Niggas treadmillin' goin' nowhere fast

from Kanye West (Ft. 2 Chainz, Big Sean & Marsha Ambrosius) – The One Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Like on a treadmill, you run fast, but you’re not going anywhere. Staying in the same spot won’t get you where you want to go. The same goes for a rap career: no moves means no paycheck.

Jay-Z said a similar line on his song It’s Like That:

Life is like a treadmill, niggas runnin in place, gettin nowhere fast"

This is the generally accepted tone of rap. Enter the game, make money, do nothing, but die surrounded by material objects (Also Kanye: “When we die the money we can’t keep/But we’ll probably spend it all cause the pain ain’t cheap”).

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