The scientist say it only affects the mind
The little boy said it only affects the girls
The preacher man said it's going to kill off the soul
A bum said it's going to kill the whole wide world

from Lupe Fiasco (Ft. Matthew Santos) – Streets on Fire Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

The song is based not only on Lupe’s conception and its character, The Streets, but also on the book by G. Orwell, “1984”. Book comes up with a conception of the world, where you can find no truth. Everything is fabricated by the government. So, people may think they’re having their thoughts, but, in fact, that’s just what Big Brother wants them to think

Also a reference to how AIDS/HIV was viewed during the scare in the 80s. Back then, people had all kinds of ignorant theories like only gays/blacks/etc could get it. Some people also thought that it was “Gods punishment” or something of the nature (i.e. the “preacher man” saying it would kill off the soul)


These pairings accomplish two things. First off, it indicates that the little boy is most likely to fall victim to the Game/Streets false promises, because they aren’t afraid of consequence.

It also shows how diverse the opinions on this subject are. He purposely pairs the preacher man and the scientist together because the two have been known to clash over the years. The little boy and the bum are paired because one is young and full of life, the other is portrayed as a washed up, crazy old man. But no matter their differences, everyone has an opinion.

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