Rockstar, look, way before the bars my picture was getting took

from Jay Z – Blue Magic Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Before you hit the cell and you’re behind bars, the correctional facility requires you to take pictures (mugshots)

But what Jay-Z is actually referring to is about being watched by the feds. The feds were undercover watching and snapping photos of him, way before he became a famous rapper (spitting “sick bars”)

One sick metaphor

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