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Blow out your speakers, roll some more loud;
That’s the sound of the reefer, I think my parents is proud.
Thank my fans in the bleachers, think my teachers need features,
I think I’m walking with Jesus, I knew my feet wouldn’t drown.
Chance the Rapper, “Somewhere in Paradise,” 2015
I wouldn’ta came and said my name and run some weak shit,
Puttin’ blurbs and slurs and words that don’t fit
In a rhyme, why waste time on the microphone?
I take this more serious than just a poem.
Rockin’ party to party, backyard to yard,
I tear it up y’all…and bless the mic for the Gods.
Rakim, “My Melody,” from Eric B. and Rakim’s Paid in Full, 1987. More from Rakim Allah…
Now, yo: Juice Crew’s the family, Slick Rick’s a friend of me
And Doug E. Fresh, Stet, KRS and Public Enemy.
Blahzay-blah, you know who you are:
The red, black and green, the sun, moon and star.
Knowledge of self is being taught here on after,
Peace in the name of I, Self, Lord and Master.
I come to teach and preach and reaching each
With the speech every leech I’ll impeach.
Drop science and build with math,
And the dumb, deaf and blind’ll feel the Wrath…of Kane.
Big Daddy Kane, “Wrath of Kane (Live),” It’s a Big Daddy Thing, 1990. More from Kane…
Always knew that I would clock G’s,
But welcome to McDonald’s: May I take your order, please?
Gotta serve ya food that might give you cancer,
Cuz my son doesn’t take no for an answer.
Now I pay taxes that you never give me back;
What about diapers, bottles, and Similac?
Do I have to sell me a whole lotta crack
For decent shelter and clothes on my back?
Ice Cube, “A Bird in the Hand,” Death Certificate, 1991. More from Cube…
I’m sick and tired of these fake-ass niggas,
Saying that they’re catching bodies when they never pulled a trigger.
I know your style, I’ve seen it before,
You wearing army suit, now you think you’re hardcore.
Drinking on your 40’s, smoking on your blunts,
Can’t afford a chain so you wear gold fronts…
You fakin’ the funk, kid.
And you’d be getting it up the ass if you ever did a fucking bid.
Fat Joe, “The Shit Is Real (Remix),” Jealous One’s Envy, 1993
They say the richest 400 Americans make more
Than the other 180 million combined,
And if that sounds fair, then you’re out of your mind.
So fuck a Republican, I’m out on my grind,
Cause being poor, being black, and Latino’s a crime.
That’s why we use the underworld to survive,
And I hate to admit I connive, but I’m alive cause I strive.
Make a dollar out a nickel and dime
I’m a hustler, I’m a hustler…
I could sell pussy to prostitutes, you a customer.
Ras Kass, “Stone Cold Hustler,” from Semi Hendrix’s Breakfast at Banksy’s, 2015. More from Ras Kass…
I heard you rhyme a few times, each time you blew it.
You’re soft, you can’t go off, I knew it.
Let’s be realistic, I’m not egotistic;
But you, your crew…just not that artistic.
Point blank: your song stank.
I know you want the truth, so let’s be frank.
Chill Rob G, “Let the Words Flow,” Ride the Rhythm, 1989.
And when I smiled, ‘Bing!’ I almost blinded her.
She said, ‘Great Scot, are you a thief?
Seems like you have a mouth full of gold teeth!’
Hahahaha, had to find that funny,
So I said, ‘No child, I work hard for the money.
And calling me a thief? Please…don’t even try it,
Sit down, eat your slice of pizza, and be quiet.’
Slick Rick, “Mona Lisa,” The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, 1988
Having that gang war?
We want to know what you’re fighting for.
Fighting over colors?
All that gang shit’s for dumb motherfuckers.
But you go on thinking you’re hard…
Come to New York and we’ll see who gets robbed.
Take your jheri curls, take your black hats,
Take your wack lyrics and your bullshit tracks.
Now you’re mad and you’re thinking about stomping?
Well I’m from the South Bronx…Fuck Compton.
Tim Dog, “Fuck Compton,” Penicillin on Wax, 1991.