Projects to' up, gang signs is thrown up
Niggas hats broke off, that's how we grow up
Kanye says that most black kids grow up in the projects and eventually join gangs.
He is pointing out how little there is to live for in the ghetto, with raggedy housing and gangs running the streets. “Hats broke off…” is a reference to many children being unintended, due to failed/no birth control (jimmy-hat is an older slang word for condom). This miserable existence is why children will do anything to get out of the hood.
This is also possibly a reference to some parts of Chicago where tilting or leaning your hat in a certain direction is a symbol of either gang affiliation or what part of the Chi you’re from.
Kendrick Lamar later referenced this line in his song “m.A.A.d City.”
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