The ones that had deadbeat daddies and well to do mommas
But not well enough to keep 'em from us
The ones that were fightin' in class, who might not pass

from Lupe Fiasco – The Coolest Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Many “young, outstanding achieving up-and-comers” from the hood have deadbeat (worthless) fathers and strong single mothers that try to shelter them from their environment. However, they’re not able to protect their children from The Streets.

Lupe’s earlier song, “He Say She Say” (off his 2005 album Food & Liquor) delves into Michael’s boyhood, which is summarized here. The song revolves around the mother of Michael Young History talking to his father about his absence in Michael’s life followed by the same verse from the view of Michael himself.

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