This is business: they don’t care about your lyrics;
The better you sell, the better future for their children.
Controversy sells, so they support conflict,
Makes more progress, means more profit.
An artist gets killed, they say they’re ‘so sorry,’
Meanwhile, they tell you the date of his next project.
What a life…death made them more profit:
Record companies get paid for your drama.

- Cormega, “Industry,” Mega Philosophy, 2014. More wisdom from ‘Mega…

You see, if you ever wanted to ever be anything,
There’d always be somebody that shoot down any dream.
There’ll always be haters, that’s the way it is:
Hater niggas marry hater bitches, and have hater kids.

- Kanye West, “Bring Me Down,” Late Registration, 2005. More gems from ‘Ye

Rappers hate each other, not the labels that got rich,
Don’t care about culture, they only want profit.
If your album sell slow, bet you’ll get dropped quick;
Q-Tip warned us: the industry’s toxic.
For reference, check out BDP’s Sex and Violence.

- Cormega, “Industry,” Mega Philosophy, 2014

I’ve been out there 3 days and I got shot at 3 times,
Felt like every bullet hit me when they flew out each 9.
I’ll be happy when I wake up and I have a free mind.

- Lil Herb, “The Neighborhood,” from Common’s Nobody’s Smiling, 2014

Havin’ cash is highly addictive, especially when you’re used to havin’ money to live with.

- Prodigy, “Give Up the Goods (Just Step),” from Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, 1995. More quotes from QB’s finest…

Different day, same shit, ain’t nothing good in the hood,
I’d run away from this bitch and never come back, if I could.

- 50 Cent, “Hate It or Love It,” from The Game’s The Documentary, 2005. More lyrics from 50…

Now who done passed you a diaper and got you thinkin’ you the shit?

- Mad Skillz, “The Jam,” From Where???, 1996

Damn it’s a shame you’re the mighty queen of vials,
With a wide-eyed look and a rotten-toothed smile.
Used to walk with a swagger, now you simply stagger
From one spot on, to the next spot on, to the next spot on, to the next…

- Derek X (now known as Sadat X), “Slow Down,” from Brand Nubian’s One For All, 1990

See, it really ain’t about if you eatin’ or not eatin’.
It’s freedom or not freedom. Breathin’ or not breathin’.
Another day, another way, another dollar spent;
Gotta make a revolution out of fifteen cent.

- Dead Prez, “The Grind,” from Erykah Badu’s Worldwide Underground, 2008. Read more Dead Prez quotes…

For a woman, it ain’t easy trying to raise a man.
You always was committed;
A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how you did it.
There’s no way I can pay you back,
But the plan is to show you that I understand…
You are appreciated.

- 2Pac, “Dear Mama,” Me Against The World, 1995. More 2Pac quotes…

I say ‘cuz’ around Bloods, and I say ‘blood’ around Crips…I’m twisted.
Got Mary, got Lucy, got Molly: that’s wifey, girlfriend and mistress.

- Ab-Soul, “Gods Reign,” These Days…, 2014

Squeeze 7cc’s so I could see the seven seas,
And CC all my friends so they could see what I was seeing…
But what they saw was a despicable human being;
So, I guess they just wasn’t seeing what I was seeing.

- Pharoahe Monch, “Broken Again,” PTSD, 2014. More quotes from Pharoahe Monch…

We knew we’d be together, we didn’t know when,
But long distance love, never thought it would end.
The feelings never changed until the call came…
You were engaged, I was in pain.
It was such a shame: the timing, it just wasn’t right.
So I say, ‘Good luck,’ and then I say, ‘Good night.’

- Murs, “Dance With Me,” from Murs & 9th Wonder’s The Final Adventure, 2012. More Murs >

The Nets’ a stone throw from where I used to throw bricks
…So it’s only right I’m still tossing ‘round Knicks.

- Jay Z, “Seen It All,” from Jeezy’s Seen It All, 2014

You named them: hustlers, killers, fiends, ex-cons.
I called them: cousins, aunts, pops, moms.
To you? Hoodlums, crackheads, gunmens.
To me? Just neighbors, classmates, young friends.

- Ka, “To Hull and Back,” 1200 B.C. EP, 2014. More bars from Ka…