Crabs in the bucket

from XV – One of One Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

When you catch a crab and place him in a bucket, the first thing he’ll try to do is escape. If you put two crabs in a bucket and place them in there together, as soon as one tries to climb up out of the bucket the other will grab the escaping crab by the legs and try to escape itself, to which the process gets repeated to the point where NO crabs end up escaping.

What XV means by this is people didn’t want him to succeed, they just wanted him to stay with them and not become anyone.

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