Even my old fans like, "Old man, just stop"
I could if I would, but I can't, I'm hot

from Jay Z – Picasso Baby Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

The rap game is normally seen as a young man’s game, due to the fact that older rappers have trouble keeping up with or adapting to new changes and trends within the industry, and often end in middling results for those trying to adapt to new styles. Jay-Z, now age 43, has had longevity far past what would be the norm of most musicians. With the success and revenue he’s still raking in after nearly 30 years in the game, there shouldn’t be a reason for him to quit now!

Many rappers out of envy would like to see someone in the industry who has success (i.e. Jay Z) retire. Still age is nothing but a number here. Innovation, vision and creativity will always be the factor for withstanding time in any business.

“I could if I would” flips the common saying/idiom “I would if I could” in a way replaces the powerlessness of the original saying with Jay-Z’s complete confidence and control in the situation. Whereas in the common saying, the speaker lacks the ability to do something—in this case, stop—Jay-Z could stop if he wanted to, but he won’t because he’s hot.

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