I'm talking 'bout life and all I hear is:
"Oh yeah he keeps talking 'bout crack"
I ain't talking 'bout profit, I'm talking 'bout pain
I'm talking 'bout despair, I'm talking 'bout shame

from Jay Z – What We Talkin' About Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

When Jay Z raps, he raps about his real life which includes a history of drug dealing. He’s a hood reporter, he gives the news with a twist of its just his ghetto point of view.

If you watch the Charlie Rose interview, Hova explains that he isn’t glorifying crack or drugs like critics claim but rather just putting on wax the details that he’s seen and lived.

I’ve been around it, I grew up in Brooklyn, Marcy projects, its was everywhere…I survived it.

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