So instead he played the DL
Second use of the term DL, short for down low.
In the early 90s, when this song was written, on the down low was slang for anything secretive or low profile. But over time it became a hood equivalent of in the closet — a euphemism for black men who secretly sleep with other men while leading outwardly heterosexual lives (often with long-term female partners).
Unsurprisingly the term dropped out of Hip Hop usage. This might be the only song where the newer meaning actually makes more sense than the original.
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