“Brooklyn keeps on taking it, Manhattan keeps on making it/Trying to leave Queens out/But we was pulling them Beems out, them M3’s out” - Nas
Song: "A Queens Story"
Much of Nas' career was supported by Queens' need for another star to win the feud over New York supremacy, and he was a rapper talented enough to defeat foes while representing his borough to the death. In the late '80s Bridge Wars, crews from the Bronx and Queens fought over the origins of rap, each claiming that their own neighborhood spawned the art of rhymes before the other. While the situation defused without real incident after the unrelated death of Boogie Down Productions' Scott La Rock, the legacy of the conflict was permanently cemented within Queens. The battle left behind a slew of memorable songs and a reputation as the first hip-hop feud, but a line from Boogie Down's infamous “The Bridge is Over” diss track inspired Nas' remark:
“Manhattan keeps on making it, Brooklyn keeps on taking it/Bronx keeps creating it, and Queens keeps on faking it”
Citing the conflict and Boogie Down's willingness to leave Queens out of the picture of early rap, Nas reminds listeners that Queens was still winning because of its prolific drug dealers, whose habits helped mold hip-hop culture beyond music.