And we started off as kids, stomachs’ touching our ribs,
In them streets all night like we ain’t have nowhere to live.
– Meek Mill, “Cold Hearted,” Dreams Worth More Than Money, 2015
God, money, war…
If heaven free, what we kill for money for?
They say, “When it rains it pours,” but it rain on the poor;
So you ain’t really rich if what’s rich ain’t in your core.
– King Los, “God Money War,” God, Money, War, 2015
Dope is like a two-way street:
The addiction, both you and me, now take a seat.
Every car got a fleet, every broad get a Jeep,
Every sparkle in the club that wasn’t ours, we compete.
Poor minds, poor decision makers;
No reward…then what’s the risk you taking?
Pusha T, “M.P.A.,” King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, 2015. More from Pusha T…
Reporting live from the project benches:
Hella caine, dope in cellophane, dirty syringes,
Heron zombies street-walking on three-week binges.
Clientele look like the Thriller vid in 3D lenses.
Beanie Sigel, “Keep Dealing,” from Pusha T’s King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, 2015. More from the Broad Street Bully…
The passion of Pac, the depth of Nas, circa 9-3,
Mix the mind of Brad Jordan and Chuck D and find me.
I spit with the diction of Malcolm or say a Bun B,
Prevail through Hell, so Satan get ye behind me.
Only thing we have in common: niggas bleed,
In ya thousand dollar joggers as you rhyme about ya dollars.
Is there shame when a platinum rapper’s mother lives in squalor?
Pusha T, “Crutches, Crosses, Caskets,” Darkest Before Dawn, 2015. More from King Push…
We live for they amusement like they view us from behind the glass.
No matter what we grow into, we never gonna escape our past.
So in this cage they made for me, exactly where you’ll find me at;
Whether it’s my time to leave or not, I’ll never turn my back.
Vince Staples, “Like It Is,” Summertime ‘06, 2015. More from Vince Staples…
I’m on a crash course where talent meets timing.
Christopher Wallace, Think Big, keep climbin’,
Reasonable Doubt, drug era, keep climbin’,
I’m my brother’s keeper, Lord Willin’, keep Grindin’.
Pusha T, “Intro,” King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, 2015. More from Pusha T…
Blow out your speakers, roll some more loud;
That’s the sound of the reefer, I think my parents is proud.
Thank my fans in the bleachers, think my teachers need features,
I think I’m walking with Jesus, I knew my feet wouldn’t drown.
Chance the Rapper, “Somewhere in Paradise,” 2015
Why they hate us? Why they want to rape us for our culture?
They greet, defeat us, bleed us, then they leave us for the vultures.
They break the brilliant off with millions, tryna to break their focus;
More tan the man, the more alone and hopeless.
Vince Staples, “C.N.B.,” Summertime ‘06, 2015
They say the richest 400 Americans make more
Than the other 180 million combined,
And if that sounds fair, then you’re out of your mind.
So fuck a Republican, I’m out on my grind,
Cause being poor, being black, and Latino’s a crime.
That’s why we use the underworld to survive,
And I hate to admit I connive, but I’m alive cause I strive.
Make a dollar out a nickel and dime
I’m a hustler, I’m a hustler…
I could sell pussy to prostitutes, you a customer.
Ras Kass, “Stone Cold Hustler,” from Semi Hendrix’s Breakfast at Banksy’s, 2015. More from Ras Kass…
Now I’m a veteran, spit a 16 sixteen ways,
Sixteen in a clip, spit it 16 ways.
I know six teens, pull up to a sweet sixteen and spray.
I’m like sixteen Jays, but the beat I can manage,
So every Sweet 16 is like Duke and Kansas.
Game, “The Documentary 2,” The Documentary 2, 2015
You good one minute, psycho the next,
No longer lettin’ it ride…too much Jekyll and Hyde.
Then you subtweet some weeks, busy settin’ your pride.
I’m grown, don’t really need that sort of mess in my life.
Joe Budden, “Playing Our Part,” All Love Lost, 2015.
The moral of the story is: Keep your mouth shut.
Cause everybody’s listenin’; speak and you fucked up.
I tell you like them old cats say:
Get what you get, and get your ass out the way.
Cause greed’ll get you 35 tight,
You 27…that’s the rest of your life, right?
Scarface, “Rooted,” Deeply Rooted, 2015. More from ‘Face…
Everybody want to talk about who this and who that,
Who the realest and who wack, or who white or who black.
Critics want to mention that they miss when hip hop was rappin’…
Motherfucker, if you did, then Killer Mike’d be platinum.
Kendrick Lamar, “Hood Politics,” To Pimp a Butterfly, 2015. More from Kendrick…
Somebody somewhere be saying some shit about you,
And that something be some bullshit when they know it ain’t true.
Quelle Chris, “The Ones to Watch,” Innocent Country, 2015
They say the taste of revenge is sweet.
Well, let me see…
Prepare the table for a feast, take a seat, now let’s eat.
Raekwon, “Return of the Savage,” from Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge’s Twelve Reasons to Die II, 2015. More from Raekwon the Chef >
Don’t mourn me when I’m gone, celebrate my travels;
Whenever you need me, just take a plane to the astral zones.
Joey BADA$$, “On and On,” B4.DA.$$, 2015.
Been tested, ain’t fail: I’m tried and true.
When it’s all falling apart, my pride’s the glue.
I felt at times worthless…
Pulled shifts with shifty crime merchants,
Stained hearts, brainwashed by mind serpents.
The fact I’m still here, it’s clear it’s divine purpose.
Ka, “Day 912,” from Ka and Preservation’s Days with Dr. Yen Lo, 2015. More from Ka…
They been calling me a criminal for so damn long,
Start to believe they right…and they gon’ make me do something wrong.
You see me in the hood, you think I’m trynna rob you.
I’m just talking to you when you think I’m trynna con you?
No matter what, they gon’ call me a crook.
So you think I give a fuck if I look like a motherfuckin’ criminal?
Sticky Fingaz, “Look Like a Criminal,” from Onyx’s Against All Authority, 2015. More from Sticky…
I’m just a bastard with a bad habit,
Bad back, in a black Volkswagen Rabbit
…Shit, I gotta have it.
Black magic woman put a spell on me;
Fuck around and win a spelling bee.
I could walk under ladders, still win the lotto.
Ten minutes flat: built a boat in a bottle.
Action Bronson, “Galactic Love,” Mr. Wonderful, 2015. More from Bronsolini…
This ain’t the world we thought it was when we as in pre-school.
Sometimes it’s hard to be cool, sometimes I feel like I’m see-through.
Sometimes I really wish…I wish that I could be you.
Joey BADA$$, “Black Beetles,” B4.DA.$$, 2015.
Make peace not war, make babies some more, Keep a smile when you travel from shore to shore.
Ghostface Killah, “Nuggets of Wisdom,” from BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah’s Sour Soul, 2015. More nuggets of wisdom from Ghost…
My vocab is powerful, spit shit subliminal,
Slang therapist, my whole style is criminal.
Bugged like Bob Digital, fly visual,
Mind, body and soul, I’m a strong individual…
Come through in the final hour, with gun showers
Stand the fuck up like Flav to fight the power.
I’m an activist, socialist, deadly ass poetist
Supreme Clientele, I’m a goddamn vocalist!
Ghostface Killah, “Gunshowers,” from BADBADNOTGOOD and Ghostface’s upcoming collabo Sour Soul, to be released in 2015. More quotes from GFK >