When I was sayin' 'bout the world
I was talkin' 'bout when the fuckin' world was flat

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

Meaning

As people questioned “What in the world was that,” Lupe is talking about the world while it was flat. The world could be a metaphor for the rap game and when Lupe mentions the flat world, he is talking about the Columbus era which he mentions earlier on in this same verse. Although Columbus knew that the world was round, many believed that the earth was flat and if you went too far you would fall off. This was a long time ago, Lupe is saying that your that far behind in understanding his lyrics.

Lu may also be saying if these wack rappers take it too far, they’ll fall off. Be it by Lupe’s hands or by themselves.

In short, he’s calling these rappers flat and shallow as they call themselves Columbus and will fall off while Lupe reigns.

This could also mean that he has enlightened his audience to realize that the old world (SLR 2) was never flat through the new world (SLR 3). It’s a reference of time, saying that now that SLR 3 has shown you that SLR 2 isn’t flat maybe you should go back to SLR 2 and see what he was trying to say in a new light. Basically, he knew all along that the world (his music — specifically SLR 2) was round and those who called him wack just didn’t know what he was talking about at the time; much like the earlier people of the world who didn’t believe that the world was indeed round, and instead thought it was flat and you could just fall off the edge of it.

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