When A Tribe Called Quest started, they mixed street wear with traditional African clothes. Many thought this was wack, since they live in the most urbanized city in the world: New York. But with their def music Quest showed everyone that they were one of the illest.
RZA samples a Gospel song and Grym Reaper rhymes over it.
African-Americans have been forced to live the trife life by society & racism. Ice Cube states that he has to carry weight & if he doesn’t: he’ll get killed for sure.
Someone’s apparently living with their eyes closed. Nothing’s ever good in the hood.
This is possibly a semi “diss” towards Notorious B.I.G. & the song “Juicy” wherein Biggie repeatedly says “and it’s all good” after portraying his life in the streets of N.Y.C.
This line would come back to bite N.W.A on “No Vaseline” Cube reminded them
“"Tryin' to sound like Amerikkka’s Most,
You could yell all day but you don’t come close.
Cuz you know I’m the one that flown,
ya done run 100 miles, but you still got one to go.
With the L-E-N-C-H M-O-B, and ya’ll disgrace the C-P-T.
Cuz you’re gettin' fucked out your green by a white boy,
with no vaseline…”
The track’s main purpose wasn’t to diss Ice Cube, although N.W.A continually makes references towards Ice Cube being inferior to them, which is why he left them according to their side of the story:
Dr. Dre states the following during his second verse: “Started with five and, yo, one couldn’t take it
So now there’s four cause the fifth couldn’t make it”, clearly a peak towards Ice Cube being the fifth member.