I can't breathe, now what's goin on?
One minute you alive, the next, you're gone
Panic!!!!! by The Roots

Black Thought considers that his life can be taken at any possible moment on the streets.

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Damn, I'm thinkin it don't cease, it's no more peace
Police level increase, but what the fuck...
It's still crime on the streets
Panic!!!!! by The Roots

There’s no end to the crimes and killings on the street, even though police presence has been increased.

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I take a step out the spot, to the point of attack
And see the shorty wop heart blast out his back
Panic!!!!! by The Roots

Black Thought steps back from the crime scene to view it from a the angle in which the shooter attacked, and he notices that the kid was shot from behind, through the heart.

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I tried to tell him to stop cuz yo, it's ghetto red hot
Similar to the blood now floodin his top
Panic!!!!! by The Roots

Black Thought tried warning the kid of the dangers of hanging on the block, calling the ghetto “red hot.” BT compares the redness of the blood currently coming out of the victims head after not following his advice with the “red” hot heat of the streets.

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Medical figures is nursin the kid that got shot
Some innocent ak that would front
To flip the rock on them at McKean Street block
Panic!!!!! by The Roots

Doctors arrive at the crime scene to treat the victim, who was an innocent boy that hung out on the street corners where crack was sold.

“at McKean Street block” — McKean Street is a street in his native South Philly neighborhood

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I woke up in the darkness at 12:17...to shots and sirens
Look out the window, peep the high beams
Now they searchin, the cops lookin for the person
That pulled the trigger
Panic!!!!! by The Roots

Black Thought is awoken by gunshots in the middle of the night, and the cops arrive shortly after to investigate and find the shooter.

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And my mental thick they hit my head like brick
As I embark on a mission welcoming to the dark
When I first spark the arts, when the listening start
What They Do by The Roots (Ft. Raphael Saadiq)

Black Thought vividly describing his process of writing.

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Living the life of limos and lights
Airplanes and trains, short days and long nights
Keyboards and mics, bass chords and drum kicks
What They Do by The Roots (Ft. Raphael Saadiq)

The life of a musician; riding around in limos, living under stage lights, traveling often, late night performances, and of course the music itself.

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My nine to five, is just to hit ya get the party live What They Do by The Roots (Ft. Raphael Saadiq)

Black Thought;s nine-to-five job is making rap music, with his goal being to hit the listeners ears and get the parties moving

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The rap critics say I can rhyme, the fiends say my dope is a nine What Up Gangsta by 50 Cent

50 is critically acclaimed in music and drug dealing alike. He’s not boasting: Get Rich or Die Tryin' was very well received, getting a perfect rating from XXL and receiving a 73/100 overall at Metacritic.

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