Long barrel automatics released in short bursts
The length of black life is treated with short worth

from Black Star – Thieves in the Night Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Mos is talking about the shortness of time—short attention spans and tempers and skirts, short bursts of weapons—and comparing all that to the perceived worth of black life. Moreover, he’s alluding to the fact that the life expectancy for black people in America is shorter than for white people—largely because of institutionalized racism and violence.

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