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Grand Puba (Brand Nubian) • “Slow Down” • 1990

As the jewels jingle from the hot young and single little stunt,
A forty and a blunt…that’s all she really wants.
But she’ll spend your papes, and she’ll use up all your plastic.
And if you swing an ep, you’d better wear a prophylactic
Cause things are getting drastic…
Slide up in the wrong one, you’ll end up in a casket.

Grand Puba, “Slow Down,” from Brand Nubian’s One For All, 1990

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…
Now Joe wanna be like Bob,
Bob got it goin’ on with no job.
And everything Rob got he got from Robin,
And everything she got, she got ho-hoppin’.
My girl Jilly wanna be like Jackie,
Fat rope chains and I think that’s wick-wacky.
Tom and Dick wanna be like Harry,
Little do they know he’s bitin’ on Barry…
Salt, “Expression,” from Salt-N-Pepa’s Blacks’ Magic, 1990
Attention! Follow directions real close:
Keep out of reach of children, beware of overdose.
Too many milligram, but what made a iller jam?
My rhyme is the rhythm of thoughts that kill a man.
Ideas for the ear to fear, might split ‘em;
He’ll never forget ’em…he’ll rest in peace wit ’em.
At least when he left he’ll know what hit ’em:
The last breath of the words of death was ‘The Rhythm.’
Rakim, “Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em,” from Eric B. and Rakim’s Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em, 1990. More classic lines from the greatest of all time…
They said he was dangerous, well, I’m concerned…
How could he be so dangerous with his back turned?
They said, “Freeze! Halt!” The brother stopped
Threw his hands in the air, yeah, and still he got shot.
They said he had a shiny object in his hand,
So they killed the man.
And is this justice? No way, José.
He didn’t get arrested, he was suspended with pay.
Talk about armed and dangerous, accounted…
How come I never heard nothin else about it?
I’m dead up, I’m goin head up, see, the buck stops
Here. I’m sick and tired of corrupt cops.
I gotta drop, cause I don’t think it will ever stop
My brain is a Tec-9 and it’s kept cocked.
And it’s got just a few more rounds to go,
They’re goin pound for pound, blow for blow.
You want peace? Let the unjust stuff cease:
If we don’t have justice, there’ll be no peace.
Lakim Shabazz, “No Justice No Peace,” The Lost Tribe of Shabazz, 1990
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
…Cops just surrounding me with pistols everywhere.
They put me in the backseat of their car handcuffed,
Pushed out them chests like they’re big rough and tough.
A cop come and said ‘You’ll never sell your guns now.’
I said ‘It doesn’t matter, you’ll sell them anyhow.
You take the guns from me, you sell them for a fee;
Anyway you put it, they’ll get in the city!’
KRS-One, “100 Guns,” from Boogie Down Productions’ Edutainment, 1990