She’s a grad student — goes with the territory.
He would want to apologize to Mos Def and Talib Kweli because of their reputation as “conscious” political rappers, whose 1998 album Blackstar was critical of the materialistic turn in hip-hop. As of College Dropout, Kanye saw himself as someone with one foot in the underground.
Barkley starred in a series of T-Mobile commercials with Dwayne Wade at the time of this song’s release — thus this continues the free association from “Dwayne Wade” and “please don’t start me”.
“Zip…car” ties into the car reference below. The implication is that Drake is getting a handjob from your girlfriend in a rental car.
I think this is “bears” in light of the “hibernate”.
I take that back — the timing does work.
He “knows his way around your ring,” i.e. he knows how to take your jewelery from you.
If that had been intended (the timing doesn’t work) this line would rank among the all-time greats.
Perhaps because his lack of career success, Prodigy has taken this Illuminati obsession more seriously than Jay-Z, who must be a paid-up member by now. See him here on Hot 97 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBmiMsf4cWA), deep in the throes of paranoiac-libertarian ecstasy.
Nas flips this on “Last Real Nigga Alive” — “I was Scarface, Jay was Manolo” — taking a victory lap for his victory in the Ether/Takeover feud.