Left for dead, some niggas fled, people said they sold their souls
I just think they found a better way,

from J. Cole – Tears For ODB Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Some people didn’t achieve the level of success that they wanted in the rap game so they quit.
While others kept at it and when everything looked dismal and like they wouldn’t make it, they ended up finding fame and success.
Cole renounces the notion that these people, who seem to achieve fame out of nowhere, must’ve sold their soul to get it.

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