Trying to keep a positive mind and walk a straight line don't work
So niggas is forced to do dirt

from Mobb Deep – Shook Ones Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

When all you’ve had is the worst in life (previous line) and surrounded by negativity, positivity seems impossible.

It’s also fairly impossible to survive or sustain a better life the clean way (‘'walk a straight line’‘)– it seems easier to break the law to get money. As Prodigy says, people are almost forced to break the law (do dirt) to survive.

This is especially true for people in the ghetto who were literally starving or selling crack to get “rich”, highlighted by the documentary Planet Rock The Story of Hip-Hop The Crack Generation

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