You're still a soldier, I'm like Sly Stone in Cobra

from Nas – It Ain't Hard to Tell Lyrics on Rap Genius


As D'Angelo Barksdale explains, a “soldier” is a member of a crime organization that is pretty low on the ladder and dispensable to their higher ups. So while you are taking orders from everyone around you Nas is doing his own thing, much like the renegade cop Sylvester “Sly” Stallone plays in the movie Cobra.

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