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Infrareds on little people standing with some big heads,
I was Captain Kirk, walkin’ with a black t-shirt.
LAPD, the nurse asked did my knee hurt?
I was in pain, little Martians tryin’ ta take my brain,
Hospitals came, detectives wrote down my name.
I was to blame, my life never been the same.
A true story; I tell ya, it’ll never bore me.
My classmate died, my other friend named Cory
Drinkin’ 40s, he jumped out the project window,
Stabbed himself with a yellow number 2 pencil.
Kool Keith, “Object Unknown,” from DJ Spooky featuring Kool Keith Object Unknown, 1998
I find it’s distressin’, there’s never no in-between:
We either niggaz or kings,
We either bitches or queens.
The deadly ritual seems immersed in the perverse,
Full of short attention spans, short tempers, and short skirts.
Mos Def, “Thieves in the Night,” from Black Star’s Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star, 1998
Holocaust, black man, lose veins, littered with thorns
Back smack you so hard, all your seeds will be formed deformed.
Swarm dorms, sting birds, fling verbs like mean curbs
Strike three, mics flee, I infect em with green germs, ringworm
Holocaust, “Holocaust (Silkworm),” from RZA’s Bobby Digital in Stereo, 1998
It’s war on the streets and a war in the Middle East
Instead of war on poverty, they got a war on drugs
So the police can bother me…
2Pac, “Changes,” Greatest Hits, 1998 (Rest in power, 2Pac. 1971 – 1996)

Big Pun • “Drop It Heavy” • 1998

Now what’s the problem?
You ain’t nothin’ like you said on your album.
I thought you was wildin’,
Bustin’ your guns and runnin’ the Island.
You wasn’t violent, you was silent tryin’ to get college credits.
How pathetic…did it to get out of calisthenics.

Big Pun, “Drop It Heavy,” from Show & A.G.’s Full Scale EP, 1998

My first offense was possession of weed,
Now I’m in the major leagues, and
That muthafucka Bill Clinton is a son of a bitch;
Had the nerve to throw out the first pitch.
I’m just tryin’ to get rich like Trump,
The home run king is now in a slump…pass me a hunk.
How the fuck can I stay out the Pen,
When its 1-2-3 strikes, you in?
Ice Cube, “Three Strikes You In,” War & Peace Vol. 1 (The War Disc), 1998. More from O’Shea…
I rub your face off the Earth and curse your family children,
Like Amityville; I drill the nerves in your cavity filling.
Insanity’s building a pavilion in my civilian
The cannon be the anarchy that humanity’s dealin’.
A villain without remorse who’s willing to out your boss
Forever…and take all the cheddar like child support.
Big Pun, “Twinz (Deep Cover ‘98),” Capital Punishment, 1998. More from Pun…