Explain why we adapt to crime
I'd rather die enormous than live dormant, that's how we on it

from Jay Z – Can I Live Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

This line resonates deeply with my listeners. It’s a take on the “Live Free or Die Trying,” “Liberty or Death” spirit that’s woven into the fabric of what it means to be American. But its also about great ambition, and the alternative, which is stagnation. The risk is death, so the reward should have equal gravity, a life lived to the fullest.


Kendrick Lamar might have alluded to these lines on “M.A.A.D. City”:

We adapt to crime, pack a van with four guns at a time

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