I used to cop in Harlem, hola my Dominicanos
Right there up on Broadway, brought me back to that McDonalds
Jay used to “cop” (buy) drugs in Harlem to sell in Brooklyn, where he lived. Back in the day, there were only 2 McDonalds in all of Harlem/Washington Heights, one of which was (and still is) on 145th and Broadway.
That part of the city was the spiritual home of New York’s large Spanish-speaking Dominican population. All the hustlers would meet up in there (before going across the street to Brands — the cheapest/best liquor store in the Tri-state)
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Empire State of Mind” by Jay Z (Ft. Alicia Keys) Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box