Somehow the rap game reminds me of the crack game
This seemingly throwaway line became one of the earliest formulations of the now-huge meme that rapping is a lot like selling drugs: Jay Z even sampled this line for his song “Rap Game Crack Game” in which he fleshes out the metaphor.
As for how Nas viewed the two to be similar, it is possible that he was beginning to view successful record labels like Death Row as gangs, and their respective executives such as Suge Knight as the head members of these gangs who were incorporating drug dealer mentality into hip-hop and doing whatever it takes to rise to the top. It’s also a possibility that he was making the more common interpretation that drugs and music both require salesmanship and high quality, and the customers of both will flock to whatever is hot at that moment. Here’s an extensive blog post on the subject for further reading.
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