Dutch in my ear, Olde E in my palm,
I Freddy Krueger your face, Michael Myers your moms.
You botherin mine? That’s when I’m sparkin the nine.
Sean Price, “King Kong,” Jesus Price Superstar, 2007
Believers of Jesus be denouncing Satan on every level,
But every Halloween they’re dressin’ like devils.
KRS-One, “Higher Level,” Return of the Boom Bap, 1993
I’m so Rakim and Eric. B, bitches check out my melody.
I might Slick Rick on a fella…catch me a felony.
I might Shyne Po a ho…POW! Catch me a case.
Producto must have rolled the L because this blunt feels laced.
Killer Mike, “Twin Hype Back,” Run the Jewels, 2013
Feeling mad hostile, wearing Aéropostale,
Flowing like Christ when I speaks the gospel.
RZA, “Protect Ya Neck,” Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, 1993
Time flies, dreams die, people lose faith,
Tryna hide behind a lie with a straight face.
Xzibit, “Legends Never Die,” from Serial Killers Vol 1., 2013
If we gotta dumb down our style and ABC it, then so be it,
Cause nowadays these kids just don’t give a shit ‘bout lyrics.
All they wanna hear is a beat and that’s it,
Long as they can go to the club and get blitzed,
Pick up some chicks and get some digits.
And the DJs playing them hits, “Oh, this my jam, this my shit!”
We don’t know a word to a verse, all we know is the chorus,
Cause the chorus repeats the same four words for us.
Eminem, “Syllables," 2010
What’s better than tripping is falling in love.
What’s better than Letterman, Leno, Fallon, and all the above?
What’s better than popping bottles trying to ball in the club?
Is the first caveman pops with his son, ball and a club.
What’s better than paper is balling it up.
What’s better than followers is actually falling in love.
What’s better than frolicking, follies, fallin in mud?
Rolling in green pastures, wandering, following love.
What’s better than eating is feeding your fam.
What’s better than meetings is missing meetings to meet with your fam.
What’s better than leaning and needing your Xan?
Is hitting your zan dreaming a dream could mean leaving the land.
What’s better than yelling is hollering love.
What’s better than rhymes, nickles, dimes, dollars, and dubs?
Is dialing up your darling just for calling her up.
There ain’t nothing better than falling in love.
Chance the Rapper, “Interlude (That’s Love),” Acid Rap, 2013
War’s extremely serious and it saddens me.
Masta Killa, “Assassination Day,” from Ghostface Killah’s Ironman, 1995
It’s all love, but love’s got a thin line
And Pun’s got a big nine,
Respect crime…but not when it reflect mine.
Big Pun, “Off the Books,” from The Beatnuts’ Stone Crazy, 1997
People who go out and try to be a rebel at night,
Try to make up for the fact that they settled in life.
Immortal Technique, “Crimes of the Heart”, The 3rd World, 2008
Commentating, illustrating, description-giving
Adjective expert. Analyzing, surmising,
Musical, myth-seeking people of the universe…
This is yours!
T La Rock & Jazzy Jay, “It’s Yours,” 1987
We ain’t speak, clicking heat is our Morse code.
Ka, “Jungle,” Night’s Gambit, 2013
I make niggas eat dirt and fart dust,
Then give you a $80 gift certificate to Pussies “Я” Us.
Ludacris, “Mouthing Off,” Back for the First Time, 2000
I never fronted, you can get it if you want it…
Won’t say I’m the best, but I’m not that far from it.
Lord Finesse, “Gameplan,” The Awakening, 1996
Listenin to nothin, takin no suggestions,
All destructive criticisms that can’t improve on perfection.
MF Doom is Viktor Vaughn, “The Drop,” Vaudeville Villain, 2003
A letter to you suckers,
Each and every one of you duck muthafuckas…
Your girl puckers her lips, so I stuck her.
Kool G. Rap, “Jive Talk,” from Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo’s Wanted: Dead or Alive, 1990
You lose money chasing women;
Never lose women chasing money.
Nas, “Ghetto Rich (Remix),” Rich Boy’s self-titled album, 2007
Bitch is in the back looking righteous
In a tight dress…I think I might just
Hit her with a little Biggie 101:
How to tote a gun,
And have fun with Jamaican rum.
The Notorious B.I.G., “Party and Bullshit,” from Who’s The Man? soundtrack, 1993
Be a king? Think not.
Why be a king when you can be a God?
Eminem, “Rap God,” The Marshall Mathers LP 2, 2013
This game is lame, the music comes second
So you can save that stupidness for all them artists you checkin.
Popularity don’t last long, I’m in it for classics,
Cause the other side of the biz is fake and it’s plastic.
Craig G., “Classic Personified,” Ramblings of an Angry Old Man, 2012
When you feeding on hate, you empty, my nigga. It shows.
Rick Ross, “Hold On,” from Pusha T’s My Name is My Name, 2013
Make a radio hit: heads criticize it.
Underground classic? Nobody buys it.
So, rap is fucked…
And everything blowing up sounds redundant,
But money talks and bullshit does 9 flat in the 100.
Ras Kass, “Reelishymn,” Soul On Ice, 1996
Pain is joy when it cries, it’s my smile in disguise.
Pusha T, “Pain,” My Name is My Name, 2013
Dial the seven digits, call up Bridgette,
Her man’s a midget.
Plus she got friends, yo, I can dig it.
Opio, “‘93 Til Infinity,” from Souls of Mischief’s ‘93 Til Infinity, 1993
We missed a lot of church, so the music is our confessional.
Big Boi, “Aquemini,” from Outkast’s Aquemini, 1998
I’ve been layin’, waiting for your next mistake,
I put in work, and watch my status escalate.
Guru, “Work,” from Gang Starr’s Moment of Truth, 1998
How you know where I’m at when you haven’t been where I’ve been?
Understand where I’m coming from?
B-Real, “How I Could Just Kill A Man,” from Cypress Hill’s Cypress Hill, 1991
Nothing’s been the same since they dropped ‘Control’
And tucked a sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes.
Ha-ha! Joke’s on you, high-five, I’m bulletproof,
Your shit’ll never penetrate.
Pin the tail on the donkey, boy you been a fake.
Kendrick Lamar, BET Cypher, 2013.
A lot of rappers be like one time wonders,
Couldn’t say a fly rhyme if there was one right under their noses…
I hate those motherfuckin posers.
Guru, “Mass Appeal,” from Gang Starr’s Hard to Earn, 1994 (via ninetynow)
MCs get a little bit of love and think they hot,
Talkin bout how much money they got…all y’all records sound the same.
I’m sick of that fake thug, R&B-rap scenario, all day on the radio,
Same scenes in the video, monotonous material.
…Y’all don’t hear me though:
These record labels slang our tapes like dope.
You can be next in line and signed, and still be writing rhymes and broke.
stic.man, “Hip-Hop,” from Dead Prez’s Let’s Get Free, 2000
I know the feelin, when you feelin like a villain,
You be havin good thoughts but the evils be revealin’.
And the stresses of life can take you off the right path,
Jealousy and envy tends to infiltrate your staff…
We gotta hold it down so we can move on past
All adversities, so we can get through fast.
Q-Tip, “Stressed Out,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes & Life, 1996
This is my time, this is my hour,
This is my pain, this is my name, this is my power.
If it’s my reign, then it’s my shower,
This pole position…I made a lane ‘cause they blocked ours.
Pusha T, “King Push,” My Name Is My Name, 2013
Why do I need ID to get ID?
If I had ID, I wouldn’t need ID.
Mos Def, “The Questions,” from Common’s Like Water for Chocolate, 2000
Girls stick like Crazy Glue, they think they’re gettin’ dough;
But I treat hoes like drugs: I just say ‘No.’
Showbiz, “Diggin’ In The Crates,” from Showbiz & A.G.’s Soul Clap EP, 1991
You heard about, through word of mouth,
Big Bird is out, he’s in the house.
He’s turnin’ up, with Snuffleup,
They’re really gettin’ their hustle up.
They stick together like Velcro,
There Grover go, there’s Elmo.
And Cookie Monster there, look he likes
To take selfies with his cell phone.
They got a homegirl named Abby,
Her last name is Cadabby,
I showed her my report card,
She said, ‘Not too shabby!’
They got all types of cool kids there,
It’s lots of fun if you live there,
One thing I keep forgettin’ about Sesame Street…
How do you get there?
Black Thought, “Sesame Street Theme,” with Jimmy Fallon, Sesame Street Gang, and The Roots, 2013. Performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Every time I write these words they become a taboo,
Making sure my punctuation curve, every letter here’s true,
Living my life in the margin, and that metaphor was proof.
Kendrick Lamar, “Poetic Justice,” good kid, m.A.A.d city, 2012
Rhymes so def, rhymes rhymes galore,
Rhymes that you’ve never even heard before.
Now if you say you heard my rhyme, we gonna have to fight,
‘Cause I just made the muthafuckas up last night!
Run, “Here We Go (Live at the Funhouse),” from Run-DMC’s Run-DMC, 1984
A day to God is a thousand years,
Men walk around with a thousand fears.
The true joy of love brings a thousand tears,
In the world of desire, there’s a thousand snares.
RZA, “A Day to God is 1000 Years,” Birth of a Prince, 2003
If you go platinum, it’s got nothing to do with luck,
It just means that a million people are stupid as fuck.
Immortal Technique, “Industrial Revolution,” Revolutionary Vol. 2, 2003
The snake, the rat, the cat, the dog…
How you gonna see ‘em if you livin’ in the fog?
DMX, “Damien,” It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, 1998
Those who flashin’ don’t blast, they still buffoons,
Just blowin out hot air, they should fill balloons.
I’m like them shorties that could kill for goons,
They started hustlin’ in April to cop wheels in June.
Elzhi, “Mt. Everest,” from U-God’s The Keynote Speaker, 2013
And as for the critics, tell me I don’t get it.
Everybody can tell you how to do it, they never did it.
Jay-Z, “Already Home,” The Blueprint 3, 2009
My days getting shorter, my nights getting longer,
My cell getting smaller, my son getting taller.
I exercise my mind, my body getting stronger,
But my blood getting colder, heart getting harder.
My chances for appeal getting slimmer,
My skin getting brighter, my hair getting thinner.
See, when you stressed out, you could age fast in here,
I done seen weak niggas not last a year.
So before lights out, I write my kids every night,
Kiss the stamp on the kite,
And say a prayer…I hope it lands safe in these flights,
I pray they sleep safe through the night.
Try to teach my son right, give him some jewels,
But it’s hard to raise my boy from this visiting room.
Many cells turned to prisoner’s tombs,
I just pray I don’t die in here,
And last night I almost cried a tear.
Beanie Sigel, “Have Mercy,” from Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II, 2009
When I get involved, I give it my heart,
I mean my mind, my soul, my body: I mean every part.
But if it doesn’t work out, yo, it just doesn’t.
It wasn’t meant to be, you know, it just wasn’t.
MC Lyte, “Paper Thin,” Lyte as a Rock, 1988
I’m a street genius with a unique penis,
Got fly chicks on my dick that don’t even speak English.
Big L, “Da Graveyard,” Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous, 1995
If I wasn’t in the rap game,
I’d probably have a key knee-deep in the crack game.
Because the streets is a short stop:
Either you’re slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot.
The Notorious B.I.G., “Things Done Changed,” Ready to Die, 1994
Perm in your hair or even a curly weave,
Wichya New Edition Bobby Brown button on your sleeve.
I tell you come here, you say, ‘Meet me half way,’
Cause brothers been popping that game all day.
LL Cool J, “Around the Way Girl,” Mama Said Knock You Out, 1990
All I see is sissies in magazines smiling…
Whatever happened to wildin’ out and being violent?
Whatever happened to catching a good, old-fashioned, passionate ass whoopin’?
And getting your shoes, coat and your hat tooken?
Eminem, “Marshall Mathers,” The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000