My friend showed me pictures of his kids
And all I could show him was pictures of my cribs
He said his daughter got a brand new report card
And all I got was a brand new sports car, oh
Pictures of his cribs has two meanings:
His actual house/allusion to MTV cribs
Empty cribs for children and babies. Making a juxtaposition to the first line
Anyway, this verse refers to an occasion when Kanye West had a conversation with MTV Executive Vice President Dave Surilnick, who showed him some photos of his wife and children. All Kanye could show in return were pictures of his houses and that he recently purchased a brand new sports car.
He’s basically saying what people pride as their prize possessions against the simplicity of real-life (like having a family to come home to).
This brings up a question of how one must either maintain a balance… or at least realize what one has to give up in order to maintain the lifestyle they currently have: the life of a superstar vs. the life of a family man. At this point in his life, Kanye had the riches but he hadn’t settled down yet.
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