Staying alive was no jive

from Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M. Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Simply surviving that neighborhood is an accomplishment. “Jive” is 1970s slang for a joke; surviving the hood is not to be taken lightly.

This line and the previous one are a reference to “Stayin' Alive” by The Bee Gees:

“We can try to understand
The New York Times' effect on man”

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