I pause to put a round in the palms of thieves
And then clap for 'em, bring it back to 'em

from Lupe Fiasco – SLR 3 (Round of Applause) Lyrics on Rap Genius


Lupe wants to take his time to shoot down rappers who are trying to take the spotlight from Lupe’s SLR 2 response. He says he will then clap(shoot) for ‘em, he will take the shots (respond to Kendrick) for them, he has to clap for them since he put a round in their palms. He then says “bring it back to 'em” which means he will put the spotlight back on them while he disses them in this song. Lupe says “clap for 'em” the same way Jay Z says it in A Star is Born, a song which features Jay and J. Cole praising other rappers.

He pauses to put a “round” (literally) in their palms, beginning the circle imagery that runs throughout this verse.

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