You wanna know my occupation?
I get paid to rock the nation.
I go to work.
Kool Moe Dee, “I Go To Work,” Knowledge is King, 1989
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I’m a beast on the microphone, a night stalker,
A killing machine, a savage street talker,
Jason with an axe, but I put it on wax
To eradicate the suckers who thought I had relaxed.
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.
You tremble for my treble,
You’re begging for the bass.
The voice is too vicious,
The same as the pace.
You were put here to protect us.
But who protects us from you?
Don’t clock anybody, let them all clock you,
Don’t be down with anybody, let them all be down with you.
Stay self-managed, self-kept, self-taught,
Be your own man; don’t be borrowed, don’t be bought.
Nobody put the crack into the pipe,
Nobody made you smoke off your life.
You thought that you could do dope and still stay cool?
Fool…you played yourself.
I don’t understand the difficulty, people;
Love your brother, treat him as an equal.
Rappers act so wild, and love to profile,
Frontin’ hard, but ain’t got no style.
…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.
I’m goin’ out first class, ain’t goin’ out coach.
I’m your idol, the highest title, Numero Uno,
I’m not a Puerto Rican, but I’m speakin so that you know,
And understand, I got the gift of speech,
And it’s a blessin, so listen to the lesson I preach…
I know the game, it’s old and lame:
You’re holdin’ a flame for my name and my fame.
Livin’ like Givens schemin’ on Tyson,
But she got lucky ‘cause he was a nice one.
But I ain’t nice and I don’t play that,
If it ain’t tax, I don’t pay that.
I gave birth to most of them MC’s…
So when it comes around to the month of May,
Send me your royalty check for Mother’s Day.
Lookin’ out at the world through my window pane,
Every day has many colors ‘cause the glass is stained.
Everything has changed but remains the same,
So once again the mirror raised.
And I see myself as clear as day,
And I am goin’ to the limits of my ultimate destiny,
Feeling as though somebody somewhere is testin’ me.
He who sees the end from the beginning of time
Looking forward through all the ages:
Is, was, and always shall be.
Don’t you like when the winter’s gone,
And all of a sudden it starts gettin’ warm?
The trees and the grass start lookin’ fresh,
And the sun and sky be lookin’ their best…
Educated: no. Stupid: yes.
And when I say “stupid,” I mean stupid fresh.
…Had dreams of fancy cars and limos,
And all I wanted was somebody to listen to my demo.
I never ever ran from the Ku Klux Klan, and I shouldn’t have to run from a black man.
Lookin down the barrel of a gun, son of gun, son of a bitch, gettin paid, gettin rich!
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.
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.
My father always told me to wisen up, son.
Cause if you hung with nine broke friends, you’re bound to be the tenth one.