Trend brought back, the shitloads, of switched dress codes
Damn jeans
"Damn Jean
Live Up by Jean Grae (Ft. Talib Kweli)

Jean mentions the trend of rappers wearing skinny jeans, while punning on her own rap name

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My person is the person in the verses' stories
VS the person in the 1st person stories
VS the person to disperse the stories
Live Up by Jean Grae (Ft. Talib Kweli)

A poetical way of expressing a rapper’s dilemma. Jean points out the difficulties in being the subject, writer, and performer of her work

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Prophetical Sleestak, nobody can reach me Live Up by Jean Grae (Ft. Talib Kweli)

The Sleestack are reptilian humanoid figures from the Land of the Lost 1970’s TV series. The land where the Sleestack live is extremely difficult to reach, and much of the TV series' plot involved the protagonists' attempts to escape

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[Jean Grae] Live Up by Jean Grae (Ft. Talib Kweli)

Rapper Pharoahe Monch also provides uncredited backup vocals during this section

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Go open your eyes bigger, no not for them thighs Live Up by Jean Grae (Ft. Talib Kweli)

Calling back to the minstrel imagery above, Jean plays on the famed bug-eyed stare given by minstrel characters when something unusual happened — such as, in this rhetorical case, being fed their stereotypical “favorite food”, fried chicken:

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Just freedom from being wack, no Perry, Madea crap, go head head if you feeling that
I know, you'll gon' give me flack for it, "She's wack, we black, we as a people should stand for it"
Live Up by Jean Grae (Ft. Talib Kweli)

Jean serves up harsh criticism of the Tyler Perry-authored Madea series of plays and movies (Madea’s Family Reunion, etc.) Many critics, Jean presumably among them, criticized the films for being crude and exploitative

Director Spike Lee famously called Perry’s work “coonery and buffoonery” and compared his characters to the grossly stereotypical ones played by minstrel-era performers Mantan Moreland and Willie “Sleep ‘n’ Eat” Best (pictured below):

These lines recall Jean’s rants against “coons” and “buffoons” earlier on this same album

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I'm Cobain but living
I'm "Don't Explain" Billie Holiday's, spirit, you feel it...
In your veins, heroin addict conceal it like the pain I revisit every time I do a line
Live Up by Jean Grae (Ft. Talib Kweli)

Jean compares her musical abilities to those of two memorable icons, both of whom had noted problems with heroin. Note also Jean’s pun on “do a line”, in both the rhymesaying and drug senses of the term

Kurt Cobain, lead singer and songwriter of Nirvana, had a history with heroin that began in 1986 and continued up until his 1994 suicide

Billie Holiday was one of the most well-known jazz singers of all time, and the co-writer and best-known interpreter of the standard “Don’t Explain”. Holiday (b.1915) started using hard drugs in the early 1940’s, and a 1947 arrest for narcotics possession severely hindered her recording and performing career

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Killing everybody in sight Killin Em by Jean Grae (Ft. Pharoahe Monch) 2

The hook of this tune is by MC Lyte, sampled from her song “10% Dis”

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Finagle verbatim Killin Em by Jean Grae (Ft. Pharoahe Monch) 2

Jean puns on the name of our favorite bagel place

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View it as killer, not sedated or some euthanasia Killin Em by Jean Grae (Ft. Pharoahe Monch) 2

Jean’s music kills you actively and painfully, unlikely the hopefully pain-minimizing and voluntary death by euthanasia

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