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There’s four developing stages in the art of hip-hop,
And most of them developed from the snap, crackle and pop.
The first was the usage of an actual band,
The second was a drum machine made by a man,
The third was the human beatbox and percussion,
The fourth in line was samplin’ and the book of rhyme bustin’.
Afrika Baby Bam, “Book of Rhyme Pages,” from The Jungle Brothers’ J Beez Wit The Remedy, 1993. More from the Jungle Brothers…
I never rapped on an R&B record, and I never will.
I got these phony muthafuckas talkin bout ‘Let’s keep it real.’
But they don’t know how to take they own advisement,
Going out, do it solo on an advertisement, commercializing.
Fuckin’ sell out, nigga…this is hip-hop, not fashion.
B-Real, “Strictly Hip-Hop,” from Cypress Hill’s III: Temples of Boom, 1995. More quotes from Cypress Hill >
I said ‘Whoa, little hottie,
I’m not DeLorean, Gambino or Gotti.
I don’t deal coke,
And furthermore you’re making me broke.
I’ll put you in a rehab and I won’t tell your folks.’
And what do you know,
In 18 months she came home,
And I let her back in…
And now she’s sniffing again.
Smooth B., “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow,” from Nice & Smooth’s Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed, 1991.
What’s better than tripping is falling in love.
What’s better than Letterman, Leno, Fallon, and all the above?
What’s better than popping bottles trying to ball in the club?
Is the first caveman pops with his son, ball and a club.
What’s better than paper is balling it up.
What’s better than followers is actually falling in love.
What’s better than frolicking, follies, fallin in mud?
Rolling in green pastures, wandering, following love.
What’s better than eating is feeding your fam.
What’s better than meetings is missing meetings to meet with your fam.
What’s better than leaning and needing your Xan?
Is hitting your zan dreaming a dream could mean leaving the land.
What’s better than yelling is hollering love.
What’s better than rhymes, nickles, dimes, dollars, and dubs?
Is dialing up your darling just for calling her up.
There ain’t nothing better than falling in love.
Chance the Rapper, “Interlude (That’s Love),” Acid Rap, 2013
MCs get a little bit of love and think they hot,
Talkin bout how much money they got…all y’all records sound the same.
I’m sick of that fake thug, R&B-rap scenario, all day on the radio,
Same scenes in the video, monotonous material.
…Y’all don’t hear me though:
These record labels slang our tapes like dope.
You can be next in line and signed, and still be writing rhymes and broke.
stic.man, “Hip-Hop,” from Dead Prez’s Let’s Get Free, 2000
My days getting shorter, my nights getting longer,
My cell getting smaller, my son getting taller.
I exercise my mind, my body getting stronger,
But my blood getting colder, heart getting harder.
My chances for appeal getting slimmer,
My skin getting brighter, my hair getting thinner.
See, when you stressed out, you could age fast in here,
I done seen weak niggas not last a year.
So before lights out, I write my kids every night,
Kiss the stamp on the kite,
And say a prayer…I hope it lands safe in these flights,
I pray they sleep safe through the night.
Try to teach my son right, give him some jewels,
But it’s hard to raise my boy from this visiting room.
Many cells turned to prisoner’s tombs,
I just pray I don’t die in here,
And last night I almost cried a tear.
Beanie Sigel, “Have Mercy,” from Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II, 2009
I got a girl and she treat me fine,
But the homies all think that I’m losin’ my mind.
I’m trippin’ and I know it cause I’m all nerved up,
Cause everytime I go to sleep, I see this big ol’ butt.
See, I ain’t never gave no chick 4 stars,
But she treat me so good that she be drivin my car.
And every day it get better, I can’t lie,
Went to the house and she made me some hot potato pie.
All my friends be sayin, “She ain’t nothin but a scrub!”
But she make me feel high like I’m hooked on drugs.
So I give her what she need, and what’s done is done,
But I’m a special kind of fool but ayo, it don’t bother me none.
I can’t help myself, I know that I’m trippin’,
But she got it goin’ on like Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Pimp C, “Use Me Up,” from UGK’s Too Hard to Swallow, 1992
It’s the principle of it, I get a rush when I bust
Some dope lines oral, that maybe somebody’ll quote.
That’s what I consider real in this field of music,
Instead of puttin’ brain cells to work, they abuse it.
Non-conceptual, non-exceptional,
Everybody’s either crime-related or sexual.
For those who pose lyrical, but really ain’t true, I feel:
Their time’s limited, hard rocks too.
O.C., “Time’s Up,” Word…Life, 1994