Not only best rapper, best artist of all time.
Comparing facing him with a rope tied around your neck. Meaning you cant escape it, he is immortal.
Call it law of the jungle, survival of the fittest take a pick.
A truly tragic situation, a neverending bad spiral, option:
A) If you was a law abiding citizen in the ghetto you had big chanses of being killed in stray bullets or being robbed of the little money you earned.
B) So to survive people where forced in to the world of crime where you robbed or selled crack to get some real money. This inturn hurt other peopple of course the one you robbed or sold cracked to. Someone close to the person would do revenge killing either killing you or innocent people getting shot for being at the wrong place and so it continues.
C) The third option and the only real way out of the ghetto was becomeing a basketball player in NBA or through rapping.
Another way of saying it is only god can judge me but it was he who created or let this madness happens so he can´t blame you.
If you edited the line to be grammatically correct it would be: Try*ing to keep a positive mind and walk a straight line don´t work. Meaning you can´t survive or get yourself a better life the clean way you have to break the law to get money. This was especially true for the people in the ghetto who was literally starving or selling crack to get “rich”. Wouldn´t you also choose the same way as them if you where in their shoes?
A great documentary that dives deeper in to the subject is Planet Rock The Story of Hip-Hop The Crack Generation:
Doesn´t have to be the action could just be money or food to survive, like Talib later said in the classic Get By
Snakes are sneaky so it´s often a reference to someone you know that stabs you in the back when you don´t have your guard up.