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
Rappers can’t sleep, need sleepin’,
B.I.G. keep creepin’,
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
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
You and your friends…always together,
No time for the B-I-G, so I’m O-U-T.
The sex was great, but the headaches I can’t take.
I think I made a very big mistake.
Notorious B.I.G., “Buddy X (Remix),” from Neneh Cherry’s Homebrew, 1992
…The greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th.
God bless his soul, rest in peace, kid.
It’s because of him now at least I know what beef is.
Canibus, “Second Round K.O.,” Can-I-Bus, 1998. RIP Christopher George Latore Wallace, best known as The Notorious B.I.G., born May 21, 1972, died March 9, 1997 at the age of 24.
About those other Jennys I reckoned with,
Lost them all like a homework excuse.
This time, the Magic Number is two,
Cause it takes two, not three, to seduce.
My destiny of love is brought to an apex,
Sex is a mere molecule.
In this world of love that I have for you
It’s true…Eye know I love you better.
Dove/Trugoy, “Eye Know,” from De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, 1989. This landmark album was released 25 years ago today. More De La Soul quotes…
Unpredictable, liable to flip my lid…
My moms dropped me on my head when I was a kid.
Back then I lost all my marbles, today I lost my job,
So in essence, it’s Armageddon, somebody’s bound to get robbed!
Sticky Fingaz, “Shiftee,” from Onyx’s Bacdafucup, 1993. More Onyx quotes…
It seems to me like all these people claim to be the victim,
Acting like the whole entire world is out to get them.
Stand up on your own,
And prove that you are grown,
Because the life that you save may be your own.
Lee Majors, “Maybe,” from Da Bush Babees’ Gravity, 1996
Why is the world round?
Why do the suckas bite?
Why do the freaks come out at night?
Why they paint Jesus white?
I sit and wonder why we breakin hip-hop laws,
Doing videos in houses that we know ain’t yours.
Lee Majors, “S.O.S.,” from Da Bush Babees’ Gravity, 1996
How can they say feeling good is an addiction?
But the world is full of shit, so I don’t listen,
In fact, ‘we livin’ to die’ is a contradiction.
ScHoolboy Q, “Oxymoron,” Oxymoron, 2014
On the real, fuck your opinion.
I made it this far, and you broke.
Troy Ave, “Classic Feel,” New York City: The Album, 2013
I be tossin’, enforcin’, my style is awesome.
I’m causin’ more Family Feuds than Richard Dawson.
And the survey said: “You’re dead.”
Fatal Flying Guillotine chops off your fuckin’ head!
RZA, “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit,” from Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 1993. More RZA quotes…
I met a gypsy and she hipped me to some life game,
To stimulate, then activate the left and right brain.
Said, ‘Baby boy, you only funky as your last cut.
You focus on the past, your ass’ll be a has-what.’
That’s one to live by, or either that’s one to die to.
Andre 3000, “Rosa Parks,” from Outkast’s Aquemini, 1998. More Outkast quotes…
I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
Is urging me to be myself, but never follow someone else
Because opinions are like voices, we all have a different kind.
Q-Tip, “Steve Biko (Stir It Up),” from A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders, 1993
First I snatched the streets, then I snatched the charts.
First I had they ear, now I have their heart.
Rappers came and went…I’ve been here from the start.
I seen them put it together, watched them take it apart.
Jay-Z, “Never Let Me Down,” from Kanye West’s The College Dropout, 2004
I be with broads that got they shit together;
Even if it ain’t meant forever, still smoke the spliff together.
The essence of the herbs, the presence of the words…
Yeah you got a chest, but I’m treasurin’ your curves.
Common, “Made in Black America,” Nobody Smiling, 2014
What if somebody from the Chi that was ill got a deal on the hottest rap label around?
But he wasn’t talking ‘bout coke and birds, it was more like spoken word,
Except he’s really puttin’ it down.
Kanye West, “Through the Wire,” The College Dropout, 2004. The highly influential debut album was released 10 years ago, on February 10, 2004. More Kanye West Quotes…
I clock G’s while you clock Z’s.
And I don’t smoke crack…I smoke MC’s.
PMD, “Rampage,” from EPMD’s Business As Usual, 1990
Can’t live with them…can’t live without them.
But I love a whole lot more than I hate about them.
They look good, feel good, and smell even better,
So why you acting like your mama didn’t use that leather?
‘B word’ this, ‘H bomb’ that.
In the midst all of this, I wonder: ‘Where your moms at?’
Cause if she ain’t one, then tell me where the hate from?
You just calm down, and maybe you can date one.
Buy some flowers, open up some doors.
She needs some tampons? Homie, go to the store.
Vitamin Water, a bottle of Motrin,
Teddy bear, candy bar, something, a token
Of affection, a step in that direction,
…Cause love is about progress, not perfection.
Murs, “Love & Appreciate 2," Murs for President, 2008. More Murs quotes…
I came in the door, I said it before
I never let the mic magnetize me no more.
But it’s biting me, fighting me, inviting me to rhyme,
I can’t hold it back…I’m looking for the line.
Taking off my coat, clearing my throat,
My rhyme will be kicking until I hit my last note.
Rakim, “Eric B. Is President,” from Eric B. and Rakim’s Paid In Full, 1987. More Rakim quotes…
Life is something you can’t borrow and give back;
Here today and gone tomorrow…just like that.
E-40, “The Story,” Tha Hall of Game, 1996
If I don’t got two balls and a middle finger to throw up,
I’m takin off both shoes and stickin each middle toe up.
Eminem, “The Last Hit,” from The High & Mighty’s Home Field Advantage, 1999. More Eminem quotes…
Two wrongs don’t make it right, but it damn sure makes us even.
Sticky Fingaz, “2 Wrongs,” from Onyx’s All We Got Iz Us, 1996
My old soul remains forever young…
I’ve done it all, and still I’m doing shit that I ain’t ever done.
See, it depends on your definition of winning;
I ain’t started from the bottom, I started from the beginning.
Oddisee, “Tangible Dream,” Tangible Dream, 2013
…I’ve never had a dream in my life,
Because a dream is what you wanna do, but still haven’t pursued.
I knew what I wanted, and did it till it was done.
So I’ve been the dream I wanted to be since Day One.
Aesop Rock, “No Regrets,” Labor Days, 2001. More Aesop Rock quotes…
You can take back all the things you give,
But you can’t take back the days you live.
Life is to some people who’ve been on earth
Livin’ every single day for what it’s worth.
I live life just how I please,
Satisfy one person I know: that’s me.
Too $hort, “Life Is.. Too $hort,” Life Is… Too $hort, 1988
If I upset you, don’t stress. Never forget
That God isn’t finished with me yet.
I feel His hand on my brain…
When I write rhymes, I go blind and let the Lord do His thang.
2Pac, “Ghetto Gospel,” Loyal to the Game, 2004. More 2Pac quotes…
I got a lot of things to do, a lot of money to make;
I got no time for you and all the moves you fake.
JuJu, “Props Over Here,” from The Beatnuts’ Street Level, 1994
Life is full of stress and it wrecks my brain,
So I puff the buddha bless and destroy the pain.
JuJu, “Props Over Here,” from The Beatnuts’ Street Level, 1994
Of course I’m funky like fat people having intercourse.
Basically, the funk is stuck in your teeth…so get the dental floss.
Redman, “Freak Out,” from Erick Sermon’s Double or Nothing, 1995. More from Redman…
Even through the unseen, I know that God watches,
From one King’s dream, he was able to Barack us.
Common, “The Believer,” The Dreamer/The Believer, 2011