We shine because they hate us, floss cause they degrade us

from Kanye West (Ft. Syleena Johnson) – All Falls Down Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

In the last few lines Kanye was referring to rich people, now he switches to African-Americans.

And he uses a good ol' fashion

double entendre.

  1. The best way to keep teeth “shinin'” is to “floss”, as your dentist would tell you. And if you don’t “floss”, you’re teeth will deteriorate (“degrade”).

  2. “Flossing” can also mean something very different.

He opines that African-Americans like to wear jewelry and show off money as a response to racism against them. Being flashy can help to heal a shattered self-esteem and it also sends a big “fuck you” to haters. The next verse expands on this theory in detail.

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