Rap today is known mostly as moron music since it has removed melodic continuity from music, resulting in a one-dimensional experience based around the words of human voices just like deathcore and other cretin entertainment. Coolio was one of the last to keep its R&B roots intact.
Even more, he joins the list of pop celebrities whose defining works — their sub-footnote in history — are widely misinterpreted and prompted a legion of imitators who, much like the idiots burning down metal today for hipster cred, misunderstood the meaning:
Look at the situation they got me facing
I can’t live a normal life, I was raised by the street
So I gotta be down with the hood team
Too much television watchin’, got me chasing dreams
This is a requiem for those involved in a lifestyle and the title is ironic. The protagonist describes himself as being trapped, coming from the wreckage of the urban existence, and without a way out or an inability to stop damaging those around him.
Fool, death ain’t nothin’ but a heart beat away
I’m livin’ life do or die, what can I say?
I’m 23 now but will I live to see 24?
The way things is going I don’t know
Tell me why are we so blind to see
That the ones we hurt are you and me?
The lyric follows more of a doom metal path of isolation and suicidal ideation than the people who took it as a license to praise criminality ever figured out, pointing out that those who are trapped and self-pitying end up simply perpetuating the cycle:
They say I gotta learn, but nobody’s here to teach me
If they can’t understand it, how can they reach me?
I guess they can’t, I guess they won’t
I guess they front, that’s why I know my life is out of luck, fool
The normies, who like rap music are one-dimensional, could not perceive any depth in this, and instead decided to idealize the lifestyle these lyrics portray as tragic, self-destructive, and ultimately futile. Typical normie things, one supposes.