You can’t raise a man if you ain’t one yourself,
Getting all your cred from the gun on your belt.
– Troy Ave, “Drug Game,” Roland Collins, 2016
Huey, Malcolm and Martin, those are my peers,
They been doin’ niggas like this for over hundreds of years.
Poppin’ us, fear, now it’s time for us to clap back,
But this time we gon’ bust…step the fuck back.
– Snoop Dogg, “Revolution,” COOLAID, 2016
Got the new Hummer in the summer when,
I was a newcomer then,
Drugs and Mac-10s, hugs from fake friends.
Make ends: they hate you,
Be broke: girls won’t date you.
Notorious B.I.G., “Long Kiss Goodnight,” Life After Death, 1997. More from Biggie…
Sick, sick dreams of picnic scenes:
Two kids, sixteen with M-16’s and ten clips each,
And them shits reach through six kids each,
And Slim gets blamed in Bill Clint’s speech to fix these streets?
Eminem, “Remember Me?” The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000. More from Em…
‘Cause in my physical I can express through song,
Delete stress like Motrin, then extend strong.
I drink Moet with Medusa, give her shotguns in hell
From the spliff that I lift and inhale…it ain’t hard to tell.
Nas, “It Ain’t Hard to Tell,” Illmatic, 1993. More from Nas…
Deep like The Shining, sparkle like a diamond,
Sneak a Uzi on the Island in my army jacket lining.
Hit the Earth like a comet…invasion,
Nas is like the Afrocentric Asian: half-man, half-amazing.
Nas, “It Ain’t Hard to Tell,” Illmatic, 1993. More from Nas…
As the night seemed darker, cops is on a hunt,
They interrupt your cipher, and crush your blunt.
See, you left your work at home so they pat you down for nothing;
Why in the hell does 10-4 keep fronting?
Q-Tip, “Midnight,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders, 1993. More from the Tribe…
I’m sick and tired of these fake-ass niggas,
Saying that they’re catching bodies when they never pulled a trigger.
I know your style, I’ve seen it before,
You wearing army suit, now you think you’re hardcore.
Drinking on your 40’s, smoking on your blunts,
Can’t afford a chain so you wear gold fronts…
You fakin’ the funk, kid.
And you’d be getting it up the ass if you ever did a fucking bid.
Fat Joe, “The Shit Is Real (Remix),” Jealous One’s Envy, 1993
Redman ready to rock rough rhymes,
Renegade rapper, rip when it’s rhyme time.
Punk push a pen and pencil when I’m pissed,
Pack pistol posse, flow some more pro shit.
Redman, “Hardcore,” from EPMD’s Business as Usual, 1990 (via rapquote)
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…
I mastered The Art of War before a nigga read Sun Tzu,
Third degree black-belt, master of Gun-Fu.
Pop pills, smoke weed, even get drunk too;
And you do what you can, and I do what I want to.
Sean Price, “Like You,” Jesus Price Supastar, 2007. R.I.P! More from P!
Ayo, the arm bone connected to the hand bone,
Nigga, the hand bone connected to the damn chrome!
Sean P, “Don’t You Cross the Line,” from Boot Camp Clik’s The Last Stand, 2006. R.I.P!
Through every ghetto I carry the heavy metal,
Just in case a shovel is needed when arguments are settled.
Killer Mike, “Underground Kings,” from DJ Premier and Royce da 5’9"’s PRhyme, 2014. More from Killer Mike…
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
I love Dr. King, but violence might be necessary;
Cause when you live on MLK and it gets very scary,
You might have to pull your AK, send one to the cemetery.
Killer Mike, “Lie, Cheat, Steal,” from Run the Jewels’ RTJ2, 2014. More Killer Mike quotes…
I had a church girl, quiet girl…one girl was rich.
The most memorable girl was a Gangsta Bitch.
We went out a lot, sometimes we dressed the same,
Lickin’ shots in the park and had pet names:
I called her ‘Dollars’ cause that’s what she liked to spend;
She called me ‘Diamond’ cause my dick was her best friend.
Apache, “Gangsta Bitch,” Apache Ain’t Shit, 1993
I’ve been out there 3 days and I got shot at 3 times,
Felt like every bullet hit me when they flew out each 9.
I’ll be happy when I wake up and I have a free mind.
Lil Herb, “The Neighborhood,” from Common’s Nobody’s Smiling, 2014
We still wading in the water…
Cocaine, blunts, marinating in the water.
Lean and took a puff, and then she gave it to my father,
Used to take the bullets out so I could play with the revolver.
Satan serenading ever since I was a toddler,
Tell ‘em talk is cheap…niggas living for the dollar.
Vince Staples, “Kingdom,” from Common’s Nobody’s Smiling, 2014
Tried to put shame in my game to make a name,
I’mma put it on a bullet…put it in your brain.
Rakim, “Know the Ledge,” from Eric B. and Rakim’s Don’t Sweat the Technique, 1992. Read more lyrics from Rakim Allah…
It’s like I’m married to the silencer,
Until I file for divorce and release my ex-calibers.
Do art with your arteries, place that for my adversaries,
Put your snap back cap back, cap your capillaries.
Pharoahe Monch, “Rapid Eye Movement,” PTSD, 2014. More Pharoahe Monch quotes…
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
I’m real good at troubleshooting;
When there’s trouble…I start shooting.
Necro, “Pain,” from Necro & Kool G. Rap’s The Godfathers Once Upon a Crime, 2013
Let’s pretend we’re both guns, and make this shit erratic:
I’ll be the revolver, you can play the automatic.
Automatic flip scripts, revolver show loyalty.
Each gun is die-able, but only one’s reliable.
You shoot fast, but in the end you jam,
Then I click back, and turn your brains into spam.
MF Grimm, “Crumb Snatchers,” Scars & Memories, 2005
Cats be talkin’, “Bobby I ain’t feelin’ ya.”
But I bet if I was peelin’ your cap back with a two-shot Dillinger
Hot lead released from my cylinder,
You’d be talkin’ ‘bout, “Bobby I’m feelin’ ya!”
RZA, “W.W.T. (Worldwide Thugs),” 2001
It’s all love, but love’s got a thin line
And Pun’s got a big nine,
Respect crime…but not when it reflect mine.
Big Pun, “Off the Books,” from The Beatnuts’ Stone Crazy, 1997
We ain’t speak, clicking heat is our Morse code.
Ka, “Jungle,” Night’s Gambit, 2013
Bitch is in the back looking righteous
In a tight dress…I think I might just
Hit her with a little Biggie 101:
How to tote a gun,
And have fun with Jamaican rum.
The Notorious B.I.G., “Party and Bullshit,” from Who’s The Man? soundtrack, 1993
Those who flashin’ don’t blast, they still buffoons,
Just blowin out hot air, they should fill balloons.
I’m like them shorties that could kill for goons,
They started hustlin’ in April to cop wheels in June.
Elzhi, “Mt. Everest,” from U-God’s The Keynote Speaker, 2013
Mark you for death, won’t even talk that East or West crap.
From Watts to Lefrak, it ain’t where ya from, it’s where’s your gat.
Big Pun, “You Ain’t a Killer,” Capital Punishment, 1998
Bummy nigga famous, straight from the bottom,
Broke niggas hate it, still never robbed ‘em.
Guns in the basement, out they have a problem,
Kush be my fragrance, we love marijuana.
ScHoolboy Q, “Collard Greens,” Oxymoron, 2013
Guns and the sneakers made Jada.
The bitches and the reefer came later
With the money and the haters.
Jadakiss, “Jada’s Got a Gun,” Kiss the Game Goodbye, 2001
Who’s that peeking in my window?
Goodie Mob, “Cell Therapy,” Soul Food, 1995
My mama didn’t see it comin, my daddy was there.
What’s my excuse? Cartoons were the root.
Started with Yosemite Sam
With the gun in the palm of the hand,
What couldn’t I demand?
Pusha T, “Young Boy,” from The Clipse’s Lord Willin’, 2002
I’m givin’ more flat lines to niggas than loose-leaf.
Kool G. Rap, “Go For Your Guns,” from Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo’s Live and Let Die, 1992
I don’t get pat down, you know what’s on the waist,
I don’t mean Jazz when I say I “count base.”
Fly Louis sneakers, Purple Tape coming out the speakers,
Bumped into my high school teachers,
They said I wouldn’t be nothing, sitting on the bleachers.
Now I’m sitting in the Phantom, trynna figure out the features.
I’m a big fish now, I watch for the leeches.
Sheek Louch, “Pour tha Martini,” from Wu-Block, 2012
It’s like a cycle: niggas come home, some’ll go in,
Do a bullet, come back, do the same shit again.
From the womb to the tomb, presume the unpredictable,
Guns salute life, rapidly, that’s the ritual.
Nas, “Verbal Intercourse,” from Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, 1995
Put your hands where I can see ‘em, so they look like 12 PM
On the dot, see this Glock? Don’t make me give these shells freedom.
Elzhi, “Hands Up,” The Preface, 2008
You can do all them push-ups to pump up your chest,
I got a 12 gauge Mossberg to pump up your chest,
Have you gasping for air after that shell hit your vest.
Fear me like you fear God, ‘cause I bring death.
50 Cent, “We All Die One Day,” from Obie Trice’s Cheers, 2003
People say, ‘Grimm, you’ve been shot like 50.
So why don’t you just rhyme like 50?
Then, you could get the money like 50,
Otherwise, before you see success…you’ll be 50.’
MF Grimm, “Boing,” American Hunger, 2006
Imagine Rock up in the projects where them niggas pick your pockets,
Santa Claus don’t miss them stockings, liquor spilling, pistols popping,
Baking soda Yola whipping, ain’t no turkey on Thanksgiving,
My homeboy just domed a nigga, I just hope the Lord forgive him.
Jay Rock, “Money Trees,” from Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city, 2012
Let bygones be bygones…but where I’m from,
We buy guns and more guns, to give to the young.
Kendrick Lamar, “The Heart Pt. 2,” from O(verly) D(edicated), 2010
I ain’t never gave a fuck, I never did and never will.
Live my life on principle: keep it true, keep it real.
Better said, I keep it TRILL and no matter who don’t like it,
Homie, that just it how it is, naked truth
Like that stripper that’s in front of me,
And I keep a blunt, and a Bible, and a gun on me.
Killer Mike, “Untitled,” R.A.P. Music, 2012
Fuck a stray bullet, I take aim when the gun draws,
For everlasting fame, I will maim those who change the gun laws.
Cause post-traumatic stress disorder, ask any vet I’ve worked with.
My purpose? Catching bodies like safety nets at the circus.
Pharoahe Monch, “Damage,” from PTSD, 2012
Battling me is some deadly shit,
So come equipped with rhymes, guns and two extra clips.
Aim for the head, ‘cause you don’t wear a vest there,
Bullet makes a window, your brain needing fresh air.
MF Grimm, “Emotions,” Scars & Memories, 2005