The tortoise only makes progress when his neck sticks out

from Black Hippy (Ft. Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar & ScHoolboy Q) – U.O.E.N.O. Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

“Behold the turtle. It makes progress only when it sticks its neck out."
James Bryant Conant

Referencing the classic children’s tale The Tortoise and the Hare, tortoises can only move forward by sticking their neck out of their shell. Ab-Soul extends this metaphor to having to come out of his shell and being able to say what others aren’t willing or are afraid to say.

This is also a metaphor for taking chances. The tortoise is much more vulnerable when its head is sticking out, but Ab-Soul reckons you gotta take chances in order to progress.

He also slows his flow down — like a tortoise — at this point.

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