Louisiana emcee Lil Wayne has had an immense impact on hip-hop since his emergence in the late 1990s. The Young Money founder has released over 13 studio albums and is still going to this day. That said, in 2010, when he released his rap-rock project Rebirth, the rhymer put out one single inspired by the 1983 gangster movie Scarface.
Lil Wayne’s fan base widely criticised Rebirth as it featured too much rock and not enough hip-hop. Critics reflected these sentiments, and it was considered a failure. However, one of the songs that received praise was surprisingly inspired by Scarface.
Entitled ‘On Fire,’ the song was released as the third single for Rebirth. Produced by Cool & Dre, in an interview with MTV News, the production duo explained the track’s contents, unveiling, “He’s talking about a chick that’s on fire. He’s on his knees, praying to the Lord to keep him clear because she’s on fire. He’s got a bad one! She’s that bad that’s she might have came straight outta hell.”
Rebirth took a vast amount of influence from pop-punk music of the 2000s, and the hook of ‘On Fire’ interpolates the song ‘She’s on Fire’ by Amy Holland, which features on the soundtrack of the 1983 movie Scarface.
When explaining why they sampled the 1983 track, Dre of Cool & Dre detailed, “If you speak to Wayne, Wayne will tell you the reason why he loves the record is he gets to do everything on the record. He gets to spit on the record, he gets to sing on the record, he gets to play the guitar on the record.”
He continued, “One night, I was watching Scarface, and I woke up in the morning, had the damn ‘She’s on Fire’ in my head. I called up Cool, like, ‘Yo, we gotta flip this.’ The way the sample was, you couldn’t flip it. It’s like a disco song, but you hear the guitars. I was like, ‘We should put this sh– on steroids and turn it all the way up!”
The production duo asserted that the beat was a three-person collaboration that included Lil Wayne. They concluded by revealing he “amplified the beat” and “played the guitar on it.”