You don’t really get why I’m so pissed?
Understand this:
I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit.

- Tech N9ne, “Fragile,” Something Else, 2013

Brooklyn: the home of the black and the beautiful.
For a rough rap sound, ain’t a place more suitable.

- Guru, “The Place Where We Dwell,” from Gang Starr’s Daily Operation, 1992. More lyrics from Guru…

If you ain’t using all the talents God provided you with
For the betterment of Man, understand,
You ain’t nothing but a waste.

- Talib Kweli, “State of Grace,” Gravitas, 2013. More Talib Kweli quotes…

Whatcha gonna do to this?
You may be older than me, but you’re new to this.
Cause I been out there, queen of MC’s,
When your man was walkin’ round in mocknecks and Lee’s.
While you were over here perpetratin’ a fraud,
I was overseas on the charts with Boy George.
You’re the beginner, Shante’s the winner,
Havin’ other competition for dinner.
Sit you on the table with a plate and cup,
Say grace…and then eat your ass up.

- Roxanne Shanté, “Go On Girl,” from Colors Soundtrack, 1988

Sorry, Mrs. Drizzy, for so much art talk;
Silly me rappin’ ‘bout shit that I really bought.
While these rappers rap about guns they ain’t shot,
And a bunch of other silly shit that they ain’t got.

- Jay-Z, “We Made It,” 2014

A rap villain: chillin’ and I don’t give a fuck about a killin’ cause I’m still in effect when you’re illin’.

- Kool G. Rap, “Jive Talk,” from Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo’s Wanted: Dead or Alive, 1990. More Kool G. Rap quotes…

My feet might fail me, my heart might ail me,
The synagogues of Satan might accuse or jail me,
Strip, crown, nail me, brimstone hail me…
They might defeat the flesh but they could never ever kill me.
They might feel the music but could never ever feel me.

- Jay Electronica, “Better In Tune With the Infinite,” 2014

I never boned a honey that I didn’t like,
I never saw a mile that I couldn’t hike.
I never had a spliff to make me choke,
I never had a pocket that was broke.

- Dres, “Flavor of the Month,” from Black Sheep’s A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing, 1991

Bitch, I’m coming live from the trunk and I thrive on the funk;
Cause I’d rather die like a man than survive like a punk.

- Bun B, “Re-Akshon (Remix),” from Killer Mike’s Monster, 2003

Run from the police, picture that,
Nigga I’m too fat…
I fuck around and catch a asthma attack.

- Notorious B.I.G., “Runnin’ (Dying to Live)”, from Tupac Resurrection soundtrack, 2003, RIP Biggie Smalls

Rappers can’t sleep, need sleepin’,
B.I.G. keep creepin’,
Bullets heat-seekin’,
Casualties need treatin’,
Dumb rappers need teachin’.

- Notorious B.I.G., “Unbelievable,” Ready To Die, 1994

I know how it feels to wake up fucked up,
Pockets broke as hell, another rock to sell.
People look at you like you’s the user,
Selling drugs to all the losers, mad buddha abuser.
But they don’t know about the stress-filled day…
Baby on the way, mad bills to pay,
That’s why you drink Tanqueray,
So you can reminisce and wish
You wasn’t living so devilish, shit.

- Notorious B.I.G., “Everyday Struggle,” Ready to Die, 1994

Damn right I like the life I live,
Cause I went from negative to positive.

- Notorious B.I.G., “Juicy,” Ready to Die, 1994

Back in the days, our parents used to take care of us.
Look at ‘em now…they even fuckin’ scared of us.

- Notorious B.I.G., “Things Done Changed,” Ready to Die, 1994

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