I walked into the WeWork this morning at around 9:30 with my friend Benedict. He asked me to come because him and our friend Aren were going, and I figured I’d give it a shot. The walk over was nice, it was cool but sunny. You need keycard access to get in, so I was locked out until a woman with a tiny dog came and scanned her card. She told me and Benedict to go ahead because “my dog doesn’t like men.” I got to the front desk to check-in and paid for my day pass. Normally $30 but $15 if you use the promo code ACCESSLUNCH50. There was a man there making conversation with someone at the front desk, discussing the recent episode of “WeCrashed”, a show about the devaluation of WeWork around it’s IPO. The man was acting as if the front desk employee was a C-suite executive, telling him “you guys should’ve listened to the financial advisors.” As I was waiting for my day pass to show up in the WeWork system, I said to the woman at the front desk “this place is hilarious”, expecting her to echo my sentiment, presumably jaded after countless days of watching all the millennials with job titles like “analyst” walk in with their Sweetgreen and leather backpacks. To my surprise, she was annoyed by my comment and said “that’s an interesting review” and rolled her eyes. After I got in, I put my stuff down at an incredibly long wooden table filled with other people. I went to the kitchen to get my (complimentary) coffee. I picked up a WeWork branded cup that said “Always Half Full” on the back. As I waited for my coffee to brew I looked towards a wall filled with windows with a large quote above them that read “Thinkin' of a master plan 'Cause ain't nothin' but sweat inside my hand”. I didn’t recognize the quote but when I sat down I looked it up. It’s from the song “Paid in Full” by Eric B. & Rakim. The lyrics are: Thinkin' of a master plan 'Cause ain't nothin' but sweat inside my hand So I dig into my pocket, all my money is spent So I dig deeper but still comin' up with lint So I start my mission, leave my residence Thinkin' "How could I get some dead presidents?" I need money, I used to be a stick-up kid So I think of all the devious things I did I used to roll up, "This is a hold up, ain't nothin' funny Stop smilin', be still, don't nothin' move but the money" But now I learned to earn 'cause I'm righteous I feel great, so maybe I might just Search for a 9 to 5, if I strive Then maybe I'll stay alive So I walk up the street whistlin' this Feelin' out of place 'cause, man, do I miss A pen and a paper, a stereo, a tape of Me and Eric B, and a nice big plate of Fish, which is my favorite dish But without no money, it's still a wish 'Cause I don't like to dream about gettin' paid So I dig into the books of the rhymes that I made So now's a test to see if I got pull Hit the studio, 'cause I'm paid in full The irony of comparing the ivy-league startup founders who inhabit this WeWork to someone turning away from a life of crime to rapping is so great that I almost have to believe that whoever designed this place was in on the joke. We are in Williamsburg, a neighborhood that 25 years ago would be unrecognizable to anyone who lives here now. We’re at the corner of N 4th and Bedford, and next door there’s a building with an Equinox AND a Whole Foods. There’s a cryotherapy place and an Apple store across the street. There’s nothing inherently wrong with WeWork. It’s nice to have a space to go with other people and conference rooms. There are clearly small businesses that couldn’t afford a full office that work here. But this place is a microcosm of the gentrification occurring in cities all over America. That quote on the wall is a victory flag for all the Williamsburg yuppies. We came into your neighborhood, we priced you out so we could build luxury buildings, and then just to dunk on you we’re adorning our walls with your words.