The first example of a deeper meaning in the lyrics can be found in Mos Def´s second Grouping Of lines:
What is the Black Star?
Is it the cat with the black shades, the black car?
Is it shinin' from very far, to where you are?
It is commonplace and different
Intimate and distant
Fresher than an infant
In the first 2 lines he is asking a frequently asked question, which ism what is the Black star ( possibly a black person, black people in general, or a black person who has fame or power). He then says Is It the cat with the black shades, the black car, which most likely is referencing to the stereotype we know all to well ( The stereotype of the gangster or ¨cool cat¨ black man). This is just one example of how the song compares and contrasts different stereotypes and stigmas of black people.
The second example of a deeper meaning in the lyrics can be found in Mos Def´s second Grouping of lines:
Black like my baby girl's stare
Black like the veil that the muslimina wear
Black like the planet that they fear, why they scared?
Black like the slave ship that later brought us here
Black like the cheeks that are roadways for tears
that leave black faces well traveled with years
Black like assassin cross-hairs
Blacker than my granddaddy armchair
He never really got no time to chill there
Cause this life is warfare, warfare
This grouping has many deeper meanings and motifs in relation to black people and their culture.
In the third line, it says ¨Black like the planet that they fear, why they scared?¨. This is a reference to the growing racism against black people since the early beginnings of america. It seems that throughout history, as African american people tried to further advance their own culture, people would stop at nothing to keep them down. ¨ Black like that slave ship that brought us here¨, is an obvious reference to slavery and how African american were worked against their will for hundreds of years. ¨ Black like the cheeks that are roadways for tears, that leave the black faces well traveled for years¨, talks about the sadness and systematic oppression that African Americans have felt from their roots in america until now. The line ¨ Blacker than my granddaddy armchair, he never really got time to chill there, cause his life was war fair¨ shows that African Americans from that last generation or the ine before that, not only felt racism in the workplace or school, but in the law as well. Many balck people could not just ¨chill¨ because they constantly had to deal with problems.
This grouping of lines has on true meaning that many people today feel and experience to this day.
Deep on the front lines, and blacks is all there
Black like the perception of who, on welfare
Black like faces at the bottom of the well
I've been there before
The second line, ¨ Black like the perception of who, on welfare, black lie the faces at the bottom of the well
I´ve been there¨ This line talks about, Metaphorically and literally, welfare and struggle. From The roots of African Americans in america, they have faced adversity and struggle, I would say, like no other race or ethnicity.