Mama forgive me, should be thinking about Harvard
But that's too far away, niggas are starving

from Jay Z – American Dreamin' Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Jay Z knows that his mother would have preferred to see him attend an Ivy University instead of hustling, but the situation he was born in didn’t allow him to do it.

I guess we’ll never know what Harvard gets us
But seeing my family have it all
Took the place of that desire for diplomas on the wall

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