I couldn't help but think that maybe I had made a mistake
I mean, you made "You Owe Me" dog, I thought that you could relate
A reference to the Nas song You Owe Me, the lyrics of which consisted of Nas expecting sex from women since he bought them jewelry. The single is infamous in Nas' career as a failed attempt to ride trends by making a superficial club track rather than something meaningful.
Cole thought Nas would be able to relate to the industry pressures that led him to release “Work Out” since Nas lived through the same. This detail nicely shows the defensive, knee-jerk reaction that Cole has to the news.
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