I was playin' the background like an adlib
But now I'm greedy like a fat kid
Adlibs are backup vocals to the main verse on a track, commonly fixed at a lower volume than the primary vocals. They literally play in the background. .
By playing the background, he was an underdog (and to some extent he still is) but now is emerging and getting cake like a fat kid. Heavy-set kids are overweight because they fail at the art of consuming food in moderation. .
When Ab-Soul says, “I was playing the background like an ad-lib” he is referring to his once obscure position as an mostly unknown emcee in the background in the context of the rising notoriety of co-members of Black Hippy/TDE e.g., Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, and to a certain extent, Schoolboy Q. Ab-Soul implies synonymy between himself and an ad-lib such that Ab-Soul = Ad-lib. “But now I’m greedy like a fat kid” has to do with Ab-Soul moving from playing the background to becoming an artist of rising notoriety. It is a play off of the use of current vernacular in hip-hop of “eating” which is synonymous with earning more income as a result or moving from the background to the forefront. Eating = Earning, and being greedy like a fat kid means he’s earning (eating) much more now.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “BET Cypher 2012: The True School” by Jean Grae (Ft. Ab-Soul, Sarkodie & Talib Kweli) Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box