So concisely, musically we are the herb
So sit back and light me.
My style’s kinda fat, reminiscent of a whale.
A simple right or left can mean life or death,
Epic fail or nice success,
Days of pleasure or nights of stress.
Ka, “Decisions,” Grief Pedigree, 2012
Ayo, the arm bone connected to the hand bone,
Nigga, the hand bone connected to the damn chrome!
Sean P, “Don’t You Cross the Line,” from Boot Camp Clik’s The Last Stand, 2006
Fuck the car, I do a muthafuckin’ walk-by.
Eazy-E, “The Grand Finale,” from The D.O.C.’s No One Can Do It Better, 1989
Like my man Muhammad from Afghanistan:
Grew up in Iran, the nigga runs a neighborhood newsstand.
A wild Middle Eastern…bomb specialist,
Initiated at eleven to be a terrorist.
He set bombs in bottles of champagne
And when niggaz popped the cork, niggaz lost half they brains.
The Genius/GZA, “Killa Hills 10304,” Liquid Swords, 1995
Fuck a medic, we gon’ call yo ass a taxi cab,
Bleedin’ so hard you need a life-size maxi pad.
Ludacris, “We Got,” Chicken-N-Beer, 2003
I’m Ready to Die without a Reasonable Doubt
Smoke Chronic and hit it Doggystyle before I go out.
Until they sign my Death Certificate, All Eyez on Me
I’m still at it, Illmatic, and that’s The Documentary.
The Game, “The Documentary,” The Documentary, 2005
You know the wisdom is reflected in the knowledge when it’s manifested;
If not fed in due time, the mind is anorexic.
Cormega, “American Beauty,” The Realness, 2001
Nowadays rap artists coming half-hearted,
Commercial like pop, or underground like black markets.
Where were you the day hip-hop died?
Is it too early to mourn? Is it too late to ride?
Talib Kweli, “Too Late,” from Reflection Eternal’s Train of Thought, 2000
So you think that hip-hop had its start out in Queensbridge?
If you popped that junk up in the Bronx, you might not live!
KRS-One, “South Bronx,” from Boogie Down Productions’ Criminal Minded, 1987
A rap villain: chillin’ and I don’t give a fuck about a killin’ cause I’m still in effect when you’re illin’.
Kool G. Rap, “Jive Talk,” from Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo’s Wanted: Dead or Alive, 1990
Me and Frosted went to get a drink.
But she ordered somethin’ bugged, and I ain’t know what to think.
She ordered potassium, calcium,
Carbohydrate, scotch with sodium.
She took me to her crib, threw me on the couch…
I woke up the next morning with a spoon in my mouth.
LL Cool J, “Milky Cereal,” Mama Said Knock You Out, 1990
So lovers of life, don’t keep your hopes up high.
Why? Cause it’s just a matter of time before it’s your turn to die.
But until then, when you stop breathin’,
It’s time to stand up and fight for what you believe in!
Sticky Fingaz, “2 Wrongz,” from Onyx’s All We Got Iz Us, 1995
I remember when I fell from my first bike:
There were no ‘Are you okays?’ and rarely ‘Are you alrights?’
Just dirt in my pockets, handful of gravel…
That’s when I realized that getting up is only half the battle.
Big K.R.I.T., “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” Live from the Underground, 2012
Slim Shady: Hotter then a set of twin babies
In a Mercedes Benz, with the windows up
When the temp goes up to the mid 80’s.
Eminem, “Forgot About Dre,” The Chronic 2001, 1999
Fake MC’s – they always act hard
But won’t walk the streets without their bodyguards.
Guru, “Suckas Need Bodyguards,” from Gang Starr’s Hard To Earn, 1994
I’m not a sucka, so I don’t need a bodyguard.
Rob Base, “It Takes Two,” from Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock’s It Takes Two, 1988
The principles of true hip-hop have been forsaken,
It’s all contractual and about money makin’.
Black Thought, “What They Do,” from The Roots’ Illadelph Halflife, 1996
Back in the days when I was a teenager,
Before I had status, and before I had a pager,
You could find The Abstract, listening to hip-hop,
My pops used to say it reminded him of be-bop.
I said, ‘Well daddy don’t you know that things go in cycles.
The way that Bobby Brown is just ampin’ like Michael.
It’s all expected, things are for the lookin’,
If you got the money, Quest is for the bookin’.
Q-Tip, “Excursions,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory, 1991
Rebel, renegade, must stay paid.
KRS-One, “I’m Still #1,” from Boogie Down Productions’ By Any Means Necessary, 1990
L is the rebel type, I’m rough as a metal pipe,
Fuck a Benz, cause I can pull skins on a pedal bike.
Big L, “Represent,” from Showbiz & A.G.’s Runaway Slave, 1992. Happy Bornday Big L, Rest in Peace.
Everybody’s got opinions on the way you’re livin’,
But see, they can’t fill your shoes.
Andre 3000, “Synthesizer,” from Outkast’s Aquemini, 1998
Niggas is decaf, I stick ‘em for the C.R.E.A.M.
Method Man, “Bring the Pain,” Tical, 1994
Rappers can’t sleep, need sleepin’,
B.I.G. keep creepin’,
Casualties need treatin’,
Dumb rappers need teachin’.
Notorious B.I.G., “Unbelievable,” Ready To Die, 1994
The line between playing to win and sin is thin,
But I walk it with grace and I talk it with taste.
I am that raw, simply put, and I rest my case.
Cee-Lo, “One for the Road,” Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, 2002
Deja vu, tell you what I’m gonna do,
When they reminisce over you, my God.
CL Smooth, “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” from Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s Mecca and the Soul Brother, 1992
Stop raising your voice at me,
Stop messing around with my sanity,
Got me in a bubble, I can barely breathe…
Truth Enola, “Voicetress,” 12", 1999
Spam ain’t the move it’s imitation ham.
Ham is pork, and the pork is foul.
Kinda like a pig and that ain’t my style.
Milk Dee and King Ad Rock, “Spam,” from Milk Dee’s Never Dated EP, 1995
God works in different ways and it shows…
And everybody knows, love comes and goes.
Ed O.G., “Love Comes and Goes,” from Ed O.G. and Da Bulldogs’ Roxbury 02119, 1993
I got a funny feeling like something was real wrong…
Looked at her shoes and her feets was real long!
Then it hit me, Oh please God no,
Don’t let this ho turn out to be a John Doe…
He pulled a fast one on me, yo!
Fatlip, “Oh Shit,” The Pharcyde, Bizarre Ryde II The Pharcyde, 1993
This is jazz, this is funk, this is soul, this is gospel
This is sanctified sick, this is player Pentecostal.
This is church front pew, Amen, pulpit,
What my people need and the opposite of bullshit.
Killer Mike, “R.A.P. Music,” R.A.P. Music, 2012
There oughta be laws against you yappin’ your jaws.
Guru, “Take it Personal,” from Gang Starr’s Daily Operation, 1992
When you fall for a girl named Hope
How you gonna have any when she decides to go?
Machine, “NuBeginning4∞”, from Quelle Chris’ Shotgun & Sleek Rifle, 2011
I swear these niggas from the future…
Where they got camouflage chains and invisible gats
Cause I don’t see none of the shit I hear in their raps.
Quelle Chris, “Sleek Rifle,” Shotgun & Sleek Rifle, 2011
We brag on havin’ bread, but none of us are bakers.
We all talk havin’ greens, but none of us on acres.
If none of us on acres, and none of us grow wheat,
Then who will feed our people when our people need to eat?
So it seems our people starve from lack of understandin’
Cause all we seem to give them is some ballin’ and some dancin’,
And some talkin’ about our car and imaginary mansions.
We should be indicted for bullshit we inciting,
Havin’ children deaf and pretendin’ it’s exciting.
We are advertisements for agony and pain.
We exploit the youth. We tell them to join a gang.
We tell them dope stories, introduced them to the game.
Killer Mike, “Reagan,” R.A.P. Music, 2012
I own the night…the heat’s my receipt.
Ka, “Cold Facts,” Grief Pedigree, 2012
Niggas running around fantasizing like they’re Peter Pan…
Your life’s a scam and I’mma fuck it up like Neverland.
MF Grimm, “Fame,” The Hunt for the Gingerbread Man, 2007
Your mom’s in our business…she’s in our business…
Can’t you see, girl, that your mom’s trying to end this?
K-Solo, “Your Mom’s In My Business,” Tell the World My Name, 1990
I gave birth to most of them MC’s…
So when it comes around to the month of May,
Send me your royalty check for Mother’s Day.
Roxanne Shanté, “Have a Nice Day,” Bad Sister, 1989
What’s the remedy? Suckaz better get their own identity,
And to the enemy, you better roll like there’s ten of me.
A.G., “Next Level,” from Show and A.G.’s Goodfellas, 1995
I make chicks consider themselves widows whose husbands ain’t even died yet.
Chino XL, “How It Goes,” I Told You So, 2001
Laugh now, cry later: this is the karma.
Hip-hop never died, it’s just sick of the drama.
Cormega, “Journey,” Born and Raised, 2009
Lookin’ out at the world through my window pane,
Every day has many colors ‘cause the glass is stained.
Everything has changed but remains the same,
So once again the mirror raised.
And I see myself as clear as day,
And I am goin’ to the limits of my ultimate destiny,
Feeling as though somebody somewhere is testin’ me.
He who sees the end from the beginning of time
Looking forward through all the ages:
Is, was, and always shall be.
MCA, “B-Boy Bouillabaisse (A Year And A Day),” from Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, 1989. Rest in power, Adam Yauch (1964 – 2012).
Let me spell my name out for you, it’s Ricky:
R: Ravishing, I: Impress,
C: Courageous or Careless,
K: for the Kangols which I’ve got,
That I wear everyday and Y: Why not?
Slick Rick, “Mona Lisa,” The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, 1988
This is doomsday for MCs with hollow skills,
Who talk about clothing articles and dollar bills,
And fake ass rides that they don’t even drive.
Hip-hop is war and only strong MCs will survive.
Holocaust, “Doomsday,” from Killarmy’s Dirty Weaponry, 1998
You could either ignore this advice, or take it from me:
Be too nice, and people take you for a dummy.
MF Doom, “Deep Fried Frenz,” MM.. Food, 2004