Then I start to front; matter of fact, I be on a manhunt
- Another example of Nas’s genius, wordplayin' the hell out of Before I blunt, I take out my fronts to say before he “fronts” he’s gonna be blunt in this verse and not bullshit “lie through his teeth”. To be real, literally and figuratively he’s “taking out my fronts”. It’s a sextuple entendre and extended metaphor with “fronts” also being grills and that they’re fake on teeth.
It’s a play on the phrase “Lying through your teeth” Braggadocio was a form of Hardcore Rap that developed in the mid 70’s usually as “Battle Raps” to freestyle how much badass you were over all other wack MC’s. You would get called out for being fake, like he said here
Nas isn’t in a manhunt, he is ON the manhunt lists, hiding his drugs in plain sight so he doesn’t get caught. “Lyin' with your mouth shut” (Lying by omission is hiding something Drug addicts use to hide drugs between their teeth as they talked to 5-0)
He lies to the crackdown agents to their faces “through his teeth” even though he said he was still being “blunt”(brutally honest) in line 1. Though they maybe onto him catching his bluff.
Also he punned “blunt”, it’s another name for reefer. Note he reflects on all of this as he prepares to run in the next line
He mentions crack in this song and many others. If you smoke blunt you can’t be “blunt”, since you “crack a smile” when you’re high. So we can imagine Nas trying not to smile to the feds and not give his act away to where he keeps his bricks.
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