Trick my wisdom, with the system that imprisoned my son

from Nas – Deja Vu Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Many different ways you can view this line.

One way, which seems like a fairly common to see it is the concept of being born in the ghetto. Many like Nas himself see their birth as being inadvertently placed instead a jail or hell. The “system” refers to the government and how it ends up that a high percentage of those in poverty are African American born individuals. The point is, when you’re born into poverty its very hard to get out.

Interestingly enough, Nas is selflessly speaking in behalf of his unborn son instead of himself. This alludes the listener that he has a pessimistic view of life and sees himself trapped with anything he produces; therefore he doesn’t have hope in getting out… It’s an extremely cynical line to say that least.

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