This line can be interpreted in a couple of ways (In relation with the time period)
The inability to buy anything with meager wages received from jobs that oftentimes had unsafe working conditions & unfair hours, which led to unionizing.
The African slave, who Langston has extensively referenced before, who worked backbreaking, excruciating years of work for no compensation at all.
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Immigrants primarily left for America because of it’s promise of an economically secure lifestyle, along with the ability to exercise some degree of freedom over their life.
What they had found however, was the exact same aspects of society they had originally tried to escape.
Langston starts off this stanza by giving brief insights into the lives of different inhabitants of America, each plagued by personal issues.
African Americans during this time period were taught to believe that their skin color made them not fully “human”
Langston ingrains a bit of this psyche into the person in question, who upon a moment of self reflection- realizes that skin color doesn’t factor into personal tastes.
This trio of lines evoke a sense of freedom, something the black man possessed in a technical sense- but not truly, in Langston’s lifetime.
Tec-9’s shoot as fast as your trigger finger, because it’s a semi automatic handgun.
When rappers say “let this (expletive of your choice) breathe”, they are referring to letting the beat of the song go on, with little to no rapping done during this time sequence.
Both are Jeezy’s thug motivations for selling drugs.
Scarface describes a surprise ambush that he performed on an enemy.
Canned foods are used in charity drives, because they can withstand long periods of time without use.