Sippin’ on that brown stuff
Got you feeling like you found love,
Or maybe it was just luck.
But honestly…it’s probably none of the above.
– Slug, “Arthur’s Song” from Atmosphere’s Southsiders, 2014.
I will show you all you need to know.
You must hold on to anyone that wants you,
And I will love you through simple and the struggle.
But girl…you got to understand: the modern man must hustle.
Slug, “Modern Man’s Hustle,” from Atmosphere’s God Loves Ugly, 2002. More from Atmosphere…
You know, I used to be a player…flygirl-layer and a heartbreaker,
Lovemaker, backbreaker, but then I made a mistake.
Yes, I fell in love with this ill chick,
Sweatin’ me for money, my name and the dilsnick.
My homeboys told me drop her cause it would be to my benefit;
She used to say I’d better quit hanging with those derelicts.
Guru, “Ex Girl to the Next Girl,” from Gang Starr’s Daily Operation, 1992. More from Guru…
Money is the key to end all your woes,
Your ups, your downs, your highs, and your lows.
Won’t you tell me last time love bought your clothes?
Run, “It’s Like That,” from Run-DMC’s self-titled debut, 1984
Now who in the world do you want to fight?
It’s against the system, we should unite.
Homophobics ain’t alright;
If you learn to love, then you might love life.
Ad Rock, “Alive,” Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science, 1999
In my heart, though, I do believe:
If you put out more love than you receive,
It’s bound to come back around, eventually.
Masta Ace, “Glory,” from Marco Polo’s PA2: The Director’s Cut, 2013. More lyrics from Ace >
Now there she goes again, the dopest Ethiopian,
And now the world around me be gets movin in slow motion
Whenever she happens to walk by, why does the apple of my eye
Overlook and disregard my feelings no matter how much I try?
Fat Lip, “Passin’ Me By,” from The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, 1992
God works in different ways and it shows,
And everybody knows: love comes and goes.
Ed O.G., “Love Comes and Goes,” from Ed O.G. and Da Bulldogs’ Roxbury 02119, 1993
Most people don’t make love no more,
They just fuck and they fight.
What happened to the stay-togethers?
I’m with you, and that means forever.
Big K.R.I.T., “Soul Food,” Cadillactica, 2014
Happiness is temporary, always has been.
I just lost one…but sometimes I win,
I always spread love…but sometimes I sin.
Joey Bada$$, “On & On," B4.DA.$$, 2015
We could fight the fuss till we get like friends,
Or somebody bite the dust and we split like ends.
Even in our wildest moments, girl, I’m on it cause you’re worth it.
Practice makes perfect, so we fightin’ for a purpose.
A$AP Rocky, “Wildest Moments (Remix),” from Jessie Ware’s Devotion, 2013
We knew we’d be together, we didn’t know when,
But long distance love, never thought it would end.
The feelings never changed until the call came…
You were engaged, I was in pain.
It was such a shame: the timing, it just wasn’t right.
So I say, ‘Good luck,’ and then I say, ‘Good night.’
Murs, “Dance With Me,” from Murs & 9th Wonder’s The Final Adventure, 2012. More Murs >
Love is love, love is real, love is great.
But when it isn’t reciprocated, it could become hate.
Apathy, “It’s Only Hip-Hop,” Honkey Kong, 2011
Shorty, let me tell you about my only vice:
It has to do with lots of lovin’, and it ain’t nuttin’ nice.
Q-Tip, “Electric Relaxation,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders, 1993. More from the Tribe…
Either she love me or she hate me…either way, she crazy.
Blu, “Well Fare,” It’s Good To Be Home, 2014
It was the beauty that caught me and held my soul hostage…
Remember those days? Had you smellin’ my boxers.
Ghostface Killah, “Never Be the Same Again,” Bulletproof Wallets, 2001. More quotes from GFK…
Through the fame, through the fire and the flames,
I adapt to the pain, real niggas do the same.
And though we homies and we no longer hang
You know you know me, and that love still remains.
AZ, “Never Change,” A.W.O.L., 2005
A thug changes, and love changes,
And best friends become strangers.
Nas, “The Message,” It Was Written, 1996
About those other Jennys I reckoned with,
Lost them all like a homework excuse.
This time, the Magic Number is two,
Cause it takes two, not three, to seduce.
My destiny of love is brought to an apex,
Sex is a mere molecule.
In this world of love that I have for you
It’s true…Eye know I love you better.
Dove/Trugoy, “Eye Know,” from De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, 1989. This landmark album was released 25 years ago today. More De La Soul quotes…
Can’t live with them…can’t live without them.
But I love a whole lot more than I hate about them.
They look good, feel good, and smell even better,
So why you acting like your mama didn’t use that leather?
‘B word’ this, ‘H bomb’ that.
In the midst all of this, I wonder: ‘Where your moms at?’
Cause if she ain’t one, then tell me where the hate from?
You just calm down, and maybe you can date one.
Buy some flowers, open up some doors.
She needs some tampons? Homie, go to the store.
Vitamin Water, a bottle of Motrin,
Teddy bear, candy bar, something, a token
Of affection, a step in that direction,
…Cause love is about progress, not perfection.
Murs, “Love & Appreciate 2," Murs for President, 2008. More Murs quotes…
Funny how things change when you got a liquor in ya:
You’re quicker with the tongue, givin’ me rhythm now.
Block the music and the people out to admire the love,
The nerve of us…impervious to the entire club.
And like marijuana shotguns, let’s blow this joint,
It’s pointless to stay here, so let me anoint.
Pharoahe Monch, “The Light,” Internal Affairs, 1999. More Pharoahe Monch quotes.
Crazy frustration, about my lovin situation;
When patience was a virtue…but I wasn’t used to waitin.
Black Thought, “Silent Treatment,” from The Roots’ Do You Want More?!!!??!, 1995. More Black Thought quotes.
Back when Fresh was the word, and “Raw” was on Prism,
Marley on the boards, plus Kane was Long Livin’.
G Rap and Ace spittin’ murderous,
Bought Long Live the Kane, sat down, and learned every word of it.
Sneakin’ my Walkman in the homeroom playin’ it,
Listen for punchlines, delivery, and cadences.
But nowadays, it’s like niggas wanna play with it;
They hear some good shit, but don’t stop to savor it.
Phonte, “The Listening,” from Little Brother’s The Listening, 2003. More Phonte quotes
If sleep is the cousin of death, then death is the cousin of sadness;
Murder’s the cousin of madness, love is the cousin of that bitch.
Ill Bill, “Secrets Worth Dying For,” from DJ Muggs & Ill Bill’s Kill Devil Hills, 2010
You gotta understand: I’m a man with needs that needs fulfilling.
And if you ain’t with it, somebody else is willing.
Lord Jamar, “Love Me or Leave Me Alone,” from Brand Nubian’s In God We Trust, 1993
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
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
A day to God is a thousand years,
Men walk around with a thousand fears.
The true joy of love brings a thousand tears,
In the world of desire, there’s a thousand snares.
RZA, “A Day to God is 1000 Years,” Birth of a Prince, 2003
When I get involved, I give it my heart,
I mean my mind, my soul, my body: I mean every part.
But if it doesn’t work out, yo, it just doesn’t.
It wasn’t meant to be, you know, it just wasn’t.
MC Lyte, “Paper Thin,” Lyte as a Rock, 1988
My momma did her part,
But it ain’t her fault that I was born without a heart.
In other words: I’m heartless dude.
I don’t love me…how the fuck I’mma love you?
Scarface, “Born Killer,” Mr. Scarface is Back, 1991
They say that love is powerful as cough syrup and Styrofoam.
All I know is I fell asleep and woke up in that Monte Carlo
With the ugly Kardashian…
Lamar, oh, sorry. Yo, we done both set the bar low.
Eminem, “Berzerk,” The Marshall Mathers LP 2, 2013
Anything worth having is hard to keep,
I love you like my coffee, so hot and so sweet.
So, let’s stick it out so we never regret it,
I could forgive the past–but I never forget it.
Ghostface Killah, “You Know I’m No Good (Remix),” More Fish, 2006
I don’t understand the difficulty, people;
Love your brother, treat him as an equal.
Heavy D., “Self Destruction,” Stop The Violence All-Stars, 1989
Your whole appearance is a lie and it could never be true.
And if you really loved yourself, then you would try and be you.
Phife, “Butter,” from A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory, 1991
Don’t sell yourself to fall in love,
With those things you do…
J Dilla, “Fall in Love,” from Slum Village’s Fantastic Vol 2., 2000
If you love someone, you should say it often,
You never know when they’ll be layin’ in a coffin.
Wake up, it’s important that you know that
No one on Earth is promised tomorrow.
MC Lyte, “Poor Georgie,” Act Like You Know, 1991
…About those other Jennys I reckoned with
Lost them all like a homework excuse.
This time the Magic Number is Two,
‘Cause it takes two, not three, to seduce.
Dove, “Eye Know,” from De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, 1989
How you picture tomorrow with the wrong frame of mind?
How you picture love, if you were blind?
Blu, “My Hoe,” from Statik Selektah’s Extended Play, 2013
It was magic, I felt the bond between us.
She was a jelly to my peanuts, Mars to Venus,
The Earth to my sun, moon and stars,
We added up mathematically…
It’s like I had a bad habit, B!
Ghostface Killah, “The Center of Attraction,” Twelve Reasons to Die, 2013
Peace before everything, God before anything,
Love before anything, real before everything,
Home before any place, shoot before anything,
Style and state radiate, Love Power slay the hate.
Mos Def, “Priority,” The Ecstatic, 2009
Long as I live large, life will be luxury,
Ladies in Lamborghinis…love is like luck to me.
Redman, “Hardcore,” from EPMD’s Business as Usual, 1990
She’s got charm, a firearm to match mine,
Goin to the movies packin his and her nine’s.
Wearin Carhartt and leather, motherfuck the weather,
On Valentine’s Day doin stick-ups together.
No one to blame, no shame in her game,
And when we fuck, she makes me scream out her name.
Apache, “Gangsta Bitch,” Apache Ain’t Shit, 1994
Love and hate, black and white,
Right or wrong, who is right?
Some smoke joints to anoint their brain
To the vanishing point…so they won’t go insane.
Pharoahe Monch, “Walk Into The Sun,” from Organized Konfusion, 1991
Back as kids we used to kiss when we played truth or dare,
Now she’s more sophisticated, highly edu-ma-cated
Not at all over-rated…I think I need a prayer
To get in her boots, and it looks rather dry,
I guess a twinkle in her eye is just a twinkle in her eye.
Although she’s crazy steppin’, I’ll try to stop her stride,
‘Cause I won’t have no more of this passin’ me by.
Slim Kid Tre, “Passin Me By,” from The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, 1992
My limo driver’s white, my attorney black…
‘Show me some love’ like I’m Bernie Mac.
Masta Ace, “Good Ol Love,” Long Hot Summer, 2004
All I want is peace and love on this planet.
Ain’t that how God planned it?
Chuck D., “Fear of a Black Planet,” from Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet, 1990
Love comes in every color, but the fact is…
I never needed 50 Shades of Grey,
Just turn the lights down low and give me every shade of blackness.
Phonte, “Afro Blue (9th Wonder’s Blue Light Basement Remix)”, from Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP, 2012