I think he is alluding to the second line where he references the Westside Connection(Ice Cube, Mack 10, WC). “Connect Gang” is a nickname for the group.
Playing off Jay-Z hook. He equates his music with coke. Going platinum = high sales = high demand. His music is crack that the fans(fiends) are eager to purchase and consume(listen) because of the high quality of music Kanye has consistently put out.
To quote Jay: there is no “Flash now but time will reveal money”
that’s the gist of the line. He takes the marginal profit from tiny eightballs and steps up the ladder to not only being on top of the drug game but being better than it.
Jay-Z popularized dumbed-down simplistic yet cacthy lyrics on his Vol 2. and Vol 3. albums. Soon you saw much mainstream imitation from Snoop Dogg to 50 Cent even Kurupt and Royce Da 5'9.
Also, in the mid 90’s, sampling 80’s pop(not modern day meaning for pop but just popular radio hits) and classic R&B had become the trend laid down by Tha Hittmen, Trackmasters, and Ski. While the west was still capitalizing off G-Funk.
Jay-Z switched up his production lineup on Blueprint bringing in Kanye West and Just Blaze to infuse more Soul/Big Band sound over his once popular, Ski, DJ Premier, Irv Gotti, Hittmen sampling. The first to really go back to sampling or using live instruments and blaring horns in his albums.
as the Nas/Jay-Z beef unraveled this refers to Carmen Bryant, Nas' girlfriend at the time, who detested how Nasir didnt like to be flashy and own the nightlife. When she caught him seriously flirting with a female R&B singer she started creeping with Jay-Z because Nas openly expressed to her how much he couldn’t stand Jay-Z.
Jay always believed he and Biggie started the mafioso style of rap. Contrary to what Nas, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon believe(that they had it locked first)
Reasonable Doubt outsold Illmatic and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx however It Was Written would outsell In My Lifetime Vol. 1
also making a reference to the power struggle in NYC for the “Throne of Hip-Hop”. Before passing Nas and Biggie were in a beef over who was the King of NY and there were several other rap figures who blamed Bad Boy for ruining the image of hip-hop.
Jay-Z states that since he was second to Biggie in the Commission supergroup(referenced in the next line) that he automatically assumes top spot as King of NYC. This album(this song in particular) would be the match that ignited the Nas/Jay-Z battle. As Nas would then direct his barbs from Biggie to Jay-Z.
this came out in 1997, around the same the Westside Connection released Bow Down. An album laced with disses toward the east coast stemming from the Tupac/Biggie beef.
also alludes to one of his older songs “Dope Fiend Beat” off Born To Mack.
isnt Prodigy’s lines from Survival of the Fittest?