It's the hard knock life for us
It's the hard knock life for us!
Instead of treated, we get tricked
Instead of kisses, we get kicked
It's the hard knock life!

from Jay Z – Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) Lyrics on Rap Genius


The hook is meant to be at least partially ironic since it has sweet little girls singing about what sound like stereotypical “white girl problems” (to wit, they appear to take for granted that life should be about “treats” and “kisses”) in the midst of a song portraying real childhood difficulties, which is worse than being “tricked” or even “kicked.”

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