They smile in my face, behind my back they talk trash,
Mad and stuff because they don’t have cash.
Erick Sermon, “Strictly Business,” from EPMD’s Strictly Business, 1988
You would rather have a Lexus, or justice?
A dream, or some substance?
A Beamer, a necklace, or freedom?
stic.man, “Hip-Hop,” from Dead Prez’ Let’s Get Free, 2000
What’s up with this nonsense?
Wack ass jams with a built-in dance?
Rappers snap they fingers in a b-boy stance?
Radio play it all day, but real rap no chance?
Real rap don’t mean “take ‘em to school.”
I like bitches, cars and money, but I use my brains too.
Bishop Lamont, “Without You,” from Little Brother and Mick Boogie’s …And Justus For All, 2007
If you for real then you know the deal,
I do or die, and I never ran, never will.
Smif-N-Wessun, “Stand Strong,” Dah Shinin’, 1995
I leave scientists mentally scarred,
Triple Extra Large,
Wild like rock stars who smash guitars…
Inspectah Deck, “Above the Clouds,” from Gang Starr’s Moment of Truth, 1998
They say it’s lonely at the top, in whatever you do,
You always gotta watch motherfuckers around you.
Nobody’s invincible, no plan is foolproof,
We all must meet our Moment of Truth.
Guru, “Moment of Truth,” from Gang Starr’s Moment of Truth, 1998
Watch out for the medallion, my diamonds are reckless,
Feels like a midget is hangin from my necklace!
Ludacris, “Stand Up,” Chicken-N-Beer, 2003
Your white tee, well to me, looks like a nightgown;
Make your mama proud, take that thing two sizes down.
Andre 3000, “Walk It Out (Remix)”, from Unk’s Beat’n Down Yo Block!, 2006
My radio, believe me, I like it loud,
I’m the man with a box that can rock the crowd.
Walkin’ down the street, to the hardcore beat
While my JVC vibrates the concrete.
LL Cool J, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio,” Radio, 1985
My life is like a song and I think I know the words,
And as I start to sing along the whole verse becomes a blur.
So I freestyle improv, make mistakes and evolve,
The obstacles repeat, cause naturally it revolves.
MURS, “18 with a Bullet (Remix),” The End of the Beginning, 2003
I heard when I talk, they all listen,
They hang on every word from the God, they all Christians.
I baptize ‘em with lines, this is y’all christenin’
Bless with the gift of my presence, this y’all’s Christmas.
Torae, “You Ready?” For the Record, 2011
I committed crimes of passion and my soul was suspected,
But it was thrown out of court because of course the Creator and I connected.
He told me, “Fear not for thou art protected. Your life is being requested,
And you are being tested, so make every attempt you can to expect the unexpected.”
Cee-Lo, “Big Ole Words (Damn),” Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, 2002
From city to city, coast to coast,
Friday night is the night they like to party the most.
Tha Alkaholiks, “Coast II Coast,” from Friday Soundtrack, 1995
If imitation is the greatest form of flattery,
Punk, don’t flatter me.
J-Ro, “Coast II Coast,” from Friday Soundtrack, 1995
The Chinamen built the railroad, the Indians saved the Pilgrim,
And in return, the Pilgrim killed ‘em.
They call it it Thanksgiving, I call your holiday ‘hell-day.’
Nas, “What Goes Around,” Stillmatic, 2001
I come strong, I make knowledge born,
I flip the script and rock on
From P.M. past to fucking Dawn.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Damage,” from Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, 1995
Layin niggas so flat, homies think you plankin’,
Only realize you dead when the corpse start stankin’.
Ras Kass, “Holes in the Ozone,” F.I.L.A. (Fuck It, Lose It All), 2012
Leave MC’s blind with amnesia;
Chop ‘em into salad, and my name ain’t Caesar.
Black Thought, “@15,” from The Roots’ Rising Down, 2008
You know the evil that men do, hell is where the men go.
We snatched him by his hands and feet and threw him out the window:
“Up, up, and away cause I don’t play, clown,
Buck, buck, buck, take that with you on the way down.”
I’m hoping you got springs and wings on your shoes,
But you lose, because I got the Ill Street Blues.
Kool G. Rap, “Ill Street Blues,” from Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo’s Live and Let Die, 1992
In this lifetime, you got two things:
Bad and good, and ain’t nothin’ in between.
Cold 187um, “Untouchable,” from Above the Law’s Livin’ Like Hustlers, 1990
I have to be perfectly honest:
You should have an anniversary to acknowledge the way I work the ebonics.
Big Pun, “Where Ya At,” from D.I.T.C.’s D.I.T.C., 1999
Don’t get offended, there’s no need for insecurity,
Age is but a number, it’s all about maturity.
Chi-Ali, “Age Ain’t Nothing But a #,” The Fabulous Chi-Ali, 1992
See, seventy percent of the world’s underwater,
Seventy percent of your body’s underwater,
Seventy percent of what we live is out of range,
We rearrange this order, but niggaz think it’s strange.
Boogiemonsters, “Strange,” Riders of the Storm: The Underwater Album, 1994
Well I’ma freakit like this because I be doper than the dopest,
I focus on the mic and if you like it you can quote this.
Dray, “Freakit,” from Das EFX’ Straight Up Sewaside, 1993
Used to have a crush on Dawn from En Vogue.
It’s not like honey dip would wanna get with me,
But just in case I own more condoms than TLC.
Phife Dawg, “Oh My God,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Maruaders, 1993
You got to have style, and learn to be original.
KRS-One, “My Philosophy,” from Boogie Down Productions’ By All Means Necessary, 1988
This one’s for you, and I truly hope you hear me,
Through all your travels, I’m wishing you a peaceful journey.
Heavy D, “Peaceful Journey,” from Heavy D. & the Boyz’ Peaceful Journey, 1991. Damn…RIP The Heavster, gone too soon and joining Trouble T-Roy in the afterlife. 1967-2011.
It’s important to practice good hygiene,
At least if you wanna run with my team.
Del the Funky Homosapien, “If You Must,” Both Sides of the Brain, 2000
My life is violent but violence is life,
Peace is a dream, reality is a knife.
Ice-T, “Colors,” from Colors Soundtrack, 1988
I am to hip-hop what Obama is to politics
Common, “Sweet,” The Dreamer, The Believer, 2011
The employees of the year, yeah we back to work.
I took time off, while other rappers got jerked.
Erick Sermon, “So Watcha Sayin’,” from EPMD’s Strictly Business, 1988
I smoke on the mic like Smokin’ Joe Frazier,
The hell raiser, raisin’ hell with the flavor.
Inspectah Deck, “Protect Ya Neck,” from Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993. RIP Joseph William “Joe” Frazier, (January 12, 1944 – November 6, 2011), known as Smokin’ Joe, was a former Olympic and Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion.
I’m a firm believer that we all meet up in eternity,
Just hope the Big Man show me some courtesy
Nas, “Like Smoke,” from Amy Winehouse’s Lioness, 2011
If there’s a heaven, I can’t find the stairway
Black Thought, “Make My,” from The Roots’ undun, 2011
I got Lamborghini dreams, eastside nightmares
Movin white…my ice is cool as the night air
Roc Marciano, “Emeralds,” Marcberg: Reloaded, 2011
We shoppers, you bloggers.
If money talks, you mumblers.
You try it on, then take it off,
Then post a pic on your tumblrs.
Pusha T, “Peso Freestyle,” Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray, 2011
I never cared, I was careless,
Fear bein afraid or maybe I’m afraid to be fearless.
Or fear bein’ fearless but fearful,
So even in my carelessness…gotta be careful.
Joe Budden, “Adrenaline,” Padded Room, 2009
Get wreck in the kitchen like she on the Cooking Channel,
And then hide the heat in the car door…
God damn, she’s a mother-to-be, ya hope for twins,
Give me a whole tribe!
And be as sexy as Janet was on the cover of Vibe.
Sadat X, “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head,” from Brand Nubian’s Foundation, 1998
Ayo, shout out to Mobb Deep, the Extra P
Busta Rhymes, De La, the J Beez, so don’t sleep
Q-Tip, “Mind Power, ” A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes and Life, 1996
It’s a cold world, better pack your own heat.
Redman, “Mi Casa,” Blackout!, 1999
Holocaust, black man, lose veins, littered with thorns
Back smack you so hard, all your seeds will be formed deformed.
Swarm dorms, sting birds, fling verbs like mean curbs
Strike three, mics flee, I infect em with green germs, ringworm
Holocaust, “Holocaust (Silkworm),” from RZA’s Bobby Digital in Stereo, 1998
Life’s a bitch, but God forbid the bitch divorce me…
Nas, “Affirmative Action,” It Was Written, 1996
Keepin’ this effervescent street ghetto essence inside us
Cause it provides us with the proper insight to guide us
AZ, “Life’s a Bitch,” from Nas’ Illmatic, 1994
Golly, he’s just a pest and your worst best friend,
Who mend and rip space-time fabric like polyester blend.
MF Doom, “Biochemical Equation,” from Wu-Tang Meets Indie Culture, 2005
I got a letter from the government the other day
I opened and read it…it said they were suckers.
Chuck D., “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” from Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, 1988
Too many songs, weak rhymes that’s mad long.
Make it brief son: half short, twice strong!
GZA, “As High As Wu-Tang Get,” from Wu-Tang Clan’s Wu-Tang Forever, 1997
Cause on the mic, I got more presence than attendance in a class of schizophrenics
J-Treds, “The Fire In Which You Burn,” from Company Flow’s Funcrusher Plus, 1997
I made a new lane for myself and said, ‘Fuck it.’
Why Rage Against the Machine when you can just unplug it?
Phonte, “Everything is Falling Down,” Charity Starts at Home, 2011