The track surfaced thanks to DJ Absolut‘s Mixtape Mondays series. The song starts off with a monologue from Spike Lee’s She Hate Me, in which an Italian mob boss asks why rappers want to be gangsters. They even go so far as to name themselves after them. Gotti, Murder Inc., Deathrow, C-Murder, Capone and Scarface, he says just to name a few.
“They want but they they will never be us, I mean it’s blood, they are nothing but make believe, studio, fictionalized gangsters, why aspire to be us?” he said.
Then Jay Z busts through with his rhymes boasting about hustling and getting cash while trying to avoid being “blast away.” He brings listeners through his life, explaining that his former drug-dealing days was a means of survival until he found his way to music.
“Trapped in, claustrophobic, the only way out was rappin’ / America don’t understand it / The demographics I tapped in / I’m the truest n—- to do this n—- and anything else is foolish / Like those who stay high, under God’s grey skies,” he rhymes.
The billionaire mogul states that the “feds” are still trying to build a case against him even though he stopped dealing. “You know them pigs don’t want to see you get your life together,” Hov delivers.
According to XXL, the song is also known as “The Life Together” and appeared on 1999’s Black Gangster soundtrack and the “99 Problems” rapper’s 2003 mixtape S. Carter Collection.
Listen to Jay Z’s “The Black Gangster”
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