Handcuffed in back of a bus, forty of us

from Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M. Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Inspectah Deck was sent to prison in a big white bus with 40 other inmates.

In Brian Coleman’s book Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies, Deck speaks about this moment and its influence on this song and his career:

Me on there was about me coming home from jail, trying to put my thoughts down and really take my life seriously. Dudes were telling me that I had talent, so I wanted to stop fucking around. I was handcuffed to the back of a bus, a young nigga up there with grown men. Upstate, not county jail — I was with the big boys. The street taught me to adapt to all situations, so I became the Inspectah. I learned to close my motherfuckin' mouth and peep what was going on. I learned a whole lot during that era. My rap sheet is long. Two felonies, six misdemeanours. Drugs, burglary, gun possession, all that shit. I rarely talk about that shit in rhymes, but you can hear me breathing it. So the stuff on that song was just a page out of an encyclopaedia of rhymes I had back then. I’ve still got verses that were supposed to be on there that got cut out. When I’m done rhyming, I’m gonna put out a book of all my lyrics. I saved all that shit, even from back when I was in high school.

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