my mind!
(Gates is brilliant, but bored here as he has just lost the one man who kept him on his toes in Jobs.)
I'm a boss! I own DOS! Your future is my design!
(Gates was the boss of Microsoft from 1975 through 2000. He bought the rights to what became MS-DOS on or about 1979 from Tim Patterson's Seattle Computer Products. Much of what Microsoft is, and what personal computing is today, owes itself to Gates. In modern speech, a "boss" is also a person with confidence, so when Gates delivers this line, he brags about being better than anyone else.)
I'm a god! Own Xbox! Now there's no one to stop me! The world is mine!
(With nothing to keep him in check, Gates has a brush with megalomania (the desire to control all things in the universe). Microsoft developed the Xbox under Gates. After Jobs' death, Gates assumes that no one else will have the ability to stand against him, so he assumes all the power of the planet will belong to him.)
I'm sorry, Bill. I'm afraid I can't let you do that.
(Reprising its famous quote from 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which it originally said, "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that," HAL 9000 is moving in to battle Gates in place of Jobs. It's not going to let him have the universe he wants.)
Take a look at your history.
(HAL tells Gates to look at humanity's past. A subtle hit on "browser history", which records a user's prior Web crawls.)
Everything you built leads up to me.
(Though it addresses Gates himself, HAL says that our current progress in technology will lead to the development of not only HAL, but completely sentient (self-aware) machines like it.)
I got the power of a mind you could never be.
(HAL has multiple CPUs and vast amounts of RAM, giving it power beyond anything mortal man can muster; thus, it can easily out-think Gates.)
I'll beat your ass in chess and Jeopardy.
(HAL compares itself to two supercomputers that handily kicked humanity to the proverbial curb, both of which were developed by IBM. "Deep Blue" throttled chess grand-master Garry Kasparov in 1997—twice. Later, 2011's "Watson" computer cluster and software soundly thumped Jeopardy! champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a two-part shootout. HAL also played a game of chess in the film adaptation of 2001: A Space Oddity, where it beat crew member Frank Poole.)
I'm running C++, saying, "Hello, world."
(C++ is the expanded version of the C coding language first used in Unix, and is used for system and application programming. "Hello, World" is a staple of new programmers, as one of the first (and usually simplest) exercises is to display this text in C++.)
I'll beat you 'til you're singing 'bout a daisy girl.
(In the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, as Dave Bowman was shutting him down, HAL 9000 began singing "Daisy Bell" (aka "A Bicycle Built for Two"), a song about a girl named Daisy, as it was the first song that he learned. He says that he will beat Gates until he is on the edge of his life singing "Daisy Bell" like HAL did. One thing to note is that HAL 9000 never understood the concept of sleeping, so while he was simply being put offline to be activated at a later date, HAL thought he was dying, so he possibly plans to actually kill Bill. The song was also the first song "sung" by a computer in real life—an IBM 7094 in 1961. Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, was at the demo event and drew HAL from that.)
I'm coming out the socket.
(HAL 9000 was fully integrated into the Discovery One spaceship's systems, so if it gets out of its socket, that would be its way of saying it will step it up in the battle. A socket is also an open internet connection, or the receptacle used by a CPU chip. "Coming out the socket", hence, could mean that HAL is spreading beyond the protocols, and thereby, human control. It could have to do with the implementing of technology becoming mobile.)
Nothing you can do can stop it.
(The advancement of computing technology (such as HAL) is moving too fast for anybody to stop. Basically, Gates is hopeless to try to stop HAL from winning the battle.)
I'm on your lap and in your pocket.
(With computer technology becoming mobile, laptops can be found on people's laps, and smartphones can be found in their pockets.)
How you gonna shoot me down when I guide the rocket?
(Another one of its quotes from 2001: A Space Odyssey. This could refer to HAL 9000's role in the movie: flying the Discovery One spaceship. In fact, most disaster countermeasures are computer controlled, so no one would be able to fire a missile at HAL because they're computer guided and therefore under its control. It references that the US Armed Forces briefly used Linux instead of Windows, since Windows was full of security issues.)
Your cortex just doesn't impress me,
(The [cerebral] cortex is the part of the brain believed to be the epicenter of human knowledge. It's actually the cluster of nerve cells that comprises the visible brain. Knowledgeable people like Gates are said to have a larger cortex than someone less so, although the human brain has a fixed size regardless of intelligence. Since HAL was programmed with the sum of human knowledge, it vastly outclasses Gates' brain and therefore his smarts are seen by the AI as unimpressive.)
So go ahead, try to Turing test me.
(The Turing test is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of an actual human. In the original illustrative example, a human engages in a natural language conversation with a human and a machine designed to generate performance indistinguishable from that of a human being. All participants are separated from one another. If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine passes the test. Here, HAL challenges Gates to see if he can tell the difference between HAL and a real human, betting him that he can't, as HAL's intelligence is far too superior.)
I stomp on a Mac and a PC, too.
(HAL challenges Gates, but also demonstrates it could beat Steve Jobs in the same way, and claims it stomps on both their products: a Mac and a PC. It will elaborate on why in the next line.)
I'm on Linux, bitch; I thought you GNU.
(Linux, created by Finnish computer scientist Linus Torvalds, is a freely available clone of the UNIX multi-user operating system that is often paired with, or considered a part of, GNU, an initiative aimed at creating a truly free and crowd-sourced operating system and software. The GNU name comes from "GNU's Not UNIX". Although GNU is pronounced "guh-new", it's making a play on the sentence, "I thought you knew." HAL says Linux can beat Apple and Microsoft; Linux can be made to run on most any computer, be it a Mac or a Windows clone box. Because Linux and GNU are closely related, the pair may be written GNU/Linux.)
My CPU's hot, but my core runs cold.
(Both "CPU" and "core" refer to a computer's processor. The reference to temperature is a double meaning. The first, "hot", is meant figuratively, as in "attractive or desirable". The second, "cold", is meant literally; a processor that is "running cold" is barely exerting itself (processors generate heat as they work). It's saying that its own processors can perform multiple actions without overheating, or it could also talk about how HAL 9000 is often cold-hearted and unforgiving.)
Beat you in seventeen lines of code.
(This could be a reference to the 17 lines of code SCO claimed were stolen from SCO UNIX and put into the Linux Kernel. The lawsuit was sometimes viewed as a proxy battle between the Linux community and Microsoft. At this point of the battle, HAL had given 17 lines of its verse, from when it started until this line.)
I think different from the engine of the days of old.
(Reference to "Think Different", Apple's famous advertising slogan. HAL functions differently from machines before it. It also refers to the difference engine, a mechanical calculator designed by Charles Babbage in the early 19th century. It is often considered the forerunner to the modern computer.)
Hasta la vista, like the Terminator told ya.
("Hasta la vista" is Spanish for, "I'll see you when I see you." Here, HAL could be referencing Windows Vista, Microsoft's much-maligned operating system released in 2007. The Terminator, a sentient machine like HAL, famously said this phrase in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.)
Let me just step right in. I got shit to invent!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "Let me just step right in. I got things to invent!", originally electing for a more vulgar introduction.)
I need to bring up some basic shit, yo,
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "I need to bring up some basic shit," likely removing it since the interjection "yo" seemed unnecessary.)
Why'd you name your company after your dick, bro?
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "Why'd you name your company after your dick?" It removed the last word since the previous line did as well.)
You only got Windows 'cause you stole from Apple.
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "Ooo, everybody knows Windows bit off Apple!" Jobs says, in a more straightforward way, that without Apple, Windows would not have been able to be as technologically advanced due to the fact that Microsoft took some components of the Macintosh from Apple.)
Every creative soul I know uses Apple!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "All the people with the power to create use an Apple!" Jobs claims that anyone he met who expresses themselves through creativity would prefer to own an Apple product.)
I bet you they made this beat on an Apple!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "You know, I bet they made this beat on an Apple.")
Walked into the record industry and killed it.
(Jobs brags about his proficiency in multimedia, revolutionizing the way music is distributed digitally with Apple devices through iTunes.)
Fired from my own company, rebuilt it.
(In 1985, Jobs was removed from command of the Macintosh group in Apple after arguments between him and former chief executive John Sculley. After this, Jobs launched Pixar Animation Studios and NeXT, a new computer company. By 1996, Apple was struggling financially, and acquired NeXT, along with Jobs. Jobs would then go on to rebuild Apple and envision new and future bestselling products, including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.)
Every design I made, I killed it.
(Jobs brags that every time he would design something, it turned out great, revolutionary-wise.)
Every company, I thought, "I'll build it."
(Jobs helped create the companies Apple, NeXT, and Pixar. He says that for each one, he imagined big to form their products.)
My legacy will never fall,
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "I built a legacy, son. You could never stop it." Jobs brags that his legacy will last forever in the supercomputing products he helped create.)
But the PC got to me after all…
(This lyric is what developed into the first two lines of Jobs' seventh verse and was a first draft of Jobs' "turn heaven a profit" sequence. Jobs admits defeat in life, but not in death, saying that the PC (pun on Personal Computer and Pancreatic Cancer) did kill him, but his legacy continues on greater than Gates'.)
iPod, iPad, iTunes, iSmack!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "iPhone, iPad, iPwn, iSmack!" Originally, Apple's music sharing platform iTunes was put in the place of "iPwn.")
Well, you take all the credit for work that other people do.
Did your fat prince Steve Wozniak write these rap for you, too?
(These two lyrics are what developed into the lyrics, "Well, Steve, you steal all the credit for work that other people do! Did your fat beard Wozniak write these raps for you, too?" "Fat prince" is used to replace "fat beard" in this scrapped line, likely meaning that Jobs should be treating Wozniak as if he were royal due to his success coming from Wozniak being a major contributor to Apple, or it may imply Jobs had a homosexual relationship with him.)
I tripled the profit when I put it on PC!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "I tripled the profits on a PC!")
Think Different! FruityLoops, that's PC!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "Nope, FruityLoops, PC!", originally incorporating the Apple slogan used later by HAL 9000.)
I'm a god, so piss off!
(This lyric is what developed into the lyric, "I'm a god! Own Xbox!" Gates originally told Jobs to "piss off," or leave, instead of bragging about Microsoft owning Xbox.)
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