I met this girl when I was ten years old,
And what I loved most she had so much soul.
She was old school, when I was just a shorty
Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me.
Common, “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” from Resurrection, 1994
Think about it, if you was there standing looking at me.
What would you do, if I hit your face with dog doo-doo?
Dr. Octagon, “I’m Destructive,” Dr. Octagonecologyst, 1996
It started back in ‘79,
My whole darn future was on the line.
I created a brand new sensation
Through my mind and the whole darn nation…
Sylvia Robinson, “It’s Good To Be the Queen,” The Sugar Hill Record Story, 1982. Rest in peace, Sylvia Robinson, owner of Sugar Hill Records. 1936-2011.
You want ass? The cash is first.
You got dead presidents, baby, I got a hearse in my purse.
Roxanne Shanté, “Trick or Treat,” The Bitch Is Back, 1992
Hip-hop is universal now, it’s all commercial now.
It’s like a circle full of circus clowns up in the circuit now.
Eminem, “If I Get Locked Up,” from Funkmaster Flex and Big Kap’s The Tunnel, 1999
Niggas’ rap albums sound like love letters,
Pen in my hand, like: damn, fam, I could do much better.
Sean Price, “Chewbacca,” from Random Axe, 2011
True originator, innovator and creator,
Thinkin’ independent but I’m sayin’ something major.
One Be Lo, “Sheep’s Clothing,” LABOR, 2011
I ain’t no joke, I used to let the mic smoke,
Now I slam it when I’m done and make sure it’s broke.
Rakim, “I Ain’t No Joke,” from Eric B. and Rakim’s Paid In Full, 1987. Congratulations to Eric B. and Rakim for their nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Rappers on their sophomores…actin’ like they boss lords.
Fame’s such a funny thing for sure when niggas start believing all those encores.
Pusha T, “Don’t Fuck Wit Me,” Dreams Money Can Buy Freestyle, 2011
Rockin’ gay apparel, them jeans will make you sterile,
I’m steady stockin ammo, cocking the double barrel.
Apathy, “Stop What Ya Doin,” Honkey Kong, 2011
You just met me, you won’t let me…
Well if I couldn’t have it, silly rabbit, why you sweating me?
2Pac, “I Get Around,” Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., 1993
Yo Premier, why these rappers so soft?
They corny ass raps be makin me doze off.
KRS-One, “Criminal Minded ‘08," Smirnoff Signature Mix Series, 2008
What good is a beautiful dame with a Rolls-Royce frame, and a Volkswagen brain?
J-Ro, “Likwit Ridas,” from Tha Alkaholiks’ Likwidation, 1997
…I got over there real cool and picked her up, all good.
But half-way to the hotel, smoke start coming up from the hood.
Me and the bitch had to push, and she didn’t even get mad at me,
Figured out the problem: made her go steal me a battery.
Devin the Dude, “Lacville ‘79,” Just Tryin Ta Live, 2002
My genes tie me to those that despised me.
Brother Ali, “Daylight,” The Undisputed Truth, 2007
We runnin around in thousand-dollar clown suits,
Better get some boots when Lucifer turn your city to Beirut.
Ras Kass, “Soul On Ice (Remix),” 1996
Makin’ veterans run for medicine,
Cause I put out more lights in a fight than ConEdison.
Kool G. Rap, “The Symphony,” from Marley Marl’s In Control Vol. 1, 1988
Fuck jewels: I think my soul glows bright enough.
And fuck whips: I learn more when I ride the bus.
And fuck, it’s bad enough that we fight for bucks.
And fuck hoes: cause in the end I need a wife to love.
Blu, “Show Me the Good Life,” Below the Heavens, 2007
It’s hard bein’ real in a world that’s a fallacy.
Meyhem Lauren, “Just Can’t Win,” Self-Induced Illness, 2011
The colder the weather, the bigger the gun
Got to rock a lot of clothes if you tryina hide one
In June it’s .22’s, February it’s fifths
But all year round, it’s 616.
Willie the Kid, “The Colder the Weather,” 2011
Hate a liar more than I hate a thief.
A thief is only after my salary,
A liar is after my reality.
50 Cent, “I’m a Hustler,” Power of the Dollar, 2000
And to the shorties on the block, tryin’ to twist 40 tops,
Get your act together, do some carpentry with a Black & Decker,
And stop speedin like a Kawasaki…
Prospect, “The Hidden Hand,” from Fat Joe’s Don Cartagena, 1998
Nah, I don’t really have to spit nothin’ too complex,
I just rep for my hood, and it sound correct.
Cappadonna, “Pass the Mic,” from Theodore Unit’s 718, 2004
I’m gettin’ stacks while you askin’ people, ‘Do you want some fries with that?’
Big L, “Holdin’ It Down,” The Big Picture, 2000
I don’t need your assistance, social persistence.
Any problem I got, I just put my fist in.
Ice-T, “Colors,” from Colors soundtrack, 1988
It’s war on the streets and a war in the Middle East
Instead of war on poverty, they got a war on drugs
So the police can bother me…
2Pac, “Changes,” Greatest Hits, 1998 (Rest in power, 2Pac. 1971 – 1996)
We don’t just say “No”, we too busy sayin’ “Yeah!”
To drinkin’ straight out the eight bottle…
Do I look like a muthafuckin’ role model?!
Ice Cube, “Gangsta Gangsta,” from N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton, 1988
Every little fuck up, they blame it on Barack
Cause he just like Gucci, born in the trap.
Game, “Born In The Trap,” The R.E.D. Album, 2011
I’m not enthused by these rap dudes.
All in they videos, posin’ half nude, with all of them tattoos,
Til I blacken they eyes and have them lookin’ like raccoons.
Trife Da God, “Pass The Mic,” from Theodore Unit’s 718, 2004 (via @onedrunkboy)
Life without knowledge is death in disguise.
Talib Kweli, “K.O.S.,” from Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, 1998
Real dudes move in silence…like a mute drivin a new hybrid.
Royce Da 5’9", “Writer’s Block,” Success is Certain, 2011
Yeah, I cut class…I got a D.
Cause History meant nothing to me
Except a definite nap.
That’s why I always sat in the back.
Mike G., “Acknowledge Your Own History,” from Jungle Brothers’ Done by the Forces of Nature, 1989
I found college awkward: another teacher, same old chalkboard.
I felt I was shifting backward, when I expected to shoot forward.
MC Paul Barman, “School Anthem,” It’s Very Stimulating EP, 2000
Lessons cut short to prep for tests that only test how well you prep.
…Man, no wonder why the score’s a mess.
J-Live, “Brooklyn Public Part 1,” The Hear After, 2005
Busta Rhymes the mighty infamous,
Always misbehaving and mischeivous,
Causing aggravation, I’ll never pause,
Pushing out spit balls through plastic straws.
Busta Rhymes, “Case of the P.T.A.,” from The Leaders of the New School’s Future Without A Past, 1991
When I went to school I carried lunch in a bag
With an apple for my teacher ‘cause I knew I’d get a kiss.
Always got mad when the class was dismissed.
Romye, “Passin Me By,” from The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ryde II the Pharcyde, 1992
You wake up late for school, man you don’t wanna go!
You ask your mom “Please?” but she still says “No!”
You missed two classes, and no homework,
But your teacher preaches class like you’re some kind of jerk!
Beastie Boys, “Fight For Your Right (to Party),” Licensed to Ill, 1986
Teach the student what needs to be taught.
‘Cause black and white kids both take shorts
When one doesn’t know about the other one’s culture,
Ignorance swoops down like a vulture.
KRS-One, “You Must Learn,” from Boogie Down Production’s Ghetto Music – The Blueprint of Hip-Hop, 1989
Where you been at?
You must’ve cut class.
If it ain’t me, another member of my crew will kick your ass.
Prodigy, “The Start of Your Ending (41st Side),” from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, 1995 (submitted by @prisco_inferno)
What is the meaning of C.L.A.S.S.?
Is it a Conspiracy Levelled At Sleepy Students trying to pass?
MC Paul Barman, “School Anthem,” It’s Very Stimulating, 2000
I stay dipped like the first day of school.
Cappadonna, “MCF,” The Pillage, 1998
Get burnt like a candle, very hard to handle,
Do miracles in Nikes like Jesus did in sandals.
MF Grimm, “Take ‘Em To War,” Scars & Memories, 2005 (Probably first recorded in 1995)