Word to Marcus Garvey: I hardly sparked it
Marcus Garvey was the father of the pan-African movement; although Nas barely “sparks” (smokes) weed, cops still harass him, proving that Garvey was correct to assert that a black man cannot peaceably live in white society.
It also means that he had just started to smoke and the cops are already on him. The cops are practically waiting in anticipation for an opportunity to persecute a black man (through prosecution).
Given the context, it would be fair to suggest that “in the darkness” might also be a reference to race, effectively meaning “as a black person”. The two interpretations of darkness—literal and figurative—would serve to transition from “afternoon” (sunny, shit’s going well) to addressing racial discrimination (shit’s always been bad, and Garvey was right about it staying that way).
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