Success is what you make it, take it how it come.
A half a mil in twenties, like a billion where I’m from.
An arrogant drug dealer, the legend I become,
CNN said I’d be dead by 21.
Blackjack…I just pulled an ace,
As you looking at the king in his face.
Pusha T, “So Appalled,” from Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 2010
People say, ‘Grimm, you’ve been shot like 50.
So why don’t you just rhyme like 50?
Then, you could get the money like 50,
Otherwise, before you see success…you’ll be 50.’
MF Grimm, “Boing,” American Hunger, 2006
Back when I was younger,
Very ambitious, but often blinded by my hunger.
Some say I dream too big,
And my dream gon’ take me under.
Freddie Gibbs, “National Anthem (Fuck the World),” Str8 Killa EP, 2010
Won’t cha…picture life as my wife, just think:
Full length mink, fat X and O links,
Bracelets to match, conversation was all that,
Showed you the safe combinations and all that.
Guess you could say you’s the one I trusted…
Who would ever think that you would spread like mustard?
Notorious B.I.G., “Get Money,” from Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s Conspiracy, 1995
All I want is peace and love on this planet.
Ain’t that how God planned it?
Chuck D., “Fear of a Black Planet,” from Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet, 1990
It’s weak to speak and blame somebody else
…When you destroy yourself.
Chuck D., “Welcome to the Terrordome,” from Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet, 1990
Look inside my soul and you can find gold and maybe get rich.
Look inside of your soul and you can find out it never exists…
Kendrick Lamar, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” good kid, m.A.A.d. city, 2012
Imagine Rock up in the projects where them niggas pick your pockets,
Santa Claus don’t miss them stockings, liquor spilling, pistols popping,
Baking soda Yola whipping, ain’t no turkey on Thanksgiving,
My homeboy just domed a nigga, I just hope the Lord forgive him.
Jay Rock, “Money Trees,” from Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city, 2012
I bet you never heard of a playa with no game,
Told the truth to get what I want, but shot it with no shame.
Take this music dead serious while others entertain.
I see they makin’ they paper so I guess I can’t complain…or can I?
I feel they disrespectin’ the whole thang.
Them hooks like sellin’ dope to black folks,
And I choke when the food they serve ain’t tastin’ right,
My stomach can’t digest it even when I bless it…
Andre 3000, “13th Floor/Growing Old,” from Outkast’s ATLiens, 1996
Will I die slain like my King by a terrorist?
Will my woman be Coretta, take my name and cherish it?
Or will she Jackie O., drop the Kennedy, remarry it?
Killer Mike, “Untitled,” R.A.P. Music, 2012
Love comes in every color, but the fact is…
I never needed 50 Shades of Grey,
Just turn the lights down low and give me every shade of blackness.
Phonte, “Afro Blue (9th Wonder’s Blue Light Basement Remix)”, from Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP, 2012
Let bygones be bygones…but where I’m from,
We buy guns and more guns, to give to the young.
Kendrick Lamar, “The Heart Pt. 2,” from O(verly) D(edicated), 2010
Dear Mama, don’t cry, your baby boy’s doin’ good,
Tell the homies I’m in heaven, and they ain’t got hoods.
Seen a show with Marvin Gaye last night, it had me shook,
Drippin’ peppermint Schnapps, with Jackie Wilson, and Sam Cooke…
2Pac, “Thugz Mansion,” Better Dayz, 2002
Footballs, basketballs, microphones, gas and grass…
Just some of the few things that J-Ro likes to pass.
J-Ro of Tha Alkaholiks, “Freestyle Ghetto,” from King Tee’s IV Life, 1995
Everything has a price…
No matter if it’s fortune, fame or your life.
I understood later that it’s all about paper,
Everything has a fee in the land of the free.
O.C., “Land of the Free,” from Show & A.G.’s Live Hard, 2007
Now there she goes again, the dopest Ethiopian,
And now the world around me be gets movin in slow motion
Whenever she happens to walk by, why does the apple of my eye
Overlook and disregard my feelings no matter how much I try?
Fat Lip, “Passin’ Me By,” from The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, 1992
Your new CD is a weed plate, nothin’ but love songs,
100% pure garbage, just something to break up buds on.
Jadakiss, “Checkmate,” 12", 2005
Ghostface, catch the blast of a hype verse,
My glock bursts, leave in a hearse, I did worse.
I come rough, tough like an elephant tusk,
Ya head rush, fly like Egyptian musk.
Ghostface Killah, “Bring Da Ruckus,” from Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993
The God’s tropical…ladies call me ‘Black Fruit Punch.’
Ghostface Killah, “Ice Water,” from Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, 1995
You and me, hun, we’re a match made in heaven.
I like to kiss ya where some brothers won’t…
I like to tell ya things some brothers don’t.
Q-Tip, “Bonita Applebum,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, 1990
You’re too light to fight, plus you’re too thin to win.
Who ya gonna call when I break your glass chin?
Tek, “Wrektime,” from Smif-N-Wessun’s Dah Shinin’, 1993
I love black thighs, you sisters better realize
That real hair and real eyes get real guys.
So before you makeup your face, you better make up your mind…
Common, “In My Own World (Check the Method),” Resurrection, 1994
We were beginners in the hood as 5 Percenters,
But somethin’ must’ve got in us, cause all of us turned to sinners.
AZ, “Life’s a Bitch,” from Nas’ Illmatic, 1994
Hip-Hop got turned into Hit Pop,
The second a record was number one on the pop charts.
But don’t skip on the heart, it gotta start in the ghetto,
Let no one forget about the hard part.
MC Serch, “Pop Goes the Weasel,” from 3rd Bass’ Derelicts of Dialect, 1994
I ain’t never gave a fuck, I never did and never will.
Live my life on principle: keep it true, keep it real.
Better said, I keep it TRILL and no matter who don’t like it,
Homie, that just it how it is, naked truth
Like that stripper that’s in front of me,
And I keep a blunt, and a Bible, and a gun on me.
Killer Mike, “Untitled,” R.A.P. Music, 2012
There’s a million ways to live on this thing called a planet,
I’mma live everyday, I ain’t takin’ nothing for granted.
Sadat X, “The Next Spot,” from High School High soundtrack, 1996
It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you
Without a strong rhyme to step to.
Think of how many weak shows you slept through…
Time’s up, I’m sorry I kept you.
Rakim, “I Know You Got Soul,” from Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid In Full, 1987
Fuck a stray bullet, I take aim when the gun draws,
For everlasting fame, I will maim those who change the gun laws.
Cause post-traumatic stress disorder, ask any vet I’ve worked with.
My purpose? Catching bodies like safety nets at the circus.
Pharoahe Monch, “Damage,” from PTSD, 2012
I scored 1.1 on my SAT,
And still push a whip with a right and left AC.
Redman, “Blackout,” from Method Man and Redman’s Blackout!, 1999
You’re a trivial part in a trivia game.
Now what’s your aim? A presidential campaign?
Like Ross Perot? He lost it though…
But he got a billion in tha bank fo’ sho’!
Aceyalone, “All Balls Don’t Bounce,” from All Balls Don’t Bounce, 1995
Yo, it’s 1 universal law but 2 sides to every story,
3 strikes and you be in for life, mandatory.
4 MC’s murdered in the last 4 years,
I ain’t tryin to be the 5th one, the Millennium is here.
Yo, it’s 6 million ways to die, from the 7 deadly thrills,
8-year olds gettin’ found with 9 mill’s.
It’s 10 P.M., where your seeds at? What’s the deal?
Mos Def, “Mathematics,” from Black on Both Sides, 1999
I judge wisely…as if nothin ever surprise me,
Loungin, between two pillars of ivory.
I’m lively, my dome piece is like buildin stones in Greece.
My poems are deep, from ancient thrones I speak.
Killah Priest, “4th Chamber,” from Genius/GZA’s Liquid Swords, 1995
You can’t fool all the people all of the time,
But if you fool the right ones, the rest will fall behind.
Dead Prez, “Propaganda,” Let’s Get Free, 2000
Now what Clan you know with lines this ill?
Bust shots at Big Ben, like we got time to kill.
Method Man, “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off),” from Wu-Tang Clan’s The W, 2000
They use the simple back and forth, the same, old rhythm
That a baby can pick up, and join, right with ‘em.
But their rhymes are pathetic, they think they copacetic
Using nursery terms, at least not poetic…
Kool Keith, “Ego Trippin,” from Ultramagnetic MC’s Critical Beatdown, 1988
Cause the boyz in the hood are always hard,
You come talkin’ that trash, we’ll pull your card.
Knowin’ nothin’ in life but to be legit,
Don’t quote me boy, cause I ain’t sayin’ shit.
Eazy-E, “Boyz-N-The-Hood,” from N.W.A. & The Posse, 1987. Eric “Eazy-E” Lynn Wright (September 7, 1963 – March 26, 1995) (via upnorthtrips)
We got it on lock like Barack got the nomination
Masta Ace, “Pass the Mic,” from Masta Ace & Edo G’s Arts and Entertainment, 2009
These niggaz ain’t thugs, the real thugs is the government.
Don’t matter if you Independent, Democrat or Republican,
Niggaz politickin’ the street, get into beef,
Start blastin’…now a new cat is executive chief.
Talib Kweli, “Ghetto Afterlife,” from Reflection Eternal’s Train of Thought, 2000
Let’s advance the game:
How many times can we rhyme about cars and chains?
How many bricks can a nigga really sell?
How many times can a nigga really go to jail?
How many murders can you do on one album?
Put ‘em together, must of did about a thousand.
I’m just saying, let’s change it up.
If not, nigga, hang it up.
Lord Jamar, “Advance the Game,” The 5% Album, 2006
Battling me is some deadly shit,
So come equipped with rhymes, guns and two extra clips.
Aim for the head, ‘cause you don’t wear a vest there,
Bullet makes a window, your brain needing fresh air.
MF Grimm, “Emotions,” Scars & Memories, 2005
Next time you see a brother down
Stop and pick him up,
Cause you might be the next one stuck.
Grand Puba, “Mind Your Business,” Ya Know How It Goes 12", 1992
Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.
Never forget where you from; someone will remind you.
DMX, “It’s On,” from DJ Clue’s The Professional, 1998
Rappers spit rhymes that are mostly illegal,
MC’s spit rhymes to uplift their people.
KRS-One, “Classic (Better Than I’ve Ever Been),” 2007
I will endanger your species like an ostrich,
Hold you hostage, and crazy feed you swine sausage!
Busta Rhymes, “Do My Thing,” The Coming, 1996
I don’t like thugs, I don’t like nerds,
I don’t like myself and I hate bein’ disturbed.
Sean Price, “Critically Acclaimed,” from Statik Selektah’s 100 Proof (The Hangover), 2010