I'll tell you half the story, the rest you fill it in
Long as the villain win

from Jay Z – Dead Presidents II Lyrics on Rap Genius


There are two readings of this line:

(1) Jay can’t tell you everything about his hustling days. He sticks to the code. So you’re gonna have to fill in some of the details.

(2) The story isn’t over yet. Reasonable Doubt, along with much of the mafioso rap subgenre, was largely inspired by crime movies like Scarface, Heat), and Casino. In each of those films, a criminal mastermind (a “villain”) is depicted as accumulating massive amounts of wealth through their own ingenuity and ambition. However, the villain also always ends up bringing down his own wealth and achievement, due to arrogance, obsession, and greed. Jay wants us to believe that his story won’t end up like that. Imagine it ending however you want, but don’t think he’s going down like Montana, McCauley, or Rothstein.

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