Some'll fall, but I rise, thug or die
Some rappers aren’t around nowadays and have faded into obscurity, Nas is still here and still viable. The “thug or die part” is a derivative from the usual “ride or die” saying. Nas hints at his hip hop approach: ghetto style, no matter what.
In other words he means just the opposite than Jay when he once spat “I dumb down for my audience to double my dollars”
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