A lot of ups and downs in the game, could lose or gain
A couple pounds tryin to maintain -- one day you here
The next you not
Again, exemplifying difficulties felt by rappers. There are both pros and cons to being a rapper. Nas compares this to trying to maintain a steady flow of drugs and also alludes to the dangers of both. You could be shot and killed any day, drug dealer OR rapper.
He could be hinting how competitive the hip-hop scene is when he asserts one could lose a couple pounds or gain a couple ones trying to maintain.
One can lose pounds striving to compete and stay relevant since he will definitely have to roll up his sleeves, work hard for it and eventually end up sweating like a pig at the effort. In other words this all thing is pretty much like sports…
As far as i am concerned the “gain pounds” parts refers to merciless attacks an established rapstar has to go through.
It’s sort of a lose-lose situation here. The idea here is that being successful in hip hop equals to a Pyrrhic victory.
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